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Dublin for 4 days!

Hello, all! A friend and I have spontaneously booked a trip in and out of Dublin, arriving the morning of Dec 29 and departing on the 2nd of January. I know, I know, it is a VERY short trip, but we wanted to do something from our "Bucket List" for the New Year. Any ideas for some winter scenery/ Irish fun would be appreciated. We plan to rent a car, so some day-trips would be fun. We are both well-traveled (lived overseas for 10+ years), but this will be our first time to Ireland, hooray! :) Also, where would be the best place to ring in the new year? Understanding, of course that we are 23 year olds who enjoy acting like 35 year olds and, at times 2yr olds ;) Thanks for the help!
Ashley & Matt

Posted by
977 posts

With 4 days and renting a car the possibilities are endless.
A day in Dublin doing the hop on hoff bus checking out the sights. Evenings spent in Temple Bar or a myriad of other Dublin pubs. A day trip to Glendalough. Could even fit in a day trip to Belfast. Newgrange, Howth, Dalkey, the list goes on.

Posted by
9363 posts

Your flight most likely arrives in the early morning. By the time you get out of the airport (particularly since you are talking about renting a car), it will be more toward midmorning, at least. Your flight home probably leaves in the mid-afternoon. So your "4 day" trip is actually only three full days, plus the afternoon of the first day, and the morning of the last. You might find a lot closed on New Years Day, as well, which will further limit what you can do. You're not going to want or need a car in Dublin. There is fabulous public transportation, little (expensive) parking, and terrible traffic. If you want to take daytrips outside of the city, you would be better off to go with a day tour company, to someplace like Glendalough or Newgrange. Again, they may have limited hours/days during that week. You can find out about those at the Tourist Information desk at the airport. That being said, there is a lot to do in Dublin itself. There are numerous museums, shopping, historical areas like Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College. The Temple Bar area might be the best place for New Years Eve - it is full of pubs and restaurants. Ireland doesn't usually get much snow, though they have already this year. Most likely the weather will be wet and windy. Wear winter coats and be prepared for rain. I have been in Ireland twice in February, and on each trip there was one day that was REALLY cold. Otherwise, it was rainy/misty or overcast much of the time.

Posted by
1957 posts

Agree, do not need car in Dublin at all. See Kilmainhaim Gaol, skip Guiness. Definitely try a tour of Newgrange. And layer clothing, this is necessity. Most flights usually leave in the am going to US, check your tickets. Depends on carrier, I think Continental has one afternoon flight though.

Posted by
484 posts

Not all car rental companies will rent to drivers under 25 and those that do charge an additional fee. It might be a good idea to check on this ahead of time.
Unless you enjoy a mob scene and over priced drinks I would avoid Temple Bar on New Years Eve.

Posted by
635 posts

For your trip I recommend you don't bother to go anywhere but Dublin. You can expect most attractions to be either shutdown or on limited hours during the New Year's holiday period. Check what's open. while you're there before you get disappointed. I would certainly plan on New Year's Eve in the Temple Bar area despite the previous post if you're wanting to be with the young Irish party set. Plan on late sun rise and early sun set. It will probably be cold and wet.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all so much for the suggestions and tips! We have nixed the rental car and are deciding between a few day trips (coach/train) that will still be opperating then.
We have packed for the wet/cold weather-- let's hope our layers stand up to the challenge!

Posted by
3 posts

Hey Ashley - my husband and I are in Ireland right now (in Kilkenny, driving to Dublin tomorrow) and it's just gotten very COLD! We've been here over a week and haven't encountered any rain. Actually, we've had blue sky and "warm" winter temps...until today! There's snow in Dublin right now but by the time you fly in on the 29th it should be melted. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
1035 posts

Since you are not renting a car, consider taking the train to Galway for a day and night. Don't spend all your time in Dublin this time of year.

Posted by
22 posts

Recommend that you check out the shopping in Dublin, along Grafton Street and many of the streets nearby. During a June visit, we went to the theatre and even attended an opera about 20 minutes outside of Dublin. Hanging out in a pub and listening to a session is great fun. I find Irish music haunting. The Temple Bar area is a cool night place to wander about. Also, spend some time in Dublin's St. Stephen's Park.