A weekend in Ireland on a student budget

BY: Alfie Laurence

3 minute read

Travelling to Dublin as a student or a budget traveller? You’re in for a treat! Dublin is full of things to do, nightlife to enjoy, warm hospitality and loads of boutique shops, thrift stores and cosy cafes to spend both Winter and Summer days without a dull moment. A weekend in Dublin can be pricey but also offers lots without breaking the bank.

My own love for Dublin started early. In August 2023, I returned to Dublin for the first time since I was a child, this time as a solo traveler, eager to get stuck in and get swept up by the city’s history, streets, and the famous Wild Atlantic Way. My goal was to experience Dublin authentically, on a budget, using local transportation, staying in hostels, and joining group tours. Here’s how you can make the most of a 3-day weekend in Dublin without spending a fortune.

Day 2 in Ireland – Dublin


Waking up in Generator Hostel in the Smithfield district, I started my day in this lively, renovated factory-turned-hostel. Instead of the hostel breakfast, I ventured to a nearby café called Slice discovered through TikTok. Their specialty dish and homemade sauce called Rayu was so good, I had to take some home.


I rented a bike and set off to explore Temple Bar and Trinity College Dublin, known for its impressive library and historic significance. A stroll down Grafton Street led me to some amazing thrift vintage shops, perfect for bargain hunting. Lunch was a healthy salad box from a place called Sprout, followed by a visit to the National Museum of Ireland, which was free. The highlight here was the intriguing Bog Men – ancient preserved bodies with a fascinating history.


The night in Temple Bar was lively, with its iconic pub, live Irish music, and the essential Guinness experience. For dinner, I enjoyed an affordable, mouth-watering pizza at DiFontaines.

Day 2 in Ireland – Cliffs of Moyer & Doolin

Morning and Afternoon:

A day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Doolin was next. The cliffs offered stunning views and an overwhelming sense of nature’s power. In Doolin, a charming village, I indulged in homemade scones, a perfect snack in this quaint setting.


Back in Dublin, I explored local bars near the university, enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and affordable drinks – a great way to mingle with locals and fellow travellers.

Day 3 in Ireland – Dublin


The Guinness Storehouse was a must-visit. The tour, ending with a pint at the Gravity Bar, was a highlight, providing insights into Dublin’s famous brewery and a fantastic view of the city.

Dublin is a city that charms with its mix of history, culture, and lively spirit. This weekend trip proved that Dublin can be thoroughly enjoyed even on a student budget. From the bustling nightlife of Temple Bar to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, Dublin offers an array of experiences that cater to all interests. It’s a city that captures your heart and leaves you longing to return.

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