Ireland Tourist Traps?

Old Mar 6th, 2001, 04:38 PM
  #1  
Erin
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Ireland Tourist Traps?

Hi everyone--I'm posting a lot of messages-- sorry. I am travelling in Ireland this year and even though I will be a tourist, I would like to avoid any major tourist traps but still get to see a lot of Ireland. Any suggestions of where to go/where to stay away from? Also--I am wondering what kinds of clothes to bring. I will be on the West coast in May and June and I just want to be casual. Thanks, Erin
 
Old Mar 6th, 2001, 05:42 PM
  #2  
Danna
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Erin, <BR> <BR>I don't know about tourist traps in the West, we were only to Donegal Town. But, I found that folks farther west in Ireland dressed more like me, I'm from the the midwest and colors are ok here. As others will tell you, take layers of clothes so that you are ready for chill, rain and warmth. Casual clothes in the west will be fine!
 
Old Mar 6th, 2001, 06:52 PM
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Erin
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Thanks Danna. It's funny you mentioned colors because I read somewhere that, especially in the West, Irish can spot a tourist if their clothes are too colorful!
 
Old Mar 7th, 2001, 11:46 AM
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Lisa
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Hi Erin, we went last May, so I can tell you that you will want some lightweight khakis, jeans, very comfy shoes (a couple of pairs, in case one gets soaked and needs to dry), a raincoat w/hood (not just a windbreaker like I had been told by many folks), sweaters for layering, polo shirts are a good bet. I found that most people in the cities dressed just like we do in our big cities, and most folks in the countryside dressed in jeans and sweatshirts, sweaters, etc. They could pass for middle America easily. Black is always safe. A rain poncho is a good bet and lightweight, can fit over you and your sweater and backpack or bag and camera, or whatever you are carrying. You can always pop into a store and pick up a lightweight fleece jacket, which is what I did, and now when I wear it, it brings back great memories! Also, a scarf is great to throw around your hair in the wind, esp. at the Cliffs of Moher and Rock of Cashel (two of the most awesome sites to see in my opinion). The only tourist trap I saw was Blarney Castle, but to be in Ireland without kissing the Blarney Stone, well, that's a personal choice. Also, the Ring of Kerry is usually so packed with tour buses that it gets frustrating, opt for the Beara Peninsula drive instead - heaven on earth! Dingle Peninsula also fabulous. Kilkenny and Kinsale, two of the cutest towns!!! You'll have a fabulous time, it just can't be helped <BR>Lisa
 
Old Mar 7th, 2001, 02:09 PM
  #5  
marylouise
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Hi Erin <BR>My family of four were in Ireland the last week of June 2000. The only weather that interfered with our sightseeing was fog at the Cliffs of Moher that made visibility zero. We had off and on rain 1 day out of 10.The temperature varied between 70 sunny farenheit degrees one day to 50 and cloudy on another. My husband (who was born with an inner furnace!) wore shorts most of the time but I would say that was unusual! Layers are really the key here as every one else also seems to agree.One fleece piece layered with the rest will take care of the coldest day,resists moisture and dries fast if wet. You can cover that with a waterproof windbreaker or poncho if you encounter rain. My kids and husband wore sneakers (each brought 2 pair)and I had a pair of LL Bean gortex "country walkers" which were perfect for me...waterproof and comfortable. We ate at pubs and went to 2 "fancier" restaraunts and did not feel out of place in our casual attire. We traveled Salthill,Galway to Dingle Peninsula to Cork to Blarney to Cashel and to Dublin and enjoyed every experience. Bunratty and Blarney are certainly for tourists but none seemed tacky or a "trap". We all navigated the line up to the Blarney Castle "stone" (the only line we ever encountered, by the way) and only one out of the four of us "kissed" the stone. It was worth the view and the look at the castle. The Blarney Woolen Mills are there and the selection of goods and prices for sweaters and a zillion other things couldn't be beat if you would be inclined to bring gifts back home for others ...or yourself!!! <BR>Dingle was our absolute favorite and...if you go ...don't miss Conor Pass and the ancient ruins out past Dingle Town. Sorry to ramble on so but I so enjoy my recollections and get carried away.....I can't wait to go back! <BR>Hope you have a wonderful trip!
 
