I have seen many versions of this question. Arriving at 4:30 p.m. from Prague and not departing until 12:30 p.m. the next day for U.S. This will be the first week of December. We will not have a car so where should we stay and what should we try to see? Two of us, husband and wife that love to walk/hike. Thank you.
Hmmm, that's kind of tough. Daylight will be in short supply, many of the sights will be on winter hours and the likelihood of precipitation high. You don't mention where you are arriving from (immigration lines will take time) and departing for (international flights require earlier check in). If you stayed in Dublin you could at least walk around the city, maybe do a pub crawl if you like that sort of thing. Alternatively some place like Howth could be nice. Or you could simply stay at an airport hotel and take the bus or taxi into Dublin if you are up for it. That might give you the most flexibility.
Hi from Wisconsin,
We did that. an Aerlingus flight. We took a taxi from the airport into Drumcondra on the north side of Dublin. The traffic was hectic. We had a B&B rented, Our goal was we were headed for Gravedigger's Pub near Glasnevin Cemetery.
Our flight was delayed in Prague so we arrived too late to walk over to the Gravediggers. Barely got a meal. So our experience with this was bad. On the other hand, If your flight leaves on time, you can get a meal in a classic pub that doesn't take plastic and uses Euros.
Just to emphasize kclyons point: if you are flying nonstop back to the US, you will have to go through US customs and immigration in Dublin before you can board your plane ("preclearance"). This cannot be skipped if you're running late, so allow enough time for it. I'd get to the airport 9:30 AM, 10 AM at the latest (but then I'm risk-averse about such things). The advantage is, your US arrival is just like a domestic arrival, with all the formalities already completed.
Clearing US customs in Dublin is more time consuming (imho) than in NY or Boston. You first have to go through the usual security in the Dublin Airport, then walk some to the US Customs, then down some stairs and through TSA security (this time taking off your shoes...don’t get me started on that!), and then to your gate. Last month we flew Air France from Paris to Dublin. Collect our luggage, walk to a different terminal, and stand in a very long line for the Aer Lingus checkin. All in all, this took us 2 hours. Figuring you will have your luggage already when you get back to the airport, you may still need at least 2 1/2 hours to safely navigate the security/customs/security bit.
If it were me, I’d take the Air Link bus into Dublin, check in a hotel, have a nice relaxing dinner, and take a taxi back to the airport in the morning. I dislike arriving at the airport for any flight with my “hair in fire”!
By the time you get from the airport to your hotel and get ready most of the attractions will be closing because of winter hours. I would stay downtown and just walk around the city. Maybe grab a pint in the temple bar district and listen to some live music. You can have an easy night and wake up early and try to see the Book of Kells.