Is Dublin Expensive? What are the average prices in Dublin? These are questions many travellers will ask themselves before a trip to the Irish capital.
Dublin, Ireland has long been a top travel destination for tourists all over the world, known for its world-renowned culture and arts scene, charming architecture and beautiful green parks, vibrant nightlife, and proximity to many other towns and attractions for tourists visiting Ireland. If you’re planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, you’ll definitely find yourself in Dublin for a few days, the bustling capital city of unique and beautiful Ireland.
However, because Dublin hosts so many tourists from around the world, in certain areas of town prices are largely inflated and can add up quickly and make for a more expensive trip if you aren’t careful.
In this guide, I’ll break down what you can expect to spend on a trip to Dublin and how to avoid tourist traps that might have you paying more than you should be. If you’ve found yourself wondering if Dublin is expensive, read on for a full guide to prices in Dublin!
Dublin Price Guide
Accommodation Prices in Dublin
Similar to many big cities in Europe, there is a wide range of accommodation options at varying prices in Dublin, depending on what kind of travel experience you’re looking for.
At the absolute most basic, you can find a bed in a dorm-style room at a hostel for around €25 per night. Hostels are a great option if you’re travelling on a budget, as most are very centrally located and provide plenty of opportunities to be social and meet new people. In addition, most hostels offer free continental breakfasts, walking tours, and host events at night.
If you’re interested in the social aspects of hostel accommodation but would prefer the privacy of having your own room, many hostels also offer a few private rooms, that average at around €80 per night.
If you’re interested in staying in a hostel while in Dublin, I’d recommend checking out Gardiner House, a converted historic Georgian house with a fantastic beer garden out the back, or Kinlay House Dublin, located right in the heart of the city. For young travellers with an adventurous spirit, I’d definitely recommend saving some money and staying in a hostel!
If you’d prefer a quieter and more relaxing accommodation experience, you’ll find there are plenty of hotels in great locations around Dublin as well. A standard double room at a budget hotel will cost around €90-€100 per night if you plan on staying near the city center.
When looking for a hotel, I’d recommend trying to get one on the South Side of the Liffey River, as that’s where a majority of the iconic tourist attractions are, however, the closer the hotel is to Temple Bar, the more expensive it is likely to be.
Additionally, if you don’t mind being a bit of a walk away from Temple Bar and Grafton Street, there are many great affordable hotels near Parnell Square on the North Side of the Liffey, including Hotel 7 or Moxy Dublin City Hotel, which are both about €90 per night for a double room.
If you’d like to splurge on a more luxury hotel experience, consider staying at The Shelbourne, an iconic 5-star, beautiful hotel situated right across the street from St. Stephen’s Green in the heart of the city. The Shelbourne is famous in Ireland, not only for its elegant rooms and fine restaurants and bars but also as a major historic site and the birthplace of Ireland’s first constitution in 1922.
A stay at The Shelbourne will set you back about €290 per night in a basic double room, but If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience, you won’t be disappointed with a stay at The Shelbourne.
Transportation Prices in Dublin
When it comes to transportation, Dublin is well connected, both by a high speed, frequent tram (called the Luas) and an extensive bus network. Upon arriving at the Dublin airport, you’ll be able to take the Airlink Express bus right into town for €7 – it’s possible to book in advance here. Additionally, a taxi from the airport into the centre of town will cost around €20-30.
Once you’re in Dublin itself, you’ll find that it is a fairly compact city, and most of the major sites are within walking distance of each other. However, you’ll likely still need to take the bus or tram at some point, particularly if you’re staying on the North Side of the Liffey River.
A single bus or tram journey costs about €2, but you can purchase daily or weekly passes at a discounted rate if you anticipate using public transport frequently while in Dublin. While in Dublin, I’d definitely recommend getting a Leap Visitor Card, a contactless smart card that you pre-pay for a specified time period with a flat rate (1 day for €10, 3 days for €19.50, 7 days for €40).
The Leap Card allows you to “tap on” to the tram, bus, or train so that you don’t need to worry about buying a new ticket every time you go on public transport. Leap Visitor Cards can be purchased at most convenience stores in Dublin (such as Spar and Centra) and will definitely help you save money while in Dublin.
Food Prices in Dublin
When it comes to dining, food prices in Dublin are not known for being particularly affordable, especially at the restaurants and bars in close proximity to Temple Bar or Grafton Street. In order to avoid paying exorbitant rates for extremely average food, I’d stay away from these high-traffic tourist areas when choosing where to sit down and have a meal.
For lighter, daytime dining options, there are many great affordable cafes in Dublin, where you can get a sandwich or salad and a coffee for around €10. I’d recommend Little Bird Café in Portobello for healthy, seasonal fare, or Meet Me in The Morning right off Camden Street for an extremely photogenic brunch.
In addition to the cafes, there are plenty of casual, counter-service style delis and eateries where you can get a satisfying meal for less than €10.
Check out Tang on Dawson Street for hearty Middle Eastern style bowls and wraps or Pablo Picante (various locations throughout Dublin) for Ireland’s best attempt at authentic burritos. All that being said, if you plan on eating meals out during the day in Dublin, definitely anticipate setting aside at least €10 per day.
At a more formal sit-down restaurant, you can expect to pay a minimum of €15 per person for a main course and around €6 for a glass of house wine. While Ireland isn’t particularly well known for its food scene, there are some gems in Dublin, serving high-quality food that won’t break the bank.
