I think travelling on the cheap with a backpack behind you and checking into one of the many backpackers or hostels has more advantages than not. I have stayed in backpackers in other parts of the world, but nothing has really compared to Ireland, and in particular Dublin. I can only think that would be the friendly nature of the Irish spirit and their hospitality which plays such a big role.
Most backpackers have good facilities with guest kitchens, an entertainment area, internet as well as a cozy restaurant. A hostel has a good community atmosphere and there is no better place to experience this than Dublin. If it is a working holiday you are after, then jobs are always advertised, mostly by word of mouth.
Backpackers are always trying to help each other out, but some hostels also have a job board which is really useful. You get to meet travellers from all over the world - people you can strike up a conversation, making friends for life. For me this is far better than staying in a lonely hotel room by yourself.
Cheap Accommodation in Dublin
The Abbey Hostel
Cheap accommodation in Dublin city center and convenient to everything. It is also the cleanest hostel. Everyone is provided with a key card for their room. The Abbey Hostel is worth every penny. It has large cooking area and a separate eating area. There is also the facility to hire a bicycle.
An incredibly friendly place with staff going out of their way to make you feel at home. At Christmas time. the staff make a special lunch for the lodgers, which make everyone feel right at home. The Kinlay is situated in the Temple bar, which most backpackers won’t complain about. The Kinlay House also allows for free international phone calls, a beer voucher, internet access and a free breakfast, making it extra popular amongst backpackers.
The Marlborough Hostel
This is a fun hostel with video nights, barbeque evenings and other times when everyone gets together for some kind of social activity. There is a job bard, internet access, messaging and a wake-up service. This is another affordable youth hostel in Dublin that is well worth it.
This hostel has recently been revamped and the new look is working very well. There are lots of freebies, such as the first 20 beds are half priced. Other freebies include live music, guided walking tours, dancing nights and movie nights. It is situated close to Temple Bar and the bus and train stations making it extremely convenient.
An upmarket youth hostel, almost like a hotel, but still within a backpacker’s price range. Being within close range of all the fine pubs in Dublin this is a good spot to dwell in. A continental breakfast is included in the price. All rooms have bathroom facilities and the hostel has a kitchen as well.
You will find Temple Bar on the River Liffey, characterized by its cobbled streets in traditional medieval fashion. Many Irish cultural institutions can also be found in this area, such as arts, music and acting. It is also here that a lot of Guinness is drunk.
The Irish love a drink, but there is nothing better than Guinness and I have to agree that the Irish make the best Guinness. Rumor has it Guinness suffers jet lag and doesn’t last anywhere else in the world. In the Temple Bar you can experience life with the locals as well as a traveller from a country you have never been to.
There are many different pubs and each one has a different atmosphere which is unique. If you are feeling like some traditional Irish food to go with your Guinness, I suggest you try an Irish Stew. They never seem to disappoint. You will definitely find affordable hostels in Dublin are worth your money as long as you do the research.
Cycling in Ireland
You can’t go to Dublin, and not take advantage of going off into the countryside at some point. There is so much to see and do. You get to absorb a lot more information and breathe in some fresh air at the same time. Cycling in Ireland can be an exciting way to explore Ireland, ant there are a lot of youth hostels in Ireland dotted around here as well. You will probably be able to remember the finer details of the lifestyle because of the fact that everything is in slow motion.
Ireland has some steep hills to climb, so if you are about to do a long ride make sure you are fit. Everyone knows it rains a lot in Ireland, but not many know that the wind can really howl at times. It is better to go in a group so that you are protected from the wind. This way it is also more fun.
The scenery is beautiful in the countryside with not much traffic. Bicycles are easy enough to rent, but you can always bring your own bike with you. Ferries don’t charge you to transport your bicycle. Bikes are also allowed on buses for a small fee, but they are not allowed on trains. Some bicycle hiring shops are friendly enough and will let you leave you your luggage at their shop so you can feel as comfortable as possible. It is not expensive to hire a bike. It is also a good idea to get a detailed map before you go so you know where you are going.
The North has some great areas for cycling, starting with the historic town of Silgo where WB Yeats once stayed. The roads are mostly flat. County Galway and Donegal are popular cycling destinations overlooking the beach. Further on in County Down towards County Antrim is a spectacular stretch of coast from Belfast to Giant’s Causeway. Strenuous, but beautiful cycling can be found just south of Dublin.
The area of Kilkenny in particular has some beautiful cycling excursions. In the Centre of Ireland the terrain is gentle. The Goldsmith Country Cycling Tour takes places here in Cavan, around the lakes. Everything is signposted.
I would recommend Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula to everyone. It is hilly and it can be windy, but those are some of the challenges of cycling in the countryside. The Dingle Peninsula is beautiful. The movies, Ryan’s Daughter and Far and Away were filmed in this area and are signposted. There are ancient monuments from prehistoric times that are still standing. Dingle is a popular town with a small port.
Dingle has their own celebrity dolphin by the name of Fungi. Fungi was found by a group of fishermen. He leaped over their boats to greet them. Boats leave the ports on a regular basis and for a small charge you can go and find Fungi. If you don’t see him you can get your money back, but he usually appears.
Cycling in Dublin
Dublin is great for getting around by bike if you have no problem with the traffic. Many Dubliners travel by bike and most youth hostels rent them out. It will be a lot cheaper and it will save you a lot of walking. One always seems to get lost in bigger city, but with a bike it will make your life a lot easier. You will see bicycles attached to railings wherever you go.
The only place which lacks bicycle parking is the Temple Bar area, but you will find a home for your bike in the near vicinity. The city of Dublin is also small and flat making it an ideal place for cycling. There is ample space where you can park your park, but make sure you lock it up on a railing. Renting a bike in Dublin does not cost a lot. You can either rent on a daily basis or by the week which would be cheaper.