Lonely Planet warns readers of Dublin's accommodation shortages, car rental costs and airport chaos

Lonely Planet warns readers of Dublin's accommodation shortages, car rental costs and airport chaos

WORLD-RENOWNED travel guide and website Lonely Planet has lambasted Dublin in an article which encourages readers to ask themselves eight questions before travelling to the capital city.

The article in particular highlights soaring hotel costs that are "wreaking havoc with holidaymakers' budgets," car rental costs and the unlikelihood of being able to grab a seat at some of the capital's many restaurants without prior booking.

The accommodation problem "is compounded by increased demand as travel returns and beds are snapped up, in addition to hotels providing emergency accommodation for refugees fleeing Ukraine, as well as those impacted by the country's worsening housing crisis," the article says.

"It's fair to say finding last-minute accommodation won't be easy."

Lonely Planet checked weekend availability in the city centre in July for two people, with prices ranging between €700 and €900 through Booking.com

"Outside of the capital prices are considerably cheaper with prices averaging at about €400 for a two-night weekend stay in Galway in early September and about €300 in Cork for the same period.

"If you plan to visit, we recommend you reserve your accommodation as soon as your flight is booked."

On the issue of car rental costs, the article says that prices are high compared to the European average, and notes how in May one couple was quoted €18,703 to rent a seven-seater car from Dublin Airport for the first week of August.

"And while that appears to have been an exceptional case, the cost of renting a car will likely make a significant dent in your budget."

For pubs and restaurants, the site recommends making reservations at least two weeks in advance for a weekend table and a week in advance for a weekday booking.

"On weekends it's likely you'll have as much chance scoring the winning Lotto ticket as bagging a walk-in in a city centre restaurants," it says.

"You might get lucky in the meantime but best to play it safe if you have a special place in mind.

"During the pandemic, bars and pubs required people to reserve and sit at tables in order to maintain social distancing," the article continues. "The government has scrapped that rule but you'll find that some businesses still enforce it on Friday and Saturday nights when demand is high in the city centre. It isn't a hard and fast rule and most places will let you in without a booking regardless. But expect to be standing for much of the night."

The article also highlights recent issues at Dublin Airport which saw thousands of passengers experience delays and missed flights.

It reiterates the advice from Dublin Airport to arrive 2.5 hours in advance for short-haul flights and 3.5 hours in advance for long-haul flights, and to add another hour into that schedule for checking in a bag.

Despite the negative aspects of the city that the article outlines, it also has some positives to note, including saving on public transport new attractions to visit and the abundance of outdoor activities to explore.

"While car rental costs are soaring, one way you could save money when visiting Dublin this year is through the new 90-minute fare initiative on public transport," it says. "It allows passengers to transfer between the city's buses, trams and train services, including Dublin Bus, Luas and most DART and Go-Ahead Ireland, for a flat fare €2 per adult."

The article highlights The National Gallery of Ireland, the Chester Beatty Library, Kilmainham Gaol and the Irish Museum of Modern Art as attractions that can be visited, as well as Custom House and the GAA Museum at Croke Park.

"Even though you're on a city break, you'll find plenty of great hiking, biking and swimming options in Dublin," it says about the outdoors.

"The city is cradled by the Wickow Mountains to the southeast and the Irish Sea to the east. It's also home to the largest enclosed public park in any European capital city: the Phoenix Park.

"Open-water swimming was popular long before the pandemic, lockdowns seems to have enticed more people into the water. If you're visiting Dublin without a car, you'll find some of the best swimming spots are easily accessible on the DART line from the city centre including Sandycove, Vico Baths in Killiney, Howth Cliffs, Bull Island, The Forty Foot and Seapoint.

"The same goes for hiking, you can access the scenic Glendalough walking trails by bus from the city centre, while the much-loved Bray to Glendalough hiking trail can be reached by DART from the centre too."

Read the full article on the Lonely Planet website here.