A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Spain vs. Ireland for Resorts, Beaches, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Spain or Ireland?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Spain and Ireland can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.


Spain Ireland
Culture & History check
Food check
Nightlife check
Resorts check
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling check
Beaches check
Hiking check
Couples check

Spain

Cudillero, Spain Cudillero, Spain

Spain is a gorgeous, friendly, and diverse country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, theater, and adventure travel.

From the popular coastlines to the rugged interior, Spain is full of history, natural beauty, vibrant people, amazing cities, unique cuisines, and gorgeous views. While Madrid is the capital, it's by no means the main attraction of a country full of beaches, ancient castles, and cultural diversity. Barcelona is the hub of the Catalan region with its own unique culture, and the southern areas have a deep historic relationship with Moorish culture, too. Visitors will also find epic hikes, world-class food, vineyards and wineries, epic nightlife, famous art, natural wildlife, multiple coastlines, cultural dances and music, friendly smiles, and affordable prices.

Ireland

Muckross House, Killarney, Ireland Muckross House, Killarney, Ireland

Ireland is a historic, cultural, and proud country. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. It's also popular because of the museums, adventure travel, national parks, and history and culture.

Ireland is a unique country with a deep historic culture, a beautiful countryside with rolling green hills, exciting cities, and friendly people. You'll find good food, interesting natural landscapes such as the Giant's Causeway, terrific hikes through the countryside, surfing at the beach, and cultural experiences in the cities.

Spain and Ireland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Big cities
  • Great resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Not as many big cities
  • Not as many resort options
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with couples


Cadiz, Spain Cadiz, Spain

How is Spain different from Ireland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Spain and Ireland. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Spain or Ireland?

Spain
Ireland

You'll find a number of great museums and attractions in both Ireland and Spain.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Spain. The major cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada, and others all have world-class museums that cover a variety of topics from history to art to science. Many of them are also family-friendly. In Barcelona, don't miss the Picasso museum dedicated to the famous artist. Casa Batllo is one of Gaudi's famous buildings and worth a tour along with Casa Vicens, too. MNAC is a great place to learn about the local Catalan art and history. And the Joan Miro museum is dedicated to the work and life of this famous artist. In Madrid, you can find plenty of historical places such as the Royal Palace and the National Archaeology Museum. If it's art you seek, make sure to visit the Prado, the Queen Sofia Arts Center, or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, all of which have world-class art from Spain and Europe. In Valencia, kids will love the Oceanografic aquarium and the Bioparc zoo. In Seville, the Real Alcazar has fascinating architecture. and the Flemenco museum showcases Spain's most famous dance. This is just a small sample, as you'll find even more museums in Bilbao, Malaga, Granada, and other cities around the country, too.

Seville: This elegant city is filled with historic buildings and world famous architecture. From the iconic Catedral de Sevilla to the Real Alcázar and Plaza de España, there is an endless supply of world class sights around town.

Cordoba: The city is filled with monuments that reflect its past. The Great Mosque (La Mezquita) is one of the most iconic sights. You can also visit Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Palacio de Viana, and Puente Romano.

Granada: Many visitors head to Granada specifically to visit the famed Alhambra. The palace and fortress complex will not disappoint. The gardens are beautifully maintained and the palace is filled with intricate details. It's easy to spend hours wandering around. In addition to The Alhambra, the Granada Cathedral is also impressive to visit. If you have kids or extra time to fill, head to Parque de las Ciencias, which is the city's Science Park.

Santiago de Compostela: The iconic Cathedral of Santiago has long attracted pilgrims and travelers from around Europe and the world. The spectacular sight includes a museum and the crypt and tomb of Saint James. Another interesting sight in town is the former hostel for pilgrims, the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. Also make sure you visit Plaza del Obradoiro and the Galician Center of Contemporary Art.

See also Barcelona: The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Ireland. Visitors will find a variety types of museums all across the country. History, science, art, and kid-friendly museums are everywhere, showcasing the culture, history, and life of the Irish people. A few of the best in Dublin are the Little Museum, the National Museum of Ireland with its multiple branches, the Irish Whiskey Museum, the Kilmainham Gaol, Dublinia, and the Jeanie Johnston Tall Ship and Famine Museum, among others. If you're visiting Galway, check out the Galway City Museum, Lynch's Castle, Monkey Business Children's Museum, or the Fisheries Watchtower Museum. Also, in Cork, the Cork City Gaol and the Crawford Art Gallery are visitor favorites, although there are many more.


Is Spain or Ireland Better for Culture, Arts, and History?

Spain
Ireland

While both cultures have their own history and culture, generally Ireland offers more of this on a visit than Spain

For those interested in history, art, and culture, Ireland is not to be missed. Plenty of historical attractions are popular destinations for visitors, especially the castles, small historic towns, and huge monuments. At the Rock of Cashel, you can see the ruins of this historic and beautiful castle from the 12th century. Reginald’s Tower in Waterford is said to be the oldest building still standing in Ireland, and can be toured while also exploring the surrounding city. Glendalough is the home of a monastery and famous tower, as well as stunning natural landscapes. And at Newgrange, you can see this ancient 5000 year old megalithic cemetery. The Blarney Castle is home of the Blarney Stone, and is one of the most famous sites in the country. In Dublin, don't miss the Dublin Castle, the St. Patrick's Cathedral, or the Kilmainham Gaol, all of which showcase a selected period of Irish history. No matter which area of the country you visit, Ireland offers historic sights and attractions of all types for every age.

Spain is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. The blending of cultures in this region of Europe along with the accessibility of historic sights and cultural traditions make this country an obvious place to visit for history lovers. A long period of Spain's history was influenced by the Moors from the south, and you can see it in the architecture, art, cuisine, and music. Furthermore, the Catalan region in the east has it's own cultural differences. The Roman empire also left its mark, as did visitors from the rest of Europe and northern Africa. Some of the best historic places to see in Spain include the Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, the huge cathedrals of Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid, El Escorial palace outside of Madrid, Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona, amongst others. Some of the best historical sites are actually the smaller castles and fortresses that are left from the long conflict between the Spanish and Moors that dot the countryside in the southern regions. Furthermore, Spain has made unique contributions of music, theater, and culture to the world stage. Flamenco dancing and Paso Double are just two of the musical art forms that are worth seeing on a smaller, intimate stage during a visit. And don't miss the world-class cuisine, too.

See also Barcelona: Activities, Tickets, and Things to Do, Things to Do in Madrid, and Cheap Tours and Activities in Granada, Spain.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Big City Activities?

Spain
Ireland

Spain is considered to have more larger cities than Ireland.

Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions in the big cities of Spain that attract lots of visitors. Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities and most popular places to visit. Both have world-class museums, historical attractions, cathedrals, parks, shopping, restaurants and cafes, markets, and unique culture. Some of the other cities in Spain should not be overlooked either, as they also offer plenty of big city activities, museums, and culture. Valencia, Seville, Alicante, and Cadiz are also large and full of terrific activities.

