Author Topic: Any Mustachians in Dublin?  (Read 2023 times)

Malcat

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Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« on: October 15, 2019, 06:29:35 AM »
It looks like I might be in Dublin over Christmas.
I could use some guidance as to what the weather is like, and what tends to be open or closed and when?
What do the holidays look like?

I'm trying to work out the logistics and it seems to be hard to find info online.

Oh, and I've never been there, so really any suggestions would be great.

reeshau

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2019, 07:01:34 AM »
Bring your rain gear, although that's always true.  Sometimes, I actually wish it were a few degrees colder, so I could deal with snow over very cold rain.  But snow shovels and sidewalk salt are rare, so expect a lot of ice with any snow, at least in Dublin.  You can get actual snow if you get up in the Wicklow mountains, just south of the city; I think it's quite nice to look at them, from a distance, without having had to shovel anything in town.

If you really miss the US-style over-the-top retail Christmas lights, you could go to Grafton Street or the St. Stephen's Green mall.  Otherwise, the holidays are very muted.  No "Christmas Light Fight" with animated shows, or anything.

Unfortunately, I always am back in the US for the week of Christmas itself, so I don't know about shop openings.  There is, strangely enough, a "black Friday" here, which is not ridiculous but gaining there.  (of course, this is in absence of the US Thanksgiving holiday--I end up explaining the origins of Black Friday to a lot of people here)  It's not a work holiday, but people do sneak out to get to sales.

There is a nice outdoor New Year's Eve show, but it is ticketed (for crowd control)  But it is on the river, and Dublin is awfully flat, so it can be seen from quite some distance.

For recommendations, what are you looking for?  Pub crawls, trad music, theater, museums , history?  What logistics are you looking for?  There are also some nice throwback things that are pretty much gone in the US:  real, independent bookstores and record stores.

One of the most unique things you could try would be to go to Newgrange to view the Winter Solstice, but the lottery for the 60 spots was in September.

Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2019, 08:36:29 AM »
Thank you!

I'm in Canada, so I have absolutely no need to see snow, or any over the top Christmas lights.

I don't really know what I'm looking for other than anything really!

Thanks for the tip on icy streets, I definitely have the right gear for that.

Dave1442397

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2019, 06:44:48 PM »
Being from Canada, you're probably used to short days in winter, but sunrise that week will be around 8:30am, and the sun sets just after 4pm.

As for things being open, it's best to just check as you go. A lot of places shut down for Christmas week, so check before going. Also, check online for tickets. Some places, like Kilmainham Gaol, can sell out a week in advance.

Make sure you bring a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, and also make sure that all your purchases are charged in Euros, NOT Canadian or US dollars. Just about every store asked us if we'd like the amount charged in US dollars, but all that does is gift them a hefty fee when they do the currency conversion. Keep it in Euros.

This is a list of random stuff that I sent to friends earlier this year:

1)   The Guinness factory tour is always good - https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en
2)   The Irish Distillers tour - https://www.jamesonwhiskey.com/ie/visit-us
3)   Ireland's oldest pub - http://www.brazenhead.com/
4)   Kilmainham Gaol - http://kilmainhamgaolmuseum.ie/
5)   This is only if you're interested in Irish sports - https://crokepark.ie/gaa-museum-tours
6)   Shopping the nicest shopping area is around Grafton Street, with plenty of nice stores hidden in some of the side streets branching off it, and an indoor shopping center at the south end of the street.
7)   St. Stephen's Green a nice park at the south end of Grafton Street. Small, well worth a look.
8)   This is probably one of my favorites The Book of Kells, and the Trinity College library in general - https://www.tcd.ie/visitors/book-of-kells/
9)   This one was fun - https://www.littlemuseum.ie/
10) The emigrant museum was fantastic, but maybe of more interest to me (an emigrant) than you - https://epicchq.com/
11) The Temple Bar area is great to poke around and visit some old-fashioned pubs - https://www.thetemplebarpub.com/
12) Dollard & Co was a nice place for lunch, and there's a chocolate store in there that sells handmade Irish chocolate from around the country - https://dollardandco.ie/

If you have time to take a couple of side trips from Dublin city, you can drive or take the DART (train) to Howth, a fishing village with some great seafood restaurants - http://www.visitdublin.com/hooked-on-howth-dublin
Go to Beshoffs for fish & chips - https://www.beshoffs.ie/

