Here’s a bit of information if you’re looking to book with any of these companies. Just my two cents! If you’re interested, you can check out my trip to London here and here, Northern Ireland here and Ireland/Dublin here.
- WOWair: I flew from Canada into London and from Dublin back to Canada. WOWair always has a layover in Keflavik and you can look into doing a stop-over (spending extra time in Iceland to explore). I visited Iceland in May 2016 (here, here, here and here) so I stuck with the 2 ish hour layover. The prices are so cheap compared to any other options I looked at BUT to keep costs low, WOWair charges for everything. Only a small personal item is included in the price of the ticket, a “large” carry-on cost $60+ (if prepaid for online), a checked bag cost $80+ (if prepaid for online), no complimentary drinks or snacks, no on-board entertainment. Even so, paying for the “large” carry-on both ways was still cheaper than any other alternatives. All flights were on time and the customer service I received was excellent.
- Ryanair: I flew from London (Gatwick) to Dublin with Ryanair. My carry-on was included but it did have different dimensions than WOWair. Something worth comparing if booking with different airlines on a trip! The price was so cheap so the hassle of watching for the gate information that is posted about 15 minutes before boarding was worth it.
- National Express: I took a bus from London (Gatwick) to London (Victoria Coach Station) and back. The bus ended up taking about 2 hours each way but for £9 (each way) who can complain?! Luggage transport is included in the price and with trips every hour it was so convenient! A similar trip in Canada runs about $40 (one way)!
- Aircoach: I took the bus from Dublin (O’Connell Bridge) to the airport and it was a quick 45 minute bus ride! Also an incredibly reasonable price for €6. The bus driver was so friendly (bonus!).
- Europcar: The car rental was great value, even with the additional cost of being able to drive into Northern Ireland. I definitely recommend checking if you have coverage with your own car insurance/credit card. I didn’t check beforehand so I ended up paying the full coverage for the two days and it’s quite pricey (for the peace of mind). The staff at both the airport location and downtown Dublin location were so friendly and very helpful. I definitely recommend this company!
- I stayed in the Smart Russel Square Hostel in London. The rooms were big enough for bunk beds with an individual (tiny) bathroom. More than enough for me, though! I especially liked the charging stations and curtain for each bed. When people came roaring in at 2 AM, it was nice to not be blinded by the light that was turned on. Breakfast was included and consisted of toast, fruit, tea/coffee and cereal. No complaints here! The common area had a mix of benches/tables and a few couches that were more comfortable. I didn’t spend too much time in the common areas though. Location wasn’t too far from the top attractions (like Buckingham Palace or Big Ben) so the price was worth the walk for me.
- Global Village in Belfast was great. The front desk was very accommodating, street parking is available outside, the common room had a TV, guitar, pool table, beer pong (with house rules), a huge kitchen and a back yard patio. The price was perfect. I can’t speak to location because I pretty much showed up, showered, slept and then left early the next morning. They set out breakfast early for me since I told the front desk I was leaving around 6 AM. The only drawback was that I couldn’t find a charging station in the room (but I arrived around 11:45 PM when everyone was sleeping). This one still deserves a 5 star (from me).
- Abigails in Dublin was a perfect location. Visiting around St. Patrick’s Day drove the price up but normally it is reasonable. I was right around the corner from Temple Bar (the bar district) which is pretty central in Dublin. The rooms had lots of space with individual showers and toilets and each bed had a charging station and light. The common room had a TV, comfy chairs and lots of table space.
The most important part of the trip! I eat out a maximum once per day (to save on cost) but everywhere I stopped had great food and service. No complaints here!
- Le Petit Quotidien in Covent Garden (London, England). The Quinoa Cake dish was delicious and a healthier option than the fish & chips I was eyeing at Punch & Judy.
- Horniman at Hays for fish & chips (London, England). The service was great (I sat upstairs where full service was available).
- Speedy’s Cafe (a big Sherlock BBC fan here) for a full english breakfast (London, England). The food was great but if you sit outside be prepared to photobomb multiple pictures of other Sherlock fans stopping by!
- Oliver St. John Gogarty’s (Dublin, Ireland). I ordered the lasagna (amazing!) and a Guinness. Was hoping to hang around for a while for the live music (which was great) but ended up just eating and leaving.
- Keoghs Cafe (Dublin, Ireland) for Quiche and a piece of chocolate cake.
- The Green Door Market (Dublin, Ireland) for another quiche (see featured image). I love checking out local food and this is the perfect place to do so!
All restaurants I went to provided great service and the food was even better. I would recommend any of these places if you plan to visit either London, England or Dublin, Ireland.