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Old 10-02-2005, 09:00 AM   #1
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Thinking of going to Dublin just before x-mas day or straight after - staying for a week in some hostel- two weeks at the most. First time traveller and first time hostel-guest.
Any experiences on travelling (for a short stay) at christmas time??? Is it boring, empty, expensive or can it be fun?
Only have time and money to stay in Dublin - any tips on small inexpensive trips to take nearby or great places to visit inside Dublin apart from the obvious? (Other than the lovely pubs of course...)
Any particularly cool places to catch some live music when on a budget?
Also interested to hear from anyone staying there at that particular time.
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Old 10-03-2005, 03:51 AM   #2
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I went in pretty much the same timeframe - Spent nearly a week in Dublin, starting on Dec. 26, which over there is known as St. Stephen's Day.

December 26
Unlike the UK, where it's Boxing Day and there are huge sales everywhere, St. Stephen's Day is DEAD. Just about everything is closed.. that included my hostel's lobby (Barnacle's Temple Bar Hostel - great place) - but by noon one of the nearby pubs opened up, and they were more than happy to let me store my backpack under the bar and guzzle down Guinness until the hostel opened up. On top of a lot of closures on that day, a lot of the little mom-n-pop businesses I wanted to check out on friends' recommendations were closed for the holiday period. The upside? It's not very crowded.

Money
Dublin is EX-PEN-SIVE! Especially in the tourist haunt of Temple Bar, but in general, it's one of the most expensive places I've been to. Other than picking up sandwiches at a local convenience store or getitng a group together to make community meals at the hostel, eating in Dublin seemed prohibitively expensive. Drinking can be pricey as well, but what's nice is every pub has a posted list of prices, so no bartender can play screw-the-tourist and overcharge you for drinks. You can also scan the list for the cheapest drinks with minimal embarassment.

Places to See
There's plenty to see in Dublin that's free.. Museums, parks, etc. Keep in mind that the Book of Kels display at Trinity College will be closed around this time, but it's still well worth strolling around the campus and taking it all in. One of my most memorable day trips was Wicklow and Glendalough, which any hostel front desk can arrange for you via a small local tour company. Very well worthwhile. Also great are the Backpackers Pub Crawl (definitely a good, raucous time out, and cheap!) as well as the famous Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which isn't as much of a party but definitely a great night of entertainment and a touch of education.

Music
You'll find that just about every decent-sized pub/bar has live music... FREE. I couldn't believe how many places I walked into that had great bands - not shitty bar bands who do covers - with great original songs and amazing vibe. You'd think the whole country was made up of professional musicians. You can't seem to stagger around Dublin without walking into a free live music venue. If in doubt, just ask a local to point you toward one.

Etc
It's freakin' COLD there that time of year. Actually, it's surprisingly pleasant during the day, but it can get BITTERLY cold and windy at night. If you look at pic #95 of my Dublin photo gallery, you'll get an idea of how cold it was for an American and an Australian on a night out
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Old 10-03-2005, 10:44 AM   #3
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Omi's pretty much got it all. You were wondering about some inexpensive trips. Although Ireland is pretty expensive compared to other European countries, the bus system seemed very reasonable. We went from Dublin north to a small town called Drogheda. It was about an hour and the RT price was less than 20 euro I believe. There wasn't a whole lot to the town, but it was cheaper than Dublin. We stayed at a hostel called the Green Door Hostel (right on the main street - you pass it on the bus) which was right on a river. That was only about an hour away. To get to the other side of Ireland (Galway-ish area) is only about 4 hours and still inexpensive. You can check out the site for Eireann and look up prices to places of interest.
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:40 AM   #4
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Hey there,

Im a 22 year old Singaporean female travelling with a friend to Dublin..we will be there from the 26th dec till the 7th Jan.. first time travellers and we are looking for a hostel.. we're on a tight budget too..and we're into live music etc.. want to share info? Or maybe we could even hook up when we're down there and explore together..Im trying to figure out how to check out the castles on our budget..lol..

Let me know if you want to get in touch with us. Take care.
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