My husband and I will be in Ireland for 4 days in March. We will also have our 6 kids with us (ages 5-14). Any suggestions on what to do? We are checking on car rental, but not sure we can find a car that will fit us all. Any ideas would be great! We are thinking of flying into Dublin. Thank you!
What kind of an itinerary are you interested in? You do not want or need a car in Dublin so don't worry about that. If you're thinking of a 2 days in Dublin and 2 days exploring I think I would look into day tours. There are many day tours for most of the popular sites from Dublin so it is a real possibility. I'm not a tour kind of person but if it means you don't have to rent a car then it very well may be worth it. If you're thinking of more of a rural, coastal experience you might look at flying into Shannon and skipping the trouble of Dublin. In the rural areas a car becomes more of a necessity to reach the small towns. Once you have an itinerary you could look into car rentals or perhaps a driver. I know it seems extravagant but for a few days of guided travel and not having to drive a minivan on Irelands small roads it might be worth the money and potential gray hair. And once you subtract the price of renting a Transit or something similar it could be worth it for a few days. Hope that helps, if you fill us in on your plans it would help people give more specific advice.
Can you give us some idea of what you like to do? Why were you interested in going to Ireland? What kind of budget do you have? Because of the difficulty of finding a suitable vehicle. you might just consider the two "basic" day trips from Dublin - to Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains, and to Newgrange (Bru na Boinne). You could also take a train to Belfast as a day trip. You will find plenty to do in Dublin, too - Kilmainham Gaol, the National Museum (the one with the bog man and the gold displays), Georgian House tour, hanging out on Grafton St listening to the musicians, shopping.
I think the kids would love the Newgrange/Boyne Valley tour as well as the Glendalough tour from Dublin. Each is a one day tour and leaves from the downtown bus station. We toured with Bus Eirenn (there may be other companies that offer a similar tour from the bus station). The tour was a good value and well paced. Newgrange takes you to ancient tunnel tombs (from about the time of the Great Pyramids). The tour also stops at Hill of Tara, Trim Castle and the site of the Battle of the Boyne. The bus driver isn't a guide but tells you about the area and everything you need to know before you get off the bus at any stop. Glendalough takes you to a monastic settlement (I think from about 500-900 AD) as well as a scenic drive through the Wicklow Mountains. Here's more info: http://www.buseireann.ie/inner.php?id=278
Thank you for the replies so far!! I should have given more info, sorry. We are in the Netherlands for 3 months for my husband's work. We need to make a trip out of the country for a few days (something to do with # of days here, etc.), so we thought Ireland would be a great place to visit:) We really want to see the countryside, coastal areas, castles, just the beauty of Ireland. We will be there in a couple of weeks (the first part of March), so it will still be chilly, but we would prefer to be outside seeing nature rather than museums, etc. Thanks again! We only have 4 days there, so not a lot of time to drive around, we will have to pick just a few things and stick with that for this trip.
We visited the National Stud Farm near Kildare and loved it. If your family likes horses it is really worth a visit-just a gorgeous place and there is a Japanese Garden on the farm that is a delight. The most famous resident is Invincible who is insured for 60 million euros-and he is gorgeous.
"We need to make a trip out of the country for a few days (something to do with # of days here, etc.)," I hope you are not talking about the possibility of overstaying a tourist visa due to the Schengen Agreement. Under that rule, a tourist can only remain in the entire Schengen Zone for a total of 90 days out of any 180. Then you have to leave the Schengen Zone for 90 days before you can reenter. A few days in a non-Schengen area does NOT reset the 90-day clock. Of course, if you are leaving the Zone in order to extend your final leaving date from the Netherlands, that works, too, as long as you don't overstay your total of 90 days.
Nancy: Thanks for that info. We are aware of those issues. We know the date the kids & I have to be gone. My husband's HR department has all of his stuff under control (they are very strict about it:)) and they tell him where he needs to be & when. I don't know the exact details, but I trust what they are doing. This side trip would allow us to stay longer in the Netherlands, only that amount of days though.