Exploring the Emerald Isle: A 7-Day Journey Through Ireland

Advisor - Annie Decker
Curated By

Annie Decker

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  • Ireland

  • Arts & Culture

  • Nature Escapes

  • History

  • Architecture

  • Sightseeing

Beautiful view of an isle in Ireland.
Curator’s statement

Ireland is filled with rich history, breathtaking landscapes and lively cities in its four provinces across Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland. Spend time exploring ancient castles, kissing the Blarney Stone, enjoying libations at renowned distilleries and breweries and marveling at the natural wonders that make Ireland so enchanting.

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Where to stay

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Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin

Warm hotel with a modern restaurant and bar in the heart of Dublin.

Fora Perks
  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check in/out, whenever possible.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

Where contemporary luxury meets rich heritage, offering an unrivaled experience of refined elegance and warm hospitality in the heart of Belfast.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit

  • Breakfast daily

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible

The Montenotte Hotel

Inviting hotel that overlooks the city of Cork with modern rooms and apartments.

Fora Perks
  • Food / beverage credit.

  • Daily breakfast.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Advisor - Annie Decker

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Day 1: Discovering Dublin

red and brick pub

Upon arrival in Ireland, start your adventure by immersing yourself in the vibrant capital city.

Begin your time in Dublin by visiting Trinity College to admire the library’s famous Long Room and Book of Kells.

Afterward, meander through the lively streets of Temple Bar, famous for its pubs, live music and lively atmosphere. Pop into the namesake pub for a pint. Don't forget to explore Dublin Castle, a historical landmark offering fascinating insights into Ireland's past.

End the day with a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, where you can learn about the country's most famous brew and enjoy panoramic views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar.

Day 2: Belfast

Exploring the Emerald Isle: A 7-Day Journey Through Ireland - Day 2: Belfast

Cross the border into Northern Ireland and arrive in Belfast, a city rich in history and culture. Take a Black Taxi Tour to learn about Belfast's troubled past and the murals that depict its history.

Visit the Titanic Belfast Museum, dedicated to the ill-fated ship. Enjoy a walk along the River Lagan through the heart of Belfast. As you walk the Maritime Mile, stop by The Big Fish, said to impart all of its wisdom to all those who kiss it.

For Game of Thrones fans, visit the 6 Glass of Thrones stained-glass installations along the river that depict scenes from the popular TV show. Each window represents one of the great houses of Westeros and is located near the site where the corresponding scenes were filmed.

Finish your day at of the most photographed buildings in the city: The Crown Liquor Saloon, a historic pub with ornate Victorian decor with a wide selection of beers, wines and spirits, and traditional pub fares like fish and chips, bangers and mash and beef and Guinness stew.

Day 3: Giant’s Causeway

Lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the sea coast on the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland.

Giant's Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located just a short drive from Belfast. It's a natural wonder that features hexagonal basalt columns that are over 60 million years old.

According to local legend, the Causeway was built by an Irish giant named Finn McCool, who created the causeway to cross the sea to reach his Scottish rival, Benandonner. When Benandonner came to Ireland, Finn's wife disguised him as a baby and when Benandonner saw the size of the "baby", he assumed Finn must be even bigger and fled back to Scotland. As he ran, he destroyed the causeway behind him, leaving only the remnants that we see today.

Explore the nearby Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, offering stunning views of the coastline and the opportunity for a thrilling crossing. Visit the medieval Dunluce Castle, perched dramatically on a cliff edge overlooking the sea.

Day 4: Cork & Blarney

At the top of the castle lies the Blarney Stone.

Venture south to the charming city of Cork. Explore the vibrant English Market, a food lovers paradise, and wander through the narrow streets of the city center.

Make sure to visit the iconic Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the Blarney Stone to receive the "gift of gab” and explore the castle's lush gardens including the intriguing Poison Garden.

Return to Cork in the evening and enjoy its lively nightlife, with traditional Irish music and cozy pubs.

Day 5: Cliffs of Moher & Galway

Scenic photo of the Cliffs of Moher.

Head west to Galway City, a bohemian hub known for its lively arts scene. Wander through its charming streets, explore the Spanish Arch and soak up the vibrant atmosphere along Quay Street.

From Galway, embark on a scenic drive to the majestic Cliffs of Moher. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs that plunge into the Atlantic Ocean and take a coastal walk to truly appreciate their awe-inspiring beauty. End the day in Galway, where you can experience traditional music in one of its lively pubs.

Day 6: Ring of Kerry

A green landscape at Ring of Kerry featuring pastures and lakes.

Take a breathtaking drive along the famous Ring of Kerry. This 179-kilometer (111-mile) circular route showcases Ireland's stunning landscapes, including rugged mountains, shimmering lakes, and charming coastal villages.

Admire the beauty of Killarney National Park, visit the picturesque village of Sneem and witness the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Gap of Dunloe. Capture postcard-perfect moments at Ladies View, a panoramic viewpoint offering breathtaking vistas.

Finish the day by enjoying traditional Irish music and warm hospitality in Killarney.

Day 7: Back to Dublin & beyond

The city of Dublin river with two coasts.

Return to Dublin for your final day in Ireland. Spend the day exploring the city's impressive museums, such as the National Museum of Ireland, where you can delve into the country's fascinating history and archaeology.

Alternatively, visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art or the Hugh Lane Gallery to admire contemporary and modern art. If you’d prefer to skip the museum scene, visit the original Jameson distillery on Bow St. Learn about the whiskey’s history while enjoying samples.

Take a leisurely stroll through the serene green spaces of St. Stephen's Green or Phoenix Park, before enjoying a farewell dinner in one of Dublin's fantastic restaurants or experiencing traditional Irish music in a cozy pub.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Experiencing the Magic of Scotland in 7 Days.

Advisor - Annie Decker

Travel Advisor

Annie Decker

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Ireland.