Dublin, one of my many mother lands (supposedly), is a prime destination to visit. The best things about Dublin is the flights are cheap, food is inexpensive, the pubs are fun, the nightlife is crazy awesome, and the locals are lively and friendly. Everyone must visit Dublin at least once. There’s so much history in this city and learning the culture is pure. It’s just an awesome city. Both Jameson and Guinness factories are located here. Obviously we will not be drinking at the Guinness factory, but it won’t hurt to visit and get your certified licenses in pouring Guinness. The pubs are lively with amazing people, there is always live music, and it’s starting to become a foodie scene, which means more gluten free options! But what makes Dublin so unique and original is the locals. The Irish are super friendly and always happy to show you a good time! Make sure your stay here is everything but short.
MUST GO TO PLACES
Activities – Most museums are free or fairly cheap costing around 9-14 EUR. Castle tours are also around the same prices. Walkings tours and renting bikes can also be free if you work hard for it.
Transportation – Public transportation is a bitch in Ireland (no offense). Plan out your adventures specifically because the more time you give yourself, the less money you have to spend. Buses and trains are your best method of transportation. Buses will cost around 2 EUR for a one-way ticket. Longer rides will be a little more. Taxi’s are the most expensive but you kind of get your own personal tour with your local Irish taxi driver. Hitchhiking is also a thing here and it is safe and also free!
- Patrick’s Cathedral – The tallest and largest church in Dublin.
- Jameson Factory – One of the many things Ireland is famous for, whiskey is staple item here. I’m not a huge whiskey fan but it is a must do to sample the local flavor (even if it does make you puke).
- Trinity College – Ireland’s oldest college and a popular destination to visit. Students give tours daily and it is definitely something worth checking out. I advise to just sneak into a group so you don’t have to pay because a tour costs 13 EUR.
- Dublinia – Take a tour of Viking and medieval Dublin. You get to explore the medieval streets of Dublin, Viking longboats, and the chance to experience the recreated sights and sounds of these bygone eras. Most tours also include a visit to Christchurch Cathedral. Admission is 8.50 EUR and it’s open daily from 10am-6:30pm with extended hours in the summer.
- Dublin Castle – Built in the 13th century, the castle lies in the heart of the city. Exploring the grounds is free but a guided tour inside the castle costs 6.50 EUR. The opening times for the castle are 10am-4:45pm daily, except for Sundays when it opens at 10:45am.
- Do a literary pub crawl – Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and W.B. Yeats are just a few famous literary geniuses. This crawl includes a walking tour, extracts from famous literature, and it culminates with street performances and a fun literary quiz. It costs 12 EUR.
- Kilmainham Gaol – Former prison that held Ireland’s most notorious prisoners, particularly Irish Nationalists and Republicans. It’s now a museum and costs 7 EUR for entrance.
- Phoenix Park – A massive grassy area and is the largest enclosed city park in all of Europe. The U.S. Ambassador and the President of Ireland can be found here sometimes. You can also watch a polo match in the park near the zoo.
- Grafton and Powerscourt Center – Some of Dublin’s most famous streets. Great restaurants, pubs, shopping, and galleries can be found here. Some places are pretty expensive but some good bargains can be found.
- Walking tours – The best way to explore the city. Dublin Free Walking Tours gives really good tours. They are lead by professional history buffs. But keep in mind, most hostels also provide FREE walking tours.
Hostels rage around 10-20 EUR per night. Most of them provide free WiFi, linens, and free breakfast. You can book your nights stay through the hostels website or you may be able to find cheaper options through Booking.com and Trip Advisor.
- Avalon House – Near Temple Bar, St Stephen’s Green, Grafton Street, Trinity College and St Patrick’s Cathedral.Around 12 EUR per night. Located at Aungier St, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- Isaacs Hostel Dublin – Bright dorms & private rooms in a funky hostel offering free breakfast & Wi-Fi, plus a sauna! 16 EUR a night and located at 2-5 Frenchman’s Ln, Mountjoy, Dublin 1, Ireland.
- Kinlay House – Dorms & private rooms in a hostel with free Wi-Fi, breakfast, plus bike rentals. A bed here will costs 12 EUR per night. Located at Lord Edward St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- Abigail’s Hostel – Budget rooms & dorms, all with en suite bathrooms, plus free walking tours & breakfast. Around 14 EUR per night and located at 7-9 Aston Quay, Dublin 2, DUBLIN 2, Ireland.
