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First trip to Ireland

This will be my first trip to Ireland and I can hardly contain myself! My husband is going for work and I am going along,even if I have to stuff myself in his suitcase. We will be north of Dublin (8-15 miles)for the 1st 3 days, him working and me doing Dublin. I plan to see as much as humanly possible by myself. I will be walking and using the bus. Any thoughts of what I MUST SEE? Thanks for any and all suggestions!

After his work, we plan to rent a car and travel for 3 days (I KNOW THAT IS NOT ENOUGH TIME) toward the south. Wish me luck on seeing AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!

Posted by
9363 posts

My suggestions for Dublin would be: the hop-on-hop-off bus tour, Grafton St., Kilmainham Jail, 29 Georgian House (a wonderful tour of a Georgian-style house built in the 1700's), the Temple Bar area. For your three days south, the Wicklow Mountains are beautiful, and you could tour Glendalough and Avoca. At Avoca you can actually walk right into the weaving workshops and watch how they weave woolens (whew! say that three times fast!). Arklow, on the eastern coast is an easy drive from Dublin, so you might want to go south through Glendalough and Avoca to Arklow, and go back to Dublin via the coast road. I stayed at a wonderful B&B in Arklow just a block or so from the beach.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you Kim and Nancy for your ideas. I am waiting for Rick Steve's Ireland 2007 book to arrive in the mail and then watch out. I promised my hubby a printed itinerary for each day. He loves the mountains and we will try to hit the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough. Avoca is a new suggestion and I will defiantly check it out! We will try for a stop off at Johnny Fox's pub. I've heard mostly good things. We really do want to hit the Rock of Cashel, Hore Abbey, and I hope Muckross House Abbey. This may be too ambitious and I will refer to RS's guide as soon as I get it for distance! I am very ignorant about the geography of Ireland, but I plan to become of much as an expert as possible prior to leaving the USA. Other mentions have included Jerpoint Abbey, Markree Castle in Collooney and Minard Castle. Again they may just be outside our driving reach. It looks like we will have to be back to Dublin airport by 9-10 a.m. on our departing day. I can't wait & all ideas welcome

Posted by
9363 posts

You'd be better off to forget Muckross House on this trip. It's way in the far southwest of the country and you will be in the middle of the east coast in Dublin.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks Nancy, that is what I thought. No worries, I'll cross it off. I am sure I'll find too many other things. Again thanks for the help. Ambur :)

Posted by
147 posts

you're going to love it. In the Wiklow MTns/ Purple heather grows wild and covers the hillsides. AN incredible picture.

Posted by
4740 posts

One of the things that I most enjoyed in Dublin was a walking tour led by one of the history students at Trinity College. It was one of the best walking tours I have ever taken. The young woman who led the tour was engaging and informative. I learned so much about Irish history and culture in that 2 hour tour. She talked about all kinds of thing ... the church, convents, women, political figures like Michael Collins, President Clinton and the Good Friday agreement, potato famine, etc. I don't know if all their guides are as good as she was, but it would be definitely worth checking into. This would be a good thing to do on your first day as it gives you a good overview of what there is to see in Dublin.

Posted by
389 posts

I love Ireland and can't wait to get back; next time it is my vacation spot. This summer I added Newgrange to my sights and found it really interesting. Depending on where you are staying to the north this might also fit in. It is also called Bru na Boinne and Rick does mention it.
In Dublin I love walking. My dream is a full fledged statue scavenger hunt. I've been there only twice and picked up a few along the way, but the Irish are an expressive people and the statues intrigue me. There are many literary possibilities if you are into that and although I'm trying to just add new info I really enjoyed the hop-on-hop-off bus DRIVERs as they were not only informative but quite the entertainers. One sang "don't fence me in" to us ;-)

Posted by
152 posts

In Dublin, don't miss the statue of Molly Malone, the "tart with a cart", in the Grafton area.

Ditto for Newgrange, north of Dublin, a tour that takes you to some fabulous ancient passage tombs, older than the pyramids, and to the Hill of Tara site where St. Patrick preached. We went with Mary Gibbons Tours; excellent!

Posted by
6 posts

We also did the Mary Gibbons Newgrange-Hill of Tara tour. She also gave out lots of Irish history and we had timed tickets to get into the Newgrange tomb. If you go to the tomb on your own-go early as they only give out so many tickets per day.

Posted by
6 posts

All I could recommend is to have a pint or two in the Long Stone on Townsend St. in Dublin; it is truly the finest place I've had a beer in my entire life.

Posted by
10 posts

Thank you all for your replies. I am in the process of assimulating all your suggestions and info and trying to put together an plan. My husband is a man who appreciates a plan. Something I have come accross on the net is the mention of a "dublin pass" card. Anyone have any info, pros/cons for this? I am a bit skeptical, but would love your inputs. Thanks again and I'll up-date you all as we get a basic plan. Thank you again. Ambur :)

Posted by
147 posts

the walk on walk off circle bus tour is excellent. No worries about parking or driving. Hits all the main spots. Temple Bar is nice but full of tourists.

Posted by
6472 posts

The Book of Kells at Trinity College. Glendalough and the Sally Gap. Walk in and around St. Stephen's Green. Temple Bar is very touristy but if you like then by all means visit it.

Posted by
8 posts

Ambur:
We just got back. Love every minute. If you only have 3 days outside of Dublin, consider flying over to Shannon, and driving from there to Dingle/Ring of Kerry. If you're in Dublin during the weekend, do the pub crawl, and check out Cobblestones Pub. Best spot for music on the weekends.