See the most breathtaking parts of the Green Isle without breaking the bank!
Tips and tricks to saving money without sacrificing experiences!
When looking to book a flight, I wanted to find the cheapest ticket possible. I was treating myself to this trip as a college graduation/ birthday present, and as a newly graduated college student I obviously didn't have that much money. To find the cheapest flights possible I went through the Hopper app. This app takes your date and location preferences and filters through all of the possible ticket choices to find you the best price! It also allows you to "watch" a trip if you're not quite ready to buy and want to see if the prices will fluctuate over time. You can also search for hotels through this app and see how you can save even more !
Click this link to download the hopper app now: www.hopper.com
We settled on WOW air, which had a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland. Our flight left around 12:45pm and we were in Dublin, Ireland by 3:40pm!
(Wow air is no longer a running airline..just a heads up)
Renting a Car...
When finding a rental car, keep in mind the fine print. There are a lot of "hidden fees" that don't jump out at you right away. For example, when they want to put a $2000 refundable hold on your card until the car is returned to the rental facility. I didn't know of this before hand so when booking, my first instinct was, "WHATS THE CHEAPEST OPTION?"
Click here to book with Budget rent a car: www.budget.com/en/home
Luckily it all worked out, and we were able to find a rental car for a decent price right at the airport! Just remember, the drivers seat is on the right side of the car and you drive on the left side of the road!!
Pro tip: Splurge a little for an Automatic transmission. The price of a manual looks great on paper, but if only one person can drive stick, they will be the ones driving the entire time (which can get annoying and tiring).
Where to stay...
When looking for a place to stay, I wasn't too picky. The only thing I was worried about was having our own private room and bathroom, and that it wasn't too expensive to stay there. Noticing a theme ? (Broke college student lol). The perfect way for me to do this was to use Airbnb. Airbnb is a website that takes your preferences and budget and finds options that fit what you're looking for. For me, I was just looking for a place to sleep and shower, as I would rather spend my money and time on experiences during our trip (e.g. I wasn't looking for luxury).
Use my Airbnb link for $40.00 off your first trip and $15.00 in credit towards an Airbnb Experience:
We stayed in Dublin from May 22-25th. It seemed to be the perfect amount of time to see the city and places I had in mind! Our airbnb was only about a 15 minute drive away from the city, so when driving in we had to do a bit of a search for parking, as it is mainly street parking.
Visit the Guinness Brewery...
We booked our tour ahead of time to get the online discount and to avoid long lines at the ticket counter. This way, we were able to show up and begin our tour. The only guided part about the tour happens at the beginning when they give you a brief history of the brewery and the making of the beer. Otherwise, it is all self guided! you can walk through and read all about Guinness and how it's made.
Your ticket stub is important so don't lose it! You can either turn it in for a free beer at the Guinness Bar on the upper level, or learn to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and become a "Certified Guinness pourer!"
There is also a small cafe called Arthur's located inside the Brewery. They have a variety of options on their menu as well as...you guessed it! Beer! They have a great selection of Guinness beer that is brewed right there in the factory. Enjoy a Guinness pie while taking in the view of Dublin City from above!
Buy your tickets to the Guinness Brewery here: www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/tickets
Explore Dublin Castle...
Dublin castle sort of comes out of no where when you're walking through Dublin. But inside its walls there is a beautiful court yard! We didn't end up going inside the castle but we were able to take in the exquisit architecture and beautiful gardens! Admission into the gardens is 100% free. If you are interested in touring Dublin Castle, adult ticket prices for a guided tour costs €12 and a self guided tour costs €8.
Eat at The Merchant Pub...
This pub offers authentic Irish cuisine along with live Irish folk music! It was such a cool experience that made us feel like we were immersed in the Irish culture.
Have a Pint at the Oldest Pub in Ireland...
If you ask any Irishman which is the oldest Pub in Ireland they will tell you that... "They say it is The Brazen Head..." but it seems to be debatable considering how long Ireland has been around. However, I'm convinced that its title holds true! The structure of the bar is built out of brick laid walls, giving it its historic feel.
While you're there enjoying a Pint, don't forget to leave a dollar for good luck!
Marvel at the Beauty of Christ Church Cathedral...
