Words: Ellen Kenny
Lonely Planet’s review of Dublin leaves you questioning who Dublin is actually fit for.
Travel bible Lonely Planet has warned readers that “accommodation shortages, soaring car rental costs, and airport chaos” await any tourists brave enough to travel to Dublin city.
Lonely Planet advises readers to ask themselves eight questions before travelling to Ireland’s capital city. These eight questions can be condensed easily and simply into one: “Why do you even want to come here?”
The guide first warns of hotel costs that are “wreaking havoc with holidaymakers’ budgets”. Average hotel prices in July range from €700 to €900, with the cheapest “hotel” being purpose-built student accommodation repurposed for tourists for the “eye-watering” price of €411 for one weekend.
Lonely Planet recommends urgency, booking your accommodation as soon as your flight is booked. It appears that tourists are having just as hard a time finding accommodation as natives of Dublin.
It really makes you question the logic behind the many hotels replacing Dublin’s iconic cultural landmarks such as Merchant’s Quay and O’Connell Street’s beer garden. Why have Dublin City Council granted permission to so many hotel developments and expansions when tourists are finding them increasingly inaccessible?
On top of that, the travel experts also warn readers of rising car rental costs. Stock remains fifty per cent lower than what it was before the pandemic, so now your cousins from America coming to visit are going to have to pay €3k to rent a car for ten days. Not to mention the soaring cost of fuel across the country.
Lonely Planet reported that one couple was quoted a whooping €18,703 for a seven-seater car from Dublin Airport for the first week in August. Of course, if you’re feeling inventive, you could always double-up and use the car as accommodation as well. Tourists, come get the authentic Dublin experience and sleep in your car!
Dubliners have been begging for more frequent, more reliable public transport across the city for what feels like forever. Now, as more and more tourists simply will not be able afford a rental car, they too will likely begin begging soon. Will their added voices make someone actually listen?
Once you’ve made it to the big city, Lonely Planet hopes you’ve been planning well in advance. According to their guide, you have a higher chance of winning the Lotto than bagging a walk-in in one of Dublin city’s restaurants.
As Lonely Planet put it, Dublin is a city “fuelled by spontaneity”, known for having a top-class restaurant or classic pub welcome to all around every corner. If tourists are expected to have their entire holiday planned out well in advance, if they don’t have the thrill of not knowing where a night in Dublin city will take them, how likely are they to still visit?
And after a lovely and laboursome holiday, it’s time to get back to the airport. Lonely Planet’s cryptic advice is to get to Dublin Airport as early as possible- but not too early. Recent recommendations from Dublin Airport suggest you should get there anywhere from two and a half to four and a half hours early.
If you get there too early, however, you will be herded into the airport’s dedicated “passenger holding area”. Is this how tourists should spend their last few hours in the city? Holed up in a tent until they herded on the plane?
While Lonely Planet is also kind enough to include some of the finer parts of Dublin, such as the National Gallery of Ireland and the Museum of Literature, I suspect that their review will put many tourists off our city. If the capital city in “the land a thousand welcomes” doesn’t welcome tourists nor natives, who does it welcome?
Elsewhere on District: Famous Dublin beer garden to be replaced by hotel extension