At lastminute.com we pride ourselves in knowing our destinations inside out and Dublin has always one been one of our favourite cities to visit, so it is with great pleasure that we can now say that Ireland’s capital offers some of the best value in Europe.
A recent Mercer Cost of Living survey ranked Dublin as the 58th most expensive city in the world – compared with 42nd place last year. Just six years ago Dublin was 10th in the survey.
Prices have been plummeting since the heady heights of a few years ago when a pint of Guinness could cost you up to €6. In particular, hotel and restaurant prices have dropped significantly over the last six years – to the point that Dublin is now one of the cheapest cities in Europe.
Dublin is a vibrant city and ideal for strolling (which will help you save a few Euros). Most attractions are within walking distance of each other and this is a great way of sampling the atmosphere of the city. Temple Bar, Henry Street, Stephens Green, Dawson Street, Dublin Boardwalk and the environs of Grafton Street are all must see areas where busking, poetry reading and street theatre litter the streets.
There are plenty of things to see in Dublin for free, such as a visit to The Chester Beatty Library, Stephen’s Green, Phoenix Park, Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Museums, Trinity College and the seals in Howth Harbour.
If you want see more, but don’t want to break the bank – here’s a list of some of our favourite budget attractions in Dublin:
This stands out as one of the must see historical structures not only in Dublin but the whole of the island.
It is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe and charts some of the most turbulent periods of Irish history, including the various wars of independence and the civil war. Some harrowing stories await, but it’s well worth the visit. Entry is €6 per adult and €2 for children.
Where to stay near Kilmainham Gaol
Hilton Kilmainham: A fantastic modern hotel with superb leisure facilities – this hotel is a great location for leisure, corporate, families and for those seeking a little pampering. It is situated right across the road from the Goal and within walking distance of the Guinness Storehouse.
The General Post Office (GPO)
This is the site of the island’s most defining moment of modern history, the Easter 1916 Rising and the beginning of the final chapter of the many wars of independence against the British Empire.
Now a post office, the GPO also houses an interactive museum detailing the rising and includes many items from the day. Entry is €2.
Where to stay near The GPO
Gresham Hotel: Located on the main street of Dublin City centre, this 4* hotel is frequented by both locals, who love to sample the afternoon tea, and tourists. One of the oldest hotels in the city, it has undergone many refurbishments – the most recent coming in the last few years. Expect to meet some real Dubliners and enjoy a great pint of Guinness.
National Museum of Decorative Arts & History
This former military barracks has been home to both the British and Irish army over the centuries. These days it is one of the city’s finest museums.
The museum’s main focus is on arts, craft and wares, including exhibits on Irish coins and currency, silverware, furniture, folklore and costumes, ceramics and glassware. The chief attraction is the Asgard yacht, which played a key role in the War of Independence – shipping guns to the rebels in 1914. Well worth a visit and entry is completely free.
Where to stay near the National Museum of Decorative Arts & History
Ashling Hotel: A lovely Irish owned hotel on the banks of the River Liffey. This 4* hotel offers a warm Irish welcome and all the mod cons you’d expect from a quality hotel of its standard. As well as being within walking distance of the city centre, the hotel also offers access to the main train station and the tram which runs outside the front door. Keep an eye out for some brilliant stealth sales.
The most famous of Dublin’s central Georgian parks, Stephen’s Green is true delight and a real gem in the heart of the city.
Adjacent to the main shopping district, including Grafton Street, the park has been open since 1880. It’s perfect for walking, chilling, sun bathing (unfortunately only on rare occasions), feeding ducks, reading or whatever takes your fancy. Weather permitting the Green is a magnet for every type of Dubliner and tourist.
Where to stay near Stephen’s Green
Harcourt Hotel: For younger travellers, the Harcourt Hotel is the place to visit. Set across eight Georgian homes, including the former home of the poet George Bernard Shaw, this hotel is in a lively part of the city. It is just a short distance from the city’s main shopping district, not to mention a host of popular nightclubs. D-2 nightclub, one of the city’s most popular bar/nightclubs, is part of the complex.
The Little Museum of Dublin
A hugely interesting and unique museum located just off Stephen’s Green in the centre of Dublin.
The social, cultural and political history of Dublin is chronicled here with displays of items donated by the people of Dublin, including objects related to famous visitors such as President John F Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich and Muhammad Ali. Entry is €5 per adult, children €3 and free for job seekers.
Where to stay near the Little Museum of Dublin
Fitzwilliam Hotel: Another fantastic Irish owned hotel, the Fitzwilliam Hotel is in the perfect location for a visit to Dublin. Overlooking Stephen’s Green and at the top of Grafton Street, this stunning 5* hotel offers charm and quality in equal measures. Facilities include a gym and a Michelin star restaurant.
Other must see attractions include Dublin Castle (Adults €4.50, Children €2), Guinness Storehouse, Dublinia (Adults €7.50, Children €23), Christchurch Cathedral (Adults €4, Families €2), and the Jameson Distillery to name a few.