Dublin is known for its music and great pubs, and during the week you can actually smell the barley being roasted for the Guinness. Although, if it's fermenting while you're here, the smell more resembles a bit of a tangy pong. But no matter! The Irish Drupal community is delira and excira (delighted and excited) to welcome you to Dublin and show you around.
We have some, and we're happy to share it. Have a look at things to do for some ideas, but you should also chat to the locals to get the lowdown on what's hot and what's not. Why not meet up in the pub?
It's end of September, so it'll probably be chilly. If we're lucky it will be about 13° (56°F) degrees. It will probably rain. So be prepared! Shower-proof laptop bags are to be recommended.
Law & Order
The police are known as the Gardaí (pronounced 'gardee'). An individual's title would be 'Garda' or more commonly simply 'gard' (as in guard). They tend to be approachable and ready to help.
We'd recommend walking, if you can, as traffic can be a curse. However, if you want to try the public transport, here's the low-down.
Bus - and bus strikes!
Dublin Bus operates all over the city, and since they introduced real time information at the stops and online, it's become a really good service - except for when they're on strike!
Bus strikes have been announced for the following dates, and buses may stop service from 9pm the evening before too.
- Fri & Sat 23rd & 24th Sept
- Tues & Weds 27th & 28th Sept
- Sat 1st Oct
- Other dates in October: 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 26th & 29th Oct
On entry to the bus, state your destination, and pay the driver the exact stated fare in coins when you get on the bus. They DO NOT accept notes or credit cards and don't give change.
You can also purchase a 'Leap' card from certain newsagents (they have a Dublin Bus sign out front), which works a bit like London's Oyster card and saves money and hassle. Just state your destination when boarding the bus and place the card on the scanner beside the driver.
We're happy to say, there are loads of taxis on the streets, and the majority of cars are clean and drivers pleasant and polite - though do expect some to rant at you about the weather or politics or both!
Protocol here is as per any other city - state your destination and pay at the end of the journey. Taxi drivers will be happy to issue you with a receipt if you ask, but do not assume that they take credit cards. Some do, some don't.
You can flag down taxis on the street - they're regular cars but have a yellow roof sign which is lit when available. There's also plenty of taxi ranks around the city where you can queue and wait for a taxi.
The Hailo app has come to Dublin and is available for both Android and Apple devices. We would highly recommend installing the app before you arrive. Benefits of using the hailo app include:
- no pickup charge
- 5 mins free wait time
- no cancellation fee
- pre-booking facility
If hailo-ing a taxi from the airport (as opposed to just joining a taxi rank), there's a different pick-up point, outside the departures area, and the app will give you directions to it.
- Uber is in Dublin too but not as widespread as Hailo.
- There's also a local alternative to Hailo, called Xpert Taxis. They also have apps for Android and Apple devices.
Train & Tram
Dublin has three urban rail services - the DART, which goes along the coast, about 15km north and south of the city centre, and 2 Luas lines, which are light rail services and go out into the wilds of suburbia. These train systems do not talk to each other. However, you can use your Leap card on them.
Keeping the best 'till last, there's the Dublin Bikes. Operated by the city council, they allow you to rent a bicycle and use it in the city centre. They are hugely popular and the scheme is rumoured to be one of the most successful in Europe. There are 44 locations from which you can procure a bike and you can purchase a 3 day ticket for their use for a modest fee. Note, however, that you can only get the ticket from certain bike locations. Dublin Bikes are great, but Dublin isn't Copenhagen or Amsterdam just yet. Cycling between double decker buses takes a little getting used to. Though you won't be alone cycling, the number of people getting about Dublin by bicycle has doubled in the last few years.
Most shops and eateries will accept credit cards. Some bars (e.g. the ones serving food) will accept credit cards, but may have a minimum threshold before they'll take cards. Everyone loves cash. Typically, your average pub bar is cash only. There are plenty of cash machines scattered around the city. Note that sometimes they are hidden away within a newsagent. Ireland uses Euro. You can check your conversion rate here.
Ordering Food & Drink
Some places do have table service, but the default protocol is to order at the bar. Mine's a pint.
Thank you to our friends at Meet in Ireland for their support in bringing DrupalCon to Dublin.