Is Ireland expensive?
With its rolling green hills, rugged coastline, and rich cultural heritage, Ireland is a destination that never fails to captivate and enchant travelers. From exploring ancient castles and historic sites to savoring traditional Irish cuisine and enjoying live music and dance performances, there is no shortage of experiences to be had in this beautiful country.
Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Ireland is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
When planning your next adventure, it’s crucial to factor in all the expenses that come with it. Just like any other travel destination, it’s essential to consider the costs associated with your trip to ensure that you have a smooth and enjoyable experience without any financial surprises.
Today, we’ll learn more about the essential expenses you’ll encounter when traveling to the Emerald Isle. We’ll cover everything from accommodation and transportation to food and attractions, giving you a comprehensive overview of what to expect.
Things you'll find in this article
- Is Ireland Expensive?
- Cost of Vacation in Ireland
- Average Expenses During an Ireland Trip
- Average Cost of Living in Ireland
- Comparing Ireland to Other Countries
- Tips for Saving Money in Ireland
Is Ireland Expensive?
- Best Honeymoon Destinations in Ireland
- Best Universities In Ireland For Foreign Students
- Best Outdoor Adventures In Ireland
- Beautiful Cliffs In Ireland That You Should Visit.
- Glamping In Northern Ireland
- National Holidays In Ireland
When it comes to the cost of living, Ireland can be considered relatively expensive compared to other European countries. However, the expenses can vary depending on the region and the type of lifestyle you lead. It is important to note that Ireland offers a high standard of living with great healthcare, education, and social services. Additionally, the country’s natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly people make it a worthwhile destination to visit or live in.
When traveling in Ireland, the expenses can fluctuate significantly based on your preferred mode of travel and financial plan. By opting for budget hostels and preparing your meals, you can effectively cut down on your travel expenses and save a considerable amount of money. This approach can prove to be a cost-effective alternative to staying in high-end hotels and dining out at restaurants daily.
Discovering the allure of the Emerald Isle may not come at a bargain, but with strategic planning and financial management, it is feasible to relish the splendor and charisma of Ireland without exceeding your budget.
Cost of Vacation in Ireland
The cost of an Irish vacation can fluctuate based on several factors, including the duration of your trip, the season you choose to visit, and the activities you intend to participate in.
Ireland’s peak tourist season falls between June and August, resulting in increased prices for accommodation, tours, and attractions. Save money by traveling during the shoulder seasons (April to May or September to October) when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thinner.
Accommodation options vary from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Consider staying in a hostel for an affordable lodging option, with dorm beds typically priced at €20-€30 per night. Alternatively, mid-range hotels can range from €60-€150 per night. Luxury accommodations typically cost more than €200 per night.
Food and drink expenses in Ireland are subject to variation based on the location and type of cuisine. Meals at pubs or cafes usually range from €10 to €15, whereas a fancy restaurant meal can cost over $30 per person. Ireland is famous for its beer and whiskey. A pint of beer costs around €4-€8, while a cocktail costs around €8-€12.
Renting a car is a popular mode of transportation for exploring the countryside, but it can be costly, with daily rates starting at approximately €40. Public transportation, such as buses and trains, offers a cost-effective and efficient alternative. Single journey prices start at approximately €2.
Please note that entrance fees and tour charges are applicable if you intend to engage in any sightseeing activities. Attraction prices range from €10-€20 for places like museums or historical sites, while guided tours or outdoor activities like hiking or kayaking can cost €50 or more.
Average Expenses During an Ireland Trip
Average Solo Traveler Costs
The average cost of a week in Ireland for one person is €1,029-€2,597 (€147-€371 a day).
Food, transportation, and sightseeing: €40 to ]€85 per day for one person.
Economy flights range from €300 to €1,350.
Lodging: A 2- or 3-star hotel room costs €71 to €91 per night, while a 1-bed vacation rental is €84 to €102 per night.
Average Couple’s Trip Costs
The average cost of a week in Ireland for a couple is
€1,635-€4,565 each week.
Food, transportation, and sightseeing: €85 to €169 per day for two persons.
Economy flights range from €617 to €2,780.
Lodging: A 2- or 3-star hotel room costs €71 to €91 per night, while a 1-bed vacation rental is €84 to $102 per night.
Average Family Vacation Costs
The average cost of a week’s vacation in Ireland for four people is
€3,167-€9,013 per week.
