So, let’s say you have a mere €25 and just one day to see Dublin on a budget, and soak up as much as you can? Well, that’s going to be difficult, but sure, we’ll do our best for you! Below you’ll find Kev’s suggested picks for you – depending on your taste, and what you’d like to experience. So, let’s dive in!
Things to Do In Dublin on a €25 budget
Why not start the day with the Free Walking Tour? The key word here is free! Leaving from Jacobs Inn at 10.10 am everyday and squeezing as much information and as many sights into 3 hours as the guides possibly can, this serves as a perfect introduction to our bustling little city. Free tea, coffee and croissants, an overview of everything from Trinity College to Temple Bar to St. Stephen’s Green, learn about the secrets of Dublin and not pay a single cent? It’s a feckin’ bargain.
So, where to go from here? Well, here are some options:
If you’re still feeling cultural, head over towards Kildare Street and tour the free museums around the area – the National Gallery, the National Museum and the recently re-opened Natural History Museum all boast impressive collections. Along with some permanent exhibitions, they all feature collections on tour, with the National Gallery recently being host to the work of Caravaggio, one of the Italian greats of the Renaissance. And did I mention that they’re all free? Surely I must have.
Alternatively, you can go to the other end of the city and explore the Viking Medieval Area of the city more thoroughly. This part of the city has some stunning architecture and is home to some of the lesser known secrets of Dublin – you just have to know where to look. The small garden around St. Audoen’s Gate – part of the original city walls from the 9th century – is well worth checking out. As is Fishamble Street, where the great German composer, Handel, first performed his signature piece, Messiah.
This area is also home to the second oldest bar in Ireland and in Europe, The Brazen Head. It’s worth popping into just to explore the grounds and to figure out why having a pint there now is just as good as it was in 1198. This area, despite being the oldest part of the city still standing, has also now clashed with the contemporary and has become one of the primary areas for young artists to group, so check out Cow Lane while you’re there.
If none of that grabs your attention, cross the river and visit St. Michan’s Church in Smithfield. For a mere €4.00 (€3.50 for students), you can explore the crypts beneath the church and see something of a rarity for Ireland – mummified corpses. And, because this is Ireland, there are superstitions shrouding these corpse. Shake hands with the 6 and a half foot tall warrior if you want to give your luck a boost. Also, Handel composed Messiah in this very church, before performing across the river when it was finished.
Seeing as how you’re on the north side now, wander down to Collin’s Barracks, another National Museum, before heading over to Phoenix Park and admiring the expansive oasis of green at the edge of the city. It’s home to the tallest obelisk in Europe, so, you know, that’s something. Right? It’s also home to hundreds of deer, beautiful woodland walking routes and Dublin Zoo (although that costs money, so maybe just stand outside and imagine what a giraffe look like. Hint: they’re quite tall).
But I know what you’re saying: “That’s not green enough for me. Ireland is supposed to be green. And it’s supposed to have cliffs. And leprechauns. And I don’t want to go to the Cliffs of Moher, I’m not a millionaire!” Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
30 minutes north of the city (by train, 45 minutes by bus; either way will set you back about €5 return), is the picturesque little fishing town of Howth. Situated on a peninsula jutting out into the Irish Sea, it’s a little slice of heaven if you want to get away from the noise and hustle-bustle of the city. If you get the bus, you can get off at the last stop, which is Howth Summit atop the cliffs. From here, you can enjoy any one of the numerous walking trails they have to get back into the village. Bring a packed lunch with you and enjoy the (fingers crossed) sunshine and wildlife.
If you get the train, you can walk from the village up to the cliffs and back down again, or take advantage of one of the many bike rental shops there (but I thought you were trying to save money, so maybe we’ll forget that). Howth also has its very own castle, so there’s another plus!
Eating in Dublin
This is where things get a bit tricky. Dublin is not known for being all that cheap, but here are a few choices anyway:
The Mongolian Barbeque is a relatively new restaurant. It’s not Irish food, true, but it’ll fill your stomach up in no time! €5 will get you a single trip to the main buffet bar (trust me, one trip is all you need) where you pick out your meats, vegetables, herbs and spices and watch in awe as they BBQ right there in front of you. Delicious.
If you’re vegetarian, don’t worry because Govindas has you covered. With a blend of European and Indian influences and at rock-bottom prices, this little restaurant has fast developed a cult following in the city, so it must be doing something right!
But if you’re looking for Irish food on a budget, then the best place to try is O’Shea’s just around the corner from us. With a menu ranging from an all-day breakfast to Irish stew for very reasonable prices, it’s as authentic as you can get!
And if you’re just looking for a quick snack (albeit a filling one!), try Star Pizza around the other corner! A 9 inch pizza, a portion of chips, a dip and a can of coke will et you back a cool €5.
This is where things get even trickier! Drinking is a big part of the Irish culture and no trip to Dublin is complete without a throbbing head the morning after the night before. Now, everybody and their mother is going to tell you to go to the Temple Bar district, but I’m going to tell you to do the exact opposite. Wander through it, explore it, but don’t buy any drink there if you want to wake up with any money left at all. Instead, explore the stretch from South George’s Street all the way up to Camden Street – you’ll find bars with far more reasonable prices then you will in Temple Bar.
You will also find that a lot of bars have special nights on with ridiculously cheap drink. For example, Dicey’s club on Harcourt Street charge €5 in the door every Tuesday, but only charge €2 per drink. Thursday nights are usually student nights, and bars will reflect this – especially around Wexford Street/Camden Street. There’s a least one bar per weekday that will have these deals happening, but they change, so it’s best to ask reception staff for this advice.
The weekends in DUBLIN , however, can prove a challenge Of course, there is always the option of our pub crawl. For €12, you get a free Guinness in your first bar, a free shot in every other bar, drink promotions in every bar, free entry to all bars and clubs, and more! It’s certainly a cheap way of spending the weekend, and it also gives you the chance to engage in another Irish custom: pre-drinking. Pop over to the supermarket, buy a bunch of beer for €1 a can and drink your heart out so that you won’t feel the need to buy even more when you’re out – you can just ride the buzz!
The other option is to try local bars as opposed to the flashy ones. Local bars will give you a more authentic view of the drinking scene amongst us Irish folk. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but the drinks will certainly be cheaper! And Guinness poured from a local tap will beat out Temple Bar any day of the week.
Now go to bed ! Kev x