Visiting Dublin, Ireland on a Budget

There is just something invigorating and intoxicating (and it’s not just the beer) about the atmosphere in Dublin.  From the abundant amount of live Irish music and dancing at the pubs to the friendly people you’ll meet on the street, Dublin certainly has its unique charm.  We’d recommend 1-2 days here to get a feel for the ambiance. Also, although Ireland is rated as one of the most expensive countries to visit, Dublin can be explored on a budget. Here is our guide on visiting Dublin, Ireland on a budget. 

Note: This post is written based on a trip taken in early July

What to do in Dublin on a Budget

Go Pub Hopping 

The Temple Bar, Dublin Ireland
The Temple Bar, Dublin Ireland

Wander through the city center, going from pub to pub, and get lost listening to the live music at each bar. Make sure to go to the iconic Temple Bar with its daily live music and large whiskey collection for an entertaining time. 

Guinness Storehouse Tour

Guinness Storehouse
Guinness Storehouse

This stop is a self guided tour that will teach you about the history and brewing process of the famous Irish stout, Guinness.

The Guinness Storehouse is designed to look like a pint of Guinness and is seven stories tall 

At the end of the tour, on the seventh floor, you can enjoy a pint of Guinness Beer at the gravity bar that has 360 views of Dublin.  If you are a sucker for a good view like us, this is really the best part!  

Tip: Make sure you book ahead as tour times tend to sell out a couple weeks in advance 

Visit Iconic Dublin Sites

Trinity College, Grafton Street (Pedestrian Street), Dublin Castle, St. Patrick Cathedral, and more.

St. Patrick Cathedral, Grafton Street and Dublin Castle
St. Patrick Cathedral (left), Grafton Street (center) and Dublin Castle (right)

If you stay in the city center, you will be able to walk to all of these. We’d recommend mapping out the location of each on Google Maps and then creating a plan to see them all throughout your stay.  We saw a couple everytime we went out to do something else. 

Trinity College
Trinity College

Tip: If you are looking for a good (and free) workout, on the main campus at Trinity college, there is a short (approximately ¾ of a mile) running path with HITT stations along it.  After discovering this path while exploring the college the day prior, we went up to the college the next morning and made several laps on the trail for a great morning workout. See How to Stay in Shape While Traveling.

Irish Music/Dance Show

Seeing a traditional Irish music and dance show was one of the highlights of our time in Dublin.  We saw the Celtic Nights show and would recommend it.  The show was a fun and energetic performance that included a lot of different traditional Irish music as well as Irish dancing and a three-course dinner.  Neither of us remember the food being particularly spectacular but we do remember that the performances made the experience worth the cost. 

Celtic Nights Show

What/Where to eat in Dublin on a Budget

Traditional Irish Pub

Irish Pub
Irish Pub

We ate at several of these pubs, getting something different each time (fish and chips, smoked salmon, sandwiches).  The food at most places was simple but good and the atmosphere was always fun.  We’d recommend eating at pubs with live music as this is what we remember more than the food in Dublin. 

Where to Stay in Dublin on a Budget

Stay in the city center and near the river Liffey (river that runs through the center of Dublin) to make navigation easy.

Liffey River Dublin, Ireland
Liffey River Dublin, Ireland

Arlington Hotel

We stayed at the Arlington Hotel right off of O’Connell Bridge in the city center.  From here, you are able to walk to all the main attractions. This is a large hotel but the rooms were nice, the location was perfect and it was budget friendly.  We also enjoyed the Celtic Nights Performance here–a live show filled with traditional Irish Music and Irish dancing discussed above.

Arlington Hotel

We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Dublin, Ireland on a Budget.  Make sure to check out Killarney while in Ireland as well.  Anything you’d add to our guide on visiting Ireland on a budget? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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Planning a multi-city trip to Europe? See our How to Plan Your First Europe Trip on a Budget guide for more tips on how to do this.

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