Food, transportation, and sightseeing: €169 to €338 per day for four persons.
Economy flights range from €1,234 to €5,561.
Accommodation costs between €143 and €181 per night for two 2- or 3-star hotel rooms, or between €125 and €154 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental.
Average Cost of Living in Ireland
Emerald Isle is a flourishing land with exceptional living standards. Ireland’s cost of living is typically higher than other nations. The cost of living in Ireland varies from €2,000 to €2,500 based on your location, lifestyle, and spending habits.
Ireland’s urban areas, such as Dublin and Cork, bear a heavy financial load due to the high rental and property prices. City center one-bedroom apartments range from €1,100 to €2,200 monthly, based on location and quality. Explore the suburbs for cheaper rent options, with rates ranging from €750 to €1,500 per month.
Ireland’s food and beverage costs are higher than most countries. Indulging in restaurant dining can burn a hole in your pocket, with a moderate meal costing around €30-€40 per person and a fancy three-course meal at a high-end restaurant setting you back €60-€90 per person. Grocery shopping in this country can be costly due to higher prices on basic items like bread, milk, and eggs compared to other European countries.
Getting around Ireland can be a variable cost depending on your location and mode of transportation. Buses and trains are cost-effective and reliable modes of public transportation, with fares starting at approximately €3 per trip. Getting around can be expensive with taxis and ride-hailing services. Hop on for €3.00 and add €1.30 per kilometer.
Ireland living means added expenses like healthcare. Government coverage is not enough, private health insurance is a must. The cost of monthly utilities like electricity, gas, and internet are also expenses that must be considered.
● Rent (studio/small 1 bedroom for solo) €1,000
● Utilities (Electricity, gas, water, cell phone/internet) €150
● Food (groceries + eating out) €550
● Sports (Gym) and Entertainment (movies, bars, tours) €160
● Transport €120
Comparing Ireland to Other Countries
Ireland versus Scotland
Ireland and Scotland boast breathtaking landscapes and distinct cultural identities. Travel costs vary depending on the destination.
Fly into Ireland via Dublin, Shannon, or Cork airports, or Scotland via Glasgow, Edinburgh, or Aberdeen airports. Both countries boast impressive land transportation systems, including top-notch road networks and reliable public transit options like buses and trains.
Ireland’s destinations are closer together than Scotland’s, making travel around Ireland easier and faster. Scotland boasts some truly remote and hard-to-reach areas.
Scotland is a more cost-effective option compared to Ireland. Ireland’s major tourist areas, such as Dublin, tend to have higher prices for accommodation, food, and drink. Prices may fluctuate based on season and location.
Scotland can be more affordable, particularly if you avoid peak tourist season and opt for budget-friendly accommodation and dining options. Edinburgh Festival season may come with a higher price tag.
Both nations are must-visits and provide distinct experiences. Your budget and travel preferences are the deciding factors.
Ireland versus Denmark
Discovering Ireland and Denmark is a treat, yet there are variances in travel and expenses.
Dublin and Copenhagen boast modern airports, facilitating air travel between the two nations. Denmark is a train ride away from neighboring countries, while Ireland’s island location makes land transportation more difficult.
Denmark boasts a robust public transportation system, including buses, trains, and Copenhagen’s metro. While Ireland boasts a reliable system of buses and trains, reaching certain rural areas can prove challenging.
Denmark is a pricey European country, with higher costs for food, lodging, and transportation compared to Ireland. However, you can explore Denmark on a budget with affordable options like hostels and street food.
Ireland is cheaper than Denmark, but prices fluctuate with season and place. Urban centers like Dublin tend to be pricier than rural regions, and tourist hotspots can also come with a higher price tag.
Both countries provide distinct experiences that are worth exploring. Budget and travel style aside, Ireland may be a more affordable option than Denmark.
Ireland versus New Zealand
Discovering Ireland and New Zealand is a treat for any traveler, yet their travel experiences and expenses differ greatly.
New Zealand is a remote destination that requires a lengthy flight to access. Ireland is easily reachable from both Europe and the Americas. While both countries boast modern airports and good transportation infrastructure, New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery is a major draw for visitors who often opt to rent a car and explore.
Compared to Ireland, New Zealand is pricier for travel, particularly for transportation, food, and lodging. Prices may fluctuate based on season and location. Exploring popular destinations such as Queenstown and Auckland can be quite expensive.
