31 Practical Ireland Travel Tips

We shared practical Ireland travel tips everyday in January on the Infinite Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages.

In case you missed any of the travel tip goodness, we have posted them again here just for you!

Have any more hints for traveling through Ireland? What did we miss? Feel free to let us know in the comments.



Don’t be weighed down by too much luggage. Pack light to easily get around.           Photo Credit: Flickr user waymorefunner

1. Pack only a week’s worth of clothes even if you are traveling for 2 weeks. You can always re-wear or have your laundry done for you at a laundrette located in many towns.

2. Bring a garbage bag for dirty clothes. It keeps clean and dirty clothes separate and it also is handy when dropping them off at a laundrette.

3. Roll your clothes. You can often squeeze a little extra space in your bag this way (read: more room for souvenirs).

4. Take one medium luggage and one carry-on per person and no more. It quickly gets tiresome lugging the “big guy” suitcase up and down Bed and Breakfast stairs.

5. Use packing cubes to separate out your clothes from electronics from make-up. Makes finding things much easier!

6. Don’t go out and buy packing cubes. Save the plastic packaging that sheets, pillows, etc. come in. They work just as well as expensive cubes, but don’t cost anything extra!

7. Pack old/worn out underwear or purchase some at a dollar store. As soon as you are done with each pair, throw them away. You’ll have a little more room for souvenirs at the end of your trip.

Car Rental:

Rental Car on Achill Island, Co. Mayo

Only by renting a car can you see hidden places like hill tops on Achill Island, Co. Mayo

8. Rent a car! So many travel Ireland by coach bus. This is okay if you are unable to drive, but if you have the ability be sure to rent a car to see the countryside and meet the people on your schedule.

9. Compare booking sites before you book your car rental! Not only check the primary American brands, Hertz, Alamo, Budget, etc., but check Dan Dooley, Irish Car Rentals, AutoEurope, Argus, and Sixt. Just know what you are getting before you reserve. Some companies are great at sneaking hidden fees.


Spanish Arch Galway, Ireland

Locals and tourists alike picnicking along the water next to the Spanish Arch in Co. Galway

10. Buy snacks at an Irish store. It’s always fun being a local and to check out the differences in food options—plus snacks will help tide you over until the next meal.

11. Get a Twix! (This is a special Stephanie tip–can you tell?). Twix candy bars in the US have all sorts of preservatives—not in Ireland! What a fun little treat.

12. Take snacks, lunch or dinner with you to the airport. Airport/plane food is expensive & not great on long haul flights. Enjoy your own food and make everyone else jealous!

13. Go for a picnic! There are lots of great deli’s in most towns. With a little cheese, meat and some crackers, you’ve got yourself a picnic (and a cheap meal).

Saving Money:

Self Catering Kitchen in Ramelton, Co. Donegal

Cook up a storm in your own kitchen!

14. Try a self-catering cottage or apartment to save money. Usually rented by the week, you can save a bundle on accommodations and meals!

15. Sign up for Groupon or other social coupon email list for the areas you plan to visit. You might get some great deals on cheap meals, activities, or accommodations.

16. Eat the big breakfast that is served at your B&B. It will last you well  beyond midday—lunch is then often later without much need for a big dinner. Again saving you some $$.

17. Bring a water bottle for each person on your trip to Ireland. Fill up in the morning and ask your wait staff to refill throughout the day. You can save a bundle and it is better for the environment this way!

18. Use travel points. If you have a credit card that you use often but aren’t collecting any points, apply for a card that gets you lots of bonus sign-up points and use it! You may be able to get enough points to pay for a portion of your travel costs.

19. Don’t take much cash or bring traveler’s checks. Use the ATM to get Euros when you land in Ireland. You’ll get the best exchange rate this way.

20. Check your local credit union to see if they charge fees for international ATM transactions—many don’t!

21. Try AirBnB as an alternative accommodation. It can be even cheaper than even a traditional Irish Bed and Breakfast but still the same intimate experience with local expertise. (Using that link will give you a $25 coupon on your first stay!).

General Ireland Travel Planning Advice:

County Clare Road and Houses

Can you think of a better place to be lost in?

22. Don’t try to see the entire country in a week. Pick a couple of places and really explore!

23. Reach out to the locals—they have the best advice and it’s always great experiencing Ireland up close.

24. Get lost. :-) No really, taking a wrong turn in Ireland can lead to some of the best undiscovered small towns. It also gives you an excuse to stop to talk to the locals for directions or advice.

25. Learn a bit o’ Irish before you leave! It’s always fun to say Sláinte (Slan-cha: To Health) at pub and sound like a local.

26. Seek out hidden gems beyond the regular tourist spots. Don’t know where to start? Just ask your B&B owner. They will know where to go. Or Check out Ireland Travel Kit for off the beaten path, traveler tested, suggestions.

27. The Trip Advisor Ireland Forum is very active and helpful when planning your first trip. Take a look at Trip Advisor’s reviews of accommodations and attractions. Always drop the highest and lowest review to get more accurate evaluation.

28. Double check your flight times before you leave. If you book airfare far in advance the departure time can change.

29. Add at least a 1/3 more time to travel estimates between point A and point B. The roads are small. There will be many stops between for pictures. And you may enjoy a wrong turn or two. No worries though–You are in Ireland!

30. Bring a good pair of walking shoes. It will be really tempting to (and you should) get out of the car and explore the countryside.

31. No matter what. Above all else. Even if something doesn’t go as planned. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Because there will be a time that once again you will be dreaming of Ireland.

