I am looking to plan a trip to Ireland for the summer of 2018. I have no idea where to start.... Could use advice on where to visit and where and how to book it! :)
Tell us more about yourself such as budget and previous travel experience. Solo, couple, or group? What are your interests?
We definitely need more information, but when you go, be SURE to visit the Cliffs of Moher on the western coast. You'll probably fly into Dublin, which is on the east coast, but I would highly recommend renting a car and driving to the cliffs. It is about a 3 hour drive from Dublin and takes a whole day, but it is a great way to see the countryside and experience true Ireland. On the way back, we stopped in Galway to see another Irish city, and again, I would highly recommend going there. Very nice city with a ton of restaurants and cute streets to explore.
In Dublin, we stayed across the river from Temple Bar area, which I would recommend. It is less busy and touristy but still walkable from all the sights in Dublin.
There's so much to see & do in Ireland, I'd reccomend renting a car to get around.
Dublin is a must, and probably where you'll fly into. You have to get fish & chips as Leo Burdock!
The coastal town of Dingle was one of my favorite spots. It's a really cute town with some unique pubs. Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking, and very damp as is most of Ireland. Bring a sweater and/or a raincoat, even in the summer.
The Aeran Islands are off the west coast & only accessible by plane or ferry. My group took a small seaplane, awesome experience if you have the time.
I've traveled all over Europe and the 16 days I spent in Ireland was one of my most memorable trips too date. Have fun!
As others have said, a lot depends on you and what your looking to see/how you prefer to travel etc., but I just traveled to Ireland for the first time last month so I can tell you about my experience. I would say, a car is a must. Just watch out and budget for extra fees, taxes, and insurance. Our $100 rental car turned into a $300 rental car when all was said and done. We flew into Dublin, but didn't spend much time there. I much preferred the countryside. Our route was Dublin-Kilkenny-Kinsale-Dingle-Cliffs of Moher. Kilkenny was by far our favorite stop. We ended up staying there an extra night instead of having a full day in Dublin. Our favorite spot that we stayed was the Barleycove Beach Hotel on the Mitzen Pennisula. It's a gorgeous beach front hotel, the staff is incredible and it's surprisingly affordable.
Those are just some tips. My best advice would be not to plan to much. Have a few "must sees" in mind and then just see what you discover along the way.
So i had a different experience than most of the previous posters! I flew into shannon and did the perimeter of ireland w a tour company. I can tell you that dublin was my least favorite area *(but i'm not a huge fan of big cities...rome was my least favorite part of italy also). I truly loved northern ireland (it was so different than the rest of ireland), i also loved the dingle peninsula area! my favorite place i went was probably the giants causeway bc i loved the outdoors and the scenery. We went with CIE tour bus and thoroughly enjoyed our time! It was a bit hectic and i would have liked to have had a bit more time in some of the towns but i would have been terrified driving on some of the narrow streets of ireland. For a first time ireland traveler---i would not say no to a tour bus if you do not want to drive while in the country. if you have questions let me know--it has been like 10 years since i've been there but i truly did love it!