Ireland also has some big cities with many activities. Dublin and Cork are the largest cities in Ireland, followed by Limerick and Galway, but even these last two have small populations compared to other cities in Europe. In Dublin you can find plenty of restaurants, cafes, museums, universities, and historic sights. Outside of this city, it's hard to find the same urban vibe. The rest of the country has smaller cities and towns and plenty of rural areas with stunning landscapes, but lacks the large city environments.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Small Towns and Villages?

Spain
Ireland

You'll find a similar number of great small towns and villages to explore in both Spain and Ireland.

Spain is also a fantastic country to explore small towns with plenty of charm and local activities. A few of the most popular small towns to visit include Ronda with its dramatic cliffs, Besalu and it's bridge and castle-like gate, Cudillero on the northern coast, and Morella with its castle. All around Spain visitors can find small towns that once contained fortified cities, fishing villages, monasteries, and more. Bunol, near Valencia, is the location of the famous annual tomato fight. And Pamplona is home to the running of the bulls every year. Benasque in the Pyrenees sits in a valley and offers plenty of outdoor activities. And don't miss the famous hanging houses of Cuenca. Frigiliana is full of white-washed Andalucian houses, along with other nearby towns worth visiting. Every region of Spain offers something unique and special, so make sure you add some of these places to your itinerary.

You'll find plenty of local activities in all of the small towns and villages in Ireland. A few of the smaller towns in Ireland are some of the country's most popular travel destinations. Kilkenny has a nearby castle, abbey, a gorgeous cathedral, and a historic medieval area of town. Kinsale has a quaint harbor and colorful houses. Tralee on the southern coast has beautiful seaside views and stunning cliffs. And the ring of Kerry offers even more stunning coastal views and small towns such as Portmagee. Exploring the small towns of Ireland is an absolute requirement for any itinerary, as here you'll find the true local culture and history of the island.

See also 10 Easy and Ambitious Day Trips from Dublin Ireland.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Theater?

Spain
Ireland

With more venues to choose from, Spain is more regarded as a theater destination.

If you have some extra time in Spain, take in a show. In Madrid, you can see plays and musicals at the Theatro Real Theatre and from the National Classical Theatre Company or the National Drama Centre. The Spanish National Ballet and the National Dance Company provide terrific opportunities to see world-class dance productions. Also, you can see Flamenco shows at small, intimate venues around Madrid and other cities, too. For example, in Barcelona you should try to catch a Flemenco show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes which is one of the best venues in the country. Also in Barcelona, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is a large historic venue with a gorgeous interior that hosts a variety of productions. And don't miss the Palace of Catalan Music where you can listed to music from the region. Many other cities host terrific theater productions from the local culture as well as touring shows.

Ireland offers a few theater venues for visitors. Local theaters with community productions can be found in many smaller cities. In Dublin, if you're looking for a show, check out the Abbey Theatre, the Gaiety Theatre, the Smock Alley Theatre, or the Olympia Theatre. Elsewhere in Ireland, make sure to visit the National Folk Theatre in Kerry (Siamsa Tíre), or the Druid Theatre in Galway.


Is the Food Better in Spain or Ireland? Which Country Has the Best Restaurants?

Spain
Ireland

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Spain a bit more than Ireland.

Spain has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Tapas are perhaps the most famous Spanish culinary export. These small sharable dishes started as something to snack on while drinking, and have transformed into a style of meal all their own. Typical tapas dishes include potatoes, sausages, stewed meats, calamari, olives, cheese, and more. But tapas are not the only local foods you should try. Chirizo is a special type of smoked sausage, and jamón Iberico is a smoked ham with tons of flavor. Calamares (rings of squid) are also popular around the costal areas, and are cooked with a variety methods. Anchovies and other seafood are popular, too. Paella is also famous. The name comes from the wide pan that the rice dish is served in, usually with seafood or meat and a variety of spices for flavoring. Finally, while in Spain, taste the local olives, bread, cheese, and fruit as they are all usually fresh and delicious.

Madrid: The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. There are amazing markets where you can grab a meal or snack. There are also many high quality restaurants around town where you're guaranteed a good meal. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Valencia: The city is famous as the birthplace of paella, which is one of Spain's most famous dishes. Beyond the paella, there are a number of other amazing traditional dishes. Fideuà is similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. All i pebre is an eel and potato dish and clóchinas are tiny local mussels. For dessert make sure you try the flan de calabaza, which is pumpkin flavored. Many restaurants also have tapas that can be shared. Restaurants in the old town are charming and delicious, but out by the beaches the quality isn't as good.

San Sebastian: It is a famed culinary capital of not just Spain, but the entire world. The city has many Michelin-starred restaurants where you can experience modern or traditional recipes prepared by world class chefs. There are also pintxo bars, food markets, and gourmet food shops, that sell local ingredients and dishes. Much of the cuisine includes seafood, but you'll also find a local twist on traditional tapas. Dining is a true experience in this town.

Almeria: The food is focused on local, fresh ingredients with many traditional recipes that have been passed down for centuries. Popular dishes change with the seasons because they rely so heavily on local produce. Particularly during the winter months you'll find hearty stews like patatas en ajopollo and gurullos con conejo, which is prepared with rabbit. Sardines are also popular year round.

See also Food and Dining in Madrid, Delicious Tapas Tours in Madrid, and The Best Cheap Food Tours in Madrid.

Ireland offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Traditional Irish foods can be found at many restaurants around the country. One of the most popular dishes includes various forms of Irish stew that use meat, potatoes, and vegetables. Shepherd's Pie takes this stew and adds a layer of mashed potatoes to the top. Colcannon and Champ is a form of mashed potatoes that mixes in cabbage, onions, and sometimes bacon. If you're tired of potatoes, salmon in various recipes is also common and popular. Also try the black and white pudding, which is actually blood sausage and not dessert. Other popular dishes include vegetables cooked into stews with local herbs. Of course, the local beer is quite popular, too. And don't miss the more interesting forms of Irish soda bread as well.

Kinsale: For such a small town, it really has an impressive food scene and many people consider it to be the culinary capital of Ireland. The food scene includes Michelin starred restaurants and local cafes.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Nightlife?

Spain
Ireland

For nightlife, head to Spain instead of Ireland.

The nightlife in Spain has something for everybody. Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, and many other beach resort towns all have active nightlife scenes, each with their own personality. Barcelona is very popular with all types of bars and dance clubs for locals and travelers alike. Sidecar, Opium, and Pacha are some of the most popular places, and many more can be found in Raval, El Born, and the Gothic Quarter. In Madrid, check out Kapital, Barbara Ann, or Ochoymedio. Along the coast, the nightlife varies from family-friendly restaurants and theaters to more active dance clubs, pubs, and bars for singles and younger couples.

Barcelona: The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

Valencia: Dinner starts late, so you can expect the nightlife to pick up even later. During the summer there are all night terrace parties and year round you'll find nightclubs filled from evening to dawn. If all night raves aren't really your thing, you'll also find plenty of local bars where you can hang out with friends in a more relaxed setting. The nightlife scene really is varied enough that there's something for everyone.