Tags: , , ,

92 Responses to “31 Practical Ireland Travel Tips”

  1. Brian February 7, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    Remember you are a guest in a foreign country, granted a beautiful, welcoming country, but a foreign country just the same. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, when you make mistakes be polite. Many times you can ask the proper way of doing things and be helped. Ireland is a great place to chat and explore, not a bad list,

    • Stephanie February 7, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      What a wonderful tip Brian! You are right, we have found the Irish to wonderfully gracious, but politeness goes a long way and must not be forgotten!

  2. Ansy Miller May 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    I Like this post. such a great and brief source of information. :)

    Can you please tell me, the best time to visit Ireland.?

    If you have some more sugession, please notify me.


    • Stephanie May 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Ansy! Check out http://www.infiniteireland.com/planning101/when-to-go/ for all the details on when you should plan your trip to Ireland. I really like late spring early fall, but if your schedule isn’t flexible anytime is a good time to go to Ireland! No matter when you plan to go, I would suggest packing layers as the weather can be unpredictable! Happy planning!!

      • Ansy Miller May 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

        Thank you so much Stephanie. :) :)

  3. Robin July 10, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Although I would LOVE to go hiking and wandering through Ireland, a recent back injury prohibits me from walking very far. While, thankfully, I am not in a wheelchair, I am wondering if there are places you would suggest I should especially see (or avoid) because of this restriction?

    Thank you! :D

    • Stephanie July 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Hi Robin! While there are many places to hike to in Ireland, there are just as many to explore that don’t require extra exertion. I would particularly suggest Southwest Ireland for you. Most travelers head to the Ring of Kerry for a circular drive of the coast. However if you want to get off the beaten path, but still travel by car, go for the Ring of Beara and Sheep’s Head Peninsula. Both are fantastic drives and don’t require much or any walking to see the beautiful views. I hope this helps!

      • Robin July 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

        Thanks, Stephanie!

        I will start planning my itinerary with your suggestions right now! Can’t wait! :D

  4. Aj November 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    After going there twice, we have learned and followed each of these on our own. You nailed it! Thanks for the refresher tips!

  5. Carol December 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    We want to be in Galway from april 20, 2014 through april 26, 2013 that includes Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, and St. George’s Day. Will this be good because there are special events/festivals, or not so good because everything will be closed like museums, pubs, music venues etc.

    • Stephanie December 4, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      Hi Carol! There should be a least a few events on Sunday or Monday of Easter. The only day that usually tends to interupt schedules is Good Friday, April 18th. Most pubs and many attractions will be closed that day (no alcohol is served in the Republic). However, normal activities will resume on Saturday including pubs, museums and tourist activities. Monday, the 21, is a holiday for the Irish so there might be a lot of activity in town Sunday night and Monday. Sounds like a great time to be in Galway! Keep your eye on the Galway Event Calendar for things to do! http://www.galwaytourism.ie/pgalway-events-calendar.html Hope you have a great time!

  6. Melissa December 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    I am going to Limerick for 4 months starting in January for school. I can’t wait! Thanks for all the great information!!

    • Stephanie December 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      Your welcome Melissa! Enjoy your time abroad–I know many students who have just loved their experiences and I am sure you will too!

  7. Kieran December 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Hiya Stephanie. I’m looking to go to Ireland in April, The girl im going with has suggested we start in Dublin and spend a couple of days in 3-4 different locations, is there a cheap way of doing this whilst keeping it romantic? And would you recommend any places in Ireland any ‘must see’ she’s a huge p.s I love you fan, something like that I guess. Thanks Kieran

  8. Stephanie December 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Hi Kieran! Spending your time in a few locations is much better (and much less expensive) than going to a new place each night, so you are already on the right track. I always recommend getting a car–which can get pricey, but off set it by staying in inexpensive B&B’s, having picnics, gorging at breakfast (easy to do!) and enjoying many of the free sites (and beauties) that Ireland offers.

    Dublin would be a great place to start for a day or two. You could then head south to check out Co. Wicklow, where many of the sites for P.S. I love you were filmed. This may help: http://www.romanticfilmlocations.com/films/ps_love.html You could easily spend a couple of days exploring the south east and then head for Co. Cork, visiting Cork City, Cobh, and even a few coastal towns. It all depends on how much time you have, but I recommend spending at least two nights in every location to dig a little deeper, go a little slower, and save a little money. No matter what, if she likes the scenery in P.S. I love you, head out of the city and explore a little and have a great time!

  9. Kaye January 1, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    Thanks for the travel tips. Do you have any advice on rental cars and insurance? I’m looking to travel from Dublin to Cork with a few along the way and the driving scares me a bit.

  10. Stephanie January 1, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Hi Kaye! Try this page out—http://www.infiniteireland.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-renting-a-car-in-ireland/ Renting a car can seem daunting, but don’t worry too much! The drive from Dublin to Cork is fantastic and there is so much to see along the way. My best tips–have a designated navigator who tells you to stay “left” throughout the journey. It gets easier the longer you drive, you’ll need less and less reminding, but its never a bad idea to have someone help you remember. Also, don’t be afraid to pull off to the side of the road and let faster moving vehicles pass you. No need to feel rushed. Good luck with your trip!

  11. Jamey January 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    Good Article! We are going to Ireland in 5 days, so excited! Dubling for three days two nights and Northern Ireland for two nights/days. We plan to rent a car and visit some castles and New Grange since they are near Dublin. Any stops on the way that may be worthwild? Also any advice on N. Ireland would be great. We plan to see the Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway.


    • Stephanie January 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

      Hi Jamey! Oh what I would give to be going to Ireland in 5 days! You will have such a great time. You have quite a bit of ground to cover in a few days so I don’t want to give you too many recommendations, but near the Rope Bridge is also Bushmills Distillery and Dunluce Castle–both have a reputation for being pretty amazing attractions. While you are in Dublin if you have a sweet tooth, you should check out Queen of Tarts (Dame Street) or Murphy’s Ice-cream (Wicklow Street) for fabulous treats! If you want some off the beaten path ideas, check out IrelandTravelKit.com. They have a pretty awesome app we used on our trip last time that is fabulous for finding hidden treasures. Enjoy your trip and safe travels!

