Is the Dublin Pass 2017 worth it? We review value and prices here

GuinnessStorehouseAs popular as Dublin is for tourists, it’s actually quite compact and easy to visit in only two or three days. The Dublin Pass is a standard “city pass” that covers admission to pretty much every popular attraction in town for one flat price. The Dublin Pass doesn’t include public transportation, but most attractions are within walking distance for those staying in the city center anyway.

The most popular attraction in Dublin is the extremely entertaining Guinness Storehouse, and of course it is included in the Dublin Pass (including a free pint in the top-floor Gravity Bar at the end). Assuming you are planning on visiting the Guinness tour, it’s very likely that the Dublin Pass is a good idea, but we’ll run the numbers below.

The second most popular Dublin attraction is the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which was added to the Dublin Pass in early 2016. This bus tour is highly recommended for any first-time visitor to Dublin who only has a few days, whether you buy the pass or not.

Note: This article was first written in 2014 and has been updated and expanded frequently since then, most recently in December, 2016.

Prices of popular attractions covered by the Dublin Pass

  • Guinness Storehouse: €20
  • Hop-on Hop-off bus tour: €19
  • Teelings Whiskey Distillery Tour: €14
  • Dublin Zoo: €17
  • National Wax Museum Plus: €14
  • Malahide Castle: €12
  • Dublinia: €8.50
  • National Wax Museum Plus: €14
  • Croke Park Stadium Tour & GAA Museum: €13
  • Aviva Stadium: €10
  • Jeanie Johnston Tallship & Famine Museum: €9.50
  • Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre: €8.50
  • Christ Church Cathedral: €6

DublinChristChurchCathedralUnsurprisingly, the Guinness Storehouse is by far the most popular attraction in Dublin, and it’s quite expensive on its own. The Dublin Pass covers its admission along with the excellent pint of Guinness you get at the Gravity Bar at the end.

If you also do the informative Teelings Whiskey Distillery Tour, you’ve already saved enough money for most of a 1-day Dublin Pass, and you’ve still got half a day left for 1 to 3 other attractions. If you also do the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, you’ve more than paid for a 1-day Dublin Pass, and you’ve still a few hours left to do other things. In other words, if you are going on these popular alcohol-themed tours (probably better later in the day) and the HOHO bus, then a Dublin Pass pretty much pays for itself. But if you aren’t a drinker, it might be hard to save enough with the pass.

Skip the ticket queues on the big attractions as well

A Dublin Pass allows Fast Track Entry at the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, Dublinia, and many other top attractions. Being able to walk past the ticket queue will also save you from 5 minutes to an hour at each stop, especially in summer.

Prices of popular attractions that AREN’T covered by the Dublin Pass

  • Trinity College Library – Book of Kells: €10
  • Kilmainham Gaol Museum: €7

2016 – 2017 prices of the Dublin Pass

  • 1-day Adult Dublin Pass: €49
  • 1-day Child Dublin Pass: €29
  • 2-day Adult Dublin Pass: €69
  • 2-day Child Dublin Pass: €39
  • 3-day Adult Dublin Pass: €79
  • 3-day Child Dublin Pass: €49
  • 5-day Adult Dublin Pass: €99
  • 5-day Child Dublin Pass: €59

A Child Dublin Pass is for ages 5 to 15

Note: The Dublin Pass typically goes up in price in late January each year. But the pass can be used up to 12 months from the date of purchase, so you can buy a pass before prices go up and use it after.

Exclusive discount for Price of Travel readers

Click to use this discount for 10% off all orders of the Dublin Pass

Use coupon code: POT10 (expires Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 4 of checkout)

NOTE: Using the link above will give you the best discount on the Dublin Pass. If a larger discount is being offered on the longer passes, you’ll get that discount using the link.

Is the Dublin Pass a good deal? Let’s run the numbers

Doing the alcohol-based attractions?: It’s a great deal

GravityBarThe tourist part of Dublin is fairly compact and walkable, so it’s quite easy to see 4 or even 5 of the major attractions in one full day. In two days it would be easy to see 7 or 8 attractions if you were motivated. Assuming that you are interested in the Guinness Storehouse Tour, the HOHO bus, and the Teelings Whiskey Distillery Tour, that almost pays for a 1-day Dublin Pass even if you don’t get a discount.

Skipping the Guinness and Teelings Distillery Tours?: Probably skip the Dublin Pass

If you skip the Guinness and Teelings Tours, it would take a lot of work to get good value out of a Dublin Pass. The good news for you is that you’ll probably remember everything more and you’ll save money in general because the other attractions are more modestly priced.

