As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Trip to Ireland

FodderFodder Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So the backstory here is that I'm doing a year abroad in Scotland and have spring break coming up for the next two weeks. I decided that it might be fun to go to Ireland for a bit of it, and have basically decided to get a ferry to Belfast and spend a week or so travelling about a bit.

I'm basically on a student budget, so I'll be going for hostels and avoiding the 5 star restaurants, but I've got a flexible enough budget that I can afford to spend a pretty decent amount on getting around/into places. Any super duper cost-saving tips would be appreciated, but if there's a great leprechaun petting zoo thats sort of on the expensive side I'd love to hear about it.

After some browsing around wikitravel I've got a pretty good idea of what I'd like to do, but I'd like some feedback on any part of it, or suggestions for other things to do. I'm also going alone since it ended up being such a last minute sort of trip, so any tips for somewhat social things to do in the evenings would be much appreciated. So far, my proto-itinerary is:
Day 1: Belfast!
Black Taxi Tour
Titanic Boat Tour
Ulster museum
Belfast Castle
Day 2:
Day trip tour to the giant's causeway/bushmills
get a train to dublin for the night
Day 3: Galway!
Hopefully I'll be able to get to galway soon enough to get a day tour of the Aran islands and have a bit of a walk about the city.
Day 4: Cork
Admittedly, this is basically an excuse to go to Blarney Castle, and if my plans haven't gone horribly awry, a bit of boozing around as it'll be Friday night.
Day 5-??: Dublin!
I don't really have a firm plan for Dublin, more just a list of places I'd like to see. Any potential advice on how to group these efficiently would be excellent. In no particular order, things I'd like to visit include:
  • National Museum
  • A hurling or gaelic football game
  • Old Library at Trinity College
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Jameson Distillery
  • Some sort of city tour

I feel like this might be an overly ambitious schedule, but I'd like to get as much out of the trip as I can since it's much easier to do from this side of the pond. I'm not really sure how many buses will be running, especially between the towns that aren't Dublin-<anywhere else> and it seems like I might have to use Dublin as more of a hub than I'd really like to. From what I've heard the majority of Ireland is fairly safe, though I probably won't be wandering around Belfast too much at night, especially being alone, but if theres somewhere I should definitely avoid that would be good to know in advance.

Thanks in advance for any comments/advice!

steam_sig.png
Fodder on

Posts

  • Options
    Satanic JesusSatanic Jesus Hi, I'm Liam! with broken glassesRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    http://www.buseireann.ie/ the website for bused between towns and cities
    http://www.irishrail.ie/home/ trains (more expensive than buses but quicker)

    Satanic Jesus on
    my backloggery 3DS: 0533-5338-5186 steam: porcelain_cow goodreads
  • Options
    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Be prepared for a shocking leap in prices once you head into the Republic, and I'm not talking about switching from Pounds to Euros.

    Stay away from the deep countryside. It's pretty, and it's safe, but it's BORING and EMPTY and BORING and BORING.

    Belfast isn't terribly dangerous -- it has its good areas and its bad areas, like any city, and drunks are to be avoided at night. You mentioned that you're in Scotland at the moment; if you've been to Glasgow, then you'll know what Belfast's like.

    Lieberkuhn on
    While you eat, let's have a conversation about the nature of consent.
  • Options
    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited May 2021
    -

    Andrew_Jay on
  • Options
    OrestusOrestus Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Even w/ Ireland being so small, I feel like you are going to spend alot of your time on the road w/ for not much time in each of these places. If I was in your position w/ your timeframe I would probably do something like Belfast ---> Dublin ---> area outside Dublin (Wicklow mountains area maybe), rather than try to cover the entire island in like 4 days.

    I have only been to the Republic, not Northern Ireland, but I have been told by a number of people that the more rural parts of Northern Ireland are as close to traditional ireland as you will get.

    Orestus on
  • Options
    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It's a really short ride from Belfast to Dublin (took me about 2 hours or so) and it took me about 3 hours on a bus to get to Galway from Dublin. The Aran Islands were a full day for me though, I went to Inishmore.

    Belfast also has a nice zoo you can get to by bus. And there's this great place in Belfast out on Shankill called The Bus Stop that has awesome food. Downtown Belfast is gorgeous and it's worth visiting Queen's University. And the Gardens!

    It's worth saying fuck the tour and walking yourself down Shankill, Newtownards, Sandy Row, Ardyone and Falls Road if you want to see the murals. When I was down Ardoyne taking photos there was a group of children who were amused I was taking pictures of one of the walls. They didn't see what was so special about it since they're all over. Stormont's also very cool.

