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Help with Itinerary in Ireland

I will be in Ireland in August with my 20 yr old niece. If we decide not to rent a car, is it easy enough to take buses/coaches from places like Cork to Kinsale or from Cork to Dingle?
We arrive in Dublin. Maybe we should take the train from Dublin to Cork. Then rent a car in Cork and drive to Kinsale, Dingle, and Doolin and drop off the rental car in Shannon. Then take a train back to Dublin.
Does that sound possible?
We arrive in Dublin on Aug 13 and we have to leave from Dublin on Aug 19th. Do we have enough time to do all of this?
I would love some help with my itinerary.

Posted by
40 posts

You should just go ahead and rent a car to begin with - please get an - automatic. I say that considering you are going to be in Ireland such a short time and it looks like you will be going the distance AND in Irish miles at that... You may have to skip Dingle.

Posted by
141 posts

Thanks for the suggestion. I guess I should just rent a car right from the Dublin airport and head out of town right away. I can spend some time in Dublin at the end. I will definitely get an automatic. I have read some of the comments on this forum and it says that driving in Dublin is not fun. Will I run into that problem if I rent from the airport and drive straight to Cork or Galway?

Posted by
135 posts


In the last five years, Ireland has built and opened a number of toll motorways that radiate out from Dublin to the other major cities, including Cork, so provided that you are not too uncomfortable starting out with some driving on the left and in city suburbs, then getting from Dublin to Cork should not be difficult, although you need to give yourself at least three hours or more. However your itinerary sounds too ambitious for the number of days you have available, and you might want to consider scaling it back unless you want to spend virtually every day in the car, for most of the day. I say this because of the nature of the rounds outside the motorway network - if you reach an average speed of forty miles an hour you will be doing well! It's over 100 miles from Cork to Dingle, and another 100 from Dingle to Doolin, assuming you use the Tarbert ferry over the River Shannon - otherwise you can add 50 miles. Given that the roads are scenically interesting in many cases, and likely to be blocked here and there by hay carts, tourist buses and caravans, you are, I think, going to tire yourselves out. And particularly on the Dingle peninsula, you need the freedom of a car to get round in a reasonable time frame. Plan to travel less, and enjoy more!

Posted by
6902 posts

Hi Patti-Is it worth considering flying to either Cork or Shannon and driving/bussing from there? If you're landing in Dublin to begin with, you're already at the airport. Maybe get tickets so you can just hop on the next plane bound for Cork or Shannon. That avoids getting used to Irish driving in Dublin traffic. In Dingle, are you considering renting bikes?

Posted by
141 posts

I think we will rent a car from Dublin airport and drive to Galway, Doolin & Dingle and then head back to Dublin airport, drop off rental car and spend a day and half in Dublin.
Will have to save all of the rest for the next trip to Ireland.

Posted by
154 posts

Looks like you have received some great advice so far. I agree with other travelers that a car will just give you a lot more freedom. When I was much younger and couldn't afford renting a car in Ireland I did get around by bus so it is possible but it took a lot longer. If you want to look at the bus option a little bit closer you can find more information with Bus Eireann.