Is Dublin Expensive? A Budget Explorer’s Full Guide [2024]

Do you want to travel to Ireland’s capital city and are wondering – is Dublin expensive? 

This is a valid question since prices have shot up everywhere, and just like me, I’m sure you want to get the most out of your hard-earned money.

There’s a lot to consider when planning a trip to Dublin City: 

  • Flight
  • Accommodation
  • Travel insurance
  • Food
  • Public transport
  • Activities

Living in Ireland myself, I can say that the cost of living is high and seems to be increasing.

But is Dublin expensive for tourists too? 

Visiting Dublin certainly comes at a cost, but don’t worry, we’ve got some tips for you on how you can save money during your stay.

Ger and I have visited this beautiful city many times and we’ll break down the average cost per person for you so you can make a call whether this fits into your budget or not.

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Is Dublin Expensive To Visit?: Hotel Cost

Why is Dublin so expensive for hotels? 

Well, there are a few reasons why prices in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, are so high. 

From increased energy and labor prices over lack of hotels to the city being a very popular destination for tourists.

Avoid staying at Dublin airport, although Dublin City isn’t much cheaper either.

You’re looking at around $205 USD per night for a double room, no breakfast included, but right in the heart of Dublin (off-season). 

If you want something a bit nicer, be prepared to pay around $250 USD per night. 

PHEW… I know what you’re thinking! O_O

But don’t give up just yet! As always, there are cheaper options available.

Like hostels. If you don’t mind sharing the room with others (bunk bed-style), you can get a night for $135 USD, breakfast included. 

And if you’re happy to stay a few kilometers away from the city center, you can even get a bunk bed in a hostel for $98 USD

Our tip: book your accommodation well in advance and if possible, choose a time of the year when it’s not too busy so you can get better deals.

is dublin expensive

How Expensive Is Dublin To Visit?: Food & Drinks

Going out for lunch and dinner in Dublin can be quite expensive, more so if you visit the tourist hotspots like Temple Bar (a busy riverside neighborhood). 

Let’s look at the popular Temple Bar Pub: you pay an average of $21 USD per meal. 

If you leave the city center, it doesn’t get a whole lot cheaper, to be honest. You might save a few dollars per meal, but you have to consider the time and money it takes to get there and back.

How much you spend on food and drinks can be totally up to you though. 

What Ger and I do to save money: 

  • Refill our water bottles instead of buying drinks all the time
  • Share food OR
  • Get one main and one starter instead of 2 mains
  • Get a snack from the supermarket or the bakery instead of doing a sit-down lunch

Alcohol isn’t cheap either (the price of a pint in Dublin is around $8-9 USD), so if you don’t drink, YAY to you! 

If you do, look out for the happy hours (usually between 4-6 pm) and meal & drink deals. 

Cheapest Pubs In Dublin

Is Dublin expensive to drink? 

Looking at the beer prices in Dublin, I might advise you to go alcohol-free during your stay. 

Just kidding!

You wanna have a good time there, and I must admit, the Irish beer is super delicious (oh the GUINNESS) and I wouldn’t want you to miss out.

So, here are some of the cheapest pubs in Dublin where you can get a pint for as low as $4.80 USD:

Our tip: go for the ‘Beer of the Day’ if you want to spend a little less.

Bonus tip: when ordering a drink, you can always ask if it’s cheaper to pay with cash instead of by card.

is dublin expensive

Visiting Dublin: Public Transportation

Visiting Dublin is much more fun if you don’t need to worry about having to buy a ticket every time you set foot on a tram or bus. 

That’s why we advise you to get a leap visitor card which you can use for the city bus, tram, and train (but not for the Hop on/Hop off tour or other special tour services).

There are different options available (per person):

  • 1 day (24 hours) for $8.60 USD
  • 3 days (72 hours) for $17.30 USD 
  • 7 days (168 hours) for $34.60 USD 

However, you can cut the cost of public transport altogether and explore Dublin by foot (walk off that beer!).

If possible, stay away from expensive taxis. 

Side note for Uber fans: even though you can use the Uber app in Ireland, it won’t be a personal driver picking you up (it’ll be a licensed taxi driver).

is dublin expensive

Prices In Dublin: Attractions & Activities

Prices in Dublin for attractions and activities can be quite high, especially for guided tours that combine attractions such as:

While these deals offer great value, not everyone can afford them, more so if you travel as a couple or a family. 

But there are other things to do in Dublin that won’t empty your bank account and still give you the chance to get to know this vibrant and fun city.

Budget-Friendly Things To Do In Dublin 

The first thing Ger and I did when we visited Dublin was to join one of the free walking tours

While walking through Dublin, we already saw heaps of beautiful places, plus it saved us from having to spend money on the costly hop-on/hop-off buses.

Side note: even though those kinds of walking tours are for free, you should give the guide a small tip.

And did you know that these 3 attractions are free as well?!

15 Budget-Friendly Things To Do In Dublin For Under $20 USD

Here are some fun and affordable things to do in Dublin that will leave you with some money to have some traditional Irish stew or our favorite – Soda bread!

