Planning a Vacation in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher in County Clare
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Dreaming of an Irish vacation but not sure where to start?

Planning the perfect Ireland vacation really comes down to travel style, time, and budget, but we have plenty of tips for where to start.

From finding the right how to deciding how to travel around - here is the ultimate Ireland trip planning guide.

01 of 06

Ireland - Planning a Vacation in Ireland - Where to Find Basic Information

The Dark Hedges, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
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Planning a vacation in Ireland doesn't have to be hard - just follow some basic advice in this list of resources on Ireland and the Irish.

From how to get to the Emerald Isle to sightseeing tips and practical information, here is how to plan the ultimate Irish getaway.

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02 of 06

Ireland - Getting There and Getting Around

Cropped Image Of Airplane Engine Flying Over Coastline
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Getting there should be your first consideration when planning a vacation in Ireland - unless you are traveling from the UK or mainland Europe, air travel is the only sensible way to go. You will get more information on our specialized pages:

Ireland's three carriers offer a number of possibilities, with Aer Lingus currently operating the only long-haul flights.

A rental car is the best way to explore Ireland, except if you plan to stay in Dublin for your entire trip. You don't need a car in the capital, but having your own set of wheels is the most convenient means to get to many attractions, it also allows you to draw up your own route. Driving "on the wrong side" is not such a big problem as it sounds.

In Dublin, public transport is well developed and will meet the needs of any visitors. As it is also considerably faster and cheaper than using a car, it should be your first choice. Outside the Dublin area, however, trains and buses can be few and far between.

But you may also want to experience Ireland at your own pace - both cycling and walking vacations are very popular. Either following your own agenda or joining an organized tour.

After you have decided how to get to Ireland and how to navigate around, it is time to book a place to stay.

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03 of 06

Staying Overnight in Ireland

Colourful building facades and signs for restaurants, shops and a bed and breakfast
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The choice of accommodation in Ireland is wide and varied. From the most basic hostel with bunk beds in shared dorms to the highly sophisticated hotel with a Jacuzzi in your suite, the Emerald Isle has something for everyone.

Budget will be the visitor's ultimate restraint, Ireland is not generally known as a cheap country to stay in. It is well worth keeping an eye open for bargains and inclusive offers. When comparing prices check especially for the breakfast options - a "full Irish breakfast" will keep you going for hours, a "continental breakfast" is just a light snack. In general, the cheapest room rates in hotels don't breakfast, so be sure to read the fine print.

Find out more:

Now that you know where to sleep, it is time to think about eating and drinking in Ireland.

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04 of 06

Eating and Drinking in Ireland

Ireland: Dublin Menu Board
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Food and drinks will swallow a large part of your Irish vacation budget. Even the most no-frills travelers will have to eat and, unless you are on a self-catering vacation, have to pay fairly high prices for this. Planning for restaurants, pubs and even the corner market for snacks is an important part of budgeting and planning a vacation in Ireland.

Some general information on food and drinks in Ireland:

Restaurants and pubs in Ireland:

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05 of 06

Sightseeing in Ireland

Sheep walking by Uragh Stone Circle along the waters edge
Peter Zoeller / Design Pics / Getty Images

Picking a list of attractions might be easy for some and hard work for others, but there are some things you should really see (though you won't be able to see them all in one short vacation). When planning a vacation in Ireland try to find a balance between the time spent traveling on the roads and actually taking in the sights. The Emerald Isle is relatively compact but you will enjoy everything more if you have a break between time spent on the road to really soak up the beautiful country.

To get you started on what to see:

Depending on your interests, you might also like to consider:

And, finally, you might consider missing out on the overrated attractions and tourist traps in Ireland.

And now for some practical advice on Irish vacations ...

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06 of 06

Practical Advice for Ireland

Rainbow Over Doon Lough, County Leitrim, Ireland
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Searching for even more information to plan the perfect trip? We have all of the details covered - from using credit cards to planning for the wet weather. Here is where to learn more about:

By now you should be well advanced in planning your vacation in Ireland. Enjoy your stay!

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