The Cheapskate Guide To: Dublin

Looking to sneak in a cheap trip to Dublin? Click through for from-a-local cheap Dublin travel tips on where to stay, what to do, and what to eat on a budget!

Looking to sneak in a cheap trip to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day? Want to drink some Guinness in a Real, Proper Irish pub? Irish travel doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! I brought in a local to tell share all the best, cheapest stuff around Dublin!


Hi, I’m Sharon and I’m a clinical pharmacist (noooo, don’t fall asleep, it’s interesting, I swear!). I graduated from college in Dublin in 2007, but have only recently made my way back to work in the city.

It’s very different living here in my 30s compared to when I was a student! Dublin is a tourist hotspot and has a reputation for being expensive, but you can still find plenty to do for free or cheap in this vibrant city.

Looking to sneak in a cheap trip to Dublin? Click through for from-a-local cheap Dublin travel tips on where to stay, what to do, and what to eat on a budget!

Cheap Lodging in Dublin

There’s no way around it, Dublin’s accommodation is expensive. A group would probably get the best value from a private room in a hostel or a self-catering apartment, but there is value to be had for solo travellers too.

Generator Hostel Smithfield – private room from $58/night

This popular hostel is in a great location, right beside the red Luas (tram) line and within walking distance of the main city thoroughfares. Smithfield Square often hosts cultural events and festivals too. If you can handle a large dorm room, the price drops as low as $15.

Fitzwilliam Townhouse  – $65/night

If you have a taste for period dramas, you might enjoy a stay in this listed Georgian building in the city centre.  Never fear, despite the age of the building, there is free wifi. An extra €7 ($8) will get you a traditional Irish breakfast, which I find makes lunch unnecessary!

Airbnbs – $60-$130/night

If you want to be right in the middle of things, an apartment just off the Liffey quays at Bachelor’s Walk would be ideal.

I will fight you for this gorgeous cottage north of the river in hipster Stoneybatter. A bit more expensive, yes, but it sleeps up to four people.

Alternatively, you could check out a garden-level apartment in a Georgian house in leafy Ranelagh. This village is a little further away from the main tourist sights, south of the Grand Canal, but it’s a lovely, quiet area, and you will be spoiled for choice of restaurants and bars.

For a bit more space for your money, you could head further out of the city centre to a place in the suburbs like this cozy-looking Castleknock one-bed apartment, close to bus and train services.

If you’ve never used Airbnb before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking!

Looking to sneak in a cheap trip to Dublin? Click through for from-a-local cheap Dublin travel tips on where to stay, what to do, and what to eat on a budget!

Cheap Food in Dublin

In general, lunch is much cheaper than dinner. And if you want good quality food at a decent price point, don’t eat in tourist hotspots like Templebar. Don’t go  anywhere with laminated menus in multiple languages. But if you’ve been reading Sarah’s articles for a while, you already know that, right? 😉 Standard tipping in Ireland is 10% (but be nice and round up!).

Even the fanciest restaurants usually have an early bird or pre-theatre menu (often $20-$30 for three courses) but the times and days it’s available vary a lot, so if there’s somewhere in particular you want to try out, check their website first. It’s a good way to experience a nice place on a budget.

Govinda’s – $7 for a mountain of tasty vegetarian food

YOU DO NOT NEED A LARGE PLATE. You will look at the plate sizes in the Abbey St branch and think, ‘hmm, I’m pretty hungry’, but they pile the food on there like you wouldn’t believe. I have never finished a regular plate ($10), so if you plan on moving afterwards, go for a small or split a regular.

The building is a Hare Krishna temple, so the daily specials are usually Indian stews and rice dishes, always vegetarian, with vegan options. Should you find yourself on the southside, there’s a second branch on Aungier St.

O’Neill’s – $13 for all day breakfast

This pub is featured in the Lonely Planet, so I was wary of including it, but I used to eat there a lot in college so I know it’s good. A traditional Irish breakfast has bacon, sausage, eggs, black and white pudding* and then people argue about the other ingredients, but O’Neill’s just throws them all in – tomato, mushrooms, beans and potato cake. If that seems like too much pork in one go, there’s a mini version too, or try a carvery dinner.

*Pudding is a type of pork sausage involving blood, suet and oats. Don’t freak out! As a person who rarely eats meat, I can still highly recommend it. I prefer the black one, try both and see what you think!

Burritos & Blues – $7-$8 for a burrito

This Wexford St institution opens until 4am Friday and Saturday nights to cater to the crowds of people being ushered out of bars, clubs and music venues in the area and looking for some soakage.

But any time is a good time to try their completely customisable burritos/tacos/quesadillas. On Mondays all burritos are €5 ($6) all day if you want to save a little extra! As a bonus, they’re strong on gluten free options.

