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Holly217 Oct 20th, 2013 06:33 AM

10 Day Trip to Ireland- Need suggestions!!!
I am planning a surprise trip to Ireland for my best friend in March 2014. There will be four of us in total, and we will be staying a total of 10 days. I have already booked my flights, and we will be flying into Dublin on March 15th and flying out of Shannon on March 24th. I have been doing my research, and I have come up with a relative itinerary. Any suggestions or changes regarding my itinerary would be greatly appreciated. Any suggestions about things we must do or see around our destinations would be great as well. I plan to rent a car on our last day in Dublin and not have a car while in Dublin. Is this something you would recommend?

My itinerary:

Flying into Dublin on March 15th.

Staying in Dublin from March 15th to March 18th.

Staying in Galway from March 18th to March 20th.

Staying in Killarney from March 20th to March 22nd.

Staying in Cork from March 22nd to March 24th.

Flying out of Shannon on March 24th.

Tony2phones Oct 20th, 2013 02:21 PM

No need for a car in Dublin at all, would be a hindrance. Personally I would be tempted to Have St Patrick's in Galway rather than Dublin which can get a bit messy after the parade. The Galway parade starts after lunch with the Dublin Show on national TV before lunch.

You want to be close to Shannon the night before your flight, there are many options within an hour of the airport. I might also have a night between Galway and Killarney to split the trip and consider driving round the Dingle peninsula between that stop and Killarney.

garyincary Oct 20th, 2013 05:09 PM

I just spent two weeks in Ireland. You will love it. I've found this site to be very helpful, as long as you realize there are no right or wrong opinions. Just use those opinions which best fit you.

You absolutely do not want to drive in Dublin. I wouldn't even have a car on your last day in Dublin. I'd pick it up on the morning you plan to leave Dublin.

I spent three nights in Dublin, and if I had it to do again (which I will, since I'm going back in May), I would only spend two nights there, as there are so many other, wonderful places to see.

I agree that you should be as close to Shannon Airport on your last night. The hotel at the airport is a 2 minute walk to the terminal. You would spend that last day wherever you want, and just check into the hotel at night.

Driving the Dingle Peninsula, and exploring Dingle, would be worth your while. Since that will be near the end of your trip, splurge a bit and stay at Pax House. It is, by far, the best bed and breakfast I stayed at in Ireland. It is more pricey than most..about 125 Euros, but well worth it. The gourmet breakfast (Perhaps they'll have the pancakes with homemade chocolate sauce that morning...then again there is the smoked salmon omelet, with the best salmon I've ever tasted..or the scones and cream..and so much more), the view, the service, the heated bathroom floors, and lots more, makes this a very special place. Check out Mighty Sessions pub for tradtional Irish music.

I loved Galway. I used it as a bsse to explore Connemara. I can share more about that in a subsequent post. In Killarney, be sure to take the tour of Gap of Dunloe, which includes a bus to a jaunting cart to a boat...very memorable.

I hope this helps a bit. I'm sure you'll get lots of other really great input, and that your trip will be very memorable.

flpab Oct 20th, 2013 05:55 PM

I love Dublin and the parade is getting better each year. Lucky you for getting to be there.
I would try to stay closer to Shannon the night before your flight. What time to you depart?
You can even take the go bus to Galway and rent a car there. If you drive get off the main motorway and explore a few villages.

Tony2phones Oct 21st, 2013 12:15 AM

Car rental in Galway is and a couple of others on industrial estates around the outskirts. Other than that its Shannon Airport or going round via Limerick.

Holly217 Oct 21st, 2013 08:23 AM

Thanks for all the great tips. Would you recommend only staying one night in Killarney and staying another night elsewhere? Or would you recommend not staying in Killarney at all? I will take your suggestions and book something closer to Shannon for my flight. My flight leaves out at 10:30AM. Is there somewhere specifically near Shannon you think I should stay?

