The Irish writer Oscar Wilde once said “Life is too important to be taken seriously,” and nowhere is life more celebrated (and not taken seriously) than on Dublin's bustling streets and in its many pubs. You'll quickly feel the energy and passion for life that the Irish share– it's captivating, contagious and stays with you.
Dynamic Dublin is home to more than a third of Ireland’s population and yet it has an easy-going vibe that is hard to find anywhere else in Europe. The city honours its past, but still, enjoys each day to the fullest. Its old, cobbled streets are lined with shops, pubs and restaurants best explored on foot or bicycle.
If you are thinking of hiring a car in Dublin to explore the countryside, you will soon realise that hiring a vehicle that meets your needs and wishes is very simple either at Dublin airport either in the city centre.
Basic info and car hire in Dublin
- Location: Eastern part of Ireland.
- Population: 527,612 (2015)
- Official language: English and Irish.
- Currency: Euro (€).
- Weather: Dublin has a maritime climate: cool summers with an average temperature of 15°C / 59°F and mild winters with average temperatures of 5°C / 41°F. Read more »
- Holidays in Dublin: For public holidays in Ireland click here»
- Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
- Road conditions: Roads are well maintained.
- Car hire in Dublin: Car hire in Dublin is very popular. The most common vehicle collection is Dublin Airport. The average daily car hire price may vary depending on the season. Autumn prices are around 16£ (18€), In the winter months expect to pay around 16£ (18€). Spring daily rental is around 9£ (10€) and summer season has a daily rental price of around 16£ (18€). Please note that rental prices fluctuate frequently. It’s best to reserve a car 3 to 8 weeks prior to your pick up date – this way you can also ensure the lowest price. All that being said, it is possible to get a great last minute car hire deal. Find the best car hire deal in Dublin!
Driving in Dublin
Driving in Dublin can be nerve wracking due to the heavy traffic and limited parking. On the other hand, driving outside of Dublin doesn’t present many problems and can be quite enjoyable. Hiring a car in Dublin is easy and affordable and there are plenty of options at your disposal, such as Budget, Sixt, Europcar and more. Once you hit the road with your rental, keep in mind that not all petrol stations take credit cards, are open 24 hours a day, and can be found at any given moment. So, to be on the safe side, refill your tank when it's half empty and avoid being stranded on a country road miles from the nearest gas station. In addition, pay attention and drive carefully: chances are you’ll encounter wildlife or pets on the road. The maximum BAC level is 0.05% and 0.02% for novice drivers. The best time to visit Dublin (weather-wise) is either during peak season (June through August) or in September.
- Age limits: 21 (minimum age may vary according to car hire companies. A Young Driver fee will apply to drivers under 25 years of age. In order to hire a car, a driver must have held a licence for a minimum of one year. The maximum age for hiring a vehicle is 75).
- International Driving Permit: Not necessarily. If your national licence is in Roman script, you will not need an International Driving Permit. However, if your national licence is not in Roman script, an International Driving Permit will be required.
- Additional papers: Identification (passport), a valid driving licence and a valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire company in case your policy doesn't cover you while driving in Dublin).
- Additional requirements: Warning triangles, reflective vests and hands-free equipment with hearing aids are required while driving and talking on the phone.
- Children in the car: All car occupants must wear a seatbelt. All children under 150cm in height or 36kgs must wear an appropriate child restraint.
- Driving side of the road: Left.
- Lights: Headlights are to be on 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise and when driving in a tunnel or during times of reduced visibility.
- General speed limits: 75 mph (120kph) on motorways, 50 mph (80kph) in rural areas and 30 mph (50kph) in urban areas.
- Parking suggestions: Parking on double yellow lines is prohibited. In addition, it's not allowed to park on single yellow lines during the hours noted on the street sign. There is on-street parking and car parks.
What to see in Dublin
One of the must-sees is deinitely Dublin Castle with its various buildings and yards. From there, just a short walk away, you can visit the Gothic Saint Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral. Why not visit one of the oldest and most notable universities in the world? Trinity College was founded in 1592 and has no less than 25 schools. And if you are interested in Irish literature, take the time to visit the Dublin Writers Museum where you will see the collections of Joyce, Wilde, Sheridan, Shaw, Swift and others.
Our favourite spots
Old Jameson Distillery
If you're more of a whiskey person, head to this original distillery and discover how three basic ingredients are transformed into a drink that is enjoyed the world over!
Parking available two minutes away on Queen Street.
More parking suggestions here »
This pedestrian bridge over the Liffey River opened in 1816. Stop for coffee and take it all in, including the charming houses along the river.
Parking is available a few minutes away at Fleet Street Car Park.
More parking suggestions here »
One thing is certain – the local thirst for Guinness has remained undiminished over its long history. If you want to discover the Guinness secret, or are simply interested in learning about this stout, a tour of the 7-floor brewery should satisfy.
Parking available nearby on Crane Street.
More parking suggestions here »
Hotels in Dublin
Handel's Hotel Temple Bar
Another centrally located in the heart of Dublin and offering discounted parking, Handel's Hotel Temple Bar has plenty of elegant rooms for its customers.
Kildare Street Hotel
One more option for those who want to be close to restaurants, bars and sights! Discounted parking is available nearby.
Dublin Citi Hotel
Centrally located hotel offering discounted parking close by.
Grand Canal Hotel
This hotel is situated in beautiful surroundings! It offers parking and is a fifteen-minute walk from Trinity College and other sights.
Drive your rental car around Dublin
Explore beyond Dublin to nearby sights and towns! Of course, you can visit these places by train, but travelling through the Irish countryside in a car is the best way to take it all in deep down you know that having your own vehicle is an advantage, which is why we recommend hiring a car in Dublin, and then you have the freedom to travel at your leisure.
Outside of Dublin is the fishing village of Howth (9 mi / 15 km east) offering great restaurants and pubs for hungry travellers and a castle and museums to explore. A short drive from Howth is Malahide with its own castle and charming marina. You can also drive south for less than 12 miles (20 km) and visit the lively seaside town of Dún Laoghaire. There are also two seaside resorts, Dalkey and Killiney, only 12 miles (20 km) southeast where you can enjoy a relaxing walk along the beach. And finally, furthest from Dublin, the medieval town of Glendalough is about a 43 mile drive (70 km) south. In Glendalough you can visit the monastic ruins, walk to the Upper and Lower Lake and fall in love with the landscape.
Where to eat, drink and party in Dublin
Irish cuisine is hearty and only for the brave of heart. Expect pork dishes, such as Black Pudding (made from pig's blood) and a pork sausage called Coddle. Potato dishes, like Shepherd's Pie or a potato pancake known as Boxty are also traditional meals. Make a toast with a porter, stout or whiskey. The lively Temple Bar and Grafton Street quarters are a great starting place for a restaurant and bar hunt. But brace yourself– this city has nearly 700 pubs!
Major events and festivals in Dublin
Although this day is known all across the globe, nothing can match celebrating it in Dublin! Parades, Irish songs, bands and street parties can’t help but to lift your spirits.
This festival has roots in Celtic traditions and it's a must see. There’s fireworks, a dance with the witches, druids, dragons and devils!
This is Dublin's biggest yearly rock party. It's a four-day festival and has been dubbed the greenest festival since it’s reportedly a 100% carbon neutral event.
See at least one mind-blowing dance performance by the talented dance groups.