When it comes to travelling solo in cities, Dublin is up there with the best of them. Ireland is ranked as the 10th safest country in the world, and its locals are known for their friendliness and good “craic” (if you’re not sure what this means, you’ll soon get the picture). You’re pretty much guaranteed to be in for a good time, all of the time. But if it’s your first solo jaunt in Dublin, you might need a little help finding your feet. So here’s a guide to travelling Solo in Dublin so you can make the most of your trip to the Irish capital.
When you arrive
If you’re flying in to Dublin airport, there are a few ways to reach the city center. Aside from a pricey taxi, the quickest option is to take the Airlink Express bus straight to the city for €6 one way, or €11 return or the Aircoach (a private bus service) which costs €7 one way, €12 return. If you don’t mind a slightly longer journey time, you can also take the Dublin bus (a public bus) for €3.30.
Where to stay
When it comes to where you’d like to set up camp, Dublin offers plenty of options. With accommodation ranging from bustling hostels where you’ll make friends in a matter of minutes to B&Bs in the city’s quieter neighborhoods to boutique hotels, there’s something to suit every vibe. For cheap and cheerful hostels, the area north of the River Liffey around the Busáras bus station is always a good option, or if you’d like to be in the heart of the action (and the parties), look for accommodation around vibrant Grafton Street and Temple Bar. South of the river around St Stephen’s Green you’ll find Georgian Dublin and its characteristic 18th century townhouses, elegant squares and trademark architecture that the city is known for. Staying in a B&B behind one of colorful doors of a Georgian terrace is always a charming option.
Public transport in Dublin is a breeze, but if you stand around looking lost for long enough, it’s guaranteed (maybe there’s an unwritten local law about this?) but someone will amble over to help you out or point you in the right direction. Within the city itself you can use Dublin Bus or the tram service called LUAS, but for trips further afield, like to the seaside towns of Malahide and Howth you can use the DART train service. Download the Transport For Ireland Journey Planner app if you want to look at your options for getting from a to b, or simply enjoy wandering! Dublin is a relatively small city and easy to get around on foot.
The currency in Ireland is Euros. There are ATMs in the airport so you can withdraw cash as soon as you arrive, but there’s cash points all over the city so you’re never far from being able to grab some more notes while you're out and about. But if you’d prefer not to carry cash, not as problem as pretty much everywhere in the city, apart from street markets, will accept cards.
What to do
Dublin is certainly not short of things to do for the solo traveler, from its countless free museums and galleries to its historic landmarks. To enjoy your time solo, head to St Stephen’s Green to people-watch, make use of one of the city’s walking routes and enjoy a solo stroll or peruse the tranquil and fascinating rooms of the Dublin Writers Museum, or Museum of Archaeology. But if you’d like to meet other like-minded people, why not opt for a tour of Trinity College, Kilmainham Gaol, or the Guinness Storehouse!
What to eat
If asking for a table for one isn’t your favorite thing to do, you can always pull up a pew at the bar instead. For a quick lunchtime bite to eat if you find yourself in the busy Temple Bar area, El Grito Taqueria whips up delicious and authentic Mexican street food, or go for the locals’ favorite Boojum, a popular Tex-Mex joint where the generously stuffed tortillas will keep you full for hours! And of course, no trip to Dublin would be complete without at least one pub meal; try classics like steak and Guinness pie, Irish stew, and other traditional pub favorites enjoyed with a pint of the black stuff. If you have time, a day trip north of the city to the charming seaside villages of Malahide or Howth will reward you with delicious seafood, straight out of the Irish sea!
Hang out here
Not exactly rocket science, but as a solo traveler in Dublin, the best way to meet people is in the city’s pubs! Find a seat at the bar or pull up a pew at a table - even if you’re alone someone will ask to join you before long, which can often just be in a matter of minutes. Strike up a conversation with whoever you’re sitting next to, the barman or the dog in the corner and you’ll soon see where the locals’ reputation for excellent “craic” and friendliness comes from. You’ll head home with new friends, and countless recommendations for where to eat, drink and be merry in the city during the rest of your trip.
Dublin is a very safe city for solo travelers, but this being said it’s worth taking a bit of extra care when you’re out and about at night, especially in touristy Temple Bar. Keep an eye on your valuables and avoid walking through the city’s well known party neighborhoods alone at night.
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