Bright idea?? Rental car in Ireland

Jan 25th, 2008, 09:38 AM
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Bright idea?? Rental car in Ireland

We are going to Europe in June. We are spending 9 nights in Paris, 3 nights in London and 3 nights in Dublin. There will be 3 adults and 2 children (ages 13 and 12). Getting a rental car in Paris and London really doesn't make sense because of the ease of the Metro and the Tube, but someone suggested we think about renting a car in Ireland. I'm thinking that might be a good idea, and it might be cheaper than public transportation. We will need transportation to and from the airport to our hotel - Comfort Inn Smithfield, and we were planning to take a day tour somewhere like the Blarney Castle or the Cliffs of Moher. Can I get some opinions? Do you think a car would be easier to get around in? What are the gas prices in Ireland? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
mbkbcb is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Well, the Cliffs of Mohr are on the opposite side of the country from Dublin, so it is not really a day trip. I suppose you could make it a REALLY LONG DAY, but it takes much longer than you think to drive anywhere. We didn't go to Blarney Castle, so I can't tell you about whether it is doable in a day. If you have 3 nights, I would spend them all in Dublin without a car. There is plenty to see. Or, if you want to see some of the country, which might be a nice change of pace from Paris and London, I would fly (assuming you are flying?) to Shannon and then rent a car.
Ruff is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 10:17 AM
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Car is the best way to get around Ireland - esp for 5 people. But with 5 and luggage you will need a large car to fit everyone/thing.

But - even though it's a small country and distances aren't long there are few highways - mostly what we would consider small local roads - often narrow and frequently inhabited by sheep. So - your average speed will be quite low. I would have a look at or to see what realistic driving times are under local conditions.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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First, a car in Dublin is a liability. If you have booked your accommodation, then I suggest that you forget about hiring a car for the whole stay. A one-day hire might be worth considering.

Second, while there are many day-trip possibilities from Dublin, Blarney or the Cliffs of Moher are simply too far away (and Blarney isn't worth it, anyway). Wicklow might be worth considering.

On the other hand, you won't exhaust the possibilities of Dublin in two days. I think most adolescents would derive more enjoyment out of urban tourism than a day touring by car -- but you know the ones who will be travelling with you, and they might like a day in the mountains.
Padraig is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for the info. I will check out those websites to see realistic travel times. I will also check out Wicklow. At least we have a few more months to do research!
mbkbcb is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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In my humble opinion, I would get a car and get out of Dublin. You don't need or want a car in Dublin itself, but I think to spend three days there when the rest of Ireland is so gorgeous would be a shame. If you already are spending time in Paris and London, you will have had a lot of "city" on your vacation and may be in need of some "country"! We were in Ireland in March and rented a car and dropped it off at the Dublin Airport and then bused into town to avoid the traffic. No problems with the car outside of Dublin, we were mainly on the west coast in Galway, County Clare and County Kerry. Gas was very expensive, but I can't recall the exact price. You would need to really watch out on the country roads, there really isn't a "left side" or "right side"... it's just "the road" and everyone shares it!
jcoz23 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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do you already have all your flights? If not - I'd fly in to Shannon instead. Skip Dublin entirely and spend the three days touring western Ireland by car.

But if you are already stuck w/ flights - I would just stick to Dublin. The places you mention are all the way across the country and too far to go in 1, or 2, or even 3 days from Dublin.
janisj is online now  
Jan 25th, 2008, 02:39 PM
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Gas is appr. €1.20 per liter in Ireland - which is not that expensive in Europe. In the U.S., you pay appr. €0.50 per liter (if you were metric, and converted $ to &euro.
So gas is appr. 140% more expensive than in the U.S.
On the other hand, you won't drive 2,000 miles in 3 days, so costs for gas may not play a major role.

With 3 nights in Dublin, I'd safe one day for exploring the city and one day for Wicklow Co.
After you have seen both the city and the countryside you could spend the last day for what you liked better.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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We do already have our flights, and we are flying into Dublin. I guess I am surprised about hearing that we shouldn't try to go to the Cliffs of Moher or Blarney Castle in 1 day. I've checked a couple of bus tours and one said the Cliffs of Moher was a 14 hour round trip and Blarney was a 12 hour round trip. I thought that if a bus could do it in that amount of time, we could probably do it faster in a car. We do want to be able to see at least some of the beautiful Irish countryside.
mbkbcb is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Not all of the Irish countryside is beautiful. For the most part, the good scenery is in the coastal regions, and the routes to the cliffs of Moher or Blarney traverse the rather less interesting inland plain (granted, passing a couple of good places along the way).

