- Purchase the Lea Visitor Pass if you are in Dublin for 3+ days
Dublin’s Leap Visitor Pass costs €19 and allows you to use the train, tram, and/or bus system. By doing this you will be saving money on transportation.
2. Exchange your money before you go
If you are planning on staying in Ireland for more than a day, be sure to exchange your American dollars to Euros before leaving. This will be cheapest option because you may be charged larger fees if you exchange in Ireland. Make sure you DO NOT exchange at the airport, here or there. The airport is known to over-charge for money exchanges. If you do not exchange before your trip, hotels in Ireland usually offer cheaper exchange rates.
3. Know the exchange rate of the Euro to your primary currency
The Euro has usually been worth more than the American Dollar. However, the actual exchange rate fluctuates frequently. Be sure you are aware of how many dollars is equal to one Euro.
4. Take your Student ID everywhere
As I have mentioned in the past there are student discounts almost everywhere in Europe, Ireland is not shy of them. Be sure to bring your student ID everywhere you go. You will definitely be saving a good amount of money on some big attractions.
5. Purchase all your gifts and souvenirs at Carroll’s Irish Gifts
Carroll’s Irish Gifts is a chain retail store in Ireland. Here you will find the most cheesy and unique Irish souvenirs at great prices. Everything in the stores are fairly priced and there are an array of things to choose from. One of my favorite things, which I purchased for my family back home, were engraved Guinness pint glasses. The glasses range in price, but the two I purchased were €10 each and the engraving was FREE. The glasses are in great condition and you are able to engrave anything you’d like. From a name to the Stark Wolf, anything is possible.
6. Check the weather if you are visiting the Cliffs of Moher
If you plan on visiting the Cliffs of Moher in December, check the weather for the day you are planning on going. During the Winter time, the Cliffs can get foggy and it may be harder to see the natural landscapes. To guarantee great views, go during the Spring or Summer.
7. Go spend some time in Galway
I was only able to visit Galway for a couple of hours while on my trip to the Cliffs of Moher. Just being there for a few hours made me want to stay. It is definitely worth it to extend your Ireland vacation and head up to Galway for a weekend or longer. The city is small, but full of life, food, and drinks. If you can, go up to Galway for a couple of days, I am sure you’ll love it.
8. Eat all the potatoes and fish & chips you can!
The rumors are, in fact, true. Ireland has the most delicious potatoes you will ever taste. Along with that, I enjoyed their fish & chips a lot more here than in both London and Sydney.
9. Double check the hours for any Cathedral or Castle you are visiting
For St. Patrick’s Cathedral their hours of entry are different on Sundays and construction can also adjust those hours. Be sure to double check and call ahead before making the trip out.
10. Do the Jameson Whiskey Tour
I have done a good amount of brewery and liquor tours, Jameson Whiskey was by far my favorite. The presentation is incredible, the tour guide is theatrical, and you get free whiskey! If you had to do one brewery or distillery tour, definitely pick this one. You will not be disappointed.
11. Travel during December for less crowds
We traveled there during the second week of December and we had no problem with crowds at all. Traveling during this time has been known to be their low tourist season. It is much easier to get around when the streets aren’t crowded with tourists and you will be able to enjoy the tourist sights much more. Plus you get to experience the city while it is decorated for the holidays!
12. Do research on tourists sights before you leave
Some sights in Dublin offer students discounts or cheaper tickets online. Be sure to research everything you’d like to do and ticket prices. These discounts may save you a good amount of money, so don’t just buy tickets in person without checking online first.
13. Drink, eat, and have fun!