Scrumdiddly’s – $4-$5 for an unseemly amount of ice cream

If you want to skip straight to dessert, this home-grown chain is springing up branches everywhere. I’d recommend the Dun Laoghaire branch on a Sunday, so you can take a walk through the huge food market in the People’s Park while you’re there.

(Walking the pier is also quite the photo op, with fishing boats and a sailing school, and you’ll more than likely see some seals too).

But I digress! Scrumdiddly’s will make you a sundae with any combo of ice cream and toppings you want, or try one of their menu options like the Rocky Road (two kinds of ice cream, whipped cream, Oreos, rocky road, marshmallows and chocolate sauce!). They also serve milkshakes, crepes and waffles.

Looking to sneak in a cheap trip to Dublin? Click through for from-a-local cheap Dublin travel tips on where to stay, what to do, and what to eat on a budget!

Cheap Things to Do in Dublin

The first thing you should do when you hit Dublin is check out the Dublin Event Guide. This is an exhaustive list of free events issued weekly by a German expat on a completely voluntary basis. It includes everything from markets and car boot sales to gallery open nights and children’s art workshops. There may be a few events included which are not completely free so read carefully, but it’s always my go-to for finding something to do.

Visit the National Museums – free

The good news is all of Ireland’s National Museums have free admission and three of them are in Dublin. The Natural History Museum on Merrion St (known locally as the Dead Zoo) is probably the most popular with locals but they’re all pretty great.

I highly recommend checking out the Kingship & Sacrifice exhibition at the Archaeology Museum in Kildare St – it tells the story of the 2000-year old remains of Iron Age people found preserved in peat bogs.

Side note – the main collection at the National Gallery is also free but there is a charge for special exhibitions (usually the fun stuff like this year’s Caravaggio and Vermeer). However, there is a discount on the late-opening Thursday evenings.

Chester Beatty Library – free

Their homepage says they are ‘described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Dublin, but one of the best in Europe’. What more is there to say? Sir Alfred Chester Beatty left an amazing collection of art and artefacts from around the world, only a fraction of which is on display at any one time.

Stroll through a park – free

The city centre has some really great parks, and when the weather allows, we like to make the most of them. St. Stephen’s Green is popular, and very pretty, but often busy with business people eating lunch.

Try the nearby Merrion Square or Iveagh Gardens instead. They both have a great sense of quiet and calm. Merrion Square is probably best known for its Oscar Wilde statue, while Iveagh Gardens is more formal.

If you really want to get a sense of space, Phoenix Park to the west of the city is the largest enclosed public park in any capital city in Europe. It’s home to Dublin Zoo (unfortunately quite expensive), the US Ambassador’s residence, and our president’s residence, Áras an Uachtaráin.

There’s also a visitor’s centre with free tours, some restored Victorian gardens, a castle, a fort only recently opened to the public, and did I mention the herd of wild deer? You could easily spend a whole day here, so you might want to rent a bike ($6 for 1 hour or $18 for the day).

Looking to sneak in a cheap trip to Dublin? Click through for from-a-local cheap Dublin travel tips on where to stay, what to do, and what to eat on a budget!

Whitefriar St Church – free

Dublin has a wealth of churches and cathedrals of various ages and denominations. Your guidebook might suggest Christchurch and St. Patrick’s, but they do charge an admission fee. The Carmelite church on Whitefriar St does not operate as a tourist attraction, so bear in mind that it’s a place of worship when you visit.

The stained glass windows are beautiful, and it has some really unusual shrines. If your sense of romance leans towards the gothic, you might like to see the shrine to St. Valentine which houses some of his remains.

Poke around a market – free

Personally, I love nothing better than rummaging through a market at the weekend, and Dublin has lots of them on offer. The Dublin Food Co-op is open Wednesday to Sunday.

Saturday is the best day for food, as it brings out all the artisan producers and handmade treats (and if I can have one brag about Ireland, it’s that we have fantastic quality ingredients and such amazing people who make the most of them!).

Sundays have a different vibe, with varying events such as vintage fairs and international fusion week. My favourite is the flea market on the last Sunday of every month.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Dublin in December, the flea has an amazing Christmas fair (in a different venue). Last year it had some really cracking art and design, and I got loads of my gift shopping done!

Thanks so much for sharing, Sharon! I’m sure there are plenty of other Irish readers – what would you add? 

P.S. The best 18 travel tips gathered from 13,000+ readers

True Story: I’ve Had 35+ Jobs (And I’m only 35 years old)

Have you had lots of jobs? If you have, you're not alone. Click through for career tips and work advice from someone who finally found a career she loves after trying 35+ jobs!

