Over 6,000 of you will be flying to Dublin this October from 60+ countries from all over the world. It will be hotel-maggedon time in Dublin – the two leading 5 star hotels, the Four Seasons and the Shelbourne, have already sold out before tickets have even gone on sale, but we’ve got your back.
We’ve taken the time to talk to some of our seasoned Summiters who’ve flown from around the world in previous years to Dublin. Based on their feedback and our insiders’ knowledge of Dublin, here are the most essential things you need to know.
Important caveat: If you like all things tech by day, but get nervous about spending a night out in a city like Dublin which has more live music venues, nightclubs, bars and pubs per capita than anywhere else in the world, then the Summit is sadly not for you. In Dublin, by law* you are not permitted to go straight from the Summit to your hotel room each evening to do “important follow ups” with investors, media, possible hires, startups or otherwise. It’s Ireland for the love of god, you do follow ups over a pint whilst watching locals eating raw potatoes with their own bare hands.
*Please read this post on Irish sarcasm if you are American.
Dublin has its fair share of great hotels that cater for every price bracket. In other words, there’s something for everyone on every budget.
But if you insist on only the finer things in life and like the buzz of one of our glitzy recommended 5-star hotels, we suggest the Fitzwilliam Hotel in the heart of the city centre. However, they are down to about a dozen rooms.
For those who enjoy the buzz of a massive hotel and the excitement of late-night drinks in the lobby bar, we recommend the huge 4-star 500 bedroom Burlington Hotel which is just a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk away from the Web Summit venue, or the wonderful 304 room 3-star Bewley’s Hotel which is just 3 minutes walk. All of these hotels will sell out far in advance of the Web Summit, so we advise booking these particular hotels early.
We’ll recommend more hotels in due course, and there are lots, so please don’t worry about not getting a room somewhere. Dublin’s a big city.
For a complete list of hotels in Dublin go here.
If hotels aren’t your style, AirBnB has plenty of options.
By Plane: Our fair city is very accessible by plane, Ireland is home to Europe’s favourite low cost airline Ryanair after all (most Irish people simultaneously love and loath Ryanair). But there’s also the somewhat more upmarket national airline Aer Lingus and all other major international airlines have routes to Dublin. For a European city, flights to Dublin from major hubs around the world are surprisingly cheap.
We recommend Skyscanner (a pick’n’mix flight aggregator) to find the best deals from your hometown. You can get direct flights from anywhere in Europe, plus a number of cities from the United States, and Canada, and other major hubs like Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and elsewhere. For anywhere that doesn’t offer a direct flight, you can easily book your two flights and transfer in one purchase.
By Boat: You can also get a boat to Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire – a beautiful harbour just 15 minutes drive or a 10 minute train ride from the venue. Ferries come from Holyhead and Pembroke in Wales, Liverpool in England, and Douglas in Scotland. There’s a special rail and sail deal direct from London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and a range of other cities straight to Dublin, starting at €39. You can also get a ferry from France, but to be honest, the plane is way easier.
From the airport: Most attendees will land at Dublin airport. It’s located in the north of the city, with taxis and buses to the city centre. A taxi should take 25 minutes to the city centre at a cost of between €20 and €30 depending on the time of day. Alternatively, we recommend a direct blue bus called the AirCoach for €10 return. It stops in the city centre, close to all major hotels, and tends to be used by business people. The AirCoach bus leaves every fifteen minutes from outside the arrivals hall at Dublin Airport and will drop passengers to the doors of all our recommended hotels outlined above.
For the 3rd year running, the Web Summit will be taking place in the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) a glorious building in the heart of one of Dublin’s most beautiful areas. It dates back to 1731. Each year we’ve expanded the amount of space that we use and this year we’re just going to take the whole damn thing. Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of maps so you don’t get lost.
This year there’ll also be a number of other Web Summit events around the city – ranging from seminars, workshops and hackathons to gigs, music events, parties, open dinners and other networking events. Last year we held the first Web Summit by Night – taking over 10 of Dublin’s coolest pubs on Dame Lane, right in the city centre. It’s returning this year and we’ll be expanding it to three times the size. We’ll be taking over something like a square mile of pubs in Dublin.
Getting around: Dublin has a comprehensive bus service, the Luas tram service, and a Dublin bike scheme which operates around the city centre. HitTheRoad.ie provides some very handy public transport directions from A to B. And yes, Hailo is in Dublin and is widely used. It’s been a godsend.
Things to do: Dublin is of course one of Europe’s favourite spots to visit, and for good reason too. The cultural scene is incredibly rich, with an abundance of galleries, many of which are free to visit, a thriving theatre scene, and great gigs to go to every night. For some of the more bohemian options Dublin has to offer, check out LeCool.
That should be enough to whet your appetite for now, but we’ll have a more comprehensive guide on Dublin’s best attractions soon. In the meantime, you can find out more in guides from The New York Times, Lonely Planet and Timeout.
We look forward to seeing you here.