This lovely Emerald Isle is small enough that you can drive from north to South in 8 hours and east to west in just over 2 hours! On my travels I’ve often been asked for advice on where to go in Ireland. There’s so much to choose from but I’ve managed to put together an itinerary here that includes the best sights Ireland has to offer.
Day 1 – 2 Dublin
Dublin, the capital and biggest city in the country, certainly is bustling with activity and has lots of sights to appeal to tourists. In fact I’m always surprised how few Irish people I hear when I’m wandering through the city. Dublin seems to have become an international hub for foreign students especially South Americans, which, in my opinion definitely adds to Dublin’s appeal 😉
There are several tourist offices on the O Connell St. where you will find maps and information on places to go. In the middle of O Connell street is the Spire which is 120m in height and has towered above the city’s skyline since it’s unveiling in 2002.
The city is built along the River Liffey and there are many lovely bridges to cross over but my favourite is the city’s first pedestrian bridge, the Ha’ penny Bridge, where couples write their names on padlocks and padlock them to the bridge and throw away the key as a symbol of their love and commitment to each other. I think it’s very sweet!
The Guinness Storehouse is a very popular place to visit in Dublin also. Despite it being typically an old mans drink, many young and old visitors to the city can be seen sipping on the famous Irish drink, trying to experience the famous Irish culture!
Temple bar is perhaps the most popular area as it is filled with restaurants and bars playing traditional Irish music and it wouldn’t be uncommon to see live bands playing on any given evening with merry folk dancing around! For shopping, check out Grafton St. and make sure to walk by St. Stephens Green to enjoy the lake and beautiful gardens. Dublin zoo in Phoenix park is another lovely outing.
Day 3 – 4 Kerry
Kerry is home to many beautiful beaches. Ireland isn’t famous for it’s good weather but when the sun does appear, these beaches are crowded with people, enjoying the sunshine.
Killarney is a popular town to visit and you can spend hours wandering the quaint streets or sampling some Irish coffees while listening to live Irish music in many of the pubs here. Most people use Killarney as their base for exploring the surrounding regions, especially the famous Ring of Kerry. Click on the link for more information on the amazing mountains, waterfalls and lakes that can be seen in the area.
Another gorgeous, little town is Dingle, which is home to one of our most famous celebrities, Fungi the dolphin. He has been living here for over 30 years and a statue has been erected in his honour.
Another interesting fact is that there are some parts of Kerry that are part of the Gaeltacht which means they only speak the native Irish language, Gaelige/Irish.
Day 5 Limerick
This is my home town 🙂
Limerick is a small city located on the River Shannon. A 15 minute drive from the city you will arrive in Killaloe from where you can do a self driven boat trip along the river. There are lovely cafés and restaurants here if you fancy just relaxing with a nice view.
Bunratty is located just a short distance outside the city as well and is a well preserved medieval fortress built in 1425. You will definitely enjoy a day exploring the folk park and climbing the steep,narrow, winding staircases in the castle. At night, you can participate in a lavish banquet served by waiting staff in native costumes and enjoy the live musical and dance performances. If you don’t fancy leaving the city I’d recommend a visit to St. John’s Castle which is right in the city centre.
Day 6 Clare
Located in the west of Ireland, is County Clare, which is best known for its stunning coastline. It is home to one of the most visited sights in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher. Here you can witness the staggering columns of rock lining the jagged coast of Clare which is absolutely breathtaking so don’t forget your camera.
Beaches are plentiful in this part of the country. Kilkee and Lahinch are the biggest beach towns and are often crowded on a sunny day. Lahinch is a popular place for hen and stag nights so pubs are often filled with young people having a great time and wearing costumes for the occasion. Luckily nothing cures a hangover like a dip in the Atlantic so the surf schools are usually busy at the weekends. I have enjoyed some surfing lessons here myself!
The Burren is a unique karst landscape which should also be visited if you have some extra time in Clare.
Day 7 Galway
Galway is always a favourite city for visitors. Drop by the beach in Salthill for an early morning jog and spend the afternoon revelling in some retail therapy in the lovely pedestrian shopping streets. Galway is a great place for a night out to get to know the friendly locals and have the ‘craic’!