Dublin, Ireland is a top European destination, and with good reason. It’s a historic city with a rich heritage, but it doesn’t come off as pretentious. In fact, even though it’s a large city, there’s a friendly vibe and a small-town feel. Plus, much of it is walkable, which is always a bonus.
Dublin is home to dozens of sightseeing attractions, as well as a vibrant restaurant, bar, and music scene. Visit during St. Patrick’s Day, and you’ll experience a celebration unlike anything else in the world.
While there are some freebies you’ll want to check out, some of the most sought-after attractions command hefty admission fees. Between that and sampling the craft beers available on every corner, a trip to Dublin can get expensive fast!
Now, I’m not suggesting you skip touring the Guinness Storehouse or St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I’m just saying you want to cut costs where you can. Luckily, there’s a solution that’ll help you save on sightseeing admission and save time waiting around in lineups: the Dublin Pass.
In this Dublin Pass review, we’ll explain how it works, what’s included, and ultimately help you decide if it’s worth it.
Here we go!
The Dublin Pass Review: How it Works
The Dublin Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing pass that provides access to over 30 of Dublin’s top tourist attractions. You’ll pay a set price for the pass which is good for 1, 2, 3, or 5 consecutive calendar days. Then, you can visit as many included attractions as you like. The more attractions you visit, the more money you will save.
The Dublin Pass also saves you time. One of the downsides to a sightseeing vacation is that you end up wasting a lot of time in lineups waiting to buy tickets. The pass grants you fast track entry to some of the included sites, meaning you have more time to enjoy the attractions.
Once you’ve bought your pass, you activate it by using it at the first attraction on your to-do list. Once it’s activated, the Dublin Pass is good for the number of days you purchased. It’s calendar days, not 24-hour periods, so make sure you start early on that first day.
What’s Included on the Dublin Pass
The Dublin Pass gets you free entry to 34 attractions. Here’s a list of the top sites along with their regular admission prices (current as of January 20, 2019).
- Guinness Storehouse: €26
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: €24
- Jameson Distillery: €25
- Dublin Zoo: €20
- Teelings Whiskey Distillery Tour: €17
- National Wax Museum Plus: €16.50
- Aquazone National Aquatic Centre: €16
- EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum: €16.50
- Malahide Castle: €14
- Dublinia: €12
- The Little Museum of Dublin: €10
- Christ Church Cathedral: €7
…And that’s only about a third of what’s offered. Check out the rest of the list here.
How Much Does the Dublin Pass Cost?
OK, so now that I’ve got you all excited about the attractions, let’s talk about money. You can see the regular price of the attractions above, so let’s take a look at the cost of the Dublin Pass.
|Passes||Adult Price (16+)||Child Price (5-15)|
|Current as of January 2021|
You can see from the pass prices that getting good value depends on how many attractions you’ll visit each day (and the price of those attractions). The name of the game is to make sure the regular admission prices of the attractions you visit total more than what you paid for the pass. This is pretty easy to do if you visit some of the more expensive sites.
For example, the 2-day pass comes in at €89.00, so you can save on admission costs by visiting three sites a day.
Let’s say you explore Dublin using the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour and check out the Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, the Dublin Zoo, Malahide Castle, and the National Wax Museum. If you did all that without the Dublin Pass, you’d pay €125.50. With the pass, your grand total is €89.00 – that’s €36.50 in savings per adult. Plus, you save time because you’re not waiting in long lineups. And as any traveler knows, time is precious!
Technically, the best value comes from the 5-day pass, since it amounts to just €27.80 per day. However, five days of sightseeing might be a bit much for some travelers. Many people visiting Ireland only spend a few days in Dublin before moving on to other cities. Either way, the option is there.
Top Features of the Dublin Pass
Save on Attractions
The main benefit of the Dublin Pass is the money you save compared to paying regular admission at the attractions. You can easily save €20 or more – that’s money in your pocket for food, drinks, and entertainment.
Besides saving money, streamlined entry into Dublin’s top attractions is the next best thing about the Dublin Pass. No one likes waiting in lineups, and when you’re on vacation, you don’t have time to waste. Skip the line at the Guinness Storehouse, the Dublin Zoo, Dublinia, the National Wax Museum, and more!
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
I always say that Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours are one of the best ways to explore a new city. The tour is an experience in and of itself, plus it’s transit to and from other attractions. The Dublin Pass includes a 24-hour ticket that covers two routes and over 30 stops. That ticket would normally run you €24, so getting it included with the pass offers great value.
Discounted Airport Transfer
When you land in Dublin, skip the expensive taxis and take the Aircoach into the city center in just 25 minutes. Passholders who show a sales receipt at the Aircoach desk in Terminals 1 and 2 receive 15% off.
Other Advantages of the Dublin Pass
- Free Guidebook – The Dublin Pass comes with a free downloadable 90-page guidebook. It includes important details for each attraction like address, hours, and contact numbers. There’s also a map of the city, so you have one at your fingertips at all times. I keep an electronic copy of the guidebook on my phone so I can consult it anytime.
