A couple holding hands and walking through a countryside field at dusk.

What to Do in Ireland for a Week: A Complete 7-Day Itinerary

Crafting the ultimate getaway to Ireland might seem daunting at first. I get it – navigating through countless options and figuring out where to start can feel like a puzzle. But fear not, after diving deep into research, I’ve pieced together an impeccable 7-day itinerary that captures the essence of Ireland’s charm.

From the bustling streets of Dublin to the breathtaking views atop Cliffs of Moher, this guide is your ticket to exploring the Emerald Isle’s wonders. Let’s embark on this adventure together!

Key Takeaways

  • You can explore Ireland’s beauty by visiting places like Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, and Galway in just 7 days.
  • Plan your budget to include costs for meals, accommodations, and activities like touring the Guinness Storehouse or visiting the Aran Islands.
  • Choose from different ways to travel around Ireland, such as renting a car or taking public buses. It’s important to know driving tips like keeping change for tolls.
  • Interesting places to stay include The Traveler’s Rest Inn in Dublin and The Galmont Hotel & Spa in Galway.
  • Important sights include Trinity College in Dublin, Glendalough in Wicklow, and the stunning Cliffs of Moher.

Planning Your Week in Ireland

When planning your week in Ireland, you should consider accommodation, travel options, and budgeting. Ensure to factor in transportation logistics and driving tips for a smooth trip.

How to Choose Your Accommodation

Picking the right place to stay is key for a fantastic week in Ireland. I look at location first, aiming to be close to top sights like Trinity College and Dublin Castle if staying in Dublin or near the Cliffs of Moher when exploring County Clare.

A central spot saves time and makes it easier to get around, especially important in Ireland where every minute counts.

Next, I consider my budget. Ireland offers everything from luxury hotels to cozy bed-and-breakfasts. For a more authentic experience, I lean towards local B&Bs which often provide hearty breakfasts and personalized tips on hidden gems nearby.

They’re great for meeting locals too! Balancing cost with comfort helps ensure that I have enough money left for experiences like touring the Guinness Storehouse or taking a day trip to the Aran Islands without sacrificing a good night’s sleep.

Considerations for Traveling Alone

As we transition from choosing accommodations to considerations for traveling alone, it’s essential to prioritize safety and connectedness on your solo adventure. Ensuring that you stay in well-reviewed and centrally located lodgings can provide a sense of security while allowing for easy access to attractions.

When exploring Ireland independently, actively seeking out group tours or joining organized activities can enhance the experience and provide opportunities for meeting new people. Opting for reputable transportation options like guided bus tours or train travel not only eases navigation but also provides a comforting level of structure during your journey throughout the country.

As you plan your trip, keeping communication lines open with trusted contacts back home is crucial in maintaining peace of mind while immersing yourself in the beauty of Ireland.

Budgeting and Costs

Now, let’s talk about budgeting and costs for your week-long adventure in Ireland. The estimated cost of a 7-day trip to Ireland will depend on various factors, including accommodation, transportation, meals, and sightseeing activities.

Planning an average daily budget of $100-$150 for meals, $50-$100 for accommodation (per person), and factoring in additional expenses for attractions and transportation will give you a good idea of how much you’ll need.

Traveling by train or bus can be economical and convenient if you’re mindful of your itinerary. Keep in mind that some attractions may have entrance fees ranging from $10-$25 per person so it’s essential to include these costs when planning your budget.

Transportation Options

When exploring Ireland, it’s essential to consider the various transportation options available. Here are some convenient ways to get around during your week-long trip:

  1. Renting a car provides flexibility and allows for exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations like the Ring of Kerry and Dingle.
  2. Utilizing Ireland’s extensive train network offers a comfortable and scenic way to travel between major cities such as Dublin, Galway, and Cork.
  3. Taking guided coach tours can be an efficient way to visit popular attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher or the Rock of Cashel, especially for travelers without a car.
  4. Opting for public buses is an economical choice for traveling between towns and regions, with frequent services connecting many destinations across the country.
  5. Embracing walking or cycling in cities like Dublin and Galway allows for immersive exploration of vibrant streets, historic sites, and local culture.

These transportation options provide convenient ways to experience the best of Ireland’s diverse landscapes and rich heritage during your 7-day adventure.

Tips for Driving in Ireland

  • Driving in Ireland requires adapting to driving on the left side of the road, which can be challenging for those used to right-side driving.
  • Plan your routes carefully and allow plenty of time to navigate through smaller roads and rural areas.
  • Be mindful of narrow roads, occasional livestock crossings, and sharp bends commonly found in the countryside.
  • Familiarize yourself with Irish road signs, particularly those indicating roundabouts and speed limits in kilometers per hour.
  • Keep change on hand for tolls on major highways and bridges, as some may not accept credit or debit cards.
  • Consider renting a car with an automatic transmission if you’re not accustomed to driving a manual vehicle.

