***update*** If you’re looking for up-to-date Dublin Pass discount codes, check out this other page on this site.
I was back in Dublin last weekend for my brother’s Bachelor party. Eighteen of us made the trip up to the capital to give him a good send-off, and it really was a great weekend all round.
The last time I was in Dublin I was with my wife and 2 young kids, and we decided to sample the Dublin attractions a-la-carte style. We figured with strollers, diapers and tantrums, investing in any pre-bought tour packages may work against us. We had a great time and I wouldn’t change how we approached that trip. This time however, I knew I’d have an easier time getting around to see the sights I wanted to see, so I ponied up the money to buy the Dublin Pass.
The Dublin Pass covers entry to more than 30 Dublin City Center attractions including Christ Church Cathedral, the Guinness Storehouse, the James Joyce Museum, Kilmainham Gaol, the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin Zoo and The Old Jameson Distillery. You can see the full list of places that the pass gives you free entry to on the official website.
What did I see?
For daytime sightseeing activities I teamed up with my brother and another friend. We each bought the 2 day pass (they have options for 1, 2, 3 and 6 days) and we managed to squeeze in quite a few places during those 2 days. I loved Christ Church Cathedral the first time I went, so I went back for some more medieval mystery on this trip. We also took in the Guinness Storehouse – amazing! My brother really wanted to go to the James Joyce museum, so we went there. That probably wouldn’t have made it on to my “must-see” list, but I did enjoy it. We also managed to get to the Old Jameson Distillery, Kilmainham Gaol and the Natural History Museum. All of that coupled with stop-offs for lunch, drinks etc, as well as taking in most of it on foot, left me exhausted! Happily exhausted.
I have to say the Guinness Storehouse was probably the place I liked best. I’ve wanted to go for years, and everytime I’ve been in Dublin I never really had a good opportunity to get there. I must say, it definitely lived up to my expectations. The Gaol was probably a close second – but plan plenty of time, or call ahead if you are going there. They do warn of delays due to how busy it can get.
So is it worth it?
Personally I found having the pass to be well worth the cost, but I suppose the answer to “Is it worth it?” is completely dependent on how you use it. If you are planning on spending an entire day in the Guinness Storehouse, soaking up as much Guinness history and trivia as is humanly possible, then no – just pay for admittance to that one attraction. If your intent is to visit multiple Dublin City attractions over the course of your stay, then you’ll certainly be able to save some money.
What I liked about the Dublin Pass
I really liked that you can pick and choose whichever attractions you’d like to see. This works well if you’re in a group because everyone will have a different favorite. Because there’s so many attractions and they are spread out around the city, you might want to plan ahead of time so that you’re not wasting time retracing your steps. The Dublin Pass website does have a PDF map you can download, so that you can familiarize yourself with where things are and the best routes to take.
What I’d change about the Dublin Pass
Like I mentioned above, I was in Dublin with my family recently and I didn’t get the pass then, because I didn’t feel we’d get full benefit from it. Even though both my children fall in to the ‘free’ category, I felt there wouldn’t be enough places on the attraction list that I could take them to. We did go to the zoo back then, which is great, and we could’ve taken in maybe one or 2 other things that the Dublin Pass gives free entry to, but I didn’t feel there was enough options for very young kids. But I suppose their target audience is probably older than that anyway.
Other benefits of the Dublin Pass include:
– Free Airport to city transportation
– You can skip right to the front of the queue at some attractions
– They throw in a free Dublin City Guidebook (very useful!)
– You can order online or in person. If you order online, they will send you the pass ahead of time.
Have fun in Dublin!