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Explore Dublin

Explore Dublin with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!

The capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin is situated on Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the river Liffey. Blessed with a long and illustrious heritage, Dublin is the birthplace of many influential writers including William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett, leading to the city being named as a Unesco City of Literature in 2010. Wandering Dublin’s winding streets can provide a sense of this city’s history, with many landmarks and street names recognisable in James Joyce’s iconic Ullysses, which was set in the city.

Vibrant and cosmopolitan, Dublin has plenty to offer, and when in town be sure to visit the Guinness Storehouse, home of Ireland’s most famous export. Venture further afield to Kilkenny, an hour and a half’s drive away and home to the 14th century Black Abbey, Jerpoint Abbey and St Canice’s Cathedral. Galway is two hours and 20 minutes’ drive, where the Connemara National Park provides the perfect spot to enjoy some of Ireland’s outstanding natural beauty. Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland is just under a two-hour drive.

A hire car is the best way to explore Dublin, as well as other destinations in Ireland such as Cork (just under three hours’ drive), where you can visit the Victorian Gothic Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, constructed in 1879 and built on the site of at least two previous structures dedicated to Finbarr of Cork which dated back to the 7th century. Cork is also home to the Fota Wildlife Park – a 70-acre zoo for endangered animals that also boasts beautiful gardens.


How to Rent a Car in Dublin

Historic Dublin has a good public transport network but if you want to explore the beautiful Irish countryside beyond the city or have the freedom to travel when and where you want hiring a car is an excellent option.

The most popular place to rent a car in Dublin is at the airport and there are plenty of facilities there. The airport is just a 20-minute drive from the city centre. There are also local and international car hire companies elsewhere in Dublin, near the ferry port and main train stations.

There are many types of vehicle available when you rent a car in Dublin.

Car Type

Ideal Passenger numbers

Luggage

Purpose of Travel

Mini

2-4

2

City break

Standard

4-5

3

Family holiday

Estate

5

5

Camping / outdoor

SUV/People carrier

7-8

6

Group trip

Luxury

4

3

Business


Things to Be Aware of When Driving a Car in Dublin

The speed limit is 30mph in built-up areas and 74mph on motorways. Driving is on the left and the steering wheel is on the right of the car. Give way to the right at roundabouts.

Most vehicles are manual transmission, so if you prefer an automatic ask in advance.

Parking can be difficult in Dublin. There are very few free parking spots and parking metres can be expensive. If you run out of time or park illegally you face being clamped, which will cost €80. There are several multi-storey car parks in the city which are convenient and cost effective.


What Car Hire Brands Are Available?

Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Dublin to suit every budget and requirement, from Enterprise by Alamo and Enterprise by Alamo to Easirent and Hertz.

The following companies all have desks at Dublin Airport.

Brand

Opening Hours

Telephone

Location

Avis

5am – 11.30pm

+353 1 605 7500

T1 – Arrivals Hall /T2 – Multi-storey car park

Budget

5am – 12.30am

+353 1 844 5150

T1 – Arrivals Hall /T2 – Multi-storey car park

Hertz

5am – 1am

+353 1 844 5466

T1 – Arrivals Hall /T2 – Multi-storey car park

Europcar

5am – 12am

+353 1 812 2800

T1 – Arrivals Hall /T2 – Multi-storey car park

Enterprise

5am – 11pm

+353 1 460 5042

T1 – Arrivals Hall /T2 – Multi-storey car park

Dooley

5am – 11pm

+353 1 944 6866

T1 – Arrivals Hall /T2 – Multi-storey car park

Sixt

5am – 12am

+353 1 844 5689

T1 – Arrivals Hall

There are many other places to hire a car in Dublin and the main companies also have offices in the city centre.


Tips And Tricks For Driving In Dublin

The city is always busy but during rush hour, from 7.30am to 9am and around 5pm to 6.30pm the streets can be very congested, so if you want to drive in the city centre avoid those times.

The Irish speed limit is set to 30mph in built-up areas and 74mph on motorways. Irish cars drive on the left-hand side, with the steering wheel positioned on the right of the car. Roundabouts appear frequently on Irish roads so remember to give way to the right to all traffic on a roundabout.

Dublin’s road system can be confusing, with one-way systems and pedestrian zones. It pays to stick to the main routes to avoid getting lost. It is also worth asking if your rental car has GPS.

There are few petrol stations in the city centre, so make sure you have enough fuel when heading into central Dublin.


Must-sees Within an Easy Drive of Dublin

The Guinness Storehouse is an obligatory stop-off for any visitor. Home to the brewery since 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a lease for 9,000 years, what was once the fermentation plant has been converted into a seven-storey visitor experience, telling the story of Ireland’s most famous beer. Tasting rooms harness all the senses to provide a new way of enjoying the stout’s distinctive flavour, while the Gravity Bar provides the chance to enjoy a pint with unparalleled panoramic views of the city.

Beyond Dublin, Kilkenny is an hour and a half’s drive away in your hire car, home to several historic buildings of interest, from the 14th century Black Abbey to Jerpoint Abbey and St Canice’s Cathedral. Meanwhile, Galway is two hours and 20 minutes’ drive, where the Connemara National Park provides the perfect spot to enjoy some of Ireland’s outstanding natural beauty, with the chance of catching a glimpse of one of the peregrine falcons or red deer that call the park home. On top of this, the city of Belfast is also just under a two-hour drive – the capital of Northern Ireland and home to a beautiful series of botanic gardens complete with Victorian glasshouse, as well as an exquisite restored Victorian Grand Opera House.

In under an hour you could take a scenic drive over the spectacular mountains to reach Glendalough, County Wicklow’s spectacularly beautiful lakes. The serenity and natural beauty here will enthral and captivate you. To get back to Dublin you can opt for the flatter, quicker motorway route home.

A drive south along the coast near Dublin offers you romantic seascapes and charming villages where you can find cafes, marinas and piers to explore at your leisure. Killiney is said to resemble the Bay of Naples and the promenade at Bray, or the coastal walk to Greystones, offers fantastic views over the Irish sea.

Waterford is within easy reach in your hire car (a two-hour drive), home to the world famous Waterford Crystal factory. The House of Waterford Crystal provides guided factory tours where you can learn about the 200-year history of the brand, as well as observe the craftsmanship behind each product.


Ready to Plan Your Dublin Break?

Feeling inspired to start exploring Dublin and other parts of Ireland? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.

Car rental can be arranged in advance of your holiday, leaving you free to pick up your car from Dublin airport on arrival and get straight to the heart of Dublin.