Rich in history and literary associations, Dublin is also the home of the "craic", that extraordinary Irish quality of conviviality, wit and party spirit. It's a welcoming capital with a unique atmosphere and a vibrant nightlife.
Dublin is a year-round destination with a mild climate, although an umbrella is usually a handy item regardless of the season. St. Patrick's Day on 17th March is a highlight of the calendar, with parades and packed pubs. In September, the Theatre Festival and Fringe underline the city's cultural credentials.
Dublin is one of the more expensive European capitals, but still cheaper than London. With a little shopping around it's possible to eat out for around €10. The national museums and galleries usually offer free admission, except for special events. The tourist office in St. Andrew's church is a handy first port of call, offering maps and details of the main cultural events in the city. Dublin is in the same time zone as the UK.
There are several ways of getting between the airport and Dublin city centre. The Aircoach express bus service departs every 15 minutes, with ticket prices around EUR9 for a single or EUR15 return, taking 30 minutes to reach the city. The slightly faster Airlink 747 bus connects the airport with Connolly and Heuston railway stations, with tickets priced at around €6 single and €10 return. Slower options include the local bus services 16, 41 and 102. Exploring central Dublin is easiest on foot, although trams and buses are frequent, with a single ticket priced around €2.20 and short trips of 1 to 3 stops around €1.50. A rechargeable Leap card is an economical option for visitors making extensive use of public transport. There is a €5 refundable deposit for the card and a minimum €5 top-up, but the card offers a 10-18% saving on fares on the bus network and DART commuter trains. Taxis can be more expensive than London, with a short city centre journey costing around €6-10.
Dublin accommodation caters for all budgets. Backpacker hostels offer dorm beds from around €12. Bed and breakfast guesthouses are a popular option, with prices starting around €45 per person. An average 3 star hotel costs in the region of €80 per person per night.