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!

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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.

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