Malaga: The city has some of the most active nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to party in Malaga and you'll find the most vibrant nightlife in the Centro Historico.

Palma de Mallorca: Head to Magaluf and Palma for the most popular places.

Marbella: European tourists flock to the town for its beaches and resorts. The town has a glamorous nightlife scene with exclusive clubs and ritzy cocktail bars, particularly in Puerto Banus and along the Golden Mile.

See also Barcelona Nightlife, The Best Nightlife in Madrid, and Party Hostels in Barcelona.

Ireland has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Dublin and Galway, as the two largest cities, are the obvious choices for nightlife. Dublin claims to be one of the party capitals of Europe, and offers a variety of venues from bars and pubs to undergrounds nightclubs, as well as theater, fine dining options, and relaxed bars and cafes where you can have a drink with friends. Galway has a similar scene with a mix of bars, pubs, and nightclubs, many with live music and plenty of dancing. In Cork, much of the nightlife scene is dominated by the student population of the area, as large universities are nearby. Check out SoHo and the other spots on the Grand Parade. Plenty of other towns and smaller cities offer an array of pubs, bars, and clubs, too.

Dublin: 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.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Resorts?

Spain
Ireland

Spain tends to offer a wider variety of resorts than Ireland.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Spain is a great choice. A holiday trip to Spain for many means a trip to one of the beach resorts along the southern coast, or in Ibiza or Majorca. Marbella, Cadiz, Valencia, Sitges, Alicante, and even Barcelona are all popular destinations with a variety of luxury hotels and resorts. Many are very family-friendly, and some are all-inclusive. Generically, the resorts offer terrific beaches and many are close to nearby towns, as well as some historical and cultural attractions. But no matter where you choose to go, the beach resorts in Spain are world-class and draw plenty of visitors every year. Also, keep in mind that Spain offers a handful of ski resorts open in the winter months, as well as some relaxing inland retreats outside of major cities and historical areas.

Almeria: Stretched along the coastline you'll find many high end resorts with pools and nice atmospheres. There are all inclusive resorts as well as family-friendly and romantic options to choose from.

Marbella: From luxury to family-friendly, this area has plenty of resorts to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include Marbella Club Hotel, Puente Romano Marbella, and Don Carlos Resort and Spa.

Ireland has a few resort options worth checking out. Although the number of resorts is not large, the best resorts in Ireland tend to be the historic manor houses and castles that have been transformed into large, luxury hotels with plenty of comfortable amenities. Some of these are located on the coastline, while others are inland, and they all tend to be in more rural areas surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Spain
Ireland

With more scuba diving and snorkeling spots, Spain is usually better than Ireland.

Spain has a few good snorkeling spots. While the southern coast of the mainland provides plenty of great dive spots with clear waters and a good selection of marine life, the crown jewels of diving are in the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands. Here you'll find even better opportunities to see marine wildlife in more ideal conditions. You can see barracuda, octopus, moray, a variety of large fish species, and more. Also, diving in the Canary islands can be done year-round, where as in the Mediterranean, only during the warmer months. If you're looking for a quicker trip, it's also possible to dive or snorkel off the Costa Brava coastline near Barcelona where a variety of interesting species can be found in the usually clear waters.

Marbella: There are more than 100 dive sights and endless snorkeling opportunities in the area. There are deep offshore reefs that you can explore as well as shallower wrecks and caves.

Ireland isn't the best spot for snorkeling. Despite the colder weather, this country actually has some nice diving areas, as the water tends to be fairly clear. Not far from Cork or Donegal, it's possible to dive around some shipwrecks. The marine life is also abundant, as visitors can see dolphins, crabs, basking sharks, large species of fish such as mackerel, and many cold-water species not found in more tropical areas.


Is Spain or Ireland Better for Beaches?

Spain
Ireland

Most people pick Spain for its beaches over Ireland.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Spain. The beaches in Spain are world-class, popular, and extensive. With a huge stretch of coastline on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as well as famous islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca. The coastline of Andalusia and Valencia are perhaps the most visited, as tourists from all of Europe, and all of the world, come here for holiday beach vacations in Spain. Good food, sunny warm weather, wide sandy beaches, and family-friendly amenities are found up and down the coast. Some areas are more party-oriented, while others offer a calm, relaxing vibe, or family-friendly activities. Some of the best and most popular beach destinations in southern Spain include Tossa de Mar in Costa Brava, Puerto Banus near Marbella, Bogatell in Barcelona, Almunecar in Costa Tropical, and the beaches of Cadiz, amongst others. You can't go wrong with any of them.

Palma de Mallorca: The island is lined with sandy beaches and rocky coves, which have contributed to it becoming one of Europe's most popular beach destinations.

Almeria: Outside of town you'll find kilometers of stunning coastline and beaches. There are pristine natural beaches that still feel undiscovered with beautiful long stretches of sand. One of the biggest resort areas is Roquetas de Mar.

Marbella: The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.

Ireland is a good spot to see the beach. With a huge amount of coastline, this island nation has plenty of beaches. Some are in protected coves, while others are more exposed and have large waves popular with surfers. Despite the colder temperatures, the beaches here can still be fun because the natural scenery is beautiful. Some of the beaches are in natural coves surrounded by cliffs, rocks, and epic views. Swimming is very possible and popular in the summer months with locals and visitors alike. A few of the most popular beach areas include Inchydoney Beach in County Cork, Dog's Bay near Galway, Strandhill near Sligo, Silver Strand in Country Donegal, and Portmarnock Beach near Dublin. However, there are many more to explore.

Is the Shopping Better in Spain or Ireland?

Spain
Ireland

Shoppers can find a variety of great stores in both Spain and Ireland.

Spain has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. In Barcelona, visitors can find plenty of great areas with fashion boutiques, local arts and crafts, and souvenirs. Check out Portal De L'Angel in the Gothic Quarter, Paseo de Gràcia with its high-end stores, Avenida Diagonal for its diversity of shops, and the famous Boqueria Market where you'll find fresh food and other surprises. In Madrid, don't miss Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle de Fuencarral, or the historic El Rastro flea market where you can find plenty of hidden gems. Elsewhere in Spain, most beach resort areas have shopping streets, and the larger towns such as Valencia, Malaga, and Marbella have multiple shopping neighborhoods. In Granada and Seville, it's also possible to find those special local arts and craft shops for the perfect gift or souvenir.

Madrid: 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.

Barcelona: Head to Portal De L'Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.

Marbella: This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.

Ireland is a great destination for shopping. While the larger cities and towns such as Dublin and Galway have more variety of shops such as clothing boutiques, souvenir shops, and local galleries, even the smallest towns have nice shopping options. Some of the more popular local arts and crafts for purchase include tweed fabrics in Donegal, Aran Wool clothing items, and hand-crafted pottery. In Dublin, visitors can find several large shopping malls such as Dundram Centre, and more shops in George's Street Arcade, Liberty Market, and Cow's Lane.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Christmas Markets?

Spain
Ireland

Spain provides a more festive Christmas market atmosphere than Ireland.

