Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Hey Explorers! It is time...time to break down everywhere I went and stayed in the Emerald Isle. I will also include my costs in USD to help you gauge your trip there! Let's go...
You have ARRIVED in Dublin but you need somewhere to lay your head at night. I stayed in two different hotels while I was there by using a mixture of points and money:
For two nights, I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House. I stayed here as this was the meeting point for the Game of Thrones Tour and I wanted to be as close as possible to the meeting point (so I could sleep as late as possible). The room was a nice size offering your normal hotel room amenities. They provide room service, a decent selection of television channels, and WiFi. There is also a snack bar in the lobby and a restaurant. I enjoyed the hotel but I wish it was slightly closer to attractions for shorter walks or cheaper Uber rides. But luckily it was next door to the EPIC museum and I had a nice view of the river. For two nights here, it cost me $275. See the hotel room in this funny yet insightful video below!
For my last night I switched to the Holiday Inn Express Dublin City Centre for a cheap stay with points. You could tell the hotel had been modernized with a sleek design. The hotel is located right on O'Connell Street near all of the action. They offered WiFi and had a restaurant downstairs. But they did not have room service which was a bummer for me. For one night here with some points, it cost me $66.
When I travel, I usually prefer to stay in hotels as I feel a little safer than staying in an AirBnb or a hostel at this point in life. My total accommodations cost was $343.
Now, that you have your resting place, you need some things to do! Right?!? Here are the activities I did while in Dublin and beyond:
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum: EPIC or every person is connected is the motto! I wrote an entire post all about my "epic" experience at this museum. Check out the post here and watch my adventure here! Entry into the museum cost me $16. See the picture from the museum below of the immigrants waiting to cross into a new land.
Game of Thrones Tour: If you are a fan of the HBO show...this tour is definitely for you! Oh and if you want to see scenic areas of Northern Ireland, this tour is also for you! Read more about my GOT experience here and watch my adventure here! My entire tour for the day cost me $77.
Malahide Castle and Gardens: This half day tour was included with my Hop On Hop Off Bus tour (discussed below). This castle is one of the oldest in Ireland and is located in Dublin's countryside. It is definitely a site to see and you are able to relax while walking through its gardens. Watch my adventure at the castle here and the journey back to Dublin's city center here!
Hop On Hop Off Bus: I love these buses! They are great because they can take you all around the city, give you a great history lesson, and provide cheaper transportation to all of the places you would like to see. The two places I stopped along the route was St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse ($28 for entry which includes a free drink). Watch my HO HO bus adventure in Dublin's City Center here! My HO HO bus adventure included my Malahide Castle tour for a total of $54 (this total does not include the Guinness Storehouse entry).
Carrolls Irish Gifts: I walked down O'Connell Street and lucked up on this souvenir shop! They had everything you could imagine to buy for a gift! If you are NOT a citizen of the EU, be sure to obtain a form for the airport to get your VAT tax back! I spent a total of $70 on souvenirs in Ireland. $58 of this total was from Carrolls. And the gifts weren't just for myself!
Oh gosh...now you are hungry or want a drink!!! Here are a few places to stop and grab a bite to eat:
Zozimus: I found this cute restaurant/bar from reading someone's blog post and I'm glad I did! I would've never found this place as it is off the beaten path. While I was there, I was treated with high respect and amazing service! I had a pink marshmallow drink which was torched to a flame and delicious sliders! See the pics below from inside to outside of the restaurant.
The Lobster Pot: This was our only restaurant of choice when experiencing the Game of Thrones Tour. The dishes were ok but with a traditional taste. So maybe my taste buds weren't adapted to amount of mayo in my chicken salad. But they of course had local beers and cider available which were delicious. This restaurant is located in Downpatrick.
Any Irish Pub: Depending on where you stay, you are bound to find a pub nearby with a good vibe! I went to Murray's Pub near the Holiday Inn I stayed at and I enjoyed the drinks. They had a local hard cider there that was delicious. They also had a outdoor sitting area in the back and a downstairs. I enjoyed it there as that day they were watching their Gaelic soccer championship. The excitement was great and every pub was packed! But I didn't try the food there, so no reviews on that.
For all of my other meals, I had room service at my hotel. The total amount I spent on food and drinks for the entire trip (including at the airport) was $131.
Overall, I had an amazing Labor Day weekend in Ireland! It wasn't on my bucket list but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to visit when it popped up on my radar. In addition to the items I paid for above, I also spent the following:
Flights: $693 round trip from Atlanta, GA, USA to Dublin, Ireland. I flew Delta/KLM.
Transportation: I used Uber within the city which is operated by taxi drivers (not separate individuals in their own cars) ($20). I also prearranged a round trip shuttle service for the airport ($75). My total transportation cost me $95.
My lavish (lol) Irish trip cost me $1,507 in the end which I didn't realize until just now as I purchased these items over time. I bought my flight in June and prearranged everything within those three months leading up to the trip except for my food. Budgeting is my best friend lol! But it was totally worth it!!!
The only thing that would've made the trip perfect is if I would've found an opportunity to help the environment on the ground during my short stay but I did not. Therefore, I donated $19.05 to offset my carbon usage from my flights instead. I calculated the offset here and made my donation to The Nature Conservancy.
Have you ever been to Ireland? What did you think about it? Comment below!
Want to know how to have an even cheaper Irish experience? Ask me how below!
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Thank you for stopping by!
~ Kita the Explorer
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