Dublin is famed for its friendly, welcoming locals and fantastic nightlife, but is it possible to keep a child-free weekend budget friendly?
I thought it would be useful to share with you all the things we got up to on our weekend away – what free activities to check out, how to find cheap accommodation and just generally how we planned a cheap city break.
Keeping travel costs low
The first expense to consider when planning your weekend away to Dublin will undoubtedly be how you are getting there. As Ireland is indeed an island, unless you already live in the country, you are going to have to boar either a plane or a ferry. If you live in Britain, the there are two ports where you can take the ferry, Liverpool in England and Holyhead in Wales.
If you do choose to take the ferry, the crossing takes roughly 3 hours from Holyhead and the Liverpool to Dublin ferry takes on average 8 hours. Depending on how far in advance you choose to book your tickets, a return ticket can cost as little as £65. If you are thinking about travelling to Dublin on specific dates, you can check ferry costs here.
By far the cheapest way of getting to Dublin is to take a budget flight. Budget flights operate out of most major city airports in Britain, so you will likely find a great option near you. Ryanair typically offers the cheapest (and most frequent) flights, but other operators such as Flybe, Aer Lingus and EasyJet are worth looking into as well. Plus, Dublin offers a great, cost-effective way of travelling from the airport into the city centre. When we went a return ticket was only €12!
How to find cheap accommodation in Dublin?
Naturally, when it comes to accommodation the further ahead you book, the more options you will have. Plus, you’ll likely be able to nab a good deal if you’re planning your trip in advance. I found the cheapest accommodation through Airbnb. I managed to find a brilliant private flat that was just a short walk from all the action. One of the main reasons I like to book with Airbnb is that you will also be able to make use of the kitchen facilities in your accommodation to save a little money along the way.
Opting to cook some of your meals will help to cut down on expenses and means you can enjoy an extra-special meal out in Dublin’s famed Temple Bar district. We had a delicious meal at Bad Bobs and ended up staying there the whole night, sampling their delectable selection of classic cocktails. This is definitely one of the best late bars in Dublin!
The best things to do in Dublin (for free!)
Okay, so you have sussed out cheap flights and accommodation, all that’s left to do is plan your weekend away. So, how expensive is Dublin? Well, it can be VERY expensive if you haven’t pre-planned your weekend.
Free museums to check out in Dublin
One of the best free museums to check out is The Science Museum. This museum is part of Trinity College Dublin and is completely free. If you decide to visit this museum, they always have interactive exhibitions to enjoy. Another fantastic free museum is the National History Museum. This museum is home to one of the largest zoological collections in the world.
Stroll the streets
One of the first things I noticed about Dublin is its infectious energy. Combine this with the city’s very walkable streets and it’s easy to see why so many tourists simply enjoy strolling through the streets. O’Connell Street is the main street in Dublin and is definitely worth checking out. A walk down Grafton Street is also a must, as this is where you’ll come across many of the city’s friendly street performers.
Another great activity to think about is going to a live comedy show. Chaplins Comedy Club comes with some serious laughs and at just €10 a ticket, this two-hour comedy fest is well worth the money!
So, there you have it, some of my top money-savings tricks for a weekend away in Dublin!