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8 day Ireland Itinerary


I have come up with the following June itinerary and would love feedback!

Day 1:
Fly into Dublin at 7:45 a.m.
See Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Chester Beatty Library, St. Pat's Cathedral, Guinness tour (stay in Dublin)

Day 2:
Day trip to Newgrange, Irish music pub crawl that night (stay in Dublin)

Day 3:
Drive down to Glendalough, then to Kilkenny Castle (stay in Kilkenny)

Day 4:
Head to Waterford for museum and tour of Waterford Crystal
Drive to Cashel for Rock of Cashel
Drive to Kinsale (stay in Kinsale)

Day 5:
Blarney Castle
Killarney National Park (stay in Kenmare)

Day 6:
Ring of Kerry (stay in Dingle)

Day 7:
Dingle Peninsula (stay in Dingle)

Day 8:
Drive up to Cliffs of Moher and Burren (stay in Bunratty)

Day 9:
Fly out of Shannon airport in the morning

Posted by
9363 posts

A few thoughts:

Day 1: I would not waste time or money on the Guinness Storehouse. You see nothing of the brewing process, it's just one long buying opportunity for the same Guinness souvenirs that you can buy anywhere in Ireland. Oh, there is that "free" pint at the end, but if you get a dreary day you don't get much of a view.

Day 4: The Waterford crystal factory closed several years ago and has been replaced with a downscaled "workshop" and store. I don't know that they have a real tour like they did before, but friends have said that they no longer have the crystal that is not exported, so you can see the same pieces at home. I haven't been since the factory closed, though, so I don't know. Since you will be in Cashel, you could also stop in Cahir to see the castle in the middle of the river there (my favorite castle). It's right on the road between Cashel and Cork. You will be backtracking if you stay in Kinsale that night and then go to Blarney the next day. In spite of what others may say, I love Blarney. The grounds are beautiful, the castle ruin is interesting, and there is good shopping across the street.

Day 6: Have a backup plan for this day in case rain or fog keep you from seeing anything on the RoK. When this happened to us, we ended up spending the day in Kenmare.

Posted by
386 posts

I don't agree with Nancy regarding the Guinness Storehouse. It's true that you don't see any of the brewing process, but frankly, we enjoyed it (even my wife, who doesn't really care for beer). There are a couple of interesting exhibits, including the history of Guinness advertisements. We were there on a weekend and they had live music in their pub-style restaurant. It's true to some extent that it is a big souvenir stop, but it isn't a waste of time at all if it is your thing. And the view at the top, even on a dreary day, is still pretty nice.

On day 2, if you have time (and I think you will), I would highly recommend going to the Kilmainham Gaol. It's a fascinating history lesson. One of our favorites from Dublin.

I agree with Nancy with respect to Waterford, I'd skip it and head straight to Cashel, and then find something else that interests you on the way to Kinsale.

Make sure you have the energy to stay out relatively late in Dingle - it's music scene is the best in Ireland in my humble opinion, at it doesn't pick up until around 9 p.m.

Posted by
3 posts

Wonderful responses, thank you! My grandma loves Waterford crystal, so it seems sad to skip that town, but if there isn't much to it anymore, perhaps we would just make those purchases elsewhere in Ireland.

I'm very excited for Dingle! We may be too tired to stay up very late for the music, but we will certainly try! :)

Posted by
9363 posts

I second the suggestion to see Kilmainham Gaol. It is definitely worth your time. Also, you might consider trying the hop-on hop-off bus. The red one has live narration. The whole route takes about 90 minutes and gives you a nice overview of the city.

Posted by
107 posts


You might want to buy an advance ticket for the tourist bus in Dublin. It will take you to all the places you want to see and even all the way to the Gaol.

If possible, include Trim or the Hill of Tara on your trip up to NewGrange. Start your pub crawl at the sedate, but authentic, Palace Bar at 21 Fleet Street. And don't omit Davy Byrnes.

Read "McCarthy's Pub" before you go.

Posted by
146 posts

We stopped at the Waterford Showroom on our last visit. Since we had taken the tour on a previous trip we just looked at all the beautiful items and displays in the very upscale showroom, had tea in the cafe, and bought a few gifts. I think it is an interesting place to visit if you like Waterford Crystal. Waterford Crystal (to include some items no longer made) is in one place, they make it easy for you to purchase and will ship it home (for a fee of course).

There is a tour offered. I think there is a small fee for the ticket. The tour shows artists working on larger specialized pieces (some one of a kind) and takes you through the process of how Waterford Crystal is made. Some of the detailed work is now automated and you will see that too. It is not the same tour given at the factory years ago, however we found it interesting. We particularly liked seeing the specialized pierces found at the end of the tour to include a beautiful piece honoring the 9/11 rescue workers.
Many Waterford crystal pierces are no longer made in Ireland. If you see a piece you like make sure to check the bottom to determine where it is made. The employees will not generally tell you where the crystal pieces are made so you need to do that yourself if this matters to you. Also, tour buses line up to drop off their passengers at the showroom/factory. Try to get there early or in the late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

Posted by
552 posts

I'm not going to add much other than to say I would also skip the brewery. Also, in Kinsale there was a small crystal place run by former Waterford Employees. Can't recall the name of it, though. I had some of the best fish and chips ever down on the dock in Kinsale, and on the outskirts of town is Charles Fort that has a fascinating walking tour. I did a jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park that started with a boat tour across the lake from Killarney. I really enjoyed it, even if it did pour rain!