Luckily, my times of an absolutely budget traveller are more or less over. I do not have to skip any meals and worry about being dead broke when I return from my travels. But that doesn’t mean, I spent my money like crazy! I still watch my budget and try to stick to it. After all, there is always more to explore and more places to go to. In December I went to Dublin together with my boyfriend. Read why you should go to Dublin in December and read what we did during our time in Dublin. Are you thinking about going to Dublin yourself? Do you wonder what the costs for a weekend in Dublin will be? Read on and I break down the costs for our trip to Ireland’s capital.
What were our costs for a weekend in Dublin?
We spend 5 days, 4 nights in the capital of Ireland. We arrived in the afternoon on Thursday and left Monday evening. We were a couple, traveling together and splitting the costs. Much was paid in advance and we took some cash with us. Our costs for a long weekend in Dublin can be divided as following.
Costs to fly to Dublin
Beginning of September, I received a newsletter from Ryanair. They informed me they had set up a new route. Amsterdam- Dublin would now be an option with this low budget airline. Although Amsterdam is not the nearest airport from where I live, I went to their site and checked things out. I found flight as cheap as €9,99 and decided to go for it.
We flew from Amsterdam to Dublin and back, including credit card fees and taxes and what not, for €40,76 total. It was deducted from my credit card in September and I didn’t think about it anymore. We didn’t take any checked in luggage, because this will cost you €15 per bag. We both took the maximum of 1 carry-on luggage of 10kg. We didn’t buy any priority boarding or paid services and kept our flying expenses to a minimum.
Total cost €40,75/ per person round trip €20,38
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Costs for staying in Dublin
After I booked the plane tickets, I started browsing the interwebs for a place to stay. I finally found a room via Airbnb. We spent 4 nights in a room of a modern apartment complex just 1 block from O’Connell Street, which was really centrally located. We were charged 4x €65 for the room and an additional €38 for Airbnb service charges.
Looking for a different place to stay? Consider to sleep at an Irish Castle in Dublin, recommended by Jamie from the Daily Adventures of Me.
Total cost 4 nights € 298/ per person € 149/ room per night € 74,50
Costs for food in Dublin
The food costs for a weekend in Dublin can be divided in the 3 main categories.
Costs for breakfast
As we were staying in a room with a small fridge, we went to the supermarket to buy some food and drinks. We stayed next to a Tesco supermarket and close to a Lidl supermarket. The later was obviously cheaper.
We spent a total of €25 on things from the supermarket. The things we bought for this amount were: Irish cheese (which was delish!), ham, Cola and Sprite, crisps, bread, yoghurt and water. By buying our own food for breakfast, we kept our food costs for a weekend in Dublin low.
We also went out 1 time for a real Irish breakfast. We had our breakfast at Beshoff Fish and Chips on O’Connell Street where we both had the mini breakfast for €5,50 each.
Total costs for 4x breakfasts: € 36/ per person € 18 / average per person per day € 4,50
Costs for lunch, teas and beers
When in Dublin, you cannot pass up on the occasional beer or two. We didn’t go clubbing or pubbing until very late, but we did have a few pints over diner. We also had a cup of tea in the pub and indulged in a lovely chocolate delight at Queen of Tarts. Looking back, I’m actually surprised we didn’t have a proper lunch every now and then, but I guess we were too busy exploring Dublin. We just didn’t feel the need to go out for lunch.
Price of a pint of beer: ranging from €5,00 in a normal pub to €5,95 at Temple Bar pub during the day. This is more expensive in the evening.
Total costs for cake and beers for 5 days: € 55/ per person €27,50/ average per person per day €5,50
Costs for diners
We went out for dinner every night. We went to the pub for a main course and a beer to go with it. We had desserts once and this was consequently the most expensive evening out of 5 diners.
