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Need help with itinerary for early spring trip to Ireland

Hello! I am finally fulfilling a life-long dream to travel to Ireland and am just about bursting at the seams to get out on the road. That said, it has been very difficult to pare down our trip to be able to make the best use of our time and also to not attempt too much. I'd love to have a few tips on what experienced Irish travelers think of our plan. As a side note, we will not be renting a car, so all travel will be train/bus.

March 26 - arrive in Dublin, we plan to see at least Guinness this day so as to be able to keep moving upon arrival. We are staying near St. Stevens' Green, so we will probably explore that area a bit. This is only an overnight, because we are flying out to London the next day. (long story, but flights were much cheaper for us to break up this way, and I have a dear friend that lives in London, so we will spend a few days with her...)

March 27 - March 30 - London, fly back into Dublin on the 30th and take the train to Galway.

March 31 - Connemara tour

April 1 - Aran Islands day tour

April 2 - Cliffs/Burren day tour then onto Limerick

April 3 - Bunratty (by bus on our own) and open afternoon

April 4 - We are still working on this one...either Adare or other similar option and then train/but to Dublin, or just head into Dublin and perhaps explore Dalkey.

April 5 - Dublin (perhaps trip out to Tara?)

April 6 - Dublin

April 7 - fly home out of Dublin

Thoughts, suggestions??

Sharon and Kip

Posted by
9361 posts

You lost me at Guinness. I really wouldn't waste the time or money on that. St Stephens' Green is at the end of Grafton Street, a great place to wander and listen to the ever-present buskers. At the other end is Trinity College, another good place to go. The Temple Bar area can also keep you busy on that first day, or walk down the other direction to see the Georgian houses.

For your longer period in Dublin I would definitely suggest you see Kilmainham Gaol and the National Museum (the archeaology one - there are several). The two "standard" day tours from Dublin are to Glendalough and Powerscourt, or to Newgrange and the Boyne River valley.

Posted by
1420 posts

I will second Nancy's excellent suggestions for excursions out of Dublin. Add your April 4th day to Dublin.

Posted by
123 posts

Your Itinerary sounds really well thought out. You didn't loss me at Guinness :) personal the best advise I got before my first trip to Dublin was to go to the Guinness Storehouse the first day, but at last call for the sunset. What a view! To see the sunset over Dublin with the city lights kicking on, it was amazing and only made better my a glass of Guinness ;-)
That said St. Stephen's Green is one of my favorite neighborhoods/areas of Dublin. If you like local pubs with very few tourist (nothing like Templebar in the evening) Dawson Louge is a cute basement bar, the Long Hall (very traditional) and Grogan's are a must stop.
I agree with the must see's in Dublin like Kilmaimham Goal (check if they have any concerts happening besides the tours) and the National Museum. As wells as the Churches.
The Hill of Tara - really nothing unless you have a airplane to see over head. Also hard to get to without a car.
Powerscourt - amazing house, you would have to take a bus to the town Enniskerry to get there. Then all you have to do is walk a short hill. The grounds are worth it.
I know the other lady's didn't suggest this but Howth (very easy train/subway ride away) is a fantastic town and the walks around the peninsula are very romantic and fun. What a view.
The Boyne River Valley - is nothing to write home about, my boyfriend is from Kells which is in the valley. I've spent many a days there, if you don't have a car not worth the few things to see in it.
So that kinda includes Newgrange. It's not that I didn't enjoy it as much it's just was worth the time it took to get there.