Is DONEGAL better than DUBLIN? Let’s talk about it!

It’s nearly impossible to compare the two, with one being a bustling capital city and the other being a rural Irish county, but we think one is better than the other.

Is Donegal better than Dublin? Let’s talk about it!

Is Donegal better than Dublin? That is the question we are discussing in this article. As with any opinion, this article is entirely subjective to my own perspective, so don’t cancel me (please).

Dublin and Donegal are two vastly different areas in Ireland, each with a lot to offer. But the two areas offer something completely different to visitors.

If you were to ask me the question, is Donegal better than Dublin? Well, my answer is yes. Here’s why.

Donegal – what to see and do

If you want a taste of rural Ireland, Donegal is the perfect place to experience it. Donegal is made up of 30 relatively small towns, including Letterkenny, Ballyshannon, Greencastle, and more, each offering something completely different to those who visit.

Some of the highlights of the county are the number of cracking local pubs, the Slieve League Cliffs, Malin Head, an abundance of gorgeous beaches, Glenveagh National Park, Fanad Lighthouse, and so much more.

And that really doesn’t even scratch the surface of what you can see and experience in Donegal.

Dublin – the top sights

Dublin is, of course, a much more popular destination for tourists than Donegal. It goes without question to visit the capital when visiting Ireland, but Donegal doesn’t always make its way onto a traveller’s Irish bucket list.

Some of the top attractions that people love to see in Dublin are the Guinness Storehouse, the Temple Bar pub and the bustling area, Kilmainham Gaol, Trinity College, St. Stephen’s Green, Glasnevin Cemetery, and much more.

A trip to the Irish capital makes for an unforgettable one. But is it better than Donegal?

Affordability – Donegal vs Dublin

A collection of 20, 50, and 100 euro banknotes.
Credit: Pexels/ Pixabay

One of the major players when comparing Donegal to Dublin is affordability. The price of a one-night stay in Dublin has skyrocketed in recent years.

You could stay in a low-key, cosy Airbnb in Donegal for three or four nights for what you could get for just one night in Dublin.

When it comes to the price of a pint, a few jars in the local in Donegal won’t break your bank, whereas one night out in Dublin will have you thinking you were robbed the night before.

As such, dining out in Donegal is also much more affordable. Better yet, if you are staying in an Airbnb, chances are you’ll have great cooking facilities to save the cost of always eating out while visiting.

Is Donegal better than Dublin? – for me, yes

Is Donegal better than Dublin? This photo shows an aerial view of Dublin around Grafton Street on the left, with a view of Mount Errigal in Donegal on the right.
Credits: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Fáilte Ireland; Gareth Wray Photography

I have been to Dublin and various areas in Donegal countless times. Personally, I love Donegal, and I’d much rather take a trip there than to Dublin.

However, that does not mean that I don’t recommend people visit Dublin. I think Dublin is a brilliant city, and a must when visiting Ireland to experience the craic and the nightlife.

But I would urge anyone visiting Ireland to make sure they visit Donegal, and to do so for a lot longer than Dublin.

You could easily spend a week in Donegal, whereas I think you’d have enough of Dublin by that stage.

Why I love Donegal – natural beauty, friendly locals, and a taste of rural Ireland

An aerial view of Fort Dunree, Buncrana.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Gareth Wray Photography

For me, nothing beats a weekend away in Donegal. Some of the areas I particularly enjoy are Rossnowlagh, Glencolmcille, Killybegs, Buncrana, and Dunfanaghy.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



With its location along the iconic Wild Atlantic Way, Donegal serves up some of the country’s most breathtaking natural beauty.

Some of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches are located in Donegal. As such, surfing, kayaking, and sea swimming are all popular activities to partake in.

Furthermore, you have the outstanding beauty of the likes of the Slieve League Cliffs, Mount Errigal, Glenevin Waterfall, and so much more to experience.

In the end, staying in Donegal and staying in Dublin are two vastly different experiences.

In Dublin, you’re experiencing the hustle and bustle of busy city life, whereas in Donegal, you are taking yourself away from city life to breathe in the fresh air and quietness of rural Ireland.

So, while it’s entirely up to the individual, Donegal comes out on top for me.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



Get featured on Ireland Before You Die

Do you want to get your Irish business more online exposure? Especially to those interested in travelling the best places in Ireland? Then why not get a dedicated feature on Ireland Before You Die. Find out more here.

Related Posts

Disclosure

Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Send this to a friend