Day 1 Parnell’s Heritage Pub: €26,90 for Casserole and Burger, €10 for 2 pints of beer
Day 2 Murray’s Bar and Grill: € 39,60 for 2x burgers and 2 deserts, €15 for beers
Day 3 Slatterys Pub: €21,90 for Bangers & Mash and Fish & Chips, €11,10 for beers
Day 4 Duffy’s Malahide: €25 for 2x burgers, €10,20 for some beers
Day 5 Murray’s Bar and Grill: €21,90 for 2 pulled pork burgers and € 7,10 for small beers
Total costs for 4x diner: €135,30/ per person €67,65/ average per person per day €16,91
Total costs for drinks: €53,40/ per person € 26,70/ average per person per day €5,35
Total food and drink costs for 5 days: €279,70/ per person €139,85/ average per person per day €27,97
Costs for a weekend in Dublin sightseeing
Of course we wanted to see something of the city. I always feel like these things can make city trips expensive but the sights are what draws me to a city and of course we had to probe around Dublin a bit. Some things were paid in advance via credit card, other things we paid for in cash.
Free things to do in Dublin
There are a lot of free things to see and do in Dublin. Dublin had many free museums but we didn’t really feel like too much museum time. Here is what we did do and loved about Dublin which was free:
- Visit Trinity College. The famous University grounds of the city are free to explore.
- Experience pub life. Ok, you might want to buy a pint or two but the atmosphere and vibe come for free.
- Shopping. We wandered around the many shops of Dublin. As it was 2 weeks before Christmas we strolled around the Christmas market and the different malls with lovely Christmas decorations.
- Irish music and dance at the pub. We wanted to go out for a bite to eat and settled for a pub. Little did we knew that they had (free) live Irish music and Irish dance performance that night. A bit of Ireland’s music and dance culture and it all came for free.
- Chester Beaty Library. The Library is free and as it was raining, we wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, it was a Monday and it’s closed on Monday’s. Go figure.
- Grounds of Dublin Castle. We went to the Castle to check it out. We walked around and read all the signs. As we didn’t really know what the inside would be like and didn’t read very positive reviews online, we didn’t take the tour.
Total costs €0,00
Costs of sights to see in Dublin
Of course, we didn’t just freeload around Dublin. I like to get the occasional thing for free and don’t want to pay more than I have to. But some things just cost a few euros and I think there is nothing wrong with that. Here are the costs for a weekend in Dublin for sightseeing:
- Book of Kells and Trinity Library: € 10 per person. I wanted to see the Library. I needed to see it. It was actually the main thing on my list so this was a no brainer for me.
- Guinness Storehouse: €18 per person. One of the main advertised attraction in Dublin must be the Guinness Storehouse. Great indoor activity and we had fun drafting our own pint and looking out at Dublin from the Sky Bar.
- Christ Church Cathedral: €6,00 per person. I did find the price to enter the churches a bit steep. You only spent half an hour in the church and look around a bit. But it was a lovely church and I’m glad I could contribute into maintaining it.
- St Patrick’s Cathedral: € 6,00 per person. Also quite the price for a church but I do think this one was worth it. If you have to pick one, choose St. Patrick’s would be my advice. We spent almost 1.5 hours inside and I found the information provided very meaningful.
Total costs for 4 days of sights: €80/ per person €40/ average per person per day €10
All in all, I think this wasn’t so bad. We could have crammed in a lot more paid things to do, but we made some decision.
Other things to do in Dublin
Below are more things to see and do and their prices:
- Dublinia: €8,50 per person. Learn more about the history of Dublin and Ireland. It can be combined with a visit of Christ Church Cathedral but we didn’t really know what Dublinia was and opted out of it.
- Old Jameson Distillery: €15,00 per person. For me it was a decision between the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson as both would blow my budget too much out of proportion.
- Dublin Zoo: €16,80 per person. The Zoo sounded as a very interesting Zoo to visit. But it was December. And there was so much more to see and do. So we didn’t go to the Zoo in Dublin.
- Dublin Castle Tour: €4,50 per person. Only €4,50 per person didn’t seem so much, but we didn’t read many good reviews and we had just missed the tour group, so we decided to look around the grounds for free and skip the tour of the apartments.
