*this story is not sponsored in any way and simply reflects my own experiences*
The biggest reality check that occurs when planning a trip has to be when you start shortening your list of attractions down by how much you reasonably want to spend. Either you narrow it down to what you can afford to see on the trip but fear you’ve missed something, or you splurge and you can feel guilty afterward.
See the dilemma?
Now, what if I told you that you could ‘pre-pay’ for attraction visits in over 20 cities around the world without having to lug around separate tickets – and even save money in the process?
For once, it’s not too good to be true.
The Dublin Pass is a sightseeing city attraction card that you can buy for 1, 2, 3, or 5 consecutive days that allow you free (at the door) entrance to 30+ attractions situated around Dublin, Ireland.
The pass also comes with a handy booklet, seen above, that includes information on all of the included attractions as well as exclusive discounts for The Dublin Pass holders! From times places are open to short excerpts about what you can expect there, it’s a great way to find locations you may not have originally knew existed. Do note that you can only enter each attraction once with the pass, so don’t plan on leaving and coming back to any place and expecting the pass to get you back in.
When you purchase the pass online, the only stipulation is that it must be activated and used within the next 12 months. So, unfortunately, no buying up a bunch of passes to cover the next decade worth of travel. But with how attraction prices change, I can understand where they’re coming from.
So how does it work?
Story time! So when we went to Dublin in 2018, we were in the city for 2.5 days and decided to go ahead and get the 3-day pass just in case we wanted to do something that morning on our way out of town.
In October of 2017, we were lucky enough to notice a sale (there is one currently going on as well – they tend to pop up pretty regularly, just keep your eye on it!) where we managed to get our 3-day passes for €83 each (regularly €111). #steal!
I went ahead and paid around €10 to get the free guidebooks and physical cards sent in the mail. You can pick it up in Dublin itself or get a digital copy, but I love to flip through the book to mark different attractions that I’d love to stop by well before stepping foot overseas. There is also an app that you can download and link your card to, which is handy if you’re afraid of leaving it anywhere or just want one less thing to carry with you!
Once in Dublin, we carried our cards around with us and had the attendants scan them at the gate, allowing us to enter without having to dig out cash or a card at each location. A lot of places also give priority entrance, or ‘fast pass’ lanes, to those that have the Dublin Pass – which is a nice way to save time on your vacation!
Using my pass, I saw:
- the Hop on Hop off Bus Tour (€22)
- the Guinness Storehouse (€25)
- Christ Church Cathedral (€7)
- Dublinia (€10)
- Dublin Castle (€8)
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral (€8)
- Jeanie Johnston Tallship & Famine Museum (€10.50)
- Malahide Castle and Gardens (€12.50)
- Dublin Writers Museum (€7.50)
- and the Chester Beatty Library (Free, but received a complimentary book with my pass)
So, doing some math, I would have paid €110.50 per adult without the card and would have had to provide cash or card (hello foreign transaction fees) at each location – instead I paid €83 per person plus €10 to have it sent to the US so we had our ‘tickets’ before setting foot in Ireland!
So for the four of us, we saved about €100 total by getting the Dublin Pass for our vacation – which covered a lot of our food and grocery cost!
So how does it really work?
Think of the Dublin Pass like a pre-paid debit card:
- spend €59 for a 1-day pass, your card will have a balance of €115 to be used in 1 day
- spend €95 for a 2-day pass, your card will have €175 to be used in 2 consecutive days
- spend €111 for a 3-day pass, your card will have €225 to be used in 3 consecutive days
- spend €132 for a 5-day pass, your card will have €300 to be used in 5 consecutive days
At each attraction you visit, the attendant scans your card and the amount to get in is deducted from your card balance.
So for my trip, I had a card balance of €225 to be used over 3 days. We were only in Dublin area for 2.5-days and managed to spend €110.50, meaning we still had a balance of €114.50 to play with when we left that afternoon.
Obviously, the more you see the more you can potentially save. The other way to save is to check the site often or to sign up for The Dublin Pass’s email chain, which can alert you to any upcoming sales they are planning.
We had used the sites London Pass on a previous trip and were equally thrilled with the process. Their email chain was actually how I found out about the Dublin Pass and the great sale I managed to grab for our trip!
Is it worth it?
Not having to worry about anything but what time it is is a wonderful thing while out on vacation. This card let us do that and more.
Having the booklet ahead of time gave us the map around Dublin and let us orient ourselves with our Airbnb so we knew what we could get to on foot and what we needed to get to using the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour. Not having to pull out anything but the Dublin Pass when we got to an attraction entrance saved us additional foreign transaction fees as well as letting us travel lighter without the fear of having a lot of cash stolen.
Please check out their website: www.dublinpass.com
Let me know if you have any other questions about this or the London Pass!
Also, what are some of your ways to save money while traveling?
Till next time, Sam