Ultimate List of Things to Do in Ireland

Jennifer MeyerIrelandLeave a Comment

I feel more and more the time wasted that is not spent in Ireland.

Lady Gregory

I couldn't resist. I had to start this post off with a quote.

While Lady Gregory and I have very little in common, her words resonate with me.

Don't know what all the fuss is about?

Then, you have to go and visit Ireland!

In this post, I have put together the ultimate list of things to do in Ireland.

I've even included some of the best restaurants, cafes, and pubs!

Plus, I'll tell you how much everything costs so you can plan your trip and budget accordingly.

This is seriously you're ultimate guide to things to do in Ireland.

Get your bucket list out because you've got some items to add!

Best Things to Do in Ireland

View the Book of Kells and Explore the Old Library

Cost: €15 per adult

things to do in Ireland

Statue of Plato in the Old Library


things to do in Ireland

The Old Library

things to do in Ireland

The Old Library


Image

Books in the Old Library

About the Book of Kells

The Book of Kells is probably Ireland’s most famous and cherished book.

It is a copy of the four Gospels.

The creation date is highly debated; however, for the time being, most scholars agree the book was created around 800 AD.

While the Book of Kells was originally just one book, it has been split into four volumes in order to preserve and document it.

One of the four volumes is always on display at Trinity College (established in 1592).

The section of the college devoted to the Book of Kells looks like a museum.

There is a ton of information on the walls and plaques.

It’s quite interesting, and it might just be the educational highlight of your trip!

About the Old Library

Your ticket to see the Book of Kells will provide you with the opportunity to take a walk through the Old Library at Trinity College.

The Old Library is amazing, to say the least.

There are thousands of old books on shelves that stretch up to a mighty high ceiling (see images above).

The architecture is stunning.

I won’t even attempt to describe it.

Just take a look at the pictures above.

It’s truly breathtaking.

I wanted to pull a book off the shelf just to see what kind of knowledge it contained.

Of course, I didn't becayse you’re not allowed to touch the books because they’re incredibly old and need to be properly handled.

However, interestingly enough, the books in the Old Library are open to scholars for research. I mean, you have to apply for that kind of access, but it does exist.

What You Need to Know

  • Cost

    €15 per adult

  • Tip

    If you’re a student, you can save €3 on admission by bringing your valid student ID.

  • Beware...

    This is a popular tourist attraction; therefore, pickpocketers lurking around. Be smart and carry your cash and cards in your front pockets. I used a small purse and wore it under my jacket.

How to Get to the Book of Kells and Old Library

Walk

Trinity College is located in Dublin.

So, if you’re staying in the city, you should be able to walk.

Drive

If you plan on driving, keep in mind that there is no parking just for the College. You can always search for street parking nearby, but make sure you have plenty of Euros (coins) because parking can be expensive.

Bus

However, if you’d prefer it, you can take the bus.

Dublin has a great website you can use to plan your routes and calculate the cost.

Check out the Dublin Bus Route Planner.

This is an amazing tool that you will definitely want to have handy while you’re visiting Dublin.

Taxi

Of course, you can always taxi there. Just know that the cab fares will add up over time. If you can walk, it'll save you a decent amount of money.

Tour the Guinness Brewery

Cost: €18.50-25 per adult

things to do in Ireland

Guinness Brewery – St. James Gate

things to do in Ireland

Clock Inside the Brewery

You cannot go to Ireland without taking a tour of the Guinness Brewery!

Seriously, it’s an unspoken rule...that I just spoke. Oops. 🤷

You may enjoy drinking Guinness, or you may not. It doesn’t really matter. You’re in Ireland, so you kind of have to go… 😉

Tip: If you don’t care for Guinness, keep that to yourself because it’s one of Ireland’s most loved beers. So, your opinion will be mighty unpopular with the locals. No need to start any Pub fights!

