9 Cheapest Airports to Fly Into Ireland (Updated 2023)

by Flora Backup
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If you’re dreaming of an Irish getaway but are mindful of your budget, you’re in luck. Ireland offers a variety of entry points that won’t break the bank, allowing you to experience its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities without draining your wallet. In this guide, we’ll explore the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland, helping you make an informed decision that focuses on affordability!

Flying to Ireland on a budget? You’re in the right place! Ireland, with its rolling green hills, historic landmarks, and warm, welcoming pubs, is a destination that many of us dream of visiting. The good news is, exploring this charming country doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Finding a cheap flight to Ireland is your ticket to enjoying all the beauty and culture without stressing about expenses. Imagine wandering through the lively streets of Dublin, exploring ancient castles in the countryside, or enjoying a hearty meal in a traditional Irish pub, all while knowing you’ve started your trip saving money on your flight. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, a budget backpacker, or planning that once-in-a-lifetime trip to trace your Irish roots, finding the most affordable airports to begin your Irish adventure is paramount.

In this guide, we’re going to explore the most affordable airports to fly into Ireland. From popular spots like Dublin Airport to smaller, charming ones like Kerry Airport, each offers a unique and budget-friendly start to your Irish adventure. We’ll dive into nine options, ensuring you have all the information you need to make a wallet-friendly choice.

The cheapest airports to fly into Ireland right now
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#1 tip to find cheap flights to Ireland

Looking for cheap flights to Ireland? Before diving into all the top cities and airports to fly to, I want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.

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Now without further ado, here are the best Ireland flights in 2023.

1. Dublin

Looking for the cheapest airport to fly into Ireland from the USA? Look no further than Dublin. Navigating through the bustling streets and historic landmarks of Dublin offers an immediate embrace into the heart of Irish culture and hospitality. Landing at Dublin Airport (DUB) is often a top choice for travelers. It is not only for its proximity to the capital’s myriad attractions but also because it’s frequently cited as the cheapest airport in Ireland to fly into. The city is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, historic pubs, and the iconic River Liffey. It presents a blend of traditional Irish charm and dynamic urban life.

Dublin offers efficient links to other charming Irish cities for explorers seeking to venture beyond the capital.
Dublin offers efficient links to other charming Irish cities for explorers seeking to venture beyond the capital.

Securing affordable flights to Dublin tends to be easier during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, specifically from April to June and September to October. During these months, the city is slightly less crowded, and the weather is pleasantly mild. It offers an ideal backdrop for exploring the historic and cultural landmarks scattered throughout Dublin.

For explorers looking to venture beyond the capital, Dublin provides efficient connections to other enchanting Irish cities. A train to the culturally rich city of Cork, for instance, takes roughly 2.5 hours. This offers not only a practical but also a scenic journey across the Irish countryside. Similarly, reaching Galway, celebrated for its vibrant festivals and lively street atmosphere, is feasible with a 2.5-hour train ride. This positions Dublin as a strategic and economical starting point for Irish adventures.


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2. Cork

A list of the cheapest airports in Ireland wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Cork. The southern charm of Cork welcomes travelers as they descend into Cork Airport (ORK). It is a hub that not only provides access to the vibrant life of Ireland’s second-largest city, but also often ranks as the cheapest Ireland airport to fly into.

Cork, with its meandering streets, historic pubs, and the picturesque River Lee, offers a slightly more laid-back vibe compared to Dublin. Yet, it is brimming with all the cultural and historical richness one expects from an Irish city.

Finding affordable flights into Cork is often easier during the winter months, excluding the festive season. From November to February, aside from offering potentially lower airfares, the city unveils a different charm, with crisp air, fewer tourists, and a genuine local atmosphere. This provides a unique and authentic Irish experience.

Securing cost-effective flights to Cork is typically simpler during winter, except for the holiday season.
Securing cost-effective flights to Cork is typically simpler during winter, except for the holiday season.

