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7 days in Ireland - ideas, concerns, tips, suggestions please!!

Hello everyone! I will be flying into Dublin soon and I will have an almost full 7 days in Ireland (not including flights). I have been researching different sites that I would like to visit. I am currently creating my itinerary and I realize it will likely change as I travel, but I am okay with this! I will be backpacking, staying in hostels, and will not be renting out a car as I am on a bit of a budget.

I was wanting to get ideas and suggestions from locals or people who have visited for my journey. Before I start planning activities on specific days, I wanted to put down my overall travel plan and see what you all think.

Here is what I have so far:
Day 1: Arriving in Dublin at 10am.
-I plan to spend this day in Dublin exploring the city and local parks, breweries and pubs.

Day 2 & 3: Use Irish Rail to South Ireland.
-I was thinking of spending the next two days in Cork to explore the surrounding areas.

Day 4 & 5: Use Irish Rail to Galway
-I have heard many great things about Galway and it's attractions so I was thinking of spending two days here as well. I wanted to visit the Cliffs of Moher, Arran Islands, and I heard about Lough Key Forest Park in Roscommon!

Day 6: Use Irish Rail to Belfast
-I am a huge fan of GOT and wanted to visit some of the filming locations. I have heard great things about the Titanic site and Giant's Causeway, so I wanted to look into these as well.
-Late in the day, maybe around 9pm, I wanted to use the Translink transportation system to get to Derry in order to be closer to Donegal and the Cliffs of Slieve League.

Day 7: Travel from Derry to Killybegs
-Travel from Killybegs to Cliffs of Slieve League
-I have read that this is not a short trip and can take all day, which I am okay with as I have also read that Donegal is a gorgeous part of Northern Ireland.
-Catch a very late ride through Translink (they have one for 2am to 6am) to the Dublin Airport for my flight

Day 8: Fly out

Now I realize there are potentially many flaws with my plan so far lol, but that is why I am reaching out! Do you all think I would simply feel too rushed with this plan? Are there certain things I am not taking into account? I do know the travel times/check-ins at hostels will take some time. Should I re-think my stay in certain places for others? Please let me know what you think!

The things I want to do for sure are:
-Explore Dublin, visit Belfast and the GOT sites and see the Cliffs of Moher and the surrounding areas around Galway. I love hiking and sightseeing.

All ideas, concerns, suggestions, etc. are welcome! Also, if you have some kind of itinerary that worked great for you, please feel free to share it as I am welcome to exploring different avenues for this trip!

Posted by
185 posts

Days 6 & 7 are pretty impossible unless you want to spend all day on buses and trains. You cannot enjoy the entire island in a week, need to rethink this plan I'm afraid.

Posted by
243 posts

I think that you may need to limit your travel days. Train travel across the country may eat up the greater part of the day.

I saw that you love hiking. Just got back from NI and did a 12 mile hike along the coast. Just stunning with quite a bit of elevation. There are several points along the coast that you can catc the rambler bus to take you back to lodging.

I think that Donnegal is not easy to get to by public transportation but other posters can give more accurate info. I do know that driving takes quite a bit of time unless you are on the main highways.

Posted by
970 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
I concur. Limit your travel days. You can't get all over Ireland in one week or even two weeks. Two pints surrounding a pub grub dinner in a small pub will be worth more than seeing or trying to see Belfast.

And I have never really found Galway all that enchanting. To me it is just a city. Now Clifden or Westport. Those are nice. Or Ennis which is really nice.
wayne iNWI

Posted by
15058 posts

note - the OP has posted a new thread with a lot of changes in his/her plan.

Sadly I only discovered this after writing a lengthy reply, which I erased because it turned out to be irrelevant.