- Extra Discounts – When you buy the pass, you save on more than just admission costs. You also get more than 25 other discounts and offers that’ll help you save during your trip to Dublin. Think theatre, dining, and more.
- Convenience – The Dublin Pass saves travelers the trouble of booking sightseeing tickets separately. It’s one pass for 34 sites, many of them with fast track entry. You can also choose the pass that’s most convenient for you – paper or mobile. Most people will find the Dublin Pass app to be the most convenient way to use the pass.
- Risk-free Purchase – The pass offers a money back guarantee. If you buy the pass and then change your mind within 90 days, getting a refund is no problem.
Where the Pass Falls Short
The Dublin Pass includes some excellent sightseeing opportunities, but unfortunately, it’s missing two big ones. I’m talking about Trinity College Library/Book of Kells and Kilmainham Gaol. These are sure to be on any serious sightseer’s itinerary, and their omission is a major miss.
It’s Not Quite an Unlimited Pass
The Dublin Pass comes with some fine print that’s worth being aware of: purse value.
Purse value is the maximum value you can get from the pass.
For example, with the 1-day pass, you can visit €115 worth of attractions. After that, the pass expires. Even worse, the multi-day passes have proportionately smaller purse values.
Here are the purse values you’re working with:
|Pass||Purse Value - Adult 16+||Purse Value - Child Ages 5-15|
|Current as of January 2021|
Now, it would be difficult to exceed the purse value of each pass given the prices of the included attractions. To visit more than €130 worth of attractions in one day, you’d need to visit the six most expensive sites – that’s more than most people would take on.
With that said, I still disagree with it in principle. If some power sightseer wants to visit six attractions in one day, they should be able to.
Who Should Buy the Dublin Pass
- First Timers – If it’s your first time in Dublin, you’ll want to see many of the included attractions, so the Dublin Pass will save you time and money. It also takes some of the stress out of planning your sightseeing itinerary, since you have access to so many sites with one pass.
- Travelers Only Staying a Few Days – If you’ll only be in Dublin for two or three days, this pass a great option because you can choose a pass that suits your exact needs. You can cram as little or as much into those few days as you like (within reason).
- Travelers Flying by the Seat of Their Pants – If you’re the kind of traveler who isn’t sure exactly which sites you’ll visit and when, the pass will be a good fit for you. Since you have access to over 30 sites, you can visit them in any order and on any day you have a valid pass. If you dislike the idea of planning out a sightseeing itinerary, the Dublin Pass means you won’t have to.
- Power Sightseers – Even though the Dublin Pass is a good fit for someone who hates planning, it also works for travelers who thrive on it. If you love the idea of a jam-packed itinerary and want to see as much of Dublin as you can, this pass will work for you. Just mind the purse values I mentioned before.
Who Should Skip the Pass
- Travelers Who Like to Take Their Time – If you prefer a leisurely sightseeing pace, you might not get good value from the Dublin Pass. To get your money’s worth, you should try to visit at least three attractions per day. If you’re happier to plan one attraction per day and take your time, you’re better off paying regular admission. Similarly, if consecutive days of sightseeing don’t sound like your cup of tea, the multi-day passes won’t work for you, either.
- Anyone Who Won’t Visit the Expensive Attractions – The value you get from the Dublin Pass depends on two things: how many attractions you visit and their admission costs. If you’re mostly interested in the low-cost options like the cathedrals, then skip the pass and just pay at the gate.
- Travelers Who Aren’t into Sightseeing – If you’re not much of a sightseer, you’ll still have a great time in Dublin, but obviously you don’t need a sightseeing pass.
How to Get the Dublin Pass
If the Dublin Pass sounds like it’s for you, buying it online is a breeze. You can buy your Dublin pass here.
After your purchase, you can have the pass sent directly to your mobile phone, or you can get it instantly delivered using the mobile app.
Don’t want an electronic copy of the pass? No problem. You can also purchase the pass online and pick up a physical card once you arrive in Dublin.
Personally, I prefer the option of downloading the Dublin Pass app and keeping a mobile pass on my phone. No paper, less hassle, and a smaller chance of losing or damaging your pass. However, if you are more old-school, the option to pick up a physical card is also nice.
Dublin Pass Review: Is it Worth it?
The Dublin Pass is a good choice for travelers who want to visit at least three of the included attractions per day. As long as you are visiting some of the more expensive sites, you’ll save money on admission costs and save time by skipping the ticket lines.
That said, the savings you get from the Dublin Pass aren’t the most impressive around. Two of the biggest attractions in Dublin – Trinity College Library/Book of Kells and Kilmainham Gaol – aren’t included, so you’ll still be paying full price for them. Ideally, you’ll visit those attractions either before or after your Dublin Pass subscription runs out.
If you’re planning a trip to Dublin and think you’ll get value from the pass, I recommend keeping an eye on the website – the multi-day passes regularly go on sale for 20-25% off. Snagging a pass at the sale price will boost your savings, making the Dublin Pass an even better buy.
I hope this Dublin Pass Review was helpful. Enjoy your trip!