7 Day Ireland Itinerary...with kids
Updated: Mar 9, 2020
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Ireland is one of the most family friendly countries we have ever visited. The people are friendly, food always comes piping hot, and everyone gets a chance to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Kids get plenty of opportunities to run, jump, and play in the outdoors.
It can be overwhelming when you start planning your Ireland trip, especially if you aren't familiar with Ireland. Every post I read had amazing place to visit. Everything is spread out. Ireland is not a country where you want to stay in one place. We wanted to get as much in as possible in our 7 days in Ireland, but still enjoy ourselves. We decided on a loop from Dublin and back. I weeded through travel blogs and books and narrowed down my family of 6's itinerary. In this blog I give tips on where to stay, what activities are best suited for families, some awesome places to eat, what we packed, and the logistics of traveling to Ireland. I've included some helpful links for the sites we visited on our trip.
What we packed
Packing light for Ireland is very important. European flights require a much smaller carry-on size* bag and have limited space in the overhead compartment.Since we decided to rent a car, we had to make sure we could fit all of your luggage... and children in the car.
*Check your airlines size requirements for "carry-ons". Some American companies sell "carry-on" size rolling suitcases that are too big by European standards.
Fun fact about Dublin airport: you will need to take your luggage from baggage claim to a bus if you are renting a car. The bus will then take you to your rental car company. That is extra time to juggle kids and bags before even getting to your car. The less bags the better.
Packing light for Ireland can be tricky because layering is important. It will go from rainy and cold to sunny and warm in a heartbeat. I met an Irish man in a pub and he said, "It stops raining in Ireland about as soon as it starts and vice versa" (Huh? Ok, super helpful right?). My general rule of thumb for packing is: always have more underwear than outfits packed. Here's what everyone in your family will need for Ireland:
The Mama and Papa Bear:
1 Fleece jacket to go under your rain coat or larget coat
1 puffy coat that can be folded up and squished in your backpack when you warm up
1 rain coat (if your rain coat has good insulation, you won't need to pack a puffy jacket as well)
1 pair of rain boots. comfy enough to walk all day
1 pair of fall boots or sneakers.
3 pairs of dark or patterned pants. I packed one pair of black jeggings, 1 pair of black hiking pants, and one pair of pleated leopard gaucho pants for traveling days (elastic waist bands and Irish food are the best combo)
1 thick dark sweater
1 thin light sweater (that can be work with a shirt under or with no shirt under)
5 thin tees to wear under bottom layer
6 pairs of socks
7 pairs of underwear
1 set of jammies
1 pair of gloves
1 headpiece to keep your head warm
My kids packed (4, 6, 10, & 13)
1 rain coat (theres are insulated, so that's all they needed in the coat department)
1 pair of rain boots
1 fleece teddy bear coat
7 pairs of thick socks
7 pairs of underwear
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of fast drying hiking pants
3 pairs of dark leggings (my girls got an extra pair bc they play hard)
4 tee shirts (didn't need a lot bc usually their clothes are protected by their sweater and coat. Also not at the age yet where they sweat too much)
1 thick sweater
1 warm cap
2 pairs of wool gloves (they pick up a lot of dirty things and it's nice to have a backup with kids
1 pair of jammies
*My kids never wear their warm hats and if you only brought rain resistant hiking boots or rain boots for your entire trip, you would be totally fine. It is wet and muddy almost everywhere in Ireland so we wore ours everyday.
How to pack it all
I had one small carry on sized suitcase just for umbrellas, raincoats, scarves, gloves, hats, and raincoats. We kept all rain gear in a suitcase in our rental car , in order to pull it out whenever the weather changed on us. Wear your biggest set of shoes (probably your rain boots*) on the plane , along with your rain coat.You can bring an extra pillow case with you for everyone and stuff your coats into them on the plane to use as a pillow.
*If you wear boots on a flight, always take them off at security. Personnell might tell you that it is ok to keep them on. Take them off anyways . Every time someone tells me I can keep my boots on, I end up going through screening because of the boots..uugh.
