My daughter and I are spending a little over a week in Ireland in the beginning of March. We are flying in and out of Dublin with a hotel in Dublin lined up for the first 5 nights (free through husband). I’d like to visit 1 more location by taking a train. I’m thinking Galway because of easy access and then we could explore from there. Any suggestions on lodging for us in Galway and tour providers or easy day trips without a car would be appreciated. Thank you!
We spent a week in May in southwest Ireland in a great B&B outside Waterville--on the Ring of Kerry. It's the Irish countryside that is appealing to me--much more than Dublin and the bigger cities. And it's a country best seen with a rental car.
With so little time Galway probably is your best option. There are lots of guided day trips you can do from there: Cliffs of Moher/Burren, Connemara/Kylemore Abbey, Aran islands. Five days in Dublin might be more than you need, and the day you travel to Galway will use up half of one day so it might be best if you added a day to Galway if you can, plus you will need time to return to Dublin for your flight home.
Wild Atlantic Way Day Tours offers several tours from Galway. I took both the Connemara, and the Cliffs of Moher/Aran Island tours back in 2017. My only disappointment was the cancellation of the Aran Island ferry due to stormy weather - they more than made up for the disappointment with an alternative visit to the Aillwe Caves. Of the two, my favorite was the Connemara trip, but then again....I'm glad I didn't have to choose just one!
Check the Bus Eireann website http://www.buseireann.ie/ for timetable and fares if you prefer a DIY bus trip out to the Cliffs of Moher from Galway - it would be Route 350.
As for lodging, I stayed out in Salthill at the Rockbarton Park Hotel for the peace and quiet of the area, but I imagine most folks would advise staying in Galway for a full experience of the town.
Jury’s Inn Galway. Good location, reasonable price.
I suggest day trips such as New Grange while you are staying in Dublin. I second the recommendation of the Wild Atlantic Way day tour of Connemara from Galway.
However, if you are flying out on your 8th day, and need to be in or near Dublin on your 7th night, that would leave just one night in Galway or elsewhere if you stick with the first 5 nights in Dublin. If that is the case, then you might look into the 2-day tours offered by Paddywagon tours. They leave and return to Dublin with one night in Galway (or Killarney area) and include Connemara (with Galway) or, I think, Dingle (with Killarney). I did not try any of these because I had more time, but I looked into them at one point for without-car options.
Thanks for the suggestions.! I’m not counting my arrival day. I actually have 9 nights in Ireland. So I have 3 nights in Galway for now and the last night in Dublin to catch my plane home. We are going to do a day trip to New Grange from Dublin and maybe another to Howth. We definitely want to see the Cliffs of Moher and wondering if we should spend one night in Doolin before doing that and staying just 2 nights in Galway or seeing the Cliffs on a tour from Galway.