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How Much Money Do I Need to Travel to Ireland?

3rd March 2020

We have it on good word that it isn't a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Instead, it is Ireland. Why? Well, firstly, it rains quite a lot there, and where there is rain there is a rainbow. Second, they have plenty of golden ale flowing all the time. Not to mention the leprechauns. Long story short, Ireland is a stunningly lush country bursting with friendly locals that must be on everyone's travel bucket list. 

When planning a trip to Ireland, three things can leave you scratching your head. 

  1. Your travel budget
  2. The difference between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  3. The thick accent of an old Irish bloke after one too many pints in the local pub

Luckily for you, we can help with points 1 and 2. You're on your own with number 3, but chances are he can't understand your Aussie accent just as much as you can't understand his Irish one. 

In regards to your travel budget, the talented team at Travel Money Oz have whipped up a nifty budget calculator that combines Numbeo data and the latest exchange rate to give you the most up to date idea of how much you'll be spending. Before we dive into that though, let's have a quick powwow about the whole Republic of Ireland/ Northern Ireland thing. 

There are 32 counties in Ireland, 26 are part of the Republic and six in Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is an independent sovereign state and includes places like Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and is home to sites like Derry and Belfast. As a traveller, here are the main things you need to remember:


Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland


Euro (EUR)

Great British Pound (GBP)


English and Gaeilge (Irish). Street signs may be in Irish, but English is widely spoken.

English, Ullans and Gaeilge. English is the most common.





Many travellers question how strict each country is with their currencies, asking if euros can be used in the North and pounds in the Republic. For the most part, each country is pretty strict. However, within an hour of the border in both directions, it's not uncommon to find shops and vendors that will accept both. In the North look for places that say 'euro accepted' and vice versa in the Republic. 

Better yet, we recommend loading your Travel Money Oz Currency Pass with both pounds and euros. Your card will automatically detect the local currency and save you the hassle of figuring it out yourself. Easy!

While both parts have their differences, they do share a fierce love for a pint, have breathtaking scenery, take St Patrick's Day very seriously and have equally ineligible accents after a long night at the pub. 

Capiche? Alright, let's move on to your Irish travel budget. 

What goes into a travel budget for Ireland?


The bad news is that Ireland is on the other side of the world, so your trek over will be at least a 24-hour journey. The good news is that Australia to Ireland flights are becoming increasingly more affordable. Plan to spend between $900 (absolute bargain) and $2000 (ouch) on your flights to Ireland. 

Once you arrive, there are a few different transport options. Ireland itself isn't huge, so you shouldn't be spending any more than five hours getting in between destinations. When it comes to inter-city travel, you have a few options:

  • Domestic flights: if you're in a rush with cash to splash, opt for a flight. The least scenic but most direct way of getting between major cities. 
  • Car rental: if you've got time on your hands and are keen to explore at your own pace, car rental is the way to go. Expect to pay around 50AUD per day. It's well worth it in our opinion though, as driving through the rolling green hills to the latest small-town pub is part of what makes Ireland so unique.
  • Trains: In the Republic, you can book your rail tickets online. In the North, you are required to purchase at the stations. Either way, the trains are efficient and well priced, with the longest route setting you back between 80 and 120 AUD.
  • Bus: the longest bus route should cost you less than 30AUD, making bus or coach travel the cheapest way of getting across Ireland. The buses are clean, generally have wifi and are almost guaranteed to have a very friendly driver. What more could you want?

When in bigger cities and towns, you'll have a few different transport options to get from A to B. First and foremost is public transport, mainly buses and trains, though tram and electric rail networks are available. Irish public transport is fantastic, with most buses and trains offering free wifi and (once again) the friendliest drivers you ever did meet. For a single trip, you can expect to pay anywhere between 2.50 and 4.50 AUD depending on the city. We recommend getting a LEAP card that can be topped up and tapped on for public transport. Not only does it stop you carrying loose change, but the card can save you up to 31% on your tickets. 

Rideshare and taxis are also options in bigger cities and smaller towns. With this in mind, some small towns are indeed very small, so your own two feet should suffice in getting you around. 