Bette Oct 21st, 2013 08:34 AM

We have visited Ireland 7 or 8 times. In August we departed from Shannon and spent our last night at the Courtyard Bunratty. We were very pleased with our choice. Walking distance to restaurants, pubs and shopping. 10 minutes to Shannon. We look forward to staying there again.

island_breeze Oct 21st, 2013 08:43 AM

You must eat at Ard Bia Cafe, this is a must!!

island_breeze Oct 21st, 2013 08:44 AM

oops, Ard Bia is in Galway along the water at the Spanish Arch.

flpab Oct 21st, 2013 06:07 PM

Are you flying back to the states at 10:30 am?
I have never flown in or out of Shannon. Do you do customs and immigration there the same as Dublin? That was my first time doing the US customs thing on this side of the pond and just want you to give yourself plenty of time. the Courtyard Bunratty sound good btw.

island_breeze Oct 22nd, 2013 05:00 AM

Shannon is a lovely smaller airport that we flew in and out Dublin. I agree, if the same procedure as Dublin, give yourself plenty of time and keep moving to get through 2 scanners and customs, we didn't and were the last to board.
Although we didn't want to leave, haha.

Bette Oct 22nd, 2013 05:46 AM

Yes, we cleared customs / immigration at Shannon. Our carry-ons were searched at this point, so I would provide extra time for clearing. We also did our VAT refunds at the airport - this adds a few minutes. I would think for a 10:30 flight you would want to be there between 8 - 8:30.

Our flight departed SNN at 12:20 and we departed the Courtyard around 9ish, did the car return, then the shuttle over to the terminal. We were probably checking in between 9:30 - 9:45. We like to err on the side of having extra time rather than running.

flpab Oct 22nd, 2013 05:57 AM

Ok, good to know, we had plenty of time but stood in the continental line for over an hour and just made it. I was mad because I am the get it at the airport shopper! Butler's Irish chocolate. Might have to try Shannon
Did you already book the hotel in Dublin? We really liked Buswells last visit. It was close to Grafton but a little quieter.

Tony2phones Oct 22nd, 2013 01:01 PM

For a last night near Shannon, Adare would be an option on the South side, I need more choice than 2 pubs so Bunratty is a place to take the youngsters for the Folk park not a place to spend a last night unless a 9pm bed time is on the cards. Ennis is 35 minutes north of Shannon but a great last (or any other) Irish night.

Bette Oct 23rd, 2013 08:51 AM

<< I need more choice than 2 pubs so Bunratty is a place to take the youngsters for the Folk park not a place to spend a last night unless a 9pm bed time is on the cards>>

I haven't visited the Folk Park in over 10 years, but we rather enjoyed it!
As to being in bed at 9pm, we were up until midnight enjoying a great music session at Durty Nellies.

I think the decision on where to stay depends on your travel logistics for your final full day. We had a 1 o'clock ferry from Inishbofin to Cleggan, Galway. Heavy rain and lots of construction lead to a 5:30 arrival in Bunratty. Thinking we would arrive in the Shannon area around 5ish our criteria was 1) close to airport 2) good food 3) good pubs. Bunratty ticked all three boxes. We have stayed in the past in both Adare and Ennis and were pleased with our decision to stay in Bunratty.

Holly217 Oct 23rd, 2013 10:43 AM

Thank you for all the suggestions. A 9PM bedtime is definetely not in the cards for us. We are 4 25-year old females who want to experience all Ireland has to offer! We are interested in exploring several different pubs.

island_breeze Oct 23rd, 2013 10:49 AM

In that case, add another night or two in Galway, young crowd, loads of pubs and music, vintage clothing shops. You could also use Galway as base for taking the bus then ferry to Inishmore island.

Bette Oct 23rd, 2013 11:03 AM

You will not be in bed at 9pm, don't worry.
Here are some descriptions of pubs in both Bunratty and Adare.
(note that music is only offered on certain nights in certain pubs)

Adare pubs:

Bunratty pubs:

Tony2phones Oct 23rd, 2013 01:06 PM

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