Rolling hills, lively pubs, rich literary history, and kind spirited people make Ireland a great destination for any type of traveler
A small capital with a huge reputation, Dublin has a mix of heritage and hedonism that will not disappoint. All you have to do is show up.
Where to stay
Dublin is a relatively small city, so you can't go wrong in my opinion. My friends and I rented and Airbnb in the Smithfield neighborhood. You're a few blocks from the Liffey river and a walkable distance (I did this trek in the pouring rain) from the Heuston railway station.
The bus ride from Dublin airport to the city center is affordable, safe, and clean.
Okay, to be real our entire Ireland trip consisted of failed attempts to find pubs that were our speed. We signed up for a super-touristy pub crawl that we left halfway through to grab some McDonald's fries.
We did stop at two pubs of note: one with awesome live folk/singer-songwriter vibes and another with a fun dancing scene. The thing is....I have no idea what they were called. Tripadvisor this one.
Where to eat
We didn't particularly chose Ireland for the food (no shade), but we were pleasantly surprised by the freshness of Irish's restaurants.
Elephant and Castle served up bomb chicken wings and A+ burgers. I suggest going during an off peak-time to avoid a long wait because it's located in the Temple Bar area.
Lemon & Crepe Coffee Co. is a breakfast lovers dream. I craved American style pancakes one morning, and this cafe seriously delivered. It's also across the way from Trinity College.
Things to do
You can never go wrong with a FREE walking tour of a European city. My Dublin highlights included: Dublin Castle, Trinity College, shopping near St. Stephen's Green, and Christ Church Cathedral.
Much of Dublin's character lives within the nooks and crannies of the winding small roads. Don't be afraid to wander around and see where life takes you.
Castles, gardens and lake adventures are among the highlights of a visit to Killarney
Where to stay
Killarney is a small town nestled in a region rich with outdoor activities. We booked our stay at the local Holiday Inn because of its walking distance to town (we didn't have a car) and its proximity to the National Park. Don't wait last minute to book because accommodation options are limited.
Killarney National Park
The jewel of Killarney is truly its national park. I highly recommend renting a bike for a full day or two and exploring all the wonders of the area. This includes: Muckross House, Muckross Abbey, Torc waterfall, Ross Castle, Lough Leane lake, and Killarney House & Gardens.
Where to eat
Quinlin's Seafood Bar served up a tasty fish n chips as well as a fairly priced and decent portioned salmon dish.
Cafe Du Park is a cute lil cafe attached to the Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa. They cook artisanal breakfast, lunch, and dinner from their beautifully furnished and art-deco inspired dining area.
More to come