Why are Dublin Hotels so expensive in 2024?

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If you’ve started to plan your journey to Dublin, you’ll quickly find yourself asking, “Why is Dublin so expensive?” especially for accommodation.

So is Dublin expensive? Well, yes.

This article dives into the reasons behind Dublin’s high hotel costs in 2024. But don’t give up hope if you’re working with a budget.

Being forewarned is will help you to plan your visit to make the most of your budget.

Understanding the Cost: Why Is Dublin Expensive for Accommodation?

Here’s my short answer: Dublin Hotels are expensive because of a lack of available rooms in peak season, due to growing demand from overseas tourism and a general cost of living and housing crisis in Ireland.

Dublin has a strong international reputation as a desirable tourist destination, often making various Top 10 lists (#7 City to visit in the world, Lonely Planet 2022). However, this popularity comes with its own set of challenges, particularly finding affordable accommodation. I’ve seen increasing concerns from visitors and agents about finding rooms, even at times when prices for Dublin hotels are expensive.

General Availability

Hotel availability is down in Ireland, for reasons explored in this article. Plus the evidence is there: in 2023, the Irish representative body, AVEA (Association of Visitor Experiences & Attractions) said that numbers of visitors at Irish attractions were actually down (Irish Times). You might think that’s counterintuitive, but it’s likely that a drop in visitors at major attractions was due to reduced hotel availability in major destinations like Dublin. Lower availability of hotel rooms means higher prices for accommodation. The knock-on effect is that most people who do book a Dublin visit stay for a shorter period, meaning fewer ticket sales at attractions.

High Demand from Tourists

More people want to visit Dublin, not only to explore their diasporic roots, but because it seems like a fun place to visit if you’re into history, architecture, literature and nightlife. Even before the pandemic closed tourism down, Dublin hotels were experiencing increased demand and high prices (Irish Tourism Trends Report, 2018). So the growth we’re seeing this year is part of a trend. However, as availability tightens in 2024 for additional reasons, Dublin – as Ireland’s capital – feels the impact of fewer rooms for more tourists during the peak season.

Speculative Property Investment

Herbert Park Hotel in Dublin

There’s a valid argument to be made (Clancy, 2011) that speculative investment in hotels led to boom and bust in the tourism sector in the last couple of decades. The impact of the bust in the market during the years of austerity after the collapse of the so-called Celtic Tiger lingers on today, and is actively affecting the growth of tourism, which contributes significantly to Ireland’s GDP.

Historical & Nightlife Significance

It might seem odd to include history and nightlife in the same breath! But Dublin’s historical significance from Viking roots, through a deep (and not always edifying) religious and political history, superb literary legacy and emergence as a European hotspot for investment has made it a desirable place to visit. The tidemarks of Irish history are visible on our very buildings. But it’s never been a boring place to spend a few days. Although the breadth of its foodie scene is a more recent phenomenon, Ireland’s pub culture and nightlife has long made it fun to spend a day exploring, and enjoy the craic at night (the fun kind of ‘craic’, of course). That makes Dublin a great place to visit, shame about the cost.

Limited Hotel Availability and The “Hotelisation” of the Housing Crisis

There has been an ongoing housing crisis in Ireland, which is felt particularly acutely in Dublin. It’s matched only by the cost of living, which has increased particularly since the reopening of society after Covid. Housing people deemed homeless and fulfilling international obligations to people seeking asylum has further exacerbated available stock for private renters and tourists (see Nowicki et al, 2019).

Photo by Patrick Hughes: St Stephen’s Green Dublin

Conclusion

A series of factors have combined to create a ‘perfect storm’ for high hotel prices in Dublin in 2024, reflecting a complex interplay of economic, historical, and social dynamics.

Still planning your visit to Dublin?

So what can you do if you want to visit? Dublin’s charm does still make it a worthwhile destination and I don’t want to put you off at all! While it’s not impossible to find accommodation, it makes sense to book as early as possible and keep your mind open about exactly where you’re willing to stay. Don’t lament the lack of a $100 USD 4-star hotel right in Temple Bar if you’re booking for next week. It won’t be there. But within walking distance or a short bus ride, you’ll get a really nice 3-star by setting your budget realistically and if your dates are flexible. Check out my Guide to Budget Hotels in Dublin. Or if you do feel like something a little more special, head over to my Guide to Castle Hotels in (or near) Dublin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your question not answered here? Add your question using the comment box below

Why are Dublin hotels so expensive?

The combination of high tourist demand, speculative investments, and Dublin’s significant economic and historical appeal contribute to high accommodation costs. The scarcity of available rooms due to a housing and cost of living crisis exacerbates the situation.

Is Dublin an expensive place to visit?

Yes, once you start to consider accommodation, dining, and entertainment, costs can add up. However, with strategic planning, visiting Dublin can be made more budget-friendly. Start by introducing flexibility into your search and considering places in nearby suburbs which are accessible by public transport or a slightly longer walk.

What is the average cost of a hotel in Dublin, Ireland?

This question is almost impossible to answer. Prices vary widely throughout the year but expect to pay a premium during summer and when there’s a lot of events taking place. Early booking is the only way to secure better rates.

Compare rates for your dates on Expedia

Is Dublin more expensive than London?

Let’s be clear, both cities are expensive, but costs vary by category. Due to its size, you might find some better prices for accommodation in London, if you look further out on the tube network. However, Dublin’s charm is its city centre walkability, and you can find some cheaper food options in Dublin. Look at your budget in balance across accommodation, food and entertainment.

I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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