(Closed) Ireland Honeymoon…Advice

posted 8 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I’m really interested in this. We’re pretty much decided on doing a beach resort trip, but if that doesn’t happen and we delay further, Ireland was on our list.

Post # 4
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I’m sure there are bees out there with better advice than this but for what it’s worth here  are my thoughts. I went to Ireland in March 2003. I highly recommend renting a car if either of you can drive a stick and are not freaked out by driving on the other side of the road. We fley into Shannon instead of Dublin and stayed in Galway at a B&B. I highly recommend the B&Bs in small Irish towns. Where we stayed there were many and it seems they were all run by people whose kids were grown and had moved out of the house. If you do this, be sure to go to breakfast especially if it is an Irish breakfast with breads and such.

We drove along the coast and took in the landscape, farms, castles, small towns. It was really nice. we even did a pub crawl on the main street in Galway to celebrate my friend’s birthday. Everyone we met was beyond friendly and even tiny pub had live bands and great atmosphere. We did Dublin as a day trip. I wish we were about to spend more time there but am happy we at least saw the city. Overall, our trip was very much plan as you go. There were four of us and we met in London, flew to Ireland for 4 or 5 days, celebraed my friend’s birthday and St. Patrick’s day (there are lots of parades full of children playing instruments and such) and explored the countryside. We shopped at local artisian shops and took lots of photos. It was relaxing and I can see how Ireland would be a romantic destination.

As far as cost, I would suggest you ckeck http://www.travelzoo.com as I recently saw a few Ireland offers and I kow AerLingus has some good flight offers right now. Also, the USD/EUR exchange rate is the best it has been for the dollar in the last 5 or so years. I checked today and it was 1.22 USD to 1 EUR.

Post # 5
Member
673 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

1. What cities did you visit? Dublin, Galway (super charming, by the seaside, blissfully wonderful) pretty much all towns in Ireland are ridiculously charming.

2. What would you recommend to see? the ring of Kerry, Galway, Dublin (Guiness Brewery is awesome! Belfast is in Northern Ireland (technically a different country) but is absolutey fascinating and has a history of conflict and political turmoil. It’s not as charming (kind of dirty) as the rest of Ireland, but has very very interesting history. Blasket Islands, Dingle Bay, Aran Islands, Giant’s Causeway is haunting and amazing. Pretty much anywhere you go is friendly, interesting and charming.

3. Where did you stay? I studied abroad in Northern Ireland (Belfast.) If you check out Belfast, also check out Bangor, which is a great seaside town nearby.

4. How long did you stay? 6 months

5. How much $$ should I budget for? It’s very expensive, but so worth it! Probably 3,000.  The Guinness is sooooooo delicious, it’s as charming as you imagine (if not more.) A pint of Guinness cost me $7. dinner out was probably around $25 a person. The pound/Euro doesn’t translate well compared to the dollar, so you will pay double for most things. 

6. Were the people friendly? Everyone is so friendly, especially outside of Dublin. They love Americans, are very open and chatty, and love buying rounds of drinks for strangers. I can’t think of a friendlier place.

Post # 6
Member
326 posts
Helper bee

I’m irish! see galway, it’s lovely. the whole west coast is very pretty. it depends what kind of a holiday you want really. there is alot of history pretty much everywhere so i imagine that that would be interesting to an american, to me it’s so normal i guess i don’t appreciate it anymore. it is really really expensive over here but the exchange rate is good at the moment. any specific questions just ask

Post # 7
Member
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

OH MAN!  I am so jealous!  I studied abroad in Ireland for two months in college and it was the best trip of my life.  I wish we were going there on our honeymoon!

Firstly, the people are extremely friendly in the Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland).  They love to chat and are extremely helpful if you need directions or ideas on what to do.  The people of Northern ireland, UK, are also lovely, however it was my experience there (I was only there for about three weeks through my two month stay) that they were a tad anti-American. However, both countries in the island are wonderful and have plenty of good things to offer.

Dublin is a vibrant, metropolitan, and culturally rich city. You don’t want to miss it.  However, prepare to spend the bulk of your money there. Food and lodging are expensive, however, the pubs and shops have so much character you don’t want to miss them.  A pint of beer or cider usually runs around five euro throughout the city, and obviously coctails are more expensive.  If you’re not picky about where you stay, there are plenty of hostels where you can get private rooms, and you can get them as cheaply as 20 euro a night. 