Highlights
  1. During the tour, you’ll learn how to properly taste a Guinness. (In case you’re wondering, it makes a huge difference!)
  2. In the room right before the tasting, you get to smell all the ingredients used to make Guinness, which is super cool.
  3. There’s even a room where you can learn to properly pour a Guinness! Yes, of course, I’m certified! If you want to do this, you can use the voucher (attached to your ticket) for a FREE Guinness!
  4. The gravity bar on the top floor has walls made entirely of glass so that you can sip a Guinness and while you admire a beautiful view of the city! (Plus, if you don’t like Guinness, they serve a few other beers that they also make!)
What You Need to Know

The tour is mostly self-guided, which is good and bad. It's good because you can wander around at your own pace but bad because you don't have a lively tour guide answering all of your questions and making bad jokes (one of the best parts of any tour).

I typically prefer guided tours, but I actually enjoyed myself a lot anyway. There were plenty of interactive activities to keep me entertained! Plus, if you do have questions, there are plenty of opportunities to ask them.

Bonus: Your ticket will get you one FREE Guinness! So, make sure you hang on to it tightly!

  • Cost

    €18.50-€25 per adult. (Price varies by day.) You can purchase ticket here.

  • Tip

    Keep your ticket safe because it gets a FREE Guinness! You can use the voucher to learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness or you can use it in the bar on the top floor of the storehouse.

  • Can't Miss

    You absolutely must learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness while you’re there. You get a certificate of completion and everything! It’s such a cool experience. I highly recommend it.

How to Get to the Guinness Brewery

Walk

Again, like with most places in Dublin, you can likely walk.

Drive

Although, if you find that the Guinness Brewery is a bit too far away from where you're staying, you can drive.

According to Guinness, there is free parking available on Crane Street.

While this free parking is awesome, keep in mind that there is no guarantee there will be an open space for you.

Bus

If you didn’t rent a car, you can find a bus route that will get you to the Storehouse.

Taxi

Alternatively, you can order a taxi.

Uber and Lift are not available in Ireland. However, you can use your Uber app, which will call you a cab. Talk about convenient! (I'm not sure if you're Lift app will also order you a cab. We only tried Uber.)

See the Hellfire Club

Cost: Cost of Gas (self-guided) - €30 per adult (tour group)

things to do in Ireland

Hellfire Club Hunting Lodge - Photo by Jason Rogers - Used Under the Creative Commons License

If you’re feeling up for something a bit creepy, you should check out the Hellfire Club's old hunting lodge.

Have you ever watched Ghost Adventures?

(I can’t lie; I’m a huge fan!)

It's a fun show to watch whether you believe in ghosts or not.

The Ghost Adventures crew actually investigated the Hellfire Club's hunting lodge.

The Hellfire Club’s history is chilling, to say the least.

It was founded by a man who experimented in black magic. Yikes, am I right?

The Hellfire Club practiced a lot of not-so-awesome rituals and black masses.

Additionally, according to legend, the devil actually visited the Hellfire Club.

If I’ve peaked your curiosity, you can read a brief, but chilling, history of the Hellfire Club here.

Plus, if you're really curious, you need to watch that episode of Ghost Adventures (Season 9, episode 4)

Tours

There are some pretty mixed reviews about the tours available, to be honest.

I would recommend that you do a bit of reading on the Hellfire Club, maybe watch that episode of Ghost Adventures (Season 9, Episode 4), then drive to the parking lot and do the hike yourself.

The tours are expensive, and since they don't have awesome reviews, your money is likely better spent elsewhere.

However, if you're still interested, here are a couple of tours offered:

Hellfire Club Excursion from Dublin

Hellfire Club Dublin Tour

What You Need to Know

  • Cost

    Tour: €30 per adult. Self-Guided Tour (Driving Yourself): Cost of Gas

  • Tip

    If you don’t have cell phone data, make sure you download a map of the Hellfire Club and parking lot before you arrive, just in case!

  • Caution

    Since the Hellfire Club is creepy, you might be tempted to make the trek up Montpelier Hill at night. I advise against this! If you really want to go at night, take a tour!

How to Get to the Hellfire Club

The Hellfire Club is County Dublin, but it’s outside of the city.

It’s located on top of Montpelier Hill.

