Dublin has a reputation for being overly expensive and bar-driven. But the reality is, while there may be more pubs in the city than you could ever imagine, there is also a wealth of great activities that don’t break the bank. The key to doing Dublin on a budget is to know the places that will cut you the best deals on transportation, fun and food.
Killiney Bay — Photo courtesy of William Murphy
If you’re a budget traveler that craves scenic beauty and nature, then the Dublin Commuter Rail is the perfect way for you to take in some stunning views for cheap. From €5 each way, you can take the DART from the center of Dublin to Greystones - technically in another county. Along the way, you’ll be surprised at the incredible route this train takes, stopping in all the major coastal towns and making a breathtaking journey around Killiney Bay.
Stop off at Greystones and head to acclaimed vegetarian restaurant The Happy Pear - both affordable and delicious.
Or drop by Dalkey and make the hike up to Killiney Hill, about a 45-minute one-way walk from the station. The incredible sight will make it all worthwhile: this is the perfect way to get panoramic views of the city for the price of a pint.
The Science Gallery at Trinity College — Photo courtesy of Science Gallery
If you’re keen to stick in the city, then head over to The Science Gallery at Trinity College or the National Gallery of Ireland at the corner of Merrion Square. These are two great, free ways to spend an afternoon.
Similarly, if you’re based on the north side of the River Liffey, then the Hugh Lane Gallery and the Irish Writers' Centre sit nearby to one another, both full of fabulous art and steeped in history.
The Big Blue Bus — Photo courtesy of The Bernard Shaw
Once you've stated your desires for art and scenery, the next question is how to get a bite to eat and a drink at a reasonable price. Dublin’s casual dining scene has exploded in the past few years, meaning it’s easier than ever to grab a tasty dinner at an affordable price.
Head to The Big Blue Bus in The Bernard Shaw for a pizza and a pint for €10. Or try nearby Neon, where soft-serve ice cream comes included in your main course price.
Camden and Wexford Streets are awash with great, fair-priced dinner offerings to keep costs low. Green Nineteen, in particular, keeps all main courses around the €10 mark, but has an excellent selection of foods made from quality produce.
Finally, never forget that Guinness will always be, hands down, the cheapest pint in the city. So if you haven’t developed a taste for the black stuff yet, then you better start now.