In bigger cities like Dublin, Belfast and Galway you'll have plenty of accommodation options including hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels and apartments. However, as you head further into the countryside your options may dwindle to smaller bed and breakfasts, motels and Airbnbs. What they lack in options, they make up for in warm hospitality though. If you're travelling in Summer, camping is also an excellent option – you may just need to account for equipment hire or purchase if you aren't bringing it over with you. 

When in Ireland, expect to pay the following:

  • Hostels, between 20 and 30 AUD per night
  • Bed and breakfasts, between 30 and 80 AUD per night
  • Budget hotels, between 60 and 80 AUD per night
  • Apartments with kitchens, 80 AUD+ per night
  • Fancy hotels, 100 AUD+ per night

As with most destinations, accommodation costs will be more in bigger cities and tourist hot spots, especially Dublin. 


While you may find varied culinary delights in bigger cities, as you head further out you'll realise that the Irish are known for a few particular dishes, mainly hearty stews and warm pub feeds. What more could you want after a potentially rainy day exploring the countryside? When visiting Ireland, be sure to try the following:

  • Irish breakfast of fried eggs, sausage and beans. 10-15 AUD, sometimes included free with accommodation. 
  • Irish stew at the pub. What's in the stew will vary with where you are. Either way, expect to pay between 15 – 20 AUD.
  • Fish and chips. 10 – 15 AUD
  • Shepherd's pie. 8 – 20 AUD

As you visit pubs, you'll find most offer classic meals like roast, burgers and pies as well. Either way, you'll find something to pair with a local ale at the pub. 

Speaking of local ale, expect to pay between 8 and 10 AUD for a pint outside of Dublin. In Dublin, you may need to budget a little more (or drink a little less), as drinks can be a fair bit more expensive, especially if the AUD isn't doing great against the euro. 


Ireland is known for its lush, rolling green hills and unique landscapes. Luckily for you, nature is free to see. Some particularly famous places will charge a small entrance fee; however, it will not leave too much of a dent in your travel budget. Be sure to experience the following while travelling through Ireland:

  • Stare in awe at the Cliffs of Moher
  • Visit the Giants Causeway
  • Wander through small towns, taking in their charm and visiting their pubs
  • Get amongst the festivities during St Patrick's Day
  • Go whale watching in Cork
  • Explore the Blarney Castle near Cork and kiss the stone.
  • Visit one of the many, many castles
  • Go hiking, especially in the Wicklow mountains or along the North Coast
  • Pay a visit to the museums, notably the Ulster Museum
  • Head to Killarney and enjoy some medieval charm

If you have a car, you can easily access many of these locations yourself. Otherwise, you may have to fork out a little more to join day tours out to the attractions. 

Pre-travel expenses

Aussies don't need a visa for the Republic or Northern Ireland. We do recommend chatting with your doctor if you have any health concerns and, of course, investing in comprehensive travel insurance that will cover you for your entire trip. 

How much does a trip to Ireland cost?


Step 1

Enter your destination (Ireland)
Let us know how long you'll be away
Choose your currency. In this case, it will either be GBP, EUR or AUD.
Dust off your pint glass! You've officially started your holiday budget.

Step 2

Are you planning on eating out for every meal or grabbing a few snacks and ingredients to cook from the supermarket? Here you need to estimate how much you plan to spend on food. Remember to put yourself in a holiday mindset - you're probably gonna opt for a warm shepherd's pie at the pub over a muesli bar on a rainy day. 

Step 3

In this section, estimate how much you plan on shopping while in Ireland. It's worth mentioning that Ireland isn't a huge shopping destination. You'll find the major chains in bigger cities like Dublin, but in smaller towns handmade fare, souvenirs and nick-knacks will greet you. 

Step 4

This is for all of your transport outside of flights and cross-country travel. For the most part, it will be trains and buses, so try and estimate how many trips you will take a day. 

Step 5

The hard work is done! Here you'll find a simple layout of your planned expenses in both Australian dollars and either Great British pounds or euros. From here you can either go back and edit, or start saving for your holiday!

