A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Dublin vs. Madrid for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Backpackers

Should you visit Dublin or Madrid?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Dublin or Madrid, 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.

Dublin

Dublin is a laid-back, friendly, and welcoming city. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, live music, and food.

Madrid

Madrid is a compact, friendly, and cultural 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 museums, nightlife, and live music.

Dublin and Madrid: Pros and Cons

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


How is Dublin different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Dublin or Madrid better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Dublin and Madrid.

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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Madrid. There are a number of cultural sights in the city including Museo Nacional del Prado, the Royal Palace and Gardens, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

Dublin
Madrid


Is Dublin or Madrid better for Food?

Madrid has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Dublin.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Madrid is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Dublin is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Seafood has become popular around town, but you can also try traditional favorites like stew, pancakes, or coddle.

Dublin
Madrid

Is Dublin or Madrid better for Nightlife?

It's hard to distinguish whether Dublin or Madrid has a better nightlife scene.

Dublin is a must-see party destination. 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.

Madrid is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.

Dublin
Madrid

Is Dublin or Madrid better for Music?

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Dublin or Madrid.

Dublin has become a hotbed of musicians and artists. The best places to hear live music around town are the back street pubs that feature local groups.

Madrid has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Rock, jazz, and flamenco are all popular in the city. Some of the most well known music venues include Sala Caracol, Sala Clamores, and Costello Club.

Dublin
Madrid

Is Dublin or Madrid better for Shopping?

Shopping is a popular activity in both Madrid and Dublin.

Dublin is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. 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.

Many people travel to Madrid specifically to go shopping. Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.

Dublin
Madrid


Is Dublin or Madrid better for Families?

Dublin and Madrid are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Dublin is a very kid-friendly city. 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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Madrid. Kids love splashing around at Madrid Río, taking a ride on the cable car (Teleférico), and exploring the city's many parks and playgrounds. There's even a maze at Sabatini Gardens. Restaurants around the city are also very kid-friendly.

Dublin
Madrid

Is Dublin or Madrid better for Couples?

Dublin and Madrid are both fun to visit as a couple.

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.

Madrid is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Fun and romantic activities around town include taking a boat ride at Casa de Campo, riding a bike in one of the many parks, and enjoy dinner and show in the evening.

Dublin
Madrid

Is Dublin or Madrid better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

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

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

A large number of backpackers visit Madrid, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Dublin
Madrid

Is Dublin or Madrid better for Students?

Madrid is generally a better city for students than Dublin.

Madrid is a great destination for students. With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.

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.

Dublin
Madrid


Is Dublin or Madrid better for Public Transit?

Madrid provides more public transit options than Dublin.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Madrid can take you anywhere. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.

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

Dublin
Madrid

Is Dublin or Madrid a more walkable city?

Dublin and Madrid both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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

Madrid is a very easy city to get around on foot. Most tourists stay in the central part of Madrid where it's compact and relatively easy to walk to most tourist sights.

Dublin
Madrid

Should I spend more time in Madrid or Dublin?

How long in Dublin or Madrid?

In either Dublin or Madrid, 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 Dublin is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Madrid is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Dublin or Madrid?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Dublin. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Madrid is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Dublin or Madrid?

Dublin is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the nightlife, 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.

Madrid 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.


Five days in Dublin or Madrid?

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

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Madrid. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Dublin or Madrid?

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

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the compact big city of Madrid. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Madrid or Dublin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dublin is €112, while the average daily cost in Madrid is €107. 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 Dublin and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dublin 53
    Madrid 59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dublin 106
    Madrid 118
Compare Hotels in Dublin and Madrid

Looking for a hotel in Dublin or Madrid? 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 Dublin


Hotels in Madrid


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dublin 14
    Madrid 15
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:

  • Dublin Cork Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,632
  • Dublin Galway Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,369
  • Dublin Limerick Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,360
  • Dublin Cork Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,359
  • Dublin Belfast Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,251
  • Dublin Airport Or Dublin City To Sheen Falls Lodge Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,183
  • Dublin Airport Or Dublin City To Glengarriff Co Cork Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,182
  • Dublin Galway Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,163
  • Dublin Limerick Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,136
  • Dublin Belfast Dublin Round Trip Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,088
  • Dublin Airport Or Dublin City To Ballynahich Castle Private Chauffeur Transfer: $1,058
  • Dublin Airport Or City To Trump International Hotel Doonbeg Chauffeur Transfer: $995

Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

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


  • Taxi Ride
    26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

Also for Madrid, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfer Chauffeur Drive: $122
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car MAD to Madrid: $51
  • Arrival Private Transfer Luxury Car MAD to Madrid: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer MAD to Madrid in a Minibus: $140
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Avila City by Business Car: $247
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Luxury Van: $70
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid City by Standard Minibus: $126
  • Arrival Private Transfer Madrid MAD to Madrid, Toledo or Avila Luxury Van: $69
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Car: $58
  • Arrival Transfer from Madrid Airport MAD to Madrid in Private Van: $56
  • DUCA - Hassle-Free transfer from Madrid to Vicentine Coast: $743
  • Departure Private Transfer Luxury Car Madrid to MAD: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Dublin or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid and Dublin 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
    Dublin 39
    Madrid 27
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 & Canapé 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

Typical Food prices in Madrid

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Madrid:


  • Coffee
    2.00
  • Ice Cream
    3.00
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    16
  • Croissant
    1.50
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

For Madrid, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Virtual Cooking Class: The Spanish Paella Experience: $24
  • Florida Retiro Dinner Show: $38
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $49
  • Virtual cooking - spanish "tortilla de patatas": $50
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $50
  • Flamenco Workshop and Show with Dinner and Drinks: $51
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Homemade pasta cooking class and lunch in the heart of Madrid: $58
  • Mamaz Social Italian Dinner in Madrid: $60
  • 3-hour Virtual Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid: $62
  • Iberico Ham and Spanish Wine Small-Group Food Tour: $67
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dublin 20
    Madrid 27
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:

  • 'A Gorgeous Mask': Georgian Dublin Tour: $405
  • 'Dublin Pubs Bucket List' - 5hr evening time fun private tour.: $485
  • 12-Day Giant Irish Adventure Small-Group Tour from Dublin: $3,602
  • 3-Day Private Tour to Co Cavan - Adventure Activities, Music, Pubs & More: $1,617
  • 7 day - Best of Ireland tour: $2,710
  • 7-Day Driftwood Treasure Ireland Small Group Tour from Dublin: $2,233
  • 7-Day Small-Group Tour of Ireland from Dublin with the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Bay and the Burren: $1,898
  • 8 Day Vagabond Wild Irish Rover Small Group Tour: $2,482
  • 8Day Small Group Tour - Dublin & the South West of Ireland: $3,353
  • A Day At The Races & the Horse Lovers Tour: $342
  • All Ireland Adventure From Dublin: $607
  • Ancient Village Adventure - €20: $31

Tours and Activities in Madrid

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Madrid.

  • Prado Museum Self-Guided Audio Tour App: $3.97
  • Madrid's Private Tour with your Family: Highlights & Hidden Gems: $4.04
  • A local's Tuck into the city's history and some tapas on an audio tour: $5.00
  • History Tour of The Town Too High To Die Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.13
  • Let's Tapear! The Madrid Tapas Route Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid from the Inquisition to Multiculturalism Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.43
  • Madrid Private Tour: Fun Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Skip the Line: Museo Lázaro Galdiano Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Madrid 90 Minutes Kickstart Private Tour: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Ticket for the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid: $9.95
  • Tours from Home: Intro to Madrid: $10
  • 2 Hours Secrets of Madrid Retiro Park Tour: $11

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dublin 14
    Madrid 16

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

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


  • Beer
    5.00
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    13

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • Pub Crawl in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $43
  • Madrid Tapas and Mysteries Walking Tour with Private Option and Pub Crawl: $47
  • Wine Tasting and Flamenco Master Class in Madrid: $58
  • Segovia and Spanish Versailles Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting: $62
  • Old Town Madrid Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $82
  • Gourmet Tapas & Wine Tasting Experience In Madrid: $91
  • Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour: $93
  • Madrid Tapas Diaries- A Premium Food & Wine Tour in the old city of Madrid: $123


When comparing the travel costs between Dublin and Madrid, 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.

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Dublin vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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