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Want to know if the Dublin Pass is worth it? Learn if it’s a good value for your Dublin travel plans by reading our complete Dublin Pass review. Enjoy!
If you’ve never been to Dublin, you’re in for a treat! Dublin, Ireland is an old and proud city, packed with stories of heartbreaking setbacks and glorious triumphs. For many, a trip to Dublin fulfills a lifelong dream of getting in touch with their Irish heritage – making Dublin one of the most popular travel destinations in all of Europe.
I had the opportunity to visit Dublin over St. Patrick’s Day, and – as expected – the atmosphere was contagious. The city felt electric, with celebrations happening on every corner. And although St. Patrick’s Day is certainly a special event, Dublin is a great city to visit any time of year. The city feels small and welcoming. It’s easily walkable, and you can hit most of the highlights in just a few days.
While some of Dublin’s “must see sites” are free, most require an entry free. Additionally, many of the most popular attractions can have long lines, wasting valuable sightseeing time. Don’t let that scare you off. With “skip the line” access at Dublin’s busiest attractions (like the Guinness Storehouse), the Dublin Pass makes it easy to see most of Dublin’s top attractions in a short amount of time. But, is the Dublin Pass worth it? Let’s find out.
Is The Dublin Pass Worth It?
Before planning their sightseeing, savvy travelers should always consider both their costs AND their time. Buying a sightseeing pass is often a great way to make the most of both. These passes often provide free admission to the city’s top sites while allowing you to skip the lines at the most popular (and crowded) attractions. I’ve used sightseeing cards like the London Pass and the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card to save time and money, and have been happy with my purchase.
Like other standard sightseeing passes, the Dublin Pass provides free entry to many of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions. This includes places like the Guinness Storehouse, the Dublin Zoo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Jameson Distillery. Fast-track entry for some sites is also included, allowing you to skip the line and save time at the most crowded locations. A 24-hour pass to a “Hop-on Hop-off” bus tour is also available. This is a great way to get your bearings in the city and can save you time moving from place to place.
Top Attractions Included With The Dublin Pass
With the Dublin Pass, you’ll get free entry to over 30 of the most popular attractions in Dublin, including:
- Guinness Storehouse: €25
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: €22
- Jameson Distillery: €22
- Dublin Zoo: €18
- Teelings Distillery: €17
- National Wax Museum Plus: €15
- Aquazone National Aquatic Centre: €16
- EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum: €15
- Malahide Castle: €12.50
- Dublina: €10
- The Little Museum of Dublin: €10
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral: €8
- Christ Church Cathedral: €7
- …and more (find the whole list here)
(*Attractions current as of February 2019)
Dublin Pass Pricing
Now, let’s compare the normal ticket prices with the cost of the Dublin Pass itself:
|Passes||Adult Price (ages 16 and up)||Child Price (ages 5-15)|
|1 Day Dublin Pass||€62.00||€33.00|
|2 Day Dublin Pass||€83.00||€43.00|
|3 Day Dublin Pass||€102.00||€55.00|
|5 Day Dublin Pass||€128.00||€74.00|
(*Prices current as of February 2019)
As you can see, at just €83.00 for a 2-day pass, hitting 2-3 attractions per day would save you money on ticket prices. For example, let’s assume that over 2 days you visit the Guinness Storehouse, the National Wax Museum, the Dublin Zoo, Malahide Castle, and Jameson Distillery. You also take the hop-on hop-off bus tour, helping you get from place to place. Your cost of admission is already €114.50, meaning you save €31.50 just on tickets. Throw in the fast track entry and other benefits, and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent deal!
The Dublin Pass does come with some fine print that’s worth being aware of, but probably won’t impact you: purse value. Purse value is the maximum value you can get from the pass. For example, with the 1-day Dublin Pass, you can visit €115 worth of attractions. After that, the pass expires. Here are the purse values you’re working with:
|Pass||Purse Value - Adult 16+||Purse Value - Child Ages 5-15|
|1 Day Pass||€115||€60|
|2 Day Pass||€175||€80|
|3 Day Pass||€225||€100|
|5 Day Pass||€300||€150|
|Current as of February 6, 2019|
Now, it would be difficult to exceed the purse value of each pass given the prices of the included attractions. To visit more than €115 worth in one day, you’d need to visit five sites – that’s more than most people would take on. But still, we disagree with it in principle.
Advantages of the Dublin Pass
The cool thing about the Dublin Pass is that it doesn’t just save you money – it provides a whole host of other benefits, too. Here are a few of my favorites:
Fast Track Entry
One of the most important features of the Dublin Pass is that it provides “Fast Track Entry” at Dublin’s busiest sites. If you’re like most travelers, your time is limited. Don’t waste it standing in line. The Dublin Pass allows you to walk right by the long lines at popular spots like the Guinness Storehouse, keeping you moving and saving time. This is especially helpful during “peak” times, like summer and St. Patrick’s Day.
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
I mentioned this earlier, but the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is definitely one of my favorite parts of the Dublin Pass. The HOHO Bus Tour provides first-time visitors with a great way to get their bearings, or return visitors can use it to refresh their memory of the area. You can ride the bus for the whole tour, or use it to jump from attraction to attraction. It’s your choice! Just remember, your ticket to the HOHO Bus Tour only lasts for 24 hours, so it’s best to get started early on the day you wish to use it.
