11 best places to stay in Ireland on a budget
Ireland, known as the Emerald Isle, can be a fairly expensive place to visit, however, there are still plenty of affordable options out there. Whether you’re looking to explore national parks, have a few pints of Guinness or take a walk around its historical monuments and castles, there’s always an affordable thing to do. At Big Cottages, our self-catering accommodation can often be a much cheaper option than city centre hostels and grand 5-star hotels in Ireland. So we’ve put together a round-up of the best places to stay in Ireland on a budget.
1. Cosmos Cottage
Location: County Mayo
If you’re looking to escape to the scenic west coast of Ireland, Cosmos Cottage is the perfect place to stay on a budget. This lovely holiday cottage in the quaint village of Foxford is perfect for a small family or group of friends. Enjoy views over the River Moy and with pubs, restaurants, and walking trails nearby, there’s plenty to do right on your doorstep for an affordable getaway. Plus you’ll feel right at home which you’d never get if you stay in a hotel in Dublin.
Best free thing to do: Discover Ireland's history and country life at the National Museum of Ireland.
Where to eat and drink: An Port Mor is committed to serving locally sourced produce that’s premium quality and super tasty.
2. Cloonagh Cottage
Location: County Siglo
Cloonagh Cottage is a cosy detached property in County Siglo. Self-catering accommodation is often much cheaper and this cottage certainly won’t break the bank. This spacious cottage sleeps up to four guests so is perfect for small families or a group of friends. From the cottage, you can enjoy wandering the grounds of Lissadell House, taking in the gorgeous scenery of Yeates country, and fishing for your dinner on the nearby rocks. With a lovely sandy beach not too far away, you’ll also be set for a chilled-out summer’s day jumping the waves.
Best free thing to do: Take a stroll along the beaches at Rosses Point and Mullaghmore.
Where to eat and drink: Taste award-winning gastro food at Langs Bar & Restaurant, located just five miles from Cloonagh Cottage.
3. Ocean View
We all know that bringing our pets along for the holiday is all part of the adventure, so if you’re looking for a large property at an affordable price, which also allows animals, then Ocean View might just be the one for you. This property is full of character with a cosy wood burner and a large kitchen and when compared to hostels in Ireland, you won’t find anywhere nicer. For those sunny Irish afternoons, take a step out into the garden and take in views of the sea.
Best free things to do: Trading since 1788, Cork's iconic English Market is well worth a visit.
Where to eat and drink: If you’re looking for some light nights, live music and the best cocktails in West Cork, head down to Cask.
4. Woodbine Cottage
Location: County Carlow
Located 12 miles outside of Kilkenny, Woodbine Cottage offers the perfect retreat for those looking to explore this part of Ireland. The property has a delightful lawned garden that provides the perfect space on a hot summer’s day for a BBQ. If you’ve ever visited Ireland before you’ll know that Kilkenny is well-known for its vibrant nightlife, arts and crafts, and a wide variety of eateries and shops. Making it the perfect destination for any type of holiday.
Best free thing to do: Spend the day exploring the historical Kilkenny Castle.
Where to eat and drink: Located in the heart of Carlow, serving a selection of homemade lunches and refreshing beverages is Tully’s Bar.
5. Derrybeg Apartment
Located in the County of Donegal, our Derrybeg Apartment is a beautifully presented first-floor apartment that sleeps up to five people. This apartment is perfectly situated to allow you to explore some of the most stunning beaches in Donegal. But that’s not all, it also offers the perfect location for you to go walking the numerous trails, lakes and mountains throughout the Glenveagh National Park. The price of this property beats any Airbnb in Ireland so you’ll know you’re getting a good deal.
Best free thing to do: Discover the deserted village of Port.
Where to eat and drink: Seafood lovers will rejoice with a taste of the sea at Killybeggs Seafood Shack.
6. Gortagown Cottage
Location: County Kerry
Nestled in the heart of the Irish countryside just five miles from the village of Sneem on the ring of Kerry, Gortagown Cottage is a cosy detached cottage filled with character. Lovingly decorated, this property offers an affordable retreat for families or groups of friends. On a clear day, the cottage offers incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean. The village of Sneem, just a short walk away, is home to a selection of traditional pubs featuring live Irish music, craft shops and other eateries.
Best free things to do: Explore Killarney National Park – the first one in Ireland.
Where to eat and drink: Riney’s Bar and Beer Garden offers a classic pub atmosphere with live sports and music.
Location: County Kerry
Patty’s is a charming semi-detached Irish bungalow. Its located one mile outside the pretty fishing village of Portmagee and provides self-catering, complete with a dining room for hosting guests. From the property, you can enjoy fantastic views of Portmagee Bay and Valentia Island. This country house is ideally located at the foot of the Coomananspig Pass where holidaymakers can enjoy breathtaking views from the highest point in Ireland that's accessible by car.
Best free things to do: Discover the stunning grounds of Muckross House - a 19th-century mansion filled with history.
Where to eat and drink: Enjoy a sumptuous Chinese at the Golden Chopsticks where you’ll find all your usual favourites.
8. Mount Brandon Cottage
Mount Brandon Cottage can be found on the edge of the rural coastal village of Cloghane. This striking house is set within tranquil surroundings complete with sweeping mountain vistas. Enjoy warm summer evenings out on the patio, spend your days exploring Mount Brandor, and get to know each other further with a spot of golf, horse riding or fishing.
Best free things to do: Have a picnic with lakeside views at Lough Gur.
Where to eat and drink: Loved by locals and visitors alike for offering the best hospitality in Ireland, The Munster Bar is a must for some classic pub grub and your favourite tipple.
The quaint village of Lettermore is approached by a series of causeways offering a very unique sight of some of Ireland's less-known gems. The stunning Lakeview property is perched high on an elevated site offering awe-inspiring views of the Connemara landscape. The countryside along this stretch of Ireland is filled to the brim with hidden coves and sandy beaches just waiting to be explored. It also boasts several opportunities for sailing, fishing and scuba diving, giving you a taste of seclusion.
Best free things to do: Outdoor lovers will feel at one with nature as they explore and discover Barna Woods and Rusheen Bay Nature Reserve.
Where to eat and drink: Enjoy quintessentially British cuisine at Hooked.
10. Julie’s Cottage
Location: County Kerry
One of the best ways to explore Ireland is by foot and with plenty of local walks including Lyracrumpane Walk, Glangeentry Walk and Castleisland River walk. Julie’s Cottage is perfectly situated to enjoy them all. This charming cottage sleeps up to seven people making it perfect for families, couples and groups of friends. There’s plenty more to explore further afield including The Ring of Kerry, the Wild Atlantic Way and the Dingle Peninsula.
Best free things to do: Discover the hidden stalagmites and stalactites in Crag Cave.
Where to eat and drink: Enjoy a delightful Irish breakfast at The Shire Cafe and Bar.
11. Dirreen House
Found amongst the rolling hills of Dirreen is the wonderful self-catering property of Dirreen House. The property is spread out across one floor making it perfect for those with limited mobility. Within easy driving distance from the property, you’ll find many popular attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, and the historical sights in Tralee. If you plan to travel even further afield you’ll find the beautiful Abbeyfeale Town Park on the banks of the River Feale.
Best free things to do: Marvel at the artwork in Limerick City Gallery of Art.
Where to eat and drink: Offering a wide range of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, Timmy Macs Bistro is a must-visit when in Ireland.