Christ Church Cathedral is one of the biggest and most historic churches in Dublin, being almost 1,000 years old! Built in 1172, this magnificent church is full of rich history and beautiful architecture.
Walk though Phoenix Park...
This massive park is 1,750 acres of green grass, fields, trees and paths for you to explore! When we went, we obviously weren't going to walk all 1,750 acres, but we were able to see some beautiful and interesting things along the way!
This park was gorgeous and full of life! There were even deer who would come up to you and eat straight out of your hands! Once you're done hanging out with these furry friends, go make a stop at the Wellington Monument!
Visit Glasnevin Cemetery...
Come visit Ireland's largest cemetery and learn about some of it's famous historic icons and war heroes. As the final resting place of over 1.5 million people, there are more people currently laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery than the current population of people living in Dublin!
The museum is open from 10:00am- 5:00pm, where they offer a variety of tours such as the General History tour, Dead interesting tour, and the museum only admission. They also offer the option to climb the O'Connell Tower, which can be challenging for some individuals.
Prices for adult admission range from €7- €14.50 ($7.79USD- $16.15USD)
Buy your tour tickets here: www.glasnevinmuseum.ie/shopping/
On our way down to Durrus in Co. Cork, we decided to make a couple of stops along the way! First we stopped in the city of Kilkenny! A vibrant and busy little city about an hour and 20 minutes south of Dublin.
Descend down into the Dunmore Caves...
Located just minutes outside of Kilkenny, in a small town called Ballyfoyle lies the natural wonder, Dunmore Cave. Come learn the history of how these caves were formed and the ancient people who inhabited it.
Admission into the caves only cost €5.00! There is a steep staircase that brings you down right into the belly of this massive cave. Just be aware, the steps are very narrow and a bit of a ways to hike back up!
Learn a little bit of history and admire the historic architecture of this beautiful castle! Built in 1195, Kilkenny castle is known to be one of Irelands earliest stone built castles!
Skip the lines and buy ahead of time! kilkennycastle.ie/tickets-and-times/
We stopped briefly in the city of Cork for a bite to eat and to look around. Looking back, I wish we gave this city.a little bit more of our time to explore, as there were tons of things to see!
Visit Fota Wildlife Park...
It was a slightly muggy day, so we decided to take a drive to the Fota Wildlife park. Located only about 20 minutes outside the City of cork lies this amazing park full of exotic and friendly animals. Some of the animals are free to roam the park as they please, while others are in their own sanctuaries for the safety of visitors
Adults: €16.90/ Children (Under 16) €11.50.
You can purchase tickets online here: www.fotawildlife.ie/opening-times-prices
Cross the Mizen Head Footbridge...
I know when people think cliffs in Ireland, they automatically think about the Cliffs of Moher... However, I think that the Mizen Head should be right up there with it ! This was such a cool adventure, and for only €7.50 per person, it was an experience that was hard to beat!
I will warn you, there is a bit of walking and climbing up and down steep steps, so be prepared! They also have a visitors center where you can learn about the history of the Mizen Head or grab a bite to eat at their cafe.
On our way to Galway, we decided to stop at a few cool places along the way! We tried to do this between each airbnb stay so that we could fit in as much as possible on our trip.
Killarney National Park...
In the town of Killarney lies the beautiful and expansive Killarney national park. Although the park is quite big, we only had a little bit of time before we needed to head to our airbnb so we decided just to go hike to the Torc Waterfall. The waterfall can be found after just a short (not very steep) hike from the parking lot. If you're bold enough, you can climb the rocks and get closer to the waterfalls! just remember the water is freezing and to climb at your own risk!
The best part of this visit: It was absolutely free!
After seeing the falls, you can hike up the "stairs" to get a great view of the park!
Cliffs of Moher...
On our second day in Galway, we decided to back track a little and go to the infamous Cliffs of Moher! This is honestly a Must-see when visiting Ireland. The cliffs tower over the turquoise water, with nothing separating you from looking over the edge! If you have a fear of heights...just don't look down!
The Cliffs offer an amazing view along with a visitors center that offers food and refreshments along with more information about the Cliffs. You can also climb to the top of O'Briens Tower for a view from above!
Thank you so much for checking out my blog! Ireland was so much fun! See our Irish adventure continued in my post: 5 days in Northern Ireland!
Leave a comment about your favorite parts of Ireland!