12-DAY All Over Ireland ITINERARY
Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is on Ireland's easy coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. Its historic buildings include Dublin Castle, dating to the 13th century, and imposing St Patrick's Cathedral, founded in 1191. City parks include landscaped St Stephen's Green and huge Phoenix Park, containing Dublin Zoo. The National Museum of Ireland explores Irish heritage and culture, per Google.
Must do, must see, must try:
DANCE, THE JIG IS UP
The Irish Jig, or the Riverdance is a must-see experience. Takes years of practice and hard work to move this fast.
A celebrated dish, the combination of potatoes, onions, parsley and lamb or mutton is sure to fill you up.
DRINK UP: GUINNESS
Take in the local culture and art, with a sip of tasty beer made in Ireland. Fancy another? Why not.
The 12-Day Ireland Itinerary
Hotels, hostels and guesthouses along the route listed by day on the itinerary below.
April through June or September through October will be most ideal with the weather. Ireland somes have some weather so it's always a chance.
You will need a car to make the trip around Ireland. Rent a car with good wheels and a good gas tank.
Language is Irish but most locals speak English and more languages
Currency: Euro (EUR, €); if your exchange rate here; the other currency when you reach the United Kingdom is the sterling (GBP)
Ireland attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Besides the historical influences, Dublin and the town offers unique experiences, elegant rolling green hills and interesting foods. The atmosphere is ideal for a long romantic getaway that you will need to save up for.
Fly to Dublin, and we're off
Land at Dublin Airport and check-in to the hotel and drop off bags
1 PM - Walk around Dublin and explore everything you can:
Kilmainham Gaol Museum, a must-see Irish prison & history museum; guided 1 hour tour, $9
The Little Museum of Dublin, also a must-see and book in advance; guided 1 hour tour, $9
Irish Whiskey Museum; $19+
National Museum of Ireland, free because all government-run museums in Dublin are free
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum; $12 - Dead Interesting Tour at 1 PM or History Tour at 2:30 PM
Croke Park Stadium Tour & GAA Museum; time spent is 1.5 hours, $16
City Parks, St. Stephen's Green is a top pick; free
Shopping on Grafton Street
Street performers are amazing
There’s a shopping scene on Grafton but it’s chains you’ll find in the United States
Afternoon drink at Buskers Bar ($$, Bar & Dance Club)
6 PM - Dinner at The Quays Irish Restaurant ($$$, Gastropub)
Stay awake as long as possible so you can to get over the jet lag but don't drink caffeine drinks
9 AM – Breakfast at The Rolling Donut ($, Bakery)
10 AM – Dublin City Bike Tour; time spent is 3 hours, $31
Sights include: Custom House, Docklands, Grand Canal, Merrion Square, Portobello, George Bernard Shaw’s Birthplace, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Christ Church, Temple Bar, The G.P.O. and more!
1:30 PM – Lunch at Leo Burdock ($$, Fish & Chips), try their famous fish & chips and yes, it's worth the wait
Or try Paddy Jack’s in Temple Bar Market, famous for their horse meat sandwich
3 PM - Let's drink up at the Guinness Storehouse; $20 entrance fee which includes a pint and have an early dinner here
7:30 PM - Dublin Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl; time spent is 2.5 hours, $16
Day Four - Kilkenny & Waterford
Start of the road trip; first day with the rental car
7 AM – Breakfast at Keoghs Cafe ($, Cafe)
Drive to the medieval town of Kilkenny; drive from Dublin is 1.5 hours
9:30 AM – Kilkenny Castle; time spent is 1.5 hours, $9
If you want some quick shopping - head into Butterslip Boutique
11 AM – Lunch at Petronella Restaurant & Cafe
12 PM – St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower; time spent is 2 hours, $7
2 PM – The Black Abbey, Dominican Priory
Then walk down the street to Black Freren Gate
3 PM – Drinks at Smithwich's Experience Kilkenn; tour is 1 hour, $15
6 PM – Dinner at Ristorante Rinuccini
7:30 PM – Drive to Waterford; takes 1 hour
Check-in to the hotel, Granville Hotel and drop off the bags and stroll around the town
9 AM - Take the factory tour at House of Waterford Crystal; time spent is 1 hour, $14
Other options: Medieval Museum; time spent is 1 hour, $8
10:30 AM - Drive to the Hook Peninsula; about 1 hour
Stop along the way at Roches Bar & Restaurant ($$, Seafood) for a quick bite
1 PM - Tour the oldwest working lighthouse in the world, Hook Lighthouse; guided tour is 1 hour, $11 - prepare yourself for all the stairs, wear sneakers
3 PM - Watch out for ghosts in the most haunted house in Ireland, Loftus Hall; interactive tour is 45 minutes, $12