We consolidated everything else into 3 small carry on suitcases. Everyone got one large packing cube for bottoms and tops, and a smaller packing cube for underwear, socks, and pajamas. I coupled the girls packing cubes together, boy's packing cubes together, and the hubs and I(think who is most likely to share space in a hotel room together). Roll everything up before placing it in the packing cubes. Each person's extra shoes can go in a plastic bag or extra packing bag (eco friendly option and you can wash them after the trip). It is very wet and muddy in Ireland so you will want a seperate bag for shoes. Any extra room in suitcases' can be used for souvenirs or extra non-technology activities for the kids.
I put all of our toiletries into one clear toiletry bag and put it in my backpack for the plane. All liquids must fit into a small ziplock bag in Europe. Have those placed separately in the bag because you'll want to take those out as well. Keep all snacks in a clear bag together so you can pull it out and put it through security. The snack items are the things that most people forget to keep together and pull out at security. Even if your snack items are not liquid, pull them out out of your bag and send them through security. It will almost always cost you a search at security if you don't.
Each child in my family travels with a small backpack full of activities for the plane and down time. I pack some extra activities in my own backpack for the kids. Don't forget your travel journals!
Flying into Ireland
We flew into Dublin because it generally has the cheapest fares compared to other airports in Ireland. We fly a lot in Europe and flying into Ireland had much higher security procedures in place. Keep your passports handy because you will have to show personnel constantly. We even had a customs officer waiting outside of the plane door to check everyone's passport before we exited the plane.
I highly recommend Lufthansa Airlines for families flying. They have a family check-in with a special place for kids to stand. The flight attendants gave the kids multiple tech-free activities to do. My kids continued to pull out their Lufthansa activity books throughout our entire trip. The best part of Lufthansa airlines : families with small children get to board with priority passengers.
Renting a car in Ireland
I recommend renting a car and driving around to the differnt cities. This gives you freedom to do what you want to do on your own timeline, while seeing the beautiful scenery. Rental cars are much smaller than American cars so you have to make sure you pack multiple small bags, rather than a couple large bags, in order to fit them into the rental car.The roads can be narrow so make sure you have a driver that doesn't scare easily (and if you do, I don't blame you. I made the hubs drive). It's important to remember that you do drive on the left side of the road in Ireland.
Ireland requires CDW insurance for renting a car. If you have AMEX you are covered. Print out your insurance information from the AMEX website to show the rental car company.You must show proof of CDW insurance before they let you rent your car.
Our 7 Day Itinerary
Day 1 Stuttgart - Dublin-Cashel
We landed into Dublin Airport in the evening, rented our car and headed to Cashel. A lot of books I read said to get out of Dublin and stay in little towns, so that's what we did. This was the best advice I read about traveling thought Ireland. I still wanted to see Dublin but decided to do that at the end of our trip.
It took 2 hours to drive from Dublin Airport to Cashel. We arrived at Rockville House, our bed and breakfast in Cashel, around 8;30. We had a great view of the Rock of Cashel. It is a 5 minute walk from the Rockville House. The Rock of Cashel is lit up at night. We could see it from our drive as we approached this little city. In the pub later in the night the bartender asked, "what color is the rock tonight?"
I packed dinner for us on the plane so no one was hungry. After driving for 2 hours we wanted to explore for a bit before we hit the sack.
FYI Cashel is a small town so you will always want to make dinner reservations.
In true Irish fashion we ended up bringing the kids to Lonergan's Pub for a drink. As soon as we saw the multi-colored Christmas lights strung along the wall of this pub, we knew we had to go in. There was only a couple people in the pub. The Irish folk truly have the gift of gab and we talked to everyone in the pub like old friends. The pub patrons and bartender all gushed over the kids and spoiled them with 7-ups (haven't seen those in the states in awhile) and chips. We stayed for about an hour and a half discussing our itinerary, which our new found friends quickly reorganized. We would have stayed longer if two of our 4 kids hadn't fallen asleep in the pub. Apparently, it's very Irish for kids to fall asleep in a pub. We went to bed with happy thoughts of Ireland and our warm welcome the first day.
