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Where to stay and how long to stay in Ireland!

Hello hello!

My friend and I will be traveling to Ireland in mid June and need some tips on places to stay and how long to stay for!

Here is what we have so far:

12th-15th in Dublin to walk through the city/visit the bars/Guinness Factory (enough time?) (any suggestions on anywhere else to see?)

15-18th in Doolin to view the cliffs of Moher, possibly visit the Aran Islands, and visit the O'Brien Castle (enough time?)

18th-21st in Cork (heard it was beautiful but not exactly sure what to see there)


Would also LOVE tips on easy and cheap transportation options but not looking to rent cars.

Thank you kindly!!!

Posted by
2246 posts

herrera-it looks like you have two full days in Dublin? With that amount of time I'd pass on the Guinness tour, find a tiny pub and hoist a couple there instead. Kilmainham Gaol, the Natural History and Archaeology Museums, St Stephen's Green are all must see's imo. If time, take a day trip to Monasterboice, and Newgrange and Knowth, just north of the city. There are tours that go there for a reasonable cost. Another good day trip is Belfast.
If you are headed to the Cliff's, it might make more sense to go from there to the Dingle Peninsula, instead of all the way back across and south to Cork-transportation becomes the question. Any way to rent a car for a couple of days after getting to the West side of the Isle? If not you'll need to get pretty familiar with the buses and trains before you go.

Posted by
5616 posts

I too advise avoiding the Guinness factory and add Trinity College and the Book of Kells to your Dublin itinerary. Don't miss St. Stephen's Green and have lunch and a pint at The Stag's Head. As far as suggestions if you were to get the RS Guidebook on Ireland you'd discover all sorts of practical info regarding travel in Eire including public transport options.

Posted by
16852 posts

Buying train tickets online is cheaper than in the train station, even on the day of travel, but train won't take you everywhere, so you'll also need to take buses. See Ireland transport tips and links. You can watch Rick's shows about Ireland online, and a recent lecture by the co-author of Rick's guidebook, but the book is where you find the nitty-gritty details.

Posted by
1881 posts

Agree to skip guinness brewery, we felt too expensive and boring. Definitely Kilmainhaim Gaol, our favorite. We have only been to Book of Kells off season but understand in season can be quite a wait. Someone just posted about this earlier so look at that post. Also walk to the GPO and over the Halfpenny bridge just for the history and also go to Christchurch Cathedral. Enjoy.

Posted by
12 posts

I've been to Dublin several times and, in fact, will return in September. While I am hardly an expert I agree that drinking a Guinness is as good as visiting the factory. In my view the Book of Kells at Trinity College is worth multiple visits. Personally, I think the Dublin Castle tour is quite interesting. I fully intend to visit the Kilmainham Gaol and ashamed to say I have not yet been there. And listen to music any night at the Brazen Head.

The bus from Dublin to Galway, and then the connection to the Aran Islands, is easy breezy and a satisfying way to go. The boat over can be great adventure. I've been to Inis Meain twice (Rick doesn't cover it as Inis Mor gets all the glory) and I hesitate to tell anyone how wonderful it is, but if you want total solitude, a bit of walking, an island that you can almost memorize in 2-3 days, dun fortifications (two, in fact), thatched houses and authenticity (all signs are in Gaelic except the ones saying "keep out" or "private"), then Inis Meain qualifies. Lean over the cliff and gasp at the North Atlantic. If you fall over, no one will know. Talk about isolation. If Maire Mulkerrin is still alive, stay at her B&B. She is iconic. But you have to walk to get anywhere. We are talking small and isolated. And lots of limestone.

Trim Castle is worth a visit in my view. It's one of the best preserved Norman castles still in existence in Ireland. And Bru na Boinne/Newgrange is a wonderful day trip. Fabulous history. Take the tour. You can take the bus out of Dublin to the north on an easy day trip to each (one day for each, not in the same day). County Meath is the epicenter of so much ancient Megalithic/Gaelic history and it's wonderfully close to Dublin, just a bus ride away.

