Day 1: Dublin
Beat the lines and start the morning by visiting Trinity College, Ireland’s premiere institution. Trinity College’s Library holds the largest collection of manuscripts and printed books in Ireland, including the The Book of Kells. A must-see destination and located in the heart of Dublin City, you can visit the Old Library building to view Ireland’s finest national treasure, a manuscript from c. 800 AD containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. Cost: Adults €14
No trip to the Dublin is complete without visiting the Guinness Storehouse. As one of the most popular and iconic sights in Dublin, you will journey through the 7 story building learning about one of the world’s most successful beer brands. At the end of the visit, you can sample a “pint of the black stuff” in the panoramic Gravity Bar overlooking the Dublin city line. Cost: €14 – €18
At night, head to the Temple Bar district on the south bank of the River Liffey in the central of the city. Here you can have an opportunity to enjoy your share of Guinness and Irish music. Though touristy, you will have a lively night full of memories and new friends. Famous venues – The Palace Bar, The Temple Bar Pub, Oliver St. John Gogarty’s and The Auld Dubliner.
Day 2: Dublin
Kilmainham Gaols is a former prison that held many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising which many executed in the prison by the British. Opened in 1971, the prison is now a museum for the history of Irish nationalism which includes works of arts and jewelry of prisoners. Cost: €8
View the beautiful architecture of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral which was founded in 1191. It is named after Saint Patrick, known as the “Apostle of Ireland” and patron saint of Ireland. You can view the grounds and outside for free or go inside for a small admission fee. Cost: €6.50
Head on over to the Jameson Distillery Bow St. to see where Ireland’s second most famous beverage was originally distilled until 1971. At the Jameson Distillery off Smithfield Square you can sample Jameson along with some of the world’s other leading brands to decide your favorite. Cost: €18
Day 3 – Belfast
Depart Dublin by train from Connolly Station and make your way up to Belfast (one way ticket for €20). Once in Belfast, discover why Lonely Planet considers Belfast one of the top 10 ‘must-see’ destinations on Earth.
Depart on a world famous Black Taxi tour of Belfast’s violent and political background. The cab driver will show you highlights such as the Peace Wall, political murals, City Hall, and the Europa Hotel, known as the “most bombed
hotel in the world” after suffering 36 bombings during the Troubles. Cost: maximum €30 per person
Belfast is home to the shipyard that constructed the RMS Titanic. Today, at the original shipyard is a museum dedicated to the Titanic. At the Titanic Museum you will have the chance to explore the shipyard, walk reconstructed Titanic decks, and learn about life aboard the Titanic. Cost: €18
Day 4: Belfast – Derry
If you are a Game of Thrones fan, be sure to visit the Dark Hedges and Ballintoy Harbor while traveling to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. If you dare, walk across the rickety bridge for a view of the ocean scenery. Cost: €7
The highlight of the day will be the UNESCO world heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway! The natural wonder is made up of approximately 60,000 hexagonal columns of rock formed by volcanic eruptions a long time ago. Cost: €9
Day 5: Galway – Killarney
The highlight the trip will be visiting the Cliffs of Moher. This is the most popular natural tourist destination in Ireland with cliffs rising over 700 feet in height. The Cliffs of Moher will take your breath away and your pictures will have all of your friends jealous of your Irish adventure. Watch out for the edges of the cliffs! The wind can pick up unexpectedly! Cost: €6
Arriving in Killarney, make sure you reserve your tickets for Celtic Steps. Recommended, I was skeptical at first; however, this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. The show consists of live Irish music, song and dance. The dancers are literally the best in the world with numerous World Irish Dancing Championship titles held by the cast of dancers, singers, and musicians. Cost: €28
Day 6: Killarney – Corke
In the morning, head over to the Killarney Riding Stables for a horseback ride around Killarney National Park. With your horse, you will take in the scenic green landscape and mountains. Cost: €65 (2 hours)
Blarney Castle, a medieval castle erected around 1210 A.D., is home to the Blarney Stone. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab. The castle attracts visitors from all over the world to pucker up and kiss the stone.
Day 7: Return to Dublin and fly home.