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Visiting Ireland is relatively expensive. However, it is not prohibitively expensive. With proper planning, a 7-days Ireland visit will cost a single person €540 and a small family €1,190. 

Ireland has an exciting adventure for every tourist with scenic landscapes, structures of great historical and architectural significance, great parks, amazing beaches, bustling streets, and more.

But Ireland is widely regarded as an expensive country to visit. 

While that is true, there are ways to visit Ireland without dipping too deep into your pocket.

This article will reveal what determines the cost of an Ireland visit. We’ll show smart ways to make the trip to Ireland a relatively cheap and affordable one, not just for yourself but for your family.

Let’s get started!

Is Ireland a cheap place to visit?

By reputation, Ireland is one of the most expensive places in Europe to visit. But you can have an affordable Ireland visit with proper planning.

For example, a 7-day holiday in Ireland for a single person will cost €540 – €2,090 on average. €540 comes from travelling on a budget, while €2,090 comes from not checking costs.

In the same vein, on average, a 7-days Ireland holiday will cost a small family of four between €1,190 and €4,010.

These costs don’t include the cost of getting to Ireland because that will vary widely depending on where you are coming from.

The cost of visiting Ireland is determined by the following cost elements:

  • Traveling to Ireland
  • Accommodation
  • Moving around within Ireland
  • Food
  • Tourist attractions

Here’s a breakdown of the average costs for visiting Ireland.

Cost elementCost for a single person for 7 daysCost for a family of four for 7 days
Accommodation€140 – €1,575€400 – €2,000
Moving within Ireland€50 – €60€350 – €420
Food€315 – €420€1,120 – €1,470
Attractions€35€120
Total€540 – €2,090€1,190 – €4,010

Let’s dive deeper into these cost factors.

1. Cost of traveling to Ireland

It largely depends on where you are travelling from, how you choose to travel, and when you are travelling. However, a round trip will cost a single adult €25 – €2,000, while it’ll cost a small family of four $55 – $7,300.

Travel cost is largely affected by:

  • Where you are coming from. Generally, the closer you are to Ireland, the less it should cost you to travel there. 
  • When you are travelling. Usually, travel costs depend on dates. January is the cheapest month to fly to Ireland, but you’ll need to book your flight in October.
  • How you are travelling. If you are in a nearby country, you can go by road to reduce costs. Or you could fly basic economy.

The Republic of Ireland represents most of the island of Ireland, so taking a flight is the best travel option into the country.

But people in Northern Ireland can simply drive southwards into the Republic of Ireland. There are also driving routes for those in Scotland, England, and Wales, but these include a ferry over the Irish Sea.

Driving to Ireland will significantly reduce the travel cost, but it’ll also make the trip significantly longer.

Below are round trip flight costs (for a 7-days return) from some major cities. We recommend spending 7 days on a fun vacation to Ireland.

Single AdultSmall family of 4
Glasgow (Scotland) to Dublin€20 – €112.50€45 – €156
London (Heathrow) to Dublin€63 – €136€275.50 – €400
New York (JFK) to Dublin€306 – €738€1,220 – €2,950
Sydney (Australia) to Dublin€909 – €1,296€3,170 – €4,450
Auckland (New Zealand) to Dublin€1,390.50 – €1,983€4,735 – €7,292

The figures above are the costs for basic economy class, and flights booked about one month in advance for March. 

March is one of the best months to visit Ireland because it is not as crowded as summer.

2. Cost of accommodation in Ireland

It largely depends on the kind of accommodation and the level of luxury desired. But on average, a 7-days stay in Ireland will cost an individual €140 – €1,575, while it’ll cost a small family of four €400 – €2,000.

Many variables determine how much you’ll spend on Ireland accommodation. These include:

  • The kind of accommodation you’ll need. Apartment homes and hotels are generally more expensive than less cosy accommodation options like hostels
  • The city you’ll be staying in. Accommodation in the cities is generally more expensive than comparable accommodation in rural areas.
  • The time of the year you visit. Ireland holiday accommodation tends to be more expensive in the summer when visitors’ numbers are at their peak.

Hostels in Ireland

Hostels are the cheapest accommodation options, so they are best for people traveling to Ireland on a budget.

The prices vary depending on the city. Dublin is the most expensive city in Ireland in terms of accommodation. Hostels in the city will cost you about €40 per night.

