A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Cardiff vs. Belfast

Should you visit Cardiff or Belfast?

Should I visit Cardiff or Belfast? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Cardiff

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales, and a major port on the country's southern coast. Though Cardiff boomed with the coal industry during the Industrial Revolution, the city began its history as a Roman fort on the River Taff-perhaps taking its name from a combination of the Welsh word for fort (caer) and the name of the river (Taff). The fort still stands today along with many other landmarks that attract tourists each year.

Belfast

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and the second largest city on the island of Ireland after Dublin. It has a population of about 270,000 and almost 500,000 in the metropolitan area. It's located on the mouth of the River Lagan and is set between many low hills that rise up around it.

One of the most famous, and tragic times in Belfast's history is referred to as "The Troubles." During this time, between 1969 and 1997, there were many bomb and gun attacks throughout the city. This left many areas as essentially no-go zones. Neighborhoods became completely lawless do to the lack of security and the damage is still visible today in some areas. In 1998 the Good Friday Agreement was signed and much of the politically motivated violence ended. The city actually received praise recently as the safest city in the UK based on crime rate. Tourism is growing and many visitors enjoy seeing this less popular travel destination. The city has a lot of character and will give you an interesting take on Irish and British history.

Belfast has a temperate climate and temperature and precipitation have little variation throughout the year. The climate is influenced by the warming effects of the Gulf Stream, making it warmer than many cities that are found at the same latitude. Rain is common with precipitation falling an average of 157 days a year. Snow is much less common, although it does happen about ten days a year. The warmest days during the summer may reach a temperature around 25 degrees Celsius and the coldest days have lows that drop just below freezing.

Which city is cheaper, Belfast or Cardiff?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cardiff is £122, while the average daily cost in Belfast is £106. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cardiff and Belfast in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around £72. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Cardiff the cost is £144 on average.

A hotel room in Belfast is about £110 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cardiff £72
    Belfast £55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cardiff £144
    Belfast £110

Food

Cardiff food costs typically run travelers around £34 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

In Belfast travelers spend around £40 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cardiff £34
    Belfast £40

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Belfast

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

  • Artisan Bakery Tour and Causeway Coast Lunch Northern Ireland Food Tour: $69

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Cardiff is £17 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The cost of a taxi ride in Belfast is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent £11 per person, per day, on local transportation in Belfast.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cardiff £17
    Belfast £11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cardiff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cardiff:

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Cardiff to Cardiff Airport (CWL): $31
  • Private Cardiff Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $45
  • Departure Private Transfer Cardiff to Cardiff Airport CWL by Luxury Vehicle: $58
  • Private Transfer to Cardiff (CWL) Airport from Cardiff: $58
  • Cardiff Private Transfer from central Cardiff to Cardiff Airport: $90
  • Low Cost Private Arrival Transfer from Cardiff International Airport to Cardiff: $123
  • Low Cost Private Arrival Transfer From Cardiff International Airport to Bristol: $209
  • Cardiff to Heathrow Airport private taxi transfers: $344
  • Private transfer: Cardiff to Cardiff Airport (CWL): $622

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: $56
  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Luxury Car: $64
  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Luxury Van: $64
  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Minibus: $114
  • Belfast Accommodation to Belfast City Airport (BHD) - Departure Private Transfer: $81
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Bangor Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $51
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Bangor Accommodation - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $102
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Belfast Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $81
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Belfast Accommodation - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $162
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Holywood Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $81
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Holywood City - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $162
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Lisburn Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $101

Entertainment

Cardiff's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around £20 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Entertainment and activities in Belfast typically cost an average of £15 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cardiff £20
    Belfast £15

Tours and Activities in Cardiff

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

  • Cardiff's Civic Centre: An audio tour of the city's most historical buildings: $5.00
  • The Ghosts of Llandaff: Stalk the grounds of Llandaff Cathedral on an audio tour: $5.00
  • A Journey in time: An audio tour through the lively Tudor city of Cardiff: $5.00
  • Personally guided walking tours of Penarth.: $7.08
  • Cardiff Bay Boat Tour: $11
  • City Sightseeing Cardiff Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $19
  • Doctor Who Cardiff Walking Tour: $21
  • Cardiff Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $38
  • Withlocals Your Way: Cardiff 100% Personalised City Tour with a Local: $50
  • Cardiff Tasting Tour -the best way to see Cardiff!: $62
  • Walking Tour in the Iconic Four Waterfalls Valley: $74
  • Cardiff City Tour: $83

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:

  • Welcome to Explore the iconic city centre sites on this audio tour: $5.99
  • Museum Ticket: $6.90
  • 3-Day Hop-on Hop-off City Bus Tour: $9.27
  • Hillsborough Castle Gardens Entrance Ticket: $11
  • Self-Guided Tour of Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast: $11
  • Crumlin Road Gaol Historic Guided Tour: $12
  • 3-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour and Bus Pass: $12
  • HMS Caroline Ticket & Audio Guide: $14
  • 3-Day - Hop-on Hop-off City Bus Tour with Castle: $16
  • City Sightseeing Belfast 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: $16
  • Hillsborough Castle Guided Tour and Gardens Entrance Ticket: $16
  • If Buildings Could Talk Tour: $17

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Cardiff may vary from person to person, on average a person spends £10 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about £6.29 on alcoholic beverages in Belfast per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cardiff £10
    Belfast £6.29

Sample the Local Flavors in Belfast

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Belfast:

  • Giant's Causeway and Bushmills distillery and tasting tour from Belfast: $48
  • Tour of Giants causeway and bushmills distillery.: $662


When comparing the travel costs between Cardiff and Belfast, we can see that Cardiff 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.

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Cardiff vs. Belfast Travel Comparison

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