Access the Giant’s Causeway for up to 90% Off! Northern Ireland on a Shoestring

The Giant’s Causeway is a massive collection of interlocking basalt columns and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland for good reason.  Located on the North Atlantic Ocean, these intriguing formations are a result of an ancient volcanic eruption and though access to them is free, parking is anything but!  Before you go and pay £10.50 each to enter the facility, check out our suggestions and save yourself some serious money in the process.

What is the Giant’s Causeway?

Countless volcanic basalt columns, most of which stand tall with hexagonal edges, can be found slowly being eroded by the harsh North Irish ocean waves.  Disappearing into the ocean, they also rise up to 12 metres high and their undulating formation calls for visitors to explore.

The Causeway was formed 50 to 60 million years ago and as legend would have it, the columns we see today are the remnants of a causeway built by a giant – hence the literal name of the site.

Where to Park to Access the Giant’s Causeway for Less

Ouch – You want how much?

If you’re keen to part with your money, parking is available at the visitor centre for £10.50 per adult (or £9 each if you get organised and book online).  This entrance fee includes access to the visitor centre, a guided tour of the site (or audio guide) and of course, parking.

Should you wish to take the shuttle but from the vistior centre down to the Causeway (or back up), you’ll be looking at an additional few pounds each in each direction.

Getting Better

The visitor centre themselves now promote a cheaper alternative…

For visitors who do not wish to avail of the facilities on-site, alternative parking is available during peak season at the Railway car park adjacent to the Causeway (£6 per day), from which visitors can walk to the stones for free.

But we can do one better again!

The Price is Right!

We ducked into Finn McCool’s Hostel where they offer parking for £5/car.  It’s easy to see how a car full of adults would be much better off parking here than at the visitor centre (assuming they’re simply wanting access to the cliffs of course)!

Not only is it a little cheaper than the railway but most importantly, it’s open all year round.

We approached the Giant’s Causeway a little unsure as to what to expect.  Having visited the basalt columns in Vik, Iceland (and loving them), we couldn’t help but wonder if we’d be greeted with a sense of ‘been there, done’ that but we couldn’t have been more wrong.  We had a fantastic morning wandering the beach, admiring Northern Ireland’s stunning natural beauty.

If you find yourself in the area (or even in Dublin as we were), we’d definitely suggest hiring a car and getting yourself out to the cliffs.

5 thoughts on “Access the Giant’s Causeway for up to 90% Off! Northern Ireland on a Shoestring

  1. Eva says:

    Hey! Been meaningto come back here and thank you for mentioning Finn mcCool hostel. I stumbled upon this post of your when I was planning my trip there and I was desperately trying to find a way to save some money as well as a chance to visit inthe early morning. That hostel was the answer to all my questions! Being guests there, we didn’t even have to pay the parking. So we arrived the night before, left our car there, slept, got up early enough to be sure we would be alone on the Causeway (and we were as that was even before the visitor centre’s opening hours!).
    So thank you for recommending this place. Not only for the parking. It was a game saver tosave and beat the crowds!

      • Eva says:

        Oh yes very much! Photographing the Giant’s Causeway was a dream come true and after seeing the basalt columns full of people in Iceland I didnt want to make the same mistake in Northern Ireland. I wanted to have the chance to photograph the nature alone with no humans. And I did. And I love all the photos I brought back! So thanks again 🙂

  2. Corina says:

    Another wee tip from a Kiwi living in Northern Ireland. You can park ‘free’ in the main Giant’s Causeway car park if you can produce a receipt from the Causeway Hotel that shares the space. Call in for lunch (their seafood chowder and wheaten bread is worth it) or just a coffee. One receipt per vehicle is all you need, amount charged has never been questioned. When driving in, say you’re going to the hotel. They’re suppose to check your receipt on the way out of the carpark but we’ve done this numerous times and never been checked, yet. Happy Travels!!

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