There are a couple of ways you can go about getting to the club.

As mentioned before, you can take a tour or drive yourself.

Whether you take a tour or drive yourself, there’s still a good 30-minute hike up Montpelier Hill, so make sure you're willing to make the trek.

Tour

If you’re not interested in renting a car, which I highly recommend you do, a tour is probably the best way for you to get to the Hellfire Club.

These tours start in Dublin, so you don't have to drive to the Hellfire Club. Instead, you'll take a 30-minute bus ride with the tour group.

Drive

While tours can be informative, they can also be expensive.

So, if you’d like to save some money, rent a car instead and drive yourself.

Just remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road!

Whether you take a tour or drive yourself, there’s still a good 30-minute hike up Montpelier Hill.

If you’re going without a tour guide, I would recommend making the trek during the day. The last thing you want is to get lost…in the dark…on a supposedly haunted hill…right?

Planning on making the trek yourself? Here is are a few great resources:

Hiking Map

Parking Information

Hiking Trails

Visit the Cliffs of Moher

Cost: €4-6 per adult

things to do in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher - South End

things to do in Ireland

People Walking Along the Cliffs

  • Cost

    Visitor Center (North End): €4 per adult (online) and €6 per adult in person. South End: €2 for parking. Find out how to visit the Cliffs of Moher for only €2 here!

  • Tip

    Visiting the South End of the Cliffs of Moher will save you money and be way less crowded!

  • Caution

    Respect the edge of the cliffs. There are no safety fences, walls, or rails on the South End of the cliffs. Plus, in recent years, rock slides have made the edge of the cliffs unstable, so make sure you pay attention to the signs!

The Cliffs of Moher are stunning, and you absolutely must see them while you’re in Ireland.

The Cliffs of Moher were certainly the highlight of my trip!

While the Cliffs of Moher aren’t the tallest in Ireland, they’re the steepest!

Having never seen a cliff in real life, I was awestruck. I’ve been on top of mountains, but it’s not even close to being the same.

The sound of waves crashing into the side of the cliffs was like nothing I’d ever heard before.

I freakin’ loved every minute of it!

What You Need to Know

I wrote an entire post on my visit to the Cliffs of Moher.

In the post, I provide you tons of valuable information!

Want to know how to only spend 2 total on visiting the Cliffs of Moher? Read my guide to the Cliffs of Moher now!

If you plan to go to the visitor center, buy your tickets online ahead of time.

You can get more information on the visitor center and tickets here.

When you purchase them online, they are only €4 per adult ticket, instead of €6.

How to Get to the Cliffs of Moher

Drive

If you’re starting in Dublin, it will take you about 3.5 hours to drive to the cliffs.

This isn’t too bad considering that you’re crossing the entire country.

Plus, the drive is beautiful. You get to see the famous Irish landscape: green, rolling hills. 😍

It’s definitely an enjoyable ride!

Tour Bunratty Castle

Cost: €15.25 per adult

things to do in Ireland

Bunratty Castle from the Street

things to do in Ireland

Bunratty Castle from the Parking Lot

The Bunratty Castle you can visit today was built in 1425.

However, before this castle was built, there was another castle and village, called Bunratty, standing in its place.

The original village and castle were destroyed in 1318 by enemy forces.

You can read more about Bunratty's history here.

When I was in Ireland, we just happened to come across Bunratty Castle. We were on our way to the Cliffs of Moher and needed to stop for a bathroom break. Lucky for us, we stopped at Bunratty Castle!

This was the first castle in Ireland that we were able to see up close! If we hadn’t have been on such a tight schedule, we definitely would have spent more time there!

What You Need to Know

Bunratty Castle offers tours during the day.

These tours take you through the restored castle.

You can also enjoy a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle!

While this sounds like a ton of fun, it is quite a bit more expensive than the tour: €45 to be exact.

If this is something you’d like to experience, you can book tickets for the feast here.

  • Cost

    Tour: €15.25. Medieval Feast: €45 You can purchase your tour tickets here.

