If you stepped in a pub with such list of taps as in this image, you are probably on the wrong place, usually those are part of the big cartel distribution and you will probably wouldn’t get any quality beer out of those.
Fun Alternatives: Try another pub.
Research Tour Companies BEFORE YOU BOOK.
Its not often I post a negative review as my travel experiences are for the most part wonderful. So it stands to reason that I wish the same for others. This tip has therefore been updated only for this purpose and I sincerely hope that the tourism operator mentioned has, in the interim, lifted their standards.
Ireland is a wonderful hospitable country and I enjoyed my time there immensely. With one exception....
"Day Tours Unplugged" is just one of many companies running tours from Dublin to the County Wicklow Area, Glendalough and the Hill of Tara.
Speaking from personal experience I found this company to be very unprofessional and this tip is written solely to inform potential customers that some Tour Companies do not always deliver on their promises to customers.
On the morning of my tour I was not collected from my pick up point despite having booked and paid for the tour months in advance and while I was annoyed at missing out (on doing a tour I was particularly looking forward to), I was much more annoyed by the arrogant attitude of the company's staff. They weren't at all apologetic for letting me down quite the opposite in fact. Maybe they forgot that tourist Euros pay their wages!!!
I notice that this particular tour company has fallen steadily from being number one on the Tripadvisor Dublin Attractions list to number 23, indicating that if a business fails to impress its customers then consequently they will be honest in their appraisal.
I wrote my own Tripadvisor review highlighting my disappointment, which management responded to, although not surprisingly, they confused me with another unhappy customer and their reply did not relate in any way to me or my personal experience with them.
Based on the inaccuracy of their own reply I would be very dubious about the authenticity of the many glowing reviews written about this company. It seems a little suspect that the majority are written by people whose only contribution to Tripadvisor is one review praising this tour.
It concerns me that this business may be spending time trying to negate the effects of falling ratings (which by their unprofessionalism they have created themselves) by posting bogus positive reviews. If that is the case, I think time would be better spent creating positive rather than negative outcomes for their customers by concentrating on providing what they advertise.
Unique Suggestions: Ethically Tour Companies should provide what is listed on their website. My best advice is to do some research. Read as many reviews as possible on a number of different travel websites before you BOOK.
Tax (not) Free Shopping
Tax Free Shopping
If you are a tourist from a non-EU country, you may be able to receive a partial refund of VAT tax (which currently stands at 21%.) However, unlike some other countries, there is no unified scheme under which a tourist can claim this refund back. The method of refund depends solely on the particular retailer and so tourists should ask the retailer before they make a purchase if they wish to receive a VAT refund.
One scheme retailers who are popular with tourists operate is private (ie. non-governmental) VAT refund agents. Using this scheme, the shopper receives a magnetic stripe card which records the amount of purchases and VAT paid every time a purchase is made and then claims the VAT back at the airport, minus commission to the VAT refund agent, which is often quite substantial. There are multiple such VAT refund agents and so you may need to carry multiple cards and make multiple claims at the airport. However, note that there may NOT be a VAT refund agent representative at the airport or specific terminal where you will be departing from, or it may not be open at the time you depart. In which case, getting a refund back could become more cumbersome as you may need to communicate with the VAT refund agent from your home country.
If the retailer does not operate the VAT refund agent scheme, they may tell you that you all you have to do is take the receipt they produce to the airport and claim the refund at the VAT refund office at the airport. However, this is incorrect. Irish Revenue does not make any VAT refunds directly to tourists. Tourists are responsible for having receipts stamped by customs, either in Ireland upon departure or at their home country upon arrival and then send these receipts as proof of export directly to the Irish retailer which is obligated to make a VAT refund directly to the tourist. Therefore, for example, if you have made 10 different purchases at 10 different retailers, you will need to make 10 separate claims for refunds with every single retailer. Note, however, that some retailers do not participate in the scheme all together and so you may not be able to get any VAT refund from some retailers.
