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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland 2.29.12

The Emerald Isle is a top destination on many travel bucket lists, but what most of those people don’t realize is that Ireland can be so affordable. For those that want to spend the St. Patrick’s Day holiday there, they can do so on a budget. Aer Lingus Vacations wants to help you make your vacation dreams a reality with this great deal:

Spend six nights in Ireland, complete with daily breakfast, round-trip airfare from New York (other departure cities available) and rental car. All this, including a stay in a castle from just $999 per person. Everything outside of where you stay is up to you. Drive all over Ireland to see what you want. Book by February 29 for this deal. If your budget is fairly limited, you can find some affordable activities:

Visit the national museums – The national museums that are centrally located in Dublin have free admission and they are a great way to learn about the history of Ireland for nothing. National Museum in Kildare Street, National Museum in Collins Barracks and Natural History Museum are just a few of the ones that you can enjoy for free.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral – For just €5.50 admission, you can celebrate the church’s namesake. You can get in for free if you are there to worship, but know that all your entry contributions directly go back into the church upkeep.

Discover the native plants and flowers of Ireland at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. Arrive on a Sunday and get a free guided tour at noon or 2:30pm. The gardens are great any time of year, as there are plants growing all the time, including fruits and vegetables.

The nature preserve on North Bull Island is a little-known tourist destination. Some 25,000 wading birds also reside on the island’s bird sanctuary. You can also visit the Royal Dublin Golf Course, for those of you that like to golf around the world.

Visit and learn about 23 different tourist attractions in Dublin when you board the Hop-on Hop-off tour bus in Dublin. Obviously, I am a big fan of the double-decker bus tours, because you can stay on for one circuit and get a whole guided tour and you can also get on and get off at any of the stops. It helps you save on transportation (or having to drive around and find parking) and tour guides. The bus will run you €16 (€6 for children) and if you buy tickets online, you can save 20% off! You won’t waste any time between stops either, as the bus runs continuously every 10-15 minutes.

If you have a bit more money in your budget, spring for a Dublin Pass and get entry to over 30 attractions and skip the ticket lines. Enjoy activities, like the Dublin Zoo, Christ Church Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse and more from just €35. Each pass comes with a map and guidebook and gets you discounts to shops, restaurants and other awesome things you’ll want to see and do. 

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