So you’re thinking about visiting Ireland? Good choice! I’ve drawn up a rough plan of a route you could take around the country - hitting all of my favourite spots along the way. For the sake of argument, I’ve made this a 10 day plan, of course, you can spend more time in some places than others but this should give you a rough idea! Remember, driving from Dublin (on the east coast) to Galway (on the west) takes only 2.5 hours so 10 days gives you a good amount of time to see all of the ‘must- see’s ! (I also write this with the assumption that you'll be flying into Dublin. If not, you can just change your starting point and still reach each of these places.)
I would definitely stay at least 3 days in and around Dublin. There's a huge amount to see there. My #1 for Dublin would be the Guinness Storehouse. It's absolutely amazing and ends with a complimentary pint of the black shtuff that you can enjoy in the 360 bar; a large circular glass room giving you a 360 degree view of the entire city. It's absolutely unbelievable! Tickets are usually available at the door but it’s no harm to book your tickets before hand.
Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) is also in Dublin. This will definitely require tickets being booked in advance. The prison is a huge part of Irish history and the tour is very moving. It’s very interesting. If you’d like more information about the Gaol, we have a blog with information from a recent trip! You can find it here!
Trinity College is located in the heart of Dublin and is a beautiful old building that you can walk around. It also houses the Book of Cells and the Trinity College Library which are both well worth a look.
Besides that, there is plenty more to see around Dublin including the GPO (General Post Office - very historic), Grafton Street, the Spire and much much more. About 45 mins North of Dublin, is Newgrange - a huge Neolithic building. The architecture is stunning. It's a really amazing structure that was built around 3200 BC!
3 days should be enough to see Dublin and the surrounding area and of course, you can break that up into a few days when you arrive and a few at the end before you fly out if you wish!
I would then consider driving South West towards Kerry. You could stop off in Cork along the way - it's a beautiful city. You could spend a day there or at least an afternoon before heading to your hotel or B&B in Kerry.
Kerry (and the surrounding area) is full of beautiful sites such as:
Killarney National Park: This area of land is just stunning. Full of lovely walks through the forests, hills and mountains. You can see all of the lovely flora and fauna. It's really something special.
The Ring of Kerry: This is a very famous and scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula. It's 179km-long so you probably won't be able to do all of it, but you can use it on your way to see Kerry's other sites. It'll take you along the cliffs and seaside villages.
Skellig Michael: An unbelievable island off the coast of Kerry! Star Wars was recently shot there due to it's unusual little stone huts and jagged surface. It was once a monastery in the 8th century but it's now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This will definitely require booking tickets in advance!
I would then head North towards Galway along the coast of Clare! You'll get to stop along the way to see the Cliffs of Moher. I can't really describe the cliffs - they're simply amazing and probably my #1 favourite spot in Ireland. Just incredible and on your way.
I would spend the next few days in Galway and the surrounding areas. Galway itself is very cute - the quintessential Irish town full of great pubs and live music. You'll find great pubs and live music everywhere of course but Galway is special and is located on a beautiful bay. You could take a day trip out into Connemara which is a large valley full of beautiful sights: river, lakes, waterfalls, flora and fauna. Connemara is very close to where I'm from! Connemara is also home to Kylemore Abbey, a huge castle/monastery that is built at the base of a hill surrounded by gorgeous lakes and rivers. You could take a tour - it's lovely!
By this time, you can start heading back towards Dublin. Like I said, the journey only takes 2.5 hours so it's no huge deal. Here's a rough outline of the journey!
I hope this helps and always feel free to contact us if you have any questions - we’re always happy to help!Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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