The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary

Ireland is one of my favorite countries in the world and anytime I hear that someone is going there on vacation I can’t help but rattle off a list of things for them to do! I’ve been 4 times now and each time it gets better and better. You may have already seen my post about the 20 Reasons Why You Should Roadtrip Through Ireland or my Top 10 Views in Ireland post and can probably tell how obsessed I am with the country.

Because of my love for the Emerald Isle and the fact that two of my really good friends live in Dublin, I’ve decided to create the Ultimate Ireland 2 Week Itinerary for anyone looking to go! I did this same itinerary with my family in our rental car and we had the most wonderful trip to Ireland.

♧♧♧♧

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Pro Tip: I recommend renting a car. Ireland is a country where you’ll want to get off the beaten path to check out random castles and beautiful views and it’s just not the same without a car! Luckily I had my dad to drive, but if you put your mind to it you can do it.

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud
In order, here’s the route we took:

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling SpudThe Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 1: Shannon, Ireland. Many people fly into Dublin, but I recommend giving Shannon a try! Usually it’s cheaper than flying to Dublin and if you fly in here you can immediately start your drive over to Doolin to see the Cliffs of Moher. Check out this view of Shannon from the plane.The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling SpudThe Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Stop 2: Doolin: Spend a few nights here (2 nights). That way you can see the Cliffs of Moher and then head to the Aran Islands for a day! We took the boat over to the larger island, Inis Mor and it was incredibleWe bought aran knit sweaters and biked the whole island. Definitely one of my highlights and something I don’t recommend missing!

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling SpudThe Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Stop 3: Galway. The drive from Doolin to Galway is super short as is everywhere in Ireland, but you don’t want to miss driving through the rocky Burren on your way to Galway. Here you’ll see beautiful rocky scenery and you’ll visit the Poulnabrone Dolman structure that dates back to 4200 B.C.! I also recommend visiting the Burren Perfumery for their cute tea room and perfume shop. The scenery and drive to get there is worth it. I would also recommend staying a night in Galway so you can experience the amazing nightlife and have a day to explore!
The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling SpudThe Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Stop 4: Oughterard. You can either stay here or spend another night in Galway. After this you’ll drive up the coast to get to your next stop, Kylemore Abbey (photo below). DON’T miss it. It’s magnificent. It will take a few hours to tour the grounds and Abbey and once you’ve finished here you can make your way East to drive through Clonmacnoise where you’ll visit old monasteries and castles along the way.

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Stop 5: Kildare. This is a small village full of charm! Stop here on your way to Dublin. 

Stop 6: Dublin. Make sure to spend a few days in the capital! The culture in Dublin is fascinating and you’ll want a few days here at least! I know it’s touristy, but I recommend taking the Hop on Hop off bus to see all of the sites, especially the Guinness Factory. It’s my favorite (I’ve been 2x and would go again). Definitely, check out the amazing nightlife at Temple Bar and just walk around. There’s so much to see and do! If you have extra time you can also take the train down to the water town of Bray.

More on things to do in Dublin here.

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling SpudThe Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Stop 7: Kilkenny. We didn’t spend a ton of time in Kilkenny, but it’s a great city. Make sure you stop at the Kilkenny castle while you’re here.

Stop 8: Cork. After stopping in a lot of beautiful villages it was fun to come to another bustling city. We didn’t stay here because we spent a few nights in Killarny and Kilkenny instead. Honestly, I would do it the same if I had to do again. Cork wasn’t my favorite place, but it was still fun to see. A lot of Irish people living in the U.S. are from this area of Ireland.

Stop 9: Kinsale. This was an adorable and colorful waterfront town with cute shops and fresh fish restaurants. It was great to get some fresh air and just walk around the water!

The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Stop 10: Killarny. This was my favorite stop in Ireland! The town is beautiful (kind of ritzy also).  Just outside of the city you can take a tour of the Ring of Kerry or just drive around it instead. I also recommend taking the jaunting carts through the Gap of Dunloe. This and the Ring of Kerry were major highlights of my entire Ireland trip.
The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud
The Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary | Traveling Spud

Stop 11: Shannon. And Bunratty Castle for the finale! Definitely stay in Bunratty on your final night and go to the Medieval Castle Banquet. It might sound weird and touristy and maybe it is, but it’s also AMAZING. You literally get to feast with your hands in an old castle where they serve you copious amounts of wine and the King and Queen come out to greet you! There’s also a jester and an entire medieval court with singers and dancers. You feel like you’ve stepped back in time to medieval Ireland and it’s pretty magical if you ask me!

I hope you have an amazing time on your trip to Ireland and I hope this Ultimate 2 Week Ireland Itinerary helps! Next stop: Northern Ireland!

Please comment if I missed any stops that you recommend!

READ NEXT:
20 Reasons Why You Should Roadtrip Through Ireland
Top 10 Views in Ireland
3 Days on the Causeway Coastal Route in N. Ireland
My Top 6 Belfast Highlights
Best Things to Do in London

By | 2017-07-26T07:54:01+00:00 March 22nd, 2016|April, Travel|20 Comments

About the Author:

The Traveling Spud
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 28-year-old from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.