My favourite affordable restaurant is Sprezzatura on Camden Street, an amazing, authentic pasta restaurant that prides itself on using only local Irish produce and suppliers.
Sprezzatura is the perfect restaurant for those on a budget who still want to experience a fantastic sit-down meal, as everything on the menu is under €10. Between two people, an appetizer plus a pasta dish each will only cost around €25, which is a fantastic deal for the quality of food you’ll receive.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to indulge in a luxurious meal and are willing to spend more money, consider checking out Richmond, a modern Irish restaurant that serves fantastic food at more affordable prices than many of the other high-end restaurants in Dublin.
On Sunday evenings, Richmond offers 3 courses for €30, and a generous early bird special on weekdays, meaning if you make your reservation at one of these times, you’ll get a great deal.
Many other restaurants in Dublin also offer similar early-bird deals, so make sure to do your research before making reservations at any restaurant in Dublin you want to try.
Activities Prices in Dublin
When it comes to how you’ll be spending your days when exploring Dublin, you’ll find that there are so many great things to do in the city that are completely free, including a stroll through Temple Bar, listening to buskers on Grafton Street, exploring the sprawling and beautiful campus of Trinity College, or enjoying the beautiful gardens of St. Stephen’s Green.
On your first day or two, consider taking a free walking tour, as these tours are a great way to get acquainted with the city and learn about the unique history of Dublin. There are a few different companies that offer free walking tours at various times, so you’ll be sure to find one that fits your schedule. Just remember to always tip your tour guide on a free walking tour, as they are working primarily on a volunteer basis!
In addition to the free activities and exploring you’ll be doing in Dublin, there are many other attractions that tourists love to see when in the city. Perhaps the most popular being the tour of the Guinness Storehouse, a huge, interactive experience in which you learn about the history of Guinness, its impact on Ireland, and the brewing process.
Tickets are €15 and include a free pint at the Gravity Bar on the very top level of the Storehouse. While the Storehouse is definitely very touristy, it is still a must-see when in Dublin – click here to book your tickets.
Other popular sites include Dublin Castle, a historic and beautiful building that you can tour for €8.50 to learn about the turbulent history of Ireland’s struggle to gain independence, or Kilmainham Gaol, an iconic former prison that held once held some of Ireland’s most famous prisoners that can be toured for €8.
If you anticipate wanting to do a lot of tours and visits to popular attractions while in Dublin, you can consider purchasing a Dublin Pass for €90 for two days, which will cover the cost of admission at most of Dublin’s top attractions, plus fare on a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour. However, you definitely don’t need to purchase this pass in order to have an activity-packed stay in Dublin.
Entertainment Prices in Dublin
The nightlife and pub scene in Dublin are a huge draw for travellers from around the world, and for good reason- going out and getting a few pints is a key aspect of the Irish experience. However, drink prices in Dublin are not cheap, and if you aren’t careful, you can end up spending huge amounts of money in the pubs.
While the Temple Bar district in Dublin is full of fun pubs and live music, I wouldn’t spend all night in this area — the price of drinks is notoriously much higher at these bars and they all tend to get extremely rowdy as the night goes on.
Perhaps get an overpriced pint (around €6.50) at The Temple Bar Pub, one of the most notorious in Ireland, then head up to Camden Street, just a fifteen-minute walk away to check out some of the more local spots where drinks are a bit cheaper.
Devitt’s is a great traditional pub with amazing live music 7 days a week or check out Cassidy’s for a quiet drink and calmer vibe. There are so many great pubs on Camden Street that offer a cheaper pint and a much more authentic experience, so if you’re looking to dive into Dublin’s pub culture, I’d check out this area.
For fans of live music, there are many great and affordable venues in town that host a wide range of different musicians. Check out The Ruby Sessions on Tuesday evenings at Doyle’s Pub for an amazing night of acoustic music for only €7, or check out who’s playing at Whelan’s, an indie-rock music venue and pub where shows cost around €15-20.
Finally, if you want to check out a traditional Irish music and dancing show, consider getting tickets to Celtic Nights, hosted at the Arlington Hotel 7 nights a week. This two-hour show is priced at €40 and includes a three-course meal while showcasing some of the best traditional Irish dancers and musicians in the city.
While it is definitely a little pricier, it is sure to make for an unforgettable experience. Regardless of how you choose to spend your nights in Dublin, keep in mind that going out definitely adds up and is one of the more costly elements of visiting the city.
Is Dublin Expensive? Average Prices in Dublin
So, for all those eager travellers who asking “how expensive is Dublin?”, here is a breakdown of the average amount of money you can anticipate spending per day, assuming you’re splitting the costs with another person and opting to stick to a mid-range budget:
Overall, with Dublin prices you can expect to spend about €60-€85 per day, assuming you’re staying in affordable accommodation, using public transportation a few times a day, eating a meal or two out, doing a few tours, and getting a drink or seeing live music in the evenings.
This also doesn’t include any pre-trip expenses such as flights (search on Skyscanner for the best deals!) or travel insurance. World Nomads is a popular option for travellers looking for travel insurance – click here to get a quote from World Nomads.
Of course, prices can fluctuate greatly depending on your personal interests and choices throughout your stay, but most would be surprised to see that you don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to have a great trip to Dublin.
Hopefully, this budget guide has helped you figure out how much money to allocate when planning a trip to this incredible city and show you just how much Dublin has to offer to the adventurous traveller.
Are you planning a trip to the Irish capital and wondering about the prices in Dublin? Have you visited the city before? Let us know in the comments!