Trying to craft that perfect Ireland itinerary for 7 days, while keeping things on a budget? You’ve come to the right place to figure out what to see in Ireland in 7 days on a budget!
While there are a lot of things to see in Ireland, in just a week it’s possible to cover the highlights of Ireland and get a good taste for the Emerald Isle. So if you’re wondering what to see in Ireland in 7 days on a budget, I’ve got you covered in this post with a suggested Ireland 7 day itinerary that takes in the best of this amazing country (and may well leave you wanting to come back for more).
Ireland is relatively compact, making it possible to explore Ireland in 7 days. And thanks to an abundance of transportation options, it’s relatively easy to get around quickly and affordably. What’s more, while Ireland is certainly not a traditional budget travel destination, traveling Europe cheaply in Ireland is more doable than you might imagine. You’ll be rewarded well for the effort – Ireland is a land of fascinating history, famous hospitality, and lush, stunning scenery.
In this budget travel guide and itinerary for Ireland in a week, I’ll cover basics like what to see in Ireland in 7 days, where to find accommodation, how to eat cheaply, how to get around Ireland — and expected costs for all of these things. And though this guide is geared towards the backpacker or budget traveler, this 7 day Ireland itinerary works just as well for those who prefer to travel in a bit more comfort.
You can use this Table of Contents to Jump Ahead in this Ireland 7 Day Itinerary and Guide:
In 7 days in Ireland, you’ll have time to craft an itinerary that lets you comfortably see a good amount of the country. This 7 day Ireland itinerary takes you to three strategically-situated bases for exploring the country. You’ll spend a couple nights in each place, with an extra day to add to one depending on your preferences (I recommend spending longer in Killarney or Galway).
Based largely off suggestions from my Irish Facebook followers, I did this itinerary when I visited Ireland in the fall of 2017 (technically I took 10 days, but 3 of them were spent a travel blogger conference in Killarney). Though I loved it and highly recommend it, as always, I encourage travelers to forge their own path. That’s why I also include a list of alternative things to see in Ireland in 7 days.
There’s no two ways about it: Galway is a party city. It packs a double punch on the festive front because it’s filled with Irish people AND with students – two groups known to enjoy a good time. But Galway isn’t just for the night owls: its strategic position means it’s a great base for day trips to two of Ireland’s stunning national parks. And with 3-hour direct buses running from Dublin Airport to Galway, if the timing of your flight is right, you can easily head straight west upon landing in Ireland.
Take a day trip to the Cliff of Moher – these enormous cliffs are Ireland’s most popular attraction. Despite the growing crowds, they are truly incredible. You can visit on your own if you have a rental car, or as part of an organized day tour that will also take you to other sites including castles and churches. Tours cost around 30 euros per person, exclusive of lunch.
Visit Connemara National Park – Admission into this stunning national park is free if you can get yourself there (I met several travelers who did it hitchhiking!). The park is filled with trails that take you through mountains, forests, bogs, coastline, and more.
Kinlay Galway Hostel: a large, but well-run, clean, and fun hostel that organizes nightly events.
From Galway, rent a car or hop the 3 hour bus to Killarney (via a change in Limerick), where you’ll be greeted by a charming town whose main street is lined with pubs, restaurants, and an assortment of uniquely Irish shops. There are a lot of reasons to love Killarney, and its geographic position means it’s a great base for day trips throughout County Kerry, which holds some of the most beautiful sites in Ireland.
Visit Killarney National Park – This gorgeous park is free and accessible simply by walking from the Old Town (or you can go cycling and hiking in Killarney National Park). The highlight is the gorgeous Ross Castle on the southern end.
Drive the Ring of Kerry – This iconic 179 kilometer long loop takes you through green fields, coastal cliffs, villages, and tons of ancient history.
Visit the Dingle Peninsula – A jagged peninsula along the Wild Atlantic Way, where gorgeous green fields top jagged cliffs guarding wild beaches.
Take a day trip to Ballybunion – An hour or so away from Killarney lies this charming outpost on the Wild Atlantic Way. Take a tour or rent a car, where you can spend the day hiking along stunning cliff walks. If the weather is right, you might even be able to catch some rays on the dramatically-situated beach. And when you tire yourself out, you can simply walk into town, grab a seat at a pub, and order up a pint or shepherds pie.
Neptune’s Hostel or Black Sheep Hostel, both conveniently located in the town. Both can help arrange day trips to the above attractions for 17-30 euros per person.
The first thing you need to realize when planning to tour Ireland on a budget is that Dublin is significantly more expensive than the rest of the country. While hardly any traveler is going to want to skip Dublin altogether, you can save money by limiting your time there. So be sure to save your euros and end your trip with a bang by exploring this exciting city.
Visit the Guinness Storehouse – Probably the most popular thing to do in Dublin, the Guiness Storehouse is a multi-level exhibition dedicated to the dark stout which is so heavily engrained in Ireland’s culture. The self-guided tour concludes with the chance to learn to pour a perfect pint of Guiness at the Guiness Academy. Note that tickets, which cost 25 euros for an adult at the door, can be bought cheaper online in advance.
Tour the Trinity College Library – Nestled in the middle of the city, Trinity College is a retreat from the bustle of Dublin proper, and the iconic library is a popular spot to snap those Instagram photos.
Drink at pint at The Temple Bar – This popular bar is undeniably a bit of a tourist trap. But it’s so popular that the entire surrounding nightlife district bears its name. So join the other travel lemmings for a pint or four.
Barncales Hostel is located just around the corner from The Temple Bar. For those looking for affordable privacy, the Mercantile Hotel offers decent rates (if slightly dated rooms).
While I think that the above Ireland 7 day itinerary gives a good sampling of what Ireland has to offer, you certainly don’t have to do what I did and there is a lot more to explore in Ireland if you want to craft your own adventure. If you have a little more time, there are more things to see in Ireland in 10 days (or longer).
Enjoy your trip! And if you have other ideas for what to see in Ireland in 7 days, just let me know in the comments!