Our friends and close family members know Mikey and I have been trying to plan a trip to Ireland for oh, say, the past two years. We’ve never been to Europe, and as we creep closer and closer to the big 3-0, we’ve been stepping up our game as far as travel goes. Travel, travel, travel now before we maybe, maybe, maybe decide to have kids.
Last year, we considered going in the spring but ultimately decided not to because of the insanely high airfares. You can read all about the “Ireland: Fail” here. We were hoping that airfare to Dublin would drop by July of this year, which would put us in perfect timing to visit in October. But gas and fuel prices are up as of late, and I wouldn’t be surprised if prices went up by July instead of down. So I’ve been keeping a close watch on flights, and thanks to Kayak.com, we snagged round-trip flights to Dublin for less than $1600. Sa-weet.
So no more futzing around. This Ireland trip is happening! And as you can imagine, me and my excited self have already put a loose itinerary together. Here’s a sneak peek.
A full day of flying from St. Louis to Philadelphia to Dublin
First day in Dublin, which could include any of the following:
- Make the must-see trip to the Guinness Storehouse
- Stop into Trinity College to see the Old Library and the Book of Kells
- Go on a free walking tour of Dublin via their downloadable podcasts
- Stroll through the Temple Bar neighborhood, home to many ‘a Irish pub
- Check out the National Museum of Ireland. Seems like there’s a lot of cool viking history we can peruse there.
- Visit the Jameson Distillery. Seems like there’s a lot of whiskey we can consume there.
Photo courtesy of The Temple Bar
Slim chance that we’ll conquer everything on the list during Day 2, so we’ll save Day 3 for anything we aren’t able to cover.
Head south to Kilkenny. Check out the Smithwick’s Brewery, perhaps? And Kilkenny Castle? I also found what looks like a great Irish farmhouse bed and breakfast called Lawcus Farm Guest House. Currently ranks #1 on TripAdvisor for best bed and breakfast in Kilkenny.
Photo courtesy of Theodora.com
Next stop is Cork City, Ireland’s second largest city after Dublin. Blarney Castle is located outside of Cork, so we’ll be making the trek to kiss the Blarney Stone. (Which they do disinfect on a daily basis, in case any germ-a-phobs out there are wondering.)
Killarney comes next, and that’s our starting point for driving the Ring of Kerry, a scenic tourist trail along the western coast with a number of attractions, including beaches and tiny Irish towns. We’ll be renting a car for our entire stay, so we can come and go from town to town as we please.
Photo courtesy of DiscoverTheTrip.com
Limerick will be our next destination, and it’s there that we’ll be spending the night in Dromoland Castle. Because really, no trip to Ireland would be complete without staying in a castle. There are a number of activities offered there like archery and clay-shooting. (Not gonna lie – I kind of want to give archery a go. Katniss Everdeen style, of course.)
Galway will mark our sixth city on our tour of South Ireland. Not far from Galway are the Cliffs of Moher, which look absolutely stunning from the pictures I’ve seen.
Back to Dublin to finish up any activities we didn’t get to tackle during our first two days. Finish up our souvenir shopping. Enjoy a nice “goodbye Ireland” dinner and rest up for the long trip back to the states.
Words can’t describe how excited we are for this trip to come around. Part of the fun for me is the research and planning part of it, so you can rest assured I’ll have my nose in a Fodor’s travel book from now until the day we depart. But the sheer fact that the flights have been booked is exciting enough. This trip is 100% legit!