Cork also serves as a strategic entry point for exploring other notable locations in Ireland. A journey to Limerick, known for its medieval history and the iconic King John’s Castle, takes approximately 1.5 hours by car. This makes it a convenient day trip or the next stop on your Irish journey. Similarly, the historic city of Waterford can be reached in about 2 hours by car. This offers further exploration into Ireland’s rich history and culture.

Among the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland, Cork stands out not only for its affordability but also for its strategic location. The city, with its rich maritime history, vibrant cultural scene, and proximity to the famed Wild Atlantic Way, serves as more than just a destination. It’s a gateway to the southern treasures of Ireland, waiting to be explored and adored.

3. Shannon

As the plane descends into Shannon Airport (SNN), travelers are greeted by the stunning vistas of the River Shannon and the adjacent lush landscapes. Often considered one of the best cities to fly into Ireland, Shannon serves as a gateway to the untamed beauty of Ireland’s west coast. The city itself is a haven of tranquility, offering a peaceful contrast to the bustling energy of Dublin or Cork.

Shannon serves as a perfect launchpad for some of Ireland’s most iconic attractions. From the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher to the historic Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, the region offers a wealth of natural and cultural experiences. For those interested in outdoor activities in Ireland, the nearby Burren National Park provides unique limestone landscapes perfect for hiking and exploration. This makes Shannon a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Shannon Airport (SNN) offers travelers breathtaking views of the River Shannon and the lush surroundings as the plane descends.
Shannon Airport (SNN) offers travelers breathtaking views of the River Shannon and the lush surroundings as the plane descends.

The most budget-friendly time to fly into Shannon tends to be during the late fall and early spring. During these months, you’ll find fewer crowds and more affordable flight options. This allows you to experience the city’s serene beauty without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season.

For those interested in exploring Ireland further, Shannon is strategically located for quick trips to other captivating cities. A car ride to Galway, a city in the west Ireland and renowned for its bohemian vibe and artistic culture, takes just about an hour. Likewise, Limerick, with its rich medieval history, is only a 20-minute drive away. This makes Shannon the cheapest place to fly into Ireland for those planning to explore the western and southern regions.

4. Knock

The serene landscapes of County Mayo welcome travelers as they land at Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC). Often overlooked in favor of larger cities, Knock offers a unique blend of spiritual history and natural beauty. This makes it one of the hidden gem in the Irish travel scene. The town is best known for the Knock Shrine. It is an international pilgrimage site. Knock offers a peaceful, rural setting that’s perfect for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

Knock is renowned primarily for the Knock Shrine, a world-famous pilgrimage site attracting over a million visitors annually. The shrine commemorates an apparition of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Evangelist in 1879. Aside from its religious significance, the town is surrounded by the natural beauty of County Mayo. It offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring the tranquil Irish countryside.+

Travelers are greeted by County Mayo's tranquil scenery upon arriving at Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC)
Travelers are greeted by County Mayo’s tranquil scenery upon arriving at Ireland West Airport Knock (NOC)

When it comes to affordability, Knock often emerges as one of the cheapest cities in Ireland to fly into, particularly during the off-peak months of late winter and early spring. During these times, not only are flights more budget-friendly, but the town itself is quieter. This allows for a more intimate experience of its spiritual and natural attractions.

Knock’s location in the North West also makes it a convenient entry point for exploring other parts of Ireland. A drive to Galway takes just under two hours, offering an easy transition to a more urban experience. Similarly, the vibrant city of Sligo is just about an hour and a half away by car. This makes NOC the cheapest airport in Ireland to fly into if you’re planning to explore the western and northwestern regions of the country.

5. Belfast (Belfast International Airport)

Though technically a different country from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland deserves a mention on this list, as it’s on the same island. And when travelers visit Northern Ireland, they often fly into its capital, Belfast.

