Ireland can be easily reached by flights, Rail-Ferry. Since Ireland is itself an island, lying west of the island of Great Britain and northwest of mainland Europe, one needs to cross the Irish seas. Huge discounts/sales are available when booking on the official website of Aer Lingus: https://www.aerlingus.com/html/en-US/home.html
If you are traveling from London to Ireland and if you are in a mood for some adventure and time to spare, I would recommend ditching the flight and taking the train-ferry route to Dublin, Ireland. Travel from London to Holyhead by train in just 3 hours 50 minutes and then sail across the Irish Sea from Holyhead to Dublin in just 3 hours 15 minutes. The entire ticket costs just GBP 46 per adult. For more information on booking of this SailRail tickets, check out: https://www.seat61.com/ and https://www.virgintrains.co.uk./
Though it is called the ferry, the experience is equivalent to a Luxury Cruise Liner. You need to experience it to believe it! I traveled this route not once, but twice and returned back to London on an Aer Lingus flight.
Accommodation in Dublin:
Make your base in Dublin city, which is convenient to visit all other tourist attractions from Dublin. While in Dublin, we stayed at YWCA Residence at Dublin for a whole week and believe me the rates that we enjoyed, were simply awesome with breakfast included and a sumptuous dinner (at a nominal extra charge) cooked with a lot of love by their chef. The YWCA Residence at 64 Lower Baggot Street in Dublin 2 provides affordable half-board accommodation to students and visitors in a convenient city-centre location.
We were extremely lucky to have got to stay for a week at YWCA Residence, however, YWCA Residence is more suitable and recommended for long-term visitors, particularly during the academic year! In case you are looking for student accommodation for a long term basis, YWCA Residence, Dublin is the place for you! Check out their website for more information: http://ywca.ie/what-we-do/ywca-dublin/
Alternatively, for short-term bookings, would recommend booking your hotel at Temple Bar area, where all the action is! So select a good hotel at discounted rate, with breakfast included in the package.
First half – Go for the Dublin City Bus Tour @ Euro 18 per person. It gives you a chance to Hop on and Hop off at various points. If any place catches your interest, you can hop off the bus, explore that place and get back to the same stop to catch the next bus on that route and continue your city tour.
After spending around 2 hours on the City Bus Tour, get off at Graffton Street and explore the place on foot. Grafton Street is the premier high street and up-market shopping street in Dublin, Ireland.
The streets come alive and are vibrant with singing and live music from the street performers, as people walk by shopping, laughing, talking and just having a good time. Keep walking and check out the shops on the way. The shops close by 6 pm.
After your shopping is done, head straight for Temple Bar area. In the late evenings, Temple Bar comes alive with music and the sound of Old Irish songs. You will find plenty of nice watering holes which will keep you occupied till the wee hours of the morning! Just one tip, be sure to call and reserve your table in advance because usually these places are packed and it’s difficult to find a table.
From Dublin, you have many options to take half day tours or full day tours. Take the half day tour from Dublin to Wicklow Mountain Valley. Enjoy Dublin city in the morning & escape to Wicklow & Glendalough on a half day afternoon tour for 30€ per adult.
In the evening, be sure to experience authentic Irish Folk Dance and music. There are many hotels/pubs in Dublin city which hold this 2-hour authentic Irish folk dance and music along with dinner and a glass of your favorite drink!
Take a day tour and leave Dublin behind for one day and experience the extreme beauty and culture of Ireland! The Cliffs of Moher tour from Dublin gives you a great balance of the majestic 700ft Cliffs and the wild limestone Burren National Park on Galway Bay. Cliffs of Moher tour will take you from the banks of Dublin’s River Liffey to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. You’ll also get to ramble around the incredible rocky “Burren” landscape near Galway Bay where mostly all tour operators stop for a stroll and where the more adventurous can climb up into the limestone hillsides for the best photos of Galway Bay, Aran Islands, and Connemara. As we go through this tour, take in Ireland and get to experience nature, geology, history, culture, and music of the region, all for 40€ per adult.
After we arrive back to Dublin city in the evening at around 8 pm, don’t forget to visit the oldest Pub in Ireland – The Brazen Head. I didn’t get a chance to do it, but I have heard so much about it, that I wouldn’t want you guys to miss the opportunity of experiencing something medieval.
Travel to Killarney by bus on Dublin Coach which is around 4.5 hours for and costs 20€ per person.
Would recommend staying for 3 days in Killarney at a cheap B&B somewhere on Muckross Road, as this place is very close to the town and great way to explore the place on foot. We stayed at a lovely B&B on Muckross road and the owner – Mary and her staff were extremely warm and hospitable towards our stay.
From Killarney it is very easy to do the Ring of Kerry tour. Discover the Ring of Kerry full-day tour @ Euro 25 per adult that showcases one of Ireland’s most stunning destinations. The Ring of Kerry tour takes you through Killorglin, the home of the ancient Celtic festival Puck Fair, Dingle Bay, Waterville, Sneem, Killarney National Park and Torc Waterfall.
Keep this day to explore Killarney leisurely. Your trip to Killarney isn’t complete without a trip on a Jaunting car (A jaunting car is the horse drawn carriage!!). Step back in time and enjoy the Irish tradition of a jaunting car with a 1-hour tour (for 1-4 people) through the city of Killarney. Visit some of the city’s lovely parks, admire the spire of St. Mary’s Cathedral, and marvel at the medieval Ross Castle along the way and through the Killarney National Park.
Later in the afternoon or evening, you can either travel back to Dublin or depart from Killarney.
Super informative article by Maria Lewis. For more information on Ireland or her travel journey visit blog www.travelbliss.org.