7 things you should know before traveling to Dublin

Hello, my dear glittery adventurers!

If you have been thinking about visiting Dublin I have a few things to share with you, which you may want to keep in mind before and during your travel.

So listen close WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT DO IN DUBLIN and have fun along the way!

1. Book the Kilmainham Gaol ticket in advance

A big mistake number one- which I found about probably a week before traveling to Dublin. If you want to see unusual, one-of-a-kind (or very few of a kind) things you might consider going to Kilmainham Gaol, which is a former prison, currently turned into a museum. I have tried to book tickets a week before the desired date-which was Saturday- and to my surprise, and extreme sadness, the tickets were already all sold. If you don´t want to do the same mistake, 

I would recommend you to check the website HERE a month in advance. Yes, you heard that correctly. A month. If you would like to visit throughout the week, less in advance might be sufficient, but after I burnt my fingers I would not risk it. Also, you cannot reserve them MORE than one month in advance. So… just be careful out there guys.

2. Have money in cash.

This was the very first mistake I realized I have made when arriving in Dublin. Hopefully, it changes in the future, but as for now, if you want to take a bus from the airport to the city center, it is very practical to have 3.30 € in cash… or a bigger amount, which you will be able to use at the airport shop and get the desired 3.30 €.

Although, if you decided to take the special AIRPORT BUS which operates more frequently, and has a stop right next to the airport entrance, you will be able to pay with the card. But the tickets cost around 10€. 

3. Do trips outside the city center

After I found out I will not be able to go to Kilmainham Gaol, due to looking for the tickets too late, I looked for another trip option. Either in the suburb of Dublin or close to Dublin. I could talk for hours about my love for (well-kept) trains and buses in a new country I am discovering. You can see the surroundings, the nature- everything- just perfectly from trains and buses. So I would advise you to take those two trips, or at least one of those if you have time.


After a lovely bus ride, and walking along houses for a bit, you will discover a place that does not feel real. Seriously, I thought to myself, „Am I still in Dublin? Am I dreaming?“ The random horses that appeared out of nowhere did not help to grasp the idea of reality at all. As I found out later, they were there for a photoshoot. That makes sense.  But if your plan is to touch, or see the sea, you may fail as I did, but still, the sandy scenery is majestic and worth the travel.

               Malahide castle

Another train ride later, you may appear in a small town called Malahide. After following the directions along the streets you will eventually get to the spacious grassy area. There takes a place what I assume to be a senior golf club. But also a picnic area with a small coffee place. If you continue to walk, you will get to the area of the castle. You can buy the tickets at the register inside the souvenir shop/ supermarket. The ticket also includes the entrance to the gardens and butterfly house. You will be informed what time the next tour begins and then you can either see the castle first or the gardens. After your tour, I would highly recommend buying a sandwich/ salad at the supermarket/ souvenir shop (still the same complex where you buy the tickets) and enjoying the view. 10/10.

4. Do not take the shells from the beach

This is quite a funny story. I decided to go to Sandymount one of the days, and I expected a beach, but I did not think much about what will be there. And there it was- tons of shells. I was a bit surprised that no one is picking them, after all, there were so many of them… and I couldn´t resist, so I took 4-5 and carried them around in my hand. Not hidden at all. All the way back to the bus. And back to the center of Dublin. And all around Dublin. And back to the hostel (let´s just say the shells have seen a lot that day). And to my backpack.

You can imagine my surprise when I called my family and my grandfather told me, that it’s illegal and I could actually be fined. You can be fined up to £1,000 in the UK for taking shells from the beach, and I could not find the precise information about The Republic of Ireland, but next time I would not be risking it.

5. Go to a pub

The pub culture here is immaculate. I have been chatting with a girl from Dublin on the very first day and when I asked her quite a general question „what is Dublin like“, she said it’s not like other big cities, Rome or Paris, where you have certain famous touristy cultural spots, in Dublin pub culture is very important, and the energy among people is something very special and cannot be found in many other cities in the world.

You probably have heard about The Temple Bar, it’s quite iconic. But that is only one of many amazing pubs you can find in the center. Give any of them a try and get a bit of the traditional atmosphere!

6. Buy the Trinity College library tickets online

The library is placed in the center of Dublin, right next to Trinity College (hence the name). It was on our itinerary to go straight to the library on the first day, as it was very close to our hostel. But as our phone batteries were on the last few percentages when we arrived in front of the Library, we realized we have to keep the experience for the next day. It is not possible to buy the tickets in person on the spot. You have to buy them online. Which is doable- if your battery is more alive.

If you are wondering if the library is worth going to, here is our opinion. The place is beautiful. As you can see in the photos. But if you are, expecting something else than this space, or if you maybe think it will be possible to go upstairs- the answer is no. But this space is beautiful and very dark academia aesthetic.

Some fun facts about Trinity College and the Library, you may not have known:

-Oscar Wilde studied here

-Trinity Ball is the biggest private festival in Europe. It is a private party organized for students, professors, alumni, and plus ones of those

-Trinity College Library owns a copy of every book printed in the UK or Ireland

7. Guinness

I must admit I am not the most beer-loving person… or so I thought. Before visiting Ireland. Even if beer is not your drink of choice, you might give a try to the beers in Ireland, especially the iconic Guinness. We have been to the Guinness factory, where we were given a funnily tiny glass of Guinness beer and it was seriously amazing. Although, the whole factory experience was amazing, to begin with. The place was huge, at one point I couldn´t believe there are more floors to go- but there they were! Absolutely captivating interior with barrels of beer (or empty, you cannot really tell), neon lights, and thorough the whole tour you could see and learn more about how the beer is created, manufactured, and sold.

Hope you have enjoyed our summary of the things TO NOT DO in Dublin. As you may have noticed or guessed while reading, the majority of the things we only have found out about after doing them wrong. So don´t worry, everybody makes mistakes (insert Hannah Montana gif here).

Let us know in the comments which tip you found most useful or if you have been to Dublin already, let us know how was your trip!

Xx Glittery

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