Dublin’s rich and varied history is something that every visitor to Ireland’s capital must experience. An ever-evolving city, Dublin has come a long way from its days as a Viking settlement and booming Georgian trading centre to the present day: a city on the forefront of European life.
Despite its expensive reputation, there’s lots for budget travellers to see and do. With so much to explore, we’ve compiled our essential budget guide to Dublin. Whether you want to learn about Irish culture, sample a pint of Guinness or enjoy some delicious food, we’ve got the ultimate guide for you.
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Dublin is famous for its Georgian architecture. With imposing town-houses and lush parks around every corner, it’s hard not to feel swept back in time. The easiest way to explore Dublin’s Georgian past is by foot. Take a walk around Merrion Square, once home to acclaimed Irish writer Oscar Wilde or the charming St. Stephen’s Green.
An interesting place to visit is the General Post Office (GPO). Situated on the bustling thoroughfare O’Connell Street, this is where Ireland’s fight for independence began. During the 1916 Easter Rising, the GPO was the headquarters for the uprising’s leaders and the scene of fierce fighting – you can still see the bullet holes in the walls. Learn all about the GPO’s extensive and important history in their excellent free museum.
Dublin Castle was founded in 1204 and has consistently changed forms throughout the centuries. The only piece left from the original structure is the imposing Record Tower, but visitors are still able to explore the castle’s grounds and gardens for free. Another worthy mention is the world-renowned Chester Beatty Library, the only museum in Ireland to have won the ‘European Museum of the Year’ award.
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They say good things come in small parcels and this is certainly true of the Little Museum of Dublin. Situated on St Stephen’s Green, this mini-museum is a haven for anyone interested in learning about daily life in Dublin in the 20th century. The museum is filled to the brim with art, photographs, letters and objects detailing Ireland’s political and social evolution.
The Little Museum of Dublin also offers an inspired free service called City of a Thousand Welcomes. Here visitors can meet a genuine Dubliner, blag a free cup of tea or even a pint of the black stuff and enjoy a delightful conversation with some locals.
The National Gallery of Ireland is home to more than 15,000 works and houses pieces from some of the great masters including Caravaggio, Picasso, Van Gogh and Vermeer to name but a few. The National Gallery is a great day out for any art fan and entry is free.
A visit to a cemetery mightn’t be everyone’s idea of a good time but Glasnevin Cemetery is a must-visit for any history buff. Book a guided tour online for €6 to learn all about this unique Victorian burial place and the final resting places of the men and woman who shaped Ireland’s past and present.
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Jo’Burger has perfected the art of making scrumptious burgers. Found in numerous locations around Dublin, it’s the brainchild of Irish Restauranteur Joe Macken. The perfect spot for lunch, it offers delicious burgers and scrumptious sandwiches for a pittance.
Crackbird is another great choice for any budget traveller. Popular with locals, this hipster haven has come a long way from its days as a pop-up restaurant. Crackbird specialises in succulent chicken and serves nothing else – seriously – not even dessert.
Situated about 20 minutes from Trinity College, Green Nineteen is one of the city’s best kept secrets and offers great deals for the truly cash-strapped. Try the €10 brunch special and order a delicious beef burger served with homemade chips – delicious!
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37 Dawson Street is a vintage inspired cocktail bar, found coincidently on 37 Dawson Street, on Dublin’s southside. This is an über cool bar and nice spot for lunch and for the hipster elite, it’s the place to be. Cocktails are a specialty so allow yourself to indulge – we won’t tell.
If you’re looking for a quintessential Irish pub then you can’t go wrong with Kehoes. This Victorian institution is situated just off Grafton Street and is your go-to haunt while in Dublin. Grab a seat in one of Kehoe’s quiet snugs, order a pint of creamy Guinness and enjoy. Surely there’s nothing better?
Irish pubs abide by the tradition of Ceol agus Craic (music and fun) and that’s something which O’Donoghue’s has in abundance. The pub maintains a strong Irish music tradition and it’s also where legendary musicians The Dubliners cut their teeth. Live traditional music sessions are regularly played at O’Donoghue’s and all musicians are welcome to join in.
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Conveniently situated in the middle of Temple Bar, Fleet Street is the ideal hotel for anyone looking to explore Dublin’s city centre. A short walk from Trinity College, the National Gallery of Ireland and St Stephen’s Green, no other hotel is so ideally located.
Fleet Street is a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of the city whilst offering its guests an oasis of calm. The trendy hotel is chicly designed with bright colours, soft velvet furnishings and statement wallpaper. Each double-room features a comfortable queen-sized bed as well as free WiFi.
The charming Best Western Dublin Skylon is the ideal hotel for any budget traveller looking to get more for their money. The luxury interior ensures that guests relax from the moment they arrive. Each room is decorated in soft pastel shades with pops of rich colour accented throughout. The king-sized beds, thick duvets and soft pillows also guarantee a relaxing night’s sleep.
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