Spain has some Christmas markets worth visiting during the holidays. Despite weather that's warmer than most of Europe, this country still has strong Christmas traditions and therefore the major cities showcase decorations in public places along with Christmas festivals, markets, and shows during the holiday season. Malaga is on the southern coast, but still boats some terrific lights and decorations for the holidays. Madrid and Barcelona also have festivals and large public displays of lights along with some outdoor markets and performances. Seville, Granada, Bilbao, and other cities do the same. So, if you're in Spain for the holidays, don't miss the festivities.

Ireland has some Christmas markets for those that seek them out. The best Christmas markets can be found in Cork and Galway, although many other small towns offer fun festivities, too. Dublin offers a few different holiday markets around the city, such as at Dublin Castle and Guiness Storehouse.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Hiking?

Spain
Ireland

Spain provides a better hiking experience than Ireland.

People visit Spain specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. The Camino de Santiago is Spain's most famous hiking route. Also known as the Way of St. James, this historic 500 mile-long pilgrimage route stretches across the entire width of Spain and also has numerous secondary paths. Hikers come from around the world to trek the entire length or just a small portion of the trail which ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the northwest. Additionally, you'll find plenty of other hiking opportunities in the Pyrenees mountains, the various national parks, or even in the Canary islands or Mallorca. Also, the Caminito del Rey has amazing trails along cliffs near Malaga. From Barcelona, it's easy to reach the base of Montserrat, where you can hike up to the monastery instead of taking the cable car, or hike on the higher up trails as well. Sierra Nevada national park, near Granada, also offers plenty of hiking trails that are close to a major city. And in the Costa Brava region up the coast from Barcelona, even more gorgeous trails have great views of the landscapes and Mediterranean Sea. Generally, no matter where you visit in this country, you can find some great trails.

Santiago de Compostela: This small city is the culmination point for the famed Camino de Santiago. The 780 kilometer route is followed by pilgrims and travelers who seek enlightenment or adventure. Hikers travel both independently or as part of organized tours.

Tenerife: The island's volcanic landscapes mean that there are dramatic and breathtaking hikes throughout the island. Some of the best hikes are found in the Anaga Rural Park, Teide National Park, and the Teno Mountains.

Ireland offers some nice hiking trails. The rolling mountains and beautiful green countryside provide stunning hikes in all parts of the country. From the cliffside walks with epic views to the peaks in the interior of the island, there's a trail for everyone. Some of the most popular routes include the treks around Glendalough where you'll see the Spinc cliffs, waterfalls, and distant views of the lake. If you're looking for a mountain to hike, Diamond Hill in County Galway, Carrauntoohil in Kerry, or Slieve Gullion all provide stunning views, physical challenges, and plenty of wilderness opportunities.

Connemara: The landscape is considered to be some of the most beautiful in all of Ireland and there are many walks and hikes that let you experience it. Some of the best hikes are The Cong and Clonbur Forest Trail, the Claddaghduff Quay to Omey Island Walk, and Mount Gable Walk.


Is Spain or Ireland Better for its National Parks?

Spain
Ireland

Travelers can find good number of great national parks in both Spain and Ireland.

Spain has a range of national park areas worth visiting. With sixteen national parks and a variety of other natural parks and wilderness protection areas, visitors are offered a diverse set of natural destinations to explore. Some are in the mountains, some at the coast, and others are found in unique ecosystems. Some of the most popular include Cabañeros in the mountains of Toledo, Guadarrama near Madrid, and Illas Atlánticas de Galicia near A Coruna on the northern coast. Several national parks are found on the Canary Islands and make the trip there even more interesting if you have the time. In many of Spain's national parks, you'll find hiking, camping, horseback riding, adventure sports, and beautiful views.

Ireland is a great destination for touring the national parks. The 6 national parks here offer stunning beauty and a variety of sights and attractions both within the parks and nearby. Five of the parks are along the western coast, and it might be best if you had your own vehicle to see some of all of them. Killarney National Park is part of the Ring of Kerry and was the first park. You can find historic manor houses, the largest mountain in the country, and a variety of wildlife. Wicklow Mountains National Park is on the eastern side, and in the area you'll find Powerscourt Gardens, Glendalough with its famous round tower, and the beautiful Glenmacnass Waterfall. In all of the parks, you'll find hiking trails, epic views, camping, castles, gardens, local wildlife, and other activities such as bird watching, horseback riding, and more.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Wildlife Viewing?

Spain
Ireland

Overall, Ireland is considered to offer more wildlife viewing opportunities and experiences to visitors.

Ireland has some wildlife viewing activities to experience. In the national parks and protected wilderness areas, visitors can find local wildlife such as badgers, foxes, deer, pine marten, and stoats. On the coast, otters and seals are common, too. Bird watching is also popular, as many of the coastal areas and inland bogs are home to a variety of species. Visiting the parks with a knowledgeable guide can often lead to better viewing experiences.

Spain has a few wilderness activities for those that seek them out. Most notably, in some of the national parks and wilderness areas, visitors might catch a glimpse of wolves, ibex, deer, and the Eurasian brown bear. Wild boars are not uncommon either. Bird watching is also very popular, especially in Extremadura in western Spain where you can find a variety of unique and large species. Also, the Iberian Lynx can sometimes be spotted in Sierra de Andujar Natural Park in Andalusia.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Adventure Travel?

Spain
Ireland

Overall, Spain is considered to offer more adventure travel options and experiences to visitors.

Spain offers fun and exciting adventure experiences for visitors. From the mountains to the coastline, visitors can experience bungee jumping, mountain biking, paragliding, zip-lines, ropes courses, rock climbing, canyoning, whitewater rafting, and more. The coast also offers surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, scuba diving, and boating. It's possible to find these activities all around the country, usually in the countryside not far from major cities.

Ireland has some adventurous travel experiences that often attract visitors. Some of the most popular adventure activities here are sea kayaking, mountain biking, horseback riding, orienteering, hiking, caving, and more. Many of these activities are found in the countryside and coastal areas of the country, or around the 6 national parks. It's common for travelers to book a single-day tour to do some of these activities, as the guides or outfitter companies make it easy and accessible.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Visiting the Mountains?

Spain
Ireland

Overall, Spain is considered to offer more mountain activities and attractions to visitors.

The mountainous areas of Spain are worth exploring. The Pyrenees are the largest mountain chain in the country, making a divide between Spain and France. Here you'll find epic views, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, ski resorts, and more. Elsewhere in Spain you can find plenty of other mountains, as the inland is quite varied. The Sierra Nevada mountains in the south are some of the most beautiful, and are also easily accessible. Across northern Andalusia, you can find even more mountains north of Seville and Cordoba, with several national parks and wilderness areas. In all of these places you'll find natural beauty, wildlife, horseback riding, hiking, camping, and even paragliding. And don't miss the Canary Islands, where you'll find even more great activities. Tenerife is the largest island and offers gorgeous mountain views, native wildlife, and an exotic, tropical atmosphere. Spain absolutely has some gorgeous mountains worth visiting.

