Ireland (Mostly the Republic, but some Northern Ireland, too)
One thing to remember about Ireland is that there are two countries on one island. The Republic of Ireland includes Dublin, Galway, Cork, etc., and Northern Ireland, where Belfast is, is part of the United Kingdom. Therefore, Ireland (RoI) uses the Euro for currency, and Northern Ireland uses the British Pound.
I’ve traveled to Ireland around Christmas and New Years, and also in May. The weather isn’t that different, since it doesn’t get too hot or too cold generally. I’ve had little rain on any trips, but that’s quite rare and lucky. In December-January, there were less people and travel was generally less expensive.
Here are some things to do and see around Ireland in general. For more information on Dublin specifically, please follow this link.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give, especially if it is your first time in Ireland, or if you’re like me and refuse to drive around the country, is to do day tours or overnight tours from a main hub, in this case, Dublin. I’ve done every trip that Extreme Ireland / Irish Day Tours does, and they are all amazing! At Christmastime, the tours were very small, on busses that held about 20 people at max. In the spring the tours were larger, but still not too packed or hurried. Thanks for always taking such great care of us, Keith!
Here are the tours I’ve been on and recommend as must do’s, in order of favorites!
#1 – Connemara overnight trip – in conjunction with Connemara Wild Escapes – I cannot recommend this one enough. This tour is run with EI and CWE. You go out to the west with EI, with a stop at Kylemore Abbey and Killary Sheep Farm (must sees), and then CWE picks you up and takes you to Connemara National Park, where we climbed Diamond Hill, probably the best thing we’ve ever done in Ireland. Then we stayed overnight in Clifden, and hooked back up with EI to head back to Dublin on their Connemara tour.
- Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland
- Tara and Boyne Valley
- Glendalough and Kilkenny
- Cork and Blarney
- Cliffs of Moher
Magical Places to Visit and See:
- Giant’s Causeway
- Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge
- Belfast – Black Cab Political Tour
- Hill of Tara
- Loughcrew Cairns
- Trim Castle (and the tower on the hill across the creek)
- Clifden, Connemara
- Killary Sheep Farm
- Diamond Hill, Connemara National Park
- Drogheda, church to see St. Oliver Plunkett’s head/relic
- Cliffs of Moher
- Strawberry Hedgehog café in Kinvara (with cat charity shop upstairs)
That’s it in a nutshell. I’ll continue to add to this as I think of more, and I’m happy to add your suggestions or answer any questions!