Ireland Rolling Hills

Ireland is a fantastic country.

The scenery is just breathtaking, the people are full of life, and there are a ton of things to do. I took a ten day trip to Ireland in May with one of my favorite people and we loved everything about the entire experience. I highly recommend making the journey to the Emerald Island; you’ll have a fantastic time! I love Ireland because you are so disconnected from everything else in the world that you can simply soak in the beauty around you. I’ve put together the tips and highlights from our trip and my recommendations for how to spend your time.

Things to Know

HOW WAS THE WEATHER?

We got incredibly lucky with the weather. We had researched before we went and found that it was probably going to be kind of cold and rainy, but we only had one day of rain. The rest of the days were sunny and 55–60º. Ireland Castle I found the most important piece of clothing for me, was a light windbreaker that I could put a fleece underneath, it was perfect for the temperature and the wind.

Dining
Expect dinner to take a while, since you don’t need to tip; the service is a bit different. It’s a slower pace of living, so if you are ready to go you have to be clear about needing the bill; otherwise the waiter might not ever come back, and you could sit there for three hours.

Driving
Ireland Rental Car Driving is an experience, but it isn’t as awful as everyone will tell you it is going to be. First of all, I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee normally, and our rental car was a tiny Nissan. So it’s the equivalent of driving a go-kart for me. So honestly that was the hardest part to get used to, figuring out how to get used to the size change and the wrong side of the road took me a few, but once I got it, it honestly wasn’t that bad. There are some very tight mountain passes and narrow roads, but there are a lot of pull offs, so you don’t need to worry too much.

Dublin

First Impressions of Dublin

Adorable houses + Lots of bicycles + Friendly people + Cheerful music + Great beer

Where to Stay

Charleville Lodge Hotel
Cute little brick bed and breakfast
View the Location Ireland Dublin Hotel

Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel
At the end of a very long trip, sometimes you just want a working, high-pressure shower.
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Where to Eat

Vat House
This is a great place to stop for a snack. Pro Tip: If you purchase a Hop On, Hop Off bus ticket, they will give you a free Guinness!
Restaurant Website

Old Guinness Storeroom
This place has great live music, a very friendly atmosphere, and fantastic drinks.
Restaurant Website

Things to Do

Walking!
There are so many places to walk to in Dublin with so many interesting things to see. When we arrived, we were pretty dead tired since we flew overnight and probably got about three hours of sleep combined. We walked along the canal, which is an excellent way to stay awake and try to get used to the time difference, yet not take up too much energy. We walked 11.7 miles the first day alone. Ireland Dublin Hop On, Hop Off Bus
This is fun because you get a tour of the whole city and you can get on and off as many times as you want.

Explore around Temple Bar
Definitely big city vibe, it’s pretty busy. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal and a drink.

St. Peter’s Church
Amazing architecture with a huge, wonderful park to relax in for a bit. Ireland St Patricks Cathedral Guinness Tour
It’s neat to learn how Guinness is made. In the tasting room, learn how to identify the different flavors within Guinness. On the top floor is a 360º glass room where you can see the entire city of Dublin, with the mountains in the distance. Ireland Guinness Ireland Guinness Ireland Guinness

Travel

Take a taxi to your hotel! Or find a good map.
We took a bus from the airport to downtown Dublin, but we weren’t sure the best route to take or what stop to get off of so we ended up lugging our suitcases pretty far to our lodging.

What We Would Do Next Time

We wish we would have attended a rugby game, but our time was kind of short in Dublin.

Galway

First Impressions of Galway

Young and hip + Bustling little town + Tons of shopping + Beautiful views

Stay

The White House
This bed and breakfast was so beautiful and it was right on the ocean.
View the Location Ireland Galway Hotel

Eat

McDonagh’s
This restaurant is right in the middle of the shopping centre. They serve amazing fish and chips and you can sit outside on the patio.
Restaurant Website

Butlers Chocolate Café
While this is a chain, the chocolate is delicious.

Things to Do**

Strolling the City Centre
There is a lot of great shopping, large variety of restaurants, and authentic pubs. When you need a rest, Eyre Square is a perfect place to chill and people-watch.

Visit Cathedrals
There are so many cathedrals everywhere you go with amazing architecture, stain glass, and intricate details.

Cliffs of Mohr
Ireland Cliffs of Mohr Hands down, if you only do one thing in Ireland. Do this and bask in the beauty. We took a bus tour which picked us up from our hotel and started off towards the mountains through little country villages. The driver provided a lot of information about the history of Ireland and stopped at a lot of scenic locations so that we could snap some incredible photographs. Ireland Cliffs of Mohr Ireland Cliffs of Mohr Cliffs of Mohr is one of the most unreal locations I’ve ever visited. Ireland Cliffs of Mohr Aeewien Caves
During the bus tour to Cliffs of Mohr, one of the stops was at Aeewien Caves; it was a neat little side stop.

Visit Country Castles
It feels like every mile there is a different castle which appears on the horizon.

Travel

Busses are key!
We took a bus from Dublin to Galway which only cost us about €18 and was about a three-hour trip. We then took a bus from Galway to Limerick which cost about €16 and was about an hour and a half ride.