As you touch down at Belfast International Airport (BFS), you’re stepping into a city that serves as a fascinating crossroads of history, culture, and modernity. Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is the cheapest city to fly into Ireland for many travelers. It offers a variety of experiences, from the historic Titanic Belfast museum to the vibrant street art that adorns its neighborhoods.

Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital, is often the most budget-friendly entry point to Ireland for numerous travelers.
Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, is often the most budget-friendly entry point to Ireland for numerous travelers.

The most budget-friendly times to fly into Belfast are during the late winter and early spring. During these months, you’ll find fewer crowds and more affordable flight options. This allows you to explore the city’s many attractions without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season.

Belfast International Airport is often considered one of the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland, especially for travelers coming from the UK and other parts of Europe. Its strategic location also makes it one of the best places to fly into Ireland, particularly for those interested in exploring both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. A drive to Dublin takes just under two hours, offering an easy transition to a different cultural and political landscape.

In Belfast, you’ll find a city that’s both historic and forward-looking, with attractions ranging from the political murals of the Falls Road to the bustling shops of the Cathedral Quarter. Its affordability and strategic location make it not just a destination but a gateway to a broader Irish and Northern Irish experience.

6. Belfast (George Best Belfast City Airport)

Belfast’s second airport is George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD). It is conveniently located just 5 kilometers from the city center. This makes it an ideal choice for those eager to dive straight into Belfast’s rich cultural landscape.

One key distinction between Belfast International Airport (BFS) and George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD) lies in their locations and the types of flights they primarily handle. BFS is situated further from the city center and is often used for international flights, including transatlantic routes. BHD, on the other hand, is much closer to the city center and is generally used for shorter, domestic, and European flights.

George Best Belfast City Airport, known for its affordability, provides exceptional value for flying into Ireland.
George Best Belfast City Airport, known for its affordability, provides exceptional value for flying into Ireland.

This makes BHD a more convenient option for travelers who are already in Europe or the UK and want quick access to Belfast’s downtown area. On the flip side, BFS might be a better option for those coming from farther away and looking for a broader range of international flight options.

The most cost-effective time to fly into George Best Belfast City Airport is during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. During these months, you can take advantage of lower airfares and accommodation costs. This allows you to explore Belfast’s myriad attractions without straining your budget. As one of the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland, George Best Belfast City Airport offers excellent value. This is particularly true for travelers coming from the UK and other European destinations.

7. City of Derry

City of Derry Airport (LDY) often emerges as one of the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland, especially for travelers coming from the UK and other parts of Europe. Its location also makes it convenient for exploring both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. For instance, a drive to the bustling city of Belfast takes just about 1.5 hours, while the scenic landscapes of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland are just a short drive away.

As your plane lands at City of Derry Airport (LDY), you’re welcomed by the scenic landscapes of Northern Ireland‘s fourth-largest city. Derry is also known as Londonderry. It is a city steeped in history and culture. Derry offers a unique blend of ancient walls, modern art, and a vibrant social scene. The city is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture, including the iconic Derry Walls that encircle the old city.

City of Derry Airport (LDY) frequently ranks as one of Ireland's most economical entry points, especially for UK and European travelers.
City of Derry Airport (LDY) frequently ranks as one of Ireland’s most economical entry points, especially for UK and European travelers.

The most budget-friendly time to fly into City of Derry Airport is during the late winter and early spring. During these months, you’ll find fewer crowds and more affordable flight options. This allows you to explore the city’s many attractions without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season.

For those on a budget, LDY stands out as one of the cheapest Ireland airports to fly into. It offers not only economical flights but also a range of affordable accommodations and activities. The city itself is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, from the ancient Derry Walls to the modern Peace Bridge. This makes it a fascinating destination for history buffs and culture enthusiasts alike.

8. Kerry

Kerry Airport (KIR) is not only convenient for those looking to explore the southwestern part of Ireland, but it’s also often cited as the cheapest airport to fly into Ireland. Its location offers easy access to other popular destinations like Cork, which is about a 1.5-hour drive, and Limerick, approximately a 2-hour drive away.

