Is the Lonely Planet article about Dublin accurate? A Dubliner responds
Our capital city was recently rinsed by the hugely popular travel blog. But just how accurate was it?
Dublin — and Ireland, generally — has long enjoyed a much-coveted spot on tourism listicles, as well as a beloved reputation worldwide.
We're praised for our natural beauty, our rich heritage, and of course, our craic, but a recent article from Lonely Planet laid a few realities about our capital city bare, and it may be hard to bounce back from it.
But just how accurate was the rinsing of Dublin?
The author, Sasha Brady, kicked her piece off by pointing to the soaring cost of accommodation in Dublin. For seasonal accommodation, she found that prices for two people for one weekend cost between €700 and €900, and the cheapest available listing for one weekend in July was over €400.
While Booking.com (at the time of writing) does show slightly cheaper listings, it is fair to say that hotel prices in Dublin are, indeed, at eye-watering levels. In fact, Lonely Planet doesn't just take aim at our costly hotels, but the price of car rentals (average price is €3,000 for 10 days) and our public transport.
Indeed, the cost of living crisis has seen prices of various services soar, but unfortunately, it doesn't look like the situation will improve any time soon. Last week, An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that we could be dealing with the cost of living crisis for months, if not years.
Lonely Planet also, importantly, draws attention to the current situation regarding lengthy queues at Dublin Airport, and advises readers to arrive early for their flight, but not too early, highlighting how the airport continues to be "plagued" by crowds. While it seems that the situation has definitely calmed down since over 1,000 people missed their flights due to queues on one day in June, the advice for passengers remains to arrive two-and-a-half hours early for short-term flights and three-and-a-half hours early for long-haul flights. Passengers are also advised to add an extra hour if they wish to check in luggage.
While the article rightly analyses the costs involved in visiting Dublin – as well as some positives, like our natural beauty spots, and our heritage sites — it fails to mention one crucial element that, in my head, would be a major deterrent for tourists. I'm talking, of course, about the lack of public transport connecting Dublin Airport to the city centre. While there are a few buses one can take, you are still expected to queue, and navigating the system without a leap card or change can be particularly tricky for newcomers. This, coupled with the long taxi queues, can result in tourists staying longer than they anticipated at the airport. In my own experience, after returning home from France, I spent longer waiting for a bus than I did on the flight itself.
While Dublin remains a brilliant, vibrant city for tourists, it's not necessarily the easiest or cheapest place to navigate, and, in fairness to them, Lonely Planet is right to warn potential visitors.