Dublin, Ireland

3 Day Budget Guide to Dublin:

Cheap things to do around Dublin

Our 3 day budget guide to Dublin will tell you how to make the most of this city on the cheap. We will show you some great cheap things to do in Dublin, how to get around, and where to stay. Even though we only stayed about 2.5 weeks in Ireland we found ourselves in and out of Dublin twice.

Though we didn’t spend three consecutive days in Dublin we still got a good feel for the city and liked breaking up our visits. Our second time in Dublin was the best; it was was a warm and sunny Easter weekend, during our first visit it was cold and rainy.

Day 1: The Must Dos

Before we get started, our 3 day budget guide to Dublin does not include the arrival day. However, if you do arrive the first day and only have two full days in Dublin it’s certainly possible to do a modified version of this itinerary.

Dublin Castle and Gardens

Dating back to 1204, this site includes the Dub Linn Gardens, museums, café, and a grand library. This castle was actually where the British Government ran administration of Ireland until the Republic’s independence in 1922. We highly recommend walking around the gardens and admiring the beauty of this historic complex. It’s free to stroll around this lovely complex making it one of the great cheap things to do in Dublin.

3 day budget guide to Dublin: Dublin Castle
Dublin Castle 2 - 600 original
Cheap things to do in Dublin: Dublin Castle

St. Patrick's Cathedral and Gardens

Cost: €6.5 (Student/Senior)/€7.5 (Adult)

Hours: 9:00AM-10:30AM; 12:30PM-2:30PM; 4:30PM-6:00PM

Another beautiful historic place with gardens is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s located within walking distance of the Dublin Castle is Ireland’s tallest church[1]. Founded in 1191, this cathedral holds a ton of history and is open to the public to view. Though it’s not free, the guards might take mercy on you if you have to pee and let you in free of charge 😉

3 day budget guide to Dublin: St Patricks Cathedral
St Patricks Cathedral 5_2 - 600 4x5

Guinness Storehouse

Cost: €18+ online; €25 at the Door

Hours: 9:30AM-5:00PM, Bar/Restaurant closes at 7:00PM

No trip to Dublin would be complete without a brewery tour of Ireland’s most famous beer, Guinness. It’s a little bit expensive, but definitely worth the cost since a free pint is included with the entrance ticket.

The tours are self-guided so you can take as long as you’d like, you just have to pick a specific time slot to begin your visit.

We recommend booking ahead because time slots will fill up, and it’s also cheaper to buy tickets online. We spent several hours learning about the Guinness brewing process and their clever advertising that made them Ireland’s most popular beer.

Cheap things to do in Dublin: Guinness Storehouse

We recommend booking ahead because time slots will fill up, and it’s also cheaper to buy tickets online. We spent several hours learning about the Guinness brewing process and their clever advertising that made them Ireland’s most popular beer.

Day 2: History and Culture

The second day of this 3 day budget guide to Dublin involves walking around the city center then continuing either west or north, depending on your preference. Instead of finishing the day off at Kilmainham Gaol, we toured the historic Glasnevin Cemetery and got a pint at the famous Gravediggers Pub.

Walk along the Quay

When Dubliners refer to the Quay, they mean the road that runs along the River Laffey through central Dublin. Walking along the Quay is another one of the best cheap things to do in Dublin (if you can resist the shopping and expensive restaurants).

However, there are still plenty of cool sites to see for free like the Millennium Bridge, which has become an iconic pedestrian walkway within the city. This bridge was built to celebrate the turn of the new millennium in 2000 and was put in place in December 1999[2].

3 day budget guide to Dublin: Walk along the Quay

Temple Bar

Temple Bar is a popular neighborhood in downtown Dublin loaded with bars and restaurants. The cobblestone walking streets are open to pedestrian traffic so you can stroll by the countless pubs while hearing live music at every corner. This small district is also home to the National Photoraphic Archive, Project Arts Centre, and the Temple Bar Gallery exhibiting contemperary art displays.

Cheap things to do in Dublin: Temple Bar
Temple Bar - 600 16x9

Kilmainham Gaol Museum

Cost: €4 (Students); €8 (Adults)

Hours: 9:30AM-6:00PM

Another one of the great cheap things to do in Dublin is visit the Kilmainham Gaol Prison Museum. Similar to the Guinness Storehouse, we also recommend booking this ahead online because it’s a popular attraction. Built in 1796, this prison was used all the way through the Irish War of Independence when Ireland gained independence from Great Britain[3].

Many Irish revolutionaries including IRA members and leaders were imprisoned here by the British. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go because we heard about it too late and tickets were already sold out for the dates we were in town. Nonetheless, we heard great reviews about this place.

Glasnevin Cemetary

Cost: €10.2 (Students); €13.5 (Adults)

Hours: 10:00AM-5:00PM

Unfortunately quite a few attractions in Dublin need to be booked online ahead of time, including this one too. We decided to do the Dead Interesting Tour which touches on some lesser known, but interesting, people buried in the cemetery. We even learned about the quirky history of the famous Grave Diggers Pub situated just outside the cemetery. The museum on site offers a variety of tours, not just the Dead Interesting one, that are all similarly priced.