Posted by
127 posts

Hi, I just got back from a visit to Ireland back in mid-April. We did 9 days/8 nights. Dubin 2 night, Galway 2 nights, Doolin 1 night, Dingle 2 nights, back to Dublin, 2 nights. One one else has mentioned where to stay. We stayed the the Albany House in Dublin--great location, walking (or bus) distance to everything, and great price--with breakfast. Details in Rick Steve's book, or check them out online. In Doolin--one night is plenty there....we stayed in the Half Door B & B, (another Rick Steves book suggestion), I loved it!! Bright and cheery--with breakfast--walking distance to pubs--Doolin is so tiny!! Very close to the Cliffs of Moher--don't miss them! I also recommend going to to Dingle if you can--two nights stay--much to see and do there, and terrific pubs, music, and good restaturants--be sure and do the "Dingle Loop"--drive to take a tour--lots to see on that loop!! In Dublin, definitely see the Book of Kells and Old Library, St Stephens Green--Albany House is just south of here. Don't miss these pubs: The Brazen Head, (you can stop on your way back from the Kilmainham Goal-recommend!--or Christ Church), The Long Hall--a beautiful pub, and O'Donahuge's!! You will have fun whatever you decide to do!! You cannot go wrong with anything Rick Steve's book recommends (accomdations and food!)..... Karen

Posted by
11 posts

In Doolin, we stayed at the Roadford House B&B on the edge of town. It's also home to a gourmet restaurant. Our breakfasts were spectacular! I also recommend spending a day on Inis Mor.

Posted by
5 posts

We just got back a week ago from Ireland, Scotland and Norway. In Doolin we stayed at a new B&B and it was wonderful. Doolin View B&B. A young couple just bought it a few months ago and they were great hosts. You can see the cliffs from the dining room and livingroom. She grew up just a few miles from Doolin so was able to give great advise on pubs and sites.
Instead of Cork drive 15 minutes south to Kinsale. Small town with great pubs and music. We stayed at the Olde Bakery B&B. Wonderful retired couple who treat you like family, they serve breakfast in the kitchen around a hug table. We drove over to Cobh to see the Titanic exhibit then to Midleton to the Jameson Distillery one day then drove to ring of Kerry the next.

If you stay at either place, be sure to tell them the Texans sent you.....

Posted by
245 posts

3 suggestions:
1) In Dublin, by all means see the Book of Kells, but if you have any interest in ancient books, strongly recommend you go to the Chester Beatty Library near Dublin Castle. It is free, has virtually no lines since it get passed over by most people (despite Rick devoting 3 full pages to it in his Guide). Its an amazingly diverse and beautiful collection of ancient writings and artwork, and IMO makes the few pages you can see at Kells seem a bit limited in comparison.

2) If you want an Irish music experience in Dublin that is much less touristy than Temple Bar and much more like what you really see out in the small town pubs, follow Rick's advice and go to the Cobblestone Pub at Smithfield Square. Do yourself a favor and walk east along the river before you turn north into the Square, its much nicer than walking though dodgy areas like Greek St, Church St, or Mary's Lane that are due west of the Square.
3) If you have any interest in big church architecture or sacred music, follow Rick's advice for the approx 40 minute Evensong service at St Patrick's Cathedral. Its one of the oldest and architecturally best cathedrals in the country, once you've seen it the big churches in other Irish cities pale. And the music is a bonus.

Posted by
9 posts

Agree with other posters find a good pub in Dublin instead of the factory tour. You could take the Dublin Ghost tour which leaves from O'connell Street outside the GPO. That would be fun. Dublin definitely St. Stephans Green, the museums are nearby if you are in Dublin on June 16th it is Bloomsbury day where at Davy Bynres off of Grafton Street, people dress up as characters out of Joyce's Uleyseus. Train and bus travel especially bus isn't that expensive and there are express buses between major cities. Cork City is great good bars and music try pubs on Barrack street or Macurtain Street as well as the local brew Murphy's a finer smoother stout than Guiness.