Clinking champagne glasses, far-flung views across the glittering city, mouthwatering gastronomical delights, plush velvet seating – imagine having all of that without forking out a fortune. Well, Dublin has no shortage of gems which offer luxury without a wince-worthy price tag. You could find yourself sipping cocktails among the clouds and listening to live music in grand historic venues without despairing over vastly depleted funds, here are some of our favourite budget-friendly luxury experiences in Dublin…
It doesn’t get quite more boujee than soaking up the melodies of live music by the soft, flickering glow of candlelight. Add to that the ornate features of a centuries-old church or the immersive acoustics of a striking modern theatre and you have magic on your hands. Dublin hosts a variety of mesmerising Candlelight Concerts in unique venues, with a diverse repertoire that encompasses everything from movie soundtracks to tributes to iconic artists. You’re truly spoilt for choice. It’s the perfect atmospheric date night or simply something special to look forward to.
💸: Tickets start from €19.00 depending on the seating zone and concert.
2. Dine on the rippling waters of the Grand Canal
Imagine drifting along on tranquil waters, a glass of wine in hand and the drool-inducing aromas of fresh seafood drifting from the kitchen. No, you don’t need to hop on a jet to the French Riviera, there’s a spot right here in Dublin – the historic barge La Pleniche will take you along the Grand Canal, combining fine dining and stunning views in a truly luxurious experience. You’ll be able to tuck into delicious dishes such as the Mussels Provençal (fresh mussels with shallots, garlic, tomatoes and white wine), fillet of seabream, or if you’re more of a meat fan, the beef cheek in red wine. Vegans haven’t been forgotten either – they can try the sumptuous three-bean ragout, complemented by a full-bodied glass of red vino.
💸: Dinner and canal cruise starts from €38 for a 2-course meal and €45 for a 3-course meal
Nothing says luxury like glimmering tunnels of gold and giant pieces of historic art. Klimt: The Immersive Exhibition is coming to Dublin this summer and promises a spellbinding experience with 360-degree floor-to-ceiling projections, dynamic displays, creative activities and a unique VR experience. As you journey into Klimt’s painted world, you’ll be bathed in the iconic gold that is a staple of his style. If that doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks, I don’t know what will.
💸: Adult tickets start from €19 per person and child tickets (4-12) start from €11. There are special prices for selected groups.
4. Unwind in this serene Salt Cave paradise
True luxury is escaping the grind of work and everyday life, retreating into an underground sanctum and letting your worries melt away while floating in healing saltwater pools. At Salt Cave Paradise in Balbriggan, you can do just that. The atmospheric spa specialises in saltwater therapy, inviting you to relax with pools, a sauna and even a salt beach with massage chairs. You can simply sit back, close your eyes and be whisked away to the golden sands of a beautiful Spanish beach, all without leaving Dublin. While the secluded, natural-style setting relaxes the mind, the saltwater – known as an ancient remedy used to soothe many ailments – will nourish the body.
💸: Services can start from €10 per person depending on the treatment
5. Sink into plush seats to watch a film at Stella Cinema
Watch a film the way you deserve to, in luxurious lipstick-red seating – there’s sofas, chairs or even beds, whatever you fancy – with a table at hand for drinks and snacks. The spectacle starts as soon as you enter the Stella Cinema in Ranelagh, with many striking historic features setting the scene, from the Art Deco handrail to the original suspended projection booth. You’ll also be spoilt rotten here, with irresistible movie-inspired cocktails and scrumptious food (think popcorn, sweets, nachos – the usual staples) being delivered to your seat at the start of the film. So all you need to do is get comfy and settle in to watch a hit new blockbuster or cult classic film among the stunning 1920s surrounds of this cinematic landmark. Plus, after the credits roll, you can always swing by the stylish cocktail bar (complete with a glass atrium) to discuss the flick over another round or two.
💸: Tickets start from €21, with special prices for children and seniors.
6. Indulge in a night of wine-sipping at La Cave
Prep your palate and scrub up on your sommelier skills, an elegant evening of wine tasting awaits. La Cave is the oldest wine bar and restaurant in Dublin and promises to tantalise your tastebuds with an extensive collection of reds, whites and, if you’re feeling extra fancy, champagne. Found in the heart of the city, this subterranean haven is a luxurious escape from the world where you can sip the night away. Don’t like to drink on an empty stomach? Their delicious bistro-style dishes will hit the spot; with duck confit, slow-braised lamb shank and creamy ravioli all on the menu.
💸: The two course lunch starts from €21.50 while three-course meals start from €36.95