Taking a backpacking trip across Ireland is one of my favourite things to do. Ireland is a picture-perfect country with lots to see and do, from its verdant hills and ancient castles to its picturesque coastline and plentiful supplies of Guinness and Jameson.Ireland to locals
While many tourists travel to Ireland, the vast majority never leave Dublin after seeing the major attractions, downing a few drinks, and then leaving.
But there’s a lot more to see if you rent a car and head away from the tourist traps (Ireland is the ideal nation for a road trip). Seriously. Take a spin! There are many castle ruins and charming little places to explore.
Everyone who has visited Ireland agrees that it is a fantastical place rich in history, culture, and good times. No visitor to Ireland has ever left unhappy.
Use this Ireland travel guide to make the most of your time there and guarantee a good time without draining your bank account.
The Five Most Essential Attractions in Ireland
Ireland, and the stunning Cliffs of Moher on the country’s rocky western coast.
Enjoyment is practically a prerequisite in Dublin. There is no shortage of bars in the city that boast of serving the best pint of Ireland’s most famous export (Guinness). Dublin is a top European tourist destination thanks to its beautiful Georgian buildings, abundance of live music, and friendly locals (known as “craic”).
2. Look at the beautiful Cliffs of Moher.
Five miles (about eight kilometres) in length, the Cliffs of Moher may be found in County Clare, Ireland, along the Atlantic coast. A diverse diversity of birds call their 214-meter (702-foot) height home. Schedule this outside activity for a warm day. The price of admission is 10 euros.
3. The Giant’s Causeway is a must-see.
Travel over the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland to see the renowned Giant’s Causeway, a natural formation made up of more than 40,000 basalt columns that resemble a staircase fit for a giant. They estimate the age of the pillars to be over 50 million years, making them a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is no charge to enter.
4. Take a road trip around Kerry’s famous Ring of Kerry.
This path is a favourite among visitors to Ireland. The Ring of Kerry is an impressively long route, clocking in at about 125 miles (200 km) of scenic coastal roads, lakes, rocky terrain, and mediaeval forts. Walking the 135 miles (215 kilometres) of the Kerry Way is a great way to test your limits.
5. The City of Galway: A Free Day Out
Galway is a popular destination for students and musicians, giving it a lively, youthful atmosphere. The Latin Quarter is known for its vibrant nightlife and abundance of buskers. The stunning Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery that you must see.
Some Extraordinary Irish Attractions
1. One: Visit Cork
Cork, Ireland, is a thriving metropolis on the southwestern coast of the island of Ireland. Cork was once a major port, but now it is a vibrant student city with affordable restaurants and exciting nightlife. Visitors flock to Mizen Head and the surrounding area to take in the coastal scenery, climb around Gougane Barra, and kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck. Because minke whales, fin whales, and humpback whales are frequently spotted in the area, surfing and whale watching are other popular pastimes (expect to pay around 55 EUR for a whale watching tour).
2. It’s second nature to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a party.
St. Patrick is revered as a national hero in Ireland. The snakes, so the myth goes, were exterminated by him. Whether or not you get into the myth, this is the one party where it seems like everyone is Irish. In Dublin, they have the largest parties. It’s one of the greatest parties ever, so you’ll want to reserve your accommodations well in advance lest you miss out.
3. Be sure to give the Blarney Stone a kiss!
Blarney Castle is located just outside of Cork.The castle was constructed in the 15th century, and it is famous for the Stone, a block of carboniferous limestone set into the wall of the keep. This stone was placed in 1446, and legend has it that whoever kisses it will gain the gift of gab (“blarney” has become a synonym for “flattering speech”). Tickets cost 18 euros (16 euros if you buy your ticket online).
4. Visit historic castles.
Ireland is rich in heritage, and castles dot the landscape (there are some 30,000 castles and castle ruins here). Whether you’re looking at the ruined Dunluce Castle or the perfectly maintained Cahir Castle in Tipperary, you won’t be able to ignore its historical significance. If you have the money, stay at the magnificently restored Ashford Castle in County Mayo or treat yourself to a mediaeval feast at Bunratty Castle in Clare.Those with limited time in Dublin should ride the train out to Malahide Castle, located about 30 minutes from the city centre. Consider purchasing a Heritage Card if you intend to see many different castles during your trip. It costs 40 euros but grants you admission to dozens of Irish castles.
5. Hike in Connemara, Ireland
With a total area of around 12 square miles (30 square kilometres), this national park in County Galway features beautiful scenery and excellent trekking. Most visitors come to enjoy the park’s trails and forest biking, but the park also features several castles, a historic mining district, and a museum devoted to the area’s rich history. Rabbits, foxes, stoats, hawks, falcons, and herds of Connemara ponies are just some of the animals that can be seen here. There is no charge to enter.