The moment you land at Kerry Airport, you’re immediately enveloped by the natural beauty that defines County Kerry. Known for its stunning landscapes, including the famous Ring of Kerry and the rugged Dingle Peninsula, this region is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. As one of the cheapest Ireland airports to fly into, Kerry Airport offers an affordable gateway to some of Ireland’s most breathtaking scenery.

Late autumn and early spring are the most cost-effective seasons for traveling to Kerry.
Late autumn and early spring are the most cost-effective seasons for traveling to Kerry.

The most budget-friendly time to fly into Kerry is during the late autumn and early spring. These months offer milder weather and fewer crowds. This makes it an ideal time to explore the natural wonders of County Kerry without the tourist rush.

From the rugged cliffs of the Wild Atlantic Way to the serene lakes of Killarney National Park, Kerry offers a range of outdoor activities that are as diverse as they are stunning.

9. Waterford

In Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, you’ll find a unique blend of the ancient and the modern. From exploring the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre to walking along the historic city walls, Waterford provides a range of experiences that cater to a variety of interests.

Your entrance to this city is Waterford Airport (WAT). It is often considered one of the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland with convenient access to other popular Irish destinations. For example, a drive to the bustling city of Cork takes just under two hours, while Dublin is approximately a 2.5-hour drive away.

Waterford Airport (WAT) is a cost-effective entry point to Ireland with convenient connections to other popular destinations.
Waterford Airport (WAT) is a cost-effective entry point to Ireland with convenient connections to other popular destinations.

As you touch down at Waterford Airport, you’re entering a city that’s a blend of ancient history and modern charm. Waterford offers a vibrant history that includes the famous Waterford Crystal and the ancient Viking Triangle. It’s a city where history comes alive, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in Ireland’s past.

The most cost-effective time to fly into Waterford is during the late winter and early spring. During these months, you’ll find fewer crowds. This allows for a more intimate exploration of the city’s historical landmarks and cultural attractions. This period also tends to offer more affordable flight and accommodation options.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cheapest Airports to Travel to Ireland

To help you navigate your budget-friendly journey to the Emerald Isle, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland and other travel considerations.

What are some of the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland?

When it comes to affordability, Dublin Airport, Cork Airport, and Shannon Airport often top the list as some of the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland. These airports offer a range of budget-friendly flight options, especially during the off-peak seasons. Additionally, they provide excellent connectivity to other parts of Ireland. This makes it easier for travelers to explore the country without breaking the bank.

Which is the cheapest airport to fly into Ireland from the USA?

For travelers coming from the United States, Dublin Airport is often cited as the cheapest airport to fly into Ireland. It serves as a major hub for various airlines and offers a range of transatlantic flights, often at competitive prices. Moreover, Dublin provides excellent onward connections to other Irish cities, making it a convenient and economical choice.

Is it cheaper to fly into Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland?

The cost of flying into Northern Ireland versus the Republic of Ireland can vary based on several factors. This includes the time of year, airline, and point of departure. Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport are often more budget-friendly for travelers coming from the UK. Dublin and Cork airports may offer better deals for those flying from other parts of Europe or the USA.

What is the best time of year to find cheap flights to Ireland?

The late winter and early spring months are generally the most budget-friendly times to fly to Ireland. During these periods, you’ll find fewer crowds and more affordable flight and accommodation options. Whether you’re looking for an Airbnb Irish accommodation with an overlooking view of the serene lakes, or luxury spa hotels in Ireland, or even urban oasis in the heart of a bustling city, this country offers something for every traveler. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on flight deals and promotions throughout the year.

In this extensive guide, we've examined top airports for Ireland travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.
In this extensive guide, we’ve examined top airports for Ireland travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.

Which airport should I fly into in Ireland?

