First Trip to Ireland

Mar 27th, 2013, 12:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
First Trip to Ireland

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Ireland this year. Our tentative dates are June 25th through July 3rd and we have no idea where to get started for planning our itinerary. We have not purchased our tickets or made reservations anywhere yet, but we are planning to fly in to Dublin. We have a few tourist attractions we would like to visit, but also want to see the local, "off the beaten path" locations as well. We would prefer to stay in B&B's for the entire trip, but are open to any suggestions. We have never traveled out of the country, so any advice on this area would be much appreciated.

So I guess my questions are:
Should we stay in and around Dublin or dare to venture out?
What main tourist attractions would you recommend we visit? Which ones should we avoid?
What local places would you recommend we visit?
Which B&B's should we stay in?
Should we rent a car? (Neither of us can drive a manual transmission vehicle)
If we don't rent a car, what would you recommend for transportation?
What advice would you give for traveling out of the country for the first time?

I know this is a lot, but any advice would be awesome! Thank you in advance!!
sarabardin is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
Start by booking your airlines first. From there you can plan the rest of the trip. You are getting kind of late for a June flight.

Is that time on the ground or does your week include flying time? You're going to have to pick just a few things to see, as well as time in Dublin.

Figure out where you want to go and then check out lodging at these places.

Use to help you with maps, but bring one along. Get a Michelin Green Guide ASAP to help you determine where you want to go.

Here are some links to get you started.,6288/
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 12
I would agree-book your tickets! Get that done ASAP as prices are soon going to sky rocket, if they haven't already. Otherwise I would say one very important thing before you start planning-A trip to Ireland is entirely wasted if you do NOT venture outside of Dublin. While Dublin is a lovely city it is not what Ireland is all about. It's the small towns and little pubs and good craic and amazing people!
caitboy1 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
It is very difficult to get around rural Ireland without a car, If you want to see the countryside get your flights and reserve your car now - esp if you need an automatic (they go quickly).

Also consider flying into Dublin and out of Shannon to avoid wasting a day return to D.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 958
Agree 100% with nytraveler. Into DUB, out of SNN, and definitely get out of Dublin. The countryside with its 40 shades of green is what Ireland's all about!
travelhorizons is offline  
Mar 28th, 2013, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
Try reading some Trip Reports -- here, on Fodors and at to get ideas.

The best way to see and experience Ireland is by car, but an alternative would be to base in places like Dublin, Galway, and Killarney (Connected by Bus or train) and use small, local day tour companies to 'Venture Out'

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Mar 29th, 2013, 08:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Thank you everyone for your wonderful information! We will put it all to good use planning our trip. If I have any other questions/concerns, I will definitely be posting them here.

@Rastaguytoday: Thank you! Those dates include flying time. We are getting our flying iterneray this weekend. Thank you for all the links

@caitboy1: We do want to go outside of Dublin for sure. We very much want to see the rural side of what Ireland has to offer.

@nytraveler: Thank you for the advice on flying out of Shannon. We want to travel around the southern end of Ireland so that would be perfect.

@Itallian_Chauffer: We were concerned about driving ourselves around Ireland as neither one of us can drive a manual, plus we've never been out of the country so adapting to driving on the left side of the road would have been a wild experience. Thank you for your suggestions!
sarabardin is offline  
Mar 29th, 2013, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
Rent a small automatic car. (The trunk space will be very small, but that should encourage you to travel light.) My husband, who does most of the driving, is experienced with driving a right-hand drive manual car, but he still chooses to drive an automatic in Ireland. (And even I can drive a right-hand automatic.)

I think you'll find it's worth the extra cost and initial (but short-lived) concern for driving on the left to rent an automatic car. You will so much more enjoy Ireland if you can see some of the "off the main road" things. Oh, and you haven't lived if you haven't gotten lost in Ireland and had to ask a local for directions!
longhorn55 is offline  

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