  12. Janie February 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Besure to get the rental car insurance. It is heck driving in Ireland

  13. Orla February 26, 2014 at 4:34 am #

    If you’re renting a car, make sure that you drive a stick shift. Automatic cars are few and far between in Ireland.

    If you are eating out in large towns or cities, many restaurants do Early Bird specials, and others very good deals on lunches.

    If you do decide to go walking in the countryside, make sure your shoes are sturdy AND waterproof. As it rains all year round in Ireland, places are frequently muddy.

    And please support Irish artists and crafts makers. Thank you.

    • Stephanie February 26, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      Hi Orla! Great tips! While its true most Irish drive a stick, you can reserve an automatic–at a cost. Automatics can usually double the cost of a rental (yikes!). So if you do know how to drive a stick, you’ll save a bunch.

      We love early bird deals, especially at the beginning of the trip when we’re so tired that we couldn’t possibly stay up for a later meal.

      Your final tip might be my favorite!! Irish artisans are some of the most creative people, producing such wonderful work. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. david March 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Am confused about reserving car rental. Hertz is around $500 and dooley $2000. even though both claim the excess insurance. Am skeptical. Tempted to just go with dooley trusting all is included in quoted price. Advice?


  15. Stephanie March 4, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Hi David!

    It is easy to by confused when it comes to car rentals in Ireland. It sounds fishy to me that Hertz would charge so little for an inclusive rate. We just booked with them and this is what was included in our online rate through Hertz.ie:
    •Tax and other charges
    •Location Service Charge
    •Collision Damage Waiver (Excess Applies)
    •Theft Protection (Excess Applies)
    •Unlimited Free Kilometers Included

    Our quote did not include any Excess insurance, which covers you to $0 liability. Renters purchase this at the Hertz counter on the day of arrival. For Hertz, the Excess cost is about 16 Euro per day extra.

    When reserve a vehicle with Dan Dooley and select the Excess waiver, you will get the full $0 liability insurance. The reason Dooley is great is because they provide all of this upfront when you are booking, which doesn’t require you to do any calculations or purchases at the counter upon arrival.

    I hope this helps! Let us know if we can answer any other questions. Enjoy your trip!

  16. Shelby Days March 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    I am looking through your entire blog and yhis is just one of the money posts that were very helpful! My mom and I will be in Ireland for the first time for a total of 7 days. We are very scared about driving on the opposite side of the car and road so we will be taking buses for this trip, considering a car for next time. Great tips! Thanks so much!

    • Stephanie March 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      Thanks Shelby! I am sure you will love it–tour buses or not. Have a great time!

  17. Esther April 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Stephanie, I love your website, just wonderful. We are going for a week (mon-mon) over easter weekend and staying in dublin one night headed to cork (try to visit Killarney from our stay in cork) and i wanted to know if you have any suggestions for the rest of the time (2-3 nights) of our trip, i thought about galway area or tippeary area :)
    Thanks so much for sharing this info with us!!

    • Stephanie April 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      Hi Esther! I would suggest the sunny south east. There so much to do between Dublin and Cork and since you have such a short time I would absolutely concentrate your couple of days there. Sorry to say I would also suggest leaving Killarney for another time too. But! Here is a a couple really great things you could do for two or three days.

      Spend a day exploring Wicklow, Sally Gap, Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains/National Park

      Kilkenny: Oh this is such a great town! We’re even heading there this year too. It has everything you might want, medieval castle, cathedral with round tower (that you can actually walk up in), shopping, restaurants….oh the list goes on and on.

      Rock of Cashel/Hore Abbey and Cahir Castle in county Tipperary. Both are pretty amazing structures.

      No matter which things you decide to do I am sure you will have a great time. My best advice is simply try not to pack to much in or travel too far in your one week time. You’ll see and experience so much more, promise. :-)

  18. Shirley April 22, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Will b n Ireland 2 wks n sept. we aren’t planning on going to Northern Ireland Love to take photos & am interested n your perceptive of places that must see & unique. We will rent a car but enjoy walking. Any scenic walks?

    • Stephanie April 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Hi Shirley,

      If you are heading to Ireland for the very first time, I suggest going to the Southwest area. It is certainly on the tourist trail, but you can easily step off and explore areas like the Beara Peninsula with great walking trails. I’d also suggest a drive along the Sheep’s Head Peninsula with the Sheep’s head way walking trail all along. You can easily stop almost anywhere and walk for a while, then back to your car. I hope this helps! Enjoy your trip! :-)

  19. Sharon April 30, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    Hi Stephanie,
    We’re traveling around Ireland May 19-30 on a study abroad trip (a packed itinerary with so much to see!). We’re getting a day on our own in Galway (Castle banquet at Dunguaire Castle for the evening) on Saturday and a day on our own in Dublin before we leave. Do you have any favorites in either of those two cities?
    (I can’t wait to go exploring – love your travel tips!)

    • Stephanie May 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi Sharon–You’ve put together my two favs (Study Abroad and Ireland!). My full-time work is actually advising study abroad students and I just know you will love your time this summer!

      Galway is the perfect spot for students, so I am glad you get to spend a full day there. We loved walking and shopping in the city–Shop street is the main spot for a bite to eat or some cool souvenirs. Be sure to venture out to the sides streets where there are some great bakeries and book stores. We love to look at cathedrals and Galway Cathedral and St. Nicholas’ Cathedral were pretty great to look at. Don’t miss the Spanish Arch and Promenade area for a place to relax or walk if it’s nice out.