Ireland is a good destination to visit the mountains, as there are some fun activities. While not too high in elevation, the mountains in Ireland still offer great views, terrific hiking opportunities, and plenty of outdoor activities such as camping, horseback riding, and more. The highest peaks are found in the MacGillycuddy Reeks range in County Kerry, and visitors here will find plenty of natural beauty along with outdoor activities and hiking trails. Wicklow Mountains National Park and the surrounding area is another very popular destination as it also combines mountain views with historical sights, hiking, waterfalls, and more. Killarney National Park is another area worth visiting due to the beauty of the lakes and mountains.


Is Spain or Ireland Better for Watersports?

Spain
Ireland

Overall, Spain is considered to offer more watersports activities and attractions to visitors.

Spain offers fun and exciting watersports activities for visitors. With a huge length of coastline both on the southern Mediterranean shore and the northern Atlantic shore, water sports in all forms can be found here. Surfing is very popular on both coasts, as wake boarding, kite surfing, and wind surfing. It's also easy to rent kayaks or canoes both on the coastline or in the rivers and lakes of the interior. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular along the coast, as well as in the Canary Islands and around Ibiza and Majorca. The beaches and clear waters of these island paradises attract plenty of water bound tourists for a good reason. If you're interested in doing more at the beach than just laying on the sand, Spain is the place for you.

Ireland has some watersports activities that attract many visitors. With a huge stretch of coastline, many visitors here participate in a variety of activities despite the relatively cooler weather. As long as you have the proper equipment for the activity, there's no reason why you can't enjoy the stunning beauty of the water. Surfing is very popular on the beaches, as the waves can be consistent and strong in many areas. Kayaking both on the coast and inland is also a great way to see Ireland from a different angle. Stand-up paddle boarding is another good option for areas with calmer waters. And many of the bays and harbors have clear waters with unique marine life, which makes wild swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling a fun activity after putting on a thick wetsuit. Wind surfing and kite surfing are also possible. As with many other activities, you'll find plenty of surf shops and tour providers that can take you to the right places with the right equipment.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Outdoor Activities?

Spain
Ireland

You can find a fairly equal amount of great outdoor activities in both Spain and Ireland.

Spain is a popular place to visit because of its outdoor activities. Popular outdoor activities here include camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more. Canyoning is popular, especially in the Pyrenees. The Sierra de Guara is one of the most popular spots for this, located outside of Zaragoza. Or, try rock climbing in Andalucía where you'll find a variety of spots not far from Malaga, Cordoba, and Granada. For those looking for a hike, trails are everywhere and not just in the national parks. Of course, there's always the famous Camino de Santiago if you're looking for an adventure.

The outdoor activities and experiences of Ireland attract many visitors. As Ireland is a fairly sparsely populated country with wide open spaces and beautiful landscapes, visitors will find plenty of outdoor activities of all types. The national parks are a good place to start, as you'll find hiking, camping, horseback riding, climbing, and more. And along the lengthy coastline, visitors can experience kayaking, surfing, swimming, hiking along the cliffs, and perusing gardens and castles. Visiting farms and the other agricultural regions are also quite popular. There's no shortage of outdoor activities in Ireland, so make them part of your itinerary.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for a Road Trip?

Spain
Ireland

Spain and Ireland both have plenty of great places to explore on a road trip.

Taking a road trip through Spain is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. The roads in Spain are efficient, quick, and well-maintained, making it easy to get around. If you don't have a car, it's also easy and often affordable to rent or hire one at the airport upon arrival. Many visitors take a road trip along the coastlines. The northern coastline in particular is very scenic with epic views and small towns The southern coastline is lined with beaches, more small towns, and larger cities. The Catalan coast north of Barcelona is especially beautiful with small towns, cliffs along the sea, and historical sites. The interior shouldn't be missed either, as you'll find national parks, castles and fortresses, and beautiful cities such as Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Toledo. And since Spain is not too large, the drives won't be too long between destinations.

See also Andalusia Road Trip.

Ireland is an extremely popular destination for those that want to take a road trip. The numerous small towns, natural scenic spots, castles, agricultural areas, and other out-of-the-way places make Ireland a terrific place for a road trip. In fact, in many ways it's easier to get around this country by car than with public transit if you're planning to visit many of these smaller sights and attractions. Many visitors make a large loop around the country from Dublin, stopping off at cliffside viewpoints, beaches, castles, small towns, and national park areas with mountains and hiking. The Ring of Kerry is a very busy area for a road trip for obvious reasons - it combines natural beauty with historical towns. The Dingle peninsula is another popular drive for similar reasons. Rental cars are generally easy to hire in Dublin or Galway, so planning a road trip through Ireland is quite easy.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Families?

Spain
Ireland

Both Spain and Ireland are great to visit with kids.

Spain is an extremely popular country to visit for families. Beach vacations are one of the first things that come to mind for a family holiday or vacation to Spain. The Mediterranean coast has multiple beach resort towns such as those in Valencia or around Malaga and Marbella. Even Costa Brava and the areas around Barcelona are popular beach spots, too. But don't assume that the beaches are the only thing to see for families, as the big cities and mountains have plenty of activities as well. Madrid has kids tours of the Prado museum, the Mercado de San Miguel, a great zoo, the Warner Brothers Park, a railway museum, and a fantastic natural sciences museum. Barcelona offers the CosmoCaixa science museum, Montjuic and it's fun gondolas, the chocolate museum, a terrific aquarium, and plenty of interesting architecture. Kids also love all of the old castles and fortresses that dot the countryside, especially the Alhambra, the Castillo de Peñíscola, and the Royal Palace of Olite. Furthermore, plenty of cities have a mix of cultural and historical sites combined with modern family attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, and natural park areas. The mountains also have national parks with wide open spaces which are great for family hikes, bike rides, camping, and road trips. You can't go wrong with a family trip to Spain, as there's just so much to do.

Tenerife: The island has many great waterparks for kids, with one of the best being Siam Park. Other family-friendly destinations include Aqualand, Loro Parque, Jungle Park, and Monkey Park. There are whale watching trips, outdoor adventures, and kid-friendly beaches as well.

See also The Ultimate Guide to Madrid.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Ireland is very family-friendly. Long cliff walks, castles, stunning beaches, gardens, lighthouses, and terrific museums are all some of the best things to do with families in Ireland. In Dublin, you'll find the Imaginosity Childrens Museum, the Dublin Zoo, the Natural History Museum, and Dublin Castle to name a few. Not far from Dublin you can find more castles, the Medieval Museum in Waterford, and Viking history. On the west coast, don't miss the cliffs of Moher, with their epic views, or the ancient stones of the Burren. And the small towns of the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula are fun for everyone, too.


Is Spain or Ireland Better for Couples?

Spain
Ireland

Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Spain than Ireland.

Spain makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. In addition to the historical centers of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia which contain plenty of romantic attractions, couples and honeymooners also love Majorca and Ibiza for it's epic beaches, the southern coast of Spain for the beach resorts, and Costa Brava for its charming small towns with fantastic cuisine. Honeymooners could stay in one spot for a week, or spend their entire trip touring the highlights. Or, if you're just looking for a quick weekend getaway, any of the major cities or smaller towns offers plenty of charming activities. Andalucía is a popular destination because it combines the beaches with historic towns, mountain retreats, and fantastic food. The Asturias region on the northern coast is popular for many of the same reasons. No matter where you visit, it's easy to combine all of the best features of Spain into one terrific and romantic trip.

