DESTINATIONS Europe Ireland Travel

One Week Ireland Itinerary: Exploring Dublin and Galway

Kylemore Abbey

Whereas the remainder of America feasted on turkey, ham and pies throughout final month’s Thanksgiving vacation, my household and I spent the week in Ireland as an alternative. It wasn’t probably the most perfect time to go to the Emerald Isle. It was chilly and a bit gloomy. Although, we lucked out with sunshine on most days. It was an exquisite getaway and confirmed us simply how numerous and lovely Ireland is. This was our one-week itinerary staying in Dublin and Galway with some day journeys.

Dublin River Liffey

Day 1 – Sightseeing in Dublin

Our flight arrived early and we have been within the Dublin metropolis middle and into our lodge room by midday. After an hour nap and lots of espresso and adrenaline, we set off to discover this compact capital metropolis on foot. It was one of the simplest ways to struggle off jet lag.

My husband and I visited Ireland in 1998 once we have been in graduate faculty. So, we have been excited to point out landmarks we beloved to our youngsters. We have been staying within the Temple Bar space which is the “cultural heart of Dublin City”. Situated on the banks of the River Liffey, the world is full of pubs, eating places and galleries.

It’s all the time been fascinating to stroll down the cobblestoned streets, hear music and see all of the colourful façades of the pubs. A number of the pubs have been already adorned for the vacations. Don’t they appear inviting?

Temple Bar Dublin

Although, the preferred photograph spot in Temple bar is the purple Temple Bar Pub which simply occur to have a Christmas tree on it. This bar has been round since 1840. Locals have informed us that solely vacationers actually hang around on the Temple Bar space.

The Temple Bar Pub Dublin

However, we actually loved being round this space with vigorous music popping out from most of the pubs and the energetic environment. My husband and I took each alternative to take heed to as many stay music, particularly the normal Irish songs, as we might.

We made our solution to Grafton Road which is the purchasing space of Dublin. Strolling down this road, beneath twinkling lights, actually put us into the vacation spirit. The window shows from most of the shops have been so festive.

Grafton Street Dublin

In fact, you possibly can’t stroll round Dublin with out stopping at Molly Malone’s statue. This bronze determine alongside together with her cart is a well-liked vacationer spot. Some rub her cleavage for good luck. She was a heroine of a standard Irish ballad and nobody is for certain if she was fictional or based mostly on an actual individual.

Molly Malone statue Dublin

St. Stephen’s Inexperienced was the inexperienced oasis on the middle of Dublin. It was a sunny day so it wasn’t a shock to see many locals having fun with the outside on a Sunday afternoon. The park was huge with a lake, gazebos and loads of wildlife. Dwelling in someplace the place we barely have any colours on timber and don’t actually expertise the Autumn season, it was a deal with to see most of the colourful timber nonetheless intact with their leaves right here.

St STephen's Green Dublin

St. Patrick (and his big day in March) is nearly synonymous with Ireland. The nationwide cathedral in honor of its patron saint is value a go to. This medieval construction was accomplished within the 13th century. Its inside has 200 monuments, a powerful altar and stained glass home windows and additionally the burial place Jonathan Swift, writer of Gulliver’s Travels.

We all the time take pleasure in recreating photographs. So, we couldn’t assist however do that one in entrance of Christ Church Cathedral. It’s a digital replace to a photograph taken 20 years in the past.

Christ Church cathedral

Day 2 – Extra Dublin Sightseeing

Our teen daughter shall be going off to school in Fall 2020. We’re within the midst of touring school campuses. So, we couldn’t move up an official school tour of Ireland’s oldest and most well-known college, Trinity School Dublin. Queen Elizabeth I established this college in 1592.

The school is often a part of some strolling excursions because it was situated within the coronary heart of the town. There’s additionally an official guided tour of the campus for a charge. You’ll be able to enroll on the ticket desk on the Entrance Gate for the subsequent obtainable tour. No advance buy obtainable.

