Dublin is at its warmest in the summertime. This is the time when there are many festivals, many crowds because of school breaks, and hotels raise their room rates as do airlines. Winter is cold but you’ll find the best hotel deals if you don’t mind the cold weather. Spring and fall are the best times to visit Dublin - the weather in the city is cool and comfortable but not cold. There are far fewer people so you don’t need to stand in lines like you might have to do in the summer. Room rates are lower than in the summer and airfares can be less expensive. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Dublin Weather & Temperature by Month
2.Getting to Dublin, Ireland
3.Getting From the Dublin Airport
4.Getting Around Dublin by bus, dart, tram, luas
5.Getting Around Dublin by bus, dart, tram, luas
6.Restaurants in Dublin, Ireland
7.Shopping in Dublin, Ireland
8.Dublin Neighborhood Guide
9.Getting Married in Dublin, Ireland
10.Where to Stay in Dublin, Ireland
Best Time to Visit Ireland - Dublin Weather & Other Travel Tips
- Dublin Weather & Temperature by Month, Photo: Courtesy of Lucian Milasan - Fotolia.com
- Getting to Dublin, Ireland, Photo: Courtesy of spanishjohnny72 - Fotolia.com
- Getting From the Dublin Airport, Photo: Courtesy of Leonid Andronov - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around Dublin by bus, dart, tram, luas, Photo: Courtesy of Laurentiu Iordache - Fotolia.com
- Getting Around Dublin by bus, dart, tram, luas, Photo: Courtesy of captblack76 - Fotolia.com
- Restaurants in Dublin, Ireland, Photo: Courtesy of Monet- Fotolia.com
- Shopping in Dublin, Ireland, Photo: Courtesy of triocean - Fotolia.com
- Dublin Neighborhood Guide, Photo: Courtesy of Ungor - Fotolia.com
- Getting Married in Dublin, Ireland, Photo: Courtesy of Rafael Ben-Ari - Fotolia.com
- Where to Stay in Dublin, Ireland, Photo: Courtesy of oocoskun - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Laurentiu-Iordache - Fotolia.com
Tipping in Ireland
The subject of tipping is still widely debated in Ireland, unlike in the US. There are the questions of who should be tipped, where and when to tip, and how much to tip. Many service workers in Ireland are paid good wages, but there are also some who are working multiple jobs or studying at the same time.
You want to reward great service and make sure your server gets a little help with their finances, but at the same time, you do not want to give too much and end up offending anyone or being ridiculed for being ignorant of Irish culture.
The tipping culture varies a lot across Ireland. It can vary by establishment, service, and other factors (but it is more commonplace and expected in Dublin than elsewhere). We found out as much as we could about what service workers in the country know and expect to help you figure out just how much to give.
Bistros and cafes
In cafes, bistros, and similar places, you may see tip jars or bowls on the counter or anywhere near the cash register. You can leave loose change here, but it is not required and not always expected.
Some establishments, especially in rural areas, have collection boxes instead of tip jars. Money collected in these is given to charities. Feel free to put some cash in here instead of giving a tip.
Pubs in Ireland are nearly never tipped. However, workers in some pubs in places like Dublin have gotten used to getting tips from foreigners. Nevertheless, it is better to be safe than embarrassed.
If you feel extremely satisfied and compelled to leave a tip, offer to buy the personnel a drink. They will most likely ask you if you don’t mind that they have that drink later, to which the polite reply is a nod. It means the person will keep the cash for themselves instead of drinking on the job.
If you are buying rounds for a large group in a bar, do tip the bartender around 1 or 2 euros. Lounge staff expects tips more than barmen do in this case.
Regardless of where you are, tip the servers for making expensive drinks, such as elaborate cocktails.
Some restaurants state on their menu that your total bill will be subject to a service charge. If this is the case, then you need to pay that service charge regardless of how satisfied you were with the staff’s service.
In some restaurants, the menu simply says “service included,” which means that the food prices already include the service charge. In both of these cases, no tips are required and the bill amount is final.
