Actually, no, it's about 45 miles north of London. But there does seem to be a disproportionate number of Scots in the town. It's a place that doesn't really seem to know where it is - not quite the SE, not quite East Anglia, not quite the South Midlands. And I think it's quite happy like that.
Will be arriving in DUB on the 11th, leaving on the 12th.
The area at the top of O'Connell street is not so bad; no-one will mistake it for Knightsbridge, but it's fine; a bit squalid, but not dangerous. One of Dublin's very top restaurants is right there (Chapter One, on Parnell Square), just to give a bit of context.
Plenty of good advice upthread; I too would have suggested a hotel south of the river, but the die is now cast. I would be cautious wandering round the O'Connell St. area late at night - just keep your wits about ye. The area can be dangerous if you don't. Not in the Lagos kinda way, more in the Gorbals way.
The Dublin bikes route suggested is pretty good also, though St. Stephen's Green won't be open at either hour - I do suggest a morning tour, rather than the evening for all sorts of reasons.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines...
star_world - wow, that's superb, thankyou! I'll certainly give that a go.
And yes, I would have stayed south of the river (believe me, I wasn't ignoring advice) but I'm being pretty tight on this trip, and a €40 rate for a hotel with decent TA reviews, albeit on the wrong side of the tracks, is good enough for me.
So, if I'm wandering in the early morning rather then the evening, what's a decent pub to retreat to where I won't feel ridiculously out of place as a non-drinker?
(And thanks all again, I love how this forum always comes up with such good answers!)
As for pre-clearance I'd be there approximately 75-60 minutes minimum or so before the flight. There are a couple of US bound flights at that time pre-clearing so it can be a crapshoot. You may breeze through, you may be held up for a while.
Good advice. I've pre-cleared twice at DUB, once was a breeze with virtually no queue, the next time was around 45 minutes.
Well, I'll reiterate my thanks to all those on this thread, and in particular to star_world, whose excellent map gave me a great self-guided cycle tour of the city. The drunkenness around me was still at "happy drunk" stage, so it was a good atmosphere all round, and I feel I've got a great flavour for the place despite the short time and unsociable hours...
The hotel is impressive for the price and the location seems fine - I've lived in worse. Well, that was until I returned to see the Guards and an ambulance outside the pub next door...
The Dublinbikes worked extremely well - it's effectively identical to the Vélib scheme - and I'm now suitably knackered to sleep on my flight to ORD tomorrow. May get up early for a crack-of-dawn wander too. Goodnight!