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hello! I’m Claire and I’m 35 years old. I’m originally from London, England, but moved to Vancouver, Canada five years ago.

I’m trained as a life coach, and am currently setting up my business as an accountability coach (supporting and cheering people on via email with their projects: setting up a business or side hustle, achieving personal goals, writing a book, etc…) For fun I like to travel, swim and run. I’m also obsessed with stationery!  

Could you give us a bullet point summary of 15 of your 35+ jobs?

I’d be happy to!

  1. Assistant at pottery workshop
  2. Cashier at grocery store chain
  3. Delivering IKEA catalogues
  4. Working in a jam factory
  5. Communications Assistant, ELLE HQ, Paris
  6. Editor at Bloomsbury Publishing (publishers of Harry Potter)
  7. Parliamentary and Events Officer, UK Disability Rights Commission
  8. PA to Director at UK Charity Commission
  9. Fundraising team at National Deaf Children’s Society
  10. Events Planner at law firm
  11. Events Manager planning fundraising gala at Big Sisters, BC
  12. Event Assistant at interior design exhibition
  13. “Extra” (background actor): The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, The 100, Okja movie and others
  14. Admin Assistant for wedding planner
  15. Usher at local theatre

Growing up, how did you think about your career? 

When I was little, I wanted to own a candy store (so I could eat the candy), or be a newsreader (I thought someone else wrote the news for them!).

When I was about 10, we had to give a talk in class about what job we wanted to do when we grew up. I remember feeling panicked – I had no idea. In the end, I said I wanted to be a lawyer, just to have something to talk about!  

My parents have very structured, “standard” jobs: my mum’s a teacher and my dad’s a realtor. They’ve had the same jobs their whole life… they find my career path very unusual!

My mum loves her job; it’s a real vocation. She couldn’t help with my career dilemma, as she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. My dad’s job is stressful at times, but there’s no way he could work for anyone else – he’s a born entrepreneur (and I’m now heading down the same route!)

When you entered University what did you major in? What did you say when career counselors asked you about your plans? 

I studied French and Russian at university. I love speaking and learning languages, so it was an easy decision. I don’t remember talking to a career counsellor at university… back then you were expected to figure it out on your own! There was a careers centre, but I remember just feeling overwhelmed in it.

The problem was that languages didn’t narrow down my choices – they opened them up. I knew I didn’t want to be an interpreter, translator, or teacher… but that left many other options! Languages are useful in so many industries that I felt lost and confused when I graduated.

What did your professional life look like after college?

It can best be described as “bouncing around”! I love reading, so I thought publishing might be my thing. I worked for two publishing companies, but never felt like I “fit”. I volunteer regularly and wanted to do work that made a difference, so I thought working at a not-for-profit might be my thing. I contracted for a few charities, but became ground down by the lack of money and resources available.

A friend put me forward for a job at her boyfriend’s law firm working as an events planner – and I loved it! I gained tons of confidence, which enabled me to take the leap to move abroad (a long-time dream of mine). There I worked in a few more roles before deciding to tackle the issue once and for all… until I finally found my purpose 🙂  

How did the people in your life react to your career path? 

My friends were supportive, but couldn’t understand my situation. I remember feeling embarrassed by my career path/choices. Why did I keep leaving jobs? Why couldn’t I stick in one job? What was wrong with me?! My friends knew what they wanted to do and had steady jobs.

Some of them have worked for one company their whole life. My family despaired of me! My uncle tried to get me a job in a financial institution (my fear). My parents didn’t know what to do with me. I felt confused, alone, and like a failure.

The thing I’ve learned now is that I’m not necessarily flighty, but I need variety, flexibility and independence – I get very down without it.

[Funnily enough, many of my peers are now having a career crisis, but feel trapped or unable to leave as they’ve been in their jobs for so long!]

Have you ever taken one of those career predictor tests or worked with a career counselor?

I’ve taken many career predictor tests, but didn’t find them that helpful. I saw a great career counsellor a few years ago (who suggested life coaching to me).

Personality tests were also helpful, especially Myers-Briggs. It says that my type may have many jobs and seem directionless, because we need to live in line with our values. Hearing that gave me hope, and made me feel like I wasn’t a failure!

What does your professional life look like now? Do you think you’ll still be doing this in 5-10 years?

I currently work two part-time jobs while I set up my business. I love the flexibility this brings. With my business, I can’t believe I get paid to do something that feels natural and brings me so much joy.

It’s really cool to see my clients make progress on their goals and dreams – I just had a client who sold her first place at her retreat, which was awesome. I certainly hope I’ll still be doing this in 5 or 10 years! (without the part-time jobs 🙂

I’m striving to create a work environment that complements my dream lifestyle – the ability to travel and work when I want, on what I want, doing work that helps people and moves them forward.   

