Ireland, where the craic is mighty!
In Ireland, Craic means “good or fun times”.
Being from a small town in West Virginia, it’s often we hear that our ancestry came from Ireland, Scotland and England. After looking into 23 & Me, I found out that is mostly true for my family, especially my Irish ties! When I got to visit Ireland, I realize why people immigranted from Ireland to my home state of West Virginia and surrounding areas. Not only did Ireland remind me so much of the beautiful hills of West Virginia, but the people were ironically just as friendly and similar features as West Virginians.
“The sun does not always shine in West Virginia, but the people always do.” – John F. Kennedy
For some reason, most of my life I have wanted to visit Ireland. Was it because us 90’s babies had the Disney movie Luck of the Irish? Maybe. But I mostly wanted to visit for the countryside and cliffs. In July 2016, I decided to start planning a trip to Ireland for my birthday that November. I must admit, it was pretty intimidating looking at multiple posts and researching how to travel the country.
One of the main reasons I chose to start traveling blogging, was to show people how easy it can be to travel. Research, research and more research. Looking for flights, hotels or accommodations, restaurants, car rentals, tour guides/buses…..the list goes on. I know it’s stressful, because I have been there!
So if you have a small group of friends or you want to travel alone, this is a good company to travel with. You will meet people from around the United States who will be in your group as you travel the world!
However, if you want the freedom to travel on your own or to make your own itinerary…I hope this post helps you.
The first thing to do when planning your trip to Ireland, is WHEN DO YOU WANT TO GO? But first make sure you have a valid passport and vacation time to go before you book anything. Then once you decide when you want to visit, start looking for flights. I flew out of Columbus, Ohio and only had one layover in New York before arriving in Dublin. However, there are many major airports that fly directly to Dublin or have few layovers before arriving.
So now you’ve decided when you want to go, now what do you want to see? The next little bit of information will provide you with ideas on things to see, places to eat or stay or what cities you want to check out before driving home.
Ahhhh, Dublin….the capital of Ireland. The cutest little city full of history, yummy food and well Guinness. lol
Guinness Brewery: You can take a tour of the brewery to sample the beer, see how it’s made and shop. Whether you like Guinness or beer at all, it is still pretty cool how generations later, Guinness is still made the same.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral: This is definitely a must see. This is an 800 year old church that still serves it’s purpose today. Enjoy the amazing architecture inside and the grounds of the church on the outside. The church is also in the shape of a cross, the tip of the cross points to the holy land.
Temple Bar: Enjoy live music or a couple drinks at a very cool, popular pub in Dublin.
Trinity College: A very old and famous university in Dublin. Also known for it’s library, which inspired parts of Hogwarts in Harry Potter.
Next our group traveled from Dublin to Killarney, with a pit stop in County Kerry. In my short time in County Kerry, I toured the Blarney Castle. I would also add this to my list of MUST SEES.
Other things to do or places to stay:
Holiday Inn in Killarney (close to the town and very nice/clean)
Muckross Rd, Woodlawn
Cinema Killarney (walking distance to the Holiday Inn and many restaurants)
In case you want to catch a movie, there is also a pizza place around the corner!
The Ring of Kerry
Cliffs of Moher
I didn’t get to spend much time in the city of Galway. I only visited one day and I chose to spend that day on an excursion to Aran Islands….and I am so glad that I did. To get to the Aran Islands, you have to take a small ferry boat ride across the ocean. The Aran Island is very small, with a population of only 1,300 people, who still speak Gaelic. I highly recommend visiting Dún Aonghasa and The Seven Churches while you are there.
Dún Aonghasa is a stone fort that has been around 2,000 years that overlooks the ocean from amazing cliffs.
The Seven Churches is ruins of two old churches and buildings from early Irish pilgrimage. There is a lot of tombstones that date back many years and even recent.
Now that you have several ideas of where and what to see, you need to book overnight accommodations, car rentals or tours before you go. Booking tickets in advance will not only ensure you get to go on that day, but may save you money. Make sure to book your ticket for the Guinness Brewery, Blarney Castle or ferry boat ride to Aran Islands before you arrive in Ireland.
“May the road rise up to meet you….” <3
Important things to remember
- budget for gas, food and sovenirs
- carry cash (some toilets request payment of a few cents before you can use)
- tipping is important
- pack weather appropriate clothing
- purchase outlet converters for your electronics