Our journey to Canada took us via Dublin, as this reduced the cost of our ticket by over £200 (see our article about Long Haul Flight Tips) so we caught the Ryanair red-eye over to make a day of it! Since the cost of our onward trip was going to add up, we wanted to experience Dublin on a Budget. It’s also very handy to know that you can leave your luggage securely at Dublin Airport, with Greencaps in the car park between the two terminals.
Using the Airlink Express 747 bus (€10 return) into Dublin, we arrived on O’Connell Street and walked down toward the River Liffey. Since The Winding Stair had been recommended to me for breakfast with a good view we headed straight there. However, just our luck that it was closed.
All was not lost, as we wandered into The Woollen Mills next door which looked very cosy and inviting. The waiter was superb and so friendly, treating us like long lost friends. He brought over two delicious (and very large) “Ha’penny” fry-ups (€11) and kept our water glasses topped up. I am not going to lie, I struggled with finishing the whole thing, but it was worth it and I knew I’d need the fuel for our urban hike!
We crossed the historic Ha’Penny bridge and headed towards Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university. It was slightly surreal since 80% of the people milling around the campus were tourists, I’m not sure how I’d have felt if my days on campus at university were spent dodging tourists trying to get to my lectures. However, the campus really was beautiful and very picturesque; it is easy to understand why tourists flock here. We took it slow, wandering through the old buildings and taking some time out sitting in the serene fenced gardens. The Book of Kells (an ancient manuscript dating back to 800 AD) was heavily promoted but entry to the famous Long Hall library was quite expensive, so we gave it a miss.
From here we walked down Grafton Street, perusing the shop windows on our way towards St Stephen’s Green. We entered through Fusiliers’ Arch, a monument to remember those who fought and died in the Second Boer War. St Stephen’s Green was a welcome retreat, a scenic place to watch the ducks glide past on the pond and to watch the city go by.
After all this relaxing, it was time to go in search of the 13th century Dublin Castle (I LOVE castles as you may have guessed from our #MoatsAndMoët tour). We past St Patrick’s Cathedral on our way and found ourselves at Christ Church Cathedral.
When we finally found Dublin Castle, it didn’t disappoint. It was surprising the sheer size of the structure and the grounds (over 44,000 square meters) considering it was just off a main road and because we had managed to walk all the way from Christ Church Cathedral to the City Hall without finding it!
The Dubh Linn Gardens were fun to explore and looked like a scene straight out of The Secret Garden. The circular lawn emblazoned with a Celtic design used to be used as a heli-pad. There were lots of people here (taking selfies!) so if you plan to visit, I would recommend arriving early to avoid the crowds.
To finish our whirlwind Dublin on a Budget day trip we walked back to Temple Bar to seek out some live music, which we found in The Temple Bar. Although it was crowded (and touristy) we had a great time enjoying the music and atmosphere whilst we sipped on a Guinness (€5.95) of course, before catching the bus back to the airport.
Total spent €26.95 plus £19.98 for return flights with Ryanair – this is how we did Dublin on a Budget. It just goes to show that you don’t have to spend a lot to see the sights and enjoy a new city. Do you have any tips or places to add?
Last modified: 21st March 2016