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Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

Plano, Texas
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Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

My husband and I will be traveling to Ireland for the first time Oct. 25th staying 7 nights. We will be flying into Dublin and out of Shannon. We will get in very early on the 25th so will have a full day in Dublin. We would like to see the countryside and had even considered just flying into and out of Shannon, but felt Dublin was a "must see" for our first trip. We would like to stay longer, but are unable to due to work schedules. Since this will be a vacation, we don't want to be too rushed, but would like to see the beautiful Irish countryside. Any suggestions on how many nights to stay in Dublin? We were then thinking heading to Galway and then to see Dingle Peninsula...or what would you recommend? Also, we are coming from US and have read not to try to drive in Dublin. So, I am thinking we could take public trasport from airport, but then where do we pick up car to head out to other places? Thanks for the suggestions in advance.

Pittsburgh
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1. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

There's a shuttle that runs from Dublin airport to various stops in Dublin. There's a Hertz office in Dublin, not sure if there are other rental agencies in Dublin or not. I'm sure others can be of more help with this end of things.

Personally I think leaving on the 3rd day would give you more than enough time to see Dublin. There are Hop On Hop Off buses that run throughout Dublin with varying stops in the city. They had two routes, one a red bus and the other a yellow bus; one went further out towards Phoenix Park and Kilmmainham Jail. There's the Book of Kells in Trinity College, St Patrick's Cathedral, and Christ Church. More than enough to see and do in Dublin.

That being said we much more enjoyed the more rural paths of Ireland, mostly in the West. Connemara is beautiful with its rugged scapes of mountain and valley.

I guess it goes to personal preferences and what you would most enjoy.

Plano, Texas
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2. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

Thank you for writing to me. Did you travel to Dingle? Where all did you stay in the West?

New York
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3. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

Put Egan's Guesthouse, Glasnevin (Dublin) in the query box and you'll see a number of discussions on a place convenient in time with easy access to both airport and Dublin, with auto street parking and buses to town (or airport) . There's even the option back to the airport should you want to hold up the vehicle rental till Dublin's done.

Edited: 16 September 2013, 20:45
New York
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4. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

Second thoughts as well on the whole week now:

With seven nights and the two (good move) airports, I'd do one (many would say two but that kills some of what follows) night in Dublin, then spend two nights in magical Kerry around the combination of a full day for the Ring of Kerry and slightly shorter day for Killarney National Park.

That leaves time for a breathtaking DIngle Peninsula (two nights and the same time for the great area covering the Cliffs of Moher/Doolin/Burren with great local villages all around in a 45 minute maximum trip to all from Fanore's Orchid House.

There's loads of info on all this using the TA query box. We're talking classic Irish area sites here, the sacrifice being a single Dublin day with an on off bus overview and a few stops. You can always return for more.

Edited: 16 September 2013, 20:56
Whitney, Texas
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5. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

if I only had 7 days, i'd only spend 1 in Dublin....others will no doubt disagree but I think time spent in dingle or county galway, not the city of galway, have so much to offer that it would be a shame to not be able to take your time seeing both areas...for a last night maybe stay in Shannon at the oakwood arms hotel located just minutes fro Shannon airport and it's only about 15 minutes away from bunratty.... www.oakwoodarms.com

great pubs and eateries and blarney woolen mills mini mall is a great place to shop for any last minutes items to take home duty free.......also, perhaps your last night there you could attend the ceili at the castle....such a good way to end any trip to Ireland.....

Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

there are plenty of car rental agencies in the airport. but it may be a good idea to book beforehand. as to where to go, what do you actually want to do? many people ask for "advice" as to what to see, but really it is up to you to say what you are coming to Ireland for. you must have some idea of the sort of thing that you want to do or see. if you have a specific area that you intend visiting, then there may be some who will be able to help you.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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7. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

I'd do two nights in Dublin. Many of the museums are there, several walking tours, and historical sites. Don't miss Killmainham Gaol - I don't know of anyone who was sorry they went. From there I'd head over toward Lenane through Cong and then down into Galway for the night. From there, south to Cliffs of Moher (with a quick stop at the Burren Smokehouse for provisions) and on to Kilrush to take the ferry to Tralee and drive down to Killarney. I'd spend most of my time based in Killarney. It's a easy day trip to Dingle and/or Bunratty in addition to all the stuff in Killarney.

Take a GPS. Also, we think nothing of driving hundreds of miles in a day, but Irish roads are different. N and M roads are good, R roads are a gamble outside of urban areas. Driving in Dublin isn't any worse than in Houston or Dallas except the streets are more confusing...but again, take a GPS, preferably a Garmin (because the maps are better).

Cavan
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8. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

A point that nobody else seems to have mentioned is the reduced daylight hours at the end of October with the winter clock change which takes place this year on Sunday 27th October. This means that it will be getting darker earlier (6pm), so you will need to build this into your daily tour schedule. The weather then is also unpredictable and usually wet and windy so you should come prepared with an umbrella if spending time outdoors. We particularly love this time of year for walks in the countryside.

Whitney, Texas
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9. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

good point cavan, about the daylight hours....

sorry to disagree with previous poster, but I surely wouldn't be taking a day trip from killarney to bunratty as it's about a 5 hour round trip and the fact you'll be going back to Shannon for your last day....as for driving in Dublin, believe me, I grew up in Houston, worked in downtown.....then moved south of Dallas and drove in everyday....the traffic in Dublin makes both of these congested cities look like rural areas.....

as for rental car agencies, I just taxi to malahide to b&b....then take the bus into city centre as you don't need a car in Dublin....you can just get on one of the hop on/off buses and see anything you want (pass good for 24 hours)....then when i'm ready to head out i just taxi back to the airport to pick up my rental.....it's easy to exit from the airport no matter which direction you are heading.....

Dallas, TX
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10. Re: Ireland for the first time---need help with itinerary

We just returned from our Ireland trip, which is documented on Trip Advisor. We arrived in Dublin around noon, (4 hours late), so all we had time to do was Trinity College, Book of Kells, Dublin Castle, St. Stephens Green and roam the Templar Bar district and the pedestrian malls. At the end of our drive around the countryside for 10 days, we returned to Dublin around noon (to drop off our car) we visited Kilmainham Goal (don't miss it) and Guinness Storehouse. The next day in Dublin we took the Mary Gibbons Tour to the archeological sites at Hill of Tara and Newgrange. If you are not interested in the bus tour, then two days, three max in Dublin should do it .