A Dublin Pass can be an incredible deal- if you plan to spend a few days in Dublin. But it could be a waste of money for some families. Is it the best deal for your family vacation in Ireland?
What the Dublin Pass Includes
The Dublin Pass offers free admission into 32 of Dublin’s most popular attractions- including the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle, the Dublin Zoo and the National Wax Museum. It also offers gifts and discounts at many of Dublin’s already free attractions such as postcards & discounts at the National Museum of Ireland Archeology & History, free book and discounts at the Chester Beatty Library and a gift at the National Gallery of Ireland.
Some attractions offer “fast track” admissions to Dublin Pass holders and select local businesses offer discounts and complimentary items is you flash your Dublin Pass. You will also receive a free guidebook with each Dublin Pass you purchase. (The guidebook is really quite nice. It is pocket sized and filled with colorful images- the kids will love it!)
If you don’t plan to pick up your car until after your time in Dublin the Dublin Pass also includes a one-way trip from the Dublin airport to the city center.
Buying a Dublin Pass
You will want to buy your Dublin Pass online before your trip to get the best deal. You can choose to have it shipped to you- in which case order as soon as you know your travel dates- or you can arrange to pick it up at the Dublin airport or the Tourism Center on Suffolk St. The Dublin Pass is valid for 12 months from date of purchase and begins to expire with first use.
The Dublin Pass can be purchased in 1, 2, 3 and 6 day durations; prices begin at €35 (appx $50) for adults and €19 (appx $27) for children.
If you know you won’t be driving in Dublin- and I really suggest you don’t; the public transport is wonderful- buy your tickets with your Dublin Pass to save money. You can purchase a Rambler ticket for 1, 3 or 5 days or a 3 day Freedom Ticket which includes Hop On/ Hop Off buses.
Is a Dublin Pass Right for Your Family?
That will, of course, depend on what you plan to do in Dublin. If you have only one day in Dublin- the day your flight lands- then I would say you won’t get your money’s worth. But if you pair one of the cheap hotels in Dublin with a Dublin Pass for 2 or 3 days, you’ll enjoy everything the city has to offer without breaking your budget.
Here is a sample 2 day Dublin itinerary, created with 2 children under 10 in mind.
|Day 1 - Guinness Storehouse Family Pass €34- St. Patrick’s Cathedral Family Pass €15- Hop on/ Hop Off Bus tour (1 day ticket; €44)- Dublin Zoo Family Pass €43.50||- The 3 Day Freedom Ticket includes hop on/ hop off tours and bus transit for 72 hours.|
|Day 2 - Get around using bus ( 1 day ticket ; €12.40)- Dublinia (Dublin’s Viking Heritage) Family Pass €23- Dublin Castle €13- Lunch at The Church Restaurant- Jeanie Johnson Famine Ship Museum €20
- Shop on Grafton Street
|- – The 3 Day Freedom Ticket includes hop on/ hop off tours and bus transit for 72 hours. - save 10% on lunch at the Church Restaurant with the Dublin Pass- While shopping snack at Bewley’s on Grafton St. (free coffee & cake to any Dublin Pass holder)|
|Cost €204.90||Family Dublin Pass €213.20|
For about €10 more you get 72 hours of public transit, including hop on/ hop off buses, and discounts at restaurants and shops. If this were my family’s plan I would purchase the Dublin Pass. The restaurant savings and other offers would easily cover the 10 euro.
Have you used the Dublin Pass? Would you recommend it?
© 2012, Jody Halsted. All rights reserved.