While Dublin Ireland is a great place to visit, it can be an expensive place for tourists. But don’t let this stop you from exploring this wonderful city in the Emerald Isle. If you’re planning to visit Dublin soon but you don’t plan on going broke, check out these 10 budget travel tricks when getting around, lodging, and dining.
1. Get a leap card
If you’re in town for a few days or weeks, you can save a lot by getting a Leap Card. The card costs around €5 but it could save you plenty. It can be used to pay for your travel in Dublin and its surrounding counties on transport services including buses, trains, and trams.
2. Avoid taxis
A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs around €25. Don’t waste money on pricey transportation just to reach your hotel in Dublin. If you’re looking for a way to get to and from the airport, the cheapest option would be the Airlink Bus, One-way tickets cost €6 while return tickets cost €11.
The same goes for getting around the city. Instead of hailing a cab, take the affordable Dublin Bus to make the most out of your travel budget. The Dublin Bus’ routes connect all different areas of the city.
3. Pedal your way around
Don’t want to ride a bus but don’t want to walk either? Riding a bicycle is another fun and cheap way to get around the city. Check out Dublin’s bike share program. If you’ll be staying for a while, you may want to get your own bike to save you a lot of money in the long run.
Accommodation & Dining
4. Stay at budget hotels and cheaper lodging alternatives
The average price for a hotel stay in Ireland is almost €150 per night. The hotel prices in Dublin are higher. If you simply want a decent, comfortable room, be on the lookout for an affordable hotel in Dublin, offering rates lower than €100. You may also opt for a hostel.
5. Dine wisely
Next to buying groceries and cooking your meals, there are other ways to save euros on dining without sacrificing satisfaction. Seek out markets and street food stalls. You should also take advantage of the early bird deals on restaurants
6. Avoid tourist traps if you’re out for a meal or drink
If you’re on a budget, avoid popular tourist traps like Temple Bar and Dawson street. While the pubs are great, the prices are inflated. You’re better off eating elsewhere for the same quality but cheaper rates.
You can wander around the Temple Bar for other reasons including its displays of murals and artworks, quirky marketplaces, and talented musicians at work, which won’t cost a penny.
7. It’s okay not to tip
Tipping in Dublin or anywhere in Ireland is not mandatory. You can leave a small tip for restaurant servers, bartenders, and taxi drivers when you feel like it – like if they’ve given you exemplary service for long hours.
Sights & Attractions
8. Focus on cheap and free attractions
Good news for art, literature, science, and history buffs: you can skimp on money, but not on culture. Dublin boasts over 40 museums, galleries, and libraries and many of them are free to enter.
Aside from the world-renowned “The Book of Kells” in Trinity College Dublin and The Little Museum of Dublin, here are other cheap or free attractions worth checking out:
- National Library
- National Gallery of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland
- Dublin Writers Museum
- The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle
- The Huge Lane Gallery
- Irish Museum of Modern Art
- Science Gallery, Trinity College
- Dublin Castle’s Garda Museum and Revenue Museum
9. Seek out cheap or free entertainment
Not a traveller who enjoys museum visits and laidback strolling? Fun activities for budget-friendly travellers are just around the corner, from free guided walking tours to cheap pub crawls.
For traditional music, see O’Donoghue’s on Merrion Row and Doyles just across Trinity College. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a “match day”, grab a seat in a pub where they provide free viewing.
10. Time your travel
Save money by researching on the best times to visit Dublin.
If you want to visit Dublin when the temperatures are warm (summer season) and the festivals fill the streets, go for June to August. Just take note that this period is the most expensive time to visit, with high airfare and hotel rates. It’s also the most crowded time of the year.
If you want to visit when hotel prices fall and the number of tourists is few, time your vacation during Ireland’s fall (September to November), and winter (December to February). Just prepare for chilly weather and make sure to pack fall and winter clothing.
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