What tools/resources/books/websites helped you navigate all this?

Live Your Legend was my main resource (their TED talk, blog, and courses). It was key to me figuring out my passion/purpose. I’m so grateful for their work. I read What Colour is Your Parachute and How to Find Fulfilling Work – which helped to explain why I kept moving from job to job.

And I did a lot of self-reflection. I like to question things, so I would ask myself: what did I enjoy about this job? What is my ideal job environment? I kept asking questions and taking notes on what made me happy or what were my deal-breakers.


What’s one thing you’ve learned from this that ANY of us could apply to our lives, regardless of our employment status? 

It’s okay to be you, and be individual. So what if you’re different? You will find your tribe/thing, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. For some people, it might be clear from the outset. For others, it takes more time. This is totally fine!

Also, don’t worry about the people who seem to have it all figured out. They have their own struggles to work through – or they might hit their own block at some point in the future. Be you. Be curious! Be proud of your skills and strengths, and know that there is a career (or partner, etc.) somewhere that needs what you offer.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Claire! Can any of you empathize? Do you have any questions for Claire? 

P.S. Are you required to find  + follow your calling? 

Web Time Wasters


As you read this, Kenny and I are in Playa Del Carmen with the boys. It’s our first big trip as a family, so please send us all your ‘stress-free travel’ vibes. Here’s hoping it’s not like this Onion article! You can follow along on Instagram if you’d like to see what we’re up to.

Reminder: the ‘Start 2018 Right’ bundle (Make It Stick Habit School + 3 bonuses) expires tonight at midnight! Previous students call it “the magic formula” NBD. Click here to join us! And if you didn’t get a chance to join us in the live workshop, you can watch the re-play here!

Links for you!

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How To Not Give Up On Your Goals When You ‘Screw Up’

Looking for goal-setting tips? Trying to be more productive or stick to your resolutions? You're more like to reach your goals if you don't give up when you get derailed. Click through to find out how!

Raise your hand if you’ve been here:

It’s Friday night and for the last week you have been an absolute paragon of virtue. You’ve gone 6.5 days without falling down a single Instagram hole.

When you’re waiting in line, avoiding conversation on the bus, killing time while the coffee brews –  you’ve manged to resist the siren song of that pink square.

But then you get a notification that you have a direct message. So you log in to see the meme your friend sent and that’s it.

You’re off to the races. You’re stalking your ex. You’re hate-watching Instagram stories from your high school nemesis. An hour passes and you emerge bleary-eyed and ashamed.

You screwed up, so you might as well give up. You throw away the week of progress, decide that you’re just not the sort of person who can give up social media, and wonder why you even bother trying.

Are you nodding along? Giving up on a goal, a resolution, or a habit when we ‘screw up’ is SO COMMON. In fact, it’s one of the most common questions I get in my workshops!

Here’s what to do instead.

How not to give up when you ‘screw up’ on your goals

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Web Time Wasters

It feels good to be back! How were your holidays, friends? Mine included champagne, lots of illnesses, Chinese food, movies, sub zero temperatures, and lovely presents – given and received.

This weekend, my best friend is in town from New Mexico and we’re up north in our tiny home town, eating at the diner and poking around thrift stores.

Also! On Wednesday at 7 pm, I’m running a free, live workshop called 5 Reasons Your Good Habits Don’t Stick + How To Change That.

Last time I ran it, one attendee called it “the exact mix of reassurance, real talk, and science I didn’t know I needed.” 😊 😭 Drop your email below to join us!

Links for you!

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The Self-Discovery Tool You’ve Probably Never Considered

This post is brought to you by self-knowledge, surprising insights, the letter T, and Learn Tarot With Me

I like to think I know who I am and what I’m about. Personality tests? I’ve taken ’em. (I’m an INTJ and an Upholder). Self-help books? I’ve read ’em. LOTS of ’em.

I’m always interested to hear what other people are doing in terms of getting to know themselves better and nudging themselves closer to the human they want to become. I was fascinated when Angie told me that she uses tarot cards as a tool for self-discovery and personal development.

Say what? I thought tarot cards were for …. I don’t know. Telling the future in a room filled with incense smoke? Pivital scenes in movies when someone draws the death card?

Turns out I was wrong. Like, way wrong. Angie uses tarot as a jumping off point for weekly journalling prompts, deep questions, personal accountability. And you can get started for $1!

If you’re curious, download Angie’s free tarot meaning cheat sheet here and try it with your deck. You might be amazed at what you find out about yourself!

Yes & Yes runs two sponsored posts each month. If you’d like to see your stuff featured in front of 13,000+ daily readers, click here for my traffic and ad rate info or drop me a line at sarah@yesandyes.org and we’ll get you started!