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Which city?

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Which city?

Planning a 4 day trip to Ireland (on way to Scotland) next May. What city would be best to use as our base?

We will be flying in from the States, and want to stay in a city with an "old town" (and will get a hotel in that area)- love the history - with easy access for a day trip out to the country. We don't want to rent a car.

I've heard Dublin is like any other big city and was wondering if there are other places with more character?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!! Thanks

Merced, California
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for Killarney
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1. Re: Which city?

If not wanting Dublin I would suggest you fly into Shannon and take a bus from there to Galway. The city has a good feel about it and it is possible to take day trips from there. One can also fly from Galway to Edinburgh.

http://www.buseireann.ie/

http://www.galwayairport.com/

http://www.galwaytourism.ie/

Unlike in the US there is a distinction between city and town with cities being such due to an historic charter. Without a car though you are better set to stay in a city rather than a town due to getting to and from it and for options for day trips.

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: Which city?

I don't think Dublin is just like any other big city (and I've lived in as well as visited other big cities in various parts of the world) and it's certainly not lacking in character. For me, and many others who live here, it has a character and charm all of its own, and feels much more intimate than most cities its size (well over 1m people).

Dublin has a wide range of architecture and many of its key landmarks and buildings date from the Norman (12th century) and Georgian (18th century)periods. It's probably the most historical of all of Ireland's cities and its streets have witnessed key uprisings and events (including the 1916 Rising) which shaped the destiny of the country as a whole.

On a quirkier level, it's also home to the world's oldest purpose built department store (Clery's of O'Connell Street), Europe's largest enclosed park (the Phoenix Park), one of the world's oldest zoos which was also the birthplace of the MGM lion, and Croke Park, spiritual home of Ireland's indigenous sports of Gaelic football and hurling, and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association. And of course Guinness, brewed in the heart of Dublin since 1759, as well as Ireland's oldest university, Trinity College (1592) which houses the Book of Kells, a priceless illuminated manuscript dating from AD 800 and one of the oldest books in existence anywhere.

The city teams with cultural sites such as museums, galleries, concert halls, theatres and cinemas, as well as a vast selection of traditional pubs (many dating from the Victorian era and earlier, some untouched by time for decades).

Topographically speaking, the city nestles between mountain and sea, the Dublin/Wicklow mountains forming a picturesque backdrop and the horseshoe-shaped Dublin Bay (likened to the Bay of Naples when the sun shines)glistening in front of it. Unlike many big cities, Dublin has an enviable coastline with long sandy and pebbled beaches stretching north and south of its centre, and even a beach (Dollymount) and nature reserve (Bull Island) close to the city centre.

Dublin will give you easier access to other parts of the country than any city in Ireland as all roads and public transport routes radiate out from the capital. Also, it offers a large number of organised tours to places such as the megalithic UNESCO World Heritage in Bru na Boinne/Newgrange north of Dublin, the wild and beautiful County Wicklow south of Dublin, Galway, Cork and even as far as the Cliffs of Moher in Clare.

Closer to Dublin you can use the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and suburban trains to visit picturesque coastal villages such as Howth, Malahide, Skerries, Dalkey, Bray and Greystones. You can also use direct trains to visit places such as Belfast (just over 2 hours), Galway (2 hours 45 mins), Kilkenny (less than 2 hours), Cork (just under 3 hours).

These threads have more details of things to see and do in Dublin, as well as information on destinations for day trips.

tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-g186605-i90-k287774…

tripadvisor.ie/…17105723

tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-g186605-i90-k290717…

County Clare...
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for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
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3. Re: Which city?

Flowergirl, I would second Tony's recommendation of Galway. It's a small city right on the Atlantic with a good choice of places to visit in county Galway, such as Connemara.

Not too far south is county Clare which has the burren and cliffs of Moher.

http://www.burrenbeo.com/

http://www.theburrencentre.ie/

http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/

The Aran islands can be toured from eith Galway (Rossaveal) or county Clare (Doolin.)

http://www.inisoirr-island.com/

aranislands.galway-ireland.ie/dun-aengus.htm

Places of historical interest in Galway include Kylemore, Inis Boffin etc.

http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/

http://www.inishbofin.com/

Also in county Clare you can visit:

http://www.shannonheritage.com/

lookaroundireland.com/counties/…quinabbey.htm

Other attractive larger towns / cities are Kilkenny:

http://www.kilkennytourism.ie/eng/

Cork

http://www.corkcity.ie/tourism/

or

Westport:

Again each of these towns have a weath of beautiful countyside and interesting attractions within easy, non exhausting day trip tours.

I hope that this helps.

wichita,ks
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4. Re: Which city?

Dublin is like every large city in the USA that was founded a minimum of 1200 years ago.

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: Which city?

Nice one, Patrick! I like it!

DC
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6. Re: Which city?

Got to agree with tapl, I LOVED Dublin. We stayed 9 days, with day trips to Wicklow, Howth/Bray, and Northern Ireland. I've been to plenty of big cities from Tokyo to NYC and in between-- Dublin definitely has character.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Which city?

hi , great advice from everyone, dublin can be brilliant, but for 4 days, i'd go with galway, oddles of character, friendliness and the gateway to the west with all its beauty.Plus you can walk the city with ease, no car needed.To simply chill and take it all in, it would be a good choice, fab places to stay too and as for the food.... super.

Dallas
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8. Re: Which city?

Ditto to tapl..I loved Dublin too...big city or not! I also loved Derry/Londonderry, Cashel, Dingle and Galway. By the way, does anyone know why some call it Derry and some call it Londonderry?

Dallas
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9. Re: Which city?

Patrick...I like your Wichita humor!!!!! Good one!

Dublin, Ireland
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10. Re: Which city?

Derry/Londonderry (often referred to as "Stroke City" for that reason!) was originally named Doire Colmcille (after Saint Colmcille) which became shortened to Derry.

In the the 17th century the city was granted a royal charter and was renamed Londonderry in honor of the Corporation of London who assisted in the Plantation of Ulster.

Today, people from the nationalist tradition tend to refer to the city and county as Derry while those from the unionist tradition tend to use Londonderry.

Roads signs in the Republic direct you to Derry while those in Northern Ireland point you to Londonderry.