Other Benefits of the Dublin Pass
That’s not all. The Dublin Pass also comes with:
- Free Guidebook – I always love getting a free guidebook with the purchase of a sightseeing pass. It won’t replace a full guidebook, but it will provide you with some basic information about Dublin’s historic sites. And hey, it’s free!
- Discounts and Exclusive Offers at 20 Other Venues – In addition to providing free entry at over 30 attractions, the Dublin Pass also offers discounts and exclusive offers for about 20 other venues. Get discounted tickets for the theatre, out of town trips, dining experiences, and more!
- Convenience – One of the best reasons to order a Dublin Pass is that it’s super convenient. Instead of booking all of your sightseeing separately, this single pass covers your entry to the vast majority places you want to go anyway.
- Money Back Guarantee – The Dublin Pass also offers a 30-day “Money Back Guarantee,” effective from the date of purchase. So, if you can’t use your pass for any reason you can claim a 100% refund within 30 days of your purchase.
Where the Dublin Pass Falls Short
Overall, the Dublin Pass provides a decent value for those wanting to see the city’s major sites. For most people, the pass saves both time and money. Unfortunately, there are a couple of glaring omissions that can’t go unmentioned.
My biggest problem with the Dublin Pass is that it doesn’t include admission to two of the most popular sites (which are two of my personal favorites): Trinity College Library/Book of Kells and Kilmainham Gaol. It’s really a shame because these are two legitimately “can’t miss” sites in Dublin. In fact, if you cold only see three places, these would be two of them (with the Guinness Storehouse being the other).
That being said, using the Dublin Pass still works fine. My suggestion is to leave a day free to see these sites. So, if you’re planning to be in Dublin for 3 days, get the 2-Day Dublin Pass and visit the college and the jail on Day 1 or Day 3. Or, you could also get the 3-day pass and work them in one at a time. Whatever you do, don’t miss these two sites!
We’re also disappointed that they added a purse value to the Dublin Pass recently, even though it likely won’t come into play. But if some power sightseer wants to visit six attractions in one day, they should be able to.
Who Is the Dublin Pass Good For?
The Dublin Pass provides a good value, but it isn’t right for everybody. I’d recommend the Dublin Pass for:
- First-time Visitors – If this is your first time visiting Dublin, you should definitely consider the Dublin Pass. In most instances, the card will save you time and money, allowing you to make the most of your sightseeing while you’re there. Additionally, it is super convenient, making your trip planning that much easier.
- Visitors with Short Stays – The Dublin Pass is great if you want to see a lot in a short amount of time. If you’re like most travelers, you’ll probably only spend a few days inside of Dublin itself. (Truth be told, that’s probably all you need.) The Dublin Pass helps you efficiently explore the city’s top sites, both in terms of time and money.
- Those Without a Sightseeing Plan – If you don’t have a sightseeing plan and don’t want to spend a lot of effort creating one, the Dublin Pass practically does it for you. With free entry to over 30 attractions, just select a few you’d like to see each day, and you’re done. No buying tickets, no waiting in line, and no stress.
Who Is the Dublin Pass NOT Good For?
- Slow Travelers – For those who want to take their time exploring the city, a Dublin Pass may not be the right fit. Unlike the London Explorer Pass, this pass is only good for up to 5 days. If you can only make it through one attraction a day, you’re not going to get enough value from the pass to make it worth it.
- Those Skipping the Biggest Sites – The biggest benefit of the Dublin Pass is saving time and money. So, if you’re skipping the most popular and expensive sites, the pass won’t help you do either. (Keep in mind, these attractions are usually popular for a reason. I highly recommend checking out the Guinness Storehouse, if only for the view from the Gravity Bar – Dublin’s highest point!)
- Those Not Interested in Sightseeing – If your Dublin goals don’t include sightseeing, one of these passes isn’t for you. You can still enjoy your time in by walking around and soaking up the atmosphere.
How to Buy Your Dublin Pass
Buying your Dublin Pass is super simple. Just follow this link to purchase your Dublin Pass online!
The Dublin Pass also offers several options for obtaining the pass. If you have time and don’t mind paying for shipping, you can pay about €10 and receive your pass via courier in roughly 15 business days. You can also save money by visiting any number of locations in Dublin (including one at the airport) to pick up your pass in person.
Dublin Pass Review: The Bottom Line
As a self-professed lover of sightseeing passes, I think the Dublin Pass provides a decent value. With free entry to over 30 of Dublin’s top attractions, the pass usually makes financial sense for those who will visit 2 or 3 spots a day. Additionally, you’ll get to skip the lines at some of the biggest attractions (including the Guinness Storehouse), saving you valuable time on your trip.
Even though the pass excludes two of my favorite sites (Trinity College’s Long Room/Book of Kells and Kilmainham Gaol), I still think it’s worth it for most visitors. You can easily work those two sites into your plans over a 3-day stay in Dublin. It doesn’t provide the huge levels of savings like some passes in other cities (like the New York Pass), but even the modest savings can add up.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking to save time and money while visiting Dublin, the Dublin Pass deserves your consideration.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy your time in Dublin. Until next time, happy traveling!