Let’s tell you what it is like to spend a night at Dublin Airport, Ireland. For us, it is already the second night we spend here in a 3-day period, which makes it already home. 😊 But let’s start with the beginning, we had two layovers, the first of 6 hours and the second one of 9 hours.
Dublin Airport does not have a hotel inside the terminals (two of them) and no sleeping areas or showers or lounges that are open during the night. There are only two hotels near the Dublin airport, 5-10 minute walk, but they are 4 stars and expensive (150-200 euro/night) for someone who wants to spend only a few hours in a room with a bed and bathroom.
Seeing ourselves in this situation, we did what everyone does in this airport, namely, we went to the food area in the airport (the one in Terminal 1, 2nd floor, before security point), where there are benches, chairs, and tables. It is an area that turns into a shelter for the travelers who think that a layover will be easy or they already knew how it is, as I will present below.
And now let’s talk about every night spent in Dublin Airport:
The first night was a unique experience, especially as it was the first night spent in an airport and besides that, it was an airport that does not facilitate you this mission. We arrived at about 12 o’clock in the area to be the best place for camping. All the “comfortable” places were taken and we were lucky that it was not very crowded and we managed to take some “comfortable” chairs (the chairs here are divided into two categories: classic – wooden, and comfortable – the ones with a sponge, padded) and two tables.
We put the chairs in line and formed a kind of a bed, from which you would feel if you moved too much, and the tables served as a work desk and a meal table. After setting up, we’ve got food (Mc-the only one opened at that time) and started the adventure. We slept in turns, just to be safe, although no one has or wants to rob you at midnight and in an airport where almost everything is supervised, but it’s better to be safe than sorry (but the truth is that there was no room for both of us to sleep on three chairs 😂).
We shared our hours of sleep in two, Adriana being the first to sleep, I was the “guardian”. Hours passed quite quickly, especially since I had some work to do and it was not too long, just two hours each.
When you say that you have two hours to sleep, you ask yourself if you can wake up, so we thought. But we realized quite quickly that we had no way to sleep too much, and this was also confirmed by Adriana who managed to sleep about an hour from the two allocated.
I thought she was too tired and could not sleep, as I sometimes do, but I immediately found out why she couldn’t sleep. Although the seats were part of the comfort class, they were very narrow, hard and after a while, I was freezing (I had a shirt, a sweatshirt, and a jacket). Anyway, I managed to gather about an hour of sleep and it was enough to restart my biological clock to begin the day.
The second night was not so different from the first. We had to spend a longer time at the Dublin airport, we had 3 hours of sleep each, and we got at 11 o’clock in the food court. But even this time we had no luck, the good places were already occupied. We barely found a table and some chairs (also the comfortable ones), but overall there are more people in the airport.
We identified the following types of travelers who stayed overnight at the airport:
- Experts: they are the ones who get early and occupy all the “good” areas, or if they arrive late they realize that everything “good” is taken and they install themselves immediately without disturbing anyone and without attracting attention. I saw some sleeping bags/neoprene mattresses that turned into real beds.
- Beginners: those who have the first experiences of this kind, including us. They have no idea how to organize and how to take advantage of space, they move slowly in making a decision and are likely to lose the last places if they think too much or are too moody. But they also fall into two categories, one is made up of those who know their place and try not to bother anyone and not to stand out very much, and a second category that makes noise, watch movies on the phone without headphones, speak loudly as if they are alone.
- Groups: the title says everything. The beginners, the groups can be very orderly and discreet, or they can be chaotic, making noise… Now when I write about this, there is a group of 5 young people sitting in the middle and having a picnic, with juice and food, with fossils, laughter, speaking loudly (in Spanish or something like that) as if they are making sure everybody can hear them.
An interesting occurrence was a family with two children, who have turned the experience into an adventure. They joined several chairs forming a stool, over which they put beds, which seemed very comfortable compared with what we had. And they all slept like in a tent, is a real adventure for the little ones.
Although it is midnight, the police still do their job and patrol the airport. In the first night, there were about 6 officers who analyzed all the people without asking anything else. Probably if anyone was a suspect, he was asked to identify himself. The second night was a bit different, two other cops came, who made a more thoroughly control. Everyone was asked to present the passports and airplane tickets for the next day. Now I do not know whether this was a random check or was due to the fairly large number of people who are sleeping here from all corners of the earth. But at least you feel safe, knowing the police are still active.
Now is my turn to sleep, which I do not believe will differ greatly in terms of quality, so I will end this blog here.
P.S. I wrote these lines on the second night, while Adriana sleeps and probably when she wakes up she will improve it.