While in Dublin, be sure to see Trinity College, it has a gorgeous, historic campus and museum.  Also, go to Grafton street to see all the fancy shops if you feel like looking at street vendors, coffee shops, and fancy stores.  I wandered Grafton five million times while I was there just because it was so entertaining.  When you feel like a hitting the best part of the resturant, pub, and club scene, go to Temple Bar.  It’s an individual bar, but also a whole area of the city that is quite bustling.  There is also the Guniness Factory, where you take a tour and they give you free beer in a glass room overlooking the entire city!  But you will not have to look hard to find casual, fun pubs, shops, and markets. 

I also went to Galway, which is as far as I know the 2nd largest city in the Republic.  It is charming and not too big, has a darling town center and great pubs.  While there, take a ferry to the Aran Islands and rent a bike.  It is literally the most beautiful area of the world I have ever seen.  Also, in very backcountry Galway, there is Kylemore Abbey.  If you’re into extremely little towns steeped in authentic, real life Irish culture with a big castle, this is for you.  There is also a national park there that is beautiful with nice (and not too difficult) hiking trails.  Be warned, it is in a two-pub town of Connemara, and it’s a long trip from the city center of Galway to get there…I think about two and half hours by bus.  I stayed there in a very inexpensive B&B with a friend for a night and got to see the Kylemore Abbey, and although it’s not a *huge* tourist attraction, it was well worth the travels to see it, and was the most inexpensive leg of my trip.

County Wicklow is also beautiful if you feel like going to a low key, not super rustic national park. 

Ok, Northern Ireland is a whole different story and I do not have as much experience there as I do in the Republic, but if you go, go to the north and go to Carrick-a-rede bridge in Giant’s Causeway.  You’ll see some of the most beautiful natural landscapes you have ever seen with the coolest hexagonal rock formations. Keep in mind that they use the pound, not the euro, so thing will be a bit more expensive. 

When you travel around, I would suggest taking the bus system.  I don’t remember the exact cost of the bus fare, but as I did it through the duration of my trip, it could not have been that expensive.

Have a wonderful time!!!!

 

Post # 8
Member
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Killarney is perfect for a honeymoon stop. The Burren also makes a nice stop, and the Aran Islands, which you can get to via ferry from Galway.  Galway and Dublin are good, a lot of culture and nice shopping and tours, but if you want to see the real good stuff.

Post # 9
Member
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Oh, I forgot…Bring an umbrella!  It rains all the time!  It’s also pretty cold at times so bring some jackets and cozy clothes! 

Post # 10
Member
1562 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

advice = let us come? hehe had to say it!

congrats and hope you have a great time!

Post # 11
Member
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I went with my aunt and mom March 2009 and we agree it was one of the best, if not THE best, vacation.  Here’s my answers and I have my itinerary handy (including tipds) if you’d like me to send a copy.  It’s in PDF form so probably regular e-mail would be better.  Just PM your e-mail address.

1. What cities did you visit? Flew in and out of Dublin.  Stayed in Dublin for 2 days and then took off by car.  I drove (had to remember how to drive manual though) and I found it pretty easy with helpers.  Went to Kilkenny, Cork, Blarney, Limerick, and Bunratty.  We went to several other towns for attractions but those were the main ones we stayed.

2. What would you recommend to see? Hop on Hop off tour in Dublin which takes you to everything you need to see there including Guiness tour.  Kilkenny castle (get there first thing as the tours fill up).  Rothe house in Kilkenny is cool to see how upper middle class lived.  Blarney Castle.  We loved the Bunratty banquet and folk park.  Newgrange tomb. 

3. Where did you stay? We stayed at Ripley Court Hotel in Dublin.  That’s the only place I made a reservation.  The rest of the time we just found a B&B we liked and asked if they had a vacancy.  I would recommend that as we were able to find places close to where we wanted to be and we never found it to be a problem.  I would give Ripley Court 5 stars for service and 4 stars as a hotel.  It was about 3 blocks away from where the hop on hop off tour started and was really convenient.  The only B&B I would recommend going out of you way for is Castle Mews in Bunratty.  It was just down the road from bunratty Castle and Durty Nelly’s.  Durty nelly’s was an awesome pub.  You buy 2 4 course meals for 20 or 25 euros and you got a free bottle of wine.

4. How long did you stay? 10 days

5. How much $$ should I budget for?  We were a little stingy, eating at McDonald’s some nights but 4 course meals some others.  Budget about $900 for airfare each person.  The cost for car, gas, 4 night hotel in Dublin, and other 6 nights in B&B’s was ~$1,200 total.  Guiness tour, Bunratty banquet, and hop on Hop off tour was $103 each person.  I don’t know how much $ for food.  If you go nice places it’s 20 euros for a 4 course meal.  Cheaper if you go to a fast food place.  And of course breakfast will be included everywhere you go. 

