Post # 1
I would love to hear about it.
what place(s) in ireland you visited, what time of the year you went (or what time you would recommend), place(s) you stayed, most memorable things and places you saw or visited, what kinds of foods you would suggest, things to do, how long you stayed/how long you wish you stayed, what the people are like, etc…
My Fiance and I are trying to figure out where we’d like to go and just thought I thought I would ask. Our hearts were fixed on Greece, but we’re exploring other places that tug at our heart strings. My Fiance loves climbing mountains and exploring new places and I am Irish on both sides of my family–so it just came to me! 🙂
Much appreciated, Bees! 🙂
Post # 3
Do you want more scenery Ireland or a mix of that and some city?
Post # 4
Also how active are you guys – would you want to do ome cool activities while there? I know you said he like climbing – are you into that kind of thing too?
Post # 5
@Snow00774: I am definitely more interested in a mix, although I am seeking more of the country. I love going for walks and being outdoors, and wouldn’t mind some climbing, too! 😉
As for the city, we particularly would love going to theatre shows, art museums, shops, and of course eating out. So yes, a mix of city and country would be best!
Post # 6
Im interested in this as well. Darling Husband and I will be going for our anniversary! (in a year or 2)
Post # 7
Fiance is from Ireland, and I’ve been there twice. It is a really beautiful country! We visited Dublin for 2 days with his family and did the touristy things, but honestly I didn’t think Dublin was THAT awesome. It’s a big city and I live in a big city. I really liked the tour of the old prison (Kilmainham), Guinness Factory was very touristy but I guess I had to check that off the list. I went to Belfast for a few hours and did the bus tour and found it to be pretty depressing. What I’ve liked most is seeing the little towns and countryside! It is so pretty and charming! I have so many photos of the coast, and mountains, and cows! Friends of mine honeymooned in Ireland and just drove around for a week and they LOVED it. I’ve also heard wonderful things about Galway, but haven’t been there yet.
Post # 8
I’ve been there 3 times. Last time (last march) we’ve been to Dublin for only a week. We took two day tours (because Fiance has never been there before and I wanted to show him a bit more than just the city): one to the wicklow mountains national park, Loch Glendalough (so beautiful and romantic), hollywood (the real one 😉 ) and kilkenny and the other to Newgrange (built 3200 BC, Fiance almost got stuck in the small entrance to the monument, he’s 6’5”) and the River Boyne (in the Valley of The Kings) and Hill of Tara.
Here some (maybe helpful) links:
(or google “ireland day tours” that helps, too)
The B&B desk clerk gave us many tour tips too, but we just hadn’t enough time…
and another tip: national museums and galleries are for free!
Hope that helps…
Post # 9
If you’re looking to spend some time in the country and do a bit of hiking, you might consider going to the West coast. I spent 6 weeks in County Mayo and loved it. It’s a little more rugged and untamed. Achill Island is really beautiful and sort of remote (depending on the time of year), which is nice. A lot of people hike Croagh Patrick (some do it barefoot!), and the views from the top are spectacular. Westport is a sweet little tourist town that I fell in love with. If you are going to go to the larger towns, I really preferred Galway to Dublin.
Post # 10
Thanks for the help and suggestions…I will be busy researching all this! You all are amazing and I appreciate it 🙂
Post # 11
Hi there! I’m living in Ireland right now with my husband (we just got married this summer!)
Ireland is beautiful, and I would agree with some of the previous comments. I would fly into Dublin and spend a couple days in the city either at the beginning or end of your trip. Don’t spend too much time in the city.
To see “real” Ireland, you need to rent a car (which can be a big expensive with the insurance, most US policies won’t cover driving in Ireland). And they drive on the other side of the road here, which just takes a little time to get used to. Then I would plan driving over to Connemara and Galway, then to Dingle Peninsula (this is the most amazing place), Ring of Kerry, Killarney, Cork. You basically would be making a big smiley face around the south of Ireland 🙂
There are amazing B&Bs all over that you can stay in. They are so friendly and usually have very good breakfasts. For other food, try the local pubs wherever you are at! Great bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, guinness stew.