Day 2 Cashel - Cahir castle- Cobn - Killarney
We woke up at a late 7 am (we are raising roosters) . We went down to the main house and had a cozy breakfast in the dining room. We felt right at home like we wandered into my Grandma's living room (in a good way). Patrick ,our host was so kind. He served us a typical Irish breakfast with hot coffee and tea. After we were fuelled up, we took the two minute walk to the Rock of Cashel.
The Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel is a set of medieval buildings dating back to the 12th century set on limestone. There is a set of gravestones surrounding the buildings. We arrived a few minutes before opening, so we got the chance to explore the surroundings. Since this structure is built on giant rocks, the kids loved climbing along them. We walked around the surrounding countryside. Everything about this area looked like how I imagined Ireland. A low fog was covering the never ending green foliage. Sheep and cow dotted the rolling green fields. My kids walked along paths with little stone fences that have probably been there for centuries. As we walked/ran out little people's energy, I could see several medieval ruins in the distance.
Once we went through the entrance of the Rock of Caschel, we explored all of the medieval ruins. These type of historic structures are my favorite because the kids can run through them and explore. They play games and pretend they are medieval. This attraction is small enough space with very little people, so we could let the kids run and explore. There are lots of tombstones so we had to remind the kids not to walk on them or the grass surrounding them.We spent about 40 minutes here and then we were off to Cahir castle.
Cahir Castle (pronounced Clare when the Irish folk say it) is a small castle about 20 minutes from Cashel. It's worth a pop in.
Perched on a rocky island on the river suit, Clahir castle still has it's defensive structure intact. Once owned by the Butler family, the castle maintains it's impressive keep and towers. Admission is 5 euros for adults and free for kids under 12. There is an audio visual show you can watch to learn more about the history of Clahir castle. My kids were so excited to walk around the inside of the castle, that we opted to skip the audio visual show. My kids loved the castle's miniature display of a siege taking place on the castle. We spent an hour exploring the castle before hitting the road.
P.s so many buildings I didn't fit in In Ireland...cracked me up.
We then drove the 59 minutes to Cobn
We arrived in Cobn (pronounced Cove) right at lunch time. We parked on the higher part of town by St. Coleman's Cathedral and then walked along the twisting road into the lower part of town. Parking is a little easier in the higher parts of Cobh because the roads down are quite narrow.
The walk down is beautiful and you can see the main street as you walk . It is full of cafes, pubs, and the old ports. Our first stop on this adorable street was "Sea Salt Cafe". This was a tiny little cafe serving breakfast, sandwhiches and soups.The hubs and I had pumpkin soup. The kids had pancakes.
The Titanic Experience
Cobh is the last port before the Titanic sank. Heartbrake dock still stands and can be visited. Cobh has the "Titanic Experience". It is located int the old ticket booth where people picked up their tickets to board the Titanic. This experience is perfect for kids. The guide goes though the history of the titanic, shows pictures from the past, and walks everyone in rooms that ere designed to look like the exact ones on board the Titanic. Kids are allowed to sit on the furniture and feel like they are really on the Titanic.
,,.At the end of the tour you can read more about your specific passenger and read about their life. Some passengers didn't make it so my dark children were obsessed with finding out if their passenger lived or died. The tickets are a great souvenir.
My kids loved The Titanic Experience. This tragic part of history is fascninating. My kids already love stories about the Titanic so this interactive experience was perfect for them. It is very well done. Group tours are small so if you visit during a touristy time, book your ticket in advance.
Off to Killarney. We drove 1 hour and 30 minutes from Cobn to Killarney
Nothing could have been better in the late afternoon than pulling up to the Killarney International Hotel. This "fancy" hotel is located in the heart of Killarney and right across the street from the Killarney National Forest. A bell hop came out of the hotel and helped my hubs park and assisted the children with all of our bags.
The staff was friendly and helpful with the kids. We stayed in the 5 person family suite . It was plenty big for our family of 6. It is a beautiful hotel full of old world charm.The lounges and sitting rooms looked inviting. We settled in and walked down the main strip of Killarney to dinner at Caragh Restaurant. This restaurant comes highly recommended and is perfect for kids. It is loud, well lit, the staff loves children, and the food is delicious.