If you do not see such notes on the menu, tip the server. You can give an additional 10% to 15% or simply round up the bill to the nearest amount that can be given in bills (That translates to a minimum tip of 5 pounds--the smallest bill in Ireland.).
If it is merely a quick lunch, do round up. If it is a sit-down meal with starters, for example, follow the 10% guide. But rounding up can be acceptable for dinners too! For example, if the bill amounts to 43 euros, you can give 50 euros.
When dining as part of a large group of six or more people, your restaurant may automatically add a service charge to your bill. However, this is not done by all restaurants.
Never tip in fast food places.
Hotels, B&Bs, and guesthouses in Ireland typically already have service charge incorporated into their prices, so no tips are expected. In places ran by the owners themselves, like small B&Bs, definitely no tips are expected.
However, do tip chambermaids around 1 to 2 euros per day. Also, tip porters and other staff if you requested for help or special assistance. Nevertheless, there is no need to tip large amounts.
Cab drivers do not expect tips but will not refuse if you offer, especially city drivers. Tourists often tip taxi drivers by rounding up the fare.
Hairdressers for men and women can be tipped 10% of the bill or 1 to 2 euros.
Other service workers generally do not expect tips. Tradesmen would even give you something like a “reverse tip” (essentially a discount) to hopefully keep your business in the future.
There are no clear-cut rules regarding tipping in Ireland. Ultimately, you just have to play it by ear. Do not be surprised when after offering a tip, you are met with refusal.
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Attraction Spotlight: St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located in Dublin, Ireland, traces its roots all the way back to medieval times. Religious services are still held on site, but guests do not have to be Catholic to enjoy a guided tour of the grounds. St. Patrick’s Cathedral has offered prayers to the public for many centuries. Originally opened in 1220 (built in 1191), the cathedral has gone through revolutions, reformations, and even war.
The cathedral is the official National Cathedral of Ireland and is also a member church of Anglican Communion. Its spire stands at 43 meters (141 feet), which makes the St. Patrick’s the tallest church in the country of Ireland, and also its largest. The church was founded by John Comyn, who was the original Anglo-Norman Archbishop from Dublin. He created a charter that allowed for a thirteen-canon chapter, which was confirmed by a Papal Bull. Currently, the church is used for many public Irish national ceremonies (including Remembrance Day, carol services, and funeral services for two different Irish presidents) More than 500 people are buried on site. It receives no funding from the state and is run entirely on donations and purchases from the church gift shop (it is said to cost about five pounds a minute to keep the church running). The cathedral welcomes over 300,000 visitors on an annual basis.
Below are some of the highlights of the wonderful attraction you can find at St. Patrick’s Cathedral:
? Tree of Remembrance - Created in 2014 as a way to commemorate the anniversary of World War One, the Tree of Remembrance is meant to physically represent the destruction and devastation of war. Visitors to the tree are welcomed and encouraged to leave their own messages next to the tree as a way to help honor any friends or family members who may have been affected by the conflict.
? Jonathan Swift - The most famous dean to have ever been associated with St. Patrick’s, Jonathan Swift was also the author of the world-famous book Gulliver’s Travels as well as many other works of fiction. Swift also focused a generous portion of his life to helping the most disadvantaged in Irish society. While speaking at the pulpit (which is still on display in the church), Swift preached many different, lengthy sermons focusing on what he saw as social injustice.
? Discovery Space - Located in the South Transept, guests can visit the appropriately named Discovery Space. This space offers a large variety of different, interactive experiences and activities. Some of the activities in the Discovery Space include brass rubbing, jigsaw puzzles of the stained windows, and model cathedral building. There is also a touch screen table, which lets guests interact further with the cathedral in virtual form.
The general flow of some of the most important parts of a visit to the cathedral is as follows.
- Entering in the front doors, guests are encouraged to look up to see not only the beautiful and vast ceilings but also as a reminder to always look to God.
- Look around and make sure to see the door where legend has it two feuding families accidentally created the Irish phrase “chance your arm” when the two men shook hands through the hole in the door.
- View the flags that are on display, which honor members of the Irish regiments in the British Army. Although the regimental colors have faded over time, the significance remains.