Another cool place is Malahide Castle, also easy to get to by car, bus or train - https://www.malahidecastleandgardens.ie/

use2betrix

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2019, 07:51:33 PM »
Great thread! Iíll be heading to Dublin/Europe for the first time in November.. Amsterdam/Dublin for a good friends bachelor party.. Iím really hoping I can veer off for sightseeing and such in lieu of just spending every waking hour at bars..

reeshau

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2019, 02:32:08 AM »
@Malkynn, are you staying with friends or family?  Or in the City Center?  Or looking to choose?

One assumption *not* to make about Dublin is transportation.  By American standards its fine to good, by European standards it's scant.  In particular, there is no train link from the airport.  Rather, there are two city bus routes (747 and 757) for Ä7.50, or more-expensive coaches that drop off around the city.

https://www.dublinairport.com/to-from-the-airport/by-bus/dublin-buses

Before we got a car, we used to take the 757 for travelling, as the line ends near the Green LUAS Harcourt stop.  But the 747 is much more frequent.  They both pick up at many places in the city center.

The Train lines are the LUAS (light rail / street tram, in the city center) and DART (commuter train, goes along the coast).  The LUAS has its own real-time reporting app.  You can get discount fares to the trains and buses with a LEAP card.  A visitor LEAP card is available at the convenience store on exit from baggage claim (T2: SPAR - most likely from the US; T1 - WH Smith) or you can order one online.

https://about.leapcard.ie/leap-visitor-card

If you forget to pick one up at the airport, just about any convenience store sells "regular" LEAP cards: Ä5.00 charge for the card, which is rechargable at any train station, or also through the LEAP card app.

There are no ride-sharing services in the city, but you can summon a Taxi with the Free Now app.  There are also a number of taxi queues throughout the city center, including at the South end of Grafton Street / Stephen's Green.

Dublin is very much a walking city.  I am 6' 8", and a former distance runner.  I walk very comfortably along with the commuter walking traffic.  This can be quite disconcerting for tourists trying to get along, particularly if they are also consulting a map.

There are several hop on / hop off buses.  They are partially open on top, which could be brutal in December.  But they will give you a quick orientation to things, and can help connect more distant sights, like the Guiness brewery.

As a boom town, any mode of transportation is Dublin is a nightmare around commuting times.  The trains are packed like Tokyo from 8-9 am, and again 4:#0-5:30-ish  (worse in the morning)  There is a thorough bus system, but in the high traffic it's more about saving you walking distance than time.  (the 20 minute walk which finished my commute is a 15 minute drive in morning rush hour)  On holidays or outside of commuting, it's fine.

I agree with Dave's comments.  I particularly love the Long Room at Trinity College.  That's the building where the Book of Kells is at, but there are so many more artifacts there:  a copy of the Irish Declaration of Independence, Brian Boru's harp ("the" harp of Ireland) many original literary manuscripts.  And the room itself is gorgeous, if you are a library person.

Time for a meeting--let me know if you want more of this, or getting on to more sights...

Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2019, 04:46:35 AM »
THANK YOU!

This is exactly the type of info I'm looking for.
I don't have any friends in Dublin, so I'll be staying at a hotel, haven't decided which one yet.

I haven't booked anything, so I'm a bit concerned about the comment of things being closed over the holiday *week*. Perhaps it's not the best time to visit?

reeshau

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2019, 05:13:31 AM »
You can expect Christmas Day itself to be widely respected; that could be tough in a hotel room--best to see what the hotel restaurant or nearby restaurants are planning.  outside of that, there may be reduced hours, but there will certainly be nightlife and things going on.  I would also look at an AirBnB as an alternative, so you can prepare meals yourself.  There is quite a good population in them in Dublin, although there has been something of a crackdown due to the need for long-term rentals.  But consider your lodging + food as a total price.

For example, the Book of Kells exhibit says "For public holidays, Sunday hours apply."

You may also look into going to a Panto.  It's again not to everyone's taste, but definitely a holiday tradition.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantomime
http://www.bigpantoguide.co.uk/eire.php



Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2019, 05:21:52 AM »
I get a very very deep discount on hotels, but yes, I always take into account the cost of food when comparing to AirBnB.

