Despite Ireland's history, British visitors to Dublin are welcomed warmly
'An Lar' on a bus means 'City Centre'
It's 999 in an emergency, the same as in Britain
Take a raincoat - it rains on 185 days a year
in 2007 and 2009, Dublin was voted the friendliest city in Europe
Those embarking on a Dublin city break will be pleased to know that the city is easily accessible by air and sea, the locals speak English and they will welcome you warmly.
Dublin city boasts a wealth of history; probably has the best pubs in the world and there is fun to be had everywhere.
The name Dublin comes from the Old Irish Dubh Linn meaning 'Black Pool'. The compact city centre and good transport links makes Dublin an easy city to explore.
Dublin may lack the must-see attractions of many rival city break destinations, but there are compensations. The appeal of a Dublin city break lies in a more understated allure such as the cosy, time-warped pubs, and the red-brick elegance of Georgian streets.
Add to the mix Dublin's rich literary heritage, the fine folk music and easy-going nature of the locals and you soon see why city breaks in Dublin have become so popular.
'Craic' is the word always associated with Dublin, Ireland. Pronounced 'crack', literally it means "fun, enjoyment, abandonment, or light-hearted mischief; often in the context of drinking or music".
Don't mention this in Dublin, but the word actually comes from the English. The Irish tourist industry, however, has made it their very own, to the despair of some Irish language purists.
Other useful words on Dublin city break are gardai for police while garda siochana is a police officer, literally a 'guardian of the peace'. They answer to 999 just as in the UK.
Dublin signs are usually in both English and Irish but, if you want a bus to the city centre, look for An Lar. Everyone speaks English apart from the hordes from Japan and Continental Europe also enjoying a Dublin city break.
Everyone is reminded of Ireland's troubled history on Dublin city breaks, particularly through the street names recalling the role of Irish national heroes. The General Post Office still bears bullet holes from the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule.
Before the British arrived, Ireland and Dublin enjoyed a Celtic golden age for over 500 years, led by the Catholic church. The Vikings then raided Ireland in the 9th and 10th centuries, destroying the great centres of learning. They did, however, found Dublin as a Viking fort, which was reconquered by Irish kings in 988.
The Anglo-Normans arrived from Britain in the 12th century and Dublin Castle represented English power from 1204. Many rebellions ended in slaughter, notably by Oliver Cromwell when 600,000 died. Other terrible low points include the potato famine from 1845 which halved the Irish population through starvation and emigration.
In 1921, Ireland was split into the six northern counties that stayed as part of the United Kingdom and the remaining 26 that now make up the Irish Republic with Dublin its capital.
Despite the troubled relations that have existed between Britain and Ireland, British visitors, who make up the majority of those on Dublin city breaks, will be warmly welcomed and the crime rate is very low.
Ireland uses the Euro. Banks are generally open from 9am - 3pm with late opening on Thursdays. ATMs are absolutely everywhere.
Hotels and restaurants normally include a 15% service charge so tipping is not normal. For taxis, hairdressers etc 10% is normal.
As an EU country, other European Union citizens are covered for medical and hospital treatment. Carry your EU health card. Dial 999 for an ambulance.
In general Dublin phone numbers are prefixed 01 followed by the local number. If dialling from abroad drop the 0 and insert the country code 353.
Useful Dublin telephone numbers include:
Accident & emergency - 999 or 112
Directory enquiries - 11811
Operator services - 10 (114 international)
Dublin Tourist Information - 01 605 7700
Irish Tourist Board - 1850 230330