Finding the perfect B&B in Ireland can be difficult.
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In fact, it’s somewhat akin to searching for a needle in a haystack if you have no idea where to start.
Here at Ireland on a Budget, a lot of the hard work has been done for you already.
ll you need to do is decide what part of Ireland you want to explore.
I’ll guarantee that wherever it is, there’s a B&B waiting for you there.
The Difference Between a B&B and an Airbnb
Since Airbnb has a presence in Ireland and is a popular choice for many, it’s important to distinguish between the two.
Generally speaking, an Airbnb is similar to a holiday/vacation home where you rent a room or even an entire house or apartment from the owner for a specific amount of time.
A B&B is a very different type of accommodation and has been a popular choice for many tourists to Ireland over the years.
Another important difference between the two is that at least one meal is included in a B&B stay (usually breakfast) and the welcome you’ll get at most can’t be beaten.
In many ways, a B&B experience is indicative of Ireland's world-renowned hospitality.
Many B&Bs in Ireland are regulated and inspected by Ireland’s tourist board known as Fáilte Ireland and display the shamrock seal of approval to show that they have met the agency’s strict standards.
Not all B&B owners choose to pay the annual fee that is required to be part of the regulatory/approval process, but this doesn’t mean that they are of lesser quality.
However, if you want to be assured that the B&B you’ll be staying in has passed all safety regulations and other protocols, be sure to look for that seal of approval.
B&B accommodation in breakfast is graded based upon a five-star rating system that is also used in England, Scotland, and Wales.
As a result, all B&Bs must have a valid certificate issued by the NITB (Northern Ireland Tourism Board). Otherwise, they are not allowed to set up shop.
What to Look for in an Irish B&B
While you can find a B&B in many locations across the country, one of the secrets to finding the perfect B&B in Ireland is to choose one that is within a mile or two of a town.
That will give you easy access to restaurants and pubs, and if you don’t want to drive at night since the drinking laws in Ireland are quite strict, being close to a town will give you access to a nearby taxi service.
If you find a nice B&B in a town, be sure to check that free parking comes with it.
Of course, that might not always be practical in a place like Dublin, but in Ireland’s smaller cities and towns, parking is usually available on the B&B premises.
B&Bs are generally known for being economically priced. Having said that, there is a variation in cost since there are different types of B&B accommodation in Ireland to choose from, each with specific ratings.
They include townhouses, usually found in cities and towns; country homes; farmhouse B&Bs; and historic houses.
According to B&B Ireland, the average price per person is €32.38, which is about $39.40 or £28.
Like other accommodation in Ireland, the final rate will depend on the season and on the services that are offered.
Facilities & Other Perks to Expect
Most decent B&Bs in Ireland now have private bathrooms attached to each bedroom (known in Ireland as ensuite accommodation).
A hearty breakfast is included in the price, although you can ask for a Continental breakfast if you prefer.
Many B&B owners provide tea or coffee along with a sweet treat upon arrival.
Click on the search box below to explore the many B&Bs that are in the B&B Ireland system.
You can also book a B&B through Booking.com.
When choosing a B&B in Ireland, look for something that is modern yet personal enough that will give you the opportunity to get to know the owner of the B&B.
This is invaluable when you’re looking for specific recommendations for restaurants and pubs, as well as tips on local tourist attractions.
When and How to Book
Like other forms of accommodation in Ireland, it’s best to book in advance.
In fact, that’s crucial during the busy summer tourist season.
In addition, travelers coming from locations outside of the EU must include an address that they’ll be staying at for immigration purposes, at least for their first night’s stay.
Booking.com has a range of B&B accommodation on its website, some regulated by Fáilte Ireland, others not. The same goes for B&B Ireland, as well as Airbnb. Be sure to read the reviews beforehand and make your choice based on that.
While many B&Bs in Ireland accept credit cards, many of them prefer cash. If you’re uncomfortable about carrying a lot of cash on you each day, I’d suggest that you book your B&B in advance online and pay by tourist attractions.
B&B Vacation Packages
Many first-time visitors to Ireland prefer to book a pre-packaged tour that often includes accommodation.
There are several tour companies that offer such packages that also include airfare and a schedule of places to see.
Such packages are actually pretty good value and always include Failte-approved B&Bs, so you really can't go wrong.
Check out the Aer Lingus Vacation Store for B&B vacation packages that are being offered in 2021.
Are you planning a vacation to Ireland in the future? Is finding the perfect B&B in Ireland part of that plan?
Let me know in the comments below and be sure to sign up for my regular e-newsletter for additional tips on getting to Ireland on a budget.