  1. Dublin Ghost Hunt: Outdoor Escape Game – $6.50 USD
  2. Romantic Outdoor Escape Game – $8.10 USD
  3. Dublin Christ Church Cathedral – $12.50 USD
  4. Irish Famine Museum – $14 USD
  5. Walking Tour & Railway Ride of Scenic Coastal Dublin – $14.60 USD
  6. The Dublin True Crime Tour – $15 USD
  7. Dublin Street Art Walking Tour – $15 USD
  8. Dublin Epic Pub Crawl – $15 USD
  9. Howth Coastal Half-Day Bus Tour – $41.83 USD
  10. Guided Walking Tour of Trinity College Campus – $17.30 USD
  11. Croke Park Tour and GAA Museum Visit – $17.60 USD
  12. 90-Minute Dublin Walking Tour & Sightseeing Tips – $17.80 USD
  13. The Dublin Liberties Distillery Guided Tour & Whiskey Tasting – $18.40 USD
  14. A Silent Disco Walking Tour – $19.40 USD
  15. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum – $19.50 USD

Average Cost Per Day To Visit Dublin

How much you spend per day in Dublin is very personal and depends on many different factors. 

Have you booked a hotel including breakfast? Or are you in a holiday apartment where you can cook yourself and don’t need to go out for dinner every night? 

You might not be as interested in museums but like to spend more time at the pub.

For this example, let’s pretend you need to pay for lunch and dinner, are budget-savvy, and like to have a bit of fun.

Average Cost Per Day Per Person: A Realistic Breakdown 

  • Accommodation: $105 USD
  • Public transport: $8.60 USD
  • Food: $35 USD
  • Drinks: $20 USD
  • Attractions: $20 USD

This makes a total of $188.60 USD per day per person. Flights or travel insurance not included.

So, is Dublin expensive to visit? I’d give a YES when it comes to hotel/accommodation. 

But is Dublin expensive for everything else as well? It’s probably just as expensive as any other major city in Europe.

I actually find the prices for attractions in Dublin quite reasonable. 

And there are always ways to save money when doing a trip overseas. Check out the tips below.

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Dublin Tips From A Local

Here are some local tips you should consider when visiting Dublin. 

  • Plan your visit well in advance to get better deals on flight and accommodation (last-minute visits are always more expensive)
  • Stay at a hostel or a holiday apartment
  • Try Couchsurfing or house-sitting
  • Pre-book your activities
  • Join a FREE walking tour
  • Make use of other free attractions
  • Walk instead of using taxis or public transport
  • Don’t buy food or drinks at popular tourist spots
  • Grab snacks from the bakery 
  • Pack your thermal sets, umbrella, raincoat, and rain boots (so you don’t need to buy them there)
  • Bring your water bottle

Is Dublin Expensive To Live?

Is Ireland expensive when it comes to living? 

Ger and I have recently made the Emerald Isle our home and I am shocked at how quickly the money runs through my fingers every month.

And we don’t live in a major city.

The cost of living in Dublin is even more horrendous. 

The average rent in Dublin for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,170 USD and the average house price in Dublin is $466,515 USD.

Crazy, right?!

Is Dublin Expensive For Students

Being a student in Dublin doesn’t make it any cheaper. 

A one-bedroom apartment outside the city center costs around $1,524 USD per month. O_O

The rent being the biggest cost factor, there is more to consider if you want to study in Dublin: 

Average living cost for a student per month:

  • Rent (one-bedroom) – $1,524 USD
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, garbage collection) – $92 USD
  • Broadband$45 USD
  • Food – between $162 USD – $217 USD
  • Public transport $100 USD
  • Recreation (going out, sport, cinema, etc.) – $200 USD

One-time payments:

  • Rental bond (usually one month’s rent at the start of the contract) – $1,524 USD
  • Connection fees for broadband and electricity – $290 USD
  • Furniture and homeware (try to get as many second-hand items as you can)

Tuition fees are not included yet… 

You might be up for over $2,000 USD per month as a student living in Dublin.

Dublin vs. London

Dublin vs. London – which city is better? 

Want to hear my honest opinion? I would say Dublin. London is beautiful too but a little too busy for my liking.

But everyone is different, and it depends on whether you come as a tourist, student, or a working person.


  • Has a high population of almost 9 million people
  • Is a very busy and loud city
  • Has an excellent public transport system with tubes running every minute
  • Has a high crime rate in certain areas
  • Offers a variety of local and international cuisine


  • Is a smallish city with ‘only’ 1,2 million residents
  • Is very traditional, with great pubs and sights
  • Is relatively safe
  • Focuses more on the Irish cuisine

Is Dublin More Expensive Than London

You thought Dublin was expensive? London tops it up a notch! 

A monthly pass for public transport costs you around $253 USD, and the average monthly rent for a 3-bedroom apartment (outside the city center) is $3,576 USD

Ok, I’ll never complain about Dublin again.

FAQs on Is Dublin Expensive

Is Dublin In The UK?

So, is Dublin in the UK? No, it’s not. Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland (which is its own country).

Only Northern Ireland belongs to the UK, which is separate from the Republic of Ireland (even though they are on the same island).  

Can You Openly Drink In Dublin? 

Are you wondering – can you openly drink in Dublin? Yes, you can openly drink on the street in Dublin. 

However, you should drink responsibly and not leave your rubbish anywhere. Some places do not allow public drinking, though, so be sure to look out for signs before consuming alcohol.

is dublin expensive

Is Dublin A Party Town? 

Do you want to know – is Dublin a party town? With its many pubs, bars, clubs, and live music venues, there’s no shortage of places if you like to party until the early morning hours.

Especially the Temple Bar area offers a lot of the above venues and makes Dublin a great party city. 

Is Dublin Safe For Solo Female Travelers? 

Is Dublin safe for solo female travelers? Every city has crime, but Dublin is generally safe, especially if you travel by yourself as a woman. 

However, always be cautious and keep your valuables close. Don’t walk through an empty street at night and always let someone know where you are heading to.

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