Best time to come would be during the summer. It doesn’t get much warmer than around 75 degrees here in the summer, which is good for doing outdoorsy stuff. It always rains here, but it’s more of a drizzle, not big showers. Just bring one light coat with a hood.
Free free to PM me with any questions as you plan your trip!
Post # 12
@sparkles_10: ditto. I do not have as much experience in Ireland but when I was there we had a rental car and drove the coast. We based ourselves in Galway at a lovely B&B and there were a million of them. Our host told us that was the thing to do when all your kids moved out and you had a mortgage on a 5 bedroom house. Breakfast was very nice and very Irish. We spent a day in Dublin so I’m sure we didn’t have time for everything but were much more impresses in the countryside. Rent a car and drive around, I would recommend 7-10 days as it is not a huge country but I guess it depends how you want to spend your days.
One other thing I would mention for the idea that you wanted to go to Greece but decided against it. Greece is also a dream destination of mine. Last year, we went to Malta (a small island chain between Greece/Italy and Africa) and while it is no Greece, it kind of reminded me of a cross between Greece (climate) and Ireland (nature). It’s not overwhelmingly touristy but tourism is their main industry. However, unlike the Carribean, people do not pick you out as a tourist and start trying to sell you things. Sicne everyone speaks English it is quite easy to get around. Just a thought as we had a great time with our tiny rental car.
Post # 13
We spent three weeks in Ireland for our honeymoon! I posted a big thread about it here, which includes lots of photos.
Dublin and Galway are both lovely cities, but Ireland is very much a rural place. To get the best experience, you need to get out to the countryside to explore the stunning scenery and absolutely charming towns. These are some of the incredible places we saw on our trip:
- Wicklow Mountains/Military Road drive
- Copper Coast drive
- The Burren
- Cliffs of Moher
- Aran Isles
- Ring of Kerry (particularly Valentia Island)
- Skellig Islands – this is definitely one for climbers/adventurers!
Other winners that we didn’t get to visit are the Dingle peninsula and Connemara.
Everywhere we ate the food was excellent; just pricey!
The people everywhere were very friendly and much more relaxed than in the US (I’m an east coaster, where everyone is snappy and short on time). This was true especially outside of Dublin.
I give a list of favorite accomodations in the other thread…in sum, stay in Butlers Townhouse Hotel if you’re staying in Dublin, avoid Waterford Castle and go for Dromoland instead, and use tripadvisor to find highly rated B&Bs, they’re wonderful and include free breakfasts!
If you have any specific questions, let me know!
Post # 14
I studied abroad in Ireland, lived in Galway for about 5 months, and all I have to say is to second the previous posters– do the Dublin tourist-type things (Guinnes factory, grabbing a drink in Temple Bar, etc.) in a day or two and then rent a car! Also, allow yourself a bit more time in Galway; it’s gorgeous, right on the water, and there are tons of wonderful places to eat and drink.* I was there from January through the end of May; it’s cold and windy and rainy, but so beautiful that I didn’t feel like the weather mattered much! And we did get some truly gorgeous weather in the weeks leading up to departing.
The Ring of Kerry is a truly gorgeous drive, and I think everyone should see the Cliffs of Moher at least once. I also agree that Belfast was a bit boring/depressing; the consensus among my fellow program participants was that “There is no craic in Belfast.”
Hope this helps, PM me if you have any questions about Galway– I tell everyone who expresses even the tiniest bit of interest in visiting Ireland about how beautiful and fun and wonderful Galway is!
*sidebar: Galway is a very college student-ish city, since it has several large universities nearby/ in it. I don’t know how old you are, your night outing preferences, or when you plan to go, but the nightclubs and some of the bars (by no means all!) tend to skew very young to mid-20’s on the big party nights– which if I’m recalling correctly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and maybe Thursdays during the school year (many Irish students go home on weekends, I for one was shocked to see how dead the clubs were on Saturday nights!)
Post # 15
Hire a driver if possible instead of trying to drive yourself in a rental. The roads can be horrible.
Post # 16
Something I didn’t see anyone mention is the amount of daylight. In June/July the sun rises as early as 5 a.m. and sets at 10 p.m.! This can give you a lot more driving and sightseeing time. In winter of course it’s the opposite, where there can be less than 8 hours daylight.