- Walking slightly further, guests should notice an old organ console that dates back to 1901. The spiral staircase nearby will take guests up to the functioning organ which is played a least twice daily during Evensong and Matins.
- Next, view the North Choir Aisle as there are two important burials there - Fulk De Sandford (the first person who is known to have been buried in the cathedral in 1271) and the Duke of Shomberg (buried in 1690).
- Move into the Lady Chapel, which was restored in 2013. This area is meant for quiet reflection.
The cathedral is considered wheelchair accessible. There is free bus parking available in the Cathedral “close” area. Restrooms are available on site.
The cathedral regularly welcomes student visitors to the cathedral and offers a range of different field trips and workshops that were designed specifically for these young guests. These programs are all offered free of charges to classrooms. There are three different field trip options.
- Self-guided - Classrooms are welcomed to explore the cathedral with a chaperone for as little or as long as they would like. These field trips can be requested by using the online form to contact the staff to schedule.
- Guided - For classrooms that need a little more structure during a visit, guided tours are welcome. Lasting less than 45 minutes, which is great for students with smaller attention spans, the field trips are all catered to the specific interests and level of each classroom.
- Workshops - Possibly the most popular of the options geared toward educating children at the cathedral, below are a few options for the many different workshops offered throughout the year. Guests are strongly encouraged to check the calendar on the website prior to a visit, as many of the workshops require pre-registration.
- Medieval workshops - Focuses on the earliest history of the cathedral with brass rubbing and calligraphy. The workshop will start with a guided tour and is best for older primary school students.
- Stained Glass Window Workshop - Includes a guided tour that focuses on the stained glass in the cathedral before children are brought back into the classroom and given an opportunity to create their own stained-glass creations and stories. Best for primary as well as post-primary school students.
- Saint Patrick Workshop - Children will learn about the story of Saint Patrick followed by an art workshop meant to help students recognize and cope with feelings of sadness and isolation as well as helping others in need. Best for students from 1st to 3rd grade.
- Music at the Cathedral - This workshop will teach students about the organ at the cathedral and how it works. They will also have the opportunity to try to play a piece. Meant for primary as well as post-primary school students.
- Fighting Words Workshop - Children will work on their creative writing in this workshop, based on Jonathan Swift’s writings.
- Observation and Sketching - Best for art students, guests will be able to draw some of the beautiful Gothic architecture at the church. This workshop allows students to work as independently as desired.
- Community of Faith - Take a tour of the cathedral and learn about how it brings members of the faith community together. This tour is meant for older students. Question and answer time with the clergy may be available.
A small religious gift shop is located on the grounds of the cathedral. Guests visiting the church can purchase small souvenirs of the visit as well as helping to financially support the cathedral and its mission (as the cathedral is over 800 years old, the costs associated with maintenance can be large). The shop offers CDs (some recordings that have been done in the church using the organ), religious artifacts like crosses and other jewelry, and religious books (including many Bibles).
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, DZ08 H6X3, Ireland, 00 353, Phone: +00-3-53-04-53-94-72
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Attraction Spotlight: National Botanic Gardens of Ireland
The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, located close to Dublin’s city center, provides free access to guests from all over the world to a place that is full of beauty and national wonder. An oasis from the hustle and bustle of busy Dublin, the gardens also houses a scientific institution that is unparalleled in the local as well as international arena.
The history of the botanic garden can be traced all the way back to 1795, when it was considered a private collection for the Royal Dublin Society. The gardens opened to the general public in 1805. The visitor center opened its doors in 2000. The garden is operated and funded by the Office of Public works in Ireland and is considered a public institution. It is the second most visited free attraction in Ireland. The staff at the gardens work hard to help champion initiatives in biodiversity conservation as well as sustainable development on both a national and international level. The gardens encompass an enormous 48 acres in Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland which includes multiple “houses” and education centers as well as a research library and herbarium (off limits to the general public).