The best airport to fly into in Ireland depends on your travel plans and destinations within the country. Here are the primary international airports in Ireland and their advantages:

  1. Dublin Airport (DUB):
    • Advantages: It’s the largest and busiest airport in Ireland, offering the most flight options, including many transatlantic routes. Located in the capital city, it provides easy access to Dublin’s attractions. The airport is a convenient starting point if you’re planning to explore other parts of the country. It’s also well-connected by bus and train services to other regions.
  2. Cork Airport (ORK):
    • Advantages: Located in the south of the country, it’s a good choice if you’re primarily interested in visiting the southern regions. This includes West Cork, the Ring of Kerry, or the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s smaller than Dublin, which can mean a quicker and less hectic experience.
  3. Shannon Airport (SNN):
    • Advantages: Situated on the west coast, it’s ideal if you’re planning to explore the western regions, including the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, or Limerick. It also offers some transatlantic flights, which can be convenient for travelers from North America.
  4. Belfast International Airport (BFS) and George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD):
    • Advantages: These are in Northern Ireland (part of the UK). If your trip focuses on the northern part of the island, including attractions like the Giant’s Causeway, these airports are suitable. Do note that Northern Ireland uses the British pound (£) instead of the euro (€).
  5. Knock Airport (NOC):
    • Advantages: Located in the northwest, it’s a smaller airport but can be convenient for those looking to explore the rugged landscapes of counties Mayo and Sligo.

How do I get from the airport to the city center?

Most Irish airports offer a range of transportation options to get you to the city center. These include public buses, taxis, and sometimes even trains. For instance, Dublin Airport has a dedicated Airlink bus service that takes you directly to various points in Dublin city center.

Which US airports have direct flights to Ireland?

Many major U.S. airports offer direct flights to Ireland, primarily to Dublin Airport (DUB), which is Ireland’s largest and busiest airport. Here are some of the U.S. airports with direct flights to Ireland:

  1. New York City:
    • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
    • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  2. Boston:
    • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  3. Chicago:
    • O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  4. Philadelphia:
    • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  5. San Francisco:
    • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  6. Los Angeles:
    • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  7. Washington, D.C.:
    • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  8. Atlanta:
    • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  9. Dallas/Fort Worth:
    • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  10. Seattle:
    • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Is it easy to travel between cities in Ireland?

Yes, Ireland offers excellent intercity connectivity, especially from major airports like Dublin, Cork, and Shannon. You can easily reach other popular destinations through a variety of means, including trains, buses, and car rentals. The country’s relatively small size also makes it convenient to explore multiple cities even during a short trip.

Do I need a car rental when flying into smaller airports?

While public transport options are available at most airports, renting a car can offer more flexibility, especially when flying into smaller airports like Kerry or Knock. A car rental allows you to explore at your own pace and can be particularly useful for reaching more remote or rural areas.

Are there any hidden fees I should be aware of when booking flights to Ireland?

When searching for flights, always be mindful of additional fees that may not be included in the initial price, such as baggage fees, seat selection fees, and sometimes even airport taxes. It’s advisable to read the fine print and calculate the total cost before finalizing your booking.

Final Thoughts on Ireland’s Cheapest Airports

When it comes to exploring the Emerald Isle on a budget, the airport you choose to fly into can significantly impact your overall travel costs. From Dublin’s extensive international connections to Cork’s and Shannon’s budget-friendly European routes, each airport presents its own set of financial advantages. The key takeaway is that Ireland offers a range of options for cost-conscious travelers, and knowing the cheapest airports to fly into Ireland can be a game-changer for your travel budget.

Smaller airports like Knock and Kerry shouldn’t be overlooked either, as they often provide economical options, especially for travelers already in Europe. These airports also offer the added benefit of lower transportation costs to nearby attractions. This makes your Irish adventure more affordable from start to finish.

In summary, your choice of airport can either stretch or strain your budget, so it’s worth investing some time to research and compare flight and transportation costs. By doing so, you’ll not only save money but also open up more possibilities to explore and enjoy what Ireland has to offer.

The cheapest airports to fly into Ireland for all types of travelers
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