Note: this article was updated April 16, 2015. Dublin Pass no longer offers discounted bus tickets.
A Dublin Pass can be an incredible deal- if you plan to spend a few days in Dublin. But it could be a waste of money for some families. Is it the best deal for your family vacation in Ireland?
What the Dublin Pass Includes
The Dublin Pass offers free admission into 33 of Dublin’s most popular attractions- including the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle, the Dublin Zoo and the National Wax Museum. It also offers gifts and discounts at many of Dublin’s already free attractions such as postcards & discounts at the National Museum of Ireland Archeology & History, free book and discounts at the Chester Beatty Library and a gift at the National Gallery of Ireland.
Some attractions offer “fast track” admissions to Dublin Pass holders and select local businesses offer discounts and complimentary items is you flash your Dublin Pass. You will also receive a free guidebook with each Dublin Pass you purchase. (The guidebook is really quite nice. It is pocket sized and filled with colorful images- the kids will love it!)
If you don’t plan to pick up your car until after your time in Dublin the Dublin Pass also includes a one-way trip from the Dublin airport to the city center.
Buying a Dublin Pass
You will want to buy your Dublin Pass online before your trip to get the best deal. You can choose to have it shipped to you- in which case order as soon as you know your travel dates- or you can arrange to pick it up at the Dublin airport or the Tourism Center on Suffolk St. The Dublin Pass is valid for 12 months from date of purchase and begins to expire with first use.
The Dublin Pass can be purchased in 1, 2, 3 and 6 day durations.
Is a Dublin Pass Right for Your Family?
That will, of course, depend on what you plan to do in Dublin. If you have only one day in Dublin- the day your flight lands- then I would say you won’t get your money’s worth. But if you pair one of Dublin’s hostels or less expensive hotels with a Dublin Pass for 2 or 3 days, you’ll enjoy everything the city has to offer without breaking your budget.
Here is a sample 2 day Dublin itinerary, created with 2 children under 10 in mind.
|Day 1 - Dublin Zoo Family Pass €47 – Guinness Storehouse Family Pass €42.50 - St. Patrick’s Cathedral Family Pass €15-||National Museum of Ireland – save 10% in the cafe & gift shop; evening of Food, Folklore & Fairytales – save 10%|
|Day 2 - Dublinia (Dublin’s Viking Heritage) Family Pass €24- Little Museum of Dublin €14- Jeanie Johnson Famine Ship Museum €20||Dine at The Chruch Bar & Restaurant- save 10%; souvenir shopping at The Kilkenny Shop – save 10%|
|Cost €162.50||Family Dublin Pass €192.00|
This is a sampling of only a handful of the attractions you can visit with the Dublin Pass. If it were my family we would purchase the pass as the $30 savings would be ‘made up’ with the Special Offers savings.
Have you used the Dublin Pass? Would you recommend it?