- Backpackers Citi Hostel – It’s in the very center of Dublin. Beds start at 10 EUR per night. 62 Gardiner Street Lower, Dublin 1, 1, Ireland.
- Dublin International Hostel – 10 minutes walk from O’Connell Street. FREE Breakfast, FREE Wifi, FREE parking, beds from 15 EUR per night. Located at 61 Mountjoy St, Dublin 7, Ireland.
- The Times Hostel -It’s the perfect place to experience Dublin’s exciting city life. The hostel offers you a warm, friendly and social environment perfect for all travellers visiting Dublin.Around 13 EUR per night. Located at 8 College St, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- Generator Hostel Dublin – A small shared room will be around 12 EUR a bed. It’s located in he hip Smithfield neighborhood, adjacent to the Jameson Distillery, and it’s just a short walk from Temple Bar. It’s open social spaces and café and bar, with its reclaimed wood, exposed brickwork and original stonework, give the place an unruffled industrial feel. Located at Smithfield Square, Dublin, Ireland, 7.
BARS & RESTAURANTS
- Temple Bar – This bar is one of the most famous bars in the world. The Vikings set up camp here in 795 A.D. The Temple Bar area is a square on the south bank of the River Liffey with off-shooting streets and narrow laneways.
- O’Brien’s – This is a great tasting gluten and wheat free bread.
- O’Shea’s – A quick bite if you’re fresh off the boat and looking for some fuel. Most foods are around 10 EUR.
- Beshoff Bros – The best place for any gluten free person to experience the traditional fish & chips! It’s a great gluten free menu that is served every day at thier Clontarf, Dame Street, Malahide and Mespil Road stores.
- Antoinette’s Bakery – They make many tasty options free from common allergens such as gluten, dairy, eggs and soy.
- Soup Dragon – All their soups and stews are gluten free and many are dairy free. Located at 168 Chapel St, Dublin 1.
- The Brazen Head – This is the oldest pub in Dublin dating back to 1198. It’s famous for live Irish music & it is an award winning restaurant. Located at 20 Lower Bridge St, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, D08 WC64, Ireland
- Hugo’s – Lively, classy bistro-style dining with an Irish menu with French influences, plus live jazz. Located at 6 Merrion Row, Dublin 2, Ireland
- Temple Bar Food Market – Weekly outdoor market featuring stands with baked goods, meats & cheeses, plus grab-&-go bites. Located at Meeting House Square, Dublin Southside, Dublin, Ireland.
- Mulligan’s Pub – This is a no-nonsense 18th-century pub with a cast of regulars and lack of modern pomposity. Located at 8 Poolbeg St, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- Bowe’s – Bowe’s Pub was established in 1880. They are situated in the heart of Dublin’s fair city, just a stones throw away from the famous Irish landmark Trinity College. Located at 31 Fleet St, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- The Long Hall – Traditional pub decorated with filigree-edged mirrors, polished dark wood and traditional snugs. Located at 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
- Bleecker St Cafe Bar – Located on Upper Dorset Street, in the heart of Dublin. Bleecker Street is the most authentic New York styled Cafe Bar Restaurant in town. Whether it’s a simple coffee, a substantial meal or a nice refreshing Strawberry Margarita, Bleecker St is the place to be. Their ingredients are always fresh.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
- Visit the free attractions – There’s plently of free things to do in Dublin. Most museums and parks are free. Check with your hostel to see if they provide free walking tours.
- Get the Rambler bus ticket – You can purchase these at the airport next to the CIE booth. Shops displaying Dublin Bus logo sell the Rambler too. Discounts are given to students so make sure your student ID is handy. Rambler 1-Day Adult ticket costs 6.90 EUR.
- Ride Dublin’s bikes – Public bikes are available in the city center. A 3-day ticket costs 3 EUR and the first 30 minutes of hire is free. To avoid being charged, return the bike within 30 mins, and then take another out immediately after.
- Leap visitor card – 10 EUR, it costs more than the 1-day unlimited travel card, but if you’re traveling from the airport, it includes transportation to and from there as well. You can also use the same Leap Card in other Irish cities
- Bring your student ID – most places offer student discounts
- Eat pub food and drink less – Hearty local Irish food that won’t destroy your wallet. Don’t drink as much and ALWAYS hit the happy hours
- Couchsurf – Nothing’s cheaper than sleeping for free. Couchsurfing connects you with locals who will give you not only a free place to stay, but also a local tour guide who can introduce you to all the great places to see.