If you've never had the chance to see Ireland yourself, perhaps you may think this little country off the Northwest coast of the UK is just all about beers, pubs, potatoes, and drunken brawls. Now, don't get me wrong.... they have AMAZING beers & pubs (the best in the world, in my opinion), but what is so truly magical about this land is the history, the landscape, the architecture, and - most of all - the people. They are possibly the most friendly people you'll ever meet... ever!!
I came to Ireland years ago with a girlfriend and fell in love with it. Deeply, deeply in love with allllll of it. When I decided to embark on this trip with my parents, I knew I wanted to go back and be there with them to watch them enjoy it. And I'm so glad that we did. Justin and my parents loved it just as much as me - maybe even more!! - and I'm sure you can see why. Gorgeous, right??
I ain't no travel expert, but if you ever head to Ireland, here are some tips from my adventures and my must-dos!! (And a few little stories & photos too...)
DUBLIN (our day 1)
Number one... Roam around and roam around some more!!
St. Peters Cathedral
Drink Guinness at the Guinness Brewery & Storefront (must, must, must)
Temple Bar - a gorgeous cobbled street from the Medieval times... amazing cultural experience
Gogartys & Temple Bar Pub
What we missed regrettably missed: Trinity College & New Grange
Where to stay: Close to Temple Bar (so you can stumble home...) We stayed at Fitzwilliam. Very reasonably priced and extremely clean. The concierge was AMAZING. He helped us get our car & was so delightful. Another great hotel is the Morgan (where I stayed last time). Both boutique-y in a great location!
**I love staying at little B&B's and saving mula on hotels, but I always recommend on your first day or two to splurge a bit. It gives you a chance to feel comfy, clean and get a good sleep. So no to jet lag!!**
THEN rent a car instead of taking a cross country guided bus trip. I've done it twice and think you get to explore so much more if you're no restricted! If you do your research ahead of time you can see so much. Here is what we did in 2.5 days.
Cliffs of Moher
Vaugns - to eat and stay)
Egans - amazing pre-dinner pub
Cliffs of Moher
T. O'Brien - in my opinion the BEST BAR IN THE WORLD. Tommy O'Brien has been running this bar since he was a kid, it has been in the family since the 1930s and the bar has the BEST Guinness i have ever had. It's just Tommy who works there and he opens the bar up every night at around 9:30pm - it's said he does it for his friend Mike (whom I met) and the two of them have a beer and chat. Usually it's just the two of them but I crashed the party and the three of us sat in this little closet sized 'pub' till about 12:30 am. Now THAT is a real pub. To me, that experience was a MUST.
The best bar in the world
Me & Tommy O'Brien
We cruised around and when to Dingle the next day - a cute little fishing town. We didn't spend more than 3 hours there which to me was perfect. On the way in/out of town there is an amazing old watch tower you can walk along the water to get to and we fell in love with the views at this spot!
The Watch Tower
A few other places of note...
Cahernane (we stumbled upon this and it is a MUST STAY)
Antiquing in Killarney
BLARNEY CASTLE - kiss the Blarney!!
Rock of Cashel & Ruins
Justin at Blarney Castle
Antiquing! Of course..
I could go on all day.... there is so much to explore in the amazing country. Go, go, go at the first chance you get!!
And a few more of our photos...
Cliffs of Moher Castle
Clover - for good luck!
The end of the rainbow
My mom & I
At Blarney Castle
Kissing the Blarney Stone.... yes, it was worth it....!
Mom & Dad
Justin at the Cliffs of Moher