Day 1-2: Dublin

Explore the must-see sites in Dublin and discover where to eat and drink. Find recommended accommodation and navigate Dublin distances for a fulfilling visit.

Must-See Sites in Dublin

Dublin is packed with attractions from historic sites to vibrant neighborhoods. Here are the must-see sites in Dublin:

  1. Trinity College: Visit the famous Book of Kells and explore the beautiful Long Room library.
  2. Dublin Castle: Dive into Ireland’s history while exploring this 13th-century castle.
  3. Guinness Storehouse: Experience the iconic brewery and enjoy panoramic views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar.
  4. St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Immerse yourself in centuries of history at this stunning cathedral.
  5. Kilmainham Gaol: Uncover Ireland’s tumultuous past with a visit to this former prison.

Where to Eat and Drink

When in Dublin, try traditional Irish dishes like lamb stew and fish and chips.

  1. Enjoy hearty Irish breakfast at Brother Hubbard or Hatch & Sons.
  2. Savor seafood chowder and fresh oysters at The Winding Stair or O’Neill’s Pub.
  3. Sample artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards at Sheridans Cheesemongers.
  4. Have a pint of Guinness at the iconic Temple Bar or The Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub.
  5. Indulge in gourmet dining at Chapter One or Patrick Guilbaud for a special evening out.

Recommended Accommodation

Looking for a cozy stay in Dublin? The Traveler’s Rest Inn is ideally located near many attractions, offering comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere. It’s an excellent base for exploring the city center and beyond.

In Galway, the Harbor View Lodge provides picturesque views of the bay and convenient access to local hotspots like Eyre Square. Both accommodations cater to solo travelers or families, ensuring a pleasant Irish retreat without breaking the bank.

Navigating Dublin Distances

In Dublin, distances between attractions are manageable for walking or easily accessed with public transportation. Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and the Guinness Storehouse are all within a reasonable distance from each other.

The vibrant city center is also compact and easy to explore on foot, allowing you to take in its lively atmosphere and charming streets. Additionally, taxis and buses are readily available for longer journeys.

Next up – Wicklow’s Wonders!

Day 3-4: Exploring Central Ireland and County Clare

Explore Central Ireland and County Clare with a stop at Wicklow’s Wonders and Meath and Louth before settling in Galway. Read on for more!

Wicklow’s Wonders

Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting Wicklow region, known for its breathtaking natural beauty. Here are the must-see wonders that await you:

  1. Glendalough: Explore the ancient monastic site with its stunning round tower and serene lakeside setting.
  2. Wicklow Mountains National Park: Hike or drive through this picturesque landscape, which encompasses rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests.
  3. Powerscourt Estate and Gardens: Discover the magnificent formal gardens and terraces of one of Ireland’s most beautiful estates.
  4. Sally Gap: Drive through this dramatic mountain pass, surrounded by heather-covered hills and imposing granite cliffs.
  5. Avoca Village: Visit this charming village, home to the famous Avoca Handweavers craft shop and café.

Embrace the natural splendor of Wicklow as you embark on an unforgettable journey through its captivating landscapes and attractions.

Meath and Louth Exploration

When exploring Meath and Louth in Ireland, consider visiting the historic Trim Castle, one of the largest Norman castles in the country. Check out the ancient burial mounds of Newgrange and Knowth, which are older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Don’t miss a visit to Hill of Tara, an important ancient site in Irish mythology. Enjoy a leisurely walk around Slane Castle, known for its beautiful grounds and hosting outdoor concerts. Experience the natural beauty of Loughcrew Cairns and take a guided tour to explore their Neolithic tombs. Lastly, immerse yourself in the rich history at Monasterboice’s ruins with its impressive high crosses from the 10th century.

Now let’s move on to “Day 5-7: Galway, Aran Islands, and the Cliffs of Moher” for more exciting adventures in Ireland!

Recommended Accommodation in Galway

Stay in the heart of Galway at The Galmont Hotel & Spa, offering a blend of modern comfort and traditional hospitality. Enjoy easy access to Eyre Square, perfect for exploring the city center or accessing public transportation options.

Experience spacious rooms with stunning views of Lough Atalia or the city. The hotel boasts an indoor pool, fitness center, and award-winning restaurants on-site.

For a more intimate stay, consider Harbor Hotel situated along the waterfront. This boutique hotel ensures a cozy atmosphere and provides convenient access to Galway’s cultural attractions such as Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum.

With comfortable rooms and spectacular views of Claddagh Quay or Galway Bay, it’s an ideal base for your exploration.