Marbella: The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.

See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, & Couples in Madrid, Hostels & Campgrounds in Ibiza for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups, and Hostels in Pamplona for Backpackers, Solo Travellers, and Couples.

Ireland is a nice destination for couples. The larger cities as well as the countryside offer plenty of romantic places such as Powerscourt Gardens, the famous and well-photographed Wicklow National Park, the many castles and manors around the island, and the fine dining restaurants and theaters of the cities. Many of the small towns are very picturesque and have plenty of activities for couples, not to mention the quaint bed and breakfasts and walking trails out into the countryside. Don't miss Ashford Castle, Adare Manor, or the Latin Quarter of Galway full of boutiques and cobblestone alleyways. Whether you're on a honeymoon in Ireland or just looking for a romantic weekend getaway, you'll find plenty of romantic opportunities here.

See also Hostels in Galway, Ireland for Backpackers, Couples, and Groups, and Hostels in Killarney for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Small Groups.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Spain
Ireland

Spain and Ireland are both great destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Spain. Affordable prices, easy transportation, and a wide array of budget accommodation make this country extremely popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Barcelona, Madrid, the costal cities, and small towns all have plenty of hostels, pensions, and guest houses. Barcelona is also known for its nightlife, attracting younger travelers on a budget, and plenty of places cater to them with low-cost accommodations with a party vibe. Also, a huge number of museums and cultural attractions have low-cost or free entry tickets, or provide discounts for anyone under 25. Affordable food is also found everywhere, whether at local restaurants, street vendors, or markets. Transportation is also easy, cheap, and efficient, and serves the entire country. Overall, prices in most spots in Spain tend to be a little more affordable than in the rest of Europe.

Barcelona: There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers. Backpackers will also appreciate the young vibe and late night party venues that keep the city fun and entertaining.

Malaga: From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.

See also The Best Hostels in Seville, Party Hostels in Barcelona, and Partying at Hostels in Madrid.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Ireland. Ireland can be a very affordable destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the large number of lower-cost accommodations, affordable public transportation, and variety of cheaper food options. Hostels are common, especially in the larger cities and towns, as are budget-friendly hotels. Also, many of the sights and attractions are outdoors which means that they are often free or have cheaper entrance fees. Many of Ireland's best attractions are the cliffside or wilderness hikes such as those at the Cliffs of Moher (around €10), Glendalough in Wicklow Mountains National Park, or the Howth Cliff Walk loop. For food, if you eat your meals at a pub or small sandwich shop, you can save plenty of money. Many pubs also have a set menu as an early dinner which is cheaper if you arrive before 6:00 p.m. The trains and buses are also very affordable, especially since the country is not so large that every destination is just a few hours away at the most.

See also Dublin Hostels Near Temple Bar, Social Hostels in Dublin, Ireland, and Hostels for Groups in Dublin, Ireland.

Is Spain or Ireland Better for Students?

Spain
Ireland

Both Spain and Ireland are great destinations for students.

Plenty of students visit Spain. Other than Barcelona and Madrid, the most popular cities for students include Granada, Seville, Valencia, and Bilbao. Here, you'll find large universities surrounded by student-friendly neighborhoods. Nightlife, bars, affordable restaurants, and fun activities can be found in all of these cities which cater to budget travelers and locals alike. Spain is a popular destination overall for study-abroad students and younger travelers.

Madrid: 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.

Barcelona: This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. It's also a lively city, but do expect the price tag to be higher than other Spanish cities.

Valencia: The city is young and vibrant with a lot of culture and beautiful neighborhoods. It's also well connected to the rest of Spain with a convenient central train station.

Seville: It's a top destination for international students who appreciate the many great educational institutions, beautiful year-round weather, and many festivals and evening activities.

Cordoba: It's a top study abroad destination for international students. The university is excellent and the city is easy to navigate. It's a cultural city with a great student-friendly atmosphere.

See also Hostels in Bilbao, Spain for Groups, Students, or Solo Travellers.

Ireland is popular with students. With a variety of affordable accommodation options and active student neighborhoods featuring nightlife, cafes, and activities, it's easy to see why Ireland offers a lot for students. Various universities around the country draw large number of students both from Ireland and around the world. Dublin, Galway, and Limerick all have multiple universities and active student scenes.

See also Hostels in Ireland for Students and Backpackers.

Is Spain or Ireland Easier for Transportation? Which is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Spain
Ireland

Spain has better transportation options to get you around the region.

Spain has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the country. High speed trains as well as local trains take visitors and residents around all of the cities in Spain fairly quickly. Once in a city, the local transit systems are excellent at reaching most places quickly. And if you choose to drive, you'll find a quality and efficient highway system, too. Buses can fill in the spots where trains don't go, and sometimes buses are a cheaper alternative to trains or flights between cities as well. The most popular airport connections are found in Madrid and Barcelona.

Is it easy to travel around Spain?

  • Traveling by train is extremely popular.
  • Traveling by bus is very common and fairly easy.
  • It's very easy and convenient to travel on cruise ships and excursions.
  • It's quite common to get around if you join an organized tour.
  • It's fairly easy to travel by car.
  • Travel by airplane is possible.

Public transit in Ireland is fairly effecient and thorough. The train system in Ireland can take you almost anywhere you want to go, and fairly quickly and efficiently too. The bus system is also great, and can get you to many more destinations if the trains can't. The prices are affordable and the trains are safe and clean, just as anywhere else in Europe. The roads are also very good and it's easy to rent a car to get around the country. In fact, if you're planning to visit many of the smaller towns along the coastline, such as in the Ring of Kerry, having a car is necessary because of a lack of transit options. Some of the national parks are also difficult to visit without a car, too. Otherwise, every larger city and town is accessible with trains or buses.

Is it easy to travel around Ireland?

  • Traveling by train is extremely popular.
  • It's fairly easy to travel by bus.
  • Travel on ferry boats is possible.
  • It's possible to travel on cruise ships and excursions.
  • It's quite common to get around if you join an organized tour.
  • It's quite common to travel by car.
  • Travel by airplane is possible.


Is Spain or Ireland more Comfortable for a Trip?

Spain and Ireland are both modern and comfortable places to visit.

Spain is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. Luxury beach vacations and historical attractions in famous cities usually come to mind when people think of Spain. Rightly so, because this country is modern and offers a wide array of comfortable modes of travel and vacationing. It's easy to find budget-friendly accommodation, but even at the lowest prices, guests can still expect to find modern and comfortable amenities. The roads, trains, and public transit are also clean, safe, and can get visitors anywhere. The tourist infrastructure here is extensive, and anyone can travel comfortably here no matter their budget or price range.

