A few spare days, what to do? From Dublin.
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Jun 5, 2012 3:58 PM Last Post By: Gaillimh
May 16, 2012 2:33 PM
A few spare days, what to do? From Dublin.Hi - I'm new to TT so thanks in advance for your help.
I have two full days before, and another two full days after, a conference in Dublin. During those days, should I stay lodged in Dublin or go somewhere else? Where? If I go away overnight hould I rent a car - I don't mind - or use public transport, always nice to do. This is my first time in Ireland, don't know if I'll ever have a chance to return. I'm looking for special, beautiful, landscape, people, architecture, not into shopping or necessarily cities. Thanks for any help.
May 16, 2012 5:38 PM
May 17, 2012 2:18 AM
2IMO, two days in Dublin and then head west to Galway for day tours of Aran Islands and Cliffs of Moher/Connemarra - the former possible with your own organisation, the latter best by tour. It does sort of depend on what 'two days' means but a full day plus the morning/afternoon of another day then the itinerary above would be possible with an afternoon and evening spent wandering around Galway city.
Something involving less travelling would be spending all the days in Dublin but doing day tours to a selection of Dalkey, Howth, Glendalough/Wicklow (by tour), and Newgrange.
I think Dingle and Giant's Causeway are too much for travelling for too little reward. As mentioned previously searching TT for St Michan's will give you a list of things to do over two days in Dublin. Add Marsh's library which is beside St Patrick's Cathedral.
May 17, 2012 4:53 AM
4Day trips from Dublin - Bus to Blessington for Russborough House (large classical country house). Bus / coach to Trim - Substantial medieval castle and riverside walk to Cistercian Abbey.
Bus (St Kevins bus) to Glendalough for the ruins, round tower, hill walking on defined paths.
Train (DART) Howth to Bray and Greystones - walk round Howth Head and up Bray Head at other end. Buy a day rover and pick up some of the sites from James Joyce's Ulysses.
For two days its a long trip to Cliffs of Moher (limited bus service), Giants Causeway with the potential if driving to spend a lot of time on uninspiring "N" roads.
May 21, 2012 7:52 AM
5I also think Dingle is too far to go in a short time. Glendalough is definitely worth the trip - if you're at all fit do the 9km walk around the lakes there. It's stunning scenary. Get the DART (local train) out to Howth and walk up Howth head for wonderful views of the city (the fish and chips from the takeaway at the harbour are good too!). Certainly stay in Dublin for at least two of the spare days you have and make those trips from there. If you can fly out of Galway or Knock it might be worth going west for the other two days. If you don't want to go to Galway then Westport is beautiful and you could drive out the Achill and walk on Keel beach
May 21, 2012 8:22 AM
6On the 2 days on arrival, see the 'sights' of Dublin. Grab a guiness and do all the tourist tack.
The 2 days after the conference, grab a hire car (from the airport is prob the most convinient and you can just dump it there before u fly out) and head in one of 3 directions......
-North to Giants causeway (3 hours one way) and stop overnight up there and drive back
-Inland to Glendolough- if you like a walk/or hike this is the place to be... find a nice B&B or youth hostel and check in for the night
-West to Galway- 2 hour drive from Dublin, great pubs/atmosphere and some nice scenery around.
If you go to galway you wont need a car, the train is just as good.
May 21, 2012 3:21 PM
7I'll agree with Mark. It's very much a matter of personal taste, but Galway and Conamara would be my first choice of a two-day trip from Dublin, and as noted is less far away than the south-west.
I'd be tempted to spend at least one overnight somewhere much smaller than Galway to get a taste of rural Ireland, but obviously that increases the logistical challenge.
May 22, 2012 11:25 AM
8You could spend a day at the zoo aswell (The best zoo I've ever visited ) even if your not that into animals its nice to walk around, You could easily spend the 4 days in Dublin (IMO) but if you wanted to see more of Ireland you could maybe take the dart (nice view along the coast) and stay in a smaller town. Just my opinion if you didn't want to travel too far afield :) There is usually a lot to see and do no matter where you go :)
May 22, 2012 11:47 AM
9For your conference you probably wanna be in Dublin to be close to where your conference is.
Now, there is a positive and a negative. Let's start by the latter.
