By Jessica Colley in Dublin—
Summer travel can be one of the most challenging for Cheapos in Dublin—when the sun is shining and loads of people are traveling budgets can skyrocket. Yet with a few tips, there are many ways to beat the crowds and keep your wallet full.
Here are a few tried-and-tested tips for traveling on the cheap in Dublin. They all worked for me this very week!
1. Change money at the bank
We usually recommend taking money out of ATMs when traveling in Europe–even if some banks charge a one-time transaction fee as well as a percentage of the money taken out. (Read much more about ATMs in Europe here.) However, in Dublin I recommend changing your money at a bank.
Just this week I got a competitive exchange rate at AIB (Allied Irish Bank) with no pesky fees. You don’t need a bank account or to fill out any forms: Just get in the line marked “foreign exchange” and voila, you’ve got your euros. You can also ask for small bills—instead of those annoying 50 euro notes that ATMs give and no one wants to accept.
2. Look for hotel deals
During the Celtic Tiger boom in Dublin, a LOT of hotel rooms were built in the city. That means there are deals everywhere – particularly for Cheapos who are willing to do a little research. There are two popular deals going on in Dublin right now. One is an advance purchase rate (usually 10 – 15% off the total cost of your stay – paid in advance with no refunds), while another deal offers the incentive of an extra night for free. Examples I’ve seen include stay “Two nights and get a third free,” or “Stay three nights and get a fourth free.”
Also look for a hotel that offers a hearty breakfast, as this will set you up for a day of exploring Dublin without expensive snacking. When you do a hotel search on EuroCheapo, you’ll see examples of discounted room rates and plenty of options offering Irish breakfasts.
3. The Early Bird
Dublin was once known as an expensive city for food, but this has all changed. Cheapos with a refined palate can dine at Dublin’s best restaurants—affordably—simply by eating early. The Irish capital is full of incredible value for those who are willing to sit down before 7 p.m. Deals can be found for as little as €19 for two courses or €25 for three courses.
Especially during the week, this is also a great way to meet the locals. Many Dubliners take advantage of these specials by heading out for an early dinner after work.
4. Freebies abound
Once you arrive, be sure to check out the newspapers and even turn on the radio (Ireland has excellent radio) for up to date details on free events and entertainment. Just this week I enjoyed an outdoor afternoon summer concert and checked out a new exhibition at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art).