Visiting Killarney, Ireland on a Budget Guide


Killarney is a quaint and charming town in County Kerry on the southwest shore of Ireland.  Killarney is a great base to see the beautiful Irish countryside and tour the iconic Ring of Kerry.  We’d recommend at least 3 days here to allow you to do an excursion or two from Killarney. Even though Ireland is one of the more expensive countries to visit, you can visit Killarney, Ireland on a reasonable budget. Here is our guide for visiting Killarney, Ireland on a budget. 

Note: This post is written based on a trip taken in early July


What to do in Killarney on a Budget


Ring of Kerry Day Tour

Ring of Kerry Tour
Ring of Kerry Tour

The Ring of Kerry is a scenic driving route along the Iveragh Peninsula of southwest Ireland that takes you along the scenic seaside, coastal villages and Killarney National Park.  The views on this route exemplify the picturesque and green Ireland you have always imagined.

Ring of Kerry Tour
Ring of Kerry Tour

We recommend taking a guided tour of the Ring of Kerry to see as much as possible and learn some history along the way.  We booked a tour that also included hiking up to Bray Head, a popular hill offering scenic coastal views.  

Portmagee, Ireland on Ring of Kerry Tour
Portmagee, Ireland on Ring of Kerry Tour

Ring of Kerry and Bray Head Day Tour


Gap of Dunloe Hike

Gap of Dunloe Hike
Gap of Dunloe Hike

The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow pass that separates two mountain ranges (the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range and the Purple mountain range).  The hike through the Gap of Dunloe is about 7 miles.

Gap of Dunloe Hike
Gap of Dunloe Hike

We took a “tour” where we were picked up in the city center of Killarney and then dropped off to hike the Gap of Dunloe at our own pace. Then, we were picked up by a small boat at the end our hike and given a ride on the Gearhameen River. The boat then dropped us off at Ross Castle where we were picked up by a van and returned to the city center of Killarney. 

Boat Ride from Gap of Dunloe
Boat Ride from Gap of Dunloe

The day we completed this hike, it POURED. The pictures do not do justice to how wet we got from the rain. Despite the pouring rain, this was a beautiful hike and the unrelenting rain made the experience more memorable.  The boat ride on the Gearhameen River was very pretty as well and our boat driver, a local Irishman, was quite entertaining. It is certainly an experience we will never forget!

Gap of Dunloe Tour

Tip: Bring quality rain gear for any hiking you do in Ireland. More likely than not, it is going to rain at some point during your hike (Ireland is so green because it rains ALL the time). We were not appropriately prepared for this rainy hike (and were quite cold during it) but we have since invested in better waterproof hiking gear. We use and recommend the high quality products below. You will get years of use of of each of these items and they are well worth the investment.


What/Where to eat in Killarney on a Budget


Cronins

The food here was delicious.  They have daily specials and we recommend getting one of those. We enjoyed lamb and a seafood special as our main dishes. We particularly loved the dessert, chocolate caramel brownie, we got here too. 

Cronin’s Restaurant 


Lamb & Seafood

Both lamb and seafood are local specialties and extremely fresh.  We ordered both daily at various restaurants. Before we visited Ireland, we were told by numerous people the food was not that good but we disagree.  We did not have one bad meal the whole time we were there! 

Lamb and Seafood in Killarney
Lamb and Seafood in Killarney

The Shire

This Lord of the Rings themed bar is one-of-a-kind.  If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, stop here for a drink.  You can get the signature cocktail ‘Hobbit-Juice’. 


Where to stay in Killarney on a Budget


Stay somewhere in Killarney that is close enough to the main drag so that you can walk everywhere

Old Weir Lodge

We stayed at the Old Weir Lodge and would recommend it. Our stay included a generous and traditional made-to-order Irish breakfast that we enjoyed each morning. The lodge and rooms were quaint and cozy as well. 

Old Weir Lodge


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Killarney on a budget.  Make sure to check our Dublin while in Ireland as well.  Anything you’d add to our guide on visiting Killarney, Ireland on a budget? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!