  • Tip

    It’s easy to visit Bunratty Castle before or after your trip to the Cliffs of Moher. Bunratty Castle is on the way to and from the Cliffs of Moher if you’re traveling to or from Dublin.

  • Caution

    If you’re stopping by on your way to or from the Cliffs of Moher, make sure you keep track of time. You’ll want to visit Bunratty Castle when it’s actually open. 😉

How to Get to Bunratty Castle

Drive

If you’re staying in Dublin, you’ll have to drive to Bunratty Castle. There’s really no other way that is affordable. You could technically taxi out there, but I wouldn’t want to see that fare. Additionally, there is a public transport route, but it would literally take you forever to get there.

Like I said, this is something that we stopped by on our way to the Cliffs of Moher, which is something you can easily do as well. (We were staying in Dublin.)

I think that enjoying a tour on your way to the Cliffs of Moher is perfect because you don’t have to drive out to County Clare twice. Gas is pretty expensive in Ireland, so you’ll want to make every mile count.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in experiencing the medieval banquet, you can stop by Bunratty on your way back from the Cliffs of Moher.

Tour (Guided or Self-Guided) the Dublin Castle

Cost: €10 per adult (guided) or €7 per adult (self-guided, with free audio via a downloadable app)

things to do in Ireland

Dublin Castle - Photo by Tom Flemming via Flickr - Used Under Creative Commons License

The Dublin Castle is a beautiful castle nestled in the heart of Dublin.

Once used as a home for the “British monarch’s Irish representative” (Source: Dublin Castle History), the Dublin Castle is now used by the Irish as a government building.

The castle was originally built in 1204, giving it a lengthy history, which you can read all about here.

In addition to being a beautiful and historical building, the castle hosts art and history exhibitions.

I’m pretty sure that while you’re in Ireland, you have to see as many castles as possible… So, add this one to your list!

What You Need to Know

The Dublin Castle App is a great tool for anyone interested in visiting.

The app provides directions, event and exhibition information, castle history, and audio!

Interested in learning more about the Dublin Castle's exhibitions and events? Read about exhibitions here and events here.

  • Cost

    Tour: €10 per adult. Self-Guided Tour: €7 per adult.

  • Tip

    You can save a few euros by taking the self-guided tour. Just download their app and listen to recorded information for a similar experience.

  • Can't Miss

    Don’t forget about the exhibitions that the castle hosts. Also, make sure you check the calendar for special events.

How to Get to the Dublin Castle

Walk

Since it’s really in the heart of Dublin, you can likely walk to it from wherever you’re staying.

Plus, walking gives you the opportunity to explore Dublin’s streets in an up close and personal way!

Drive

Of course, if you need to save some time, you can always drive.

There are a couple of parking lots close by that are open to the public.

You can see them in the map above!

Have more questions about how to get to the Dublin Castle? Read more information here.

Tour the Jameson Distillery

Cost: €20

things to do in Ireland

Jameson Distillery - Photo by Raphael Vandon via Flickr - Used Under Creative Commons License

things to do in Ireland

Drinks at Jameson Distillery - Photo by Neil Turner via Flickr - Used Under Creative Commons License

Yes, I know. Another tour. But, hey. You’re in Ireland; there are things to see and tours to take.

Besides, this is a distillery tour; you know what that means!

Whiskey tasting and a complimentary drink! Say what?! (It says that a whiskey tasting is included in the tour, but it looks like you can book a separate whiskey tasting instead of the tour.)

The Jameson Distillery tour is a completely guided tour, which is very different from the tour of the Guinness Brewery. Also, the Jameson tour will only take about 40 minutes to complete, which is great because you can fit that into almost any itinerary.

Are you totally tired of tours?

Jameson Distillery offers a number of classes and experiences:

  • Cask Draw Experience
  • Whiskey Blending Class
  • Whiskey Cocktail Making Class
  • Whisker Tasting Experience
What You Need to Know

You can save €4 on the price of admission with a valid student ID.

So, students, don't forget to bring your college IDs!

Unfortunately, Jameson does not offer a discount for booking your tickets online; however, it’s still a good idea because you don’t want your desired time slot to fill up before you arrive.