6. Visit the John F. Kennedy Arboretum and Memorial
You may find this garden, containing more than 4,500 different kinds of trees and shrubs, 30 minutes west of Waterford in County Wexford. Besides the picnic area and visitor centre, there are also various tea establishments. named for John F. Kennedy Sr., whose great-grandfather was born in the area and who also visited the arboretum in 1963. To memorialise him, five years later, an arboretum was constructed with funds donated by Irish Americans. There is no charge to enter.
7. Travel to the Aran Islands for an exciting day trip.
This small group of islands in Galway Bay is home to only 1,200 of the region’s residents. The locals here speak Irish primarily (though many also speak English). You may see the different historic sites, ruins, castles, and beautiful landscapes by taking a bus, a bike, or a carriage. Tourists also flock to Dun Aengus, a Bronze Age and Iron Age fort that hugs the coast of Inis Mor, and O’Briens Castle, both of which are located inland. The biggest and most easily accessible island is Inis Mor. To reach Rosseveal, take a bus from Galway (13 EUR).
8. Visit the Ulster Museum and travel through time.
Plan a day trip to Northern Ireland and stop by the Ulster Museum in Belfast. It houses an extensive and varied assortment of artwork and artefacts from several fields, such as archaeology, local history, natural history, the history of the Spanish Armada, and more. The Ulster Museum is the largest museum in the region. There is no charge to enter.
9. Visit Newgrange.
Newgrange is a burial mound that dates back more than 5,200 years and is located 45 minutes north of Dublin by automobile (which makes it older than both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids). The huge tomb, made up of a ring of stone and topped with soil, included human remains and other items. Several underground crypts and corridors can be found inside. On the Winter Solstice, a shaft of light shines through the entrance passage’s precisely aligned opening and into the room beyond. The price to enter is 7 euros.
10. See Killarney, Number Ten.
Killarney, with its undoubted mediaeval charm, is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist sites. Southwest of the nation, you may explore Muckross Abbey, a Franciscan friary built in the 15th century, and Ross Castle, also built in the 15th century. Also, the Ring of Kerry is typically explored by setting out from here.
11. Gain knowledge of whisky and try some for yourself.
Visit the Jameson Distillery in Cork to learn about the production of Irish whisky. Jameson is the best-selling Irish whisky in the world, and the company that makes it is one of the oldest in Ireland. When you take a tour of the distillery, you’ll get to see where the magic happens and hear the fascinating story of how this whisky came to be. The Jameson Distillery Experience tour is the best deal among the available options and only costs 23 EUR per person. The duration is 75 minutes, and a whisky tasting is included.
Check out these travel guides for more information on Ireland’s many cities:
- Information for Vacationing in Cork
- Dublin Tourist Information
- A General Overview of Galway
Ireland Travel Costs
The Irish countryside, complete with a castle and lush green fields, is well worth the price of a trip.
Hostel dorm rooms with 4–8 beds cost, on average, 20–35 EUR per night. Private rooms for two people typically cost between 60 and 100 euros a night. Most hostels also include self-catering amenities and free Wi-Fi.
A simple plot for two people without power can be found for roughly 12 EUR per night for individuals who are travelling with a tent.
Average hotel costs at the low end range from 75 to 120 euros per night. Some of them even throw in a full Irish breakfast and free Wi-Fi for good measure (eggs, sausage, and beans).
Private rooms on Airbnb start at 55 euros per night and are available in cities across the country. Most fully furnished apartments cost around 100 euros per night. If you don’t book in advance, you should expect to pay twice as much.
When it comes to eating, Ireland is a true “meat and potatoes” nation. In addition to fish (it is an island, after all), potatoes have been a staple food in the country since the 18th century. Some of the most well-liked seafood dishes are cod, salmon, and oysters, while other typical meals include shepherd’s pie, black pudding, bacon and cabbage, fish and chips, and meat stews.
It usually costs about 15 euros for a standard lunch. The minimum cost of a meal consisting of several courses and a beverage is 30 euros. The cheapest combo meal at a fast food restaurant (like McDonald’s) costs 8 euros.
The average cost of a medium pizza is between 7 and 10 euros, whereas the average cost of a major dish at a Chinese restaurant is between 9 and 12 euros. A fish and chip dinner can be had for as little as 6 euros.
A latte or cappuccino will set you back 3.50 EUR, while a beer will run you roughly 5 EUR. The price of a bottle of water in Europe is 1.50 euros.
Budget between 45 and 55 EUR a week if you plan on doing your own cooking, which should cover the cost of pasta, rice, vegetables, and possibly some meat.
Price Ranges for an Irish Backpacking Trip
55 EUR per day is plenty for a backpacking trip if you choose to stay in a hostel dorm, prepare all of your own meals, drink moderately, rely on public transportation, and take advantage of free or inexpensive activities like walking tours and castle visits. Include an extra 5–15 EUR each day in your spending strategy if you want to imbibe.
