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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- Men’s North Face Waterproof Hiking Pants
- Women’s North Face Waterproof Hiking Pants
- Women’s North Face Waterproof Rain Jacket
- Men’s North Face Waterproof Rain Jacket
- Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots
- Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots
What/Where to eat in Killarney on a Budget
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.
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!
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.
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!
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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.