Any Bees been to Ireland? Looking to plan a trip!

posted 3 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@prettyinpink11:  Well I’m Irish so I should be able to help!


I definitely recommend visiting in summer. I’m afraid it rains all year round in Ireland, but your best chance of avoiding that is in summer. But even if you do visit in summer, bring rain jackets and be prepared for very changeable weather – we really do get 4 seasons in the one day at times!


Chances are you’ll fly into Dublin, and whilst its a great town, I would strongly suggest that you shouldn’t stay there very long. The reason is that the Irish countryside is incredibly beautiful so you shouldn’t visit Ireland without seeing that. 

Irelands a very small country so you can literally travel from end to end within hours. Most places are reachable by train or bus (the train is faster but the buses are cheaper and go more places). Your other option is to rent a car. 


Nearby to Dublin you have places like glendalough and avocado which are very very pretty. But I think the most stunning scenery is in the west of the country, there’s this wild untamed beauty to it which is amazing. Donegal and Galway (Connemara) are amazing but I think my favourite place is Kerry. In particular I recommend Killarney and Dingle. 


If youre going to visit the countryside, I would recommend staying in B&Bs instead of hotels, they’re usually cheaper, nicer and youll have more personal friendly service. And some of them do anazing breakfasts!


As for Dublin, there’s lots of things tdo visit. I’d recommend trinity college, temple bar, the GPO. There’s also multiple lovely parks including Stevens green and Phoenix Park (which is massive, so don’t get lost but do watch out for the herd of deer that live there! Also if you’re interested I can give you the names of some really good restaurants in Dublin. 


Hope this helps, and if you have any questions just let me know 🙂

Post # 4
1333 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I kind of disagree about visiting during the summer. My favorite time to visit Ireland is the fall/winter. Yes, the weather’s lousy, but the company’s better-less tourists and more opportunities to chat for hours over a pint of Guniness or a pot of tea with friendly locals! I’ve never been in the spring but I hear it’s lovely. Early May would probably be a good time where the weather would be decent but you’d still beat the crowds.

I do agree about the west coast, staying at B&Bs (MUCH better deal in Ireland than in the US!) and the Irish breakfasts! My favorite place is the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway. It’s like going back 100 years in time.

Post # 5
2464 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

I went to Ireland for a month, and was on the west coast the whole time. Definitely make some to visit the Aran islands, and get yourself an Aran sweater. We took a ferry from Rosamund(?) after taking a bus there from Galway. Galway is a nice place to visit, too, but I didn’t spend much time there so don’t have any special tips. I spent most of the time in the Burren, which I highly recommend for its unique landscape, as well as a number of castles, towers, etc.


One thing you don’t want to miss is the Cliffs of Moher. You’ve seen them in The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and they are amazing in real life, too. But, be careful, people die there all the time leaning too far over the edge. I laid on my stomach perpendicular to the cliffline and peeked over the edge.


For something different, swing by the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan. The school is in/next to a smal castle, and there is usually some art on display, too. 


ETA: I went from the end half of July to the bewginning half of August. It was about 55 degrees and wet the whole time. Brrr! FMIL and FFIL went the next year about the same time I did, and they had great weather. It’s a toss-up!

Post # 6
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@worldtraveler:  Thats a good point about avoiding the crowds. I guess it depends on how much the rain bothers you, although no matter what time of year you visit the risk of rain is always there! But i guess tgats what makes Ireland so green and beautiful. Spring would be a good compromise. 

Post # 7
298 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We just got back form our honeymoon in Ireland and Scotland  a month ago (First week in August). We rented a car and went all over. It was beautiful. We were very lucky- it was about 60 degrees F and it only rained about 2 days total the entire two week trip, which is unheard of! We highly suggest the Connemara region, especially the northern Connemara region and lower County Mayo. Amazing. There is a drive between Wesport and Achill Island that will knock your socks off, however, if you go all the way to the beach at the end, make sure whoever is driving is not scared of heights. The view is still amazing if you only go to the bottom of the huge hill , but definitely worth the drive up if you can stomach it.

