Maybe you’re part Irish, maybe it’s the history, or maybe you really want to hit every European country. Heck, maybe you just like dancing around wearing green-four-leaf-clover-shades on St. Patrick’s Day. Who am I to judge??
Regardless of the reason for your interest, Ireland is a place to add to your bucket list.
I bought a one-way to Dublin less than a week in advance (s/o to Aerlingus and Norwegian air for THE cheapest flights to Europe). I’m either a spontaneous or an impulsive gal, depending on your outlook on life.
Soo, if you’re a ~planner~ this stuff WILL be cheaper if you don’t book last minute and aren’t a walk-in like moi.
As long as you’re okay with roughin’ it a bit, and aren’t expecting fancy meals, a little will take you a long way in Ireland. That being said, I pulled out my card statement and did the math.
Here’s what $300 in eight days looks like in this big, emerald, country.
Based on the cheapest option, which was usually a mixed dorm with like 10+ beds. You know the drill.
- Dublin-Abbey Court- $15.17/ night.
Review: It’s like an art museum/ maze. You will get lost on the way to your room.
- Galway- Kinlay Eyre Square- $28.10/ night.
Review: fun workers with lots of tips. Lots of opportunities to meet other travelers. A little pricey for a hostel but hey, again I was last minute.
- Killarney- Black Sheep Hostel- $19.11/ night
Review: Okay, if (when) you go to Killarney you cannot, NOT stay here. What other hostel has the option for you to hang on a hammock in the middle of a vegetable garden while lil’, happy chickens run around underneath you? Happy chickens = farm fresh eggs for breakfast.
You could also just scratch all this and get a tent. I met a few outdoorsy souls that were doing that.
You can take the free walking tour from Abbey Court. They will show you where all the touristy highlights are; Temple Bar, Grafton Street, Trinity College, and so on.
I went to the castle, but I’m telling ya, you can skip the castle. No offense to anyone that’s really partial to it.
Temple Bar is famous because it was built in the 1800s. Yes, yes, go see it, BUT it’s very crowded. I highly recommend not planning on grabbing a drink here because you’ll be rubbing sweaty-shoulder to sweaty-shoulder with randos all night.
Instead, ask the locals about Dublin’s speakeasies.
Via Bus Eireann! Say you’re a student for the discount, even if you’re not. Sssh, they don’t check. Hey, honesty isn’t the best policy when you BROKE. Also, buy your tickets ONLINE.
- Dublin Airport-Dublin via Airlink- $6.75
- Dublin- Galway $15.71
- Galway- Cork- $8.50
- Cork-Killarney- $17.51
Get ready to hold your beer belly and embrace the ~extra.~ The Guinness Storehouse is fully equipped with oversized barrels of barley, backlit waterfalls, and a view at the tippy-top of Dublin. Not to mention a spotless-white-room with steaming cylinders that puff out the different tastes that make up a pint of Guinness??? I’m telling ya, so boujee, but so worth it.
Galway is a lot less touristy than Dublin. On top of the strong accents, you’ll probably even hear people speaking Irish.
There’s the Latin Quarter, an ol’ castle, a free museum, and even a promenade and beach in Salthill. Yes, Ireland has beaches! So go take a dip in the Atlantic if you’re feeling it.
Cliffs of Moher bus
ALSO known as the shooting location for The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
We also know that you want your, “I’m-a-bad-a$$-sitting-on-the-edge-of-a-cliff-insta-pic.” So disclaimer- if you choose to ignore all 500 signs about staying on the path… BE CAREFUL. That ground crumbles like a Nature Valley granola bar when you step on it.
Killarney National Park
I don’t know how this place isn’t more well known. There’s a countless number of trails, a waterfall, a castle, a mansion, the list goes on. Definitely will take you a whole day or two to see everything.
I walked there the first day and that was fine, it just took a really long time. The next day I rented a bike for $10. If you do choose to rent a bike, warning for Americans: the brake is on the opposite side. I went flying hahahahaha, but that’s another story.
Boat to Innisfallen Island
There are a couple of boat-men, if you will, that will take you around Killarney Lake and to this fairy-tale of an island. The island holds an old castle surrounded with pastel flowers, bright green grass, old forts, and prancing whitetail deer. TBH if leprechauns had popped out at that point, I would’ve been like, “hmm, this makes sense.”
Your Airbnb or Hostel kitchen is there for a reason! On day one, get some grocery shopping out of the way. Hint: Bread, water, and soup will take you a longggg way. Cans of soup are like 1 euro okurrr.
If you stay in a hostel- the breakfast will (should) have free fruit so you can get those vitamins. If getting vitamins is something you’re concerned about, I don’t know your life.
Going out in Galway
Listen, ya gotta live your Ed Sheeran moment and beat someone in darts, beat them pool, and kiss them like there’s no one else in the room. The Galway Girl music video was filmed at O’Connor’s Pub. You’re welcome.
This is ~technically~ free, but assuming you’re going to buy a drink or two- an average pint of Guinness is around 5 euros. Now, I wasn’t trying to get shwasted while solo traveling, (a girl’s gotta look out for herself) but I did have my fun. So this is a solid guesstimate.
HARDEST. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Done.
Carrauntoohil is Ireland’s highest mountain located on MacGillycuddy Reeks and in Cronin’s Yard.
While in Killarney, I shared a hostel room with a bunch of hikers. Did I have hiking boots? No. Did I own hiking boots? No. Did I do it? Yes. I wanted to make friends okay.
It’s an 8-hour hike up a near-vertical trail known as “devil’s ladder.” It’s basically an avalanche so a lot of people get stuck up there and then have to be rescued via helicopter.
So, hey it’s free if you don’t get stuck!!!
If you don’t feel like climbing a mountain… Well, I don’t blame ya. Cronin’s Yard and the Gap of Dunloe, which is right next door, are ~light~ hiking options.
Grand Total = $278.35
I bought coffee a few times and some random things, so the grand total would be around $300. Not too shabby for eight days *insert hair flip emoji*
I know I missed so much, which just means I have to go back. What is your favorite thing to do in Ireland?