You’ve probably heard that Dublin is expensive – I definitely did! But its totally possible to experience Dublin on a budget. We had just 36 hours to explore and get a real feel for the city.
Flight + Hotel + Airport Transfer = 112 Euros per person
My friend Ola and I used our 2 days off of work and booked a mid week flight from London Gatwick to Dublin with Ryanair for 40 Euros per person return. What a bargain as my train to London costs more than that (and we got seats)! Booking flights mid week can significantly reduce costs and as the flight times were perfect for us (departing LGW at 0900 and departing DUB the following evening at 1900) we could maximise our time away and only need 1 night’s accommodation. TOP TIP: Check out Skyscanner and Hopper for the cheapest flights.
Once at arrivals we jumped on the airport link bus number 747 that took us right to Temple Bar for 12 Euros return or 7 Euros one way. Make sure you have exact cash for the driver, alternatively you can use your credit/debit card or pay with cash at the ticket vending machine located just by the bus stop.
We booked our hotel in advance through Booking.com and had a fantastic stay at Temple Bar Inn for 120 Euros per night for a twin room and split the cost. Of course, if you are really on a super tight budget you can stay in a hostel for 40 Euros per person. We opted to spend a little more to have a bit more comfort, plus out hotel was in a great location, plenty of free coffee (which we abused and in fact saved us a tonne of money). The hotel also came with complimentary gym and pool passes, and although the gym was not onsite, it was just 2 mins walk away and full of great equipment.
This is how we spent our time…
Doors of Dublin – stroll the streets for free!
I am super obsessed (no idea where this came from) with doors, especially colourful doors! I have to admit this was the main reason why I wanted to go to Dublin. Most people go for the Guinness, I went for the doors. Some crazy bitch shouted at me (in Palm Springs, CA) for taking a photo of her door and its really made me anxious taking photos of other doors now.
Street art is everywhere – keep strolling those streets for free!
No matter what city or country I am in, I’d much rather hunt for street art than go to a gallery.
No trip to Dublin is complete without a pit stop in the famous Temple Bar pubs
I heard the pubs were expensive and apparently they put the prices up every hour…I sacked off the pint of Guinness, even though I was tempted just for a photo, and instead opted for my fave tipple, a JD and coke. I bloody enjoyed it after a long day sightseeing and walking over 30,000 steps. I also savoured it as it cost more than it does in London. 12 Euros it set me back! My husband would’ve had a heart attack! The Temple Bar pub is iconic and it was good craic – live music playing, happy, drunk revellers and the sun was shining. Inside the pub was pretty cool too, with Guinness signs and memorabilia everywhere. Our hotel was just a few minutes walk away – perfect if you needed to stumble home.
The Book Of Kells Exhibition, Trinity College
I really love books and library’s and I have seen this on Instagram when researching things to do in Dublin and it didn’t disappoint. Its incredibly beautiful and i could just imagine myself researching in there, but do yourself a favour, buy your tickets in advance and online for 12 Euro’s. Not only do you skip the queue but you save yourself 2 Euro’s too. Again this was just a 3 minute walk from our hotel and the grounds of Trinity College are totally worth a wander. We were lucky as it was 23 degrees in April and the cherry blossom was out, perfect to sit, relax and people watch.
Watch the sunset over Ha’penny Bridge – priceless
Dublin’s oldest pedestrian bridge crossing over river Liffey, errected in 1816.
Breakfast at Pog Cafe
My favourite meal of the day is always breakfast. Day 2 we hit the gym with our free gym pass in the morning and then headed to this healthy cafe just a few minutes walk from our hotel. My friend and I are both caffeine addicts and love healthy, beautiful food. This didn’t disappoint. I had a stack of protein pancakes topped with berries, nut butter and maple syrup, washed down with an almond milk flat white. The food was Insta worthy and tasted as good as it looked. This cost 13 Euros. The cafe also caters for vegans.
Rest your feet and sit and relax on the bench at the ‘Hungry Tree’
The 80 year old ‘Hungry tree’ is slowly eating the cast iron bench in the grounds of King Inn’s. This is a hidden gem and we happily walked for 30 minutes in the sunshine away from the city and through the residential area. I love finding hidden gems like this!
Dublin 2 days 1 night for Under 200 Euros
So I’ve just shown you it is totally achievable to experience Dublin on a budget! Lots of activities were free for us as we walked everywhere, soaking up the sunshine and the atmosphere. 2 days, 1 night in Dublin set us back 200 Euros each, including flights, airport parking, hotel, airport transfer and spending money for food and drink. To keep costs down we brought protein shakes with us and refilled out reusable water bottles at the hotel. Now I have money left for my next trip!
What top tips do you have for travelling on a budget? Did I miss anything on my trip to Dublin?