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Driving in Dublin

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Dublin.
Driving in Dublin

1. Understanding the Driving Side

First and foremost, remember that in Ireland, you drive on the left side of the road. This can be a bit confusing for those coming from countries where driving is on the right. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with this rule to avoid accidents and misunderstandings on the road.

2. Car Recommendation

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Dublin due to the narrow roads and limited parking spaces. Smaller cars are easier to maneuver and park, especially in the city center. However, if you plan to travel around the country, a larger car might be more comfortable.

3. Parking in Dublin

Finding parking in Dublin can be challenging, especially in the city center. Most parking spaces are metered, and the cost can add up quickly. It’s advisable to use public transportation or walk when possible. If you need to park, consider using a parking garage or finding a spot outside the city center and walking or taking public transportation to your destination.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Ireland with an international driving permit (IDP) for up to 12 months. After this period, you will need to obtain an Irish driving license. It’s important to note that not all countries’ licenses are recognized in Ireland, so check if yours is before you arrive.

5. Obtaining an Irish Driving License

If you’re planning to stay in Ireland for more than a year, you’ll need to get an Irish driving license. The process involves passing a theory test, taking driving lessons, and then passing a practical driving test. It’s advisable to start this process as soon as possible after arriving in Ireland as it can take some time.

6. Be Prepared for Traffic

Like any major city, Dublin can have heavy traffic, especially during rush hour. Be prepared for this and allow extra time for your journey. It’s also worth noting that Dublin’s streets can be quite busy with pedestrians, cyclists, and buses, so always be vigilant and patient.

7. Familiarize Yourself with Irish Road Signs

Irish road signs can be different from those in other countries. They are bilingual, with place names in both English and Irish. Speed limits are in kilometers per hour. Familiarize yourself with these signs to ensure safe and legal driving.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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