Therefore, if you plan on receiving VAT tourist refund on your purchases in Ireland, you should be careful where you shop and which refund scheme they operate, if any. From my personal experience, I would avoid making big purchases in Ireland and hoping to get VAT tax back on them as the government does not regulate this area properly and your chances can be quite slim to get anything back.
Haunted Dublin Walking Tour
I'm a huge fan of haunted walks and I've gone on several of them, mostly in Canada and in the US. As I was planning my trip to Dublin I came across some information about the haunted walk offered by Hidden Dublin Walking Tour (http://www.hiddendublinwalks.com; 9 Euros), and one evening we decided to give it a try. I have to admit that of all the haunted walks I've been on, this was by far the most disappointing. Our guide was nice and friendly, and I could see that she was trying hard, but her stories were simply not sufficiently researched. A huge part of the appeal of haunted walks for me is to learn quirky historical facts that you wouldn't be able to find out otherwise, but on this tour I didn't learn anything new about Dublin. Since the stories were so short, it left A LOT of time for walking, and walking we did! We pretty much covered the entire downtown area in less than 2h - those in the group who did not have good walking shoes on did not seem to be enjoying themselves... So all this to say that I would not recommend going on this tour.
Unique Suggestions: Well, since we literally walked all over the downtown area, it does help you figure out where all the major attractions are located... and it's a heck of a workout!
Fun Alternatives: The 1916 Rebellion Walking Tour is supposed to be much more interesting, so do that one instead (http://www.1916rising.com)!
Visitors to Ireland's highest waterfall are charged 5 euros each, but will probably be disappointed if they have seen a waterfall in any other country. Not particularly high and not particulary attractive, the day we went was horrible.
After a tedious drive down narrow country lanes we arrived to find a huge queue of cars at the entrance. We didn't know the entrance fee was so high or we wouldn't have bothered. From there it was another few minutes drive to the waterfall itself and it was awful. There must have been a thousand people there not, it seems, to enjoy the scenery. There were dozens of barbecues burning, footballs being kicked all over the place and car stereos blaring. Never again.
Unique Suggestions: Powerscourt Gardens is worth a visit but not here.
Fun Alternatives: If you really must see an Irish waterfall there is a nicer one in the Comeragh Mountains in Co. Waterford.
Sorry, but it just don't add up
'The Dublin pass' is similar in format to the 'pass' offered in many other European cities.
Unless you are brilliantly organised, the savings will only be minimal.
The pass gives access to 30 attractions (and discounts elsewhere), but the one day pass is a hefty 29 Euro. If you consider that adult entry to the Guiness storehouse is about 14 Euro, and Dublin Zoo much the same price, it begins to look less attractive.
Transport around Dublin is not included, although the website offers a 'Bus rambler' ticket which is well worth it.
The 'aircoach' (from the airport only) is included, and this would activate your ticket on the first day. Considering that you can use a local bus to get in from the airport, this again does not represent good value. You don't even get the aircoach back to the airport included.
So, unless you have planned out your trip to Dublin with military precision, give this offering of the tourist board the heave-ho. It's not worth the trouble.
The Temple Bar casino is situated in a backstreet in Temple Bar.
The casino itself is situated underground, like many are in Manchester.
The difference being, is that most casinos I have been to have had more than one table.
The place was the size of my kitchen, and we were the only non-Chinese people in there.
