A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Brussels vs. Dublin for Nightlife, Attractions, Food, and Families

Should you visit Brussels or Dublin?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Brussels and Dublin. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Brussels

Brussels is a historic, cosmopolitan, and multicultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Dublin

Dublin is a fun, laid-back, and friendly city. It's also known for live music, food, and shopping.

Brussels and Dublin: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Public transit not as usable


How is Brussels different from Dublin?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Brussels or Dublin better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Brussels and Dublin have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Brussels. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.

Dublin offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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.

Brussels
Dublin


Is Brussels or Dublin better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Brussels and Dublin.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Brussels makes for a great culinary experience. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

Dublin has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Seafood has become popular around town, but you can also try traditional favorites like stew, pancakes, or coddle.

Brussels
Dublin

Is Brussels or Dublin better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will usually choose Dublin over Brussels.

Dublin is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. 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.

If you're looking for night time activities Brussels has a few options to choose from. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Brussels
Dublin

Is Brussels or Dublin better for Shopping?

Shopping is a popular activity in both Dublin and Brussels.

Brussels is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.

Dublin is well-known for its shopping. 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.

Brussels
Dublin

Is Brussels or Dublin better for Families?

Both Brussels and Dublin are family-friendly destinations.

Brussels is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Dublin is very family-friendly. 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.

Brussels
Dublin


Is Brussels or Dublin better for Couples?

Brussels and Dublin both fun destinations for a couple.

Couples visit Brussels frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town.

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

Brussels
Dublin

Is Brussels or Dublin better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Brussels and Dublin are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

Many backpackers visit Dublin. There are a number of popular backpacker hostels around town. The pub scene is also popular with the young crowd.

Brussels
Dublin

Is Brussels or Dublin better for Students?

Brussels and Dublin are comparable places to visit for students.

Many students visit Brussels. The city has a number of universities that attract students from around the world. The multicultural setting is great for students of the world.

It's common for students to 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.

Brussels
Dublin

Is Brussels or Dublin better for Public Transit?

Brussels provides more public transit options than Dublin.

Brussels has a great public transit system. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.

While Dublin offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There is a comprehensive bus system around town.

Brussels
Dublin


Is Brussels or Dublin a more walkable city?

Brussels and Dublin both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Brussels is very walkable. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

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

Brussels
Dublin

Should I spend more time in Dublin or Brussels?

How long in Brussels or Dublin?

In either Brussels or Dublin, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Brussels is 1-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Dublin is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Brussels or Dublin?

Brussels is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to spend here.

The city of Dublin offers museums and nightlife. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Brussels or Dublin?

Brussels is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the shopping, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Dublin is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Dublin, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Five days in Brussels or Dublin?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Brussels. Don't miss the shopping, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Dublin is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Dublin, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.


A week in Brussels or Dublin?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the cosmopolitan big city of Brussels. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Dublin is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Dublin or Brussels?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Brussels is €109, while the average daily cost in Dublin is €112. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Brussels and Dublin in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brussels 58
    Dublin 53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brussels 116
    Dublin 106
Compare Hotels in Brussels and Dublin

Looking for a hotel in Brussels 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 Brussels


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brussels 13
    Dublin 14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Airport Transfer Charleroi To Bruges: $411
  • Airport Transfer Charleroi To Brussels: $179
  • Airport transfers from Brussels to Zaventem Brussels airport by luxury car: $85
  • Brussels Airport (BRU) To Amsterdam: VIP Transfer: $522
  • Brussels Airport Departure Transfer (Brussels Hotels to Brussels Airport): $81
  • Brussels Airport Transfers : Brussels City to Airport BRU in Business Car: $79
  • Brussels Airport Transfers : Brussels to Airport BRU in Luxury Van: $79
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-3pax: $60
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-7pax: $60
  • Brussels Departure Private Transfers from Brussels City to Brussels Airport BRU: $83
  • Brussels Departure Private Transfers from Brussels City to Brussels Airport BRU: $87
  • Brussels Private Transfer from Brussels city centre to Brussels Airport (BRU): $108

Typical Local Transportation prices in Dublin

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


  • Rental Car for a Day
    15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dublin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dublin:

  • 1st Class Dublin Airport Transfers: $162
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car Dublin airport DUB to Dublin: $85
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Van Dublin airport DUB to Dublin City: $121
  • Ballsbridge Hotel To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $274
  • Ballsbridge Hotel To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $162
  • Citywest Hotel To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer Pending: $146
  • Clayton Hotel Burlington Road To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $187
  • Clayton Hotel Burlington Road To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $274
  • Clontarf Castle Hotel Dublin To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $248
  • Clontarf Castle Hotel Dublin To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $174
  • Collon House & Garden To Dublin Airport Or City Private Chauffeur Transfer: $311
  • Conrad Hotel Dublin To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $248

Is it cheaper to fly into Brussels or Dublin?

