There was a big story in Dublin yesterday. A tourism expert from New Zealand was speaking on the other side of the country and said he would never recommend Dublin for a trip because “Dublin is a rip-off!”

His reasons included:

  • Hotels are expensive, (true)
  • Too many stag and hen parties, (probably true)
  • The lines to clear customs at Dublin airport are too long, (definitely true)
    (interesting side note, I was in the same 40-minute long customs line that he references. My family, with Irish passports, got through in about 5 minutes, but of course, then they had to wait for me anyways)
  • Issues like cleric abuse and the recent story of blasphemy charges being considered against Steven Fry to make the country look bad in the eyes of the world. (Thankfully they didn’t pursue blasphemy charges)

It’s hard to argue with any of the items he lists…However, I think his conclusion that Dublin is a horrible place to take a trip is a bit of a logical leap.

  • There is a huge amount of culture and history to see throughout the city, and a lot of it is free…but if your main reason for coming is nightlife, then you probably will run into your share of stag/hen parties.
  • And if he ended up at a hotel that cost €400/night…I know he’s a travel expert, but someone might want to tell him about

Also yesterday, it was reported that Ireland is the second most expensive country in the EU in which to live. Not a shock. It isn’t just the tourists who think everything here costs too much.

That said…I think this a fascinating time to live here. There are a lot of issues (from housing and homelessness to drug abuse, to transportation, etc.) that need real leadership…and sometimes it seems like Dublin is still trying to figure out what it wants to be.

It’ll be interesting to see how all of this shakes out and what Dublin looks like 10 –20 years down the road.

That said… if you’ve been here for a visit in the past few years, what do you think…Is Dublin a rip-off? (and if the only place you’ve gone in Dublin is Temple Bar, then your answer doesn’t count…everyone knows Temple Bar is a rip-off.)