Lonely Planet warns tourists about ‘notoriously expensive’ Dublin. What do other guidebooks say about the capital?

Dublin is reeling after it received a devastating review from popular travel website Lonely Planet, which warned tourists of the “notoriously expensive” capital.

The guide warned readers of the “housing shortage, soaring car rental prices and airport chaos” that have made headlines in recent weeks.

He quoted the Tourism Advisory Group as saying that tour operators are struggling to find places in the city, a problem exacerbated by increased travel demand and hotels providing emergency accommodation for refugees.

Lonely Planet did not list Dublin as its summer destination, and other popular travel guides have also pointed out the pitfalls of the Irish capital.

Rough guides

Like Lonely Planet, Rough Guides didn’t ignore the fact that living in Dublin can be very expensive and that advance planning is essential.

“The growth in visitor numbers over the past decade or so has had a positive impact on the variety of accommodation available in Dublin and there is plenty to choose from for all budgets, with the north side and suburbs generally cheaper than the centre,” Rough said the guides.

“Hotels in the city center tend to be expensive, although many offer discounts mid-week or out of high season, while bed and breakfasts are usually a very welcoming and comfortable alternative.

“If money is relatively tight and you want to be close to the action, hostels are the best option and almost all have private rooms.

“Advance booking is always highly recommended and required during major festivals such as St. Patrick’s Day in July and August, and on weekends all year round, especially when major concerts or sporting events take place.”

Lonely Planet also commented on the sky-high cost of renting a holiday car in Ireland due to some rental firms selling half of their inventory during the pandemic.

While the other guide did not comment on the cost of renting a car, Rough Guide did explain how many places in Dublin are within walking distance of each other or easily accessible by public transport.

“Most of Dublin’s sights are concentrated in the relatively compact area that spans both sides of the River Liffey, with many bridges, which divides the city into north and south sides.”


The Timeout Travel Guide also noted on its website that accommodation in Dublin is far from cheap, and finding affordable hotels requires planning ahead.

“Dublin has the highest occupancy rate of any comparable European city, which is why even the most modest rooms sell for incredibly high prices, and the best ones are often fully booked weeks in advance. For that matter, this is a city that rewards the well-organized,” Timeout said.

All guidebooks agreed that Dublin has character.

Timeout wrote: “Dublin does everything. If you’re looking for a bustling weekend in iconic pubs and all sorts of live entertainment, the Irish capital is one of the best cities on the planet.”


While there is a wide range of hotels to choose from in Dublin, finding one that won’t break the bank can be a challenge.

“With a healthy mix of luxury hotels and stately old guesthouses, Dublin stands out for providing a place to unwind at the end of the day. Unfortunately, finding a really great and inexpensive place to stay in the summer is more difficult,” writes Frommer’s.

“Try to book as early as possible. The most in-demand places fill up quickly.”

Frommer also warned tourists about the limited number of parking spaces across the city and that it can get expensive if you don’t plan ahead.

“More expensive hotels can charge up to €25 per night for parking, so ask about this hidden fee before booking.”

Fodor’s Journey

While all of these guidebooks have the same free posts about the sights and beauty of Dublin, they can’t ignore the price of a trip to the capital.

“Today, Dublin is in many ways a modern European city with a thriving economy based on an influx of tech giants and major financial institutions,” writes Fodor.

“It boasts quality restaurants and hotels to match many major cities, as well as high housing prices and traffic congestion to match them.”


On TripAdvisor, several tourists shared their experience in Dublin and most of them had a good time, and the cost of the city continued to be mentioned in several reviews.

A user from the United Kingdom visited Dublin in May, staying at The Gresham Dublin, she wrote: “Nice hotel close to the Spire, very good location, walking distance to Temple shops, restaurants and bars.”

While the guest enjoyed their experience, the cost of living in Dublin did not go unnoticed.

“Dublin is quite an expensive city, but the people here are very friendly. If you are visiting the hotel and want to experience Irish pubs, I recommend The Celt nearby. Really good atmosphere and food.”

Another user posted a detailed review of his trip to see the Book of Kells, praising the Trinity College Library, he added in a comment about Dublin spending.

“By the way, everything in Dublin is way too expensive and expensive compared to England, Scotland and Wales,” he wrote.

Earlier this month, an American tourist asked Tripadvisor users, “I’m having a hard time finding accommodation (acceptable) for 9/10 and 11. What’s going on that I don’t know?”

Later response: “Thank God refugees have a home in Ireland, but surely hotels don’t give out hotel rooms for free. The state pays and all is well. What I disagree with is the alienation of other travelers by tripling hotel prices. It’s not a good business in the long run.”