3 day budget guide to Dublin: Glasnevin Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery 1 - 600 4x5

Grave Diggers Pub

The John Kavanagh Pub, better known as ‘Grave Diggers’ is the oldest family owned pub in Dublin. Believe it or not, the original business plan for this pub was to attract people from the cemetery for a drink.

In fact, the guys that used to work there back in the day (mid 1800’s) would drop in for a half pint during the workday. However, it started to affect their work when they were leaving a stack of caskets outside the pub.

Since then the cemetery moved it’s main entrance to another road and bought the land across the street to prevent any more pubs from opening up so close in proximity[4].

Grave Diggers Pub- 600 4x5

Since then the cemetery moved it’s main entrance to another road and bought the land across the street to prevent any more pubs from opening up so close in proximity[4].

Day 3: Day Trips from Dublin

The last day of our 3 day budget guide to Dublin will take you on a day trip outside of the city to one of two places of your choosing. If you happen to have more time in Dublin then it’s most certainly possible to do both. Of course if your time in Ireland is limited to only Dublin then we definitely recommend going to the Cliffs of Moher. Yes we know it’s very touristy, but it’s a must see destination in Ireland.

Our Day Trip Guide to the Cliffs of Moher will go over the most cost effective ways to get there from Dublin. Nonetheless, making a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher is absolutely a must do during your time in Ireland. This magnificent work of nature is about a 3-hour drive from Dublin.

We really lucked out and got perfect weather since it can unpredictable in Ireland. Since the sun was shining we made the most of it and spent nearly 3 hours here. We loved walking along the beautiful Cliffs of Moher Coastal Trail which is an 11km (7 mile) out-and-back trail stretching all the way down this giant peninsula.

Blackrock Village

Blackrock is a suburb of Dublin that's roughly a 30-minute drive or 20-minute train ride away. This nice little seaside suburb is conveniently close to the big city but far enough away to escape the crowds.

From the railway station, the Blackrock Market is only a short walk. This eclectic market is home to over 30 stalls selling a variety of jewelry, home décor, and artwork.

Fortunately for us, I (Josh) have some extended family that lives in Blackrock and offered for us to stay with them for our first day in Dublin. It was an amazing introduction to Irish hospitality and they showed us a little taste of the quieter life outside the big city.

Blackrock Village - 600 4x5

Fortunately for us, I (Josh) have some extended family that lives in Blackrock and offered for us to stay with them for our first day in Dublin. It was an amazing introduction to Irish hospitality and they showed us a little taste of the quieter life outside the big city.

How to get around Dublin

If you’re wondering how to get around Dublin on the cheap, our budget guide to Dublin has you covered. Though walking is the cheapest way to get around Dublin, but public transport is also affordable and reliable. Direct transfers from the airport the city center are also run by a few different bus companies. Airlink and the Aircoach are popular options with the latter running 24 hours a day, perfect for an early flight. These buses are a bit nicer and pricier, but it’s cheaper than taking an Uber.

Of course, Uber is available in Dublin and also gives you the option to order a metered cab from the app. But in our experience, ordering Ubers directly from the airport are a lot more expensive than ordering one in other areas of the city.

Public Buses
  • 1-3 stops: €2.10 cash price
  • 4-13 stops: €2.85 cash price
  • 13+ stops: €3.30 cash price
AirLink Bus
  • Operates 04:45AM-00:30AM
  • Single Ticket: €6
  • Return Ticket: €11
  • Wifi available on bus
AirCoach Bus
  • Operates 24 Hours/Day
  • Single Ticket: €6
  • Return Ticket: €11
  • Wifi/Toilet available on bus

Where to stay in Dublin

If you're wondering where to stay in Dublin, there are plenty of affordable hostel options. We booked our first night in MEC Hostel but didn't have the best experience. Nonetheless, it's definitely one of the cheapest hostels and they have free breakfast. However, our favorite is Abbey Court Hostel because it's in a great location with free breakfast and friendly staff. Nonetheless we have several recommendations for affordable places to stay in Dublin. Keep in mind that prices vary throughout the year and tend to be higher in peak season (late Spring through Summer).

From our experience, we like to use Hostel World to check out potential hostels, then check other booking websites like Booking.com to make our reservations. Sometimes we also message hostels directly to get a better price. We also like to use Airbnb to book accommodations if its a better deal than hostels. Clicking on either of the icons will give you a deal with either of the sites, but are affiliate links so we earn a small commission.

Dorms: $15.28+ USD

Private: $50.38+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, Excellent Location, 24 Hr Reception/Security, Tours/Travel Desk, Luggage Storage

Photo Courtesy: @worldly_wander

Dorms: $16.98+ USD

Private: $27.74+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Kitchen, Tour/Travel Desk, Luggage Storage, Laundry, 24 Hr Security/Reception

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com
Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

Dorms: $20.38+ USD

Private: $33.77+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Kitchen, Tour/Travel Desk, Luggage Storage, Laundry, 24 Hr Security/Reception

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com
Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

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By |2019-11-06T09:15:43-05:00April 20th, 2019|Budget Travel, Europe, Ireland, Travel Guides|0 Comments

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