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Tips For Planning A Trip To Ireland

by Martha Simmonds

Ireland is a favorite tourist destination for people from all over the world. Friendly locals and beautiful landscapes are two of the main aspects that attract people. There is plenty to see and do on the Emerald Isle, and the tips below will help you get started with your planning.

Your Budget

Whether you’re planning on five-star hotels, camping and hostels, or something in between, you need a budget so that you don’t overspend. Start by looking at the cost of flights. Be creative, and check different dates and flights from nearby cities to see if you can get a big change in price. Accommodation can also be costly.

Ireland is not an inexpensive country, so if you want to eat out and go to pubs, which is an important part of the experience even if you don’t drink alcohol, you’ll need to include those costs as well. A personal loan is one way to supplement your travel fund, and since loans often have lower interest rates than credit cards, they can be a smarter choice for your budget.

Things to Do in Dublin

You’ll most likely fly into Dublin, and it’s worth spending at least a couple of days in the capital city. The hop-on hop-off bus tour is an excellent way to get an overview of all the interesting sights. Dublin is also very walkable, with a compact city center.

Popular places to visit include the library at Trinity College, where you can see the medieval Book of Kells, the pedestrianized shopping area of Grafton Street and the beautiful city park St. Stephen’s Green. For a taste of Dublin pub culture, skip the noisy tourist jammed pubs around Temple Bar and head for a Dublin institution such as Kehoe’s, McDaid’s or The Long Hall.

Getting Around

Getting around Ireland can be tricky for the tourist if you want to venture off the beaten track. Taking on this type of travel can be a great way to improve your focus while traveling since you will have to be sharp as a tack while navigating some of the less common areas.

There are only a handful of train lines. Buses are more common, but even they don’t go everywhere, and in rural areas, some have very limited hours. You could rent a car but be aware that roads can be very narrow and challenging to drive on if you aren’t accustomed to them.

Go Beyond Dublin

Dublin is wonderful, but can you say you’ve been to Ireland if you haven’t taken in some of the beautiful scenery in the rest of the country? Decide if you’re going to remain in the Republic or if you want to head to Northern Ireland as well, which is part of the United Kingdom.

If you do head north, don’t miss the Giant’s Causeway, a series of breathtaking coastal rock formations said in legend to have been created by the Irish giant Finn MacCool.

Perhaps the most popular plan for tourists is to head to the western part of the country. There, you’ll find the small charming city of Galway, the Aran Islands just off the coast, the scenic Ring of Kerry or the stark landscape of the Burren in County Clare.

Head to the northwest county of Sligo if you love the poet Yeats, and if you want to visit a truly remote part of the country, County Donegal is the place to really get away from it all.

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