How to Travel Cheap to Ireland – Travel On A Budget

While it is not as expensive as Scandinavia and Switzerland, Ireland is not a cheap destination. Still, it doesn’t mean that it is inaccessible for budget travelers. Here, we will tell you a few tips for planning cheap travel to Ireland. 

Maybe a reason why this country remains underrated as a backpacking destination.

While most of the articles recommend a budget of around $80/ €70 a day, in this article, we want to show how you can travel to Ireland even with a $50/ €45 budget. If you are wondering how to travel to Ireland cheap – these tips will help you!

To travel comfortably in Ireland, it is recommended to plan a budget of $100-150/ €90-140 per day.

But what if I don’t have this cash? What if my currency is valuing nothing when exchanging for euros? Well, money is not an excuse when it comes to enjoying amazing experiences. Follow smart travel tips, there is always at least one way to do so without breaking the bank.

Budgets to Travel to Ireland

A minimum budget for Ireland is $50/ €45 a day, considering you live economically. Stay at a shared room in a hostel, cook your meals during most of your holiday, use public transportation, without partying and drinking too much. 

The average price for a lunch in Ireland goes around $21/ €20 and $33/ €30 for dinner.

A beer at a pub costs around $6/ €5. Important to remember that free camping is not allowed in Ireland! Here an overview of the average prices for accommodation:

  • A shared room at a hostel will cost you around $12-23/ €10-20 per night, while a private room will cost about $40-69/ €35-60. 
  • Budget hotels: $56/ €50 and in the biggest cities, it costs around $80/ €65.
  • Vacation Rental (such as Airbnb): shared rooms start from $20/ €18 per night and private apartments around $50/ €45.

For traveling comfortably in Ireland, consider a budget of $150/ €100 a day, staying at a two-star hotel, at a private room in a hostel, or at a private room rent via Airbnb.

You can eat outside, as well as cook your meals, combine public transportation and ridesharing apps, and visit a couple of attractions each day.

If you are traveling to Ireland on a budget, you need to make a priority list of what you want to do and where to go.

It depends on how much you can afford or how much comfort you’re willing to give up on as in any other destination. So in this article, we share a couple of travel hacks to cut costs without sacrificing comfort.

Tips for Cutting Travel Costs in Ireland

  • A valid student card in Ireland allows you to have discounts of up to 50% to many museums, buses, and attractions;
  • Another option for tours and activities in Ireland is the OPW Heritage Card, which gives you access to the main attractions including most of the castles in multiple cities across the country for $29/ €25;
  • Drink at your place, on happy hours, buying alcohol at the supermarkets, or you will spend a lot of money at the pubs;
  • Eating at pubs, meanwhile, is a better option for cheaper meals outside;
  • Ridesharing apps such as BlaBlaCar and CarpoolWorld are smart options to save on transportation while getting around Ireland;
  • If you have time and patience, you can collect the VAT, which usually taxes 20%, when you leave Ireland.

Saving Money on Food in Ireland

If you travel to Ireland on a budget, simple local meals at a pub, such as Irish stew and fish and chips, cost around $10-15/ €9-15. At a more expensive restaurant, a meal costs around $20/ €18. Cooking your meals will cost about $70/ €60 per week, buying the groceries.

A smart way to cut costs on eating outside in Ireland is going to restaurants that offer “early bird”, usually on midweek before 18:00h. Why? You pay a fraction of the cost charged during the regular eating hours.

Saving on Transportation Using Bus & Rail Passes

While a ticket on public transportation in Ireland costs about $3,50/ €3, using the LEAP card is valid all over the industry for all the public transportation options with discounts of up to 31% compared to the price in cash. And for traveling around Ireland, there are buses and rail passes that give you discount prices on transportation:

  • Irish Explorer: 5 days of unlimited use of Irish Rail out of 15 consecutive days for $180/ €160.
  • Trekker Four Day: unlimited travel on Irish Rail within 4 days from the date of issue on the ticket for $120/ €110.
  • Open Road Tourist Travel Pass: 3 days of unlimited travel out of 6 consecutive days on Bus Éireann for $60/ €70. There are options from 3 up to 15 days.
  • Sunday Day Tracker: 1 day of unlimited travel on Translink buses and trains in the north of Ireland for $10USD/ £8.

If you have any questions about calculating your budget for traveling to Ireland, feel free to write comments to clarify and discuss with other travelers. And if we missed travel hacks for traveling cheap to Ireland, please let us know!