Ireland- Must sees?

2,061 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 28 days ago by RAT90
Legend
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I will have 10 days (starting in Dublin) in June with my wife and two high school aged kids. I hear we don't want to spend too much time in Dublin. The trip can end anywhere that I can fly back to London for a few days there before returning to US (I don't need London itinerary).

What are the true highlights? I would rather go fewer places than feel like we are on the move every single day and packing/repacking.

I know different people will have different suggestions and we probably can't go wrong, but would appreciate any tips. I also don't want to spend the whole trip driving a rental car on the wrong side of the road rushing from site to site or town to town. I'd like to be able to relax a little and enjoy a few pints at the pub.


TW1993
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Spend a couple of days in Dublin, but for us the real Ireland is out in the country and small towns. Dingle is great. The Ring of Kerry or the Beara Peninsula. Highly recommend taking the ferry over to Kilronan in the Aran Islands for a day or two. The Connemara area is beautiful. Really enjoyed Kilkenny and The Rock of Cashel. If they are still doing the boat trips over to the Skellig Islands from Portmagee, definitely want to consider doing that. If you haven't used them before, Rick Steves guidebook for Ireland will definitely help with planning a trip.
Harry Stone
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basically all of western ireland is great, from sligo to kilarney.
yocod
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Consider renting a car once you leave Dublin. All the other cities are very easy to get around/park, and driving on the left is fairly easy once you get going. Maybe avoid a manual transmission if you go that route. On our last visit, I believe we took a train to Cork and spent a few nights, then rented a car at the airport there and went on to do the Ring of Kerry, and an overnight in Killarney. From there, we went up and stayed at Dromoland Castle, which has a lot of on-site, outdoor activities, but is also very close to Limerick and Ennis, and not far from Galway for a day trip. If you're out that way, the Cliffs of Moher are a bit obligatory, and worth it, especially if you're driving and not stuck with a group. Plus, all that is close to Shannon which will fly you to London. Oh, also Glendalough, outside of Dublin, is awesome. Slainte!
Wahoo82
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Lookup Liam Bourke's Ireland. May be a bit hard to find but he is on tripadvisor now. Give him a call or email and he can design you a fantastic tour of places often seen and those unseen based on your preferences. He seems to know everyone in Ireland and they all know and like him.
AggieZUUL
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Most valuable tip of the day: Get additional car insurance... 80% chance you break off a side mirror on the country roads.

Killarney is one of my favorite areas in Ireland. The Muckross House is worth a tour.

As previous poster said, Dingle is amazing.. Have a pint or four at Dick Mack's.
Of course, Cliffs of Moher are spectacular. The golf is a must, particularly the local courses... expect to pull your clubs. I played a round at Newcastle West just south of Adare and it's in the middle of nowhere. Quintessential Ireland right there.
BwdAg
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Fly to London from Knock.

Drive Northern Ireland (game of thrones) and do Galway.

Or drive to dingle like mentioned above. Go to Aran island. Drive over the pass to Galway and the fly out of knock.

wessimo
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https://texags.com/forums/54/topics/3093730/replies/62143452#62143452
Ags2013
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I am headed in late March and booked hotels around itinerary one on this website. I'm not going to completely follow it but it seemed interesting. Particularly Wicklow and Kilkenny.

https://www.theirishroadtrip.com/one-week-in-ireland/
aggiedata
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Do not kiss the Blarney Stone! This is not an Irish tradition but an American one. My Irish co workers make it a point to remind me of their drunken antics. I would advise anyone against it.
arrow
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Ireland was our first trip to Europe so there was a lot of novelty to simply sitting in pubs, drinking Guinness and Smithwick's, and listening to music. I'd like to go back and do more of just that.

Hiking the Gap of Dunloe area, Midleton Distillery Tour, and the Rock of Cashel were highlights for me.
Cliffs of Moher are iconic and worth it if you have time.

We loved Dublin and Killarney. We also stayed in Cork and Galway.


ETA:
We took a train south out of Dublin to get a car in Wexford. Then drove clockwise around and flew out of Shannon.
StinkyPinky
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arrow said:

Ireland was our first trip to Europe so there was a lot of novelty to simply sitting in pubs, drinking Guinness and Smithwick's, and listening to music. I'd like to go back and do more of just that.

Hiking the Gap of Dunloe area, Midleton Distillery Tour, and the Rock of Cashel were highlights for me.
Cliffs of Moher are iconic and worth it if you have time.

We loved Dublin and Killarney. We also stayed in Cork and Galway.


ETA:
We took a train south out of Dublin to get a car in Wexford. Then drove clockwise around and flew out of Shannon.
This. I travel to Ireland (Galway) twice a year for work and would agree with this.
MookieBlaylock
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Go to a Hurling match greatest sport you have never seen
CoolaidWade
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I just got back two days ago and had a blast. Was only there for three days but loved it.

Just did Dublin, Galway, and saw the Cliffs of Moher. Would recommend all three.
twk
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Quote:

Most valuable tip of the day: Get additional car insurance... 80% chance you break off a side mirror on the country roads.
Blue star for you. I wasn't driving but we did manage to break off the side mirror (on a parked car in a small town). If you've never driven on the left, the key is to hug the center line because that's the only distance you can judge properly. We never got off on any tiny country roads, but I could see those being a real problem as well. Same rule would apply -- get as close as you can on the right side because you have no hope of accurately judging the left.
EMY92
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I did not get the additional insurance when I went. My credit card is one of the few that covers insurance in Ireland.

The roads are extremely narrow. One the Ring of Kerry, the Jetta I was driving was hitting the lane marking turtles on both sides. When you get off the major routes, the roads get narrower. You can easily tell if the oncoming driver is a local, they don't slow down. Folks not used to driving on the left slow to a crawl.
Duckhook
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To confirm what others have said about driving/car insurance, this is considered a 2-way road in Ireland.
elizabethoblock
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Rent a car and drive to the Cliffs of Moher, the drive is really pretty and the cliffs are not far from Gallway, which was really fun and the food was really good. Its a great day trip, and especially if you are going in the summer when the weather is nicer.
RAT90
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Driving in the country is great and as others have said it just takes some time to get used to it. However, try to avoid driving in the country at night. It is pitch black and can be daunting, especially if the road looks like the picture above - trees and hedges/overgrowth on a road that fits two vehicles sparingly.
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