Generally, Ireland is considered to be a comfortable and luxurious place to visit. Ireland is a modern and prosperous country with a high standard of living. So, as a traveler you can expect plenty of modern comforts no matter your price range, as even budget hotels will have clean, modern facilities and nice amenities. The public transportation network as well as the road are of high quality and are very efficient. Visitors will find plenty of infrastructure for tourists such as tours, taxis, hotel concierges, and more. And of course, plenty of luxury hotels and tour providers are also available if you seek a higher level of comfort.

Is Spain or Ireland more Touristy?

Spain generally has a more touristy vibe than Ireland.

Plenty of tourists come to Spain every year, as it's a popular destination. While Madrid and Barcelona are the most popular cities to visit, the beach resort areas in Andalucía and Valencia can also get touristy, especially in the busy summer months. Additionally, other cities such as Toledo, the towns in Catalonia, Granada, and Seville attract many visitors. The summer months are the most busy, and you can expect larger crowds in these destinations as well as at major tourist sites. In some places, entrance queues for museums or attractions can get quite long. The most popular places to visit in Madrid include the Prado museum, the Royal Palace, the Crystal Palace in Retiro park, and sometimes the football museum at the Real Madrid football stadium. In Barcelona, you can expect crowds at the Sagrada Família cathedral, Park Güell, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc at night when it's lit up, and in the streets of the Gothic Quarter. Despite the crowds, it's never too chaotic or unmanageable, and Spain is absolutely worth the trip in any case.

Ireland is somewhat touristy. Most visitors arrive in the summer months when the weather is warmer, but even then, the tourist crowds are not too bad. Even so, visiting in the shoulder season or in the winter will lead to a trip with less crowds. The most popular tourist attractions are the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, Glendalough, Powerscourt Gardens, The Rock of Cashel, Killarney and its surroundings, and the Blarney Castle. In Dublin, some neighborhoods can be quite busy such as Grafton Street, as well as the museums, Trinity College, and the Kilmainham Gaol. And while all of these places do see plenty of visitors, it's still manageable and accessible during the busy summer months.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Spain, The Best 10-Day Tours in Spain, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Spain, The Best 2-Week Tours in Spain, The Best 3-Week Tours in Spain, The Best Bicycle Tours in Spain, The Best Adventure Tours to Spain, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Spain, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Spain, The Best Luxury Tours to Spain, The Best Budget Tours to Spain, The Best Tours for Seniors to Spain, The Best Contiki Tours to Spain, The Best G Adventures Tours to Spain, The Best 3-Day Tours from Madrid, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Madrid, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Barcelona, The Best 10-Day Tours from Madrid, The Best 10-Day Tours from Barcelona, The Best 2-Week Tours from Madrid, The Best 2-Week Tours from Barcelona, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Ireland, The Best 10-Day Tours in Ireland, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Ireland, The Best 2-Week Tours in Ireland, The Best Coach Bus Tours in Ireland, The Best Adventure Tours to Ireland, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Ireland, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Ireland, The Best Luxury Tours to Ireland, The Best Budget Tours to Ireland, The Best Tours for Seniors to Ireland, The Best 3-Day Tours from Dublin, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Dublin, The Best 10-Day Tours from Dublin, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Dublin.


Seville Seville

Should I spend more time in Ireland or Spain?

How long in Spain or Ireland?

Spain and Ireland both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Spain than Ireland because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 7-21 days is a good amount of time for Spain, and 5-14 days is enough time in Ireland.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Spain than Ireland 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 Spain.


  • How many days should I spend in Spain or Ireland?
    Spain 7-21 
    Ireland 5-14

A weekend in Spain or Ireland?

In Spain, you'll find theater, adventure travel, and national parks. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Ireland. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Spain or Ireland?

Spain is a great place to explore. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, five days is probably not enough for all of it. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Ireland is a fun place to experience. In Ireland, many people enjoy the history and culture, nightlife, and food that this destination offers. Lots of people come for the history and culture. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Spain or Ireland?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. In Spain, you'll find national parks, history and culture, and nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

In Ireland, many people enjoy the nightlife, food, and water sports that this proud destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the history and culture. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Two weeks in Spain or Ireland?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Spain. In Spain, you'll find national parks, history and culture, and nightlife. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. Two weeks is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Spain has to offer.

In Ireland, many people enjoy the nightlife, food, and water sports that this green destination offers. Plenty of people spend two weeks in the area when traveling. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the history and culture. This would be the perfect place to spend two weeks, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Cudillero, Spain Cudillero, Spain

Which country is cheaper, Ireland or Spain?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Spain is €151, while the average daily cost in Ireland is €143. 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 country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Spain and Ireland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Spain 68
    Ireland 67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Spain 136
    Ireland 134
Compare Hotels in Spain and Ireland

Looking for a hotel in Spain or Ireland? 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 Spain


Hotels in Ireland


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: Spain Hotel Prices and Ireland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Spain 27
    Ireland 25
Typical Local Transportation prices in Spain

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Spain:


  • Taxi Ride
    26
  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    7.80
  • Airport Bus
    5.00
  • Bus Ride
    3.50
  • Taxi Ride
    6.80
  • Bus Ride
    1.25
  • 7 Trip Bus Pass
    5.00
  • Metro
    2.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Spain

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

  • Transfer privativo de Lisboa para Madrid: $1,192
  • Seville Airport (SVQ): Private Transfer to Granada hotels: $963
  • Malaga Airport (AGP): Private Transfer to Seville hotels: $869
  • Transfer VIP Corralejo-Aeropuerto: $867
  • Seville Airport (SVQ): Private Transfer to Malaga hotels: $786
  • From Granada: Transfer to Seville with Cordoba Guided Tour: $759
  • From Lisbon: Santiago de Compostela Private Transfer: $705
  • Barcelona: Private Transfer Barcelona - Benidorm: $531
  • Transfer from Malaga Airport to sevilla: $492
  • Cartagena: Transfer to/from Valencia City: $470
  • Cartagena: Transfer to/from Valencia Airport: $470
  • From Malaga: Private Malaga Airport Transfer to Ronda: $455

Typical Local Transportation prices in Ireland

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


  • Rental Car for a Day
    15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ireland

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

  • Transfer - Shannon Airport to Limerick City (or reverse) - Premium Sedan: $160
  • The Westin Hotel Dublin To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $169
  • The Shelbourne Hotel Dublin To Dublin Airport Private Chauffeur Transfer: $169
  • Shannon Airport to Killarney , Private Chauffeur Transfer . : $298
  • Shannon Airport to Galway Transfer: $243
  • Shannon Airport to Galway City, Private Chauffeur Transfer . Premium Sedan: $221
  • Shannon Airport to Cork, Private Chauffeur Transfer . : $298
  • Private Transfer: Dublin Airport DUB to Dublin in Business Car: $109
  • Private Transfer from Navan to Belfast Airport (BFS): $275
  • Private Transfer from Lifford to Belfast Airport (BFS): $233
  • Private Transfer from Letterkenny Town to Belfast Airport (BFS): $296
  • Private Transfer from Dundalk to Belfast City Airport (BHD): $190

Is it cheaper to fly into Spain or Spain?