Old Mar 7th, 2001, 02:12 PM
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Annie
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Killarney is the second biggest tourist trap on the planet. The first is Knock. Also avoid kissing the Blarney Stone. <BR> <BR>Non-touristy fun/interesting places to go: Inishowen Penisula in County Donegal. Incredibly beautiful. Take the coast rode all the way around. Belfast. Great, fun city. Have a drink in the Crown and the Rotterdam. Take a tour of City Hall (quite possibly the most beautiful city hall in Europe). Derry. Take a tour where you walk on the city walls with a guide. Fascinating, and sad. <BR> <BR>One of my favorite things to do in Ireland is just drive. We often end up in tiny villages, and of course have to stop in the pub, where English is usually the second language. Also, you often will stumble across gaelic football or hurling or soccer matches being played. <BR> <BR>One of the most interesting places I've ever gone in Ireland was what they called the Famine Village. It was a small village on an island, where basically the entire population emigrated in one fell swoop. The foundations and some walls of the buildings in the village are still visible. I can't remember the name, but I'm sure a good tour book would mention it somewhere. I don't think it's too far from Croagh Patrick. <BR>
 
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 03:39 PM
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George
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Annie, It's the Deserted Village on Achill Island. Ongoing archaeology there indicates it dates to medieval times! Cheers, George.
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 09:58 AM
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Edmond O`Flaherty
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I would not agree with Annie`s views on Killarney.The town itself is nothing special but the countryside round about is spectacular and is visited by large numbers of tourists from all over the world.Tourism is a business which the town has specialised in for a very long time.Queen Victoria visited the area in 1861 and the town is Ireland`s biggest tourist town after Dublin. <BR> <BR>I know the place well and love to visit Killarney National Park,Muckross House,The Gap of Dunloe and the boat trip from Lord Brandon`s Cottage through all three lakes.Not far away are other beaufiul places like The Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. <BR>I would go so far as to say that to visit Ireland without visiting Killarney is like visiting the U.S. while skipping New York or California.
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 11:12 AM
  #9  
Mary
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I agree with Annie that Killarney is a tourist trap, in the sense that the town is entirely geared to tourists and something about it seems a bit artificial. But it's also in a beautiful area and, like Edmond said, offers places like Muckross and the lakes. (I'm not sure I agree about Knock, though; it's simply like a lot of pilgrimage places ... has that mercenary dimension.) <BR> <BR>The places I love most in Ireland are Co. Sligo and Co. Donegal (esp. the Horn Head area and Inishowen Peninsula). When I visited Co. Donegal in the springtime, there were very few tourists. However, the Dingle Peninsula is beautiful too, as is the Burren and Connemara, and perhaps these are something that a first-timer to Ireland might enjoy more than Donegal simply because they're closer to other places like Cashel or Kilkenny or Galway. Their location allows a more varied trip. (I'm not a Ring of Kerry fan; some people like it, but I much prefer the Dingle Peninsula. There's more to explore, and Dingle town is neat.) <BR> <BR>Re clothes: casual stuff is fine. Wear what's comfortable to you. Bring something for the soft weather, as others have suggested. Ireland is wonderful! You're bound have a great time.
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 01:15 PM
  #10  
Annie
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George! Thank you so much. I've been driving myself crazy trying to think of the name. <BR> <BR>I stand by my Killarney comments. Most people I know who live in Ireland don't go to Killarney because it's so touristy. Also, the restaurants in the town are incredibly overpriced. And one pub we stopped into turned out to be bascially a hall with long tables full of tour groups and bad beer. I think my husband and the bartenders were the only Irishmen in the place. Of course, we left quickly, when we noticed they were asking my fellow Americans to come up to the microphone and sing "Danny Boy." We fled, leaving the poor barmen behind. <BR> <BR>There are so many wonderful places to visit in Ireland that I don't see any point in spending time in places like Killarney. Kilkenny is a place full of tourists, but the town manages to retain its integrity. <BR> <BR>Casual clothes are fine. Waterproof hiking boots work quite well in keeping about both the rain and the beer.
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 01:25 PM
  #11  
John Bryan
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Shoot! I spent three days and two nights in Kilarney...of course it was in January. It was my 40th birthday, and I saw NO tourists, and I got great buys at Christies and the weather was nice... Muckross house and the lakes were beautiful and I even took a jaunting car ride throught the forest to Ross Castle. I loved Kilarney. I did take time to travel through out the south and enjoyed everything. There are wonderful towns, as suggested, but the bad rap for Kilarney was not my experience...probably due to off season travel. The locals were actually glad to see me... rather than sick of tourists, they were ready for a good gab with a yank! <BR> <BR>Enjoy! you will love it. <BR> <BR>hey! I even liked Blarney Castle! I guess I just LOVE IRELAND!
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 03:04 PM
  #12  
Erin
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You guys are fabulous!! Thanks so much for taking the time to give me (and others) such helpful hints. Luckily, I'm going for 2 months so I am covering a lot of what you mentioned--Sligo, Galway, Burren, Connemarra, Dingle, Cashel, Cork, etc. Sorry, but this time I'm not going to make it to Killarney-- but of course, you always must leave something for the next trip!! Thanks again.
 