      There is so much to do in Dublin that you won’t have any trouble filling your time. I always suggest, the Book of Kells and Trinity Library. Also a stop at Queen of Tarts and Butler’s Chocolates is a tradition for us!

      I hope you love it!

  20. Kerry May 18, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    Hi Stephanie,
    My husband and I are traveling to Ireland 6/23/14 for 10 days along with our 3 grown children. We have been talking and dreaming about making this trip for 25 years, it is our 25th anniversary this year so we are very excited. We are not travelers by any means, I have not flown in 20 years and none of my children have. We are staying with friends who live in Dripsey, County Cork for the majority of the trip with an excursion to Dublin mid trip. We have rented a car and seem to be ready although quite nervous about making sure we have thought of everything. My question is will my local bank debit card work in Ireland? We have cash that we want to make available and are not sure the best way to be able to access it. Should we purchase prepaid debit cards for international use or is it as simple as notifying our local bank that we will be traveling? We are so concerned from stories we have heard about not being able to get access to our cash with the cards we have but no one has point blank told us the best suggestion. Please help!!!

    • Stephanie May 19, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      Hi Kerry! Happy anniversary. What a wonderful way to celebrate! What’s nice about Ireland is that you don’t have to be experts in travel to have an amazing time. If you forget something, you can always buy in Ireland.

      The best way to access cash in Ireland is through your bank’s debit card option. Every bank is different so you will want to ask the following: Are there additional fees to access your account through ATM machines in Ireland? Sometimes it can be a flat fee, others–a percentage of what you take out. We use a credit union account that doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, which can really add up. Also find out if there is a limit to how much money you can take out at a time. We typically take out as much money as we can each time and split up the money into different hiding spots until we need it.

      If you have another debit account. I would notify them too as a back up in case you lose your card or have an issue with the ATM machine. Be sure to have the phone number of the bank. If you experience any problems, they should be able to help over the phone.

      Enjoy your trip!!

      • Kerry May 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

        Thanks for the information Stephanie! I will contact my bank this week, which happens to be a credit union as well so I will probably be ok.

        Will probably have more questions as we get closer to our departure date of 6/23.

        So excited, cannot believe we are finally taking this trip!


  21. M.J. July 12, 2014 at 5:12 am #

    Wonderful tips. My sister and I are traveling for three weeks starting in Dublin and traveling by rental car in the following…
    Powerscourt, Wicklow Mtns., Kilkenny, Cork, Kenmare, Dingle, Adare, Clifden, Londonderry, Nevan Meath. We usually go to bed early and get up early so we can get a lot done in one day while being pretty present in our journey. Do you think this too much for three weeks?

    • Stephanie July 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi MJ! It certainly is a lot, but it can be doable in three weeks. I would be sure you have a day or two built in around each area that you are visiting for some down time (or really just some time for being spontaneous). For that long, you will for sure want a some time to sit in a pub and relax. I’d suggest Cork, Dingle and Clifden are good places to be sure you have enough extra time in (there are so many things to see in each area!). I hope you and your sister have a blast!

  22. Deborah August 2, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    My daughter and I are traveling to Dublin in August for 5 days. I recently retired and wanted to take her on a vacation. The travel agent suggested Dublin and the price was right! I had never thought of going to Ireland, but now I’m really excited about going!!! I happened upon your site through Google. We are not renting a car, relying on tour buses and walking for our time there. There is so much to see and do, but I want us to enjoy what we do get to see. Thanks for all the information!!!!

    • Stephanie August 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      Thanks so much for the kind words Deborah. I hope you and your daughter have a wonderful time in Dublin. It’ll be a quick trip, but it sounds like you are going to make the most out if it! Enjoy and safe travels!

  23. Tom D September 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    My wife’s dream vacation is to tour Ireland. 30 years later and we are starting to plan the trip summer of 2015. She thinks a tour bus package the way to go. What are your thouhgts on these l packages. WHat makes one better than the rest. Any recommendations?

    • Stephanie September 29, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      Hi Tom,
      The best thing about a tour bus package is that you hardly need to plan anything to do one. Just book online, buy a plane ticket and for the most part you are all set. The down side is fairly obvious in that you have to follow along with the tour itinerary–where to stay, when to eat, where to go. When choosing a tour operator, check out the costs, what is included (and specifically what isn’t), talk to a representative on the phone (vs. only looking at their website), and, if you can, talk to past participants to get the real scoop about what was great and what maybe wasn’t. Good luck with the decision!

  24. Kathy September 18, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi, we will be heading to Ireland next week, the 27th of September and will be there for 18 days. We are renting a car and making a full circle of the coast of the island. Should we avoid the more popular spots to avoid crowds or is the early part of October an ok time to visit them ( such as Ring of Kerry ), should we do alternates? How about weather at this time of year?

    • Stephanie September 29, 2014 at 10:18 am #

      Hi Kathy–It looks like you are already in Ireland so your schedule may already be determined, but you should be just fine at the larger tourist attractions because the high season is well over by now. The Ring of Kerry should be wonderfully void of the masses that appear in July and August. The Ring of Beara and Sheep’s Head Peninsulas are always easy to get around and are nice alternatives to the ROK anytime of year. I hear the weather has been holding on to summer–I hope that continues for you in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy your trip!!

  25. Laurel October 7, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    We are going to Ireland in a couple of weeks, 1st time and celebrating a birthday and anniversary. We are going to Co. Care, Killarney and South Dublin Coast. Any advice? We are active and like to have fun? We do have a car.

