With a picturesque coastline, lush countryside, and rich history, there are many reasons to consider visiting Ireland! What is the best way to see this beautiful country? Our vote is a classic road trip! Ireland is a tiny country – you could drive from one side to the other in only a few hours. Renting a car lets you experience the beautiful Irish hills and warm culture on your own time! How do you get there?! There are 5 international airports within Ireland and most offer direct flights from major US cities!
Best Times to Visit: Rain is something that you can’t truly avoid in Ireland, but March – May and September – November offer the most ideal temperatures of the year. June – August tend to be the country’s busiest months meaning more crowds and higher travel costs.
Dublin: Most international airlines offer nonstop flights into Dublin, making it a great starting point! This city is truly gorgeous with stone architecture, green space, and pubs on almost every corner! This is also home to the Guinness Factory – the #1 attraction in all of Ireland! Spend some time touring the factory, tasting new flavors, and indulging in their Guinness-made cuisine.
Kilkenny: Kilkenny is a little more touristy than other parts of Ireland, but the town has a great balance between the outdoors and luxury! You can hike through Killarney National Park during the day and then come back into town for some shopping or afternoon tea. We also recommend exploring the Medieval Mile and the Kilkenny Castle!
Dingle Peninsula: Dingle is a charming seaside town perched on the Atlantic and the only town on the Dingle Peninsula. It is known for its lively music scene and colorful streets. Indulge in a local pub crawl, explore Shea Head Drive, and meet the infamous local dolphin, Fungie!
Waterford: Waterford is a maritime destination with a rich history of Viking and Norman invasions! The city was developed around its seaport and wall of defense, which remains today. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Waterford Castle or visit the Waterford Crystal Factory.
Cliffs of Moher: Step on to the edge of the world and into the most awe-inspiring view! Even on a cloudy day, these ancient rock formations are dramatic and a must see for any Irish itinerary!
Feature Hotels: Dromoland Castle, Castlemartyr Resort, Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Ashford Castle, The Westbury Castle
Prepare for the weather. Ireland is known for its rainy, overcast weather so make sure to pack appropriate travel gear to stay warm and dry.
Do your research before renting a car. Ireland is one of the few countries that require you to purchase separate Collision & Damage Waiver policy through the rental agency.
NOTE: the extra fees associated with the CDW are not normally outlined in the rates agencies show when booking so make sure to factor this into the cost.
Carry cash and coins for tolls/parking. There are instances where you can use your credit card to pay for metered parking, but not always.