In 2014 a receipt from the Temple Bar pub in Dublin went viral after it appeared online and a discussion about how expensive Dublin has become. Here's how to do Dublin on the cheap.

So The Temple Bar, a pub popular with tourists located in Dublin’s Temple Bar district, is charging $26.80 (€19.90) for two pints of beer and a pack of potato chips. This is wild, I’ll admit, but not more expensive than if you sat down to have a beer in the middle of most tourist traps.

I am in no way defending these extraordinary prices, but I would like to acknowledge some central and far more reasonably priced pubs in Dublin’s city center.

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A mate of mine posted this on Facebook! I knew the prices were high, but seriously?!

— Mike Hogan (@MikeHogan4FM) July 23, 2014

Any Dubliner worth their salt would advise tourists to be aware of Temple Bar. It has become a tourist mecca and, while the cobbled streets, bars and interesting shops and galleries are a draw, remember there is far more to Dublin’s city center than just this stretch.

So here I’ve put together some of my favorite spots to eat, drink and make merry:

Drinks -

The Long Hall, George’s Street

Away from the tourist track, you’ll walk by the beautiful George’s Street Markets, just off Dame Street to arrive at this beautiful boozer that’s been around since 1877. A favorite among locals, it’s the perfect place for a chat.

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Cobblestone, King St N, Smithfield

If you’re looking for some Irish music hop on the Luas and head up to the Cobblestone, in Smithfield. There’s live music every night (with two rooms to gig in). There’s always a good crowd and most importantly good banter.


This pub is said to have the best pint of Guinness in Dublin and considering St. James’s Gate is just a few miles away that’s a pretty big claim. The pub is 300 years old and tolerates no nonsense. There’s a cellphone ban in the bar and locals don’t take kindly to rowdiness. It’s a treasured jewel for pint-supping Dubs.

Find out more here.

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Busyfeet and CoCo, South William’s Street

This is located on a sunny corner in the busy area of South William Street. The lunch and dinner menu is delicious. The atmosphere is great, food scrumptious and, most importantly, inexpensive.

Check out their Facebook here.

Brasserie Sixty6, George’s Street

This has been a favorite for years. Their menu ranges from Irish to European bistro fare, but it’s consistently good. I recommend the sausages and mash. A firm favorite and this one often have deals and specials to tempt you.

Check out their Facebook here.

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The Church, Mary Street

Well, this one might be a little touristy, but it’s off the usual tourist route and the building itself is worth a visit. Built in an 18th-century church this bar and restaurant have a decent menu and a massive beer garden to wile away your evening.

Here’s their Facebook page.

Apart from the joys of dining out and drinking in Dublin, there is a wide range of cheap or free activities for tourist to engage in. Just recently Ireland’s national tourism development authority, Fáilte Ireland, released their annual list, which is seen as a definitive list, of what tourists do and see in Ireland. These free attractions were included:

- National Gallery of Ireland

- National Botanic Gardens

- Farmleigh House

- National Museum, Archaeology

- Science Gallery

- National Museum, Natural History

- National Library of Ireland

- National Museum, Collins Barracks

- Chester Beatty Library

Apart from our historic and academic attractions, there’s also a massive amount going on in Dublin city.

Theatre tickets are relatively cheap. A nights' enjoyment at Ireland’s national theater, the Abbey, cost as little as $17 (€13).

Ireland is one of the biggest cinema-going nations in the world (considering its size). The Irish Film Institute (Eustace Street) always has an excellent schedule of interesting movies and events.

There’s also a huge number of festivals and special events running in Dublin during any given season. Check out Merrion Square Park, Dublin Castle, St. Stephen's Green, and Phoenix Park

If you’re looking for something that’s more of a giggle, Dublin chock full of #comedy venues. The father of these is at The International, the Comedy Cellar where tickets are $13 (€10) and you’re always guaranteed a fun line up.

My point is that there’s always something to do in Dublin and for relatively little or even for free. In fact, Dublin has its own Event Guide for free events. So next time someone tries to tell you about rip-off Ireland tell them where to the tourist trail.

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* Originally published December 2014.