When you have a highschool scholar, you’ll be able to join the free one-hour tour. It was an exquisite strategy to study extra about this campus and life as a world scholar. They’ve a tremendous campus, curriculum and was truly cheaper than a number of the American personal universities. That is now one of many prime contenders for my teen’s future school overseas.

Trinity College Dublin

You’ll be able to’t miss visiting the E-book of Kells exhibit and its well-known library if you’re in Trinity School. This isn’t free however nicely well worth the admission. The E-book of Kells was a ninth century elaborately adorned e-book containing the 4 Gospels in Latin of Jesus Christ’s life. It’s thought-about Ireland’s “greatest cultural treasure”.

The Previous Library’s Lengthy Room was full of about 200,000 of the gathering’s oldest books in oak bookcases. Trinity school college students can truly borrow these books. The odor of previous books might be so intoxicating. The grand 200-foot-long room was constructed within the early 1700s and its most important walkway was lined with marble sculptures of writers and philosophers.

Trinity College Library Long Room

Ireland could also be well-known for its Guinness beer. However, Irish whiskey was additionally an enormous a part of its tradition and historical past. There have been fairly a couple of distilleries across the nation. My husband needed to go to St James distillery since we have been within the Bow Road space of Dublin. They provide excursions and tastings. Take a look at their chandelier.

Jameson Whiskey Distillery Dublin

We did plenty of strolling throughout these two days since we wish to discover cities this manner. However, if you wish to save your ft, do the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus excursions.

Day three – Day journey to Northern Ireland

We’re not often spontaneous with our journey plans. Our deliberate itinerary was to spend one other day round Dublin however the climate forecast was rain for a lot of the day. So, we determined to look into the day journey to Northern Ireland (two hours away) as an alternative. We discovered a fantastic Big’s Causeway itinerary with Finn McCool excursions and the climate outlook up north was a lot better.

This tour was from 6:45 AM – eight PM. It was an extended day however value it. We noticed a lot and now we all know that Northern Ireland is clearly an underrated vacation spot.

A part of the attraction of the tour was to see the place Recreation of Thrones (the extremely popular TV present) filming spots. My husband and I are huge followers. You possibly can examine our Recreation of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Northern Ireland is among the present’s foremost filming places.

Our first cease was this stretch of street with 350-year previous beech timber often known as The Darkish Hedges. Most of the leaves have already fallen off displaying a creepier look with the darkish branches. The street results in the Gracehill Home the place it’s stated to be the resident of the Gray Woman’s ghost who roams the hedges. Should you’re a Recreation of Thrones fan, this is called King’s Street.

The Dark Hedges Northern Ireland

The spotlight of today journey was the Big’s Causeway. We spent over two hours right here and had a whole lot of enjoyable exploring. The surroundings and historical past of this space was fascinating. These rock formations have been shaped tens of millions of years in the past after a volcanic eruption. There have been hundreds of interlocking basalt columns and most of them have been hexagonal formed.

Giant's Causeway Northern Ireland

We knew we might have about an hour to stroll round Belfast. It was such a pleasing shock to seek out that their Christmas market was in full swing round their putting metropolis corridor. There have been many stalls promoting arts and crafts with Christmas carols within the air. Most of all, the odor of the varied meals gadgets drew us in. There have been loads of mulled wine, beer, sweets, paella and German sausages.

Belfast Christmas market

Keep tuned as I will probably be writing extra about this present day journey quickly.

Day four – Dublin to Galway

Rain lastly caught as much as us as we anticipated for late fall in Ireland. This was our journey day throughout the nation as we made the two.5-hour drive to the west coast and utilizing Galway as our base. It was a reasonably straightforward drive alongside a number of motorways (assume highways and freeways should you’re American) with some tolls in between.

There have been loads of relaxation stops with fuel and meals in between. When you’ve got extra time, there have been additionally some cities value stopping to see ruins and palatial houses.

Galway’s metropolis middle was much more compact than Dublin. It was straightforward to stroll round and the streets and shops have been simply as festive. We beloved seeing colourful pubs right here too. We obtained fortunate once more and got here throughout Galway’s Christmas market of their metropolis sq..

