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This Ireland travel guide and series is going an informative recap of our recent trip to Ireland.

I’ll be sharing with you a wealth of information that I hope will serve you as a resource to help you plan your next trip to Ireland.

I’m hoping to be able to share one a week for the next several weeks so definitely stay tuned if you’re interested; best to sign up for email updates if you want to stay informed with the latest!

We rented a car and drove all around the country*.

*We did not go into Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the UK and some rental car companies don’t let you take the car across the border without a fee. Check with your rental car company what the rules are.

While the roads are narrow in Ireland and they drive on the opposite side, this is nothing to be afraid of. Trust me. I was so stressed over this and it turned out to be not a big deal.

Use your brain and think before you do; you will be okay. After a day of driving, Jason got the hang of it and we even both understood the roundabouts and multi-lane roundabouts. They’re so incredibly efficient. I wish we had more roundabouts in America.

You can read all the horror stories you want but nothing will prepare you more than just doing it.

Someone’s experience is not your experience and your experience is not theirs. So just take everything with a grain of salt and enjoy yourself. It is vacation, after all.

Below you will find the major towns we went to. As I write each blog post, I will be linking to them.

We flew into Dublin Airport but immediately drove out to Galway/Connemara.

In this introductory post for my Ireland series, I’ll be giving you a general look at our itinerary for 8 days and also be showing you the Google Map that I created for our journey in Ireland.

This includes stops along our road trip; such as points of interest, food/drink, and just general ideas.

Again, as I write the posts for reach of these locations, I will link them up below. Consider this a working/live document.

Our Ireland Itinerary


  • Driving in Ireland

Our drive through Ireland

This is the Google Map that I created for our trip. It has several layers throughout it.

The driving layer is just the overall journey, including some stops and where we stayed.

The points of interest has stops, shops, castles, photography spots, etc. that we wanted to see/go to.

The food layer was well, food and drink! I marked everything that was suggested to us and ones I researched that I wanted to see.

Looking at this map it’s kind of incredible we did all that!

One thing I would change, now knowing all this, is that I wouldn’t have driven all the way down to Kenmare to make that our base for three days.

I would have made our base in Killarney so we could do Dingle and other places in the West.

However, next time, we will also fly into Shannon Airport instead of Dublin because we were incredibly smitten with Western Ireland and don’t really care for the bigger cities (Cork, Dublin).

Of course, there was no way to know all this prior to going so I’m definitely glad we did all this but we just have a different plan for next time we go to Ireland!

Anyway, can’t wait to share with you our adventures soon!

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  1. I’m loving all of these tips! My mom and I are planning a trip to Ireland for May 2020 and are trying to decide if we should rent a car or do a bus/train/taxi combo. I’d prefer the car, but she’s worried about the cost of the rental insurance. Any insight you could share on your rental experience would be most appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Car is the way to see the country. Hands down. Unfortunately, there is no way around the rental insurance. Ireland doesn’t let you use your credit card’s rental insurance and quite honestly, it’s just easier to get full CDW (plus glass & tyre coverage) on your rental for total peace of mind when driving around the country. They also tend to give you less hassle when you return the car as well. If you don’t opt for their insurance, be prepared to have a very high hold on your credit card. The roads are fairly narrow but to be honest, I think people kind of freak others out with the “omg the roads are so narrow.” To us, they were just like small, narrow country roads. You get used to driving on the left pretty quickly and the roundabouts are lovely! We loved driving in Ireland; everyone is just so much better at driving than in the States, haha – hope this helps!

  2. A number of years ago my best friend and I (who are both of Irish descent) flew into Shannon and drove all up and down the West Coast from Killarney up to Galway. My absolutely favorite stop was Lahinch with Sligo being the second favorite.

    I think driving is the way to go and like you said you get used to it really easily. But I did have a moment of trouble when I got back home and had to remind myself how to drive in the US!

    1. Ahh that’s amazing!! When we got home, we didn’t have trouble driving on the correct side but we did notice how terrible Americans are at driving. Like people just SIT in the passing lane and they all do makeup, eat, play on their phones, etc. In Europe, people just drive to drive.

  3. We honeymooned in Ireland and almost did the exact same cities! We flew into Dublin and drove immediately to Doolin, then went on to Limerick, Killarney, Kilkenny, and then back to Dublin. We wanted to make it to Galway and Cork, but ran out of time. I agree with flying into Shannon versus Dublin. Dublin is very similar to NYC or London. We plan on going back for our 10 year anniversary. I will definitely hold on to this post for that trip.

    1. Yes, that’s why we didn’t like Dublin. Too Americanized! It was definitely just like being in NYC! We can’t wait to go back to Ireland!!

  4. For future trips: :) Kinsale to Portmagee along N71 and N70 was one of the most perfect travel days I can ever remember. Magical!

  5. Perfect timing. I am just in the early stages of planning a trip for my husband and I next spring. I have been myself many times to Ireland. One of my most favorites

  6. I’m so excited for this series! My mom and I are planning a trip to Ireland for Spring 2020 and this is exactly what we want to do. I loved your Insta-stories and can’t wait to see more!