Day 5-7: Galway, Aran Islands, and the Cliffs of Moher

Day 5-7: Galway, Aran Islands, and the Cliffs of Moher await exploration. Discover the vibrant city of Galway, journey to the unique Aran Islands, and marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the iconic Cliffs of Moher.

Discovering Galway

Let’s explore Galway, a vibrant city known for its colorful streets and lively atmosphere. From the charming Latin Quarter to the historic Spanish Arch, there’s plenty to see and do.

Don’t miss a visit to Eyre Square, where you can soak in the local culture and maybe even catch some street performances. And of course, savor traditional Irish music at one of the many pubs scattered throughout the city.

Take a day trip to the Aran Islands for a taste of authentic island life. Explore ancient forts and stunning landscapes on foot or by bike. Finally, marvel at the iconic Cliffs of Moher just south of Galway – an awe-inspiring natural wonder not to be missed during your Ireland adventure!

Day Trip to the Aran Islands

Ready to embark on a day trip to the Aran Islands? Here’s what you can look forward to:

  1. Experience a scenic ferry ride from Galway or Doolin to the Aran Islands, showcasing breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged coastline.
  2. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the islands by exploring ancient forts such as Dún Aonghasa, which provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
  3. Discover traditional Irish village life, where locals still speak Gaelic, and experience authentic island hospitality at local cafes and shops.
  4. Take a leisurely bike ride or stroll across the unique limestone terrain, dotted with ancient monuments and diverse flora and fauna.
  5. Marvel at the captivating coastal scenery, including mesmerizing cliffs and hidden coves that offer ample opportunities for photography and contemplation.
  6. Delve into the island’s history at the Aran Heritage Centre, gaining insights into its unique traditions, folklore, and crafts.
  7. Engage in outdoor activities like snorkeling or sea kayaking along the pristine shores to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the islands.

Enjoy this enriching experience while exploring Ireland’s remarkable treasures!

Visiting the Iconic Cliffs of Moher

After the captivating experience of the Aran Islands, it’s time to head to the stunning Cliffs of Moher. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. The Cliffs of Moher rise dramatically from the Atlantic Ocean, offering breathtaking panoramic views.
  2. Take a leisurely stroll along the cliff edge, taking in the awe – inspiring natural beauty and photo opportunities.
  3. Discover the visitor center, providing insights into the history and geology of this iconic landmark.
  4. Marvel at the birdlife nesting on the cliffs, including puffins, guillemots, and razorbills.
  5. Embrace the raw power of the crashing waves against these towering cliffs.

Prepare to be mesmerized by one of Ireland’s most exhilarating natural wonders!

Other Activities in Galway

After visiting the iconic Cliffs of Moher, there are plenty of other activities to explore in Galway. Here’s a list of enjoyable experiences to consider during your time in this vibrant city:

  1. Stroll through the charming streets of Galway City and soak up the lively atmosphere of Shop Street and Quay Street.
  2. Immerse yourself in traditional Irish music at one of the many pubs offering live performances, such as Tig Coili or The Crane Bar.
  3. Discover the cultural heritage at Galway City Museum, featuring exhibits on local history, art, and archaeology.
  4. Take a walk along the Salthill Promenade, enjoying breathtaking views across Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
  5. Indulge in fresh seafood at one of Galway’s renowned restaurants, like O’Grady’s on the Pier or McDonagh’s Fish & Chips.

These activities will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of what makes Galway such a special destination for travelers.


I hope this guide inspires you to explore Ireland. Now, let’s hear from Liam O’Reilly, a seasoned travel expert with over 20 years of experience designing tours across Ireland. He holds a degree in Irish History and Literature from the University of Dublin and has written extensively on Ireland’s tourist attractions.

His work helps travelers discover the beauty and history of Ireland.

Liam believes that this 7-day itinerary captures the essence of what makes Ireland special. He notes that visiting places like Trinity College and the Cliffs of Moher introduces travelers to both cultural depth and breathtaking natural landscapes.

According to him, such experiences are essential for understanding Ireland’s charm.

He discusses safety by advising on responsible travel practices in rural areas like County Clare. Liam emphasizes choosing accommodations wisely, respecting local customs, and following road rules while driving.

For integrating this itinerary into your trip, Liam suggests flexibility. Weather or unexpected events may shift plans; he advises keeping an open mind and exploring local recommendations.

In his balanced evaluation, Liam mentions that while fast-paced, this itinerary covers key highlights efficiently – though it might miss out on lesser-known gems due to time constraints.

Compared to slower-paced tours focusing deeply on specific regions, it offers a broader overview ideal for first-timers but may be less appealing for those seeking an immersive experience in one area.

Finally, Liam highly recommends this week-long journey through Ireland for those looking to maximize their visit within a limited timeframe. It combines historical landmarks with natural wonders effectively offering travelers a rich taste of Irish heritage and landscape.

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