Galway Ireland with kids

Day 5 – Cliffs of Moher

An Ireland trip wouldn’t be full and not using a go to to the Cliffs of Moher. These 700-ft cliffs rising from the ocean is the nation’s prime pure attraction. It was value navigating these slender, Irish countryside roads which have been a bit nerve wracking.

Once we visited the Cliffs of Moher 20 years in the past, it was windy, wet and foggy that we might barely make out the panorama. We have been so glad it was simply windy and chilly this time as a result of we actually obtained to see this breathtaking surroundings. Don’t miss the customer’s middle constructed into the rocks and was full of informative reveals.

Cliffs of Moher

Alongside the best way, we took the scenic seaside street overlooking the Wild Atlantic Means. We got here throughout Dunguaire Citadel, courting again to the 1520s, watching over Galway Bay.

Dunguaire Castle Ireland

It was a shock to seek out this expansive seashore referred to as Fanore Seashore. I’ve by no means actually related seashores with Ireland. However, this one was lovely and jogged my memory of America’s east coast seashores. It even included sand dunes.

Fanore Beach Ireland

Day 6 – Kylemore Abbey and Clifden

Who wouldn’t need to go to an attraction the place a wealthy husband constructed a lakeside fort for his spouse? Kylemore Citadel is now often known as Kylemore Abbey and run by Benedictine nuns because the 1920s. There was additionally a neo-Gothic church and a ravishing Victorian walled backyard on the grounds. This was a simple one-hour drive and day journey from Galway.

Kylemore Abbey

In case you have a while, you may as well discover a little bit of close by Connemara Nationwide Park. We selected to go across the charming coastal city of Clifden as an alternative. Look how colourful their buildings have been!

Clifden Ireland

Kylemore Abbey was our various to visiting the Aran Islands. We actually needed to go to the island studying late November wasn’t the most effective time to go to in response to locals. Should you’re right here throughout hotter climate, look into taking the ferry into Inis Mor (the most important island) the place there are many historic websites and actions.

Day 7 –Powerscourt Gardens and Malahide Fort

We drove again to Dublin for our final full day in Ireland and spent a lot of the day touring elegant houses. We adored Powerscourt Property and Gardens throughout our final go to and needed to point out this particular place to our youngsters. This was solely a few 30-minute drive from the town.

Whereas the home is spectacular, it’s all concerning the gardens right here. It was ranked third in Nationwide Geographic’s World’s Prime Ten Gardens. It wasn’t in its full glory in comparison with coming right here throughout Spring or Summer time however it was nonetheless straightforward to see its magnificence. We loved strolling round right here and exploring its many sections particularly the Japanese backyard.

Powerscourt Gardens

There have been many households throughout our Saturday go to right here because it was footage with Santa time. My youngsters actually loved going into the Christmas stables to see reindeer, donkeys, sheep and velveteen rabbits.

When you’ve got a bit extra time on this space, you’ll be able to discover the close by Powerscourt Waterfalls (highest in Ireland). Glendalough, which has monastic websites and scenic lakes, is situated about 45 minutes away. In case you don’t have a rental automotive, there are a number of tour corporations from Dublin to Powerscourt which will or might not embrace Glendalough. Additionally it is simply accessible by way of public transport.

Our final cease on this journey was historic Malahide Fort and Gardens. This was the Talbot household’s house for over 800 years. Excursions can be found for the citadel and gardens. There was additionally a butterfly home and fairy path for teenagers to take pleasure in. In case you’re visiting through the holidays, we additionally discovered an indoor ice skating space on the grounds.

Malahide Castle Ireland

Ideas when Visiting Ireland with Youngsters

  • Attending to Dublin metropolis middle from Airport. We didn’t lease a automotive throughout our first few days in Dublin because it was straightforward to stroll round. We additionally didn’t need to cope with parking and driving within the busy streets. Taxis have been available on the airport and we have been quoted about 40 euros.

