Is Dublin Expensive? A Guide to Prices in Dublin

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by Ella Kilroy


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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.

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.

While Dublin is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, at an average cost of €80-225 (roughly $88-246 USD) per person per day, you can still find ways to visit Dublin on a budget.

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.

Dublin Price Guide

Accommodation Prices

Similar to many big cities in Europe, there is a wide range of accommodation options at varying prices in the Irish capital, depending on what kind of travel experience you’re looking for. Accommodation can be expensive in Dublin, but there are ways to save money if you’re looking out for it.

At the absolute most basic, you can find a bed in a dorm-style room at a hostel for around €35 per night. Hostels are a great option for budget accommodation in Dublin 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 €150 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 3-star hotel will cost around €150-250 per night if you plan on staying near the city centre. Prices vary depending on the season.

When looking for a hotel in Dublin, 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.

Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin
Ha’penny Bridge connects the two banks of the Liffey River

For reasonably priced hotels that are located on the south side, I’d recommend Maldron Hotel Kevin Street or the Harding Hotel, both starting at about €150 per night for a double room.

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 €150-250 per night for a double room, depending on the season.

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 €500 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

When it comes to transportation in Dublin, the city 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 €8. 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 €8, 3 days for €16, 7 days for €32).

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.

Dublin Bus
Taking the bus in Dublin is a great way to lower your costs

Food Prices

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 €10-15. I’d recommend Little Bird Café in Portobello for healthy, seasonal fare.

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.

At a more formal sit-down restaurant, you can expect to pay a minimum of €15-20 per person for a main course and around €6 for a glass of house wine. There is some great food in Dublin and wonderful restaurants 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 quite affordable.  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.

All that being said, if you plan on eating meals out during the day in Dublin, definitely anticipate setting aside at least €20-40 per person per day depending on how often and where you eat out.

Dublin Castle
Avoid eating near Dublin Castle if you want to save money!

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.

Richmond and many other restaurants in Dublin also offer early-bird deals, where you can get a great 2 or 3-course meal for around €30-40 per person. So make sure to do your research before making reservations at any restaurant in Dublin you want to try.

Activities Prices

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 start at €30 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.

Guinness Storehouse Barrels
Guinness Storehouse Barrels

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 Go City Pass, 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.

There are also several day trip options from Dublin, ranging from the Boyne Valley to the Wicklow Mountains and beyond. You can visit these places independently via public transport for a low price or opt for organised tours, which will cost more. Alternatively, you can tack them on when leaving or arriving to Dublin and visit them in your own hire car.

Those looking to visit some of the many museums in Dublin will be pleased to know that this is a very budget-friendly activity. Like in the UK, many of the state-run museums around the city are completely free of charge and there will only be a fee to enter special exhibits.

Entertainment Prices

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 €7) 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. In general, expect the price of a pint of Guinness in Dublin to be around €5, especially if you’re avoiding tourist traps.

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 an affordable price, 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 €46 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.

Temple Bar in Dublin
Temple Bar in Dublin

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:

Accommodation: €35-125/day

Transportation: €5-10/day

Food: €20-40/day

Activities: €10-30/day

Entertainment: €10-20/day

Overall, with Dublin prices you can expect to spend about €80-225 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 to Dublin (search on Skyscanner for great deals!) or travel insurance. For travel insurance, SafetyWing is a popular option if you’re travelling in Dublin on a budget. They offer affordable and flexible travel medical insurance policies. 

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.

Trinity College in Dublin
Trinity College in 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 wondering about the cost to visit Dublin? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Ella is a writer for The World Was Here First. She is an American living in Dublin, Ireland, and when she isn’t writing, you can find her jetting off to countless destinations across Europe and beyond. Ella fell in love with travelling while studying abroad in Galway, which is what prompted her to come back to Ireland and start writing about her experiences.

Comments

  1. Thank you for thorough explanation about Dublin! I’m considering visiting Dublin with my toddler (4,5 yo) is the trip visiting the castle children friendly? I mean is it easily accessible by public transport? Or should we rent a car?

    Appreciate your kind response. Many thanks in advance! 🤗

    Winny – The Netherlands

    Reply
  2. The most sensible and accurate guide I’ve read. I’ve been researching hotels and this guide is spot on , so I trust everything else in the article to be accurate. Booking flights tomorrow ! Thank you.

    Reply
  3. I’m going to Dublin this Monday for 2 nights, we’re really looking forward to it. Thnx for spending the time compiling this guide.

    Reply

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