Hostels in other popular cities like Cork and Galway come close, ranging from €30 – €40 per night. While hostels in the less popular cities (like Dingle) cost around €20 – €30 per night. 

Hotels in Ireland

Hotels are also pricier in the bigger cities.

Another big determinant of hotel cost is the level of luxury you want. 5-star hotels are generally more expensive than 3-star hotels.

However, on average, a hotel room in Ireland costs:

Class of hotel1-day stay7 days stay
2 stars and below€20 – €40€140 – €280
3 stars€40 – €110€280 – €770
4 stars and above€90 – €225$630 – $1,575

Hotels are the accommodation options that first come to mind when one needs to stay away from home. They are good choices if you don’t want to do any cleaning or cooking.

However, the above hotel costs are for 2-guests rooms. If you are going to Ireland with children for a small family holiday, you may have to book double rooms, which will mean spending more on hotel accommodation.

This is one of the reasons why we recommend self-catering apartments.

Self-catering homes in Ireland

If you want to experience being at home while away from home, a self-catering home is the best solution.

By definition, a self-catering home is a furnished holiday home with the necessary facilities for guests to cook their own meals.

Advantages of self-catering homes

A self-catering home is arguably the best holiday accommodation, especially for families and groups.

Some of the advantages of a self-catering home include:

  • More rooms and spaces

Self-catering homes typically have 2 or more bedrooms. So with a bigger group, you don’t have to pay for individual rooms as you would in a hotel.

Self-catering homes are also more spacious than hotel rooms. Apart from the bedrooms, you’ll find living spaces and a dining area. In fact, in terms of space, the hotel equivalent of a typical self-catering home will be costly.

  • Freedom

Self-catering homes allow you to set your holiday timetable.

You have the freedom to eat what you want. Of course, you can eat out. But when you need homemade food, you can hit the market, buy foodstuffs, and cook your meals.

This is wonderful, especially if some in your group have dietary restrictions. 

You also have the freedom of eating whenever you want. You’ll be able to settle for a midnight meal (should you desire).

Lastly, you have the freedom to come and go as you please.

  • Value for money

For a family, self-catering homes are cheaper than hotel accommodation. 

For one, because the home sleeps many people, you save money by not paying for individual hotel rooms.

Also, cooking your own meals saves you money. It’s a no-brainer that a group will spend more eating out than eating self-made meals.

Self-catering homes in Ireland and prices

Just like hotels, the cost of self-catering accommodation depends on the city you’ll stay in and the level of luxury you desire.

Some wonderful self-catering homes for a fun Ireland holiday are:

i). Cashelfean House 1, Durrus Co. Cork

Price: €400 – €700

This is a 3 bedroom apartment that hosts 6 guests. It’s a traditional whitewashed farmhouse with old stone walls.

It features a huge open fireplace that takes up most of the gable wall. This makes the living space perfect for family bonding.

Facilities include:

  • Electric heating
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • TV
  • WiFi

ii). Kinsale Coastal Cottages, Kinsale, Cork County

Price: €500 – €1,150

This is a 4-bedroom cottage for 8 guests. It is located on the Old Head of Kinsale beside the Garretstown Blue Flag beach. Your family will have a swell time swimming, picnicking, and just relaxing in the sun.

The apartment is tastefully furnished, up to 3-star standard. The family can relive their experience snuggled up in front of the open fire in the living room. The kitchen has everything you’ll need and a walk-out to the garden area where you can enjoy the long summer evenings.

This apartment is just about 30 minutes drive from Cork City, making it ideal for exploring the plethora of attractions in Cork.

Facilities include:

  • Dishwasher
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Microwave
  • Fridge
  • Phone
  • TV

iii). Corofin Lake Cottages, Corofin, Co. Clare

Price: €400 – €900

This beautiful 3 bedroom apartment sleeps 6.

It overlooks Lake Inchiquin with a panoramic view of Mullaghmore. Your family can go swimming and fishing.

If the furry family members must join in on the Ireland vacation, this is the holiday home for you as it welcomes one pet.

The cottage is ideally situated to explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland, such as the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. Doolin is just nearby for you to book a trip to the scenic Aran Islands.

Facilities:

  • TV
  • open fire and electric storage heating
  • Fridge
  • Microwaves

iv). The Avon, Blessington, Co. Wicklow.