We discovered that there were minimum bets and all sorts of ways of parting us fools with our money.Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
- Casino and Gambling
Jameson's Distillery, it looks false
When I planned the trip to Ireland one of my fixed my point was to visit the "Old Jameson's Distillery". Now I know that it is not so essential. The distillery is a bit far from the centre, but I reached it by walk easily. The reception hall was very attractive, but when the tour starts, everything around you looks fake. The reason is that the truly Jameson's Distillery is far from Dublin, and you can see only some reproduction of the process used to make the Irish whiskey. Everything is a reproduction, and the only time when you can feel a truly sensation, is at the and of tour when you can taste a bit of Original Jameson's whiskey. For the tour the student price is 7 euros.Related to:
- School Holidays
- Study Abroad
This is an obvious one and applies to most cities but an awful lot of Dublin Taxi Drivers really are (as the local parlance would put it) chancers. Because Dublin is laid out in haphazard way with lots one one way streets and traffice restrictions it is easy to get confused. I even had a taxi driver try to convince me that I really lived on the road in Rathgar he dropped me off on-are you joking me! it was 4 miles from my house but as luck would have it on his route home. So if the journey seems too long or expensive whip out your map and make sure you are not being done. The Driver will most likely be VERY rude about it but at least he'll have something to moan about to the next unfourtuate passenger-who will prob me me!!
The U2 Cafe
My Lonely Planet ireland guide book said that U2 ran a cafe/lunch place. I can not recall the name of it. Yet naturally, I had to check it out; it's U2 for christ's sake. However, it's not the least bit special. You'd never know that U2 owns it if the guide book did not mention it.
It's healthy and organic, but that's it. It's not very filling and it is way over priced. I don't care if the Pope owned this place. They shouldn't be charging what they are regardless if a percentage goes to charity. My lunch cost almost 25euro for a sandwich, fruit salad, juice, fruit smoothie, and soup. Don't bother searching for it.
Unique Suggestions: At least buy the fruit smoothies...they were good and fresh.
Fun Alternatives: Don't bother looking.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Touristy and tacky... thanks to commercialism
There is a bar (I can't remember the name of it) right near the Liffey which has a whole stage area where they do traditional Irish dancing along with the standard live pub music.
Unfortunately the place stinks of Tacky Tourist dollar catering more than this is traditional Irish dancing. The pub is connected to one of the major hotels and also specialises in attracting a definitely older American crowd. Hence the older people lap this up as traditional entertainment with an authentic feel. All I could feel was sick they had degraded it to this.
Unique Suggestions: Watch a bit of the Riverdance stuff. How these people are able to move their feet and basically tap as they do is marvelous.
Fun Alternatives: Hmmm.... I don't know any alternative traditional dance venue. But at least for the music try the upstairs bar in Temple Bar.Related to:
- Theater Travel
Carrols / when there is sale NOT a tourist trap.
A tourist trap when the is no sale.
Pretty expensive !
NOT a tourist trap when there is a sale.
We visited Carrols several times in april.
We bought Guiness Jackets, sweaters and T shirts from 79 for 39 and from 39 for 19 an from 19 for 4,99 euro.
Unique Suggestions: Go in. Dont buy. Look and watch for "Sale" signs. When there are no sale signs just buy what you really need.
Fun Alternatives: For Irisch music you can also go to a regular DVD shop and compare prices. For clothes you can go to Penneys. Sometimes there are offers at the Guiness store at the brewery too.
The Viking Splash Tour is hardly worth its money. The tour was created for kids and you can hardly understand the guide- you get to see some places you usually don't see though!
Unique Suggestions: Roar as loud as you can...;o)))
Fun Alternatives: The Hop On- Hop Off tour. Breaks when you want them, so you decide wher to stop and have a closer look.Related to:
- Family Travel
It's a good trap
There are plenty of internet cafes in Dublin, so don't worry about not being connected. However, try not to spend too much time in the net cafe. I popped into net cafes 4 or 5 times in my 3 days in Dublin, but mostly just to escape the rain and to check my email.
Unique Suggestions: The one pictured is in the Temple Bar area and it's part of a chain called, Net House. Go to www.nethousecafes.com. There all over Dublin and open 24 hours.
A thing to watch out for is the 'tourist menu' Common through out Ireland. You will be offered 'traditional food' such as Irish Stew or champ at the same price as a great steak. Do youself a favour and have stew in a bar rather than a restaurant and you will save 90%. Seriously!
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