    • Stephanie October 10, 2014 at 9:24 am #

      Hi Laurel! Happy Birthdayversary! What a great way to celebrate. :-) If you are headed south of Dublin, Glendalough is a must visit site. If you have some extra time and would like a little hillwalking, check out Lough Tay look out at the JB Malone memorial. It is beautiful and the view will likely be all yours! Killarney is a great stop on your first trip, don’t miss Muckross House, Abbey and the National Park. Torc waterfall is lovely and if you want to take the time, look to the left when you get to waterfall. There is a trail that leads to the top with some nice views of Killarney town through the tees. In Co. Clare, we really enjoyed Loop head peninsula drive–beautiful views everywhere you look. Enjoy your trip! I am sure it will be fantastic!

  26. kathleen krueger October 25, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    I am concerned about getting euros upon landing as we are driving and need them for the toll to Limerick etc. I wonder if there is an ATM in the airport or car pick-up or elsewhere.

    • Stephanie October 27, 2014 at 11:31 am #

      Hi Kathleen! Yes, the Shannon airport has a few ATM’s so you shouldn’t have any problem getting cash out as soon as you arrive. Enjoy your trip!

  27. prodigious1309 November 9, 2014 at 5:58 am #

    Hi Stephanie!. I’m planning on to go to Dublin this January. can you suggest me on how I can go to all the interesting places there? I’ll be staying there for a week and this will be my solo trip. Any advice to give?

    • Stephanie November 13, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Hi! You might want to start by taking a hop on hop off tour in Dublin to give you a pretty good overview of the city. Some people just like to take the entire city drive and others like to “hop on and hop off” to all the sites in the city like the Guinness Factory, Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I’d suggest getting a guide book or popping by a library to check one out to get a sense of the cool sites you can visit. If you want to get out of the city I always suggest renting a car, but if that’s too much for your first solo trip there are plenty of day tours from Dublin which allow you to see some of the countryside and connect with other tourists! I hope this helps! Enjoy your time in Ireland!!

  28. Carol January 4, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    my husband and I plan to travel to Ireland sometime late September, early October. I am so thankful to have found your website and your planning 101 information. I feel much better about planning a great trip with all the information and advice you have provided. Thank you so much.

    • Stephanie January 4, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      Oh Carol! Thank you so much for the kind words. I hope you have a great time in Ireland and planning too! :-)

  29. Mary January 14, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    Greetings! Just booked airfare for our family vacation to Ireland. 10 days! My husband and I are renting (hiring) a motorhome. We have a travel trailer at home and are very comfortable traveling this way. My only concern is “tinkers”. Someone told me this is a problem in Ireland. What is this? Also we are traveling 5/10 – 5/20/15. Is this considered “summer” there?

    • Stephanie January 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      Hi Mary–what a fun way to explore Ireland! “Tinkers” are Irish travelers or sometimes known as gypsies. They are very small ethnic group in Ireland who live in communities together around Ireland–although most of them live in Urban areas now. There is no need to fear travelers on your trip. Ireland is quite a safe place to travel and this group doesn’t pose any threat to tourists visiting via motorhome. You may find there are a few families in motorhome parks that have set up their own semi-permanent community, but likely they will keep to themselves. And you will likely find yourself not spending much time in the places where you sleep each night as there is so many wonderful things to see and do in Ireland! :-) I hope this puts you at ease. If you would like more info, the Wikipedia article is quite helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Travellers

  30. Rick. February 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    Hello Stephanie………….My wife and I are exploring the possibility of visiting Ireland, so now we are calculating cost, I noticed on one of your advice to a request for info you quoted the price for renting a car is $ 500.00 and $ 2,000.00 ……can this be true ?……and if so what lenght of time this is for ? …..thank you Stephanie for any info.

    Rick And Kathy.

    • Stephanie February 19, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

      Hi Rick! So I typically budget $70.00 per day for a economy automatic with full insurance and one driver. You can of course spend less for a manual or less insurance (although I always recommend the full excess waiver). So depending on how many days you plan on traveling will really determine whether your spend a couple hundred or a couple thousand (but hopefully not that much!!). :-) I hope this helps!

      • Rick. February 19, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

        Hello Stephanie…………..Thank you for answering my query……it was exact to the point
        , $ 70.00 per day with everything included is not so bad……..bye bye.

        Rick and Kathy.

  31. Jean February 21, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    Hi – I just wanted to thank you for your factual, easy-to-read website. Plus you are so pleasant in your communications. This website has helped me immensely!

    • Stephanie February 27, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

      I so happy the site could be helpful Jean. :-)

  32. Lisa February 25, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    Hi Stephanie~

    My husband and I are planning a 9 day trip to Ireland in September for our anniversary. I have to say I am quite confused!!! The travel agent we are working with thinks we should stay in Dublin and take bus trips to the attractions we wish to see. I however like the idea of renting a car and leaving Dublin and driving ourselves to where we want to go. My husband is nervous about the driving after talking with someone who has been there. I certainly don’t want him to be grumpy the whole time we are there but I do want to see the locals and where they live. Help! What suggestions can you offer on where to stay if we decide to leave Dublin?