Price: €600 – €1,250

The Avon offers modern 3-bedroom townhouses that sleep 6.

Unlike some apartment houses, all bedrooms in the Avon come with ensuite bathrooms. It also has a very spacious open living area and a fully-equipped kitchen.

The Avon gives views of the Blessington lakes, and there’s a docker’s bar looking out on the lake.

The Avon offers excellent tourist activities via the Avon Activity Centre. These include bike hire + guided tours, kayaking, archery, air rifle shooting, a climbing wall, and a zipline.

The Avon is just a 30 minutes drive from Dublin. So, it’s a perfect place to stay if you want to explore Dublin without paying the high accommodation costs of Dublin.

Facilities:

  • Washing Machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Electric Oven & Hob
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Microwave
  • Central Heating
  • TV
  • WiFi

v). Leitrim Quay Holiday Homes, Co. Leitrim

Price: €500 – €1,100

This is a cozy 3-bedroom apartment for 6 guests.

It is beautifully furnished with an open fire in the lounge as well as electric storage heating. 

The Leitrim Quay holiday home is situated at a hub of waterways on the upper Shannon, making for perfect romantic settings. 

Its location makes it the ideal home to explore the untapped attractions north of the country. 

If you want a slower pace of holidaying in serene and quiet environments defined by water, Leitrim should be your destination, and this holiday home should be your home.

The home welcomes your pets as well. And you’re not restricted to one pet as many apartment homes do. You can bring all your furry family members.

Facilities:

  • Central heating with open fire
  • Hob
  • Fridge/ freezer
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Clothes washer/ dryer
  • Iron and ironing board
Cost of moving within Ireland

3. Cost of moving within Ireland

The cost of moving within Ireland depends on the places you choose to visit and the mode of transportation. However, for the best holiday experience, a rental car is the best option. It’ll cost €50 – €60 per day, and €350 – €420 for 7 days.

To enjoy an Ireland holiday, you have to explore the top attractions and do fun activities. 

How much you’ll spend on moving within Ireland depends on the following:

The places you’ll see

The more tourist attractions you see, the more you’ll have to move around, and the more you’ll spend moving.

Another factor is how far spread the tourist attractions you’ll see are. You can cover more grounds (and spend less on moving around) if the tourists’ spots you’ll see are not spread apart.

This is one of the reasons why Galway edges Cork. Most of the tourist hotspots are within a 15-minute walk, so you can enjoy the city with minimal movement and spend virtually nothing on transportation.

The mode of transportation

You can move around within Ireland using trains, buses, taxis, or rental cars. The option you choose will affect how much you spend.

However, we strongly recommend renting a car to see Ireland. This allows you to explore the country at your own pace.

Public transportation may seem like the cheapest option. However, for a holidaying family, the cost of tickets per head can quickly build up to make a seemingly cheap transport option quite expensive.

For example, a bus ride from Dublin to Cork is about €17. For a family of four, the cost of a day’s trip to and from Cork rises significantly.

Also, the public buses or trains have designated routes that do not cut through most of the scenic landscapes. So, after the bus ride, you’ll still have to take a taxi to reach these landscapes.

Taxis are relatively expensive, so using them will wipe off the advantage of the bus rides as cheap options in the long run.

The cost of renting a car depends on the type of car, but it’s between €30 – €40 per day. Factoring in the cost of gas (€1.70 per litre) will add about €20 daily to the cost. 

So, the rental car will cost you €50 – €60 per day, or €350 – €420.

4. Cost of Feeding

The cost of feeding in Ireland depends on where you eat and how often you eat out. On average, a holiday-worthy feeding experience will cost a single person €45 – €60 per day (€315 – €420 per week) and a small family €160 – €210 per day (€1,120 – €1,470 per week).

Food is an essential part of a holidaying experience. It is one way people preserve their cultural identity, hence a way to learn about people’s culture and history.

And even if you are not moved by all the “food is culture” talk, you must agree that food is needed to provide the energy for explore Ireland.

So, the cost of food (and drinks) is a good part of the cost of your Ireland visit.

How much food will cost you depends on the following:

Where you eat

Just like everywhere else, in Ireland, some restaurants are quite pricey while others are relatively cheap.

Always eating in the pricy spots can easily make your feeding costs skyrocket. However, the good thing is that quality food is served everywhere.