The best castle we saw by far was in Cahir (pronounced ‘Care’) . Unlike most of them, where you are on guided tours, they also allow you to independantly explore it- up the towers, into the dungeons and living quarters etc. The Killarney area was also beautiful. There is a great B&B, (our favorite of the trip) in Kilorgin called Torine House which will give you a great home-base for the Killarney area. The owners are super knowledgeable about what to do in the area and very friendly. We also agree that B&B’s are the way to go. The Muckross House near Killarney has the best variety and prices for souvenirs that we found on the whole trip. If you’re not afraid of heights we also highly reccommend the Skelligs boat trip/climb south of Killarney. I found out that I get wretchedly sea-sick, but even with that the tour was completely worth it. Plus, in June/July you will almost definately see endangered Puffins there!The Burren is also worth at least a drive through, such a cool, unique landscape. We were actually a bit disppointed by the Cliff’s of Moehr. I think they look better in pictures than real life actually.

Make sure to book your stay ahead, if you go in summer. I don’t think the crowds were too bad at all, but we did find that without pre-booking almost everywhere was 100% booked up, in Ireland and Scotland- tours and accomodations both. (We actually slept in our rental car our last night in Scotland because we thoguht we could just get a hotel somewhere between Stirling and Edinborough. Wrong! There literally wasn’t one within 2 hours drive, which is as far as we checked) We spent 7 days 6 nights and stayed in B&B’sgoing from Galway to northern Connemara to Dublin to Waterford to Killarney back to Galway. In two weeks you will be able to see so much more! I’m so excited for you guys!
































Post # 8
2614 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@prettyinpink11:  I agree with pp about visiting during the summer. The one thing I would say avoid November to March as it gets dark very early (4.30-5.30) and is very drab and damp! But any time of year bring a raincoat and always head to the local for a hot port/teaafter a long walk/hike. 

Definitely recommend Aran islands. There are lots of islands you could visit so do your research. I love Kerry and Cork. Spend lots of time there. I agree with Pp re Glendalough in Wicklow but I’d also recommend Carlingford just an hour north of Dublin. Its really beautiful. It gets lots of tourism but very few foreign tourists. There are lovely hikes there, plus a great adventure centre. I’d stay in Dublin to try out somehog the restaurants. Thes lots of choice. Try out The Merry Ploughboy for trad music.

Feel free to pm for advice 🙂

Post # 9
2614 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@abax:  I was only at the Cliffs of Moher last year and I was so disappointed. Also, it’s waaaay too touristy!

Post # 10
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

May is a nice time to go. You’ll get pretty good weather, relatively speaking. This year’s summer was oddly warm and dry, but that is definitely not a typical Irish summer. Last year there was one night where the temperature dropped to 10C. Ridiculous. A bit warmer if you stay down south, I suppose.

Be warned that food is pretty pricey in Ireland, especially in the touristy areas like Connemara. I highly recommend using Tripadvisor as a guide. Otherwise you’ll be eating some pretty mediocre and overpriced food.

If you’re hiring a car I would highly recommend venturing up north to see the Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Coast. Beautiful scenery. If you guys watch Game of Thrones you can look up locations where the show was filmed.

Try to attend a ceili while you’re visiting. A ceili is a traditional Irish folk dance – kind of like square dancing or line dancing in the States. Tons of fun – good craic, as they say in Ireland. They’re hard to find up north (no dancing for the Prods, lol), but you could probably find some in Dublin or Galway on the weekends.

There are plenty of lovely hiking trails, but make sure to pack proper sturdy hiking shoes – the ground is rocky and uneven in a lot of places.

Post # 11
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

My husband is half Irish – he was born here in Australia, then moved back there for a few years, then came back to Oz. His dad still lives in Ireland, so we’ll be going there one of these days 🙂

He lived in County Mayo on Achill Island, which he said is very pretty, but freezing. Then you can get a ferry from Achill Island to Inishbiggle (his family runs the ferry!) which is a tiny little island. There are some nice walking trails there if you’re into that.

Post # 12
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Bump! FI and I are planning our honeymoon to Ireland.


@worldtraveler:  I’m glad you disagree! We’ll be going next January!

Post # 13
877 posts
Busy bee

Oh how lovely!  My family went to Ireland a couple of years ago on a bus tour run by a native who now lives in the states!  We had a fabulous time!  We stayed in wonderful hotels and got to visit the Cliffs of Mohr, Galway, Dingle, Kinsale, and Dublin.  I would definitely plan on visiting Dingle because it is a great Irish beach town!  Food wise we discovered that the little pubs and fish n chip shops had the best things!  we even got to see a wedding party at one of the hotels which was sooo very fun!

Post # 14
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

I look after Tourism Ireland as one of my clients at work – let me know if you want any info on certain areas! I have some insider knowledge I can’t tell yet (which is so annoying as it would be really useful!) but have a look at travelling from Donegal to Cork on the coast roads – they have some stunning scenery!