After dinner we walked down the streets of killarney strung with white lights and full of street performers. My kids love street performers and we usually have to drag them away. After they gave most of their pocket change to the street performers, we headed back to our hotel to get some shut eye.
Day 3: Killarney
We woke up early ...like every morning. Having slept like royalty, we were ready to start our day. After using the shoe shiner in the hallway on their rain boots (this happened every time we walked by it) ,my kids were ready to walk down to breakfast. The breakfast room at the Killarney Internationa as beautiful as the rest of the hotel. We were seated next to the warm fireplace and given menus.
There is a set up of scones, fruits, cereals, and other tasty breakfast fare while you wait for your food. Everyone is given a menu with hot breakfast options. My kids ordered pankcakes every morning and the hubs and I ordered eggs benedict. My kids ordered a caraff of tea and the hubs and I had coffee. This made the perfect start for our day. I grabbed some extra scones and fruit for snacks later. The staff even gave me a to-go cup of coffee to take with me...
After breakfast we drove the 7 minutes to the Muckrose House. We saw some beautiful red horned deer along the way. The Killarney National Forest is home to these majestic deer.
We chose to stay parked here for the day and walk from this point to all of the things we wanted to explore.
The Muckross House
The Muckross House is built between Muckross Lake and Lough Leane , two of the lakes in Killarney national park. It is a tudor style mansion built 1843 by Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife Mary Balfour Herbert. Therer was an upscale renovation that was done in 1861 in anticiaption of Queen Victoria's visit. They had hoped to gain a title...there's a story there. After financial difficulty, it changed ownership multiple times. It was given to the Irish nation in 1932. Now everyone can tour the mansion and it's gorgeous gardens.
The Muckross House is a great activity for kids. An old house is fascinating to kids. This mansion used similar customs to running the house as the ones depicted in "Downton Abbey". The hubs and I saw a lot of similarities on the tour.
The tours are intimate and the guide is very nice to kids. She let them touch a lot of things in this historic mansion. Everything about the Muckross House reminds me of the Killarney National Park. The rooms are full of decor and wood representing different parts of the park. Large windowns look out to the lush greenery and lakes. Tapestries depict animals and scenes from within the park.
Make sure to stop by the Muckross House gift shop. They have a large varitey of wool products for sale. n The prices are better than other Irish gift shops.
After the tour we explored the gardens. Prince Charles visited the Muchrose house recently and it's rumoured that his favourite part was the gardens.
My kids ran through cobblestone paths, skipped over old bridges, tried to climb every low tree, and twirled through every open space.
These gardens feel enchanted. One can almost hear the leprecaun's hammers as they make little shoes for fairies...or at least we tried.
Fairies are such a big part of Ireland, that kids will hear many stories about them from locals who love to talk about them.
Larger paths are full of Jaunting cars (horse drawn carriages). We felt like we stepped back in time.The jaunting cars go all throughout the park. Visitors can either do a guided tour of the park in one or take one to their desired destination.
We loved the gardens so we chose to walk the 1 1/2 miles from the Muckross houser to the famous Torc Waterfall.
As we got closer to the waterfall, we could hear the rushing water. The landscape closer to the waterfall is covered with green moss that really looks like it's out of an Irish fairy tale.
We walked along the waterfall's creek and under an old rocky bridge to get to the falls.
The waterfall is well worth the visit and not nearly as crowded as most famous waterfalls.
We walked back to the Muckross house to get some lunch. In the gardens there is a lovely cafeteria that looks like a greenhouse. The cafeteria was a little pricey (bc really it's your only lunch option if you want to keep exploring the park). We opted to save some money and eat the scones and fruit I packed. We bought some tea and coffee to warm us up and then headed to the Muchrose Traditional Farms.