    I was able to visit Long Kesh/ The Maze, it isn't open to the public but if you can get attached to a private group that's going it is really, really, really, worth it. It was a very emotional tour, our guides father and uncle had both been prisoners.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • Options
    Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Galway is cool. You need to do a tour bus thing out to the Cliffs of Moher. They are radical.

    Evil_Reaver on
    XBL: Agitated Wombat | 3DS: 2363-7048-2527
  • Options
    AlyceInWonderlandAlyceInWonderland Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I went to Dublin several years ago. One thing, be careful of pick pockets. Especially at night. I was with a group of friends in Dublin, and my friend who was behind me tried pushing me along kinda fast, I asked her why later on, and she said a group of boys next to us were trying to go for my pockets.

    Not saying that shit happens all the time, but be careful. Otherwise, Dublin, and Ireland as a whole are VERY lovely. Have fun!

    AlyceInWonderland on
  • Options
    RohanRohan Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Dublin is a hole. Just sayin'.

    Rohan on
    ...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.

    Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten
  • Options
    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    It's a really short ride from Belfast to Dublin (took me about 2 hours or so) and it took me about 3 hours on a bus to get to Galway from Dublin. The Aran Islands were a full day for me though, I went to Inishmore.

    Belfast also has a nice zoo you can get to by bus. And there's this great place in Belfast out on Shankill called The Bus Stop that has awesome food. Downtown Belfast is gorgeous and it's worth visiting Queen's University. And the Gardens!

    It's worth saying fuck the tour and walking yourself down Shankill, Newtownards, Sandy Row, Ardyone and Falls Road if you want to see the murals. When I was down Ardoyne taking photos there was a group of children who were amused I was taking pictures of one of the walls. They didn't see what was so special about it since they're all over. Stormont's also very cool.

    Shankill's a shithole; I wouldn't recommend it. But I guess you might find it interesting if you're into badly-painted murals. (Can you tell I'm a native?)

    The Botanic Gardens are ok, but not really worth it unless the weather's gorgeous, which probably isn't going to happen this time of the year. Lady Dixon Park is nice, and has a towpath along the river Lagan for miles of gorgeous countryside. It's outside Belfast, though (halfway between Belfast and Lisburn), but you can get there by bus, and it's not a very long journey since Belfast is a tiny city and Lisburn is right next to it.

    Lieberkuhn on
    While you eat, let's have a conversation about the nature of consent.
  • Options
    Judge-ZJudge-Z Teacher, for Great Justice Upstate NYRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Galway is absolutely fantastic. My wife and I both thought it was one of the best parts of our trip Ireland. The pedestrian area downtown ahs great shops for browsing, lots of pubs, music, and street performers, and eateries to fit any budget. I also concur that if there's any way to stretch your stay, that you need to go to the Cliffs of Moher. If you can, I'd add a day in Galway.

    Likewise, if at all within your time and money budget, a trip to Killarney and the Ring of Kerry would be in order. Beautiful landscape, and Killarney had the best music we heard in all of Ireland. As a side note, it is also the place where I heard the loudest vomiting by a drunk man I have ever heard.

    As for Dublin, you should add a tour of Kilmainham Gaol to your itinerary. I don't believe in ghosts, but holy shit if they did exist... that place gave me chills, and there's a hell of a lot of Irish history wrapped up in its walls.

    At no point did we feel unsafe, although the parts of Dublin we were in (the touristy and shopping districts, for the most part) were well patrolled by Garda on foot and horse.

    I'm jealous. I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough to take!

    EDIT: If you're hitting the Bushmill's distillery in the north, skip Jameson's in Dublin to save time and cash - of course, I'm partial to Bushmill's, so I may be biased! I mean, if you've seen one distillery, you've seen them all, right?

    Judge-Z on
    JudgeZed.png
  • Options
    TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    According to my little brother who went last summer:
    Galway: Expensive guiness
    Gatwick: Expensive-est guinness
    Belfast: Cheapest guiness to be found in Europe

    Trillian on

    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
  • Options
    GrennGrenn Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Go to Temple Bar in Dublin - there's some awesome really old pubs round there.

    The Guinness factory tour is designed to make you want a pint the most you've ever wanted a drink in your life, but the bar at the end is quite cool.

    There are actually a lot of different stouts made in Ireland, so you may like to ask in any pubs you go into what they would recommend - I always think it's lame to go there and just drink Guinness.

