Getting to Dublin has never been as easy – or as cheap. Most of the big cheap airlines offer enticing deals to the city. Ryanair, for example, run flights to Dublin from all over Europe, for as little as €15.
Having landed in the city, there's a confusing array of different travel passes on offer. Of these, the best is probably the "Rambler" pass. They range from a day pass (€5) to a week (€18), and can be picked up at the Bus office and in newsagents.
For the budget traveler trying desperately to keep costs down on a trip to the city, there's one great piece of news: Dublin hostels are amongst the very best and cheapest in the world. What's more, there's a wide range to choose from.
The handsome red brick façade of Kinlay House belies its humble hostel status. Well-known for its friendly staff, at €19 a night, it's a temptingly affordable option. Abbey Court, with its attractive riverside location, is another good option. Alternatively, the Shining Hostel may be a little basic, but at €15 a night, and with a lively social atmosphere, it's certainly appealing from the point of view of your budget.
Good food for less
There are a number of places to eat in across town that won't wreck your budget. To the south of the city center, Probe on Market Arcade has a wide choice of reasonably-priced dishes. And although it might be a tourist attraction in its own right, Leo Burdock's on Werburgh Street is well worth a visit.
But even the cheapest restaurants and cafés can leave a dent in your budget. Mixing it up by preparing a meal at your hostel is a great way to offset that cost. The bustling Moore Street market, in Dublin's Northside, is the place to pick up wonderful fresh produce.
Where to drink
Lashings of Guinness are all very well, but, more's the pity, the stuff's not free. On the north bank of the Liffey, the bars and clubs around Capel Street have a lower concentration of tourists. As a result, prices in places like 1780 Bar on the corner of Church Street and Bow Street, and Frank Ryan & Son on Queen Street, are naturally just that little bit lower than their equivalents in the overpriced Temple Bar.
As with all cities, the trick is to find out which museums, galleries and attractions have free entrance. Fortunately, Dublin's overflowing with free things to do. The National Gallery and National Museum are free, as is entrance to the impressive Trinity College. Another good tip is that on Tuesdays there's no charge for the guided tours of the House of Lords.
And for those things you do have to pay for, investing in a "Dublin Pass" isn't a bad idea. The pass can be tailored to the length of your stay and makes for fairly substantial savings when compared to paying for entrances individually.
Parks and outdoor spaces
On those (relatively rare) days when the sun shines, Dublin, unusually for a city, is packed with things to do outdoors. A walk along the leafy Grand Canal to Portobello is a great way to get to know a side of the city which few visitors get out to.
An afternoon in the one of Dublin's parks is another excellent way to keep the costs down. Picnicking in St Stephens, slap-bang in the center of Dublin is cheaper than eating in a restaurant, and a welcome respite from the busy city around.
In Phoenix Park you can watch people playing sport and marvel at the stunning Farmleigh Mansion (a former residence of the Guinness family). Or you can just lie out on the grass with a copy of Ulysses perched on your chest...
There's so much to see and do in the city, that if you've only got a couple of days, it can all be rather exhausting. Back in your Dublin hostel after a long day's sightseeing, tired and happy, you can put your feet up knowing you've really got the most out of the city – and saved a few euros in the process!