- Malahide Castle: €12,00 per person. We went to Malahide by train and walked up to the castle. I see a pattern here, because we missed the last entree and we couldn’t go in the castle. It looked magnificent and I might have forked over the €12 per person to see the interior.
- Dublin Pass: prices vary per day. 1 day is €39, 2 days is €61 and 3-day pass is € 71. The Dublin Pass isn’t a sight on its own, but it does allow you to enter the above mentioned attractions for free. We wanted a bit of flexibility for our schedule and we decided to buy the tickets separately.
Costs of getting around Dublin
We did spend a few euros on transportation in and around Dublin. I found Dublin quite big and my feet were killing me at the end of each day. Here is a list of our transport costs for a weekend in Dublin.
- return ticket with Airlink from the Airport to the centre of Dublin: €10,00 per person
- We took the bus 3 times. Once from the Guinness Storehouse back to the centre. This was €2,00 per person. The 2nd time the bus driver let us ride the bus for free as it was only 1 stop. It did save us 10 minutes of walking in the rain though. The 3rd time the bus price was € 1,20 per person
- 1 day ticket for Dart and Short hop train: €11,40 per person. We wanted to take the train along the cost and explore the little towns. We walked to the train station and spend all day on the train.
Total transport costs 5 days: €49,20/ per person €24,60/ per person per day €4,92
Other miscellaneous expenses
I think the above sums things up pretty nicely. But there are always some hidden costs for a weekend away. You have to keep that in mind when budgeting the costs for your trip. They might not be specific costs for a weekend in Dublin but I want to be complete so I throw them in anyways.
Costs for getting to and from the airport at home.
We had to drive 100 km to get to the airport and back. This costs about €15 for gas money. We also parked the car at the airport. Not the parking of the actual airport, but some long parking service in the vicinity. We paid €31,50 to park the car for 6 days.
Total costs for getting to the airport at home: € 46,50/ per person €23,25/ per day €9,30.
Costs of souvenirs
We didn’t buy many souvenirs but we do have a habit of buying postcards with the lovely pictures we cannot take ourselves. I also send 1 postcard to my parents every time I go away for more than 1 night so we bought a couple of postcards and 2 stamps.
Total cost: €8,00/ per person €4,00
Costs of tipping
I’m a terrible tipper and have no idea of the right etiquette for this. As we paid most of our things with cash, it was easier to round the amounts here and there.
Total costs for tips: € 8
Recap of the costs for a weekend in Dublin
I hope I was able to give you a good insight in my costs for a weekend in Dublin. You can see what the different parts of a trip to Ireland’s capital will cost you, if you do the same things.
The total costs for a weekend in Dublin for 2 persons consist of
- Round trip Amsterdam-Dublin: €40,75/ per person €20,38
- 4 nights Airbnb: € 298/ per person € 149/ room per night € 74,50
- Total food and drink costs for 5 days: €279,70/ per person €139,85/ average per person per day €27,97
- Total costs for 4 days of sights: €80/ per person €40/ average per person per day €10
- Total transport costs 5 days: €49,20/ per person €24,60/ per person per day €4,92
- Miscellaneous: €62,50/ per person €31,25/ per person per day €6,25
€810,15 for 5 days makes €405,08 per person
€81,02 per person per day
All in all I do think it’s a bit on the high end for a city trip but I do feel we did everything we wanted and even ate out every single night. We thought we might order a kebab some night, but we enjoyed our pub food that much, that we just kept going to the pub. I feel the pubs and the beer was part of the Dublin experience and that came at a cost.
As you can see from the above image, both our accommodation and our food and drinks, make up for a third of our expenses each. We might have saved some money if we would have stayed at a hostel, but we did have the comfort of having our own place. In case you want to know more about my travel expenses, please check out my Cologne expense report, or my costs for a weekend in Alicante, or travel expenses for Barcelona.
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What do you think? Did we spent too much? Do you keep taps on your travel expenses? Please share your experiences of the costs for a weekend in Dublin below.