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Planning a multi-city trip to Europe? See our How to Plan Your First Europe Trip on a Budget guide for more tips on how to do this.

Visiting Dublin, Ireland on a Budget


There is just something invigorating and intoxicating (and it’s not just the beer) about the atmosphere in Dublin.  From the abundant amount of live Irish music and dancing at the pubs to the friendly people you’ll meet on the street, Dublin certainly has its unique charm.  We’d recommend 1-2 days here to get a feel for the ambiance. Also, although Ireland is rated as one of the most expensive countries to visit, Dublin can be explored on a budget. Here is our guide on visiting Dublin, Ireland on a budget. 

Note: This post is written based on a trip taken in early July


What to do in Dublin on a Budget


Go Pub Hopping 

The Temple Bar, Dublin Ireland
The Temple Bar, Dublin Ireland

Wander through the city center, going from pub to pub, and get lost listening to the live music at each bar. Make sure to go to the iconic Temple Bar with its daily live music and large whiskey collection for an entertaining time. 


Guinness Storehouse Tour

Guinness Storehouse
Guinness Storehouse

This stop is a self guided tour that will teach you about the history and brewing process of the famous Irish stout, Guinness.

The Guinness Storehouse is designed to look like a pint of Guinness and is seven stories tall 

At the end of the tour, on the seventh floor, you can enjoy a pint of Guinness Beer at the gravity bar that has 360 views of Dublin.  If you are a sucker for a good view like us, this is really the best part!  

Tip: Make sure you book ahead as tour times tend to sell out a couple weeks in advance 


Visit Iconic Dublin Sites

Trinity College, Grafton Street (Pedestrian Street), Dublin Castle, St. Patrick Cathedral, and more.

St. Patrick Cathedral, Grafton Street and Dublin Castle
St. Patrick Cathedral (left), Grafton Street (center) and Dublin Castle (right)

If you stay in the city center, you will be able to walk to all of these. We’d recommend mapping out the location of each on Google Maps and then creating a plan to see them all throughout your stay.  We saw a couple everytime we went out to do something else. 

Trinity College
Trinity College

Tip: If you are looking for a good (and free) workout, on the main campus at Trinity college, there is a short (approximately ¾ of a mile) running path with HITT stations along it.  After discovering this path while exploring the college the day prior, we went up to the college the next morning and made several laps on the trail for a great morning workout. See How to Stay in Shape While Traveling.


Irish Music/Dance Show

Seeing a traditional Irish music and dance show was one of the highlights of our time in Dublin.  We saw the Celtic Nights show and would recommend it.  The show was a fun and energetic performance that included a lot of different traditional Irish music as well as Irish dancing and a three-course dinner.  Neither of us remember the food being particularly spectacular but we do remember that the performances made the experience worth the cost. 

Celtic Nights Show


What/Where to eat in Dublin on a Budget


Traditional Irish Pub

Irish Pub
Irish Pub

We ate at several of these pubs, getting something different each time (fish and chips, smoked salmon, sandwiches).  The food at most places was simple but good and the atmosphere was always fun.  We’d recommend eating at pubs with live music as this is what we remember more than the food in Dublin. 


Where to Stay in Dublin on a Budget


Stay in the city center and near the river Liffey (river that runs through the center of Dublin) to make navigation easy.

Liffey River Dublin, Ireland
Liffey River Dublin, Ireland

Arlington Hotel

We stayed at the Arlington Hotel right off of O’Connell Bridge in the city center.  From here, you are able to walk to all the main attractions. This is a large hotel but the rooms were nice, the location was perfect and it was budget friendly.  We also enjoyed the Celtic Nights Performance here–a live show filled with traditional Irish Music and Irish dancing discussed above.

Arlington Hotel


We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Dublin, Ireland on a Budget.  Make sure to check out Killarney while in Ireland as well.  Anything you’d add to our guide on visiting Ireland on a budget? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!


Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with a friend, like our Always Have a Trip Planned Facebook Page, follow our Always Have A Trip Planned Instagram and subscribe to our emails below.

Planning a multi-city trip to Europe? See our How to Plan Your First Europe Trip on a Budget guide for more tips on how to do this.