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Heart of Ireland: What’s covered in Dublin, what’s not.

Hi all,

We are looking forward to our Heart of Ireland tour in July-Aug of 18. We are curious about the Dublin portion. The itinerary reveals some info, but curious if there’s more to know. Will we see Temple Bar? St. Stephen’s Green? The Guinness Brewery tour? If you’ve been on one, or otherwise know, please advise. We want to plan what to see on our free time and after the tour ends.

Posted by
1956 posts

I was on this tour in September this year and had a fantastic time. The Guinness Brewery is not on the tour. We went on a free afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it! A must see even though I'm not a beer drinker, there's a lot of history and details about the process of making the beer. I recommend it. We also went to a play at the historic Abbey Theatre in a free evening. Temple Bar area is on your walking tour and St. Stephen's Green was near our hotel, although your hotel may be in a different place. Dublin is a very compact and walkable city and easy to get around. I loved it!

Posted by
3533 posts

The Guinness operation is an "interpretive " experience, installed in an old warehouse. No-one sets foot in the brewery itself. The displays are informative; the gift shop is massive. The glass observatory perched on the top offers great views over the city, when the weather is good. Admission price is formidable, starting at 17.50 pounds. That includes a single pint of the product.

Posted by
11263 posts

"We want to plan what to see on our free time and after the tour ends."

Rick provides this information, but for some reason hides it. (I've written to this website asking them to make it more prominent, to no avail).

If you go to your tour, then scroll all the way down to Pre Tour Planning, then open that and scroll down again, you'll see the following:

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Ennis before your tour begins, use the Rick Steves Ireland guidebook to get oriented. Wander the city center, join a day trip to the nearby Burren, try a pint in a cozy pub, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

If you plan to spend extra time in Dublin before or after the tour, here are suggestions for sightseeing that we will not be doing as a group: Kilmainham Gaol (book in advance), "Hop-on/Hop-off" bus tour, National Gallery, Dublin Castle, Dublin Writers' Museum. For details and other possibilities, see the Rick Steves Ireland guidebook.<

If you have further questions, call or e-mail the Tour Department directly, at or 425-608-4217.

Posted by
1956 posts

Post tour, we went to the Kilmainham Gaol, very interesting, buy timed tickets in advance. We went to the Dublin Writer's Museum, small but if you are interested in Irish writers, it has displays of original texts and photographs and very good explanations and timelines of famous writers and their friends and patrons. We liked it, no need for advance tickets. We saw a wonderful exhibit of Vermeer paintings at The National Gallery, the exhibit has left Dublin now. But the permanent collection is very good, if you like art. The Gallery was filled with people on the Sunday afternoon we visited.

Posted by
3423 posts

One other idea: Riverdance is performing in Dublin this summer if that would appeal to you. We were quite excited at the prospect. :)

Posted by
100 posts

On the day that you see the Book of Kells and take the walking tour, you have the entire rest of the day and evening free starting at around 12 - 1. Thus, that'd be the time on the tour to fit in some of your preferred sights. The arrival day in Dublin on the 2018 tour has a slightly different itinerary than the 2017 one, but it seems like you still will arrive in Dublin late in the day. And most of the last full day in Dublin is already filled; I think we had a few free hours before dinner but that's all.

If you go to St. Stephen's Green, check out the Little Museum of Dublin, which is across the street. A few other favorites: EPIC (emigration museum), GPO Witness History, the musical pub crawl (some great musicians), and yes, the National Leprechaun Museum (guided tour with awesome folklore). And thumbs up for the Guinness Storehouse!

Posted by
19 posts

I'd like to mention the Jeanie Johnson. Provides great insight to the journey the famine necessitated and the difficulties the people endured.

Posted by
817 posts

just want to save this thread for me. We are booked in April 2018.