    • Stephanie February 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Lisa! If you’ve read a few of our posts, you probably noticed we are really big fans of renting a car. There certainly is nothing wrong with day trips from Dublin, but you are spending a lot of time driving back and forth to the same place on someone else’s time schedule. We’d much rather take our time driving from one destination to another so we could really soak in what we are seeing. Driving a car isn’t too difficult. It does take a day or two adjust, but if you rent an automatic and don’t let anyone make you feel like you should be driving faster it can be easy peasy. If you decide to leave Dublin, I wouldn’t hesitate to travel south toward the Wicklow Mountains and then on to Kilkenny and possibly the Rock of Cashel. There are wonderful B&B’s all along the way, which will certainly help you with seeing the locals and where they live! :-)

  33. Beth February 25, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    Thanks for all your tips. We have booked a trip and we are horseback riding in County Donegal (Sligo) in the middle of June. We are going from bed n breakfast to bed n breakfast. Do you have any strategies or suggestions for us? Should we leave small gifts for our hosts? Thanks for your insight. Beth

    • Stephanie February 27, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

      Hi Beth! I am so excited for you to do horseback riding in Ireland. Its something we haven’t done yet. I grew up around horses, but my husband has never ridden. I think I will get him on horseback sooner or later. :-)

      Typically, I suggest booking the first and last night’s stay. You shouldn’t have any problems in the middle of June finding places to stay each night. I like having a few B&B’s that I want to try written down with their phone numbers. Then call ahead to see if there is room when we want to move on the next one. We have also used B&B Ireland to see what would be available in the next town that evening.

      Its not really expected to give gifts to your B&B hosts. You certainly can if you feel a strong connection or receive exceptional service.

  34. Connie fitzgerald March 10, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    Love your site, finally found some really good infor. We are going to a family wedding in Valentia Island May 31. Will be in Limerick, and am looking into a driver to take us there and back to Shannon airport. Any ideas on drivers and cost, and can you recommend a name of a company? Thanks much.

  35. Cooper March 14, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Hi! I’m going to be studying in Dublin for a semester this fall, and I’m looking to see what the best places to go would be for someone on a student’s budget. I probably can’t afford to rent a car every few days. Also, I’m considering living off campus (studying at UCD), can you recommend any student residences? Thanks!!

    • Stephanie March 14, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

      Hi Cooper! Lucky you that you get to be in Dublin for the whole semester! I guessing that you are under 24–in which case it will be touch to rent a vehicle in Ireland without paying out the wazoo! Which means you will have to rely on public transport or tour companies that offer day trips from Dublin–there are quite a few, just google it and you’ll find a bunch. There are a couple things I would suggest, first when selecting your classes for the fall try to find courses that offer field studies (which means you will be doing day trips with class). I know from sending a few students to UCD that there are at least a couple that offer them–usually look for something that is regionally focused or has Irish in the title. Then check out Bus Eireann for bus service all over the country–you should absolutely check out Galway & Belfast (great vibrant spots for College students). Finally UCD has a pretty solid student services department and they may offer opportunities to travel within Ireland (or they may allow travel agencies to market their weekend trips to you). Don’t discount these services as they can be really affordable ways to see the country.

      As for housing, if you can get on campus housing I would really suggest it. Study abroad is kind of a roller coaster experience and it can be really nice to have other students to lean on as a support network. If you choose an off campus residence, you may be farther removed from many of the students also going through what you are. UCD has an off campus housing office which I am sure you can connect with before you arrive. http://www.ucdaccommodationpad.ie/Home I don’t have any specific recommendations on places to stay as I usually work with people traveling for shorter periods of time.

      I hope this helps Cooper! I know you are going to have a great semester in Dublin. :-)

  36. Christina May 3, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi! I’m doing a mother-daughter trip to Ireland and leaving next week!! So excited! What can we expect for weather and what clothes should we bring? We are in Colorado and we have heard that 50 degrees in CO feels a lot different than 50 degrees in Ireland.

    • Stephanie May 14, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

      Hi Christina! 50 degrees in Ireland can be a wet and windy 50 degrees or it can be warm in sunny! In reality it will probably be a good mix of both. Wear some layers and a good rain jacket and you should be all set. Enjoy!!

  37. Guyla May 20, 2015 at 3:45 am #

    Hi Stephanie! I just stumbled into an opportunity to attend a weeklong writer’s retreat in Donegal June 28-July 4. I’m thinking about staying an extra week to explore – Blarney Castle is on my bucket list – but I’m nervous about the planning and execution on my own never having been there. I was thinking perhaps flying in to Donegal then renting a car and driving to Blarney Castle, exploring along the way and flying home from that end of Ireland. Any suggestions?

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

      Hi Guyla! Your trip is almost here! I hope you are getting excited. Renting a vehicle is certainly the best way to see Ireland. Since you will be in Donegal for a while, you’ll be able to get over any jetlag and will probably have an easier time driving than those right off the plane. I’d suggest getting a GPS since you won’t have a passenger to help out with the map. Sherry Ott, another travel blogger, rented a car and traveled the whole coast by herself and I think you will find her writing and videos really helpful. https://youtu.be/M7PqJpQjx6s

      I love the area around west cork–Bantry and Kinsale top my list, but there are so many places that you won’t go wrong. Have a great retreat and a fantastic time in Ireland.

  38. Jef June 13, 2015 at 7:06 am #

    Stephanie, great information here! My wife and I are heading to Ireland in mid-September for a week. We are trying to figure out the best way to stay in touch with folks back home here. We will be staying at hotels with wireless internet during our trip. Is it best to do an international plan with your carrier? Calling card? Just use Skype or Facetime? Help? Also, we will be in Dingle for 2 days that we are there (self-drive) and wanted to know if you had specific suggestions for must-sees while there?

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      Hi Jef! I wrote about this very specific question in detail, so I hope it helps you: http://www.infiniteireland.com/8-ways-to-call-the-us-from-ireland/ Everyone’s needs are really quite different, so it is hard to say what will work best for you. We have a phone that we turn on for international calling–and almost never use–but primarily we use the wifi in our hotels and B&B’s to communicate back home through email and Skype. I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for Dingle. You must go to Murphy’s ice-cream and have a delicious and unique ice-cream cone. Also, don’t miss the Slea Head Drive. My favorite off the beaten path thing, which you may not have time for is a trip out to Great Blasket. But no matter what you do, I am quite sure you will have a great time!

