The best budget attractions in Ireland

For quite some time, Ireland has had a reputation for being quite expensive compared to other European countries, but nowadays it is becoming increasingly affordable when it comes to accommodation and transport, especially flights. But getting to Ireland and finding a cheap place to sleep would not normally guarantee that you can escape spending money, because many of the interesting attractions (museums and such) have an entry fee. However, there are tons of great sights in Ireland that are either dirt cheap, good value for money or even free, even when you least expect it. Here’s a list of the best budget attractions in Ireland.

Ancient tombs and monuments

Loughcrew mound, photo by William Whyte

Visitor attractions like Newgrange and Knowth are stunning and offer lots of perks for guests, because they have well developed visitor centers. However, this means that they will cost a pretty penny too, unfortunately. For a much cheaper alternative, visit other ancient tombs and mounds, like Queen Maeve’s Tomb near Knocknarea in Co Sligo, or Loughcrew in Co Meath, which are just as spectacular but are less known by the tourist hordes, and thus free.

Whalewatching

The coasts of Ireland are amazing, and if you have the time and inclination, bring a pair of binocular and spend a few days spying whales, dolphins, orcas and other marine creatures who often come to the surface. Fungi the Dolphin, the mascot of Dingle, is the most famous marine mammal in Ireland, but with a bit of patience you can catch sight of lots of interesting animals.

Walks

If you like outdoor activities, then you will surely enjoy walking on the many marked trails around Ireland, which are completely free. There’s probably not a single city, town or village in Ireland which isn’t surrounded by at least a few walking trails. You can embark on longer journeys, like the Ulster Way, or take short and scenic walks for a couple of hours.

Heritage Towns

Kinsale heritage town, photo by jf1234

There are many heritage towns in Ireland, and simply walking around them and breathing in their atmosphere of history and culture is a great travel experience. Heritage towns tend to be popular tourist attractions, and for the price of a few nights in a hostel you will be able to enjoy some of the most beautiful urban landscapes in Ireland.

Cliffs and coastal scenery

Ireland is famous for its breath-taking cliffs like the Cliffs of Moher or Slieve League in Donegal. These attractions are free, and they have good transport connections, so if you want a budget activity that will keep you busy for a day, you can take a trip to these natural marvels and peer over the edge, enjoying the coastal scenery. You just have to pay the bus fare, and you’ll be able to see some of the best budget attractions in Ireland.

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