The hop-on, hop-off bus is now included

DublinHOHOAs of early 2016, Dublin Pass raised its price a bit, but also added the popular City Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which is now a great deal. The full loop takes 90 minutes, but there are two routes included in your pass. About half the stops are on both routes, so it’s easy to switch from one to the other to see different parts of Dublin.

The HOHO bus does stop at or near nearly every attraction included in the Dublin Pass, and the bus ticket is good for 24 hours (rather than just one calendar day). In most cities we recommend AGAINST using HOHO buses for transportation from one attraction to another, but in Dublin it can actually work because the buses come every 10 minutes or so, and Dublin isn’t known for crippling street traffic in the way that most other big cities are. Dublin also doesn’t have an underground system, so city buses are usually the fastest way to get around anyway.

If you have 3 or fewer days in Dublin, the HOHO bus is a highly recommended way of seeing most of the city in a short time, even if you don’t buy a Dublin Pass. But if you are going to buy a Dublin Pass, the HOHO bus is a great added feature and now a much better deal.

When deciding, forget any attraction less than €8

JamesonEntryThe Dublin Pass includes free entry to 33 popular attractions, but when you look at them individually you’ll notice that many of them are quite cheap on their own. The easiest way to calculate whether a Dublin Pass is good for you is to just forget the cheap attractions (those under €8) and count how many of the more expensive ones you’d want to see.

There are really only 10 or 12 attractions that charge enough to be useful in Dublin Pass calculations, which makes a decision easier. If you only want to visit 2 or maybe 3 of those more expensive attractions, it’s probably better to skip getting a Dublin Pass.

Who the Dublin Pass is ideal for

  • First-time Dublin visitors who want to see most of the top attractions
  • Anyone doing the Guinness and Teelings Whiskey Distillery Tour who wants to see at least a few other things in Dublin as well
  • Visitors in Dublin for 1 or 2 quick days who want to see a lot and skip ticket queues

Who the Dublin Pass is NOT ideal for

  • Very low budget backpackers
  • Visitors who WON’T go to the Guinness or Teelings Tours
  • Those spending 5 or more days in Dublin who prefer slower sightseeing

Important advice: Start early in the day and plan a bit ahead

Generally speaking, the included attractions are the least busy just after they open in the morning, so savvy travelers will leave their hotel early and get in their best sightseeing while other people are still getting organized. Also, Dublin is a compact city but it’s still helpful to figure out an efficient route before you head out for the day. If you plan wisely you can easily do 3 or 4 good attractions in a day, so getting great value out of the Dublin Pass is guaranteed.

The Bottom Line

JamesonTastingFor most city passes it’s a more complicated calculation about whether or not they are good value for any given visitor, but in Dublin it’s more straightforward. As mentioned a couple times above, if you want to do the Guinness and Teelings Tours and a few other things, a Dublin Pass is almost certainly a good idea. You get to skip the queues at many attractions, which can be quite long in summer, so you save time and money.

On the other hand, Dublin is a pleasant and easy-to-visit city and you are likely to enjoy it even if you don’t spend your days in the main attractions. It’s also worth mentioning that Dublin is NOT the most charming part of Ireland (not even close), so if you have less than a week to spend in the country, it’s probably better to see Dublin in one day, and spend the rest of your time in the other towns and in the countryside.

Where to buy the Dublin Pass

>>>Click to use this discount for 10% off all orders of the Dublin Pass

Use coupon code: POT10 (expires Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 4 of checkout)

NOTE: Using the link above will give you the best discount on the Dublin Pass. If a larger discount is being offered on the longer passes, you’ll get that discount using the link.



6 Responses to “Is the Dublin Pass 2017 worth it? We review value and prices here”

Smita says:

I am unable to avail the discount through the promo code. help….!

 

    Smita,

    What is happening when you try to enter the promo code? POT10 should work right now as long as you enter it in the right place. -Roger

     
grant says:

Cannot see Kilmainham Gaol listed on the Dublin pass website, but you list it on your site. Can you advise?

 

    Grant,

    Hmmm…it appears that Kilmainham Gaol has dropped out of the Dublin Pass program, and raised its price to €7. It could be that it was complicated since they are now on a reserved tickets system. Fortunately, it’s still a pretty cheap attraction so it doesn’t change the math much on the Pass. It’s still mostly about the Guinness and Jameson tours from a cost perspective. Thanks for pointing that out. -Roger

     
Joanie C says:

The price of the Dublin Pass is €49 not €39!

 

    Joanie,

    Thank you for the comment. Evidently, Dublin Pass has recently raised prices, but they’ve also added the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which is another highly recommended attraction. I’ve updated the prices and article. -Roger

     

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