The Muckrose Traditional Farms
The Muckrose Traditional Farms are located across the parking lost from the Muckrose House. These farms are designed to feel like you are stepping back into the 1930s and 40s during Irish farm life. You walk on a dirt road to every house and go inside to explore it. Many have chickens, pigs, and goats walking around. Each house had a wood burning fire and an individual dressed in traditional garb from that time period. The farm has different size houses showing the varieties of farm size and wealth.
This activity is so fun and hands- on experience for kids...and by kids I also mean the ones over 18. Each house had a welcoming individual offering fresh Irish soda bread that they just cooked on the wood fire. There are farm tools out that kids can try out and climb on. Old houses, again, are fascinating to kids and grownups. It represents such a different life and kids see how it actually was for people to do everything themselves, without modern day conveniences. My kids favorite activity in every house was finding where they would sleep "if this was our house".
The Traditional Farms and Muchrose House and Gardens have a joint ticket that is cheaper than buying tickets individually. Adults cost 9.95 to get into the Muckross House and 9.95 to get into the Traditional Farms. Kids under 12 are free to get into the Muchrose House but cost 6. 95 to get into the Traditional Farms. We bought the family tickets for both attractions for 45 euros... a really good deal. You can easily spend all day at these two attractions. Nothing gets better for kids (and adult kids) than running through nature, exploring Ireland's rich past and learning how people once lived. Also, we saw the biggest pig I have ever seen and I'm pretty sure he wanted to join our family.
After Muckross Traditional Farms the kids were in need of a warm fire and a good meal.
Our hotel , The Killarney International Hotel, has a restaurant/pub called Hannigans and we were anxious to try it. It looks like the stereotype of a nice Irish pub with a stone fireplace and dark wood furniture. We piled into a booth next to the firer to warm up. The kids and I had fish and chips.
It was delicious. I love any kids meal that gives kids real food like the grownup but just in smaller portions.
It was still early in the evening when we finished dinner so the kids changed into their pyjamas and we walked down to the Christy O'Connor Suite for some travel journaling and downtime. This room is a lounge in the hotel that is decorated beautifully with a nice warm fire place. We loved our hotel room but sometimes its nice to hang out amongst the living and enjoy your beatiful hotel. My hubs grabbed us some wine from the hotel bar and we drank it while the kids journaled and played on the floor in front of the fire.
*Tip: Kids need downtime during a vacation and if you don't want to feel stuck in your room, go down to the hotel lounge or sitting room. Bring the kids some activity books or games and have everyone relax. Hotel lounges rarely have anyone sitting in them and usually are nicer than my living room, so I enjoy sitting in them with your kids.
Day 4 Killarney - Ennis
After another fabulous breakfast, we sadly checked out of the Killarney International Hotel (truly, I was a bit heartbroken and trying to figure out ways to live there permanently). We loaded the car and drove the 3 minutes to Ross Castle.You can walk from the hotel if you don't have any time constraints.
Built in the 15th century, Ross Castle sits on the Lower lake of the Killarney International Forest. Inside the castle there is a little room with information inside. You can take a guided tour to explore the castle more. We opted to skip it and explore the outside of the castle. Ross Castle is built on an impressive amount of rocks so my kids climbed to their hearts content.
Ross Castle sits on the lake where small boats are docked to take tourists to Innisfallen Island.
Innisfallen Island has red horned deer and the Innisfallen Abbey that was founded in 640. We took the boat over with a friendly Irish man who told us the history of Innisfallen Island and had a lively conversation with his fellow boaters we passed along the way.
The Island looks cold and lonely as it emerges out of the fog. There was only one other couple on kayaks who were on the island. Our boat man (my official name for him) told us if we were really quiet we would probably see some of he Irish Red Horned Deer. So as you can imagine, even trying our very best to be quiet (which is still loud), we didn't see any deer on the island. We did run and laugh through the foliage. Our kids took off running at the thought of this small island all to themselves .
They loved climbing through the abbey and running along the leaf covered trails. There is also the remains of the old chapel that look majestic sitting alone amongst the trees.
We spent 40 minutes on this small magical island before taking our boat back to Ross Castle.
We had heard the Killarney House and Gardens were similar to the Muckross House so we decided to check them out before heading out of town.
