10 Days in Ireland: Add Kinsale or Dingle?

I am doing a rough itinerary for 10 days in Ireland (shoulder season 09) to: Dublin, Galway/Burren, Dingle OR Kinsale, on to Cashel and back to Dublin. Dublin aside, we are interested in quiet, music, and historic sights instead of major tourist stops...and we want to spend two nights whenever possible, so I'm thinking to trim Kinsale or Dingle from the trip. Does anyone have advice which should be off the trip this go 'round? Or, should we hit a little more northern instead?

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

You'll be able to make better use of your time if you fly into Shannon and out of Dublin (or the other way around) instead of circling back. I think you'll find more going on in Dingle rather than Kinsale, and Kinsale is a bit out of your way.

Posted by Bill
San Diego
260 posts

Only ten days makes it tough.

Galway is not quiet. It's a raucous college town with plenty of street beggars.
But it is a handy lodging stopover.

The Burren is all about Spring wildflowers.

Connemara is Galway adjacent to the north and quite idyllic. The best meal of our trip was at G's in Clifden. The bars were fun too.

Dingle and Killarney lakes are close together and can be done in 3-ish nights. Rick doesn't swoon over Killarney but the fern-clad forests, Dunlow Gap hike & boat return, and Muckross House were all first rate in my book.

If you don't mind walking, stay at the Mespil in Dublin. Great well-below-rack rates can be found through the right booking site.

Posted by Destiny
Park City, Ut, usa
33 posts

I agree with fly in Shannon and out Dublin or opposite- if you can. I also vote for Dingle but I loved it!!! but 10 days is a short time. I am sure you will be driving --you will be surprised how long it takes to get to places in Ireland that look so easy on a map. Cashel is great-the Burren too- wasnt that fond of Galway but it was for Inish Mor.

Posted by lori
san diego, ca, usa
1 posts

We've visited both and both have their merits. Kinsale is a multiple winner of the "Tidy Town" award, and with its flower boxes,colorful buildings and seaside setting it is very picturesque. The Charles Fort (and James Fort, to a lesser extent) were memorable for their historic significance. Restaurants served fabulous, fresh seafood, Irish cheeses, good wines. Dingle was pretty but Kinsale still kindles the fondest memories.

Posted by Karen
Atlanta
800 posts

Kristen, based on your time, I'd suggest Kinsale over Dingle. We did a 14 day trip with pretty much your same itinerary. It included 3 nights in Dingle and we used it really as our down time - relaxed, split up the group (family of 4) to do different things and just rested. I loved it but I think the best thing was that we had the extra night - it was a long way there and back out again to continue our trip.

Kinsale was very nice and we were there for 2 nights. Had the best meal of our trip at Fishy Fishy. We did the tour of the town for the one full day we had in Kinsale and that was nice and leisurly. We stayed a bit out of town so can't tell you if there was music.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

Dingle has it all: fabulous scenery, great traditional music seesions, and ancient historical sites.

Posted by jack
Sheboygan, Wisc., USA
927 posts

Kinsale is a very nice town but in my humble opinion Dingle is one of the highlights of Ireland.If you stay 2 nights you can use the full day to travel around the peninsula and then have the evening in Dingle Town.

Posted by Nat
New York
4 posts

definitely dingle. I thought Kinsale was not that interesting.

Posted by Tim
Seattle, WA, USA
23 posts

Given the choice, I would choose Dingle over Kinsale - I did enjoy Kinsale but would choose Dingle over Kinsale if forced to choose.