The Dublin Pass
The Dublin Pass is a card issued by Dublin Tourism which offers free entrance to over 30 of the most visited attractions in the Dublin City area.
Holders of the card also get free gifts at some locations, coffee, glasses of wine, dessert or other goodies when dining in certain restaurants, discounts on the cost of selected tours in the city and in some stores.
Two additional benefits are priority entrance to attractions, allowing you to bypass lines, and coach transport from Dublin Airport to the City Centre. Plus a free guide book which comes with each card.
Sounds like it might be a steal – but is it? The answer is a definite …. maybe! Read on and find out more!
How much is the Dublin Pass?
|1 Day Pass||31.00||17.00|
|2 Day Pass||49.00||29.00|
|3 Day Pass||59.00||34.00|
|6 Day Pass||89.00||44.00|
The Dublin Pass can be used with one year of purchase. It is activated when first used. Passes valid for more than one day must be used on consecutive days.
What You Get
- Free entrance to over 30 Dublin attractions (total normal cost of entry over €140)
- More than 25 special offers or discounts in restaurants, stores and on tours of Dublin
- Free coach transfer from Dublin Airport to the city centre
- Priority entrance to attractions – you can skip lines
- A full colour map and guidebook to Dublin
Should You Buy a Dublin Pass?
Well, that depends, but we think there are a few things you really need to know before you decide whether it will offer value to you on your trip.
You need to:
- Understand the Pros and Cons of the Dublin Pass (see below)
- Decide which of the included attractions are ones you will actually visit, and how much the Pass will save you on those attractions.
- Plan your itinerary to get the maximum benefit from the Pass you buy.
The Pros and Cons of the Dublin Pass
Let’s take a look at the arguments for and against buying a Dublin Pass. If you are considering buying a pass, you really should read these before you do!
|I want it because….||But wait…|
|The numbers add up – if I went to every attraction, I would get over €140 of value for €89 or even less if I do it all in 3 days. That’s a good deal!||Yes, on the face of it, it’s a good deal.BUT quite a few of the attractions included are of specialist interest – the chances of any single person being interested in ALL of them is quite remote. Some are closed except in high season, and it would be difficult to impossible to see them all in 3 days.|
|The short duration Passes (1 or 2 days) would let me dash about and see a lot on a short trip to Dublin.||Good plan. Remember though that several of the must-see places you will definitely want to include on a short trip are free to enter without any Pass.
There are special deals for Dublin Pass holders at these locations, some very good ones, which may or may not be important to you – check.
|Okay then, I could do the attractions that are free one day, without the Pass, and the paid for ones on another to get maximum value.||Now you’re thinking! This is a very good idea, but still you need to choose carefully.In general, the more expensive the attraction the longer you are likely to be there. You will need a good plan to manage time and distance if you are to get value.|
|I will get priority entrance, I can skip lines! I HATE standing in line.||Lines are not very common even in high season at the vast majority of these places. Out of the high season there are no lines.|
|It’s very convenient that it includes transfer by AirCoach from the Airport to my Dublin city hotels.||BE VERY CAREFUL! A ‘day’ is Dublin Pass terms is not a 24 hour period, it is a calendar day. So, if you arrive late and just use your Pass to get from the airport, you have used up a whole day!!ONLY use the Pass for AirCoach if you have a full day of sight-seeing planned for the same day.|
|Still, having the AirCoach ticket purchased in advance is handy.||You really don’t need to purchase tickets in advance for the AirCoach, it’s normal cost is €7 one way, €12 return, tickets can be bought at the start of a journey.The Dublin Pass is valid ONLY from the Airport to the City, not the other way round|
|I get lots of free or reduced stuff in restaurants.||Just how often do you plan to eat in a day?? In one day you will get maybe a coffee or two and a glass of wine IF you happen to be in the right places at the right time, which will not always be the case. The choice of places to eat is quite narrow.This is a nice bonus certainly, but not a compelling reason to buy a Pass.|
|There are discounts on some other attractions or activities that look interesting.||These are worth something certainly, but the amounts are small – eg €1.10 off a Liffey Tour. Some of the discounts are also available in free coupon books you can pick up in any B&B or hotel.|
|What about the store discounts?||The museum shop discounts are 10%, but remember – a discount on something you don’t plan to buy is worth nothing!There are only 2 other stores, and they give you a voucher (or gift certificate) not a cash discount, to the value of 10% of your purchases.|
|I get a free guidebook & map worth €4.99||The guidebook is not for sale separately so its value is an arbitrary one. It contains pretty much the content of the Dublin Pass website and nothing that isn’t in any decent Dublin or Ireland Guide, much less than most of them.|
|There is lots of other free stuff though, isn’t there?||Some, and some of it very good.|
It may seem if you have read all the above that the Pass is not good value. That’s not what we are saying – we are saying that it isn’t automatically good value, but it may be if you know when to use it, and when not to, and plan your trip accordingly.
For some people, the numbers won’t add up and they would be better off without it, for others it will offer small but not insignificant savings with added convenience.
Read on, take a look at the attractions and note down the cost of the ones that interest you. Have a look at some sample days out in Dublin with the Pass. Then you will be in a postion to decide whether it is right for you.