I definitely want to track down something to do on Christmas day itself. I figure that will be a challenge.
Maybe some nice people will adopt DH and I for a day.

reeshau

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 02:31:29 AM »
I almost forgot one of the most important points!  It goes to show how you can get used to anything...

One great benefit of coming to Dublin is that it is one of the 2 cities (Toronto is the other) with USA preclearance screening.  That means you go through US Customs in Dublin, so if you have a US connection from Dublin, it's just like any domestic flight.

Ireland is not part of the Schengen zone, so any flight coming into Dublin (from the US, or from elsewhere in Europe) will have to go through Irish customs coming in.  But flying from Dublin direct or connecting in the US can be a good time saver on your way back.  (meaning, if you fly from Dublin and connect through, say, Paris, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam, you will arrive in the US and have to go through customs there, and will need to plan for that when setting up your connections, including re-checking luggage and security screening)

So, plan your connections accordingly.

Moonwaves

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2019, 04:43:22 AM »
Check out the replies to this tweet asking for people's favourite small or indie museums in Ireland. Some good tips there, and a lot of them are in Dublin.

Disclaimer: I left Dublin 11 years ago and haven't lived there since but this should all be more or less accurate, I think.

Christmas Eve should be fine for shops and pubs being open (shops possibly closing a bit earlier in the evening). Just about everything will be closed on Christmas Day and it could well be that very little apart from pubs will be open on St. Stephen's Day (often just called Stephens or Stephenses). I wonder if Funderland still opens then? That used to be the highlight of our holidays - it's possible you may need to be under 12 years old to enjoy it, though.

Quite a few hotels do a Christmas package, possibly some restaurants, too although I would get onto that soon if you want to make a reservation.

If you're staying in Dublin, public transport (Leap card is really handy) or Dublin bikes (rental scheme - there is a visitor card available) is definitely the better choice. Car rental is astronomically expensive around the Christmas holidays - I'll be over next week and am paying Ä60 for a mid-size car for seven days. I think Ä400 was the lowest price I found for a smaller car for the same length of time at Christmas. I stick to the train and relying on the kindness of friends and family to give me lifts when I'm there in December.

Ooooh, if you like Christmas music you'll be able to listen to Christmas FM all day long.

Dave's list is a good one except for, imo, The Temple Bar, which might be nice to go and see but is basically a huge tourist trap and I believe it's one of, if not the most, expensive pubs in Dublin. Try somewhere like Grogans on South William Street, or Davy Byrnes. The International Bar used to be good, too. On Wicklow Street. I'm looking at googlemaps now and having many flashbacks to my 20s. Any pub in the city centre is going to be a bit pricey and touristy but there are some really nice ones. You can usually find traditional music at O'Donoghues on Merrion Row (a few minutes walk past Stephens Green, heading towards Baggot St).

As well as Stephens Green, Merrion Square and Iveagh Gardens are nice places for a wander. Powerscourt Townhouse is a lovely little shopping centre - I think that's probably what Dave is referring to in No. 6.

There is a literary pub crawl I remember doing once that was a lot of fun. And for my post-birthday celebrations a few years ago I got a bunch of people together to go on the Viking Splash tour. Not to everyone's taste but I had watched to going around town for so many years I really wanted to do it and I loved it. Don't think I stopped giggling from the time I got on until a couple of hours after we were back home. It was cold in December though.

For decent chips in the centre of town, I recommend the Kingfisher at the corner of Parnell Square. And it's close to Chapters, which is a huge bookshop (second-hand books are upstairs) that's worth a visit if you're the kind of person who buys books wherever they go.

Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2019, 05:45:33 AM »
I almost forgot one of the most important points!  It goes to show how you can get used to anything...

One great benefit of coming to Dublin is that it is one of the 2 cities (Toronto is the other) with USA preclearance screening.  That means you go through US Customs in Dublin, so if you have a US connection from Dublin, it's just like any domestic flight.

Ireland is not part of the Schengen zone, so any flight coming into Dublin (from the US, or from elsewhere in Europe) will have to go through Irish customs coming in.  But flying from Dublin direct or connecting in the US can be a good time saver on your way back.  (meaning, if you fly from Dublin and connect through, say, Paris, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam, you will arrive in the US and have to go through customs there, and will need to plan for that when setting up your connections, including re-checking luggage and security screening)

So, plan your connections accordingly.