We took the Airlink categorical service bus (double decker inexperienced public bus #747) which ran each 15-20 minutes. The bus had free Wi-fi and baggage racks. Costs (as of Dec. 2018) have been 7 euros a method or 12 euros roundtrip for adults. There have been youngsters reductions which my teenagers didn’t qualify for (three euros single/5 euros return). It took about 40 minutes to get to our cease by Temple Bar.

There was additionally the personal Aircoach bus. It appeared like these giant tour buses with rather more snug seats. It prices virtually the identical because the Airlink and reductions can be found on-line. We selected the Airlink solely as a result of it was already there and prepared to go away.

Each the Airlink and Aircoach have been discovered outdoors of the Arrivals space and there have been personnel there to inform your cease and promote tickets.

  • Renting a automotive. We rented a automotive on our third day and made out approach again to the airport. In hindsight, we should always have rented inside the metropolis as an alternative. Keep away from renting from the airport if charges aren’t that a lot to keep away from the effort and shuttle wait occasions to their offsite places.
  • Be snug with the considered driving on the left aspect. It took some adjusting regardless of my husband driving on the left aspect earlier than throughout our go to to Australia 4 years in the past. Research the information the rental automobiles offer you particularly whereas driving on the roundabouts.
  • There have been many Ubers out there across the metropolis. Sadly, we didn’t get to make use of them on this journey.
  • Knowledge Plan. When you don’t need to use your knowledge plan from house, you possibly can simply get sim playing cards too. Though, Dublin had loads of Wi-Fi hotspots. We purchased our sim card on the Tesco grocery store for lower than 20 euros with 16 Gb knowledge and 10,000 minutes for textual content/speak.
  • Get the Dublin Move. Look into getting this sightseeing card to save lots of time and cash when you’re staying in Dublin for three or extra days. It consists of free entry to over 30 points of interest and museums together with the Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Fort and the Irish Rock ‘n Roll Museum Expertise. It additionally has free Hop on Hop off Bus Tour, reductions and eating provides and quick monitor entry to some points of interest to skip strains.
  • Leap Customer Card – When you’re going to be utilizing public transportation round Dublin, look into getting this leap card for limitless journey over 1, three or 7 days on Airlink, Dublin Bus, Go-Forward Ireland, Luas, DART and Commuter Rail. This consists of free journey to and from the Airport.

Dublin Castle with Kids

The place to Eat in Dublin:

  • Previous Dubliner – We had hearty meals in one among Temple Bar’s oldest pubs whereas being entertained by an area musician singing catchy Irish tunes throughout lunch right here.
  • Nando’s – This wasn’t conventional Irish however a South African/Portuguese flame-grilled Peri-Peri hen restaurant. They’ve a number of places and there was one close to Grafton Road. It’s nice for household meals. Their sauces mixed with the hen have been scrumptious.
  • Bubble Waffle Manufacturing unit – Should you ask my youngsters the place their favourite dessert was, it will be this place within the Temple Bar space. Based mostly on a Hong Kong road snack, these heat bubble waffle cones have been crammed with quite a lot of toppings starting from ice cream to fruits.
  • Off Beat Donut Co. – Situated within the Temple Bar space, this bakery had superb flavors of donuts and made them look artsy and distinctive. If you would like Instagrammable donuts, this was the place.
  • Avoca Terrace Café in Powerscourt Estates and Backyard provided lovely views of the gardens. Costs have been affordable and meals with different menu was scrumptious.
  • Gibney’s was situated within the city of Malahide close to the airport – They provided primary pub meals together with sandwiches and soup. One of the best worth was the Gibney’s Platters which got here with sausages, onion rings, hen wings and potato wedges and obtainable in three totally different sizes. The locals at our neighboring desk informed us this was a well-liked native hangout and it was fairly vigorous.
  • Oliver St. John Gogartys – We didn’t eat right here however my husband and I frolicked right here for 2 nights with drinks available listening to reside Irish music on their higher flooring. The decrease space additionally had reside, modern singers. I want we had the prospect to eat right here since their menu of conventional Irish meals appeared scrumptious. Don’t miss this pub/restaurant situated within the coronary heart of Temple Bar.

