48 Hours in Dublin
Ian and I recently celebrated my 35th birthday in Dublin. We had an amazing time, although the two days leading up to the trip were a little nerve wrecking. I’ll explain. We hadn’t actually planned on visiting Dublin for my birthday. We were going to drive down to Austin with friends. In typical Sinclair fashion, we left it to the last minute and everyone had prior commitments. Disappointed that my original birthday plans weren’t going to work out, I asked Ian if he wanted to go to one of our local pubs and have a pint. Sitting at the bar, Ian sips his Guinness and says, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go to Dublin for the weekend?” I’m like yeah, but that’ll never happen. He then proceeds to check flights online and found that Wow Air had a RT flight from Boston to Dublin for $347 for the coming weekend. I mean, like in two days, weekend. He also found a code for Cyber Monday that would give customers an additional 40% off of WOW Air flights. At this point, I’m all ears. As you guys may know, I’m a sucker for a cheap flight. There was one problem. We needed to get from Dallas to Boston. We are budget travelers, so spending a few hundred bucks to get to Boston was out of the question. I started to mentally check my air mile stashes. We lucked up because American Airlines (AA) flies direct from Dallas to Boston. Although, I didn’t have enough AA miles to book a roundtrip award tickets, I did have enough British Airways miles, which can be used to book American Airlines flights. Booking the DFW to BOS flights with miles and using the WOW Air Cyber Monday promo code allowed us to score the flights for this trip for a grand total of $253 RT per person. This was a deal so good that we couldn’t turn it down. After calling my mom and telling her our outlandish idea to travel to Dublin in two days, she gave us her blessing and graciously agreed to look after the kids. Thanks Ma, You’re the Best! Keep scrolling for our GO, STAY, PLAY suggestions if you need ideas on things to do in Dublin with only two days to explore.
To keep it nice and budget friendly, we booked our flights in two bookings. The first leg was Dallas to Boston which we booked with British Airways miles. We flew on an American Airlines airplane as British Airways and American Airlines are One World partners. This round trip flight cost 20,000 miles + $11.20 per person. The next portion of the journey, Boston to Dublin with a stopover in Reykjavik was booked on WOW Air. We used a Cyber Monday discount code and purchase our tickets for $242 RT per person. We opted to skip the checked bag and brought a backpack each for our “personal item” in order to avoid additional fees.
This trip was extremely impromptu, so we were beyond grateful to be able to stay two nights at the newly open Clayton Hotel at Charlemont. The hotel is ideally located in Dublin city center just south of St. Stephen’s Green. This hotel is so new that there weren’t batteries in the tv remote. I’m pretty sure we were the first people to stay in our room. They also had the cutest little bar in the lobby where we could get a freshly baked pastry with a hot cup of tea. Wifi was also included with our stay. We booked this hotel for $157/night including taxes and fees.
Travel Tip: In Dublin, taxis and Uber charge the same rates. In order to save money, use the Dublin Airlink bus to get from the Dublin airport to Dublin city centre. The cost for a roundtrip is 12 € per person vs. 70 € by taxi or Uber. Tickets can be purchased at the airport in Terminal 1 at the Bus and Travel Information desk.
With only 48 hours in Dublin, we wanted to see the city but not pack so much in that we wouldn’t be able to remember what we did. We were in total agreement that we wanted to visit the popular Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate. We visited on a Friday and the place was packed. This was great for us as it added to the ambiance. Visitors can easily spend 2-3 hours here as there are so many things to see and do. Our favorite part was practicing pouring our own Guinness pints. Tickets start at 18.50 € for adults and 16 € for children aged 13 -17 when purchased online. Kids under 13 are free. We paid the “walk up” rate of 25 € per person. After the Guinness tour, we had an amazing dinner in the area just south of Temple Bar at an Indian restaurant called The Jewel in the Crown. For our second day, we booked a Dublin Food Tour through Airbnb. This was our first time booking an Airbnb Experience, so we weren’t sure what to expect. Our food tour was with Delicious Dublin Tours and tour guide Ketty. She was such a great guide with an endless knowledge about Dublin’s food history. She took us to some amazing eateries off of the tourist track. We started at a local coffee joint, then moved on to a local bakery. We got to test some traditional Irish stews, and finished with a whiskey tasting. If you are in Dublin, I highly recommend this tour with Ketty. We booked through Airbnb. Don’t forget, newbies can get $40 off your first Airbnb booking. We finished our trip with singing and dancing at the Oliver St. John Gogarty Bar in Temple Bar, Dublin. We had such an amazing time and met some awesome people.
Travel Tip: If visiting the Guinness Storehouse, purchase tickets online rather than in person to save up to 25% per person.
Have any questions about where to stay or what to do in Dublin? Drop us a comment below.