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Best of Ireland pre tour advice

We will be going on the RS Best of Ireland tour next spring. We will be arriving several days early and plan on one day in Newgrange. I am interested in ideas about places to see in Dublin that are not included with the tour. I know our RS guidebook will have information, but it’s always nice to have recommendations from folks who have taken the tour. Thanks!

Posted by
613 posts

There used to be some question about whether the tour would visit Kilmainham Jail or head instead to Glendalough. If the tour doesn't go to Kilmainham, I would definitely see it in my free time. You may have to call the RS office to know for sure.

Posted by
1516 posts

Hi bk, we took this tour April 2017 and had a great time! Be sure to visit Kilmainham Gaol and Guinness pre-tour or in your free time in a Dublin. We ordered tickets online for the jail but it probably wasn’t necessary. Have fun!

Posted by
84 posts

From the Itinerary it looks like you will do Kilmainham gaol with the group. We enjoyed the Guinness storehouse as well as tours of St. Patrick's cathedral and Christ Church. Newgrange is incredible so kudos for a trip there! Our favorite pub in Dublin was Brannigan's at 9 Cathedral street. The Famine memorial is touching and worth the walk. We loved Ireland--have fun!

ps if you do Christ Church and can climb the (very tight) stairs do the tour where you can go up and ring the bells!

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks for the info thus far. The tour info says we go to K Gaol, so believe that’s covered. I was wondering if tour went to Christ Church and St. Patrick’s church, so thanks for that update, we will definitely plan on going there. Very excited to see Ireland!!

Posted by
137 posts

Verify with the RS tour office that you will tour Kilmainham Jail - even though it is listed on the tour itinerary. My tour listed the jail also but surprise - at out initial meeting the guide informed us we would not be touring the jail due to cruise ships fully booking the tours for the day on our schedule. I was able to do a tour on my own in the afternoon of the second tour day, but had to wait about 2 hours for a time slot. It’s a great tour so make sure you don’t miss it.

Posted by
137 posts

I took a short train ride on the green line to the fishing town of Howth, walked for a few minutes to get to Howth Castle and took a cooking class at the historic Howth Castle. It was great fun to cook in the huge kitchen of an old castle! Classes fill up quickly so reservations are necessary in advance.

Posted by
100 posts

Here are a few places I enjoyed: EPIC, the emigration museum, is terrific. It's relatively new and the exhibits are terrific. Also, I learned a lot about the Easter Rising at the GPO: Witness History Interpretive Centre. Strolling through St. Stephen's Green is lovely, and the Little Museum of Dublin that's across the street is charming. Hope these are helpful!

Posted by
91 posts

BKMat:
I spent 10/11 days in Dublin about a year+ ago. I would add Glasnevin Cemetary. Definitely take the tour of the cemetery; it is relatively inexpensive.

I wrote a trip report on Trip Advisor, with a lot of suggestions about weather, etc. Send me a private message if you would like a link.

You will love Ireland.

Posted by
1271 posts

Second St. Stephen's Green - very lovely. I also enjoyed Merrion Square Park, which has an interesting memorial to Oscar Wilde. And I highly recommend the Chester Beatty Library.

Posted by
90 posts

The National Museum: Archaeology and the Number Twenty-Nine Georgian House are both well worth a visit especially on a rainy day. You may also want to consider attending a play in one of Dublin's world-class and historic theaters. We really enjoyed the Food, Folk, and Fairies dinner and show at the Brazen Head pub. Ollie Grace was the host, story-teller, and singer the night we went. You will not find a more gracious and hospitable master of ceremonies in Ireland.

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks, everyone, for these great ideas. This is the info I was looking for, sounds like many great places to explore. Also, appreciate the info regarding the RS tour skipping the Kilmainham, it’s a good reminder that things can change during a tour and to remember to remain flexible. It’s great you were still able to go, despite the cancellation. Looking forward to seeing Ireland, especially with all the rave reviews I’ve seen and heard!