Compared to New Zealand, Ireland offers more affordable options for accommodation and dining without compromising on quality. Dublin’s tourist hotspots may come with a premium price tag.
Both nations provide distinct experiences that are worth exploring. New Zealand’s natural beauty is unmatched, despite being pricier than Ireland’s.
Tips for Saving Money in Ireland
Ireland beckons with breathtaking scenery, a storied past, and singular traditions, making it a sought-after spot for travelers. Albeit a popular destination, visiting during peak tourist season can be costly. Discover multiple ways to save money while traveling to Ireland. Discover how to enjoy a high-quality trip to Ireland without breaking the bank by following these tips.
1. Travel during the low season.
In Ireland, the peak season for vacations is from June to August, along with the weeks surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, and during this time, flights, accommodation, and car rentals tend to be pricier. Travel smart and save big by booking your trip during the shoulder seasons of April, May, or September.
Don’t worry about the weather when visiting Ireland, as it’s not the main attraction. September and July share a similar likelihood of sunshine, as do August and April for rainfall. Ireland’s weather is unpredictable.
Experience the bliss of less crowded attractions, restaurants, and other places you visit. Enjoy the calmness and shorter lines.
2. Use public transportation.
Explore like a local. Hop on public transportation to save some cash. Ordering a cab is a convenient way to travel from A to B without any hassle. Explore anywhere on a budget by taking buses and trains. Hop on the Airlink bus from the Airport to Dublin city for just €7 (€12 return). It departs from terminals 1 and 2, saving you at least €20 compared to a taxi.
Take a stroll if you can. Embrace your legs, they are your natural gift. Explore the city on foot – Irish cities are compact and easily navigable. If the sky stays clear, take a leisurely stroll and savor the sights along the way.
Slow and steady wins the race to uncover hidden gems. Explore the city worry-free with complimentary walking tours offered by most hostels. Simply inquire at reception and join in on the fun. Discover the city and mingle with globetrotters.
3. Explore unconventional lodging options.
Consider alternative lodging options during your travels instead of sticking to hotels.
For a family or group staying three nights or more, check out Airbnb’s amazing accommodations in Dublin, Kerry, and Galway. Traveling with a group of 4 or more? Save big on hotels without sacrificing convenience. You’ll have enough left over to enjoy breakfast at a nearby cafe instead of cooking it yourself.
Explore B&Bs beyond the typical spots. Don’t overlook them if you haven’t experienced them yet. Avoid pricey and impersonal ones in town centers.
Discover the charm and affordability of Ireland’s hidden gem accommodations – farm or country house B&Bs just a few miles away.
Check out the hotel rates here.
4. Eat like a local.
Culinary customs vary globally. The Irish are very proud of their breakfast and it’s very important to them. Scrumptious breakfast abounds and an Irish breakfast will satiate you for a spell. Indulge in a homemade soup or sandwich during lunchtime at most restaurants if you’re still hungry. In the mood for a quick meal? Hop over to the nearest grocery store and snag a bread roll with your desired fillings.
Savor the “early bird” dinner at most restaurants between 6:30 and 8:00 pm. Indulge in a delectable 3-course feast for just 25 Euro. The food quality remains consistent as it is mostly selected from the restaurant’s a-la-carte menu. Don’t miss the deadline, order by 8.00 pm.
Why not try cooking your own meals in Ireland to save some cash? Many accommodations offer kitchen facilities, and there are plenty of grocery stores and markets where you can buy ingredients.
5. Check out free attractions and events.
Historic sites owned by the Irish Heritage organisation offer free admission to their properties on the first Wednesday of each month. Explore the Heritage Ireland website for a list of free Wednesday sites to plan your visit.
Visit during Ireland’s Annual Culture Night, which is usually in late September (low season). There are lots of free events and live performances for all ages and tastes. Dublin’s evening hours offer free admission to many tourist sites that typically charge. If you are flexible with your travel schedule, then this is a great way to have a cheap holiday
It is possible to have a vacation in Ireland that is memorable without breaking the bank with some careful planning and budgeting. The cost of a vacation in Ireland can vary depending on your travel style and budget, but it is possible to do so.
In a similar vein, the cost of living in Ireland can be quite high, but this mostly relies on the individual’s lifestyle and how they choose to spend their money. It is feasible to live a comfortable life in Ireland without completely emptying one’s financial account if one makes a detailed budget and plans ahead.
Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.