  • Cost

    Tour: €20 per adult (€16 per student–with valid student ID) Purchase tickets here.

  • Tip

    Purchase your tickets online to ensure that you can get in for the time slot you want!

  • Don't Forget

    Don’t forget that your ticket includes a free drink from JJ’s bar! (Hell, yeah!) Also, if you’re tired of tours, the Jameson Distillery offers other neat experiences!

How to Get to the Jameson Distillery

Walk

Again, the Jameson Distillery is located on Bow St., which is in Dublin. You shouldn’t have any issue walking, if you’re staying in the city.

Walking is great; it’s allows you to immerse yourself in the city, save money, and get some exercise! If you’re anything like me, you’ll need the exercise after eating all of the amazing meat and potatoes. 😂

Bus

If you’d rather, you can likely find a bus route to get you to the Jameson Distillery. However, walking will save you some money!

You can check the bus routes here.

Drive

If the distillery is too far away, you can drive.

The closest parking is on Queen St., which I marked on the map above. However, if there is no parking available there, metered street parking is also available. Just make sure you bring some Euros (change) because parking is expensive in Dublin.

Kiss the Blarney Stone

Cost: €16-€18 per adult

things to do in Ireland

Blarney Castle - Photo by Shawn Harqual via Flickr - Used Under the Creative Commons License

things to do in Ireland

Blarney Stone - Photo by Wally Hartshorn via Flickr - Used Under the Creative Commons License

You might be thinking that I’m starting to sound a little crazy, but I promise this is a legit thing that people.

Oh yeah, you have to bend over the side of the castle wall to reach it…

People do this regularly though.

It’s a huge attraction.

You’re probably wondering why the heck people are so interested in kissing this damn rock.

Well, according to lore, whoever kisses the stone is gifted with better speech, meaning they’re more articulate.

You can read more about the Blarney Stone here.

What You Need to Know

This is an incredibly popular attraction. So, especially if you’re visiting during peak time (May-September), you should expect to wait in a pretty long line.

However, the landscape is supposed to be beautiful, which should entertain your eyes for a while.

There are other things to do at Blarney Castle, as well.

Included in the price of your ticket, you can explore the Castle Gardens and see the Rock Close, which is supposed to be an incredibly impressive landscape.

If you purchase your tickets online, you will save 2 euro. If you purchase tickets online, they are 16 euro instead of 18.

  • Cost

    €18 per adult (€16 per adult, if you purchase tickets online). Purchase tickets here.

  • Tip

    Purchase your tickets online to ensure that you can get in for the time slot you want!

  • Don't Forget

    Don’t forget that your ticket includes a free drink from JJ’s bar! (Hell, yeah!) Also, if you’re tired of tours, the Jameson Distillery offers other neat experiences!

How to Get to the Blarney Castle

Drive

Driving from Dublin to Blarney Castle takes about 3 hours.

Like with most drives through Ireland, the landscape is beautiful, so you should have no problem being entertained.

Bus

There is a bus route from Dublin to Blarney Castle.

It requires you to take 3 different buses, and it takes 45 minutes longer than driving.

So, in short, driving is the better way to get there. However, if you’re still insistent on not renting a car (you are one stubborn person), you can still get to Blarney Castle.

You can check the bus routes here.

Train

There is a train that runs from Dublin to Cork, which can be relatively affordable.

The cheapest ticket costs about €21 (one way).

However, it still leaves you about a 20 minute drive away from Blarney Castle.

You can either call a taxi or take a bus the rest of the way.

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Ireland

Petit Cafe

things to do in Ireland

Latte from Petit Cafe

things to do in Ireland

View from Petit Cafe

It’s important to start your day off right with some amazing coffee!

Dreaming of an Irish Coffee? Don’t worry; I’ll recommend a couple of great places to get one later!

Petit Café is a tiny.

The front of the building is nothing special and you’d likely walk right by, hardly noticing it.

But, now that you know it exists, you must stop by for an amazing Latte and/or sandwich!

Where I live, there aren’t a lot of locally owned coffee shops. There are a lot of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.