  39. Stephanie June 16, 2015 at 4:44 am #


    Hello. Fantastic site filled with valuable information! My husband and I will be traveling to Ireland for the first time in mid-May for 2 weeks. We are presently in the initial planning stages, considering the following itinerary: Dublin 3-4 days; then rent car and travel to Northern Ireland to the Giants Causeway area (rent cottage for 3 days); travel to Fanmore (rent cottage for one week). Does this itinerary appear unrealistic, incorporating too much travel? If so, suggestions? If not, do you consider these locations ideal as a base for site seeing? If so, any particular sites you would suggest?

    As a professor of criminology, are there any particular jails you would recommend. I am aware of Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.

    All the best,

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi Stephanie (great name!–you can tell your parents I said so ;-). I think your proposed itinerary sounds pretty good and certainly there is a lot to see in those areas. Know that the driving day between NI and Fanore will certainly be long, but if you know that is your agenda for the whole day you can make an adventure of it and stop along the way occasionally. Kilmainham is certainly one of the best historic jails in Ireland. There are a few others that I am aware of–these might get you started. I hope this helps! Enjoy your trip!!

      The first two, may not work with your itinerary so much, but it might be good to know about them!

  40. David Wootton June 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Some advise traveling in Irland.

  41. Beth June 20, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    We’re arriving in Ireland on Aug 29 or 8 days. Will this still be tourist season? Just wondering how crowded the Ring of Kerry will be during the week. Also, taking the train from Dublin to Galway early morning and picking up a rental car late in the afternoon. Can you suggest where to park our luggage for the day? Finally, I’ve been told there are no public restrooms in Ireland–one needs to order something in a pub or restaurant to find a bathroom. Is this true? Great website–thanks so much!

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      Hi Beth, August is still considered tourist season, but you will be at the tail end of it and you might even find as soon as September hits it will be much slower. The Ring of Kerry certainly has heavier traffic than some places, but in September, I think you will find it manageable. There are just a couple places to park your luggage for the day. This page has some details: http://www.galwaytransport.info/2010/05/left-luggage-services-in-galway.html You will find that most larger towns do have public restrooms. Keep a few euros on hand at all times, because it usually charges anywhere from .50-1 euro. You can usually ask any shop where the nearest toilets are and they will point you in the right direction. To be honest, I don’t often find these to be the cleanest of options so I tend to limit my tea intake in the morning to a cup and be sure to stop at the restrooms when they are available at shops, attractions or pubs while we are visiting them. I hope this helps! Enjoy your trip in August!

  42. salman June 20, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

    Hello Stephanie,

    I am relocating to Ireland after serving in Dubai for many years. Appreciate advice on some shopping (Like shoes, clothes, etc) I have to do here in Dubai for Ireland. What sort of shoes, clothes etc will be best, I am going there for the first time and I will start living in Dublin


    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

      Hi Salman,
      What a great new adventure for you! I think you will actually find everything you need for Dublin in Dublin–they’ve got some great shopping, smart stores and a variety of options. If you want to pack somethings before you leave, I would check out some of Ireland’s bloggers who write specifically about Ireland style, but I think you will find (for the everyday person) that it is very similar to any European capital city. With smart/casual dress for work and evening. Its hard to give you specific advice for everyday as my specialty is travel, but this might be a good place to start: http://www.independent.ie/style/fashion/the-20-best-fashion-blogs-26578544.html Good luck with the move!

  43. Michelle July 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

    Hi Stephanie
    My family and I are trying to plan a last-minute trip around for August 17th. I would love to go to Ireland. Do you have any tips for where to go to avoid crowds and save money? Also, we love hiking, so somewhere where we could easily go on a hike would be a plus.

    • Stephanie July 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

      Hi Michelle!

      Hooray for last minute trips. I think everyone (including me!) should do these more often. :-)

      Ok so my best advice for saving money in mid August, which is high season, is to rent a cottage for a week. This is by far the best way for family to get a great deal since you aren’t paying per person per night. I would start by looking on sites like http://www.homeaway.co.uk/lettings/ireland/r37 that advertise holiday homes. You can also google the town you want to stay in along with self-catering and you should get a bunch of options.

      As far as where to go, if you like hiking the north west, Donegal and the south west, Kerry and Cork are fantastic options. You might even want to check out West Cork specifically for a little less traveled option with great hiking and lovely scenery. I just posted a great link on my facebook page with photos of west cork: https://visitwestcork.wordpress.com/recent/ Here is another self-catering site for that area specifically: http://www.westcork-cottages.com/

      If you don’t want to be stationary but still want to save some money, you could also check out listings on AirBnB, which is a more home grown B&B experience. Locals can list rooms or apartments available to rent and usually they are less expensive than a typical hotel or B&B (although some tourist board approved B&B’s also list their rooms here too). If you use this link, you will get $25 off your first visit as a referral from me: https://www.airbnb.com/c/schastain1https://www.airbnb.com/c/schastain1

      I hope this helps get you started! Enjoy your trip!!

  44. Samantha July 21, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    Love your site! The information is amazing. My boss is sending me on a week trip to Ireland next year and has asked me to start planning it. I have decided to travel solo and am sooo excited! My biggest issue is where to stay and such. I am a nature enthusiast and have done more research than I can handle but still am undecided. I’m not big on touristy travelling.. I love the “hole in the wall” places. I am thinking about going in the first week of June 2016 so I have plenty of time but I would love your advise on where to visit (couple of places) to get the best experience. County Kerry and County Clare are amazingly beautiful in pictures but I don’t want to miss out. Any advice?

