Experience the unique character of Irish cities on this self-drive tour around the county's urban centers. This weeklong trip takes you to the capital city of Dublin as well as colorful Cork, Limerick, and Galway. You'll dine in corner pubs, explore farmer's markets, tour medieval castles, and even escape to Blarney Castle—a short side trip from Cork—to kiss the famous Blarney Stone.

Highlights

  • Go for drinks and comfort food in the lively pubs of Dublin
  • Explore Kilkenny's medieval castle
  • Go on a self-guided tour through the rebel city of Cork
  • Wine and dine with local foodies in Limerick
  • Wander through Galway's colorful streets and farmer's markets

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin Dublin
Day 2 Explore Dublin Dublin
Day 3 Kilkenny Kilkenny
Day 4 Cork Cork
Day 5 Limerick Limerick
Day 6 Galway Galway
Day 7 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin

Dublin and the River Liffey at sunset.
Dublin and the River Liffey at sunset

Welcome to Ireland! After arriving at Dublin Airport, transfer to your hotel. Head out to explore in the afternoon, visiting one of the city's many museums, memorials, and cathedrals before settling into a cozy pub for the evening.

Day 2: Explore Dublin

The colorful streets of Dublin's Temple Bar.
Dublin's Temple Bar

Today is devoted to discovering Dublin at your own pace. Some suggestions to get you started: go for a drink and fish and chips at Temple Bar. Stop at the Guinness Storehouse to learn how the popular beer is brewed. Walk around the historic campus of Trinity College Dublin. Take a stroll around tranquil St. Stephen's Green, ending your walk along Grafton Street for a little retail therapy or to grab dinner at one of the many cafés lining the side streets.

Day 3: Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle on the River Nore

After breakfast, pick up your rental car and travel to the medieval city of Kilkenny. Visit Kilkenny Castle, which stands dramatically over the River Nore. Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have been made to the structure of the building, so you'll notice various architectural styles. 

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Day 4: Cork

On the banks of the River Lee, Cork
On the banks of the River Lee, Cork

Today you'll visit Cork. This charming, friendly city spans both sides of the broad River Lee and traces its roots back to the 6th century. Once you've settled into your hotel, take the rest of the day to explore. A great place to start is the central English Market, with its ornate vaulted ceilings, columns, and polished marble fountain. Scores of vendors set up colorful and photogenic displays of the region's very best local produce here, including meat, fish, fruit, cheeses, and takeaway food.

In the afternoon, take a quick trip out to Blarney Castle. This evocative 600-year-old fortress is only a short drive from the city and is home to the famous Blarney Stone. According to Irish legend, kissing the stone imparts the kisser with the "gift of the gab."

Day 5: Limerick

King John's Castle in Limerick

Your next city adventure is in Limerick. On the River Shannon, check out the 13th-century King John’s Castle, one of the city’s most recognizable sites, and the Milk Market, a haven for foodies. Stroll along the Three Bridges, starting at Arthur's Quay Park and following a path along the banks of the river, passing some of Limerick's most iconic landmarks along the way.

Day 6: Galway

The cobbled streets & colorful cafes of downtown Galway.
The cobbled streets and colorful cafes of downtown Galway

Today you will travel north to the city of Galway. Take the opportunity to soak in the city's vibrant streets, sample its wide variety of food offerings, or take a tour exploring its unique historical places of interest.

Suggested activities include: walking on High Street and stopping into one of the many stores selling local crafts, trying beer at a local pub, shopping in the farmers market, strolling along the Salt Hill Promenade.

Day 7: Departure

After breakfast, drive back to Dublin Airport to return your car rental, bid Ireland farewell, and catch your departing flight.