Prices for flights to both Dublin and Brussels 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
    Brussels 31
    Dublin 39
Typical Food prices in Brussels

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


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

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

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

Typical Food prices in Dublin

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


  • Lunch Lynam's Pub
    3.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dublin

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

  • Skip the Line:Traditional Irish Night Show Ticket in Dublin with 3-Course Dinner: $37
  • Irish Craic & Cuisine (Cooking Class & Dinner): $68
  • Delicious Walking Food Tour: $74
  • Private Cooking Class in a Modern Home with Sea Views in Skerries, Dublin: $77
  • Skip the Line: Irish Night Show Including 4-Course Dinner Ticket: $77
  • Howth Craft Beer and Seafood Tour for private groups: $87
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Dublin: $95
  • Christmas Finger Food & CanapĂ© Cooking Class in Dublin City Center: $106
  • Learn to Make Your Own Sushi - 2.5 hour Cooking Class: $106
  • Private Dublin Walking Food Tour with a Local Food Historian: $180
  • Dublin Secret Food Tour w/ Private Tour Option: $206
  • 5-Day Essential Cooking Class in Dublin with Professional Chef: $485

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brussels 18
    Dublin 20

Tours and Activities in Brussels

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

  • Brussels Autoworld Museum Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Pick Up from your Hotel in Brussels to Departure point Brussels City Tours: $22
  • Beer Tour: $27
  • Brussels 2.5-Hour Belgian Beer Tasting Experience: $29
  • Highlights and Hidden Gems Guided Bike Tour: $34
  • Private Tour with a Local: $40
  • Kanal and Molenbeek Runnning Tour: $44
  • Running Tour of the Historical Center: $44
  • The Best Of Brussels Walking Tour: $54
  • Belgian Chocolate Tasting Tour: $62
  • Private Tour w/ Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems: $66
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75

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
    26
  • Guinness Brewery for Two
    27
  • St Pauls Cathedral
    4.50
  • Dublin Writer's Museum
    6.30

Tours and Activities in Dublin

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

  • Skip the Line: Dublin Christ Church Cathedral Admission Ticket: $9.33
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12
  • Dublin Rogues Tour is a walking tour in Merrion Square Park: $12
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour in English: $14
  • Virtual Dublin History, Culture & Craic Tour: $15
  • Dublin Walking Tour: The Dark Side: $16
  • Lonely Planet Experience: Dublin Highlights & Hidden Gems with a Local: $17
  • Silent Disco Walking Tour: $17
  • Historical 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Dublin: $17
  • Skip the Line: GPO Witness History Visitor Centre Admission Ticket: $17
  • Tour a piedi di Dublino in Italiano: $18
  • Dead Interesting Tour at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum: $18

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brussels 10
    Dublin 14
Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14

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: $14
  • Dublin Literary Pub Crawl: $19
  • Jameson Distillery Guided Tour with Whiskey Tasting: $31
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Whiskey Distillery Excursion: $541


When comparing the travel costs between Brussels and Dublin, we can see that Dublin 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.


When is the best time to visit Brussels 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 Brussels or Dublin in the Summer?

Both Dublin and Brussels are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Brussels in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Dublin for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Brussels is a little warmer than Dublin. Typically, the summer temperatures in Brussels in July are around 18°C (65°F), and Dublin is about 16°C (60°F).

Brussels usually receives more sunshine than Dublin during summer. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 186 hours of sunny skies, while Dublin receives 166 hours of full sun.

In July, Brussels usually receives more rain than Dublin. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Brussels 18°C (65°F) 
    Dublin 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Brussels or Dublin in the Autumn?

Both Dublin and Brussels during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Brussels for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene during these months. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to Dublin because of the shopping scene and the music scene.

In October, Brussels is generally around the same temperature as Dublin. Temperatures in Brussels average around 12°C (54°F), and Dublin stays around 11°C (52°F).

In the autumn, Brussels often gets more sunshine than Dublin. Brussels gets 114 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dublin receives 97 hours of full sun.

Brussels usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Dublin. Brussels gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 70 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Brussels 12°C (54°F) 
    Dublin 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Brussels or Dublin in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Brussels and Dublin. The winter months attract visitors to Brussels because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Dublin this time of year.

The weather in Brussels can be very cold. Brussels is much colder than Dublin in the winter. The temperature in Brussels is usually 3°C (38°F) in January, and Dublin stays around 6°C (42°F).

Brussels usually receives less sunshine than Dublin during winter. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 49 hours of sunny skies, while Dublin receives 56 hours of full sun.

In January, Brussels usually receives around the same amount of rain as Dublin. At this time of the year, Brussels gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Brussels 3°C (38°F) 
    Dublin 6°C (42°F)

Should I visit Brussels or Dublin in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Brussels as well as Dublin. The activities around the city are the main draw to Brussels this time of year.

In the spring, Brussels is a little warmer than Dublin. Typically, the spring temperatures in Brussels in April are around 10°C (49°F), and Dublin is about 8°C (47°F).

In the spring, Brussels often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Dublin. Brussels gets 147 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Dublin receives 157 hours of full sun.

Brussels usually gets more rain in April than Dublin. Brussels gets 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Dublin receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Brussels 10°C (49°F) 
    Dublin 8°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Dublin and Brussels

Brussels Dublin
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 6°C (42°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Feb 4°C (39°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 6°C (42°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 7°C (44°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Apr 10°C (49°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 8°C (47°F) 51 mm (2 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 11°C (52°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 17°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 14°C (57°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in) 16°C (60°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Aug 18°C (65°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 15°C (60°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 16°C (60°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 14°C (56°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 11°C (52°F) 70 mm (2.7 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 76 mm (3 in) 8°C (46°F) 65 mm (2.5 in)
Dec 4°C (40°F) 76 mm (3 in) 6°C (44°F) 76 mm (3 in)


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Brussels vs. Dublin Travel Comparison

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