Mistakes that tourists often make when travelling to Dublin

Dublin has long been a draw for tourists thanks to its rich history, vibrant pub culture and walkability. However, travelers tend to make a few mistakes during their time in Ireland’s capital, and locals certainly take notice.

To help future visitors, we’ve asked people who have lived in Dublin to share some of the mistakes they’ve seen. From wrong itineraries to public transport mishaps, here are nine common mistakes made by tourists visiting Dublin and some tips to avoid them on your travels.

Limit your visit to the city center

“Don’t just stay in the city centre. Explore the neighbourhoods. Rathmines is a short walk from the city centre and is great for second-hand shopping and finding cute places to eat. There’s even a renovated vintage cinema, The Stella, which is a great way to spend an evening. Stoneybatter has some of the best restaurants in Dublin (book in advance for Grano) and even has an urban sauna which is perfect after a day of exploring.” ― Tara Povey, blogger at Where’s Tara?

“One mistake is not realising that Dublin is a city of villages. If visitors only stay in Temple Bar and don’t explore other neighbourhoods such as Stoneybatter, Ranelagh, Donnybrook and Clontarf, they are missing out on a more authentic experience.” Catherine Reilly, Managing Director of Brendan Vacations

Do not use public transport

“Public transport in Dublin is pretty good, so don’t waste your money on Ubers and taxis. Buy a Leap card at any convenience store and explore the city using the LUAS, DART and local buses. It will definitely help with your travel budget.” ― Povey

Go only to tourist pubs

“One mistake tourists should avoid when travelling to Dublin is visiting only the tourist pubs. The pub plays a central role in Irish social culture. It’s where friends and neighbours gather to chat and catch up over a couple of pints, watch a football match or escape the cold and rain. However, many tourists only visit the lively pubs of Temple Bar and miss out on the more local experience. If you’re coming to Dublin, try to get out of the city centre and head to a local neighbourhood pub. It’s a great way to meet the locals and get a feel for traditional Irish pub culture.” Tamar Marder, blogger at The world at the weekend

“Temple Bar isn’t the only place to get a drink in Dublin. In fact, it’s probably the most expensive area in Dublin to get a pint and it’s packed with tourists. Venture a little further out to areas like South William Street (I recommend Grogan’s) or Capel Street (check out Bar 1661 for cocktails) to find more authentic places to grab a drink and mingle with the locals.” ― Povey

Clubs are expected to stay open late

“One mistake is not realizing that our clubs close quite early compared to other big cities. Most of our clubs close around 2:30 am and a few close as late as 4 am. After that, there is absolutely nowhere to go dancing, which is why our house party scene is quite significant.” Sarah Hanrahan, Irish Travel Creator

Thinking you’re in the UK

“One of the biggest mistakes I see tourists make when visiting Dublin is thinking that Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Even those who know that Dublin is not in the UK often assume that the Irish and the British are mostly the same. Not only is this offensive to the Irish (who endured a long history of living under British rule), but it couldn’t be further from the truth! While the two countries have close ties, Ireland has a unique culture that holds its own against its larger island neighbor. So, when in Dublin, don’t embarrass yourself (and annoy the locals!) by referring to the Irish as British.” Marder

Missing out on live music

“Dublin is known for its vibrant music scene. Check out The Cobblestone, Whelan’s and O’Donoghue’s for live sessions.” ― Reilly

Misunderstanding about bus fare

“One mistake I can think of is tourists thinking they can pay with a bank card on buses; our public buses require a specific card, a Leap Card, to pay for the trip, or the exact amount of money for the fare. The bus driver does not handle cash and will not give you change.” Hanrahan

Skip the local food

“Another mistake is not trying the local food: soda bread, Cashel blue cheese, fish and chips, Murphy’s ice cream.” Reilly

Not enough time is spent in Dublin

“A big mistake is not spending enough time in Dublin. Take a walking tour with a local. Who else is going to tell you that Dublin has a hidden network of underground rivers flowing beneath its streets?” Reilly