Ireland in 4 days!?
April 11, 2008 6:31 PM   Subscribe

4 Extra days in Ireland. How should we spend our time?

After a stay at a resort in the Limerick area, we have 4 extra days before we catch our flight home from Dublin.

Would you spend the whole 4 days in Dublin, or at different spots along the way?

I've spent hours and hours looking into different spots, but at this point I feel I need a personal recommendation on this. Hotels/B&B recommendations appreciated!

About us: 4 adults, 1 toddler and a rental minivan.

posted by adamfunman to Travel & Transportation around Ireland (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I really enjoyed Glendalough -- lovely and peaceful. Don't think its far from Dublin (a terrible little town for a day, much less four IMO) but it really has been a while.
posted by bluenausea at 6:39 PM on April 11, 2008

My family heads to Ireland every couple of years, we've really enjoyed the time we spent in Kinsale and then over in Galway.
posted by iamabot at 7:02 PM on April 11, 2008

I've only been once, and not all around, but check out Galway or an Aran island.
posted by cmiller at 7:19 PM on April 11, 2008

I absolutely loved my time in Ireland. Dublin, Galway, and the Aran Islands are all well worth a look:

Ireland: 16-23 August 2006

* Emerald Isle Arrival
* Dynamic First Day in Dublin
* Art, Beer, and Street Crime
* Friday Night Dublin
* From Russia with Love
* Manuscripts, Horses, and Evensong
* Galway
* Inis Mór
* Final Galway Adventure
* Final, literary, Dublin Day
* Last Dublin Meal
posted by sindark at 8:05 PM on April 11, 2008

Well if you want to take up half a day, I cannot recommend Newgrange enough. Three thousand years before Christ, and before Stonehenge, and before the Pyramids of Egypt, the Celts built this insane underground passageway, lined with art, with a chamber at one end. Every year, at the winter solstice, the light hits the entryway just so, and illuminates the chamber. It's incredible. I'm getting goosebumps just remembering it. When I went, we took a bus tour from Dublin, which was great because we were chattered at about history all along the way, and we had the opportunity to ask questions and to learn all about the Battle of the Boyne (which took place thousands of years later, in the same area). Best day trip ever.
posted by moxiedoll at 8:55 PM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Galway. Inis Mór. Perhaps go further north, but you're close enough to Galway for it to be a shame if you missed it.

For Americans used to road trips, even with kids, the distances between places in Ireland are miniscule. The only downside will be the cost of filling up. You can easily leave Galway in the morning and get back to Dublin for an afternoon flight. Though if you haven't spent any time in Dublin, you might want a day or two there: take a day in Galway City, a day for the Arans, a leisurely drive east and whatever Dublin and environs has to offer you.
posted by holgate at 10:07 PM on April 11, 2008

I'd definitely advise you not to spend the whole time in Dublin. Cork is awesome - the city has lots of fun things to do but is small enough to explore on foot. The food was great too (better than Dublin).

I randomly found and stayed at Lancaster Lodge in Cork and loved it. The breakfast is great and the location is ideal for exploring the city.

There are also lots of small towns with B&Bs and parks and hiking spots in West Cork, and I think this area was much less touristy than Galway and environs.
posted by sergent at 12:12 AM on April 12, 2008

What is it with people and Galway? I always find the concept so much more romantic than the city, which is over run with chain stores and cinemas and bad chain food at this point. Galway basically is nothing but tourism at this point, and I don't mean that in a good way.

So for four days what I would do is:

Day 1: Limerick > Cork by train via Limerick Junction. If you want to stay at the Lancaster Lodge, Reidy's Wine Vault across the street is one of the most beautiful pubs in town and has the city's best Guinness Stew.

Day 2: Either rent a car and go to Kinsale, or hop on the world's cutest train for 20 minutes and go to Cobh, which is a fabulous harbour town with a nice Cathedral and a cool museum, The Queenstown Story, right at the train station. The museum covers the famine, emigration, and both the Titanic and the Lusitania. The Titanic left from Cobh and the Lusitania sunk off the coast. It is a small but brilliant exhibit, really.

Day 3: Train to Dublin, less than 3 hours. Two days is enough to do Dublin, which is nice but four days there is a bit much.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:01 AM on April 12, 2008

Seconding moxiedoll's suggestion of Newgrange, it's awe-inspiring. I did a day tour from Dublin with these people but there are half-day tours around.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:29 AM on April 12, 2008

If you like art or museums, you must visit the Chester Beatty Library. It's like going to see the Book of Kells only 10 times cheaper and 100 times better.
posted by robcorr at 3:08 AM on April 12, 2008

If you like art or museums, you must visit the Chester Beatty Library. It's like going to see the Book of Kells only 10 times cheaper (that is, it's free) and 100 times better (that is, it's got many more manuscripts, from all over the world, and tells you a lot more about how they were made and preserved).
posted by robcorr at 3:08 AM on April 12, 2008

posted by robcorr at 3:09 AM on April 12, 2008

True, Galway city isn't everything (I was disappointed) but the Galway coast is amazing, absolutely beautiful. If it was me I would head over to Galway, then up to Sligo, Donegal, Derry, and follow the coastal route round the north coast, round to Belfast, then back down to Dublin.

Would be a nice road trip and doable in 4 days.

Alternatively I'd recommend Dublin then the Mourne Mountains.
posted by twistedonion at 3:27 AM on April 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

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