Budget: £250 including flights, parking, 2 nights at Airbnb, food, entertainment and souvenirs.
I had booked my parking at Liverpool airport through Holiday Extras which gets you a discount but it still cost more than my bargain Ryanair £19.98 return flight from Liverpool! I landed in Dublin at 9.25am and caught the 700 Aircoach bus to Dublin. My first planned stop was to the Tourist office opposite Trinity College. They look after luggage for €5 for the day and are open until 10pm. I also bought a CitySightseeing 48 hour bus ticket from here. A quick wander around Trinity College grounds. You can queue and pay to go into the library to see the Book of Kells, but I wasn’t interested enough.
I hopped on the bus and jumped off at the Guinness Storehouse. I spent a couple of hours in there, had some very nice Guinness bread with smoked salmon and cream cheese for lunch. The main entrance hall is in the shape of a Guinness pint glass! Each floor has a different theme and on one you get to try some Guinness…this was my first try of it and everyone told me Guinness in Dublin is better than anywhere else. I had a small mouthful and swilled it around before swallowing and yuck, not my thing at all.
Back on the bus and did a full circuit around the red route. I then jumped off at Kilmainham Gaol (jail), which Tripadvisor currently lists as the number one thing to do. It was very interesting and the tour guide told us of all the history of the jail and the political prisoners, the executions and the movies filmed there including Name of the Father and Michael Collins, as well as an episode of The Tudors. I had a very nice fruit scone in their tea room.
I then caught the last tour bus back to stop one to collect my bag. I had an OK Thai meal at the Thai Orchid first. I then went to the Airbnb apartment I was staying at. Tesco was nearby so I stocked up on fruit and yogurt for breakfasts. It was great to have a fridge in the room (and a silent one).
Back on the bus and jumped off at the stop before you get to the Park. I popped to Subway, which was inside a Londis store and bought a sandwich, drink and cookies to have as a picnic in Dublin Zoo. As I am a member of RZSS they have a reciprocal arrangement for free entry, so that saved some money. I wandered around for about 3 hours I think. The gorillas looked very cold, sad and fed up. The orangutan enclosure wasn’t open which was a shame as I love them. When I hopped back on the bus it was the same driver who’d dropped me off and he commented on how long I had been in there and asked if I enjoyed it. All the bus guides give you slightly different presentation styles and humour. They are all very friendly and very helpful and so I would definitely recommend them. Their buses are red and there are two different tour bus firms operating in different colours (green and yellow buses). I then had a wander around the Temple Bar area and spotted the cinema times. At about 4pm I went back to the apartment for a wee lie down and rest whilst I waited for film time to start. Dublin has loads of cinemas and the ticket price is really reasonable. I went to The Savoy cinema on O’Connell Street to see Steve Jobs movie. The popcorn was very salty and they didn’t have a sweet version to mix with it. The seats were really comfortable though and there weren’t endless trailers before the movie.
Back on the bus and I jumped off at the stop for Christ Church and Dublinia. Dublinia’s ground floor is all about Vikings and their part in creating Dublin and their history, the floor above was about Medieval Dublin, including a scale model of Dublin which is worth staying and watching through the whole electronic talk that lights up various parts of the model when explaining its history. I had late brunch at Copper Street Bistro and then walked down to Dublin Castle for a walk around the grounds. Next stop was more wandering around and around the centre of Dublin, around Temple Bar, around the shopping areas. When my feet were finally ready to pack up I jumped back on a bus and came to the Collins Barracks (now the National Museumof Ireland) to sit in the warmth of their cafe and chill out with a cup of tea and cake. It was then time to walk back to pick up my case and catch the bus back to the airport.
I haven’t listed all the meals and snacks I bought here but my Total spend came to £263, but that did include a Christmas present for Allistar which is why I went over budget! I could have gone with a cheaper room without a private bathroom but I still thought the room was great value.