Eating in Dublin with kids

The place to eat in Galway and in close by vacationer points of interest

  • McDonagh’s – This in style restaurant has been round since 1902 and in response to a few locals we met had one of the best fish and chips on the town. They provided numerous fish from cod, salmon to ray for fish choices with beneficiant serving to of fries/chips. Attempt their garlic mayo sauce. Fried hen was additionally out there. Meal offers with drinks have been all beneath eight euros.
  • 1520 – The reside music and different menu with affordable costs drew us in to this old style Irish pub in Galway’s busy road. My husband actually loved his lamb stew right here. He stated the perfect one on this journey. I liked my beneficiant portion of Galway mussels. It was energetic and fantastic environment.
  • The Galleon Restaurant – We spent our Thanksgiving meal at this family-owned, conventional Irish café restaurant in Salthill a number of steps from our lodging. They provided scrumptious pasta dishes and an exquisite seafood platter. Nice meals with affordable costs.
  • O’Connor’s Well-known Pub – Situated within the Salthill space, my husband and I loved coming right here after 9 PM to take heed to reside music because it was down the road from the place we stayed. It was utilized in Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’ video and you need to go inside simply to see all of the quirky issues on show. That they had previous stitching machines for a few of their tables.
  • Kylemore Abbey Restaurant is understood for his or her conventional recipes and recent, home-cooked meals as a part of their Benedictine roots. My husband and son loved their hearty soups. We beloved their scones.
  • Cliffs View Cafe – We timed our go to proper in time to finish throughout lunchtime on the Cliffs of Moher. This conveniently situated restaurant on the customer’s middle provided panoramic views and some scrumptious meals at affordable costs. The seafood chowder was scrumptious and there have been sufficient number of lunch specials to fulfill choosy eaters.

Eating in Galway with Kids

The place to Keep

We lucked out and stayed at some nice lodging with wonderful location for an honest worth. In fact, it helped to journey throughout off-season.

Dublin Lodging

Temple Bar Inn, Dublin  – We stayed three nights right here and it was a superb location with Temple Bar, River Liffey, Trinity School and many eating places and shops proper across the nook. We had a spacious quadruple room with 4 single beds and two loos. They provided a buffet breakfast for buy however there have been loads of bakeries and espresso outlets close by.

When you’ve got a much bigger finances, the Temple Bar Lodge throughout the road appeared nice too. If in case you have Starwood/Marriott factors to make use of, then The Westin Dublin close by can also be an incredible choice.

We stayed for one night time on the Hilton Dublin Airport since we had a morning flight the next day. This was situated about 10 minutes drive from the airport. They supply a shuttle (with a payment however free for Gold and Diamond members). Their buffet breakfast was nice with loads of selection. There weren’t many issues across the are however a few eating places, a grocery retailer and a shopping mall.

Galway Lodging

Jameson Courtroom Flats – We completely beloved this self-serviced condo within the seaside village of Salthill.  The constructing had about 20 of those flats and a secured storage downstairs. It was so spacious with two bedrooms, two full loos, full kitchen and a front room.

It was an enormous plus to have a washer and dryer. It was behind the aquarium and throughout the seashore promenade with views of the bay. There was road entry to close by shops, eating places and pubs. It was lower than a 10-minute drive to the town middle.

We hope this itinerary and ideas will help together with your go to to Ireland with youngsters (or with out too). Right here’s hoping you’ve hotter climate, extra leaves on the timber and loads of sunshine once you go to. Though, November with all the vacation lights and decorations was fairly magical too.

Grafton Street Dublin

*Have you ever visited Ireland?

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This submit is a part of Journey Photograph Thursday at Price range Vacationers Sandbox , Weekend Wanderlust Journey Weblog Celebration, The Weekly Postcard at Journey Notes and Past .  Do some armchair touring and please go to the websites for different vacationers’ fantastic pictures and posts.

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