On average, in mid-range restaurants, a meal will cost you about €12 – €15, and in high-end restaurants, it’ll cost you €25 – €30.

RestaurantsCost of food per mealCost of food for a dayCost of food for 7 days
Mid-range€12 – €15€36 – €45€252 – €315
High-end€25 – €30€75 – €90€525 – €630

These are feeding costs per head. 

For a family, these costs rises with the number of persons in the family.

How often you eat out

As mentioned earlier, being able to cook some of your meals significantly reduces the cost of feeding. 

This is why you should choose self-catering accommodation which comes with kitchens that are fully equipped for preparing your own meals.

Interestingly, though food can be quite expensive in Ireland’s restaurants, groceries are relatively cheap.

When cooking your food yourself, a meal will cost you about €10 – €13. This totals at €30 – €39 per day, and €210 – €273 per week.

For a small family of four, it’ll be around €110 – €145 per day and €770 – €1,015 per week.

However, self-catering all your meals spoil the holiday experience. So, we’ll recommend cooking most of your meals and eating out sometimes to explore the food and drinks that Ireland has to offer. 

Budgeting €15 – €20 per meal would be adequate. This makes daily and weekly feeding costs for a single person €45 – €60 and €315 – €420 respectively.

For a family of four, €160 – €210 per day, and €1,120 – €1,470 per week will be adequate.

Cost of tourist attractions

5. Cost of tourist attractions

The cost of the tourist attractions is largely dependent on your preference, as there are many free attractions. But on average, a budget of €35 per week should be enough for a single person and €120 for a small family.

The whole essence of an Ireland holiday is to visit tourists hotspots to enjoy great sights and do fun activities.

There are many Ireland tourist hotspots that don’t require an admission fee.

These include:

  • Galway Buskers. Enjoy amazing music and comic performances on the streets of Galway.
  • National Museum of Ireland. Visit it to have your fill of national archaeology, Irish art, Irish, and culture.
  • Cork Public Museum. See interesting collections that tell Cork’s socio-economic history.
  • Killarney National Park. Enjoy peace in beautiful gardens, and thrill the kids with a riverside picnic.
  • Dublin Castle. Visit one of the most important buildings in Ireland history – the former stronghold of British power in Ireland.
  • Curracloe and Raven Nature Reserve. Walk this amazing trail that takes you through woodland (with many things to excite the kids) onto the golden sands of the Curracloe beach.
  • The Kerry Way. This amazing walkway, especially the section from Waterville to Derrynane, offers amazing scenery.

Some other places require an admission fee. The costs vary from place to place. 

Most often than not, these are just small fees. Also, there is usually a discount for seniors and children.

For example, when visiting Cork City Gaol, the cost of a ticket is:

  • Adults: €10.00
  • Students and OAP: €8.50
  • Child: €6.00
  • Family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children): €30

When visiting St Anne Church for the immersive experience of the Shandon Bells, the ticket costs:

  • Adults – €4.00
  • Seniors and Students – €3.00
  • Children – free for those under 5 years, €2.00 for those between 5 – 15 years
  • Family (two adults and up to four children under 16 yrs): €12.00

We’ll recommend mixing things up. That is, visit fee-free places as well as places requiring admission fees.

A budget of €35 a week should be adequate for a single person, while €120 should be enough for a family of four.

Is It Expensive To Visit Ireland

Conclusion

Visiting Ireland can easily be too expensive. But by travelling on a budget, an Ireland holiday can become affordable for you and your family.

Here’s how:

  • Travel cost: Use basic economy flights, book your flights early and for off-peak periods
  • Accommodation cost: Use self-catering houses when it’s a family holiday to not pay for multiple hotel rooms
  • Transportation cost within Ireland: Use a rental car. You’ll avoid the high cost of taxis to reach remote places, as well as paying for multiple bus tickets for within cities
  • Feeding cost: Cook most of your own meals
  • Cost of attractions: Visits the many fee-free destinations, and take advantage of discounts when touring places that require fee

Using self-catering houses brings down your accommodation and feeding costs. 

And in some cases, it’ll also bring down the cost of “tourist attractions”. This is because some self-catering homes offer free attractions like great scenic views, walking trails, and more.

Relax Ireland, the holiday home experts, offer a wide range of self-catering homes all over Ireland. Book one of our self-catering homes and make an Ireland holiday affordable for your family.