Dublin on a Budget: Hacks to Save on Accommodation, Food, and Getting Around the City

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If you’re planning a trip to Dublin this year, you’ll soon realize that it’s not a cheap place to visit! We’ve put together a list of budget hacks so you can save money on food, activities, transport, and accommodation in Dublin, to make sure your money goes further.

Getting Here

Avoid expensive hotels

Dublin hotel accommodation can be hugely expensive and is often the most expensive part of your trip. Choosing alternative, more affordable accommodations like DCU Rooms can save you a small fortune on your trip, meaning you have more to spend enjoying yourself and exploring the city. Stay away from expensive hotels in Dublin, they’re usually way overpriced.

Travel off-peak

Flights are usually less expensive if you’re willing to travel mid-week or in Dublin’s low season which is generally October to March. Avoid public holidays and especially St. Patrick’s day when travel is a complete money-racket. Use price comparison sites like Skyscanner and search for the cheapest time to travel.

Getting Around

Explore via public transportation

If you want to travel in and around Dublin and are put off with a lot of walking, you can use our public transport system very easily. Transport for Ireland’s website will tell you exactly how to get to where you want to go, and we’re so well connected by bus, train, and Luas. The airport bus will bring you to the city in just 30-minutes and costs just €7 per person.

Buy a Leap Card

These cards can be topped up on the go with an app, on your phone or by calling into any retailer. They cost just €5 to buy (which is refundable) and they give you discounted fares on all public transport. You can also use it to sign up to the Dublin Bikes scheme to see the city on two wheels, which only costs €25 for a year’s membership.

Avoid taxis if possible

They are quite expensive even if you’re only traveling a short distance If you’re planning an evening check what time the last bus leaves to get you home (usually 11 pm from town). If you want to stay out to enjoy Irish Craic Agus Ceol, try to arrange to share a taxi with friends to keep costs down

Food, Shopping & Activities

Shop around

This goes without saying but shopping around is the best way to make sure you are getting the best value in all aspects of your stay. Always check online before you visit any of the attractions as they may have special ‘online only’ offers which can save you some pennies – every little help!

If you have a student card, use it! A lot of restaurants, shops and attractions offer fantastic student discounts for both local and international students of all ages. If you don’t see a sign offering a discount, no harm asking. If you’re traveling in a group, inquire if they offer group or family discounts too.

Visit free attractions

We’re very lucky in Dublin; almost all of our museums and galleries are free to enter. We have some fantastic parks and gardens, like Stephens Green or the Natural Botanic Gardens, for you to enjoy absolutely free of charge. You can even take free walking tours. Take advantage of these free activities, rain, hail or shine!

Choose hotels with access to cheap dining

If you’re a fussy eater, have a specific dietary requirement or are on a tight budget, eating out for every meal can be extremely costly. Choosing our affordable accommodation in Dublin City University means you also have access to our kitchen facilities, shop in one of the local low-cost supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi and prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner at your leisure.

Watch out for hidden charges

Sometimes you come across properties with lots of hidden extras that you don’t expect until you get here, one of which being expensive wi-fi. Avoid costly roaming charges by taking advantage of DCU rooms free wi-fi. Plan your day, book some trips and download a map before you leave so you know exactly where you’re going. If you’re staying long-term, purchase a local SIM card with unlimited data from 3.ie for just €20.00 per month.

Author Bio:

Sophie Harris is a passionate lifestyle writer for DCU Rooms Dublin, an ideal hotel for frugal travelers who’d love to experience the astonishing beauty of Dublin Ireland on a budget. This travel buff enjoys writing and sharing articles about money-saving hacks on accommodation, airfare, dining, and getting around the city.

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