We'll be flying direct from Toronto, but I'll keep this in mind in the future.

Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2019, 08:34:48 PM »
Update:

Not going to Dublin over the holidays, instead doing a road trip in Northern Ireland in Spring. Any suggestions?

reeshau

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2019, 04:56:21 AM »
City or Country?

I've not been to Belfast yet, but we had a wonderful time along the Causeway coast.  Our primary target was the Giant's Causeway, and we made Portrush our home base.

https://discovernorthernireland.com/about-northern-ireland/destinations/causeway/causeway-coastal-route/

Bonus points if you're a GoT fan.  Pick your favorite scene / place, and go find it.

I also highly recommend taking some back routes.  It will be...interesting driving, but very scenic.  We took motorways on our trip up, and headed roughly to Armagh on the way down, and passed lots of orchards and scenery.

Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2019, 05:36:13 AM »
We'll kind of be driving a loop around the northern coast and then back to Dublin. It's a package where we have a different B&B booked for us each night, a car rental, and we're free to meander along the way as we please as long as we make it to our next check in.

Dave1442397

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2019, 02:06:44 PM »
I never did much in Northern Ireland. I grew up during The Troubles, as it was called, so the extent of our NI experience was shopping in Enniskillen once or twice a year.

My wife and I did head up there to see The Giants Causeway. We stayed at the Causeway Hotel, which was very reasonable at the time - http://www.thecausewayhotel.com/

Another place I remember is the Bushmills Distillery, which had a nice tour - https://bushmills.com/intl/distillery/

If you go to Belfast, look into a Shankill/Fall Road tour. http://coiste.ie/tours/joint-falls-shankill-tour/


Cassie

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2019, 05:52:17 PM »
We are going to Ireland for a week in August. We plan to see Galway and cork. My relatives were from that area.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2019, 05:54:46 PM »
Thank you for this! Iím going to Dublin in August and this is perfect!

Dave1442397

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2019, 06:20:17 PM »
Another travel tip - if you plan on renting a car, try using Costco.

We rented a 5-speed Opel Astra (plenty of room for three + luggage) for 17 days for a total of 136.67 Euro. I used my Amazon Chase card to get insurance coverage (free), but because Ireland is considered high risk (narrow roads, stone walls), you have to contact Chase in advance and have them email you a letter saying you have coverage. They will send you a letter with your specific credit card number included, so you must use that card to pay for the rental. They will ask to see that letter at the rental desk. If you don't have it, things get expensive in a hurry. I turned down refueling - there's a gas station a few miles from the rental return lot.

When we went to pick up the car, the rental agent showed up with two sets of keys, and asked us if we'd like to upgrade to a nice Toyota with automatic transmission, for a fee, of course! I didn't even ask how much, just said no, and he gave up. He told me he had never seen anyone get a rental that cheap in the high season.


Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2019, 03:52:47 AM »
Our car is rented for us as part of a flight+B&Bs+car rental package

reeshau

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 04:09:22 AM »
Just remember: if it's a manual, you shift gears with your left hand.  Not impossible, but you might grind a bit or stall getting used to it.  At least it's in a rental.  :)

Discussed at length here:  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/driving-a-manual-transmissionstick-questions-thoughts/
« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 04:11:23 AM by reeshau »

Malcat

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 04:18:46 AM »
Just remember: if it's a manual, you shift gears with your left hand.  Not impossible, but you might grind a bit or stall getting used to it.  At least it's in a rental.  :)

Discussed at length here:  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/driving-a-manual-transmissionstick-questions-thoughts/

Automatic, I haven't driven manual in nearly 20 years, so that would be not so fun for me trying to do it reversed.

Dave1442397

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Re: Any Mustachians in Dublin?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2019, 05:12:25 AM »
Just remember: if it's a manual, you shift gears with your left hand.  Not impossible, but you might grind a bit or stall getting used to it.  At least it's in a rental.  :)

Discussed at length here:  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/driving-a-manual-transmissionstick-questions-thoughts/

I'd say I was used to it by the time I got out of the airport. The Astra had a very smooth transmission, I must say. It was very easy to drive.