- With a daily budget of 125 euros, you can enjoy a private hostel room or Airbnb, fast food for most meals, a few beers, the occasional taxi ride, and paid activities like a trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
- If you have at least 240 euros per day to spend on your “luxury” vacation, you can afford to stay in a hotel, dine at any restaurant, drink more frequently, take day trips in a rented car, and participate in as many tours and excursions as you like. While luxurious, this is only the first floor. The limit is in the sky.
- Check out the table below to get a sense of how much money you’ll need for everyday expenses on your trip. Remember that these are daily averages; some days will cost more than others (you might spend less every day). Our goal here is just to provide you with some guidelines for developing a realistic financial plan. We charge in euros.
- Accommodation. 25
- Food. 10
- Transportation. 10
- Attractions. 10
- Average Daily Cost. 55
- Accommodation. 60
- Food. 25
- Transportation. 20
- Attractions. 20
- Average Daily Cost. 125
- Accommodation. 100
- Food. 70
- Transportation. 30
- Attractions. 40
- Average Daily Cost. 240
Money-Saving Advice for Your Trip to Ireland
There are no outrageous prices, but frequent trips to the local watering hole can add up quickly! You can cut costs while visiting Ireland by following these suggestions.
- Many museums, attractions, and public transportation systems provide discounts of up to 50 percent to students with verified student identification. Inquire about price reductions whenever possible with your student ID.
- Be judicious with your alcohol consumption; a night out on the town at Ireland’s famous pubs will quickly drain your money. Reduce the expense by drinking during happy hours, hosting a drink party at your place, or not drinking at all.
- Pubs are great places to have filling, authentic, and inexpensive meals while in Ireland. Though not quite nutritious, it’s cheap.
- Purchase an OPW Heritage Card if you are interested in visiting historical sites. There is no cost to enter the majority of the country’s castles. The price of this card is 40 euros.
- Host up with a native – Couchsurfing is a website that puts you in touch with people who are willing to host you for free and show you around their city. You can cut costs and maybe even meet a cool new person if you do this.
- The best supper deals can be found at midday, when many eateries offer their “specials” (usually before 6 p.m.). It’s a fixed menu, so there’s less selection, but you can expect significantly lower prices.
- The tap water is potable, so fill up a reusable water bottle before you arrive to save money and cut down on waste. I recommend LifeStraw since their bottles come equipped with filters to keep your water pure and safe at all times.
Which Irish hotel should you stay at
Want to find a hotel in Ireland? Places I recommend if you’re trying to save money are as follows:
- It’s a Generator Hostel (Dublin).
- Hostel Isaacs (Dublin)
- A Street Named Barnacles Quay (Galway)
- Stay at a City Center Hostel in Galway (Galway)
- Residence of Kinlay (Cork)
- The Sheilas Hostel, located in the heart of Cork (Cork),
- hostel in Neptune’s Town (Killarney)
- The Youth Hostel of Oige (Killarney)
- Hideout Hostel: A Place to Get Away (Dingle)
Ireland A Guide to Getting Around
Traveling by bus
Galway, Ireland, is known for its colourful homes that line the shore.
Transportation on the island of Ireland is dependable, safe, and spotless. Traveling by bus in Dublin costs around 3 EUR, while excursions to Galway cost 2.40 EUR and travel to Belfast in Northern Ireland costs only 1.60 GBP.
All forms of public transit can be used at discounted rates (up to 31% off compared to cash tickets) using a LEAP card, which can be reloaded for use across the country. It can also be used to hire bicycles using the DublinBikes self-service system.
It will cost you 10 euros for a day pass to ride the bus or subway.
There aren’t many bus routes in Ireland that are more than a few hours long because the island is so small. So, it seems like the pricing is fair. The fare from Dublin, Ireland, to Belfast, Northern Ireland, costs roughly 20 euros and takes 2.5 hours. Getting from Dublin to Galway on a bus takes roughly 2.5 hours and costs between 12 and 25 euros.
The primary bus company in Ireland is called Bus Éireann, while in the north, Translink operates (and includes Ulsterbus and Goldline). Find the lowest prices and most convenient departure times by browsing their website. Save money on your tickets by purchasing them in advance.
There is an excellent route-planning website (although you can’t actually buy tickets there).
Take the train
Take the train; Irish Rail is the country’s primary railroad. Though more expensive than taking the bus, a train ticket is still manageable for most budgets. It takes about 2.5 hours and costs 20–30 EUR to get from Cork to Dublin, while the same trip from Galway to Dublin takes roughly the same amount of time and costs 17–25 EUR.
There are a few different types of rail and bus passes available in Ireland, and choosing one may be a good idea based on your plan and travel budget.
