Do you want to visit Ireland? Go! But here’s a few tips before you do.
Hire a car. This is the best way to see the country, with so many places to visit a short drive from each other. And if you have a lot of time, look at doing a trip around the entire coast. It’s relaxing to have your own agenda and do what you want at your own pace. Driving through rural country sides and small Irish towns is part of the full experience of Ireland. There’s something fun about getting lost in this beautiful country, with a new incredible view around every corner.
Research bed and breakfasts. I used Booking.com to start my inquiry on B&B’s in the cities I was planning to stay, but use whatever sight you prefer. Past guest comments were the most helpful to me. Figure out what your priorities are in a B&B, whether it be location, breakfast quality, or friendly staff. But sometimes you get lucky enough to get all of them. B&B’s have a romantic feel and are way more relaxing to stay in than hotels or hostels, making Ireland a unique, soothing place to visit.
Kayak in Clare Co. (Doolin). This is still one of my favorite activities I’ve done through my travels. It’s nice to see views of beautiful Ireland from land and water. Because of the wind across the sea, it can be a real workout, but let’s be real, you probably need it after all the beer you’ll be having. We did our adventure with North Clare Sea Kayaking and had a very friendly, helpful tour guide. Bring a waterproof camera!
Don’t miss out on Galway. I guess you could say that was our only regret from our Ireland vacation, besides not having more time in this wonderful country. I didn’t know much about Galway before my trip, so we only made a couple hour stop there. However, this city deserves at least a night or two. It was such a fun city to mosey around with unique places to eat. The Jungle Café is a great spot to enjoy a cup of tea and sandwich during a wander through town.
Don’t count calories. I’m sorry my vegetarian friends, but the full Irish eating experience involves lots of meat and fish. Beef stew, shepherd’s pie, fried fish and crisps, lamb dishes, every meal is loaded with meat. At a pub in Doolin, the only option for a customer who doesn’t eat meat was “Vegetarian Choice,” with no description, which I can only imagine was a plate of potatoes. And if you try to count calories or be on a diet, it’ll just depress you. So save yourself the trouble and enjoy the food and beer. Cheers!
Ireland’s a special place. If you’ve been there, what would you add to this list?