A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Belfast vs. Dublin for Nightlife, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Belfast or Dublin?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Belfast or Dublin, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Belfast

Belfast is a under-rated, authentic, and affordable city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the nightlife and shopping.

Dublin

Dublin is a friendly, welcoming, and fun city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and live music.

Belfast and Dublin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Belfast or Dublin?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Dublin than Belfast. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Dublin is more touristy than Belfast and is known for its friendly and social nightlife, its local pubs, and its role as the birthplace of Guinness. It is also well known for The Guinness Storehouse. Belfast is famous for being the birthplace of the Titanic and the location of the era of the "Troubles".

How is Belfast different from Dublin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Dublin and Belfast. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Belfast or Dublin?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Belfast does not have museums and landmarks.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Dublin can be an interesting and educational experience. There are a number of museums around town including the National Museum of Ireland, the Little Museum of Dublin, and the National Gallery of Ireland.

Belfast does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Belfast or Dublin? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a nice place to visit for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Belfast is not a good city for its restaurants.

Dublin offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Seafood has become popular around town, but you can also try traditional favorites like stew, pancakes, or coddle.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Belfast. While many restaurants have moved towards more modern cuisines, there are still places that hold tight to the traditions of the area. Traditional dishes include pasties, full Irish breakfasts, and oysters.

Is Belfast or Dublin Better for Nightlife?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is an unbeatable place for nightlife. Also, Belfast is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife and partying.

The nightlife in Dublin is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. Temple Bar is where you'll find the greatest concentration of pubs and nightlife. The city is among the friendliest and most welcoming, and this is seen even in the vibe around town at night.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Belfast. The city has a number of bars and clubs with local DJs or musicians.

Is Belfast or Dublin Better for Music?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a well-known place for live music. However, Belfast is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Dublin is very popular with diverse venues. The best places to hear live music around town are the back street pubs that feature local groups.

Belfast is not a live music destination.


Is Belfast or Dublin Better for its Old Town?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a well-known place for its historic old town. However, Belfast does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors go to Dublin to see the historical old town. On the south side of the River Liffey are three different historic parts to the city. The Medieval Quarter is the oldest. To the east is Temple Bar, and further east is the Georgian Quarter.

Belfast does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Belfast or Dublin?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a well-known place for shopping. Also, Belfast is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Dublin is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Head to Grafton Street to see a number of brand name and local shops. It's a pedestrian street that is fun to wander around.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Belfast. The main shopping areas in the city are Victoria Square Shopping Centre and CastleCourt.

Is Belfast or Dublin Better for Families?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Belfast is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Dublin is a very family-friendly place to visit. Explore the waterways with the viking splash, learn about the vikings at the museum Dublina, or visit any of the other kid-friendly museums around town, or see a show at The Gaiety.

Belfast is a family-friendly city. The city has several great kid-friendly museums, a zoo, and a few indoor or outdoor activity centers where you can let kids play and explore.


Is Belfast or Dublin Better for Couples?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a well-known place for romance. However, Belfast is not a good city for its romantic activities.

Dublin is a very popular place to visit for couples. It's laid-back vibe and countless pubs make it a fun weekend getaway for couples.

Most people don't think of Belfast as a couple's destination. There are gardens and parks to explore, several nice hotels with spas, and an Observatory on the 23rd floor of the Grand Central Hotel.

Is Belfast or Dublin Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Belfast is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Dublin. There are a number of popular backpacker hostels around town. The pub scene is also popular with the young crowd.

Belfast is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's a reasonably affordable destination with a few hostels to choose from, but most backpackers don't make their way to this city.

Is Belfast or Dublin Better for Students?

Belfast
Dublin

Belfast and Dublin are both nice destinations for students and younger travelers.

Belfast is a good city to visit for students. The city's affordability has made it a popular option for international students headed to the area.

Plenty of students visit Dublin. While student accommodation can be a bit expensive in town, the nightlife and social aspect of living in the city center makes it well worth it.


Is Belfast or Dublin Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is a nice place to visit for its public transit. However, Belfast is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Dublin has a few public transit options. There is a comprehensive bus system around town.

Public transit is mostly limited in Belfast. There is a bus service in the city.

Is Belfast or Dublin a more walkable city?

Belfast
Dublin

Dublin is an unbeatable place for its walkability. Also, Belfast is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

It is easy to get around Dublin on foot. Because it is so compact and flat, it is easy to explore the city center on foot.

Belfast is a somewhat walkable place.

For even more information, also check out Is Belfast Worth Visiting? and Is Dublin Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Dublin or Belfast?

How long in Belfast or Dublin?

In either Belfast or Dublin, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Dublin than Belfast because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Belfast, and 2-5 days is enough time in Dublin.

Families should spend more time in Dublin than Belfast. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Dublin, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Dublin than Belfast. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Dublin that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Dublin than Belfast if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Dublin.


