When someone mentions a break in Dublin, a lot of people have a stereotypical view of the Irish capital as having cobbled streets covered with green shamrocks, leprechauns and pots of gold. In reality it’s a cosmopolitan European city that has so much to experience that you couldn’t possibly cover it in one day. Dublin has been known for being very expensive, I’ve heard that one beer can cost up to a staggering €15 in the Temple Bar area. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Check out these insider tips for making the most of your trip, you can easily see everything and have a great time if you plan ahead.
Don’t travel during high season
Try not to travel to Dublin during the peak season months of June – August. Travel to the city outwith these months and you’ll notice that the cost of getting there and accommodation is significantly cheaper. Plus the further away you book for the cheaper the flights or ferry travel will cost too. Try these Flybe voucher codes to make a saving on the cost of your transport.
Stay in a Hostel
If you stay in a hotel in Dublin city centre, expect to pay more than €100 a night for a basic 3* standard and that’s without breakfast. Compared against UK cities, it is pretty steep for what you get, but then again Dublin is so popular that they can get away with charging astronomical prices. Hostels no longer have that stigma attached to them of dirty dormitory rooms with old bunk beds – you’ll probably feel more at home in one now that some hotels. Dublin’s hostels are very welcoming, have all the mod-cons including Wi-Fi and are really reasonably priced. They’re so friendly that they’ll even pick you up at the airport and drop you off again – at a saving of €10. Then, if you stay 2 nights or more, they’ll take you on a free tour of the city meaning you don’t need to pay the tourist trap fares of €40 and you get your own guide in a smaller group – result!
Everyone loves a freebie
As a rule of thumb, anything with the word ‘national’ in front of it will be free. For example the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology and Natural History are two fascinating museums that you could spend all day in learning about the rich history of the country with interesting artefacts and exhibitions. Another must do is the famous Trinity College right in the centre of Dublin near Grafton Street. It’s a grand, dominating building which is also free to enter and walk around the grounds. It’s probably the most popular tourist attraction in Dublin because it houses the Book of Kells, but overall definitely worth spending a few hours here.
St. Stephen’s Green
If you are needing some downtime grab a sandwich and juice at a deli and take a walk through St Stephen’s Green. It’s really popular with tourists to lie out on the grass on a nice day and enjoy looking at everyone passing by or at the ducks splashing about in the pond. It’s a 22 acre enclosed park with beautiful well maintained flowerbeds, a pond with a nice fountain, several statues and a band-stand. It’s a great way to escape from urban life and just chill out amongst stunning surroundings. What’s more it’s free to enter and the gates are open until it gets dark.
Ha’penny Flea Market
If you are in the city centre on a Saturday morning head along to The Grand Social on Lower Liffey Street. Here, the Ha’penny Flea Market takes place every Saturday from 12 noon.
It’s really cool to browse the stalls of retro goods, jewellery, books, collections from Irish designers and vintage goods. No week is the same so every Saturday brings new entertainment from musicians and DJ’s. There’s also a pop up bar to grab a pint along the way.
There’s no better way to see around the city and immerse yourself in Dublin life than jumping on a bike and cycling to sights you want to see. It’s really cheap and easy to rent them – there are bike stations dotted all over the city. You just need to give over your credit card details and the first 30mins are free too which is an added bonus if you are just looking to quickly get from A to B. If you rent one for a half day, make your way out to the amazing Phoenix Park which is one of the biggest city parks on the continent and also home to Dublin Zoo.