Renting a car in Ireland is rather cheap, with daily rates starting at roughly 20 Euros. Traveling across the country is most convenient when done through rental automobile. Most rental cars are manual transmission, and driving is on the left.
Safe as houses, hitchhiking in Ireland might be tricky in rural areas with little passing traffic. Getting a ride isn’t always simple, but it’s not impossible either. If you’re looking for more hitchhiking information, Hitchwiki is the place to go.
When is the Best Time to Visit Ireland?
Because of its mild climate, Ireland is enjoyable to visit at any time of year; just remember that it will rain no matter when you go!
Summer (June–August) is when temperatures are highest and the country is busiest. However, remember that this is high season, so competition for lodgings in major cities is to be expected. The costs have been slightly increased as well. Temperatures typically range from 56 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 20 degrees C), but can rise to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees C) or higher.
The days are short and it may rain during the winter, but it rarely gets really cold. If you must travel then, dress warmly and anticipate lots of indoor activities.
The celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day in March is well-attended across the United States. Hotels and hostels will be at maximum capacity and will charge premium rates during this time. Although mild weather persists and Ireland’s natural beauty remains undimmed, you’ll need to plan ahead to secure lodging.
In general, I enjoy travelling there during the spring and fall shoulder seasons (March through May and September through October). The country is less crowded and prices are lower outside of St. Patrick’s Day. The climate is suitable for outdoor activities. All you need is an umbrella.
When Traveling to Ireland, Follow These Precautions
There is an extremely little chance of being a victim of violent crime in Ireland. Pickpocketing and other forms of street crime are unfortunately not uncommon in busy public places like Dublin’s Temple Bar. You will be safe, though, if you take care to protect your assets.
Never leave anything of value in a rented automobile overnight because of the risk of theft.
No one, male or female, travelling alone, need worry about their safety in this destination. The same level of care should be exercised as you would in any other location.
If you’re ever in a bind, just dial 112 or 999 for help.
Here are 14 common travel scams and how to prevent them if you’re scared.
If anything feels off, go with your gut. It’s best to get out of the cab immediately if you have the impression that the driver is dishonest. If you find out that the hotel you booked is actually somewhat seedy, you should probably choose another. Make duplicates of your passport and other forms of identification.
Get yourself some decent travel insurance; it’s the single most critical thing I can recommend. Having travel insurance helps safeguard you from financial loss in the event of things like illness, injury, theft, or trip cancellations. All bases are covered in case of an emergency. After needing it so much in the past, I never leave home without it. Use the tool provided below to locate the plan that best suits your needs:
Top Sites for Booking Your Trip to Ireland
Whenever I travel, I always rely on these service providers. Their deals are always the finest, their service is unparalleled, and their products are of superior quality and value. I always begin my search for cheap flights and hotels with these companies because they are the ones I use the most.
- My go-to flight search engine is
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is the most comprehensive and user-friendly hostel booking platform on the web, with a huge selection and convenient search tools.
is the greatest website for booking a hotel, period. They offer the greatest variety of cheap hotels. They consistently offer the lowest prices among the booking sites I’ve checked.
- Take advantage of discounts of up to 20% at hostels all around Europe with the new
card. There is no better approach to cut costs. Also, they are always opening up new hostels. I’m relieved to see that something similar to this exists, because I’ve desired one for a long time.
are what Intrepid Travel specialises in. In addition to providing high-quality, environmentally responsible small group excursions, they also support the local economy by employing the services of independent tour guides. Plus, as a visitor to this website, you are eligible for special savings!
Get Your Guide
is a comprehensive travel platform where you can book tours and activities all over the world. All throughout the world, they offer a wide variety of different tours, such as cooking demonstrations, walking tours, and street art classes.
- If you plan on travelling many fast or long-distance trains while in Europe, you should look into purchasing a Eurail pass. A rail pass has saved me hundreds of dollars over the course of three separate trips. The numbers are spot on.
- To learn everything there is to know about taking a train anywhere in the globe, visit
The Man in Seat 61
. In terms of routes, times, costs, and current train conditions, they are unrivalled. Check out this webpage if you want to take a train excursion of any significant length.
is a service that shows you the quickest and cheapest routes from one location to another. It lists every possible bus, train, aircraft, and boat route, along with prices, to your destination.
allows you to travel between 20 different European countries for as little as 5 EUR.They offer complimentary checked bags, WiFi, and power outlets on their buses.
offers simple and affordable plans for digital nomads and long-term travelers.They are ideal for travellers due to their low monthly rates, helpful customer care, and simple claims procedure.
- To guarantee that the water you consume is always clean and safe, I recommend
reusable water bottles with built-in filters.
produces travel apparel that is comfortable, breathable, and simple to care for.