My husband and I will be in Ireland in June both before and after a cruise to Iceland. Before the cruise we'll have about a day and a half in Dublin; afterwards, we're staying for 3 more days and planned to rent a car (I've driven in Ireland before, so I know what to expect). We are flying in and out of Dublin; I can't do anything to change that.
He is not particularly interested in castles, churches, museums, or history; I travel in Europe without him most of the time for that reason. But he enjoys wandering in interesting towns and seeing dramatic scenery. I also expect him to enjoy trad music sessions, because he's an amateur folk musician. Of course there will be music in the pubs in Dublin, but in my past experience, the sessions are more authentic and more fun outside Dublin.
If we had more time, I'd take him to Dingle, but given our short time that's pretty far. Is there any small-to-medium town closer to Dublin that's fun to explore on foot and offers a good supply of live music, even on weeknights? (We'll be there Monday through Wednesday nights.) I thought of Kilkenny, but I wasn't sure if we could count on finding sessions outside of weekend nights.
Or would Galway make sense as a compromise? It's not exactly what I have in mind, but there are lots of interesting small towns nearby, and they'd have music in the evenings.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.