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What's the deal with Dingle?

Hello all! My boyfriend and I are headed to the British Isles for 4 weeks in May and June - the last 9 days are for Ireland. I recently came across Dingle on this site, including how Rick considers it a must see. It seems very quaint and scenic, but what do you do there? Shop? Eat? Stroll? Explore the countryside? Visit the dolphin?

We're pretty adventurous 20somethings, so I'm not convinced yet that Dingle is our style, AND we won't be renting a car. Since I have roots in Ireland, I know I'll be coming back. Should I save Dingle for when I can properly explore it with a car?

Our other Ireland plans include a few days in Belfast and a day tour to Derry and Giant's Causeway, Galway and a day tour to the Cliffs/Burren, and 3 days in Dublin.

Thank you in advance for your advice!

Posted by
8700 posts

Since your other stops are in Northern Ireland and the northern part of the Republic of Ireland, it might be a better use of your time if you skip Dingle--for now. But definitely include it next time--and do it by car.

Since you're going to be in Galway, if you have time to fit it in you might enjoy a tour of Connemara.

If you don't already have a copy, I recommend that you buy the brand new edition of the Lonely Planet Ireland guidebook. LP guidebooks are more thorough than Rick Steves guidebooks and include more things of interest to younger adults.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks, Tim! That sounds like great advice!

Posted by
1659 posts

Here's another vote for save Dingle for some other time. Spend your extra days in County Galway, enjoying Connemara and taking a day trip out to the largest of the Aran Islands. Clifden is a pleasant small city at the western end of Connemara. We always use a car, so I don't know how to get around there without one. A good website for your planning is

Posted by
31435 posts


I agree with the others! You have a fairly "full" Itinerary this time, so it would be better to leave Dingle for a future visit when you can spend more time.

I would definitely recommend a stop Dingle. Although I'm long past being a "20 something", it's one of my favourite places in Ireland. It's a great town for Pubs and Irish music, and there are some interesting historic sites in that area ( the Gallarus Oratory and the Blasket Islands, among others). The Blasket Islands Interpretive Centre provides an interesting look at the history of the islands.

Happy travels in Ireland!

Posted by
180 posts

Kara-- one more vote for waiting until next time. My husband and I are 20 somethings, and we went lsat year and loved Dingle-- but it wouldn't have been NEARLY the same without a car. We drove the Connor pass, parked and hiked around....and drive at our own pace along the entire dingle peninsula, which I think you'd like. As others have mentioned, there are great pubs in Dingle as well. Enjoy your time in Ireland-- I can't wait to go back :)

Be sure to check out as many pubs as you can in Galway, there are some really interesting ones there!

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you all for the advice! I'm really happy about the consensus! And Erin - we'll be sure to check out Galway's pubs! Thanks!

Posted by
319 posts

I agree that Dingle is best left for another time, but it is a great place to visit.

What do you do there? Drive or bike the Slea Head peninsula, which is beautiful coastal scenery and also a number of interesting historical and cultural sites. Stop by one of the many pubs for music and conversation. Enjoy a great meal of the freshest possible seafood at Out of the Blue. Visit the beach at Inch. And, yes, stroll the streets in town and soak up the atmosphere.

It's the quintessential small Irish town.

Posted by
333 posts

I wouldn't bother with Dingle without a car and it would be quite a bit of journey from the other destinations.

I'd stick to Belfast, Derry City and Galway if your looking for nitelife. Dublin is also good but it will cost you a lot more than in the North