Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Bargain corner

Bargain Kazakhstan

Akorda Presidential Palace, Astana, Kazakhstan

Destination: Kazakhstan

Though the reception within Kazakhstan to Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary comedy film Borat was mixed to say the least, there were many who saw the PR opportunity in the film’s success, and tourism to the Central Asian country increased as a result.

Those who travel there will discover a truly beautiful country that stretches further than you might imagine, occupying a space equivalent to the size of Western Europe. It’s a place for adventure, home to remote mountains and valleys, underground mosques and deserts in a truly diverse Eurasian landscape.

The largest city, Almaty, has a very European vibe, “home to leafy avenues, chic cafes, glossy shopping centres and hedonistic nightlife,” according to Lonely Planet. The capital city is Astana, located on the banks of the Ishim River, a planned city filled with modern and futuristic architecture.

It that has whetted your appetite for a trip to Borat’s homeland, has alerted travellers cheap flights between Dublin and Astana – €184 or €193 roundtrip on limited dates this July. Flying with Finnair the flights include a stop in Helsinki.

According to Kazakhstan’s embassy to Great Britain and Northern Ireland Irish nationals can visit the country without a visa for up to 30 calendar days. For more specific travel information, the Department of Foreign Affairs has a country specific page for Kazakhstan.

Laptop discounts

In the market for a new laptop?

Argos has dropped the price on a number of models in their range, including a 10.1-inch HP 2-in-1 laptop for €259.99 (reduced from €329.99) and a 15.6-inch Asus gaming laptop reduced from €974.99 to €839.99.

Don’t forget – if you’re a student or teacher with a registered educational institute, you can avail of Microsoft Office for free via

Canal cruise

Finally, if you’re looking for a cost-effective romantic night out, LivingSocial has got you covered. For €69 (normally €95), two people can enjoy a two-hour dinner cruise along Dublin’s Grand Canal, with a three course dinner in the Canal Boat Restaurant.

Meandering along the canal from Charlemont Place to Grand Canal Theatre aboard the replica Guinness barge MV Cadhia, your meal is cooked by on-board chefs and includes tasty-sounding options like smoked salmon tartar, sweet root vegetable stew and Irish liqueur cheesecake paired with Bailey’s ice-cream. Sounds heavenly!


When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.