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Short trip to Ireland but don't want to stay in Dublin

We will be flying into Dublin but do not want to stay there. My wife & I will be there for 3 full days. We want to explore the country. Trying to decide if we should head over to the Galway area or the Dingle area/Ring of Kerry area. Any ideas for some travelers that want to see some Irish towns. Or do you have another itinerary that would be helpful for us? We will not have a car but will be traveling by train or buses. Would like to take a car but we will be there in July and many of the postings say that it is fairly wild driving in Ireland that time of year. We are open to train/bus tours. Thanks for you responses. This helpline has really been informative for our trip!

Posted by
525 posts

Look into staying in Dun Laoghaire. You can take the train into Dublin for the day then return to a nice, quiet area. My husband and I stayed in a B&B overlooking the water. If you can rent a car, you'd be able to get to the many sights you would pass by on the bus and "wish you could stop to explore". You save so much time having a car especially if you want to get to Dingle. Driving in Ireland anytime of year could be wild but on the secondary roads is calmer.
Good luck in your planning. If you haven't been to Ireland, I'm sure you will love it. We have been 3 times and still want to return.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you Kent & Miss B for your quick reply.

Kent- we are open to both blitzing this trip but probably, if possible, we would like to get to one destination and homebase from there. We really just want a good Irish adventure. I know that it will be quick but we might never get this opportunity again. How can I find the cost of the trains that run throughout Ireland? Did I see that from Dublin to Galway was 41 euros?

Miss B - we want to get a little farther away from Dublin but thanks for your response.

Posted by
9363 posts

Are you booked to fly into Dublin? Flying into Shannon instead would get you to the area you want to see more easily. There is so much to see around the western coast! If you decide to base yourself in or near Dublin, though, I would suggest day trips to the Wicklow Mountains, Powerscourt, and Glendalough, or a day trip to Newgrange and the Boyne River valley. It's going to be really hard to "blitz" much of Ireland in that short a time frame, especially without a car.

Posted by
9363 posts

Dublin Airport isn't served directly by rail. You'd have to take a bus or taxi into town to make connections. Bus Eireann does run directly from the Dublin Airport, as do several coach companies.

Posted by
147 posts

For a one stop shot Bob, and a nice taste of the Irish, I'd opt for Kilkenny. There's several nice places to stay great pubs, nice eateries, good shopping and the town is small enough to get the flavor. They just won the All-Ireland Hurling Championship again, so they're all in a good mood too.

Posted by
10 posts

Hello Bob. You will love Ireland. My husband and I just returned and here are my suggestions, in a nut shell. A must see north of Dublin is Newgrange, great tour and info. Trim Castle was in Trim and they had an excellent tour to go with it. Kilkenny castle and the town itself was a great place, stayed at Bulter court, loved it. We stayed in Dunboyne for several day (husband on business me touring Dublin) and bused into Dublin. We used the heritage pass AND the Heritage Island pass and really got our money's worth. If you have specific questions e-mail me. Bus schedules are available on-line, just a little tricky to understand. Rambler bus tickets were great and gave us a lot of freedom for travel(but mostly in Dublin). You might check out the Rick Steve's tour suggested for Newgrange and see if it includes the hill of Tara and how far north it explores. Let me know if you go to Kilkenny I have two free passes to the castle. Good luck! Ambur :)

Posted by
10 posts

I second Kilkenny! Lovely town. Dingle is great, but you will not have time to go with just three days. Newgrange is a must see. We went there from the airport hotel in Swords for the morning and into Dublin for the afternoon on the same day.

Posted by
48 posts

Bob :

Just got back last week. We did a day trip to Belfast on Bus Eireann round trip for 22 euro from Dublin and saw a little country along the way. That might be an option for an overnighter. Black taxi trip was informative and really something to see. The people of Northern Ireland were very nice as well.

Posted by
1804 posts

Unless you can change your ticket and fly into Shannon to base out of Galway and explore Western Ireland, base yourself in Dublin and sign up for day tours or really look carefully over the train and bus schedules if you don't want to rent a car. Day tours tend to leave pretty early, so you may want to re-think staying in a Dublin B&B or hotel since many tours leave from the city.

I agree with the previous poster...Northern Ireland is terrific. Belfast (or Derry) for a city experience. A walk (or taxi tour) through the Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods where the Troubles occurred gives you perspective on the country's history.

If you want to experience a more scenic Northern Ireland, the Antrim Coast is beautiful - Dunluce Castle and the Giant's Causeway are great for walking and taking photographs. Even in July, bring something warm to wear (it can get pretty windy along the coast) and a really good rain coat with a hood.