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14 Day Best of Ireland Tour - Free Time in Dublin?

I'm curious if any of you who have taken this tour recall how much free time you have in Dublin? I'm taking the tour next month & we're meeting the group at the hotel for dinner & a sort of orientation walk on a Sunday evening & on Monday, we do a walking tour that begins at nearby Trinity College & continues through the historic heart of Dublin. We then have "the rest of the day" free to feel the pulse of the thriving city, or in my case, meet up with some some colleagues who work nearby. What time do the tour activities conclude that day & we can explore Dublin on our own?

I'm also curious about things as the tour winds down & we find ourselves back in Dublin. My brother & his wife will be there beginning their own tour & I'd like to join up with them. After we've returned from Belfast & had our farewell group dinner about what time is that?

Posted by
3493 posts

Took this tour a couple years ago. This is what I experienced.

The first full day in Dublin you have from lunch time on free. No dinner plans for the group so nowhere to be tour related until next morning departure.

The final dinner runs late. Ours didn't start until around 8 pm and went till nearly midnight. Lots of speeches. Lots of drinks. :-)

Posted by
11003 posts

My experience is similar to Mark's with the free time on the first day. I am sure our farewell dinner did not run that late, but I think we also started earlier. I'm thinking we finished up around 9-930.

Posted by
92 posts

Day 2 ( first full day) was free from lunchtime through the rest of the day. As I recall, we had a couple of hours to freshen up after returning to Dublin from Belfast before heading out to the final dinner. We finished in the 9:30 - 10:00 range, with the last hour or so spent socializing with the tour mates.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks. That's good news about the first day in Dublin, as it should give me some time to do what I'm hoping to do for work & see a bit of the city that the tour doesn't cover. I'll have to figure out what to do on the final night, because I'm really looking forward to seeing my brother.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Shawn,

We took this fabulous tour in June 2015. We arrived 2 days ahead of time in Dublin and had a great time getting oriented to the busy city. I'd recommend that you arrange to spend time with with your family in Ireland before and for at least a day after the tour is concluded. We too have family in Ireland and found that you want to get as much out of the tour as possible and trying to fit more in can be a distractor. We've been to Ireland before and visited with our family. This trip was not about that and any extra time was a bonus but not the main focus.
Having said that, we found that there is plenty of time after the Trinity College morning tour to meet with friends and connect with colleagues, as you stated.

The farewell dinner is such a special time that I would have hated to be rushed to fit anything else in. It's a very full day coming south from Belfast and the dinner is a splendid ending with the tour group and your guide. Give yourself the gift of another day to connect with your brother/family/colleagues if possible. If you are anything like me and, love to "multi-plan" as well as multi-task....resist! This tour is one of the best travel experiences of my life because I remained truly "present" in all the myriad of activities provided.

Posted by
3580 posts

You could see if your brother could arrive in Dublin a day or so early. You could spend time together on that free afternoon at the end of your tour and the day (or two) before his.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks, Angela & Swan.

They're actually meeting me in Ireland (they're visiting from Boston & starting their own trip to Dublin, London & Paris) at the same time my own trip is winding down (I've got family over there, but they're too distant to look up), & as they're arriving the day before I fly out, our options to connect are rather limited. It's unfortunate, but after spending 2 weeks with total strangers in Ireland, I may want to enjoy a couple hours with family. They're staying about 1 km from the hotel where my tour concludes, so it it should be easy enough to excuse myself, as I do have an early flight out the next morning anyway & will need to get things sorted for that.