  • How many days in Belfast or Dublin? Ideal Length of Stay
    Belfast 1-3 
    Dublin 2-5

One day in Belfast or Dublin?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Belfast. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

In Dublin, you'll find shopping and museums. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the nightlife. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Belfast or Dublin?

Belfast is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

In Dublin, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. One reason most visitors come is for the nightlife. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Dublin has to offer.

Five days in Belfast or Dublin?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Belfast. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Dublin is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Dublin has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Belfast or Dublin?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the authentic destination of Belfast. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Dublin. Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Dublin. One reason most visitors come is for the nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


Which place is cheaper, Dublin or Belfast?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Belfast is £133, while the average daily cost in Dublin is £119. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Belfast and Dublin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Belfast £68
    Dublin £56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Belfast £136
    Dublin £112
Compare Hotels in Belfast and Dublin

Looking for a hotel in Belfast or Dublin? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Belfast


Hotels in Dublin


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Belfast Hotel Prices and Dublin Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Belfast £14
    Dublin £15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Belfast

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Belfast:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Business Car: $95
  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Luxury Car: $106
  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Luxury Van: $106
  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Minibus: $145
  • Belfast Accommodation to Belfast City Airport (BHD) - Departure Private Transfer: $23
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Bangor Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $27
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Bangor Accommodation - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $54
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Belfast Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $23
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Belfast Accommodation - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $46
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Holywood Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $23
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Holywood City - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $46
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Lisburn Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $28

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Dublin

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Dublin:


  • Rental Car for a Day
    £13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dublin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dublin:

  • One-Way Bus Transfer from/to Dublin Airport: $10
  • Airport Transfer and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket: $37
  • Dublin Cruise Ship Shore Excursion|Hop-on Hop-off & Rail Transfer: $39
  • Private Transfer from Dun Laoghaire Cruise Port to Dublin City: $46
  • Private Transfer from Dun Laoghaire Port to Dublin Airport (DUB): $46
  • Private Transfer from Dublin city to Dun Laoghaire Cruise Port: $46
  • Private Transfer from Dublin Airport (DUB) to Dun Laoghaire Port: $46
  • Private One-way Airport Transfer Dublin Airport To Dublin: $61
  • Private One Way Transfer from Dublin To Dublin Airport: $61
  • Private Dublin Arrival Transfer - Airport to Hotel / Accommodation: $62
  • Private Dublin Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $62
  • Private Transfer from Dublin Airport (DUB) to Dublin City Center: $63

Is it cheaper to fly into Belfast or Dublin?

Prices for flights to both Dublin and Belfast change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Belfast £51
    Dublin £42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Belfast

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Belfast.

  • Guided Craft Beer and Street Food Tour: $82
  • Belfast Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $97

Typical Food Prices in Dublin

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Dublin:


  • Lunch Lynam's Pub
    £3.38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dublin

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Dublin.

  • Walking Street Food Tour with Local Guide: $30
  • The Irish House Party Dinner and Show Dublin: $31
  • No Diet Club - Best Food Tour in Dublin !: $60
  • Grand Canal Cruise with Dinner: $62
  • NO DIET CLUB - Best Food Tour in Dublin !: $63
  • Delicious Walking Food Tour: $81
  • Delicious Dublin Food Tour: $83
  • Private Cooking Class in a Modern Home with Sea Views in Skerries, Dublin: $84
  • Golden Ticket Tour Walking Food Tour: $88
  • Skip the Line: Irish Night Show Including 4-Course Dinner Ticket: $94
  • Howth Coastal Craft Beer and Seafood Tour: $96
  • Private Market Tour and Irish Cooking Class in a Modern Skerries Home: $102

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Belfast £18
    Dublin £21
Typical Entertainment Prices in Belfast

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Belfast are as follows:


  • Movie Tickets
    £8.00

Tours and Activities in Belfast

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Belfast are as follows:

  • Belfast’s Titanic Quarter: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.00
  • Belfast's Iconic Sites: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.47
  • Museum Ticket: $7.02
  • Hillsborough Castle Gardens Entrance Ticket: $13
  • If Buildings Could Talk Tour Belfast: $15
  • Belfast to Dublin Full Day Tour with St Patrick's Centre: $15
  • If Buildings Could Talk Tour: $15
  • Crumlin Road Gaol Experience: $18
  • Line of Duty Guided Walking Tour: $19
  • 2.5-Hour Street Murals Tour in Spanish: $19
  • Belfast Murals Political Tour in Spanish: $19
  • Belfast Tour App, Hidden Gems Game and Big Britain Quiz (1 Day Pass) UK: $19

Typical Entertainment Prices in Dublin

Here are a few typical costs in Dublin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Wild Wicklow Tour
    £22
  • Guinness Brewery for Two
    £23
  • St Pauls Cathedral
    £3.85
  • Dublin Writer's Museum
    £5.39

