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Dublin, Ireland is a top European destination, and for 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 at every corner pub, a trip to Dublin can get expensive quickly!
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 money on sightseeing costs and time by avoiding lines. It’s called the Dublin Pass and it could be for you!
In this Dublin Pass review, we’ll explain how it works, what’s included, and ultimately help you decide if it’s worth it. Let’s get started!
Dublin Pass Review: How It Works
The Dublin Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing pass that provides access to over 35 of Dublin’s top tourist attractions. You’ll pay a set price for the pass, and the pass is good from one to five consecutive calendar days. Once activated, you can visit as many included attractions as you like. The more attractions you visit, the more money you save.
In addition to easing stress on your wallet, the Dublin Pass also saves you time. Rather than waiting in line to buy tickets at each attraction, the pass grants you fast track entry to many of the included sights. That means you have more time to enjoy each attraction, plus you’ll have additional time to squeeze in other attractions.
Once you’ve bought your pass, simply 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. The Dublin Pass works on calendar days, not 24-hour periods, so make sure you start early on that first day.
Attractions on the Dublin Pass
The Dublin Pass includes entry to over 35 attractions. Here’s a teaser of some of the top sights:
- Guinness Storehouse: €28
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: €30
- Jameson Distillery Bow Street Tour: €25
- Teelings Whiskey Distillery Tour: €17
- Walking Food Tours – Food on Foot: €20
- National Wax Museum Plus: €16.50
- EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum: €18.50
- Dublin Castle: €8
- Malahide Castle: €8
- Dublinia: €12
- The Little Museum of Dublin: €10
- Christ Church Cathedral: €10
- Saint Patrick’s Cathedral: €8
- *See the complete list of attractions here
*Current as of April 26, 2022
(Editor’s Note: Some attractions and tours may require reservations. Additionally, some attractions and tours may be unavailable or have limited/reduced operating hours at this time.)
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 price of the Dublin Pass.
|Passes||Adult Price (16+)||Child Price (5-15)|
|Current as of April 26, 2022|
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 sights.
For example, the 2-day pass comes in at €89.00 per adult, so you can save on admission costs by visiting three sights 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, Malahide Castle, the National Wax Museum, and the walking food tour. If you did all that without the Dublin Pass, you’d pay €127.50. With the pass, your grand total is €89.00 – that’s €38.50 in savings per adult. You’ll also avoid ticket lines and save time. And, as any traveler knows, time is precious!
Technically, the best value comes from the 5-day pass, since it amounts to just €23 per day. However, five days of heavy duty sightseeing in Dublin might be too 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 obviously the money you save on admission to the attractions. With very little effort, you can easily save €20 or more per adult. 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. No one likes waiting in lines, and when you’re on vacation, you don’t have time to waste.
The Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Dublin. It is also one of the busiest. Make your reservation with the Dublin Pass, avoid the lines, and enjoy your self-guided tour.
Honestly, the Guinness Storehouse is a place you don’t want to miss. It is one of my favorite spots in the city, and showing your Dublin Pass also nets you 10% off at the 1837 Bar & Brasserie inside. Once your finished with your tour, don’t forget to grab a pint and enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the Gravity Bar!
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.
Other Advantages of the Dublin Pass
- Free Guidebook – The Dublin Pass comes with a free downloadable 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 discounts at several of the attractions during your trip to Dublin.
- Convenience – The Dublin Pass saves travelers the trouble of booking sightseeing tickets separately. It’s one pass for over 35 sights, many of them with fast track entry.
- Mobile & Paper Passes Available – 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 the 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 €145 worth of attractions. After that, the pass expires.
Here are the purse values you’re working with:
|Pass||Purse Value - Adult 16+||Purse Value - Child Ages 5-15|
|*Current as of April 26, 2022|
Granted, it would be pretty difficult to exceed the purse value of each pass given the prices of the included attractions. To visit more than €145 worth of attractions in one day, you’d need to blow through at least six sights (the five most expensive attractions plus one more). That’s more than most people would reasonable take on.
With that said, I still disagree with purse values in principle. If some power sightseer wants to visit seven 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 most of the included attractions anyway. The Dublin Pass can save you time and money. With access to so many sights on one pass, it can also take some of the stress out of planning your sightseeing.
- Travelers Only Staying a Few Days – If you’ll only be in Dublin for two or three days, this pass a great option. Choose the length that suits your needs, then cram as little or as much sightseeing as you want into those few days.
- Travelers Flying by the Seat of Their Pants – If you’re the kind of traveler who isn’t sure which sights you’ll visit and when, the Dublin pass could be a good fit. With access to over 35 attractions, 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 – Although 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 above.
Who Should Skip the Pass?
- Travelers Who Like to Take Their Time – If you prefer a leisurely pace, you might not get good value from the Dublin Pass. To get your money’s worth, you should 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 obviously don’t need a sightseeing pass. You can still have a great time in Dublin, however!
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’ll get an email with instructions on how to download the pass. You can carry the pass on your smartphone using the free mobile app or print paper tickets to carry around with you.
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 sights, you’ll likely save money on admission costs and save time by skipping the ticket lines.
With that said, the savings provided by the Dublin Pass isn’t as impressive as some passes provide in other cities. Additionally, two of the biggest attractions in Dublin – Trinity College Library/Book of Kells and Kilmainham Gaol – aren’t included. These are two places you can’t miss, so you’ll still be paying full price for them. Ideally, you should visit these 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, the Dublin Pass could be a good deal for you. The pass occasionally goes on sale, so keep an eye out for that. Snagging a pass at the sale price will boost your savings even further, making the Dublin Pass an even better buy.
I hope this Dublin Pass Review was helpful. Enjoy your trip!