Dublin is great fun – lots of culture and partying too, but it is certainly worth going to the coast. Giant’s Causeway is stunning too.


What a lot of people don’t realise is that Dublin isn’t just a city – it is on the coast, and then just the other side is Wicklow National Park with gorgeous mountain scenery. So you can get a great mix of scenery/activity types very close together!

Oh yeah, and Dublin is exceptionally expensive for food and beers!


Post # 15
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I have to agree with pp who say stay away in the winter. It’s depressing here. lol the sun comes up at like 9am and goes down at like 4:30pm… its cloudy, cold, windy and rainy… everyday, it’s especially bad on the west. It’s just not a fun time lol Summers here are a bit better, this summer was gorgeous in terms of weather, like I saw the sun most days (a big deal!). The days are also super long in the summer .

I avoid dublin like the plague. It’s fun for a quick shopping trip, but its a very busy, americanized city. If you really want the irish experience, go elsewhere. I’ve lived in limerick in the past and i’m on the coast in co. clare now (Ballyvaughan) I’ve only been in ireland for a iittle over 2 years now, so I haven’t seen EVERYTHING but from what I have seen I would recommend:

– Galway is gorgeous and is has the original maker of the clauddagh ring still in business. I made my fi buy me one when he came over for a visit last year lol  There’s also a segway tour that i’ve heard great things about (unfortunately i haven’t had a chance to do it yet)

– Dingle is stunning, and theres a dolphin (a single dolphin, not a pod, just one lonely, tourist loving dolphin) that loves getting his picture taken 

– The west coast has ballyvaughan (i’m living here right now, so i’m biased, but its the cutest little town, and has the nicest people! there’s plenty of waterfront cottages available for tourists here, and the locals are used to all different kinds of people. Most tour buses stop in here on their way to the cliffs). Theres a bike rental place that you can rent bikes from and go biking through the burren (google it! its stunning!) The ailwee caves are also nearby, and they have a birds of prey and an art exhibit, also theres this wierd rock structure/ancient grave about 15 minutes away in the burren (forgive me for not knowing the term, I drive past it everyday and have never bothered to look at what its actually called, but theres always a tonne of buses/tourists stopped in there). The aran islands are also nearby and accessible by boat. 

– The cliffs. I only spent an hour there… ya its pretty… but its just like it is in the million pictures you’ve seen of them… nothing super unexpected or exciting.

– I went on a horseback riding trek in lisdoovarna co. clare (check on tripadvisor, its one of the top places to go for the area). Even though it rained the entire ride, it was AMAZING! they take you up in the hills, and on a clear day you can see the cliffs, plus the scenery is fabulous, and they take those who are up for a challenge for a trot and/or canter. I was afraid FI would hate it because he’s not really into horses and the weather was awful, but he ahd a blast, it was his favourite part of his trip! It was also nice being better than him at something and having him ask me for help 😉

-i would never advise a tourist to visit limerick. ever. 

You’ll pass signs for about a million ruins/castles as you drive across the country, maybe pick a few that you’d really love to see otherwise you’ll waste your entire vacation stopping every 10 minutes for another ruin/castle

If your looking to save money and aren’t picky about accomodations, most major towns/cities will have hostels which are super cheap, and you can get most places by bus/train. 

If you can work it in, I’d advise flying into/out of shannon airport in clare. I HATE (with a passion) dublin airport. Shannon is significantly smaller, so you’re in and out alot quicker, it’s also easier to find your check in desk and gate, and if your american they do a pre-clearance for customs so you fly in like a domestic flight when you get to your home airport. It’s also closer to the prettier parts of ireland 😉 It has bus routes that take you to all the major cities through bus eirann, or you can grab a cab (just a word of warning though, don’t ask for a “ride”… its a “lift”. some cabbies will giggle like a little girl if you ask them for a ride.)




Post # 16
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’ve been to Ireland in summer, autumn and winter and they are all equally lovely, but I do have a soft spot for winter 🙂 

one thing to note is that due to the crazy effect that the recession has had on the euro, Ireland is EXPENSIVE. like, seriously seriously expensive, so make sure you do some effective planning on how to budget. On a four day trip we spent close to £600, and that was without being especially extravagant; we actually just didn’t get our money’s worth out of the euro, though that might be different if changing from the dollar.

either way, have THE BEST TIME! Ireland is one of the most amazing places in the world!

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