Budget Travel / Europe / Ireland / Traveling

Exploring Dublin for the Budget Traveler

Dublin for the Budget Traveler

Discover the literary history, friendly people, and welcoming pubs in Dublin, Ireland’s largest city and its capital. Dublin’s rich heritage and cheerful atmosphere make for the perfect destination for all travelers, especially for those on a budget. Dublin budget travel is absolutely attainable. To begin with, getting into town from the airport is easy and affordable. I booked my Aircoach ticket online for just €6, and it was a quick and nearly direct route into the heart of the city. Dublin will be kind to your wallet if you plan strategically and use the following tips for affordably visiting this Irish city.

Take a Step Back Into History at the Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle: Exterior = Free, Self-Guided Tour = €7, Guided Tour = €10

This majestic landmark in the heart of Dublin has been around for over 800 years and formerly served as the seat of British rule in Ireland. It was built on a site previously settled by the Vikings, and it is now host to a variety of government leaders while also serving as a major tourist destination. Dublin Castle is free to roam about the exterior, but you can see the interior and learn more about the castle’s interesting history on a self-guided or guided tour. Student, senior citizen, child, group, and family rates are also available.

Dublin Castle - Budget Travel


Visit the Iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Entrance Fee: €6.50 per adult

There are no longer very many buildings remaining from medieval Dublin, but St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the few still around. It’s the largest cathedral in the country and was built sometime between 1220 and 1260. It is truly an immaculate building. From the outside in St. Patrick’s park the exterior itself gives you a good sense of its size.

St. Patrick's Cathedral Park View Dublin

St. Patrick’s Cathedral view from the park

To visit the inside, you’ll need to pay the €6.50 entrance fee, but it’s well worth it since there are guided tours offered throughout the day for no additional cost. The guides are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the church and they will take you through its entire history.

St. Patrick's Cathedral Dublin Ireland

St. Patrick’s Cathedral interior

Relish in the Arts and Traditions

Dublin Fringe Festival: Free to €50

Visitors in September should make plans to attend the Dublin Fringe Festival for two weeks worth of music, dance, theater, comedy, and more. Take advantage of the free performances or purchase a ticket for other performances, which can range from about €10 to €50 per ticket.

Learn Directly from the Students of Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Guided Tour (includes Book of Kells and the Old Library): €14.00 per adult

Take a guided tour of Trinity College Dublin led by a current student at the college. The cost of your ticket includes admission to the Book of Kells and the Old Library, which is well worth it since admission to both of those exhibits will run you €10 – 13 per adult anyway. Your guide will give you an overview of Trinity College’s interesting history and show you around the intimate campus.

Trinity College Dublin Ireland

Trinity College Dublin

Then you will end near the Book of Kells exhibition where you will proceed in a self-guided fashion. You’ll still need to wait in line for 15 minutes give or take just to get inside even though you have your ticket already. You’ll end in my favorite part of the whole campus, the Long Room. For my fellow bookworms, this library is the one you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

Trinity College The Long Room Library Dublin Ireland

The Long Room in Trinity College’s Old Library

Sip a Pint of Guinness

Guinness Storehouse Tour: Starting at €17.50 for adults

If you are visiting Dublin you are likely to seek out a fresh pint of Guinness, although there is no need to look far. You can walk down just about any road in Dublin and find multiple welcoming pubs. Check out the Brazen Head if you’re looking for a pub with a long history, as it is the oldest pub in Ireland dating all the way back to 1198. Alternatively, you can head straight to the source and visit the Guinness Storehouse where the beers are brewed. Purchase tour tickets online for a cheaper rate and to avoid lengthy lines to get in. And of course there is a complimentary pint of Guinness included!

Guiness Storehouse - Dublin Budget Travel

Whiskey Lovers, Enjoy the Jameson

Jameson Distillery Tour: Starting at €20 for adults

A trip to Dublin just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Jameson Distillery. On my most recent visit here I was pleased to discover they remodeled and updated their entire tour, so it was even better than my first experience. You’ll learn about the entire whiskey making process in a fun and interactive manner, and the tour concludes with an exclusive whiskey tasting. There are different tour options, so you could take yours to the next level if you decide to upgrade.

Jameson Distillery Tour Dublin Ireland

Jameson Distillery Tour

Definitely allow extra time to hang out for a drink before or after your tour at one of their inviting bars. You do get one drink included with your tour ticket, but they also have other appealing options for those (myself included) especially enthusiastic about whiskey.

Jameson Distillery Dublin Ireland Tour

Stay in the Heart of Dublin

As a popular tourist destination, there is no shortage of lodging in the city. It is easy to find great deals on hotels in Dublin if you do some research. I’ve stayed at both The Morgan boutique hotel and Temple Bar Hotel, which are right in the heart of the (tourist) action. They’re not the cheapest options, but they are on the lower end for their location and you can occasionally get a really great deal depending on the time of year. Keep in mind, both of these can get quite noisy into the night because they are situated along a very busy pub street. So you may want to look a litter farther out if that’s not your scene.

The Morgan Temple Bar Dublin Ireland

The Morgan

For another prime location in a four-star guesthouse, try Waterloo House. This Georgian style bed and breakfast is centrally located only a few blocks from St. Stephen’s Green and will make you feel right at home. If you book early enough, check out some of Dublin’s Airbnb options as well (use that link for $40 your first stay!).

With activities and events suited for every traveler, it comes as no surprise that Dublin has been known as one of Europe’s greatest cities since the 18th century. It has also made Dublin budget travel possible. Beautiful scenery, strong literary ties, a prominent pub life, and a deeply ingrained history that is still significant today, Dublin is a multifaceted city that holds a prime spot on the top of every traveler’s list.

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Exploring Dublin for the Budget Traveler

Exploring Dublin for the Budget TravelerPlease note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission that will help support this site if you make a purchase. All opinions are my own. If you have any questions about the companies or products mentioned on this page, please reach out to me and I will happily answer them.


  • Dee
    September 9, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Your pictures are amazing! Thank you for including prices. Amazing job!
    – Dee with Bigworldadventures.net

  • Lauren Marui
    December 28, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I love your tweets and your blog. I plan on using this blog to plan out future trips!

  • […] This Irish city is full of interesting attractions, classic pubs, helpful people, and much more. Exploring Dublin on a budget is not the only part of this city that is affordable. The following top hotels in Dublin are just […]

  • […] these in the same day during my last visit to Dublin, but I would suggest splitting them up with other Dublin activities unless you are strapped for time. Each of them makes drinking extra interesting, and you get to […]

  • Jolanta aka Casual Traveler
    February 9, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    We were hesitating this year whether to see Dublin or Vienna and decided on Vienna in the end, but I do hope I’ll get to see Dublin some day. Thanks for all the tips and great photos!

    • Marissa Sutera
      February 9, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      No problem, I hope you get in a visit to Dublin soon! Happy travels!

  • SJ
    February 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I am yet to get to Dublin… and when I do I’ll be sipping back those beers for sure.

    • Marissa Sutera
      February 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      The best first stop upon arrival is the pub!

  • Andrea
    February 6, 2015 at 10:26 am

    As a student I’m always on a budget! Thanks for these great tips! I really hope that I visit during the Fringe Festival, I work at the one here in Toronto and am a complete lover of the arts!

    • Marissa Sutera
      February 6, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      It’s a great opportunity to see some interesting performances and having to pay very little to nothing at all! Glad you found these helpful, happy travels to you!


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