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planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Montreal, Canada
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planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks


I am planning a solo trip to Ireand for August or September 2013 for approx 2 weeks. I am a sinlge 32 year old female. I don't want to do any organized tours and I will be travelling around by train/bus and will be staying in hostels. I am trying to do a budget trip. I want to see plenty of sights, meet interesting locals, go to pubs, see some ceilidhs. But I dont want to be an uber tourist so want to stay away from tourist traps.

I will be flying into dublin. That is all I know so far. I am open to itinerary suggestions (stay a few days in dublin? where to next?, etc..) any advice is most welcome.


Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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1. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Happy New Year, Colleen! You need to help us out a bit. What are your interests?

You will have to be a bit creative to visit some parts of Ireland, given that you will be using public transport. Not impossible, just more tricky.

Don't write off organized Day Tours from such as Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Killarney for example:






Check out hostels here:



Check out Tourist Passes with Bus Eireann:


And, a selection of Day Tours:


Rail Travel:


If you visit in the second half of August, you might enjoy checking out Heritage Week events, mostly free and countrywide.

Runs from 17 - 25 August, 2013 and events will be added regularly between now and then:


Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Consult www.hostelworld.com for info on hostels/booking hostels. My young adult children swear by it.

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

thanks guys, this is a great start. I will look into the day tours, good point.

as for interests, i am not big on museums and am more of an outdoorsy person. I want to see some beautiful sights, meet interesting locals, enjoy the nightlife, the music.

I am trying to decide if it makes more sense to stay in dublin and then just take the rail or bus out on day tours then back in or do a few days in dublin, then move on to another area. Any suggetions?

Saginaw, Michigan
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4. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Much as I love Dublin, I would not spend the full two whole weeks there, especially if you are not big on museums, for example.

I would stay in Dublin a few days at the beginning (to find your feet) and at the end (you need to be close to the airport ahead of day of departure).

Beautiful sights lie awaiting you everywhere in Ireland. Check out the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide for Ireland to see what catches your attention:


The received wisdom is to either do the top half of the island north of an imaginary line running from Dublin to Galway; or, south of that same line.

There's dramatic, coastal scenery or quieter, more bucolic, inland areas.

You will find lots of pictures of the former; these, are of the latter, covering every month of the year:


This might help you with your planning:






If you want to do some hiking:


Any number of pubs with live music across the country and any number of walks to be found locally.

Have you considered B&B accommodation as an additional option? Not all hostels are on or near public transport,

whereas you can find B&Bs (which charge per person, with a very filling breakfast included)

in towns and villages within easy and safe walking distance of pubs and restaurants.



Queens, NY
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5. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Hi Colleen, I'm the same age as you and have travelled solo through Ireland MANY times. I love it there and it's one of the few places in the world a lady can go to a pub solo at night without guaranteeing herself a scary situation.

I definitely would not make Dublin my hub. Maybe sleep off your jetlag, do a day tour, then hit the road. it's just a typical big city and lacks the warmth you will find elsewhere. Although it is really beautiful and historic (I studied abroad there and stayed at Trinity College).

I would instead suggest 2-3 nights at a time in Derry or Donegal, Galway, and Cork. Also, I know you probably want hostels for budget /meeting people reasons, but the B and Bs are much nicer, and you will meet more Irish. In the hostels you will meet a bunch of tourists and miss out on getting to know the country.

I have travelled the country by bus, and if you pack light, it's not too bad. The buses are prompt.

My sister would like to go this summer, so I may go back once again, so maybe we'll bump into each other!

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6. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Thank you for this thread! I am a 33 year old female traveling to Ireland alone this July.

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7. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Doing the B&B thing really gives you local color and advice.

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8. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Hi Colleen3340 and Babo_03. You will have a lovely time travelling in Ireland.

On arrival to Dublin, stay a day or so, explore a bit, get to know the city and see if you would wish to stay longer. There are plenty of things to visit within the city including many interesting and cultural pubs, museums, free galleries, parks and monuments. Maybe include Christ Church Cathedral, No. 29 Georgian House Museum, Trinity College, St Stephen's Green, Phoenix Park, Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery, National Leprechaun Museum and Temple Bar. Two great hostels include the Generator Hostel and Barnacles, yet there is tons of other accomodation to choose from. These hostels will often include city walking tours, pub crawls and Barnacles even offers a value trip to the west to see the Cliffs of Moher and stay in their Galway hostel before an optional return bus journey the following day. This, at best, can be a good way of meeting other travellers for some company and hearing their suggestions and experiences for what to do next.

Explore Wicklow, just south of Dublin, either by organised tour or take the DART as far as Bray. The DART is the commuter train (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) which runs along Dublin bay and is a very scenic and comfortable journey. You could take the cliff walk to Greystones and further explore Wicklow National Park, the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough.

If basing yourself in Dublin for a little longer, tour north to counties Louth and Meath. See Newgrange and the Hill of Tara - some megalithic sites, as well as Trim Castle where Braveheart (the Scottish film!) was filmed, and the Battle of the Boyne site and visitors centre. These places are awkward to impossible to reach by public transport, so a Tour or taxi from local town would be the best option.

Cork, Blarney, Kinsale, The Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, Adare, Limerick, the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Connemara and Westport might be some other places you wish to stop by on touring the bottom half of the country!

Northern Ireland, which includes Belfast, the Antrim Coast and Derry~Londonderry may also be of interest. Derry~Londonderry is UK City of Culture 2013, so there are many extra events taking place including the Turner Prize "arguably the world’s most prestigious award for contemporary art".

Donegal is beautiful, rural, and less easily accessed by public transport - it could be worth it for a rural retreat however.

Check thegatheringireland.com and you may find a Céilidh going on!

Waterford, Michigan
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9. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks


I agree with all of the above statements. Spend a few days in Dublin and then branch out. I spent a week there two years ago and it was great to have a home base and take day trips but if you are going to be there for more than a week you should stay in the other towns to get a more authentic feel for the country (that is my plan for this trip, I will also be traveling to Ireland by myself at the end of August). Also just go with the flow it is very laid back so try not to put yourself on a tight schedule. It should be an amazing summer with lots going on. maybe we will run into eachother in our travels.

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10. Re: planning a solo trip to ireland in August 2013 for 2 weeks

Derry is the 2013 European City of Culture and has a lot of things happening this year including the Fleadh Cheiol traditional Irish music festival 12th - 18th August, well worth a visit: www.fleadhcheoil.ie

Edited: 02 June 2013, 12:55