18 things you should never do in Dublin as a tourist

By Emily Mullen

February 17, 2023 at 4:03pm

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Do have the craic tho

While pieces on what to do in Dublin, may be ten a penny. Advice on what not to do in Dublin as a tourist is less so. Addressing some irritating stereotypes and tapping into some interesting Dublin lore, here's what not to do in Dublin as a tourist:

18. Don't throw severed pigeon heads at locals

Starting off with a niche one here, but it goes without saying that you shouldn't throw severed pigeon heads at locals. Back in 2018, during a Take Back The City protest two men who were rumoured to be visiting Dublin at the time, could be heard addressing protesters as "lazy bastards" and "f***king scroungers" before one of them threw a decapitated pigeon head in the direction of the crowd. Charming.

17. Don't talk about leprechauns, pots of gold or little folk

As the catchphrase that was birthed on the hit UK sitcom Little Britain goes: "Computer says no". Any chat about leprechauns, things at the end of rainbows or little folk is genuinely not funny, it taps into a strangely enduring flavour of paddywhackery which is tedious to be put through and boring to hear.

16. Don't say Top of the morning to you

This unfortunate greeting, which has never been uttered by an Irish person, is unfortunately accompanied by Orish-lilt which is a shade of Tom Cruise's accent in 1992 landfill film Far and Away. The endurance of this greeting is difficult to understand, especially since any Irish person will back away and grimace if you say it to them.

15. Don't ask for bacon and cabbage

The food in Dublin is truly one-of-a-kind, there are some incredible restaurants that pull off dynamic dishes with high-quality ingredients and interesting flavour combos. Unless it's a Michelin-listed take on the 'traditional' dish, you are wasting your tastebuds and your time seeking out bacon and cabbage.

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14. Don't sexualise Molly Malone

Leave that working gyals cockles and muscles alone.

13. Don't drink Guinness if you don't like it

It's okay to admit that the pint of plain is an acquired taste. Stop struggling through the fluid ounces, it doesn't have to be an affectation of your new identity as an Irish person. There are plenty of other lovely Irish pints to drink from, produced by some incredible local breweries- like Rascals, Wicklow Wolf, Rye River and tonnes more.

12. Don't try to tap the card on public transport

Unfortunately, we haven't advanced enough to accept a debit card as a fare on any mode of public transportation yet. You will need either a ticket, or a leap card to use the Luas/trains/buses, oh and while we are here Dublin buses don't give change so save your crisp holiday euros.

11. Check where you go for a swim beforehand

The bathing conditions can be mixed in Dublin, frequently a beloved swim spot could be closed because of some Simpsons-esque spill that would produce a three-eyed fish. You are best of doing some research before going for a paddle in the freezing Irish Sea.

10. Don't think that Ireland is part of the UK

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A sure way to rub an Irish person up the wrong way is to demonstrate a shocking lack of knowledge about something so fundamental to their country. Thanks to the ✨internet✨ it's never been easier to research the history of your chosen holiday destination.


9. Ask for complicated directions

Only ask for complicated directions if you want a complicated response- that will involve a lot of gesticulating and namedropping of landmarks that you definitely don't know.

8. Don't order an "Irish car bomb" or a "black & tan"

Take it from us these are not drinks that people order here and most people (thankfully) have never heard of them. They're extremely offensive (see entry no.10) and rumour has it they taste like utter regret.

7. Don't believe that the Luas is free 

There is an in-joke doing the rounds that the team at Lovin have probably helped to fuel, that the Luas, the tram servicing much of Dublin is free. Back in August 2021, Irish social media personality Carl Kinsella tweeted "a long-term goal of mine has been to lead a disinformation campaign which claims that the Luas is free until enough people believe it that they have no choice but to give in and make the Luas is free." This campaign has yet to reach fruition, and the Luas sadly is not yet free.

6. Don't ask us if we know your great-great-granda

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Nothing grinds an Irish person's goat more than being asked if they know any of the "Murphys" from Cork, Ireland is small but it's not that small.

5. Let the Guinness settle, petal

If I had a euro for every time I saw a tourist try to grab a pint that was in the middle of settling, I would have enough to pay for that said pint. The beauty of a pint of Guinness lies in the two-pour system- the Guinness must slowly emerge from the murky depths as a black sleek glass topped with milky cream.

4. Don't think that the spire is a tourist destination

It may be a lot of things, but the stiffy by the Liffey is not a tourist destination.

3.  Don't look seagulls directly in the eye

The fact of the matter is that Dublin seagulls can sense weakness, fear and McDonald's Eurosaver burgers. Any engagement with these supersized highly intense birds could result in a swoop to the head or another targeted attack from the avian rulers of the city.

2. Don't get all your food/drink in Temple Bar

Unofficially known as the city's tourist trap, you'll typically be met with a lot of protestations if you tell a Dubliner you plan on hanging out in Temple Bar. Mainly because the place is extremely overpriced and underwhelming, although there are some decent spots they are few and far between. If you don't believe us, believe The Huffington Post who in 2014 listed the place as one of the top ten most disappointing locations and said that it should be avoided "at all costs".

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1 Don't feed the deer

This is one that some locals could take heed of when they find themselves in the Pheonix Park. While the pull of a cutesily forced photo of you feeding the deer may seem like something your feed has been crying out for, it's an absolutely awful thing to get that close to wild animals. Back in August a UCD researcher warned that feeding the deer could make future herds more aggressive- changing the herd's behaviour pattern for the worse.

READ ON: 5 places the REAL Housewives of New Jersey visited on their soon-to-be aired fiery Dublin trip

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