We are trying to organize our free time in Dublin. Is the time spent at Kilmainham Gaol as a part of the RS tour adequate? Or.....would you have wanted more time there by booking a separate "Kilmainham Gaol" tour on your free time? Thanks for the help!
I really enjoyed our visit there and we had a terrific guide. I felt the time was well spent and didn't feel I'd missed anything when we left. We even had time to visit the museum. I don't think you will need another visit on your own.
Without having taken the RS Ireland tour I can't give you a definitive answer. What I will say is that the Kilmainham Gaol tour is conducted by Kilmainham Gaol staff and they set the pace - afterall, it's timed entry and they have to move the groups through. So unless RS has a special arrangement with Kilmainham Gaol the RS group will be moved through at the customary pace. I have taken the tour and the pace was fine. I didn't feel the need to go back. The only caveat I might add is that the museum is pretty interesting. So if you are on the RS tour you might not be able to spend as much time there as you would like - the tour must go on. So you may want to go back on your own. But since I don't think you need a timed entry ticket to go to the museum you could probably wait until after the RS tour to decide if you need to go back. Double check on the museum entry in case I'm wrong.
In my opinion you definitely do not need to book an additional separate tour beyond the one you'll take on the RS tour. It's actually not that large, and we on the RS tour, had our own group tour and plenty of time to wander through the museum after. In fact, I think we toured early in the morning before it even opened to the public.
That was also my experience last year -- the tour was conducted very well by a Gaol employee, and covered everything any tour would. I thought there was enough time in the museum but someone else might want to spend longer. It was in the morning, on our way out of Dublin, but I don't think it was before the place opened to the public. Still, I don't remember any crowds or sense that we were being hurried.
I think booking another tour there would basically duplicate what RS provides. If you're that interested in the 1916 events, spend some time on your own at the General Post Office, which has an excellent exhibit and isn't covered on the RS tour. I learned much more history there than at the gaol.
We took the tour 5 years ago and thought the RS arranged tour was perfect. You might consider arriving a day early and heading to Newgrange, about an hour north of Dublin. We used Mary Gibbons Tour company and were quite happy.
Awesome responses! Thanks!
If y'all (or anyone else) have other tips for that tour........I would appreciate it! FWIW......Yes, doing Wicklow, Howth, EPIC, and Guinness. Already been to Newgrange recently.
We would recommend reservations for Finn’s Farmcut or your free evening in Kinsale. It was probably the best meal we have ever eaten! Save room for dessert as well.
No need to take an extra tour. We felt our group tour was more than adequate.
You will have a great tour with your tour group. We also did the Guinness tour. It’s with hundreds of people. In my opinion, the best part was going to the top for a pint and to see the view of the city but that’s a fair amount of money for a ticket to have a pint and a view……
Get outside of the city centre. Take public transport (bus) the Dropping Well Pub and to see the brilliant Dodder Rhino.
@ewmaher thanks so much for your recommendation for Finn's Farmcut. I've been looking for a place to eat in Kinsale without much luck. I checked out the menu and yum! How did you manage to save room for dessert?
A bit off topic, but interested in the lodging choices for this trip. Hot or cold rooms, bathroom situation including hair dryers, electric outlets operable and convenient, etc?
Yeah, I second the Newgrange tour. It was a highlight for me!