Day 1 – Dublin
Flying into Dublin and arriving at our hotel at about 4 pm, we took time to unpack and settle in since we would be staying here for two nights. After unpacking, we walked the block to the Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest bar, and grabbed some dinner and drinks while watching an Ireland vs. Scotland rugby game. We then walked around the River Liffey to make our way across towards the Jameson Distillery, where we had previously scheduled a Distillery Tour. Completing the night by walking towards the Temple Bar area, and finding the actual Temple Bar, we realized how adamant the Irish are about their rugby and Guinness.
Day 2 – Dublin
Spending some time to sleep in and trying to get rid of our jet lag, Tyler and I were still the first ones up, so we walked to a nearby market to pick up some fresh breakfast croissants. We then all decided to spend the day on the Hop On Hop Off bus tour of Dublin. Walking from our hotel to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we explored here before hopping on the green line bus. There were a lot of stops, and although we didn’t get off at each one, it was a really nice way to see the whole city. Some of the places we did get off at were the Kilmainham Gaol Museum, Dublin Castle, St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street, and at the main office on O’Connell Street. We stopped at Flanagan’s for dinner before hopping back on to finish our tour by pouring a perfect pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse.
Day 3 – Dublin to Cork to Killarney
Packing everything into the car, we left Dublin to make our way down to Cork. On the way we stopped at the Rock of Cashel and the Blarney Castle, grabbing lunch in the small town of Mallow. Stopping for a few hours to explore colorful Cork, we finally continued our drive to Killarney.
Day 4 – Killarney
Finally getting the hang of driving on the right side of the car and on the left side of the road, we decided to really test our skills by driving the Ring of Kerry and adding on the smaller Skellig Ring. Along the way we saw amazing views and stopped at many places including Ladies View, Molls Gap, Staigue Stone Fort, Skellig Chocolates, O’Carroll’s Cove Beach Bar and Restaurant, Kerry Cliffs, and Valentia Island. This drive easily took up the whole day.
Day 5 – Killarney
Today was our easiest and most unplanned day. We began by exploring Ross Castle and Muckross House before heading a little further down the road towards Torc Waterfall and climbing just about all the way up the mountain. We then headed downtown Killarney and checked out many of the local pubs, such as Reidy’s.
Day 6 – Killarney to Limerick to Galway
We left Killarney bright and early and headed towards Limerick, where we explored King John’s Castle and ate at the nearby Katie Daly’s Pub and Kitchen. Continuing our journey north, we drove through Burren National Park and stopped at Poulnabrone Dolmen, a portal tomb from the Neolithic Period. Finally arriving at Galway, we walked around downtown before finding a place for dinner.
Day 7 – Galway
Getting a break from driving, we walked across the street to our pickup location for the Doolin2Aran bus and ferry tour we had scheduled for today. Taking literally all day, we were bused from Galway to Doolin, then took a ferry from Doolin to Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. We were allowed to explore for a few hours before taking the boat back to admire the Cliffs of Moher from below and from up top.
Day 8 – Galway
St. Patrick’s Day. Our morning was filled with preparing for the parade and walking to the Salmon-Weir bridge. Getting to the parade early enough for a front row spot, we were able to see all the floats and cute Irish children from up close. After the parade we went back to our hotel to warm up before heading out to the pubs. Our last night in Ireland was spent listening to many locals singing short poems about Ireland winning the Grand Slam!
P.S. Stay tuned for future posts about each city we visited, and in the meantime go check out my video on Ireland here!