    Thanks!! :)

    • Stephanie July 28, 2015 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Samantha! How lucky for you to be sent to Ireland by your boss. :-) For nature lovers, Ireland is the perfect place. No matter where you go, you will be in awe of the beautiful scenery all around you. If you are going for a week trip, I would stick to one area–so choose south east, south west, north or west. For first trips, we really like south west. There is so much to see and do, but if you really want to get off the beaten path it is so easy. For you, I might suggest west cork specifically. There is lots of hiking, great towns with wonderful pubs and not as many tourists as there will be in Killarney in June.

      I hope this helps to get you started. Enjoy the planning!!

  45. Madi September 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    Thank you for your car rental advice earlier! My husband and I are having some difficult choices to make, and we don’t know what to do! Can I ask your opinion?

    We will be in Dublin in October Thursday morning until Sunday morning. We have to stay in Dublin that long because I am photographing a wedding at Trinity College that Saturday (reason for the trip). So, our own little vaca starts the following Sunday morning. We are renting our car at 9am in Dublin and then have this planned (nothing is set in stone):

    Sunday morning: leave Dublin
    Sunday afternoon: arrive at Galway for the day and night (2hr. 10min. drive)
    Monday morning: leave for Cliffs of Moher (1hr. 30 min. drive)
    Monday early afternoon: leave Cliffs for Dingle (3hrs. drive)
    Tuesday late morning: leave Dingle for Killarney (1hr drive)
    Wednesday late morning: leave Killarney for Dublin (3hr. 25min. drive)
    Thursday morning: leave Ireland

    My husband is concerned about driving (have never driven abroad), and we are also concerned about trying to squeeze too much in. We don’t like the idea of those 3 hour drives. What would you recommend? Thank you so much for your helpful site!

    • Stephanie September 16, 2015 at 9:55 am #

      Hi Madi,

      How great that you get to photograph a wedding at trinity! What a fabulous location. :-)

      Honest feedback though—you are probably planning to drive a bit too much for October daylight. Monday especially concerns me because you won’t be there in time to really see anything in Dingle before you need to head out the next day. If you are really committed to seeing the south, I’d drive there from Dublin and skip Galway/Cliffs. Or vice/versa if Galway/Cliffs are higher on your list, cut Dingle (at least).

      Driving can be really tough the first couple of days, but luckily you’ll have time to adjust to the jetlag while you are in Dublin. This page, has a few driving tips you might like: http://www.infiniteireland.com/31-ireland-travel-tips-you-wont-find-in-a-guidebook/

      I hope this helps get you started! Enjoy your trip. :-) :-) :-)

  46. Kelly WIlson September 13, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    I’ve heard there are certain things you do not do/wear lest you be pegged as a tourist. So far that Do Not list includes: wear a camera around your neck, wear a baseball cap, wear tennis shoes (?!), wear a fanny pack. Is that your opinion as well, and do you have anything to add?? What alternative do you have for comfortable shoes, other than a pair of Skechers GoWalk 3 (and only the 3)? I hate to wear the same shoes every day!

    • Lisa September 13, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      We just returned from 8 days in Dublin and your accent will give you away before your shoes or camera. Wear whatever you are comfortable in. My only suggestion is no bright colors. We were asked right away one day if we were tourist because we had bright gold sweatshirts on. Anything goes in the city.

    • Stephanie September 16, 2015 at 9:59 am #

      Hi Kelly,
      Lisa is right, it’s pretty easy to peg a traveler beyond just what you are wearing and if you are comfortable in sneakers and a baseball hat, go for it. :-) One thing that I would say is that since it is easy to pick tourists out of a crowd, don’t make yourself a target for petty theft by leaving your wallet or cell phone out on the table when going to rest room, or leaving luggage in the back seat of the car.

      As for shoes, I will sometimes pack a pair of ballet flats if I want to dress something up or ditch the walking shoes for the evening. They are light weight and pack really easily. My husband couldn’t care less about shoes, so he usually wears the same pair most of the time. I hope this helps!! :-)

  47. Marshall September 14, 2015 at 3:17 am #

    This is great information.. Great website I do have many questions .My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland in November 2015. My concern is the weather. Will it be cold and raining? Is this a bad month to travel to Ireland? We’re planning to stay for 9 days or so. should we book a hotel room for our duration of our stay or should we drive to different b&b every 2 days and try to see all of Ireland? Please help. :)

    • Stephanie September 16, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Hi Marshall! I am so glad you like the site. No matter which month you choose, you are going to find it could possibly be cold and rainy (even in July). This year was one of the wettest summers on record, so you really never know. That being said, yes you will find that most days will have rain and colder temps. This chart helps give you a better idea: http://www.met.ie/climate/monthly-data.asp?Num=532

      Most people really enjoying staying at B&B’s around Ireland. I wouldn’t try to to see all of Ireland this way, but you can definitely see a lot of one or two regions in 9 days. Staying two nights in each location is a great idea–especially because daylight hours will be limited. You’ll want to be able to enjoy whole day in one location because the other day you’ll be traveling to the next one and will have limited time to see things since it will get dark fairly early.

      I hope this helps get you started! Enjoy your trip to Ireland!! :-)

  48. Tom November 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    My wife and I, along with two other couples, are going to Ireland in late February. We start in Dublin, but will be staying most of the time in Adare, and take day-trips from there . We will have rental cars. We’d welcome any suggestions of where to go and places to visit that time of year. Already planning on some time in Dublin (near the end of our trip).

  49. Hannah November 5, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    I am solo travelling to Ireland in December for 9 nights. I will be going from Dublin to Galway to Limerick to Killarney then back to Dublin! Any tips for the cheapest & easiest way to get to each city? Also, any tips for a young, solo traveler?

Leave a Reply