First Time to Ireland

Jan 5th, 2016, 06:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 8
First Time to Ireland


I'm looking for some help planning a trip with my two best friends to Ireland. It is our first time to Ireland and we have been talking about this trip for years, so we hope it will be a trip of a lifetime. We're young and just finished Law School so we're looking to make some memories. I'm at the beginning stages of creating an itinerary and nothing is officially booked. We plan to go July 29-August 7th. We are traveling from New York, so it's about 10 days but two days of traveling.

My plan as of today is the following:

Day 1 - (Friday) Arrive in Dublin late at night.
Day 2 - (Saturday) Explore Dublin
Day 3 - (Sunday) Explore Dublin, Sunday night leave for Kilkenny
Day 4 - (Monday) Explore Kilkenny on Monday
Day 5 - (Tuesday) Tuesday morning leave for Cork, passing Cashel and explore Cork on Tuesday
Day 6 - (Wednesday) Wednesday morning leave for Kenmare to see Ring of Kerry
Day 7 - (Thursday) Dingle Peninsula -- Arrive in Galway by Thursday night
Day 8 - (Friday) Cliffs of Moher Tour, while staying in Galway
Day 9 - (Saturday) Aran Islands Tour, while staying in Galway
Day 10 - (Sunday) Fly out of Shannon Airport

I would love any and all suggestions. I am clearly very new to planning this.

Katecronin20 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2016, 07:27 AM
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It feels a bit rushed. Ireland is beautiful, but you won't have time to see much of it. Since you haven't booked yet, is there any way to add a couple of days?

Are you driving or taking the train/bus? If driving, will one of you do all the driving or will you take turns?

Why is this tagged as a trip report?

I realize this may sound silly but you need to make certain that if one of you backs out at the last minute for some reason the other two aren't going to be stuck with that person's costs for shared rooms/transport/whatever.
anyegr is offline  
Jan 5th, 2016, 09:05 AM
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Sounds amazing, 10 days is a great amount of time to experience Ireland. I think you'll be spreading yourselves slightly thin by spending such a short amount of time in Dublin, but I think you'll also make up for it with the rest of the trip.

Also, this isn't really a report..
martinnathalie9 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2016, 09:24 AM
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Not sure why you're arriving in Dublin late in the evening - usually transatlantic flights to Dublin land early am - 6 or 7 am. Doing that would give you another half day to get oriented and see one or two sights.

Why not do that instead to give yourself another day at o extra cost?
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 5th, 2016, 09:54 AM
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Are you related to Kitty Kiernan Cronin? She owned The Duke Pub on Duke St in Dublin. You can visit her grave at Glasnevin. She still has grandchildren in Funk n. Her sister is also buried in Glasnevin. Kitty is buried very close to her former fiancé Michael Collins.
flpab is offline  
Jan 5th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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Sorry, that is Dublin. See if you can get the aer lingus flight that arrives early am. Triple rooms are a possibility in Ireland. I will give you some links for great day tours when I am on my computer. Galway tour company does a great Cliff tour and stop at some great places. We even went to a ring fort.
I love girl trips. You will enjoy.we do public transportation and day tours. We relax. Enjoy libations all day and it is stress free for us.
flpab is offline  
Jan 5th, 2016, 01:56 PM
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Posts: 9,171 His tour includes pick up at the bus station in Galway to the ferry and the ferry boat and the bus tour of the island. He is from there so great tour.
flpab is offline  
Jan 6th, 2016, 02:01 AM
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On a Tuesday evening in Cork, you should be able to find a pub or two where musicians have settled in for tunes along with their pints. I don't mean tattered renditions of Danny Boy but rather groups of friends who take over a corner of the place and play music for themselves, whether traditional or new. The staff wherever you stay should be able to suggest likely prospects.
Southam is offline  
Jan 6th, 2016, 04:42 PM
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@anyegr and @martinnathalie9 -- I apologize for posting it as a trip report. That was an accident and I had the website remove it.

@flpab - I will definitely find out if I'm related! Also, thanks for the link to the day tours! those look great!

@nytraveler - As far as the flight arriving at night. I can't leave the night before because of an exam and there was a noon flight that arrives at midnight. I may try to stay longer though!

@Southam - Thank you! That sounds awesome!

A few more questions...

Should I extend my stay in Dublin and skip the night in Kilkenny? Perhaps go straight to Cork instead? Also, in regards to public transportation would you suggest the train rather than renting a car?

Katecronin20 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2016, 05:50 PM
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Public transportation/ renting a car. I love public transportation but others will say the opposite. Do what you will feel comfortable doing. One of you will be drinking coffee/tea and not Guinness till you park the car at night.
I would give Dublin an extra night.
flpab is offline  
Jan 6th, 2016, 06:55 PM
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Have a fabulous time! I went to Ireland first time after grad school.

Some suggestions/questions:

Why Kilkenny? Just curious.

Love Galway and it is a young university town -- good music -- try the Quays (pronounced Keys) pubs -- good music and "craic" (pronounced crack, as you may already know).

Dingle seems to get somewhat short shrift considering the time and effort to get there. It's fairly touristed relative to other areas so the reception may not be as warm as in other towns.

Some prefer the nearby smaller town of Kinsale to spending time in Cork City; just depends on interests/mood of group.

I'm remembering Ring of Kerry is a substantial drive, with traffic, narrow roads, and fog at the time we went -- so maybe factor that in time-wise.

