Ireland

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.

FOOD MUST:

IRISH STEW

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

ACCOMMODATIONS

Hotels, hostels and guesthouses along the route listed by day on the itinerary below.

CLIMATE

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. 

TRANSPORTATION

You will need a car to make the trip around Ireland. Rent a car with good wheels and a good gas tank.

ENVIRONMENT

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)

LIFESTYLE

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.

Day one

Fly to Dublin, and we're off

Day Two

Land at Dublin Airport and check-in to the hotel and drop off bags

1 PM - Walk around Dublin and explore everything you can:

6 PM - Dinner at The Quays Irish Restaurant ($$$, Gastropub)

Drinks at The Brazen Head ($$, Irish Pub) or Porterhouse Temple Bar ($$, Pub)

Stay awake as long as possible so you can to get over the jet lag​ but don't drink caffeine drinks

Day Three

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

Day Five

8 AM - Good morning Waterford, and a start with breakfast at The Granary ($$, European)

9 AM - Take the factory tour at House of Waterford Crystal; time spent is 1 hour, $14

10:30 AM - Drive to the Hook Peninsula; about 1 hour

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

9 AM - Good morning Cork, start with breakfast in the English Market which is an indoor farmers market​ with restaurants and shops; pick up snacks for the afternoon drive

11:30 AM - Walk around the corner to the National Monument

12 PM - Drive to Blarney Castle; time spent is 2 hours, $17​

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​

Explore Killarney by seeing the Muckross AbbeyTorc Waterfall, or Ring of Kerry 

Dinner at Lakeside Bistro ($$$, Traditional Irish) or Rozzers Restaurant ($$$$, Irish)​

Drinks at Lake Hotel Bar

Day Seven

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

  • Options: The Medieval City Walls inside the Eyre Square Shopping Centre, Galway City Museum 

Dinner at The Seafood Bar @ Kirwan’s ($$$$, Irish Seafood) or Oscar’s Seafood Bistro ($$$, Seafood); The Dough Bros ($, Pizza)

Drinks at Tig Colili or Tigh Neactain

  • Galway has great festivals, see if one is happening while you're visiting → calendar 

Day Eight

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

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

  1. Mussenden Temple; time spent is 1 hour, free (4-hour drive)

  2. Dunluce Castle; time spent is 1.5 hours (30 minute drive​)

  3. Giant's Causeway; time spent is 1.5 hours, free (10 minute drive)

    • Harry Potter fans, look familiar?

  4. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge; time spent is less than an hour, $8 (15 minute drive)

  5. For a dark and spooky walk, The Dark Hedges​​​; time spent is 1 hour, free (20 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

7 PM - Dinner at Sanjha Indian Restaurant ($$, Indian) or if you want something fancy, ROCOCO ($$$, Steakhouse)

Day Ten - Belfast

8 AM - Good morning Ballymena, breakfast at Follow Coffee Co ($, Cafe) then drive to the Gobbins, 1 hour​ drive

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

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)

Day Eleven

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​

7 PM - Dinner at The Church ($$, Irish food) or Montys of Kathmandu ($$, Nepalese), try the Momos

Drinks at The Temple Bar ($$, Pub)

Day Twelve

Breakfast at Simon's Place Coffee Shop ($, Coffee & Bakery) and try the cinnamon roll

Check-out of the hotel after packing up everything

Goodbye Ireland. Head home.

helpful links
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. 

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