Europe,  Ireland,  Travel Guides

Ireland on a Budget – A Student travels in 2024

Do you want to travel to Ireland, but you don’t have a lot of money? Or do you just want to save money while also seeing an amazingly beautiful country? In this post, I tell you about how I travelled to Ireland on a Budget, as a student. I’m including a detailed travel map at the end and the actual budget of everything I have listed here.

This post contains affiliate links to things like tours and hotels. These help me earn a small commission at no additional charge to you. Every affiliate link is marked with a *.

Overview of 7 day in Ireland on a Budget

How to get to Ireland on a Budget:

Now your first thought might be “Ryanair”, but with Ryanair the prices are tricky. Especially when carrying a lot of luggage. And when you are visiting Ireland in November you will need a lot of luggage.

My advice is to book your plane ticket with Aer Lingus, they’re the national airline of Ireland. When flying from Germany they have a basic price of 30,51€ for most airports to go to Dublin. You can take a carry-on-sized bag for free, but you will have to check it in. A small carry-on, like a purse, a small backpack or a laptop bag are also included in the ticket price.


Transport in Ireland on a Budget

In the smaller cities, you can honestly just walk everywhere. I know that sounds like the most basic cheapskate thing to say and do, but the distances you have to walk between attractions, restaurants and cafés are super short. (You’ll still end up walking a lot, but it feels less when you only walk shorter distances at a time.)

To get around Dublin you want to consider getting a leap visitor card. With the leap card, you can use the Dublin Bus, Luas (tram), DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and the Commuter Rail. It costs depending on how long you will use it, the best deal is the 72 hours one for 16,00€ (in comparison the 24-hour one is 8€).

You can get the leap visitor card directly at the airport, so you don’t have to pay any extra charge to get from the airport into the city.

Getting from A to B

Railway connections between some Irish Towns are great, they’re reliable, fast and cheap. A student ticket from Dublin to Galway or from Limerick to Dublin is only 11,49€ (even normal tickets start at 14,99€). When you book online on the Irish Rail Website you can get the tickets for cheaper than on the ticket machine at the train station.

From Galway to Limerick a student ticket is 4,49€ (the normal tickets start from 7,49€).

Where to stay in Ireland on a Budget

Your first thought here might be AirBnB, but I am here to tell you: Not everywhere in Ireland are AirBnB’s the cheapest option. I also want to say: You might not want to pick the cheapest-cheapest option, because without a good night’s sleep or with a disgustingly dirty shower, it might ruin your holiday altogether.


There’s one AirBnB I can recommend for young female travellers in Dublin Blanchardstown, it’s a little outside of the city centre (okay, like an hour by bus outside the city centre), but it’s quiet, safe, clean, inexpensive (39€ / night) and the host Paola is lovely.

If you are looking for something more central and don’t mind a Hostel I can recommend the Abbey Court Hostel*. At 30,33€ a night for a bed in a 12 bed-dorm it is a little less expensive and breakfast is included, but the smaller the dorms, the more expensive it becomes.


In Galway, there are some good Hostel options. The Nest Boutique Hostel* is the cheapest option for a 6-bed-dorm at 34,25€ / night. There are cheaper options (in 12-bed-dorms), but they are rated worse and the location of the Hostel I linked is excellent. On top of that it is modern and has a really cool interior.

When you plan well ahead and prefer your own room the Black Cat* in Galway has a single bed room for 70€ / night. It is close to the centre and has excellent reviews.

When I was in Galway in November of 2021, I stayed at The Western Hotel. There weren’t many options, and while still on the more inexpensive side it was way less expensive (80€/night) than it is today. It looks very old from the outside, but some of the rooms have already been refurbished. The rooms were clean and the wifi held up as well. Their Irish breakfast was also the best I’ve had while in the country (and I had LOTS).


In Limerick in 2021 I didn’t really have good cheap accommodation. There are some which are more inexpensive than others, but considering I didn’t call the one in Galway cheap I can’t call any of the options I had back then cheap either.