So, I was super excited to try this place when I was in Dublin.

It is pretty tiny inside.

Once you order, you need to take a seat or else you’ll be in the way!

Although, if you’re lucky, you can get a seat in front of the window, which has a nice view of the street, and people watch!

  • Price

    This cafe is pretty affordable. About €4 for a latte.

  • Cash and/or Credit Cards?

    Petit Cafe does accept cash and credit/debit cards!

  • Tip

    Once you order, take a seat! Otherwise, you’ll immediately be in the way! (Try and snag a seat by the window, if you can!)

How to Get to Petit Cafe

Walk

If you’re already in Dublin, getting to the Petit Café should be a breeze.

We walked to the café.

You should be able to walk to it, too, so long as you’re in the city.

No extra work, like finding a bus or taxi required!

Drive

You can technically drive if you really want to, but I'd recommend walking.

You'll likely have a difficult time finding close, affordable parking.

Bus

If you really really don't want to walk, you could also take the bus.

You can find a bus route and calculate the fare here.

Gus O'Conners Pub (Doolin)

things to do in Ireland

Guinness Sign on Gus O'Connors Pub

things to do in Ireland

Inside Gus O'Connors Pub

After a few hours exploring the Cliffs of Moher, you might be ready for a bite to eat.

I know I was!

Honestly, there aren’t a lot of restaurants around the cliffs.

We ended up driving for about 15 minutes to get to a place called Gus O’Connors Pub.

It was in a tiny town right by the water.

The drive to get to the restaurant was beautiful!

We certainly weren’t the only ones who decided to try this restaurant. There were tons of cars and even a tour bus lining the narrow street.

The food was fantastic, and the restaurant handled the surge of hungry visitors very well.

Everything You Need to Know

You must order at the bar. There is a number on every table. So, after you pick a table, remember your number and place your order with a bar tender.

This restaurant does accept Credit and Debit cards. Yay!

I had the Beef and Guinness Stew, which was fantastic. I also enjoyed an Irish Coffee and their homemade Apple Crumble: both were amazing!

Honestly, an Irish Coffee is exactly what I needed after spending a few hours at the cliffs!

However, the Irish whiskey in it may have put me to sleep on the ride back to the Airbnb… Whoops!

  • Price

    This restaurant is moderately expensive during lunch and very expensive during dinner. About €10-13 per plate for lunch and €16-25 per plate for dinner. Read the menu and see the prices here.

  • Cash and/or Credit Cards?

    Gus O’Connors Pub does accept cash and credit/debit cards!

  • Tip

    You’ll want to arrive hungry! The food is fantastic! Don’t forget that you need to order your food at the bar!

How to Get to Gus O’Connors Pub

Drive

This isn't something that is right next to the Cliffs of Moher.

It's about a 15 minute drive from the southern end of the cliffs (less from the northern end).

The road that leads to the pub is small and twisty, making for a fun drive!

Plus, the scenery is stunning. You'll get quite a few glimpses of the rolling, green hills and the Atlantic ocean. 😍

The Hairy Lemon

things to do in Ireland

The Hairy Lemon

Image

Inside The Hairy Lemon


Image

Bangers and Mash

The Hairy Lemon is a great restaurant where you can get some traditional Irish food. I mean, you’re in Ireland, after all!

The Bangers and Mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) were incredible.

They put a slight twist on the dish by adding an onion ring between the bangers and the mash. I nearly died from happiness.

When we decided to stop by The Hairy Lemon for dinner, we chose it purely based on the name! We had walked by it early in the day and thought it was the best name ever, so, of course, we just had to eat there. And I’m so glad we did!

It’s Story Time!

I don’t think that the Ireland’s culture really hit me until we were sitting at a tiny table in The Hairy Lemon.

The restaurant was packed.

The tables were close together, but no body minded.

I, on the other hand, was starting to feel a bit claustrophobic as I was squished between a wall and a table, try to find a place to put my camera and coat.