Killarney House and Gardens
Killarney House and Gardens is more like a visitor centre that gives the history and information about the Killarney National Parks. We went through it and learned a lot about the tourism business and how it started in Killarney in the 19th century. The kids blew through the exhibits in a matter of minutes. Off to the next stop. If you have extra time, spend some time walking through the pretty gardens outside the house.
After leaving he Killarney House and Gardens, we headed to Ennis. We drove 2 hours and 4 minutes to our hotel. This is the part where I DON'T tell you where we stayed because I really don't want you to end up staying there. It was a "kid hotel" but not relaxing, kind of dirty, and we weren't impressed.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
The Bunratty Castle can be explored without a tour and is over 1000 years old. There are small nooks and hallways to explore. On select evenings, visitors can pay to have a real medieval dinner in their banquet hall. The castle is fun to explore but the real gem of this attraction is the Folk park.
The Folk park is 26 acres of "living" buildings designed to make you feel. like you walked into the surrounding village of a caste during the 19th century. There is an old main street with shops to go in, a school house, a pub, and various other business' that would have existed during that time period. The different houses reflect the different degrees of wealth in the villages. They range from very simple farm houses to impressive mansions.
The houses all have a worker dressed in traditional clothes telling visitors about the kind of life the families lived.
Since we read way too much Irish folklore before this trip, we were quite obsessed with Leprechauns and fairies on this trip.* Luckily, the Bunratty Folk Park has a whole fairy garden and trail. We loved it...including the boys. The little fairy houses set up in the woods are adorable and hard to resist touching (for me anyways).
* Books my kids read to get them in the Irish spirit...
Leprechauns and Irish Folklore
There is a large playground next to the petting zoo.
Outside the playground giant Irish wolfhounds guard the grounds. Their enclosure is near the playground because they are quite friendly and love kids. We have never seen these types of dogs so the kids loved petting them and had to be dragged away after quite a love fest.
After playing on the playground our tummies were rumbling so we headed to the little pub on the old main street for a bit of lunch. This pub , like the rest of the Bunratty Folkpark, makes your feel like you have walked into a 19th century establishment. It is small with a wood burning fireplace.
*If you come during peak tourist season and want to find a seat, come early because it is a small place.
We stayed at the Buratty Castle and Folk Park for 4 hours. There are seasonal events going on throughout the year so check the calendar of events before you come for a visit. We just missed the Halloween event. Our family ticket was 61.50 euros which is worth it for 6 people.
Back to the hotel after a day of fun to rest up
We woke up early, checked out of our hotel and headed toward the Cliffs of Moher.
Cliffs of Moher
This is one major tourist attraction not to be missed.We arrived at the Cliffs of Moher right as parking was opening. We bundled up and walked right up to the cliffs. It was a clear day so we saw the cliffs perfectly and I can tell you the cliffs are even more amazing than they are in "The Princess Bride". They look fake and it's hard to take your eyes off of their grandeur. One could stand there for hours staring at the cliffs. It's amazing. We stayed for 40 very chilly minutes watching the cliffs and walking up the path to see them from different angles.
Tips for Cliffs of Moher
We shared the cliffs with only a handful of people. There is plenty of spots along the railed path to get a clear view. Even if you go on a very crowded day, it wont be hard to see the cliffs. There is plenty visibility along the path.
Bundle up because it is windy and chilly overlooking the water.
You pay for parking and that's it. You don't actually have to go into the visitors centre and pay.
Check the weather before you visit because sometimes the fog is so thick that there is no visibility.
If you like a bit of a hike, you can take a trail that runs over the cliffs and offers gorgeous views. The wind was too intense for a long hike with the kids but if I came with other adults, I would have hiked longer along the cliffs.
After the cliffs of Moher we drove 2 hours to Slieve Aughty Centre in Galway.
Slieve Aughty Centre
Slieve Aughty Centre is on the outskirts of Galway. It is 17 acres of nautral galway land that has been made into a horse riding centre. This is the place locals go when they want to explore nature and take advantage of the simple activities provided. I loved it because we got a real taste of Ireland without all of the tourist traps. The Slieve Aughty Centre has horse riding lessons, eco-friendly lodging, fairy trail, beautiful trails, organic restaurant, organic gardens, craft rooms, and the most beautiful span of Ireland's natural beauty to explore.
