Friday, January 25, 2013

Culture Lover on a Budget in Dublin? Here's a great place to stay!

Dublin can be the perfect place for a culture vulture on a budget.
 To get you started, in this-the first of my Dublin posts, I'll tell you about a stylish, brilliantly located hostel where I stayed January 2013. Oh yes!- the new breed of hostels are not just for drinking-culture vultures, they are for anyone who wants to free up cash to explore & experience the city. 

Inside my 4-bed room, & the downstairs common areas at Generator Hostel in Dublin
Lighthouse cinema across from Generator Hostel Dublin

I stayed in a 4-bed private room at Generator Dublin and I found the hostel immaculate, friendly, and well designed. I was very pleased to see the bathroom was actually in the room, as in my experience at other hostels that has not always been the case. (FYI, I chose Generator, & paid for it myself. I was so pleased I then contacted Generator Hostel, & wrote a post on Dublin tips, on their site.

 As you can see from the photos above, everything was spotless, & there was plenty of space, too. The large, padlockable, storage boxes under the beds will fit even quite large suitcases & bags. I also was thrilled with the 2 electrical sockets on the bed, plus the little light. There's a semi-enclosure at that end of the bed, too, so your light won’t shine out sideways and disturb the person in the bed parallel to you. Clever!

Generator hostel is located in Smithfield- in a lovely section in the square near the Jameson Distillery, and across from the Lighthouse Cinema (often art films here!) There is also a gourmet Fresh food store across the way, so you could pop in there & get some items (not the cheapest grocery shop, but tasty & less than restaurant food) for a ‘picnic lunch’ on the square in nice weather. You could then rent a Dublin Bike (a helpful post on using them is here) and explore the city. Generator Dublin is also just 1 minute’s walk from the LUAS (light city rail)-- brilliant for wet days. Note: This northside LUAS doesn’t yet connect directly with the LUAS on the southside of the river Liffey.

Generator's just a minute's walk round the corner of Smithfield LUAS stop. And here are the Dublin bikes just down from it
The LUAS will also bring you up to Heuston train station, which is just a 5 minute walk to the Irish Museum of Modern Art. From the hostel you can easily walk to the National Museum at Collins Barracks, or in to one of the shopping districts at Jervis, & then cross the river into Temple Bar. Those are just a few examples of what is nearby. I found Generator's location excellent- it was central enough to get most anywhere, but wasn't located in a particularly noisy part of the city. 

The gardens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
I'm definitely going to stay here again on my Dublin visits, and I've booked in already for during The Dublin Dance Festival. There are 2 things for you to be aware of though- the hostel does have a nightclub, so it may be prudent to ask for a room away from it if you are not partaking :-) Generator is large- I was on the 4th floor- so it shouldn't be difficult to be housed away from the action. 

Secondly, like many Dublin hostels, if you are staying in a dorm room, unless you pay a bit more for female only, dorms are mixed sex. I've stayed in such often, but I traveled with friends-- women travelling solo may not feel totally at ease in mixed sex dorms with men they don't know. 

Dublin can be an expensive city, but don't worry- by staying in a lovely & well located hostel like Generator, you will save money- and many museums & galleries in Dublin are free! Additionally, there are smaller performance venues where you can often see theatre or dance inexpensively, plus there are several places to eat very tasty food & drink good coffee without breaking the bank. I'll tell you about some of them in an upcoming post. You'll have a great time here as a culture vulture on a budget. Enjoy Dublin!

Disclaimer: I will now be getting a future stay at Generator free in thanks for my writing a post on their site- but my stay & opinion was not in any way sponsored by Generator.)

My photo of an old postcard, at the wonderful Little Museum of Dublin, Ireland


  1. Great post! I had no idea that Generator had a nightclub, good to know! I'll be recommending this to my budget conscious friends! If you're looking for a nice breakfast place Third Space across the square is very good.

    1. Oh great tip, thanks a mil! I'll be staying there again in May and will check Third Space out :)


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