Dublin is a lovely city in Ireland that many people are curious about. As the capital of Ireland, Dublin is home to an array of tourist attractions and landmarks. However, it’s not always clear if Dublin is a cheap city or not. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how much you should expect to spend on visiting Dublin for vacation as well as what accommodation options are available for tourists. You may be surprised at some of the prices!
The question of is Dublin an expensive city to visit and vacation in only really has one answer, yes, it is quite an expensive city to visit!
I grew up in the city and have seen prices gradually rise over time, although this happens everywhere, prices in Dublin can sometimes be quite high, especially for what you’re getting for you money. It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are lots of things you can do which won’t break the bank.
1. Dublin is a popular tourist destination due to its rich history and culture
Ireland generally gets about 9 million+ tourists each year, many of which will visit Dublin. This is partly due to it being one of the most popular destinations for British and Northern Irish tourists. Tourism Ireland estimates that 18% of all visitors come from Great Britain, with a further 62% coming from North America.
Dublin’s rich history means there are lots of things you can do which won’t cost money! One example is taking some time out in Trinity College – this university has been around since 1592 so plenty happened before your grandparents were born! They have much more than just books too, they also house rare manuscripts such as The Book Of Kells and many other treasures. It’s free to visit but donations are always appreciated!
Another thing you could do is take a walk through Dublin city center where you’ll see landmarks like St. Stephen’s Green, a wonderful park in the heart of the city which is a lovely place to visit on some of the rare sunny days that Dublin experiences each year.
It can be a very relaxing place to visit with a packed lunch, you can feed the ducks which are often nestled in one of the ponds or you could simply just sit there and people watch as you enjoy the ambient vibe.
2. There are many ways to save money on your trip, such as sleeping in an Airbnb instead of a hotel or taking public transportation instead of taxis
Hotel prices in Dublin tend to be high, very high, you can of course sometimes find a bargain, but in general you should expect to pay top Dollar for a hotel in the city. One way around this is to find an Air BNB apartment, you have a much better chance to find a bargain on this front.
The Dublin Tourist Assistance Centre is a great place to start if you want some advice on how to find accommodation in the city, and they can also provide guidance about what kind of tourist attractions are worth visiting.
There may not be many hotels in Dublin that offer affordable rates, but there’s still plenty for tourists to enjoy during their stay.
I’d definitely recommend that you check on the Air BNB site to see what’s available for the dates you plan to visit. Some of the areas which would be worth looking for an Air BNB in are Kilmainham, Inchicore, Rathmines, Stoneybatter, Drumcondra and Grangegorman. These areas are fairly close to the city and are generally decent areas.
Areas which I’d recommend that you don’t locate yourself in are Tallaght, Ballyfermot, Cherry Orchard, Ballymun, Balbriggan, Ongar and Blanchardstown. I won’t go in to specifics, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend that you rent in these areas if you want a non stressful stay in Dublin.
Also, I strongly recommend that you avoid the Temple Bar area of Dublin if you are planning on renting an Air BNB, it’s an interesting experience to walk though it just to say you got to see the place, but if you do visit then I recommend you avoid the bars (unless you enjoy paying about $10 for a beer), and if you decide to rent an Air BNB there, I hope you enjoy the smell of vomit and urine on the street in the morning!
3. The cost of food can vary greatly depending on where you eat – take advantage of the city’s grocery stores and markets for cheap eats
Eating out in Dublin differs somewhat from the US, in America, the great amount of competition tends to drive prices down, in Ireland however, it seems to have the opposite effect. Eating out in Dublin, in a non fast food place, tends to be very expensive (as with most things in Dublin), however it’s fair to say that the quality of the food is generally very high.
The ingredients used are usually of a very high standard but you can expect to pay for it.
If you are just visiting for a few days, then you could definitely save some cash by getting food in some of the convenience stores, the main ones tend to be Spar, Londis and Centra. They generally have a deli counter and you can get hot food here at much better prices than you would in a café or restaurant.
There’s no harm in visiting some of the nice restaurants during your stay in Dublin, but for snacks or lunch, then it makes far more sense to visit one of the stores I’ve mentioned, your wallet will really appreciate it.
4. You’ll have plenty to do during your visit with museums, galleries, parks, and theaters all around the city
Dublin has quite a few museums and art galleries, most of them tend to be free to visit however some may have a fairly small entry price.
You can find a low cost, excellent tourist attraction in Kilmanham Gaol (jail), which is now a museum. It was built in 1796 and has been used all the way up to 1996 so it’s got lots of interesting stories!
It’s located relatively close to the city and many of the city tour busses will drop you off just outside.
A third option is to visit the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. They have a wide variety of art, both Irish and international that you can explore for free!
The museum is located on the north side of town so it’s not too far from where many people stay while they’re in Dublin.
Another thing which won’t cost money is having some fun with traditional Irish music at Trinity College – every Tuesday evening there are informal sessions hosted by students or staff members who know how to play instruments such as Banjo, Fiddle and Uilleann Pipes. All levels welcome!
These examples show that there are some things you can do when visiting Dublin without spending big money.
5. Check out some free activities like walking tours or visiting Trinity College’s Book of Kells exhibit
There are many things to do that will be free and Dublin has lots of beautiful open spaces which you can explore freely. The Book of Kells is one of Dublin’s most famous attractions, found in Trinity College Library.
The book was found on the island of Iona where it is believed to be the work of St. Columba and his followers in the year AD 800-850; they are said to have been working from an older copy brought with them from Ireland at Iona’s foundation by King Aidan in AD 608
The Book of Kells (Irish: Leabhar Cheanannais) is a medieval illuminated manuscript Gospel book written mainly in Latin, containing both Old and New Testaments as well as various prefatory texts. It was created sometime between about 700 AD and 900 AD on Lindisfarne off the coast of Northumbria but had its origins in either Iona or Canterbury, Kent.
Dublin is a great city for tourists of all ages. You can save money by choosing to stay in an Airbnb instead of a hotel, taking public transportation instead of taxis, and eating at the grocery store or markets rather than restaurants.
With plenty to do during your visit with museums, galleries, parks, and theaters nearby as well as some free activities like walking tours or visiting Trinity College’s Book of Kells exhibit on offer – you’ll have no problem making memories that will last a lifetime!
If you plan ahead and know what you’re getting yourself into before your trip then I’m sure that the city will provide some unforgettable memories during your stay there!