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Driving in Dublin

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We are flying into Dublin next week, renting a car and then driving to our hotel about an hour southwest of the city. We get into town at 9:00 a.m. and would love to explore Dublin before heading out to our hotel. We have to pick up our rental car at Dan Dooley Rental Car by the airport and wondering if we should just leave our car and luggage there and take a taxi or bus into town to explore for the day before heading back to pick up our rental OR if there is a better alternative? For example, could we drive the car to the outskirts of the city (perhaps near the Guinness Storehouse) and either walk or take a tram/train into the city?

We are also considering heading straight to the hotel and taking a train back but that adds about an hour onto our trip. Would love your advice on the most efficient way to explore Dublin considering we must pick up a car and ditch our luggage.

Thanks!

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