It's important to note here that this only accounts for your most basic expenses. You'll need to add in travel insurance and other daily fees. It's also worth having a bit of wiggle room in the kitty for unexpected costs, like an Irish stew eating contest, or a few too many pints at the pub. 

Ireland Budget Examples

Here are some examples of what the bones of your travel budget would look like. Please note all of these examples are based on seven nights of accommodation and are quoted in Aussie dollars. Prices will, of course, vary with seasonality and availability. 

Couples trip

This couple is diving headfirst into everything Dublin has to offer, delicious pub food, one too many pints and a few day tours to the surrounding wonders.


$1286 per person

Sydney to Dublin return with Qantas.



King room in a central Dublin hotel.


$200 per day

A mix of pub food, fine dining and some pints at the pub.


$250 per day

A few day trips out of the city, and plenty of time soaking up the vibes of Dublin.

Total for couple 


Dublin is a hike, so consider bumping up the budget and staying for longer.


Family getaway

Mum, Dad and the two kids plan on immersing themselves in Galway and all that its stunning surrounds have to offer.



Sydney to Dublin return with Qantas, with a return transfer to Galway.



Serviced apartment with kitchen in central Galway.


$170 per day

A few dinners out at the pub, mixed with some supermarket snacks and breakfast cooked at the apartment. 


$200 per day

Some day trips and tours will be the bulk of your expenses, with other days spent wandering streets and taking in the vibes and culture. 



The kids won’t stop raving about their epic holiday to Ireland. Coolest parents ever. 


Solo traveller

This lucky vagabond is about to embark on a week exploring Dublin on a budget.



Sydney to Dublin return with Qantas.



Hostel bunk in a central location.


$50 per day

Visit the supermarket for breakfast, lunch and snacks, with a few dinners at the pub.


$50 per day

A day trip or two, with most of the time spent enjoy Dublin’s free activities.



There’s nothing wrong with a cheap and cheerful time in Dublin!


Last-minute tips

  • The more you drink, the more you'll spend. Look for happy hours, drink at home, and only take cash on a night out to avoid getting tap-happy at the pub.
  • If you eat before 6pm, many places offer budget dinner options.
  • Pretty much everything you buy in Ireland will have a value-added tax of about 20%. As a tourist, you can claim this back when you leave. This is definitely worth the hassle if you're on a budget or have spent a lot of money while exploring.
  • You'll find ATMs at every gas station, town and village centre.
  • Most places will accept card unless you're at a particularly old pub that will just take cash
  • Some car rental places will charge extra if you pass from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland and vice versa, so double-check the paperwork before you sign your life away.
  • Summer is the busiest, but most beautiful time of year. Visit during shoulder seasons if you're keen to avoid the crowds. Either way, pack a raincoat as it rains a lot.
  • If paying by card, make sure you choose to pay in the local currency and not AUD to avoid extra conversion fees.
  • Research your 'per day' budget and include the things you want to do. Once you know the costs, you have a savings goal to work towards.
  • Take advantage of Travel Money Oz's Best Price Guarantee. If you find a better price from a competitor, we will beat it*.
  • Hostels are a great way to save cash and meet like-minded travellers.
  • Check out reviews if you think something is too good to be true. Chances are it might be.
  • Don't forget to factor in pre-travel costs like travel insurance, immunisations and visas.
  • Sign up for Rate Alerts. We'll let you know when the AUD is doing well against the GBP and EUR so you can purchase and maximise your travel money.
  • If you find a pot of gold, feel free to share it with your friendly foreign currency experts. 

Flight costs are based on search from and are indicative costs only for travel dates 4 - 11 August 2020. Prices were sourced on February 26th 2020^. Accommodation costs are based on an average per night price for budget, moderate or luxury hotels, as indicated in the table. ~Food based on the average cost of 1 coffee, 1 fast food meal and 1restaurant meal per person, per day. COST COMPARISON TABLE: All costs are based on estimated approximate costs from major metropolitan cities. "From" costs indicate costs that start from the indicated price and may be higher than shown. Average prices indicate a typical estimated cost you would pay for the indicated item. Prices may vary from time to time, and in different cities and towns within Ireland. This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.