Old Mar 24th, 2001, 05:31 AM
  #13  
bushmama
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Hi, Erin, I'll be on west coast of Ireland May and June, too! Hope we both have a great time and avoid the F&M calamaties. As far as tourist traps, although the Ring of Kerry is terribly crowded (maybe F&M will keep them the tourists away in droves!), one cannot afford NOT to travel it. Maybe joining the forces of the enemy and taking a day bus would be a good option. And, of course, Blarney is a terribly hokey, touristy spectacle, but, there again, if that is important to you, go for it! We found that even with most of the over-touristed sites, the people are so charming, it makes it a good experience. Have a great trip! <BR>Safe travels, bushmama
 
Old Mar 26th, 2002, 07:45 AM
  #14  
Helen Breen
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Hi Erin, you will love Ireland. The only place where I was bored was the Waterford Factory - reminded me of Freeport, Maine. But then some people just love to shop. Enjoy!<BR><BR>Helen
 
Old Mar 26th, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #15  
pamr
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I was in Kerry the 3rd week of June. The only crowds we ran into were at Blarney Castle - the Ring of Kerry & Dingle were not crowded at all. I believe the pub with American sing-alongs in Killarney is Laurels. It is a tourist trap - there are better pubs to go to!
 
Old Mar 26th, 2002, 08:25 AM
  #16  
cd
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Hi Erin<BR>Just returned from Ireland and our favorite places were Dingle Peninsula, Slea Head Drive (a must!)Doolin, and the Connamara although we loved it all and we drove 1000 miles. Have full coverage on your rental car as you are responible for anything that happens to it whether you do it or not. We are paying for a windshield another car cracked by flipping a stone! Again, wear layers. I wore turtle necks with cotton sweaters and a brushed, waterproof leather jacket along with jeans and black pants and black, waterproof, confortable street boots. (it rained every day we were there) You will be overdressed if you wear anything other than casual clothes unless of course you attend a dinner for instance at Dromoland Castle which is suit and tie. You are lucky to spending two months! Have fun!
 
Old Mar 26th, 2002, 10:18 AM
  #17  
suzanne
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I was in Ireland in May 97 - it was fantastic, but chilly(40's)...and it did rain every day (at least a little). One day it actually hailed. Make sure you bring some boots that you don't mind getting muddy! <BR><BR>We drove down the west coast and around the Dingle Peninsula. Driving was great, as it allowed us to visit small untouristy towns. One of our favorites was Baltimore, a small fishing village at the SW corner of the country. We had an excellent lunch of crabmeat sandwiches there (plain crabmeat - no mayo - fantastic!) and there was a beacon on top of the hill (basically, a tall white structure) surrounded by purple and yellow flowers overlooking the turquoise waters...it was SO beautiful there.<BR><BR>The most touristy thing I did was go to one of those "Medeival Shows and dinners" somewhere in the Limerick Area. It was very corny and silly...I guess it's not a bad thing to do if you're in that type of mood.
 
Old Mar 26th, 2002, 11:31 AM
  #18  
Maxie
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The dinner at Bunratty Castle was the biggest tourist trap we encountered, although some posters here liked it. You're going to see beautiful countryside and meet friendly Irist folks and that will make up for anything "touristy". By the way, we liked Killarney but for a small town, we loved Kenmare.
 
Old Mar 26th, 2002, 12:43 PM
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Annie
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I was reading my previous posting and realized that I should clarify my Killarney thing: the town itself is what I object to. The countryside around is it beautiful. It's just the town that's a waste of time. And John, sorry to burst your bubble, but the locals were just being polite. BTW, Killarney has two ls.
 
Old Mar 28th, 2002, 02:36 PM
  #20  
Meg
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Laurel's Pub is the place you "don't" want to visit in Killarney town. All the tour buses go there filled with Americans. They put on the type of show they think Americans like. The first and last time I was there there was a musical oriented group tour from the US. They were enchanted with their singing ability and all in their cups - wouldn't leave the stage. We happened to be on a 20 passenger bus tour and told our driver never to take anyone from the US there again. Find another place. But on the way to the airport, he played a tape from ?????Hal Ross???? the American jokester and he thought it very funny and we knew he missed our suggestion entirely. It was a great trip other than the Laurels.
 

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