5:30 PM - Get on the road for Cork; drive is 2.5 hours
Check-in to the hotel, The Imperial Hotel CORK
Day Six - Cork & Killarney
11:30 AM - Walk around the corner to the National Monument
12 PM - Drive to Blarney Castle; time spent is 2 hours, $17
Kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence
3 PM - Drive to the Killarney National Park, about 1.5 hours
5 PM - Check-in at the hotel, The Brehon; splurge and stay at the Lake Hotel
Another hotel option is Killeen House Hotel, where Rozzers is located
Drinks at Lake Hotel Bar
7 AM - Good morning Killarney, breakfast at Sceal Eile Restaurant ($$, Irish)
Option here: Stay in Killarney and explore the National Park, then drive to Galway
8:30 AM - Hit the road to the Dingle Peninsula; drive takes 1 hour
If you want to save time, skip this - it's a pretty view, sheep and stone huts
Continue your drive to Galway (Drive from Dingle is 3.5 hours; drive from Killarney is 3 hours)
This is weird, but you're going to pass the Burren National Park and the Cliff of Moher to return with a group; trust me
12 PM - Welcome to the city of Galway, check-in at the 7 Cross Street Hotel Galway
1 PM - Lunch at The Pie Maker ($, Healthy Irish) in the Latin Quarter, then walk & explore after lunch
Walk down Quay Street for interesting spots, down Druid Lane for a moment with the Hall of the Red Earl and turn the corner on Kirwan's Lane; grab some coffee and sit down at Eyre Square
Drinks at Tig Colili or Tigh Neactain
Galway has great festivals, see if one is happening while you're visiting → calendar
8 AM – Breakfast at Coffeewerk + Press ($, Cafe)
10 AM – 5 PM: Day Trip of Moher from Galway; time spent is 8 hours, $35 - bring food/snacks and water
Sights include: Cliffs of Moher, Dunguaire Castle, Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb, the Burren and more
6:30 PM – Dinner at The Kings Head ($$, Pub), must have the original Irish stew
Drinks at stick around Quay Street and listen for River Dance music
or enjoy Sheridans Cheesemongers ($$, Cheese Shop) for the fanciest wine and cheese plates
Day Nine - United Kingdom
7 AM - Big breakfast at Ard Bia at Nimmos ($$, Irish Breakfast)
Long day of driving to Northern Ireland which takes 4 hours with additional time for stops
Mussenden Temple; time spent is 1 hour, free (4-hour drive)
Dunluce Castle; time spent is 1.5 hours (30 minute drive)
Game of Thrones fans, look familiar?
Grab a sample from Old Bushmills Distillery
Giant's Causeway; time spent is 1.5 hours, free (10 minute drive)
Harry Potter fans, look familiar?
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge; time spent is less than an hour, $8 (15 minute drive)
Game of Thrones fans again
If you need to save time, cut the above section out and drive from Galway to Dublin (2.5 hours). You don't want to miss Belfast, take a day tour of 7 AM – 9 PM: Day trip to Northern Ireland for highlights including Giant’s Causeway; time spent is 14 hours, $86: sights include Belfast, a Black Cab tour, Peace Wall, Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Memorial Garden, Game of Thrones scenes and more.
5:30 PM - Stay in Ballymena at Adair Arms Hotel
Day Ten - Belfast
9:30 AM - Arrive with your tickets (must have in advance) at the Gobbins Cliff Path; time spent 2.5 hours, $12
12 PM - Continue to Belfast for the day; drive takes 40 minutes
Quick Lunch at Boojum, Botanic Avenue ($, Mexican)
2:30 PM - Black Taxi Tour - Belfast Political & Mural Tour; time spent is 1.5 hours, $40
Sights include: the Belfast Murals & The Peace Wall, Shankill and Falls Road, and more
5 PM - Evening stroll in the Cathedral Quarter
Find the yellow umbrellas at Commercial Court
Eat, drink and repeat - but also see the Albert Clock
Top bars: Duke of York, Harp Bar, Dirty Onion... just too many
Find dinner somewhere and enjoy the scene!
Stay in Belfast at the Europa Hotel (the most bombed hotel in Europe) or drive back to Dublin (2 hours)
8 AM - Good morning Belfast, breakfast at Caffe Nero ($$, Coffee)
9 AM - Drive back to Dublin, about 2 hours, and return the rented car
12 PM - Lunch at Flanagans Restaurant ($$, American & Irish) followed up with exploring Dublin
3 PM - Jameson Distillery Tour; time spent is 2 hours, $62 - The Whiskey Makers tour
Drinks at The Temple Bar ($$, Pub)
Travel a GO-Go
Use the Google map on the left to get a lay of the land and see all the fun spots that you'll visit. Download the free PDF by clicking the icon below to have this itinerary at your finger-tips.
How to Use the Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner to view the layers (days, points of interest, route).
If you click the star, this map will be added to your Google Map account. To view, open your Google Maps, click the menu button "Your Places", select the map and it will open.