We got there around lunch time and popped into their organic garden restaurant. Their eco-friendly restaurant offered an assortment of healthy organic lunch options, gathered from their organic garden. . At the reception desk, they give the kids a scavenger hunt of natural things to look for on the property and a little guide to read about the land. The restaurant gave us a guide for the history behind most Irish Halloween traditions...including Bloody Mary. My 13 & 11 year old loved this. After lunch we hiked to the fairy garden. It is amazing. Real fairies definitely live there. This balanced out our Bloody Mary literature at lunch.
We stayed for 3 hours at Slieve Aughty Centre. This is a great activity for adults and kids.
*Wear rain boots ar hiking boots because the Irish countryside gets muddy and wet.There are a lots of walking trails and things are spread out so be prepared to walk far.
*They have events and workshops all through out the year so check out their events calendar.
In the late afternoon we headed to our hotel near the city centre of Galway. We stayed at The Connacht Hotel Galway.
This hotel has nice family rooms with bunk beds for the kids, a swimming pool, a nice bar, two restaurants in the hotel. Breakfast is included in the room and offers a large selection. Unfortunately, arriving late afternoon on Halloween night, we didn't get to utilise the pool because we needed to find a trick-or-treating spot (which by the way they say "calling" in Ireland). Like, "thanks for calling kids.Here's your candy". The nice staff at the bar gave us a self-made map of a neighbourhood within walking distance to find some trick or treating. Thus, the remainder of our day was spent trick-or-treating in the rain. We had an absolute blast experiencing the cultural differences and Irish hospitality of Halloween in Ireland. In Ireland they make you do a trick or sing a song to get a piece of candy.
After trick-or-treating we went back the hotel for a late dinner.
Galway is a great city with tons of charm, all of which we barely saw bc the next day we headed to Dublin. Our mistake was staying in Galway for one night and Ennis for 2 nights. Flip it so you can really experience Galway. If I had to do it over, I would have stayed most of the day in Galway and left for Dublin in the late afternoon. We flew home the next morning.
Day Galway - Dublin Day 7
We headed to Dublin for our last full day in Ireland. We woke up and drove the 2 hours from Galway to Dublin. We parked and checked in to our terrible hotel. Again, I won't mention the name but I'm definitely not recommending it. It was dirty, 1,000 degrees in our room, shared dirty bathroom (not mentioned on the website), broken window in the room, and a lot of drinkers wandering the halls from the bar below ...yikes.
Being the book loving family that we are, we had to check out the Trinity College Library. We love books as much as the next book worm, but it was expensive for the 15 minutes we actually spent there. It felt like a major tourist stop so for that reason some of the charm was lost on the kids and myself.
We walked around Dublin to experience the feel of this popular tourist city. We saw the Dublin castle, many gourmet supermarkets, pubs galore, and people out having a good time.
Mid day we could tell the kids were feeling vacationed out and needed a break from walking around. Since our hotel was out of a horror movie, we found a small book shop and let them look around leisurely. We don't always buy them a book, but more often than not we do and it's well worth the money.Most book shops have a stamp from their specific store that they'll stamp in the cover. It's a nice keepsake from a trip. We then found a pub where the kids could relax with a quiet activity. The kids got some much needed downtime, the hubs could check us into our flight for the following day (which involves pulling out our 12 passport and putting everyone's individual passport number into the check-in process), and I colored with my 6 year old.
After 2 hours in the pub, we walked to dinner at Galagher's Boxty House. This traditional Irish restaurant is delicious and has a modern vibe. My kids spent a long time reading and playing at the table, so my hubs could enjoy an extra pint. This marked a great ending to our last day in Ireland. The next morning we woke up in the dark and flew home. We'll be back sweet country.
Thanks for reading. Did you find this helpful? Have you been to Ireland? What are your favourite thing? Share, comment, and all that yack yack.
Go raibh maith agar,