Student traveling to Ireland
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Apr 29, 2012 1:49 PM Last Post By: Birdie087
Apr 25, 2012 10:17 AM
Student traveling to IrelandI am a student traveling on a budget and possibly alone for part of my trip so fun places to meet locals and really experience the culture are what I am looking for. I am going to be in Ireland mid to late May and I was hoping to see as much as I can while there. I'm flying in and out of Dublin so where ever I go I plan ending up back there. I want to travel around Dublin quite a bit so any pubs, galleries, historical anything you'd recommend seeing let me know. Anything I can't leave Dublin/Ireland without seeing?
The thing I want to most is head up to Northern Ireland because I tracked down some family up there in Ballymena. I would stay in Ballymena for a few days so if there are any good day trips or hikes I can do from around there please let me know! I am a student traveling on a budget so getting a car is not really in my plans but if absolutely necessary I would consider it. I also want to visit/stay in Belfast for a few days so anything to do around there as well and things you'd recommend in Northern Ireland. I'm up for recommendations!
I also looked into heading down to Cork but a lot of what I read recommended getting a car. I am interested in visiting the City of Cork, Kinsale and maybe heading to Blarney Castle. I don't quite know how many days to budget for this part of the country because a lot of what I've read says you can fit the City of Cork, Kinsale and Blarney into a day trip. I'm in no rush and plan to mosy around most of the places I visit but I don't want to be bored with nothing to do. How long could I spend in these places without becoming bored? Blarney would most likely be a day trip but I would like to spend at least a whole day in both the city of Cork and Kinsale if not more.
I spent a brief time in Ireland a few years back in the Galway area and I'm debating whether not I want to go back over there. The city of Galway was lovely and I'd be interested in heading to the Aran Islands but I'd only go if there was a little more to draw me then just those two things. Clare sounded like an interesting place as well but I'm worried Clare and Galway need cars to really see the area. Can anyone recommend interesting things for a student to do in these parts or would my time be better spent somewhere else?
I love traditional Irish music so that is a high priority for me, if there are any places in Ireland, pubs, ext that are great for hearing live music please please let me know! I want to be fully thrown into the Irish culture and am up for any suggestions!! Any places I didn't mention also please let me know, this is the first trip I've planned alone so I'm having trouble finding where to start.
Thank you for any recommendations and help!!
Apr 25, 2012 1:08 PM
1Re Ballymena area, it's not too far from the North Antrim coast which is beautiful. Nice cliff walks and views. Dunluce castle, rope bridge, Giants causeway etc. There are a number of hostels on that coast too such as:
Re Galway area, well there is a lot more actually! More islands for a start! Inishboffin is accessible from Cleggan with stunning views over to Inish Shark and High Island. Lots to see around Connemara with mountains, rivers, inlets and cosy towns and villages. Plenty of hostels in Clifden and Letterfrack (latter has access to national park). Try the quirkiest hostel in Ireland:
The Burren region is close to Galway too with stunning coast and lots of culture and history. Hitch hiking is easy in Counties Galway and Clare. Plenty of traditional music in both too. Again there are a couple of hostels in Doolin and over the hills in Lahinch.
Nothing against Cork City and Kinsale as they have much to offer but have you considered Dingle peninsula and Killarney area as well or instead? Not to be missed! There is trad music literally spilling on to the streets of Dingle. Pm me if ye want more info on those areas. I know the West of Ireland really well from years of surfing, mountain climbing and playing in trad sessions myself. Oh by the way the hitching is also easy in West Kerry and West Cork. Public transport in Ireland:
Apr 25, 2012 8:39 PM
Apr 26, 2012 2:12 AM
3Welcome to TT.
Search TT for St Michan's for things to see in Dublin, search TT for dubpubs03 for pubs.
In terms of music pubs in Dublin The Cobblestone and O'Donoghues in Merrion Row are both very good. Over in the west, Doolin is great for live music and there are some good places in Galway as well.
The question of how long you have got is very important. What you are looking at there may be a good solid three or four weeks of travelling.
I would skip Blarney Castle, it is more Disneyland than castle.
Apr 26, 2012 6:04 AM
4Thank you all for the help! I am there about two and a half weeks. I scratched Blarney Castle from my list of thing to do right after posting this but thanks for reassuring my idea! So it sounds like my time would be best spent in the Galway area, Northern Ireland and around Dublin. Now I need to plan a non driving route to all those places. Is it hard to see around Galway and Northern Ireland by public transportation? I really don't want to get stuck on a tour.
Apr 26, 2012 6:16 AM
Apr 26, 2012 6:28 AM
6Go to Cobh ( Cove ) outside Cork city and visit the town's heritage centre
check out a book online "In Search of the craic" One man's pub crawl....
Edited by: yofletch
Apr 26, 2012 5:23 PM
7Suggestion for Antrim Coast: get a day tour out of Belfast. Trying to do the coast by public transport is a nightmare; you'll only save maybe a fiver doing it by yourself and you'll miss half the sights. Ask before hand (and I've never had one say no) if you can hop off at Bushmills before they head back to Belfast in the evening. Bus to Coleraine and then train it to Derry. The train runs along the coast and on a clear day will give you lovely views across Lough Foyle.
I love Donegal and would suggest a stop somewhere in that county on your way to Galway if you have time in your itinerary. Having said that, public transport is pretty slim so if you can rent a car, this would be the place to do it. Pick up a car in Letterkenny and head to some place on the coast. If that's not feasible, there are day tours out of Donegal Town to Slieve League and Glencolmcille. If you do decide to stay in Donegal, pm me, I have a few suggestions.
I know you said you don't want to get stuck on a tour, but consider utilizing day tours especially out of Galway. You'll be able to see more on a day tour than you would navigating by public transport.
Apr 27, 2012 8:28 AM
8Yep I'll second Donegal! Beautiful national parks, unspoilt coast, beaches, villages, friendly locals, fairytale castles, mountains, forests and trad music there too especially of the fiddle variety which is fast!
Slieve League is the biggest sea cliff in Europe, Glencolmcille, Glenveigh National Park, Ards and even Tory Island if your adventurous enough?
Apr 29, 2012 1:49 PM
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