Anyone who knows me, knows my love for Ireland. Is it the the green calm landscapes? Is it the joyful Irish music? Is it the welcoming people with their awesome accents? It’s hard to say, I just get a very special feeling in this country… (and even when just thinking about it!) The biggest reason for this is that I spend my study abroad there in 2012, in the beautiful city of Galway. I really loved my time there and want to go back as often as I can. As my mom and dad couldn’t visit me when I was there, we decided to go there again so I could show them around where I lived, went to college and visit the countryside.
During my study abroad I already travelled around a lot, so I got to know some of the most beautiful spots in the country! However, I couldn’t see it all, so with my parents there, we visited some new places too! And the best way to do so is definitely by making a roadtrip through the country! So today I want to share with you the best ways to organize such a trip which I can recommend you to make once in your life!
4 tips for organizing the roadtrip:
- If you’re from Europe, there are many cheap flights to Dublin with the Irish airway company: Ryanair. I always love to search for great deals for trips, which I will share with you more often! Plan the trip for as long as you like, the longer the better ofcourse! Other relatively cheap flights are possible with Aerlingus.
- Rent a car at the airport, for instance at Hertz or Europcar, I didn’t book this in advance, but we managed it there. You can always try to get a bit of the price as well ;)
- For the whole trip counts, stay in bed & breakfasts! There are so many in Ireland and many are really wonderful. We booked one in advance for Dublin and for Galway (cause we knew we wanted to go there), but for other nights we didn’t book anything. We just saw where we ended up and tried to look for a B&B in the neighbourhood. I am happy that we did it this way, cause you will be less stressed in following a tight schedule for your trip. However, I can imagine many people won’t like not knowing where they are going to sleep beforehand, so then it might be better to book in advance. A great website for this is Booking.com
- Buy an information booklet, telling you all about the country and its rich history, there are old ruins and churches everywhere and you don’t want to miss out on them!
8 Tips for places to visit
- If you fly to Dublin, this city is a great place to start your trip. I just booked another trip to this city for November with 4 friends and I’m super excited, this city never gets old! The city is firstly great for shopping, there are many huge stores where you can spend an entire day if you like. Next, Trinity college is definitely worth a visit, what I personally liked was visiting the Trinity College Library where you can see the Book of Kells. Then there’s no better way to end the day by visiting the Temple bar district, where you can find many nice pubs to eat a great burger or stew, drink a pint and listen to live Irish music. Maybe I will visit the Guiness brewery on my next trip, I haven’t gone there yet!
- Visit Galway! It’s the city where I studied at and it’s so typically Irish, you have to go! The cute coloured houses are always lovely. Some of the best pubs to go in Galway are: The King’s head (live music every night!), The Front Door (cheap but very tasty 3 course menu’s, and great for parties too!) and the Skeff Bar. All exist of many different levels and niches, which make it very cozy and fun!
- Go hiking in Connemara, the scenery is so beautiful! It feels like you just stepped into a Lord of the Rings Movie! There are trails where you can walk but It’s also doable to just park your car and walk up hill somewhere (don’t get lost though!! ;))
- Visit the famous Cliffs of Moher. From Galway there is a tourbus you can take that drives you through the Burren and alongside some other nice spots to the cliffs. It’s quite a long ride though, so it might be better to just go there by yourself by car. The Cliffs are so impressive and scary at the same time, you can’t leave Ireland without visiting them!
- Go south towards Dingle and the Ring of Kerry. These Peninsula’s are really beautiful and the town of Killarney is adorable to spend the night at a B&B. It’s also very nice to rent a bike in Killarney and cycle a day through Killarney’s national park. Among other things you can visit the Ross castle and the Torc waterfall.
- If you’re going back north again, a place worth a visit is the Rock of Cashel. It’s an old church on top of a big rock, which you can see coming from afar. When we arrived there we saw crows flying around it and it had a really cool and spooky vibe to it!
- Quite closeby to the Rock of Cashel is the city of Killkenny, this fun and lively town is also a great place to spend the evening. And I can definitely recommend you the Dunromin B&B at the Dublin’s road. The people there are so lovely and you’ll have the most amazing breakfast you can ever wish for!
- We ended our trip driving from Killkenny to the Wicklow mountains, the road driving there is already amazing and it’s great to step out at Glendalough. There are many hiking trails from here, easy ones but also trails that go over the mountains and take a whole day. The views are amazing and it’s definitely worth it!
So, these were my highlights and tips for visiting Ireland and especially making a roadtrip. Ill put a suggested roundtrip in the map below! :) Am I missing important places that you think I should visit next time? Also, let me know if you find this post useful or you prefer more detailled information :) Anyway, whatever you will do in Ireland will be good, I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!