I have never been so tightly seated in a restaurant in all of my life. I am so used to restaurants in my hometown. Space isn’t an issue. Buildings are as big as the restaurants want them to be. I don’t live in a tight, historical city. So, the experience was very different.

However, what stood out to me the most was this: when four people sat down at the table, the waiter came over and asked, “Four Pints of Guinness?” Those were the first words he spoke to the new comers. And guess what, they said yes!

I don’t know why, but it totally blew my mind.

I looked around the restaurant and almost every single table had at least one pint of Guinness on it.

I love that they love Guinness. I love how much they enjoy it and are proud of it.

What You Need to Know
  • Price

    This restaurant is a little bit more expensive that Gus O’Connors Pub. Each entree runs about €13-25. However, most dishes are under €20. Read the menu and see the prices here.

  • Cash and/or Credit Cards?

    The Hairy Lemon does accept credit and debit cards; however, they will not run more than one per table! So, if you plan on splitting the bill, make sure you bring some cash!

  • Tip

    I would definitely recommend ordering the Bangers and Mash at The Hairy Lemon. It was so good! Although, the Fish and Chips were also delicious!

How to Get to The Hairy Lemon

Walk

The Hairy Lemon is in the heart of Dublin and not too far away from the Guinness Brewery. I know this because we walked from the brewery to The Hairy Lemon!

Drive

You can drive, but you’ll have to find street parking.

Don’t forget to bring Euros (change) for the meter!

Bus

If you’re staying pretty far away from The Hairy Lemon, you might be able to find a bus route that will get you pretty close.

Check the bus routes here.

Grab a Drink at Ireland's Oldest Pub (The Brazen Head)

things to do in Ireland

The Brazen Head (Ireland's Oldest Pub) - Photo by Txapulin via Flickr - Used Under Creative Commons License

The Brazen Head (Ireland’s Oldest Pub) – Photo by Txapulin – Used Under Creative Commons License

I love that this activity combines history and drinking! 😂 I mean, does it get any better?

I always enjoy learning about history during my travels; I think it’s an important part of the experience. (Which is one reasons why I highly recommend going to see the Book of Kells.)

Then, when you throw a drink into the mix, it becomes the perfect vacation activity!

The Brazen Head is a super neat pub. Whatever you’re imagining that the oldest pub in Ireland looks like is probably nowhere close!

I was shocked when we walked up to the bar.

I don’t remember exactly what I expected, but it wasn’t what I saw.

A portion of the bar is exposed to the elements, which is pretty cool.

There’s live music and dancing.

If you’re not feeling like dancing, there are other rooms of the bar that you can grab a seat in.

They have plenty of Irish beers on tap! And, if you’re not much of a beer drinker like me, they have Spirits and mixers. When I was there, they even had an Irish Cider on tap, which was crisp and not too sweet.

  • Price

    A pint of beer was about €6-8 and a shot of Jameson was about €5.

  • Cash and/or Credit Cards?

    I honestly can’t remember if they accept credit/debit cards. I remember paying in cash.

  • Tip

    If you’re a man, don’t order a glass of beer: order a Pint! The bartender will give you a hard time if you order a glass. 😂 This isn’t exclusive to this pub. When in Ireland, as a rule of thumb, order a Pint!

How to Get to The Brazen Head

Walk

I feel like a broken record, but walking is probably the best way to get there.

Then, you can have a few drinks and walk back to your hotel or Airbnb.

Bus

If you're a ways away, a bus might be able to get your close enough to walk.

You can check the bus routes here.

Taxi

If you plan on drinking quite a bit, you can taxi to and/or from. If you have the Uber app on your phone, you can order a taxi using that, since Ireland doesn’t actually have Uber or Lift. Just make sure that you have data you can use internationally, or it could end up costing you a fortune!

How to Get Around Ireland

Ireland is great because, like much of Europe, there are a ton of public transportation options. Plus, you can always rent a car! Just don’t forget to drive on the left-hand side of the road!

Read all about the different modes of public transportation here.

Rent a Car

In all honesty, if you’re planning on taking day trips, you’ll want to rent a car.

The bus ride from the airport alone costs 12 Euros (at least it did when I was there).

