Determining your budget is the key here—are you content with B&Bs and small hotels, or do you want to splurge on castles and grand country houses? It's best when planning your trip to Ireland to set aside a few hours of Web browsing to familiarize yourself with costs and standards. Certainly prices have fallen drastically in the last few years, and value is there to be had with careful planning, plus a bit of haggling if you are game. As well as our own site— Fodors.com —which should be your first stop, try www.goireland.com and www.visitdublin.ie. The Irish Tourist Board's website— www.discoverireland.com —is a mine of information and a good overview of the whole country. For a week's stay in Ireland, consider small city-center hotels in Dublin, Cork, and Galway. For at least one night, consider staying in a castle or country house—it'll be costly, but very memorable. Check out www.irelandsbluebook.com for a select listing.
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