Prices for flights to both Ireland and Spain 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
    Spain 40
    Ireland 41
Typical Food prices in Spain

For Spain, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    4.15
  • Sandwich
    1.70
  • Baguette & Horchata
    3.80
  • Coffee
    2.00
  • Lunch
    14
  • Fiesta Paella
    8.00
  • Soda
    2.50
  • Sangria
    2.50
  • Sandwich to go
    3.00
  • Bocadillo & Drink
    6.25
  • Lunch
    9.50
  • Ice Cream
    2.30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Spain

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

  • Valencia: Cooking Class of traditional spanish food: $1.08
  • Dinner + Party + City Tour TOP 10 Wonders of Valencia : $7.00
  • Valencia: Flamenco at Toro y La Luna with Drinks or Dinner: $20
  • Local cooking class in Cordoba. Hands on: Salmorejo: $22
  • Madrid Sunset Walking Tour with Optional Flamenco Show and Dinner: $27
  • Alicante: Secret Flavors Food Tour: $31
  • Cordoba: Flamenco Show at Tablao El Jaleo & Optional Dinner: $33
  • Malaga: Hard Rock Cafe Entrance with Lunch or Dinner: $33
  • Torremolinos: Flamenco show with Dinner and Unlimited Drinks: $33
  • Valencia: Hard Rock Cafe Entrance with Lunch or Dinner: $33
  • Torremolinos: Horse Show, Dinner Option, Drinks, & Flamenco: $33
  • Jerez: Flamenco Show & Optional Dinner at Tablao Puro Arte: $33

Typical Food prices in Ireland

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


  • Lunch for Two
    32
  • Fish & Chips Dinner
    8.12
  • Lunch Lynam's Pub
    3.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ireland

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

  • The Irish House Party in Dublin (with dinner if option selected): $31
  • Hysterical Histories Cork Dinner Theatre Show: $57
  • Belvedere Irish Night Show, Dance and Traditional 3-Course Dinner: $61
  • Dublin Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Killarney Jaunting Car Tour with Craft Brewery Beer & Pizza: $77
  • Delicious Dublin Food Tour: $83
  • Private Market Tour and Irish Cooking Class in a Modern Skerries Home: $102
  • Galway Food Tour: $108
  • Killarney Food Tour: $110
  • Galway Food Tours: $110
  • Dublin Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $116
  • Irish Whiskey & Galway Spirits Food Tour : $122

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Spain 27
    Ireland 19
Typical Entertainment prices in Spain

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Spain's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    42
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    8.55
  • Snorkel
    5.00
  • Flamenco Tour
    16
  • Entrance to Cathedral
    8.00
  • Garden Entrance Fee
    6.00
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    6.00
  • Entrance to Castillos
    7.10
  • Concert
    31
  • Cadiz Sightseeing Tour
    15
  • Tower of Hercules
    3.00
  • Valle de los Caídos Monument
    6.00

Tours and Activities in Spain

For Spain, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2 Hour Deluxe Segway Tour from Palma: $84
  • Alcazar and Cathedral Combo Tour: $63
  • Barcelona Christmas Walking Tour: $30
  • Champagne & Exlusive Majorcan Wines Experience: $119
  • Chef Roberto Medda's Private BBQ Experience - At Your Doorstep!: $88
  • Costa Brava Coves Towns and Winery Private Tour: $182
  • Firgas, Tejeda, Guayadeque - VIP Tour Gran Canaria: $53
  • Full Day Tour to Chulilla and Hanging Bridges from Benidorm: $216
  • Guided E-bike tour - easy level - 35km: $61
  • Guided Tour With Electric Moped: $83
  • Guided Tour of the Jewish Quarter of Córdoba: $11
  • Guided Walking Tour With A Local in Marbella Old Town: $22

Typical Entertainment prices in Ireland

For Ireland, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


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

Tours and Activities in Ireland

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

  • Irish Soda Bread Baking and Food Heritage Experience: $77
  • Loop Head : Guided Tour of Lighthouse Tower and Balcony: $8.83
  • (Small Group) Cliffs of Moher and Castle Tour from Dublin: $142
  • (Small Group) Shore Tour from Dublin:Dublin Highlights and Glendalough Day Trip: $120
  • (Spanish) Cliffs of Moher and Galway tour from Dublin: $83
  • (Spanish) Giant's Causeway tour from Dublin: $88
  • 1 Hour Guided Carriage Tour in Killarney National Park: $39
  • 1 hour Lake Cruise on Killarney's Largest Lake: $18
  • 1-Hour Cocktail Masterclass Experience in Dublin: $50
  • 2 Hour Walking Tour in Slieve League Ireland : $28
  • 2 Hour Walking Tour of Dublin's City Centre: $28
  • 2-Day Northern Ireland Tour from Dublin Including Belfast and Giants Causeway: $220

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Spain 19
    Ireland 15
Typical Alcohol prices in Spain

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Spain:


  • Beer
    5.00
  • A Sangria & a Beer
    6.50
  • Bottle of Wine
    5.00
  • Wine in Front of Cathedral
    4.00
  • Beer
    3.00
  • Bottle of Wine
    1.65
  • Beer
    1.20
  • Celebratory Shots
    5.00
  • Beer
    2.80
  • 1 Pint Beer
    2.00
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    13
  • Coffee
    3.10

Sample the Local Flavors in Spain

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Spain:

  • Madrid Pub Crawl with VIP Club Entrance: $11
  • Visit and wine tasting at BODEGA PIRINEOS: $11
  • Valencia: Guided Pub Crawl with Free Shots: $13
  • Visit winery and wine tasting: $14
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl by KING -The Best Party tour & VIP Club Entry: $17
  • Barcelona: Original Pub Crawl: $17
  • Visit Bodegas Teneguía winery in La Palma with wine Tasting: $17
  • Visit and wine tasting with sausage and BODEGA PIRINEOS cheese: $17
  • Pub Crawl in Barcelona: $17
  • Pub Crawl Madrid & Party: $17
  • Malaga Nightlife Pub Crawl Tour with Drinks and Clubs Entry: $18
  • Wine tasting and Canarian products in La Orotava: $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Ireland

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

  • Skip the Line: Teeling Whiskey Distillery Tour and Tasting in Dublin Ticket: $22
  • Exclusive Brewery Tour and Tasting at Kildare Brewing Co, Sallins: $22
  • Guided Tour to Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney in Leitrim: $23
  • Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl: $24
  • Pearse Lyons Whiskey Distillery: Trilogy Experience: $24
  • Roe & Co Distillery Experiences: $28
  • Rebel City Distillery Tour: $28
  • Dublin Jameson Distillery Bow St. Tour & Tasting - 45 mins: $34
  • Cork Midleton Distillery (where Jameson is made)& Whiskey Tasting: $34
  • Pearse Lyons Whiskey Distillery: Legacy Experience: $35
  • Dublin Walking Tour with Tasting and Whiskey Distillery Visit: $39
  • Cocktail Masterclass & Distillery Tour Combo: $50


When comparing the travel costs between Spain and Ireland, we can see that Spain 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.