Guests are encouraged to start their visit of the gardens by heading to the visitor center and asking to view the introductory film, which introduces the history of the botanic gardens. After viewing the films, guests should make sure to see the portraits hanging far up on the wall. The paintings were created by Anna O’Leary, which showcase the notable innovators and scientists that helped develop the field of botany as well as the creation of the national botanic gardens (like Charles Linnaeus, Charles Darwin, David Moore, and John Foster). Also hanging on the wall is the skull of the giant Irish deer (scientific name Megaloceros), which is known to be the largest deer that has ever lived. The specimen came from nearby Wicklow County in 1860.
The botanic gardens were developed to showcase the scientific side of gardening, which is the reason why the plants found at the garden are labeled not only with their scientific names but also with the dates the plants were brought to the garden and where their place of origin is. There are currently over 20,000 different living plants on display, as well as millions of dried specimens in the research library. Guests should make sure to view as many of these as possible while visiting.
While wandering around the gardens, make sure to check out the glasshouses. Not only are the glasshouses important for scientific reasons, they also hold architectural significance (especially the Curvilinear Range and the Palm House).
? Palm House - Also known as the Great Palm House, this glasshouse stands in the southern portion of the garden and connects to both the orchid house (on the east) and the cactus house (on the west). It stands 65 feet tall, 100 feet long, and 80 feet wide. It was built in 1862 to help maintain the garden’s tropical plant collection. The original wooden structure was destroyed by wind in 1883 and it was rebuilt in iron shortly afterward.
? Curvilinear Range - Built in 1848, this glasshouse has won multiple architectural awards including the Europa Nostra award, given for excellence in conservation architecture. It was built by Richard Turner (who also rebuilt the Palm House).
Guided tours of the gardens are available twice daily Monday through Saturday, first at 11:30 am and again at 3:00 pm. There is a small cost associated with these tours, which goes back into helping maintain the grounds. Groups can also request guided tours ahead of a visit, for a small cost per person, by contacting the staff prior to visiting the gardens. There are also other public tours available which can be booked by speaking to the staff at the visitor center. Wheelchairs are available at the visitor center for guests with physical disabilities. These wheelchairs are offered on a first come, first serve basis and cannot be reserved ahead of time.
The staff at the botanic gardens enjoys offering a variety of field trips and other educational opportunities. These programs are all offered free of charge to students but must be reserved ahead of time by calling the educational staff at the visitor center.
Primary school tours –
? Irish Plants - Students will learn all about plants and tree that are native to Ireland, including any folklore, medicinal uses, and how they can be identified. They will also be taken through the Viking House and taught about some of the plants they used for clothing, shelter, and food. This program is available all year round.
? National Tree Walk - Students in first grade and above will be taken around the botanic gardens and shown some of the most well-known trees on the grounds, including fun facts and identification tips. Each classroom will even get to leave with their own tree to plant back at school. This trip is only available in March.
Secondary school tours –
- Trees, trees, trees - Secondary school students will all about the “secret” life of trees on this walking tour, which includes interesting facts about many of the trees on the grounds (for instance, why are redwoods fireproof?).
- Plant Adaptations - Focusing on some of the most amazing adaptive features that plants have used to help deal with everything from climate change, habitat loss, and predators.
The botanic gardens are renowned for their special events, which are meant to offer something for everyone visiting the grounds no matter their age or education level. There are various categories, like plant shows, garden theater, art classes, and other children and family-based events. The website maintains a thorough calendar of all of those events. In addition, the gardens also host a rotating cast of exhibitions in their visitor center. Many of those exhibitions are on loan from other botanic gardens or scientific facilities throughout the world.
The plant shows focus on several types of plants each time - like an orchid fair, a succulent and cactus show, a sweet pea show, and a (totally terrific) tomato fest. They are held throughout the year.
Check with the visitor center when visiting to see if there are any special events or guided walking tours available during the visit, as the botanic gardens are frequently adding more events.
There is a restaurant as well as a small coffee shop located inside the visitor center. The restaurant serves a small variety of both hot and cold food during all open hours of the botanic gardens. All food and drink must be consumed before leaving the visitor center, as no food or beverages are allowed outside on the grounds of the gardens.
National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 VY63, Ireland, Phone: +353-18-04-03-00
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