Ireland isn't as well served by train as many countries in Europe though busses are better than some. A friend and I did travel round on trains with the occasional taxi and it worked fine. BTW Dublin to Galway by train, should you need a direct trip in your itinerary, is 3 hours straight across.

Driving on the left is the main complication some cite for not going by car -- combined with some narrow roads at times and usually a manual shift. Depends on your comfort level.

B&Bs IME were great but the triple rooms in Jury's and other chains could also work. Good luck!
annw is offline  
Jan 7th, 2016, 04:24 AM
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You might want to consider if you want to drive or take public transport and local tours before finalising locations.

Going Open Jaw then you are better with the Dublin time at the front rather than Galway given your dates as the Races are on the end of July and the city will be busy (and expensive)otherwise I might have advised reversing the plan.

Kenmare is not the best base for the Ring of Kerry, especially getting into high season, only the misguided drive the ring clockwise into heavy traffic rather than following the official and sensible counter clockwise route.

If you decide against self drive then Killarney is an excellent base with several good tours covering the Ring of Kerry, The National Park, Gap of Dunloe, and the Dingle peninsula.

If self driving and not wanting to stay in Killarney then Killorglin could be an option sitting directly between the Iveragh (ring of kerry) and Dingle peninsulas.

Flying out of Shannon I would recommend Ennis for the last night if you want an Irish town with lots of eating/drinking/entertainment options. You might consider Bunratty if you are able to get the Banquet then want to go straight to Bed. The Oakwood Arms in Shannon is also a good option for getting an early night before an early flight. I advise against staying in Galway the night before, there is no guarantee of the time it takes between Galway and Shannon airport and you will need the full 3 hours check in for pre clearing customs.
Tony2phones is offline  
Jan 7th, 2016, 09:16 PM
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You're getting great advice from Tony2phones -- treasured Fodorite resource for Ireland travel.

And agree about Ennis -- I took that suggestion probably from here at Fodors and it was a great last night in Ireland.
annw is offline  
Jan 10th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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Tony, I am curious why where you stay determines what direction you drive the ROK? Isn't it a circle and you can choose to drive it either clockwise or counter clockwise? You are either starting in the SE corner in Kenmare or NE corner in Killarney, right? I feel like I must be missing something.
lolfn is offline  
Jan 10th, 2016, 01:01 PM
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>>Tony, I am curious why where you stay determines what direction you drive the ROK? Isn't it a circle and you can choose to drive it either clockwise or counter clockwise? <<

Not if one is smart. There is a lot of traffic and it is MUCH better to drive it anti-clockwise.
janisj is online now  
Jan 10th, 2016, 01:40 PM
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But he implies that if you stay in Kenmare, you will drive it clockwise and if you stay in Killarney you will drive it counter clockwise. That is where I'm confused as it is a circle and you can drive it counter clockwise from Kenmare too. Unless, as I stated above, I'm missing something.
lolfn is offline  
Jan 10th, 2016, 03:52 PM
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The advice from most people who know the area and the local tourist board is to follow the counter clockwise route which is the direction given to tour bus's and Heavy trucks.
Driving the route Clockwise means you drive face on into this traffic. The road has been improved somewhat and widened in parts. However there are a few points where you could come face to face with the front end of something 10+ times the size of your rental car on your side of the road as they negotiate a hairpin

The North east corner is Kilorglin, Killarney is sort of the mid point on the eastern side of the ring.
Tony2phones is offline  
Jan 27th, 2016, 02:15 PM
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Thank you for all of the suggestions.

My friends and I decided on this itinerary:

Dublin - 2 nights (Activities: St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, Gusiness Storehouse, Old Jameson Distillery)
Cork - 1 night
Dingle - 2 nights (Activities: A recommended 26-mile bike ride around the peninsula and the Dingle Distillery)
Doolin - 2 nights (Activities: Cliffs of Mohr/Aran Islands)
Galway - 2 nights

Fortunately, my family is meeting me in Galway the day before when my friends depart. So I will be staying in Ireland for another week - 2 weeks total!

I will have to create another itinerary for when my family arrives (flying into Shannon) and make it back to Dublin. Since my friends and I miss the Ring of Kerry - I must see that with my family. My family prefers to stay south and loop back to Dublin from Galway.

I would appreciate any suggestions or improvements on the itinerary for the first week. Also - any suggestions for my second week in Ireland.

Katecronin20 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2016, 02:48 PM
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Be aware that the Guinness Storehouse is an interactive museum and not a Brewery Tour, I haven't done the Jamesons tour in Dublin but the Middleton tour is good.

Dingle and Doolin are both on my visit don't stay list but I'm not a tourist so my views are not typical. If you are aiming for Inis Mor then get there from West of Galway at Rossaveal. Doolin is ideal for Inis Oirr and the Cliffs of Moher combi cruise.

Other points in West Clare and if you aim to get onto the Connemara from Galway
Tony2phones is offline  
Jan 28th, 2016, 09:51 AM
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Jameson Distillery was fun. Make sure you volunteer at beginning of tour when they ask. At the end they take 8 volunteers for a special taste test of Jameson, Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels whiskeys. Also very much enjoyed Kilmainham Gaol. I thought it was very informative. Some great pubs with music we really enjoyed were O'Neills, Madigans on O'Connell Street, and the Porterhouse. In Galway, we enjoyed An Pucan pub. They had a traditional Irish dancing demo every hour.
bean11 is offline  

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