I live in Ireland, and am used to driving here. I would consider a day trip from Dublin to either of those places to be a penance rather than a pleasure.

You want countryside? Wicklow. You want mountains? Wicklow. You want monastic remains? Wicklow (Glendalough). You want lakes? Wicklow. You want forests? Wicklow. You want beaches? Wicklow. You want gardens? Wicklow. You want villages of character? (I hate the use of "quaint" so common here.) Wicklow. You want to go for a walk? Wicklow. You want historic buildings to visit if it rains (or you just like history)? Wicklow. You want to spend more time being somewhere than getting there? Wicklow.

Get the idea?
Padraig is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 03:38 PM
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I assume you are from the States. That being said, you probably aren't familiar with driving on the left side of the road. That alone takes a while to master. If you decide on a car, be sure to get an automatic. Even if you are good at driving a stick shift, it is a totally different experience using the left hand.
Also, I would never place money on beating a bus to a tourist site. Believe me, they take up all the road they want and muscle their way to the finish line. It can be quite hair-raising to see one of them coming at you on a road that's hardly big enough for your riding lawn mower. If you get behind one, that's good, because he'll plow ahead and knock off any oncoming traffic.
It's a shame you're flying into Dublin if you really wanted to see the west coast. To make the best of your situation, I'd stay in Dublin (no car needed, nor wanted) and take whatever day trips you can by one of those big tour buses!
mkdiebold is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 09:28 PM
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Fourteen and twelve hour round-trip day trips!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you totally crazy? Guess so since you want to do it. Your kids will hate you after spending all their time in Ireland in a car looking out the window.

Charter a helicopter. Or take Padraig's wise advice and see Wicklow instead.

IrishEyes is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:09 AM
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I totally agree - if you are stuck going in to Dublin, forget about anything on the west coast. Just not reasonable in so short a visit.

Wicklow is terrififc and you can actually get there.

If you are STILL set on heading west - then forget about Dublin and immediately after landing at DUB, fly to ORK, KIR or SNN. Then you can spend your three days in the west/southwest and hop back to DUB to fly out.

But it is more reasonable to simply do Dublin and Wicklow.
janisj is online now  
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:03 AM
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You can also just hop on the DART and go either north to Howth or south and see some beautiful countryside.
barbmc is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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I spent one of my trips just in Dublin, Wicklow, and County Louth, without a rental car. I had a wonderful time and would do it again in a second.

Good Luck, Joan
chatham is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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If I had only three days in Ireland, I'd actually skip Dublin (and I LOVE Dublin), especially following 9 days in Paris and 3 days in London! I think you're on the right track thinking the west coast of Ireland (like the Cliffs of Moher) are worthwhile. I hate to mess with your plans, but why are you going to Dublin and could you switch to going to Shannon from London so you can get a car there and stay a few days on the west coast instead?

NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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Sorry. In looking back again I saw that you are stuck with your trip to Dublin. Well, make the most of it, and follow suggestions for scenery near there. And schedule a week or better yet a couple weeks for your next trip to Ireland so you can cover the west coast.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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I think it is sinking in. We were not realisic in our thinking of making it to the west coast in a day trip. I've done some more research on Wicklow as suggested, and I agree that it will probably be our best bet. I certainly hope we can get back to Ireland one day. When we are in Paris, we are thinking about taking a day trip to Normandy. Does anyone have thoughts about doing that in one day? Thanks.
mbkbcb is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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There are organized day trips from Paris to Normandy. Much more doable than what you wanted in Ireland since there are major highways between the two. It would be a long and expensive day but totally doable.

You can also take the train on your own and hook up w/ a tour locally in Normandy. I would start a new thread w/ "Normandy day trip from Paris" in your title.

Sorry I can't help you w/ specific details since the times I've been to Normandy I came across from England - haven't done it from the Paris end. But there have been lots of threads about the options.
janisj is online now  
Jan 26th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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I certainly would not want a car in Paris, London, or Dublin. It would be a liability.

A one-day trip from Paris to Normandy is pushing it. A two-day would be better. The name of a GREAT private tour guide in Normandy is Ellwood von Siebold. or [email protected].

My friends rented a car and drove all over Ireland. They liked it, but said that driving on the left side was hard to get used to.
KL467 is offline  

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