Tours and Activities in Dublin

Here are a few actual costs in Dublin for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Dublin Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $4.41
  • Vikings in Exclusive Self-Guided Audio Tour: $4.65
  • Dublin city tour: audio guide in your smartphone: $5.41
  • Dublin city tour: audio guide for smartphone in French: $5.41
  • Self Guided City Audio Tour in Dublin: $5.52
  • Turtle Bunbury's A Self-Guided Audio Tour from a Celebrated Author: $5.99
  • City Highlights Self-guided Walking Tour: $6.39
  • Temple Bar Self-Guided Must-See Highlights Tour: $6.39
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.44
  • Escape Game and Tour: $6.49
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt & Walking Tour: $6.49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Belfast £7.86
    Dublin £15

Sample the Local Flavors in Belfast

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Belfast:

  • Luxury Pedal Pub Tour of Belfast City (Individual Seat): $26
  • Explore & Taste: Distillery Tour at Titanic Distillers: $32
  • Belfast Giant's Causeway and Titanic Distillery Whiskey Tour: $70
  • Giant's Causeway and Whisky Distillery tasting tour from Belfast : $71
  • Skip-the Line Titanic Museum & Distillery 'All Aboard' Tour: $120
  • Belfast Easy Access Titanic Museum and Whiskey Distillery Tour : $122

Sample the Local Flavors in Dublin

Also in Dublin, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Authentic Brewery Tour: $11
  • Generation Pub Crawl: $15
  • Generation Pub Crawl Dublin: $15
  • "Dublin Delight Pub Expedition" Pub Crawl: $16
  • Exclusive Brewery Tour and Tasting at Kildare Brewing Co, Sallins: $18
  • Dublin Literary Pub Crawl: $18
  • Dublin Liberties Distillery: Guided Tour & Whiskey Tasting: $18
  • The Dublin Liberties Distillery - Guided Tour and Whiskey Tasting: $19
  • City Pub Crawl Experience: $22
  • Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour & Tasting: $22
  • The Black Experience Pub Tour: $22
  • Skip the Line: Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour and Tasting in Dublin Ticket: $22


When comparing the travel costs between Belfast and Dublin, we can see that Belfast is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Belfast Expensive? and Is Dublin Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Belfast or Dublin?

Dublin has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Belfast. When comparing the sizes of Belfast and Dublin, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Belfast or Dublin?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Belfast or Dublin in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Belfast and Dublin. The summer months attract visitors to Belfast because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Dublin this time of year.

In the summer, Belfast is around the same temperature as Dublin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Belfast in July average around 15°C (59°F), and Dublin averages at about 16°C (60°F).

Belfast usually receives less sunshine than Dublin during summer. Belfast gets 151 hours of sunny skies, while Dublin receives 166 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Belfast usually receives more rain than Dublin. Belfast gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Belfast 15°C (59°F) 
    Dublin 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Belfast or Dublin in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Belfast as well as Dublin. The city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Belfast this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Dublin for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

In October, Belfast is generally cooler than Dublin. Daily temperatures in Belfast average around 9°C (48°F), and Dublin fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

In the autumn, Belfast often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Dublin. Belfast gets 92 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dublin receives 97 hours of full sun.

Belfast usually gets more rain in October than Dublin. Belfast gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 70 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Belfast 9°C (48°F) 
    Dublin 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Belfast or Dublin in the Winter?

Both Dublin and Belfast are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Belfast for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Dublin in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Belfast. Belfast is cooler than Dublin in the winter. The daily temperature in Belfast averages around 4°C (39°F) in January, and Dublin fluctuates around 6°C (42°F).

Belfast usually receives less sunshine than Dublin during winter. Belfast gets 50 hours of sunny skies, while Dublin receives 56 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Belfast usually receives more rain than Dublin. Belfast gets 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Belfast 4°C (39°F) 
    Dublin 6°C (42°F)

Should I visit Belfast or Dublin in the Spring?

Both Dublin and Belfast during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Belfast in the spring for the activities around the city. Also, most visitors come to Dublin for the activities around the city during these months.

In the spring, Belfast is around the same temperature as Dublin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Belfast in April average around 8°C (46°F), and Dublin averages at about 8°C (47°F).

In the spring, Belfast often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Dublin. Belfast gets 150 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dublin receives 157 hours of full sun.

Belfast usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Dublin. Belfast gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Belfast 8°C (46°F) 
    Dublin 8°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Dublin and Belfast

Belfast Dublin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 4°C (39°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 6°C (42°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Feb 4°C (39°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 6°C (42°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 7°C (44°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Apr 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in) 8°C (47°F) 51 mm (2 in)
May 11°C (52°F) 50 mm (2 in) 11°C (52°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 13°C (55°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 14°C (57°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 15°C (59°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 16°C (60°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Aug 15°C (59°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 15°C (60°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 14°C (56°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 9°C (48°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 11°C (52°F) 70 mm (2.7 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 8°C (46°F) 65 mm (2.5 in)
Dec 5°C (41°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 6°C (44°F) 76 mm (3 in)