By far the cheapest I’ve found in 2024 (that isn’t too far out of the city) is the Woodfield House Hotel* for 100€ / night. For 140€ a night (92,50€ / night in 2021) you can get a room at the George Limerick Hotel* right in the city centre, next to a pub-street.

In 2021 I stayed at the Old Quarter Townhouse*. their rooms are currently between 119€ and 169€ per night, depending on the dates. The noise at night is… a lot. After you book they send you an e-mail, informing you about the noise level and giving you the opportunity to either confirm your booking anyway or to reverse it without cost. I thought with earplugs I would be fine, but when the walls vibrate, not even earplugs will help.

What to do in Ireland on a Budget

Some museums in Ireland are free, while others range from cheap, to affordable, to expensive.

Along the free ones is the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin (all four locations: Decorative Arts & History, Country Life, Natural History, Archaeology), the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland and The National Photographic Archive in the Temple Bar distric in Dublin, as well as the Galway City Museum and the Limerick Museum.

Most museums and attractions offer a student discount as well. For example the Dublin Castle, the Kilmainham Gaol Jail in Dublin and King Johns Castle in Limerick.

Of course, visiting museums isn’t the only way to pass your time while in Ireland on a budget. But they are definitely worth it since this country has a long and eventful history, of which parts are hidden in every corner and sometimes in plain sight. Examples here include the Treaty Stone on the shore of the Shannon River and the Milk Market in Limerick, the Latin Quarter in Galway and the National Botanical Gardens of Ireland and Trinity College in Dublin.

Or maybe a tour of a whiskey distillery? The Teeling Whiskey Distillery offers tours of their facility, including a tasting of three of their whiskeys for 25€ (17€ in 2021) or a tour with a tasting of one Whiskey and a Whiskey Cocktail for 20€*.

Where to eat in Ireland on a Budget

I linked all of the mentioned foods in the map at the end of the blogpost.

In Dublin, you can find good international food for a low price (under 15€ with a drink). For example Han Sung Asian Market in the city centre where you can find Han Sung Korean Restaurant in the back of the store and get good Korean food for a low price. Or Masa Tacos where you can get Mexican Tacos near Dublin Castle.

You can find Cafés where you pay 10-12€ for french toast and a cappuccino, or eggs benedict and a latte macchiato, it just tasks a bit of digging or walking around. For your convenience here are some:

When choosing where to stay during your travels you should pay close attention if it includes breakfast, because that can save you a lot of money when you don’t have to worry about one meal of the day. If you can save a lot of money by not booking accommodation including breakfast you can always grab a sandwich at Tesco or Dunnes.

What 7 days in Ireland on a budget can look like (actual budget)

The accommodations I would stay at today (the OQT is the same I stayed at in 2021!), the attractions I went to (both free and paid for, with updated prices). Train tickets have stayed the same and plane tickets have only gotten 1€ more expensive!

Abbey Court Hostel* 30,33€ / night, 3 nights
Nest Boutique Hostel* 34,25€ / night, 3 nights
Old Quarter Townhouse* 119€ / night, 1 night
Flights (30,51€ each)61,02€
Leap Card Dublin 19,50€ / 72 hours
Train Tickets: Dublin to Galway 11,49€, Galway to Limerick 4,49€, Limerick to Dublin 11,49€ + 787 bus to Airport 8€
3x student ticket: Dublin Castle 6€, the Kilmainham Gaol Jail 4€, King Johns Castle 8€
Distillery Tour + Whiskey Tasting 20€
14x free admission / no admission
Breakfast (usually I got a baked good and a coffee, Nest Boutique has breakfast included)32€
Dinner (I got sandwiches from Tesco, one night I had a Kebab)42€

Map of 7 days in Ireland on a Budget

How to read the map: Accommodations are burgundy, attractions and places are light blue, restaurants light green and cafés dark green. The transport routes aren’t on the map, because you can’t add public transport to those maps. I took the train from Dublin to Galway, then from Galway to Limerick and finally from Limerick to Dublin and a bus from the Dublin train-station to the airport.

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