If you plan on taking a bus or a taxi at any other point in time, it might be better to just rent a car and be done with it.

Sure, you have to pay for gas and you might have to pay for some parking, but you’ll be able to make your own schedule, which is a huge perk!

How to Find a Rental Car

Finding a rental car is fairly easy.

When we were in Ireland, our travel buddies rented their car through Expedia.

We picked it up at the airport with no trouble at all.

It was a small car and only cost about $20 per day, which is a great price! It fit the four of us and our carry-on luggage (2 suitcases, 1 small backpack, and 1 large backpack).

Ride the Bus

Riding the bus can be a great option if you’re not going to rent a car.

Ireland’s bus system will take you to many places, even outside of Dublin.

For example, like I mentioned before, you can use buses to get to Blarney Castle.

It takes a bit longer, and you are forced to plan your day around the bus schedule, but it is definitely a viable alternative to renting a car.

I will warn you that bus fares are going to be pricey. However, you may find the cost is comparable to renting a car, depending on your routes and how often you ride the bus.

Once you know where you’re staying and where you want to go, you can calculate the cost of all of your bus fares here.

Taxi Around

This will definitely be the most expensive option out of all.

Plus, it’s not a great option for day trips.

However, it will help you get from one side of Dublin to the other quickly, if necessary.

Ordering a taxi is super convenient if you have data and the Uber app. Just order an Uber like you normally would, and a taxi will appear since Uber isn’t really a thing in Ireland.

If you’re not going to have data, make sure you save the numbers of a couple of taxi companies in your phone just in case!

Take a Train

Ireland does have a train system that you can use to get around.

The Commuter rail will take you from Connolly Station to Kilcock and Heuston Station to Sallins.

A ride from Connolly Station to Kilcock is about a 40-minute ride, and only costs 6 Euro.

Ireland’s railway will also take you a bit farther away from Dublin. For example, you can travel from Dublin to Cork county (where Blarney Castle is located) for 21-66 Euros. It depends on how nice of a ticket you’d like. This ride is about 3 hours, but it will get you pretty close to Blarney Castle for a reasonable price. Just don’t forget that you need to purchase a return ticket!

You can check rail prices here.

Here is another great tool to use when planning your public transportation.

Where to Stay in Ireland

I recommend staying in Dublin and making day trips to other parts of Ireland.

However, if you’re of a mind, you could definitely take a nice road trip and stay in different Counties along the way.

That, however, takes a lot of planning, and if you’re not into that, you could just as easily take day trips! For example, you can day trip to all of the destinations that lie outside of Dublin.

Where to Stay in Dublin

This is really a personal preference, but I would recommend you stay in an Airbnb.

I love Airbnbs (and other vacation rentals) because they are great for groups (I usually travel in a group) and they usually have a kitchen/kitchenette, which can help save you some money.

There are some pretty decent deals on Airbnbs. Just make sure you check the location before you book it! You’ll want to make sure that it’s close to the things you want to see and do!

Dublin also has plenty of decently rated hostels that might work for you if you’re traveling solo or in a group. Often times, hostels will rent out entire room, so if you’re traveling in a group, that could be a good option.

Lastly, of course, you could stay in a hotel. There are some decently priced hotels.

But, generally, I find that the cost per person is higher with hotels.

Still, if you have some room in your budget, you could definitely enjoy a hotel in downtown Dublin!


Did you love this awesome list of things to do in Ireland?

Share it with your friends on Pinterest!

best things to do in Ireland infografic

I know that this post contains a ton of great information, so if you feel overwhelmed, it's all good. Save it for later!

Not sure how to put these activities into an itinerary? No worries!

I've created a 2-day Ireland itinerary that tells you exactly how to put together these awesome activities into a doable itinerary that will be perfect for you! It takes the stress out of planning!

Also, if you haven't already, you need to read my guide to the Cliffs of Moher!

I literally tell you everything you need to know (including how to avoid the tourists)!

In the comments below, let me know what activity you're most excited to do in Ireland!

Until next time,

Leave a Comment