Dublin is an extremely boring town for anyone who does want more than drinking and going to pubs or clubs. I lived in Dublin 1 year and can summarise it in 1 word: "boredom". Shopping malls: plenty. Pubs: incredibly many. But then that's not what you wanna see when travelling. And add the decadency when people get drunk, and you'll find Dublin a pretty boring place. The suburbs can be downward dangerous (eg Tallaght, Inchicore, Jobstown, ...) and very bleak. The only upside: the sights of Dublin (Trinity College, Temple Bar, Grafton Street, St Patrick's Cathedral) are so close to each other that half a day in town will do.
Then the positive side. While Dublin is a typical tourist-swamped town with nothing special, the rest of the island is beautiful.
Let's give some hints. If you wish to stick to the Dublin surroundings:
- just south of Dublin there's some very lovely coastal downs such as Dun Laighoire, Dalkey, Greystones. They are very easy to reach per public transport from Dublin. The promenade by the sea is lovely, and there's some cliffs offering an amazing view over the Irish Sea. The nature is lovely. With a bit of luck, you run into Bono, he lives there :)
- the only spot in Dublin where you experience quietness and natural beauty, is Bull Island. It's close to the Clontarf district of Dublin. Only 15 minutes bus from the city center, but an oasis of peace. You can spend days in the dunes and on the shore and comes across only a handful of other people. I often went there when I was in Dublin, to escape from the boring rush hectic city. Bull Island is like a peace of quietness just a stonethrow from the hectic city.
- there is a natural park with some ruins of old castles, an amazingly beautiful panorama from the nearby hills, and a lovely valley with a nice river. Some wildlife can be spotted here too. I can't remember the name of the park, but daily buses to and from the park leave at St Stephen's Green in the heart of Dublin. Beautiful park with amazing views.
- Galway is probably the loveliest town in the Republic of Ireland. It is charming, tiny and still vibrant because of the university life. Here you find really charming pubs with Irish people rather than tourists, nice colourful houses, and just 20 minutes driving outside of Galway you can find the most beautiful hills and some bays with beaches where hardly nobody comes and you got the shore for yourself alone. The west coast is the most beautiful part of the island, and it's a haven of quietness and natural beauty. To those remote quiet beaches, add hills with lovely views over the Atlantic, add some ruins of old castles you find along the way, or take a short ferry to the Aran Islands with extremely old walls and cliffs offering lovely views over the ocean. Galway and surrounding area are hauntingly beautiful and the people are very friendly.
- Derry is a surprisingly charming city. The only walled city on the island. Along with the murals on the Bogside (a great place to visit for those interested in history), the nice small alleys in the city center and the lively nightlife make this town a charming combination of history, vibrant social life and a small yet charming center.
- Belfast is in my opinion the best city on the island although I am biased as I lived there 2 years. The city offers something for all. History : there's plenty of murals remembering the painful past of the city, the city now is quite peaceful but the murals make it extremely interesting for those interested in history. Architecture: the city hall, Queens University campus, Great Opera House etc are all walking distance and all great pieces of architecture. At night you can find some great places with underground artistic scene that is very vibrant. Belfast is a great city to discover new poets, bands, performers, ... If you avoid the mainstream bars and dig into the pubs where local artists perform, you'll be amazed how much artistic talent you'll find in Belfast. (not saying there's no offer of great regular pubs too, for example Lavery's is the oldest family owned pub of the city and near Royal Avenue you'll find one of the oldest Irish pubs on the island). A great city really, and just outside of Belfast you find Bangor, a very charming coastal town with a lovely marina and a great seafront.
- the North Coast, including the amazingly beautiful Giant's Causeway, is almost as beautiful scenery-wise as the West Coast.
Conclusion: try to discover Dublin during your conference days, after the meetings you can see the sights. It's no interesting city so don't waste any day on it when you can see it in a few hours.
The days before and after your meetings, you will see that the rest of the island is full of lovely places. If I really have to make a recommendation: spend two days in Belfast for the great architecture and great amount of history, and then spend the other two days in and near Galway to enjoy the hauntingly beautiful scenery of the West Coast.
Jun 5, 2012 3:58 PM
10Come West....to Galway and Connemara - you can take the train www.irishrail.ie or bus www.gobus.ie directly to Galway (2.5 hours) and from there you can stay in Galway and do day trips to Connemara or the Aran Islands or stay in either area also overnight. Amazing scenery, traditional music, coastline, food, friendly people....have a look at the national tourism website www.tourismireland.com and the section on Go West for lots of more information.
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