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3 Days in Dublin & 5 days self drive stay in B&B's

I'm taking my twin college age grandsons (19 years old) and my daughter to Ireland for 8 days. One of the boys is studying law enforcement and the other is studying Physical education. Their family roots are from Ireland with sir names of O'Donnell and MacLaughlin so this is a very special trip for them. We have 3 days upon arrival in Dublin and then a rental car and vouchers for 5 nights in B&B's and departure from Shannon International airport (Departure at 11:00 AM).

What recommendations do you have for touring in Dublin? I'm thinking a walking tour, the book of Kells in Trinity Library, Guinness storehouse, Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl, Tour of Trinity College, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, Wax Museum, Aviva Stadium or Croke Park Stadium and GAA museum. Is this too much to pack in to 3 days? I also wondered if the Hop on Hop off bus is a good idea to get an overview of the city. Is the Dublin Pass a good value or not so much?

On days 4-9 I'm up in the air... I'm thinking I'd like them to see Brú na Bóinne, the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Waterford Crystal?(or crystal cutting somewhere else in our travels), Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, and Galway. Where would you recommend we stay along the way as I'm not sure how far the distances are and what sites can be best accomplished as day trips. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Posted by
340 posts

In short, yes, I think that's wayyyy too much to pack into a couple of days in Dublin, even though you have young people with lots of stamina along. I would skip the Guinness Storehouse. It's not an actual manufacturing facility anymore, and it's not really that interesting (and this from a Guinness lover!). To me, the Book of Kells and the Long Room at Trinity are musts, as are Kilmainham Gaol, the National Gallery and Chester Beatty library. Pub crawl and music are great for this age. Definitely Bru Na Boinne, I personally would skip Blarney Castle and Waterford Crystal, but I think your young people would love Dingle town and Slea Head drive. Dingle proper has pubs and music, plus lots of historical and ancient sites on the drive, as well as gorgeous views. I prefer it to Ring of Kerry. Cliffs of Moher and the Burren are worth the drive as well. I would stay in Dingle for a couple of nights, and maybe a night or two to go to Galway and the Aran Islands, seeing the Cliffs and Burren along the way. That's really all you will have time for. Whatever you choose, it's sure to be wonderful with your grands along.

Posted by
9363 posts

I, too, would skip the Guinness Storehouse. I would also skip the wax museum. Kilmainham needs to be booked ahead online, and will take a couple of hours by itself. The HOHO bus takes about 90 minutes and is a great overview. Take it once around, then use it as transportation. Not sure what you expect to see at the stadiums unless you are going to a game (to me, a stadium is a stadium). Look at www.viamichelin.com to get an idea of distances and drive times (add 25% to their time estimates, though).

Posted by
48 posts

We were in Ireland last October and I just booked our tickets to return this October. Three accommodation recommendations...the Trinity Hotel, across the street from Trinity College, Lawcus Farms B&B, a working farm not far from Kilkenney and the Greenmount House in Dingle. Not sure that we are returning to Dingle, even though it was wonderful, but we are returning to the other two on our trek to the Northwest Coast.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for your suggestions ... I have made a reservation at Lawcus Farms for one night and in Dingle town for 2 nights. I am still working on 2 nights in Galway.

Your suggestions were a great help!

Posted by
3 posts

What sights do you recommend from stay in Kilkenny at Lawcus Farms?

Posted by
14454 posts

In Dublin, the Archeology Museum is excellent (and free). Dublinia is fun for all ages and you learn a lot about Viking history.

Posted by
340 posts

From Kilkenny/Lawcus, Kells Priory, Jerpoint Abbey (do the tour with the docent which I believe is free), Mosse Pottery and the glassblowing studio. Mark will draw you a map. The Indian takeaway in the village of Thomaston is excellent, and the pub across the street is good for a pint. In Kilkenny itself, the Castle and Craft Guild, the Butterslip.

Posted by
3 posts

Hi
I think your trying to cram to much of dublin in three days .id recommend to blank guinnness s the stadium tours .also the wax musuem is pretty boring. You realy need to do kilmainham jail .tour takes no more than a hour for 6 euro. Plus since this is our 100 years since war of indepence .loads of interesting tours to do .dublins pretty easy city to get around .the viking splash tour is quiet fun to do .