Tourist Information, Ireland
Dublin and a couple of other cities in Ireland have a hop on hop off tourist sight seeing bus service. A great way to see the city if you are physically challenged, or just downright lazy. Why not do the full circuit and then go back to the places that sound the most interesting to you.
Many people say that it is dangerous and silly to drive around in Ireland as an American tourist. I would say that isn't necessarily the case. Granted, they do drive on the left side of the road, with the steering wheel on the other side of the car, and the gearshift on the other side of the driver, but pay attention and you'll be fine. It takes about one day to get used to the side of the road, and one more day to figure out the roundabouts. Roundabouts with lights just make no sense, but being from Washington D.C. makes these a bit easier.
That being said, if you are one of the majority of those American drivers that only pays scant attention to driving while talking on the cellphone, applying makeup, and generally making yourself a hazard, don't drive in Ireland. The wide roads and big cars that make up for your lack of driving skill does not exist here. The concentration needed to drive 100kph down twisting roads full of blind curves doesn't bode well to those with short attention spans.
I've driven in the middle east, in germany, and in britain, and I loved driving in Ireland. The signs were scarce but adequate, and we always managed to find out where we were headed. Oh, but never ask for directions from a native. They don't really know the names of the roads, or where they're headed. They just sort of count intersections, and on several occassions got left and right backwards.
Oh well, you weren't in a hurry, were you?
The taxi is an easy trip. Quick. Simple. The hotel is located between the city centre and the airport. I stayed in a different hotel just last week, close by and I attended a couple of matches at Croke. If you're a traveler who likes public transport and to save maybe 30 Euro, the city bus is an option - as indicated above. Either the #41 or #16A will get you close. I've gotten off the bus at the Drumcondra DART/Rail station. Bus fare depends upon distance traveled; zones. It's an exact fare system, no change is given. Enjoy the trip.
I wanted to see more of Ireland than just Dublin but I was a little scared about travelling around by myself (and I didn't know what to see) so I decided to take a 3 day guided tour. I ended up booking with Paddy Wagon Tours and I did not regret the decision. Both our guide and bus driver were Irish and they made long hours in a minibus enjoyable. This was a great way to see a lot of the country in a short amount of time and we went to the places most tourists want to visit. If you don't have much time or don't really know where to start in Ireland, I would highly recommend taking tours with this company. It was all people under 30 on my tour and I got to meet people from around the world.
We spent our 10 days in Ireland driving with no specific plans. We started in Dublin and wound up in the Northwest seaside of the country finally cutting across country back to Dublin to head home. We rented a van that was quite comfortable for the four of us. Car space dwindled as my wife and mother tried to buy items at every stop but we did make it back to Dublin.
We drove many twisting, narrow roads and had to back up a few times to let others pass. Roads are very narrow in some small towns. The Irish are very polite drivers making driving a pleasure. This from a person who would rather walk the 18 miles to work each day as to getting in a car. I HATE to drive but driving in Ireland is easy and the views are spectacular.
Rails don't run everywhere- so either, hoof, pedal, hitch, wait for the bus or rent a car. Car rental can be pricy- so shop and book ahead. Some roads are narrow - Dingle & Beara Penninsula in particular but are a must see. I suggest getting a good stout Land Rover for visiting those out of the way places and being able to pull out of the barrow ditches!
I went with Tyr Na Nog around Ireland (north & south) for 6 days... this is our itinerary:
DAY 1 Dublin to Cork City
- the Rock of Dunamase, the remains of a 12th century castle perched high on a rocky outcrop,
-Rock of Cashel, one of the most spectacular archeological sites in Ireland.
-Cork City, the second largest city in the Republic where we have the opportunity to sample the fine Murphy’s or Beamish Stout both brewed locally.
DAY 2 Cork City to Doolin
Blarney Castle where you will climb the steps to the top of the castle and perform strange acrobatic ritual to kiss the Blarney stone to receive the gift of eloquence
-Killarney National Park and take a walk up to (or a dip into) the stunning Torc Waterfall.
-ferry ride across the mouth of the River Shannon before a drive to Doolin village.
DAY 3 Doolin to Westport
Cliffs of Moher (700ft)
- the Burren, which is a moonscape of limestone
- Connemara, the heart of the bogs.
DAY 4 Westport to Derry
-Sligo TO climb up the Hillside Tomb of Queen Maeve at the top of Knocknarea
- Donegal Coastline
- Benbulben & the final resting place of W.B. Yeats.
DAY 5 Derry to Belfast
We start the day with a local guide who will take us walking around the old city of Derry, intriguing us with stories of Derry past and present.
- Dunluce Castle,
- Giants Causeway,
- Glens of Antrim
DAY 6 Belfast to Dublin
-opportunity to take the famous Black Taxi Tour (7£) around Belfast where you get an insight into the recent history of this divided land, with an opportunity to visit areas not normally on the tourist itinerary.
-Monasterboice, a 6th century monastic settlement,
- Slane, home to Slane Castle, the annual venue for big outdoor rock concerts. In 2001, U2 filled the venue with over 180,000 over two weekends.
- Boyne Valley, famous for the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, to the Hill of Tara, the coronation site of the Irish High King’s until the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.
Very busy as you see. You just take care that you are not overrun in Connemara. Here you see that I'm about to get in the middle of a traffic jam in Connemara!
Free parking by West Gate in Drogheda, on the N1 bridge part of West St. However make sure valubles are out of sight as we saw 2 cars smashed to pieces in the far corner of the car park.