6. Were the people friendly? The most friendly people on Earth.  They would cross the street and interrupt their day to give us directions.  They loved recommending places.  At one point my aunt stood on a sidewalk talking to a woman about her life story.  It was awesome.

Tips: Buy the book Ireland for Dummies.  I bought 3 books and that was the best.  Sit in the front of the taxi.  They like that.  Tipping isn’t “required” like here so they will love you for it.  They are much more casual and not in a hurry like us so they won’t bring you the check unless you ask for it.  They’d let you stay all day! 

I am missing it now. 🙂

Post # 12
Member
673 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I love riding the bus because of alllll the roundabouts. And I miss Jaffacakes. And Primark. Damn, now I miss the whole place. Yeah you can’t go wrong, just go anywhere, go out, talk to people and soak it all in. Bring a light suitcase because the shopping is awesome!

Post # 14
Member
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Fiance & I both have family there. He’s been a few times, I’ve been going my whole life. He proposed last time we were over there.

Most of my family is in Wexford & Waterford – don’t register for any crystal or Beleek if you’re headed to that area ;). The people are AMAZING! You set foot in a local bar & any Irishman can talk about American politics & culture from Obama to Miley Cyrus. I’m just glad I know how to properly pronounce Taoiseach! LOL

Dublin has tons of shopping, Trinity college, Temple Bar, Kilmainham gaol and tons of other attractions. The Guinness Factory has a rooftop bar call GravityBar – it has 360 views of the city, it’s an incredible view. I’m a Guinness snob, I don’t drink it in the states. DON’T buy any trinkets at the factory though – you can buy the same thing in town waaaay cheaper.

Killarney is gorgeous & quaint & has tons of fun sites & shopping. It’s also not far from Blarney which has the castle (& kissing stone but I’ve never done it) and the Blarney Woolen Mills. We stay in Killarney Towers, it’s a great location right in the middle of everything and it’s a really pretty hotel.

I’ve only driven through Cork a couple times but it looks really interesting. The streets are PACKED with people all over the place and the architecture looks cool too. We plan on going back next time we’re there.

Galway’s cool but I always feel like it’s more of a college town. It has a really young partying vibe. You wanna go to an all night rave? Go to Galway. 😉

Quite possibly my favorite place in Ireland is Ashford Castle in Cong. It’s a small town about a 1/2hr north of Galway. They filmed the movie Quiet Man on the castle grounds – it’s redic. expensive to stay in the hotel (I’ve only stayed there once & even then we could only afford 1 night) but it’s breathtaking. There’s little B&B’s in town that are MUCH cheaper and you can wander the castle grounds, take a boat tour on the lake, a falconry class, horse riding lessons, etc.

I’ve only been to Northern Ireland once & personally I wasn’t a fan. We stayed in Derry (aka Londonderry). Touring the area is very interesting, we took tons of pictures of the murals and the Bloody Sunday memorial, etc. But we got there at 3pm on a Wednesday and everything was on lock down. I mean like steel accordion pull down gates. It felt like the south bronx. We eventually found an American themed bar called “Boston” but a guy there told us that the hotel bars do very well because many tourists don’t venture out at night. If you go there, you’ll also need to convert some of your money to the British £.  

I think Jan-March are the best times to go for flights. Check the Euro exchange too but everything’s pretty pricey over there. Expect to pay almost double whatever you pay at home. Most of my relatives come here with empty suitcases because “everything in New York is so cheap”. HAH! Can you imagine?!?

Post # 15
Member
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

First off, anywhere in southwest Ireland is beautiful.  Second, Dublin is a world-class must-see city.  Third, don’t forget about Northern Ireland!!  It’s stunningly gorgeous and there are fewer tourists.  It is very safe, so there’s nothing to worry about.  Fourth, the people are amazingly friendly everywhere (a little less so in Dublin, but just by a little bit).  People in Northern Ireland are especially friendly and welcoming to tourists. 

Post # 16
Member
3613 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

We’re heading there next Saturday so I can let you know more when I get back. We’re renting a car and visiting different places for 10 days. Our itinerary is: Dublin for 3 nights, Kilkenny 1 night, Cork 1 night, Killarney 2 nights, Bunratty 1 night, Mayo (Ashford Castle) 1 night, back to Dublin for a night and return flight.

I think we budgeted $6,000 for both of us including flight and hotels. Euro is at a 4-year low now which should help with the expenses.

I’m so excited!

 

 

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