    Overall, I've really enjoyed Ireland the few times I've been there and found the people to be very friendly.

    As for the thieves/pickpockets thing - that applies to any major city these days, just have your wits about you and you'll be fine.

    Grenn on
  • Options
    FodderFodder Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm sort of considering spending a bit longer since I don't have any hard reason to come back that early. The Cliffs of Moher sound pretty rad, and if the weather is nice the Ring of Kerry would be pretty good as well.

    I was thinking about it recently and I'm pretty sure that the majority of what I know about the troubles might actually be out of a Tom Clancy book, which is more than a little shameful, and learning more about that would definitely be interesting. I'd love to take a tour of Long Kesh, so I'll keep my eye out for any opportunities.

    I'm getting pretty excited about the whole thing now, definitely looking forward to it.

    Fodder on
    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    RotamRotam Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It's a really short ride from Belfast to Dublin (took me about 2 hours or so) and it took me about 3 hours on a bus to get to Galway from Dublin. The Aran Islands were a full day for me though, I went to Inishmore.

    Belfast also has a nice zoo you can get to by bus. And there's this great place in Belfast out on Shankill called The Bus Stop that has awesome food. Downtown Belfast is gorgeous and it's worth visiting Queen's University. And the Gardens!

    It's worth saying fuck the tour and walking yourself down Shankill, Newtownards, Sandy Row, Ardyone and Falls Road if you want to see the murals. When I was down Ardoyne taking photos there was a group of children who were amused I was taking pictures of one of the walls. They didn't see what was so special about it since they're all over. Stormont's also very cool.

    Shankill's a shithole; I wouldn't recommend it. But I guess you might find it interesting if you're into badly-painted murals. (Can you tell I'm a native?)

    Yeah, I definitely would not go there. I wouldn't go to Newtownards either, its a bit of a dump (natives unite!)

    Rotam on
  • Options
    DusT_HounDDusT_HounD Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    @Fodder:
    Dublin has bus tours that can be booked and then used on a hop-on, hop-off basis, and they take in many of the main tourist locations.

    If you want my opinion, stay away from the bars and restaurants on the main square of Templebar- much of that area is actually a modern construct specifically to attract tourists with 'traditional' Irish stuff, and will rip you off too. Last time i went in one of those bars, the Oliver St. John Gogarty, it was to have a meal at the restaurant. Well, if you're cool with having a minimum charge of 20 Euro per person, and the only option for vegetarians being "pasta with vegetable sauce", and straight-out rude cunts for staff, it comes highly recommended. Well, that was my experience of the place anyway, and we walked out as soon as we saw the minimum charge thing, but maybe they've improved since.

    That said, other places around there, such as the Elephant & Castle and Cafe Gertrude are very nice, and there's also the awesome Bad Ass cafe, but please be warned that a lot of things in that area are not what they might at first seem. Heading away from Templebar, if you want nice bars there are several around the George Street area, such as The Globe (very relaxed, indie-electro sounds, very mixed clientele and a good rate of people traffic, has a nightclub downstairs) and Hogans (down-to-earth crowd and staff, although often gets quite busy, has a nightclub downstairs too).

    If you get good weather, you can do Trinity College/ Christchurch/ Guinness on foot easily, but i'd also recommend taking a look around St. Stephen's Green and also across to O'Connell street.

    DusT_HounD on
  • Options
    TavTav Irish Minister for DefenceRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I live in Dublin, and talk of pick pockets is bullshit. It's perfectly safe to be in town at night and you're no more likely to be mugged there than any other city you've been to. One bad experience does not the city describe. I feel perfectly safe walking home from a night out instead of getting a taxi from town.

    If you want to take in a gaa match, check out the national fixtures on http://www.gaa.ie/
    That should give you a good idea of what's coming up.

    Also, avoid Temple Bar. It's a tourist trap. The Dublin bus tour will cover the big things that you want to see. I'd also recommend taking in a tour of Croke Park, and checking out the GPO (You can still see the bullet holes in the front of it from the 1916 rising. Really fascinating stuff if you have any interest in history.)

    Tav on
  • Options
    DusT_HounDDusT_HounD Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Agreed, you don't need to take extra precautions against pickpocketing or mugging in Dublin; no more than you would do in any other city. I often travel in and around the city centre at night time, and trouble has eluded me, no matter how much i have looked for it (i kid, i kid!)

    @Tav: Dublin reprazent! High five!

    DusT_HounD on
Sign In or Register to comment.