What We Would Do Next Time

We would recommend staying at least two nights in Galway; our time felt too short in this town. Visit Cliffs of Mohr again, seriously it’s amazing, and I could spend forever there.

Limerick

First Impressions of Limerick

Not a ton to do + Stores and restaurants close early

Stay

Limerick City Hotel
Pretty close to the main street, very much a fancier hotel.
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Eat

Copper Room
The Copper Room is a wine and cheese bar with a copper ceiling and a hardcore night date vibe. It’s exclusively candle lit and they play traditional Irish music.
Restaurant Website Ireland Limerick Copper Room

Tom Collins Pub
Authentic Irish pub which was incredibly packed.
Restaurant Website

Hook and Ladder
Very tasty breakfast joint
Restaurant Website

Things to Do

Milk market
Giant flea market with lots of food, crafts, and shopping.

St. John’s Castle
Ever heard of Robin Hood? This castle is a history buff’s dream, we learned a lot about castles and the history of Ireland.

St. Mary’s Cathedral
This is a cool landmark to visit and learn more about Irish culture and history.

Travel

Bus
We took a bus from Limerick to Killarney which cost about €16 and was about an hour ride.

What We Would Do Next Time

To be honest, we wouldn’t go back to Limerick, and if we did, we would only spend one night.

Killarney

First Impressions of Killarney

True Irish Vibe + Natural beauty is outstanding + Friendly people + Lots of things to do Ireland Farmhouse

Stay

Park Place Apartments
We stayed here for a week and had two bedrooms, a full kitchen and living room, a huge porch. We loved staying here because we could go and do a bit of grocery shopping and not have to buy every meal. This place is right on the main street in Killarney.
View the Location

Eat

Irish Whiskey Experience
We did a whiskey and cheese tasting, which was such a cool experience. This bar is a very chill environment with complex cocktails.
Restaurant Website Ireland Whiskey Bar Ireland Whiskey Bar Skellig Chocolate Company
If you drive along the Atlantic Way, you have to stop here and get some free chocolate samples. We ended up buying a lot of treats.

  • Restaurant Website

    Murphys Ice Cream
    Handmade salted ice cream from Dingle which a lot of unique flavors. I had Gin and Raspberry, delish!
    Restaurant Website

    Robertinos
    It sounds funny because it was Italian food, but some of the best food we had while in Ireland.
    Restaurant Website
Things to Do

Shopping
Best shopping in Ireland!

Ross Castle
You can walk here from the city centre. There is a little lake with mountains in the distance and tranquil nature paths.

Drive to Dingle and Shea Head
You drive along the Atlantic Coast, it’s gorgeous, not enough words to describe. Ireland Oceanview Driving is great because you can stop whenever you want. Stop and see the Beehive Huts which are rock shelters. Dingle was my favorite Irish town because of the brightly colored buildings and it is honestly what you expect Ireland to be like before you go. Ireland Dingle Ireland Dingle There is excellent shopping. We visited a leather shop where the owner made a bracelet for me as I stood in the shop. It was wonderful to watch her craftsmanship and bring home a unique leather piece. Ireland Leather Bracelet Rent Bikes
Highly recommended biking, it was one of our favorite things we did on our trip. We biked 12 miles through the national park with views of mountains and lakes the entire time. Every time we turned a corner we would say “It can’t get more beautiful and perfect than this…” and then we would turn the next corner and be proven wrong. You can also bike to Torc Waterfall, you’ll pass Mucross House on the way which is an incredible view. Ireland Biking Ireland Killarney Lakes Drive the Ring of Kerry
We drove along the Atlantic Way, it was about 9 and a half hours round trip. We had a foggy start to our drive, but there were still plenty of neat places to stop and see along the way. Drove past Skellig, little too foggy for us to see the ocean, but the landscape was amazing. We visited Valcerian Island, from the top you can see the ocean, mountains, and towns below. Ireland Island View There are sheep everywhere in the road, just expect to see them anywhere you go. Ireland Sheep Ireland Sheep Visit Kenmare
Kenmare is a tiny, busy town with a lot of shopping. You can visit the stone circles and there is a wishing tree where you can attach a wish. I loved this one: “I wish to have a good laugh every day.” Ireland Wishing Tree Gap of Dunloe
You can drive through the black valley, DON’T DO THIS! It’s so scary… what an experience. This is definitely not for the weak stomach. The road is narrow, steep, and winding. However, at the bottom of the hill there was a lovely river with a ton of sheep. Ireland Gap of Dunloe

Travel

Rental car
We loved having a car in Killarney because there are so many day trips that you can make, and we had the freedom to stop whenever we wanted. Ireland Oceanview We drove our rental car from Killarney to Dublin to finish up our trip which was about a 5 and a half hour drive.

What We Would Do Next Time

Spend just as long if not longer in Killarney, we were there for a week and we could have spent our whole trip there. Ireland Fields & Cows We wish we would have gone horseback riding! We kept talking about riding horses through some of the nature trails, but we ran out of time.

Simply on of the best trips I’ve ever taken.

I loved everything about Ireland, it was a fantastic trip and I got to spend a ton of time with one of my favorite friends.
Ireland Dublin Dinner