20 Comments

  1. Gramma March 22, 2016 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Makes me want to go??? ?

  2. theStyleJungle April 10, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Wow, what an amazing tour across the country! Definitely will use some ideas, if there is an occasion to visit Ireland one day. My dream destination!

    Ksenia,
    thestylejungle.ru
    theStyleJungle recently posted…Одно из самых аристократичных мест в Москве: усадьба АрхангельскоеMy Profile

  3. Tina June 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    My husband and I are 37. Our first trip to Europe. Neither of us can drive standard. We have 2 weeks. Do you think bus would do?

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud June 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’ve heard the bus tours are great too! The only thing that’s great about a car is that you can go off the beaten path. They also have automatic cars for rent! My friends just went and they got an automatic rental and said it took about a 1/2 a day to get used to the roads and then they were fine! You’ll have so much fun no matter what you choose! 🙂

  4. Debie Dineen October 8, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Good Morning,

    Your trip looks fantastic. My husband and I will be going in June 2017 for 9 days. We arrive and leave from Shannon, and we plan on staying South West. Would you mind suggesting a loop? I definitely want to hit Kinsale (I want to stay at the Acton’s Hotel for 2 nights), Kenmare, Dingle, and Galway areas. I am just starting to learn about Ireland, but there are so many resources that my head is spinning. We are active and will be renting a car.

  5. Debie Dineen October 8, 2016 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Good Morning,

    Your trip looks fantastic. My husband and I will be going in June 2017 for 9 days. We arrive and leave from Shannon, and we plan on staying South West. Would you mind suggesting a loop? I definitely want to hit Kinsale (I want to stay at the Acton’s Hotel for 2 nights), Kenmare, Dingle, and Galway areas. I am just starting to learn about Ireland, but there are so many resources that my head is spinning. We are active and will be renting a car. Thanks

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud October 13, 2016 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Hi Debie! Sorry for the delay and thanks for reaching out! You will LOVE Ireland. I’m obsessed myself. I think you have most of the hot spots covered on your list. Remember that everything is a lot closer than it seems! We stayed in Doolin which was cute, but there wasn’t much there besides the Cliffs of Moher. I would probably drive up to Galway first after Shannon and then make my way down on the coast and go to the Cliffs, Dingle Penninsula, Killarny, Kenmare, The Gap of Dunloe (one of my highlights), Aran Islands and Kinsale!

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!
      Katie

  6. Sherry HB June 21, 2017 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I’m traveling to Ireland in September of 2017 with my son and daughter for two weeks. I have been trying to find two central points to stay at an airbnb for several nights and drive out in different directions. I’m planning on Dublin being a third stop for a couple of days.
    What areas would you consider to be central ponts?
    Thanks for your itinerary, it’s helpful to know the areas to stop at as opposed to staying at.

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud June 21, 2017 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Sherry! I would probably have Galway be a point, Dublin and then maybe somewhere in the south depending on your route? You could do Kilkenny or Cork! Hope that helps! 🙂

  7. Libby June 23, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Hi Katie! First off, your blog is fantastic, and this post is particularly helpful! I’ve finally worked up the nerve (and the cash) to do a big UK trip this October. However, I’m on a relatively tight budget; (about $6500 CAD, not including airfare, for six weeks), so I’m not renting a car. Do you think that this itinerary would work if busses and trains were substituted for a car? And this question is sort of unrelated, but do you think that is a reasonable amount to plan with? Thanks so much for all your help!

  8. Tara-lee November 20, 2017 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I am going to Ireland in May with my husband and another couple. Your itinerary is fantastic. We will be starting in Dublin as that is where we are flying in to. Would you recommend staying in Dublin a few days at the beginning of our trip or at the end? Also how many days do you think is suffice to see Dublin?

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud November 24, 2017 at 6:21 am - Reply

      Hi Tara-lee!

      I’m so glad you found it useful 🙂 I recommend staying there at the beginning of your trip just because it’s a bigger city and you might be more tired at the end of your trip to enjoy it. I would say 2-3 days should be enough. We did the hop on hop off bus and it got us through the city in a day and we explored on our own the other days.

  9. Grace December 12, 2017 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Hello !

    The itinerary looks great me and my boyfriend are looking to do something like this next year,

    I was wondering how far in advanced did you need to book day trips and the car rental ?

    And also the rough budget you had ?

    Thank you !

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud December 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Grace – I was with my family and luckily my parents paid for our expenses this time 🙂 As for our day trips, we booked a few months in advance and same with the car rental! Hope that helps 🙂

  10. Dale March 12, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Hi there, thanks for all the information! Quick question…what did you see in Oughterard? Was it just a stop-over night? Thanks much from Ottawa, Canada

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud March 27, 2018 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Yes, we mainly just used it as a stopping point so we could do day trips from there to Galway etc! 🙂

  11. Jody April 17, 2018 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Hi! This is so great, I am going in a few weeks for work but luckily have lots of time to play! I was wondering which Castles you liked the best whether it be a drive by – or a tour?

    I planned a loop from Dublin, to the Cliffs of Moher, to Tralee (work a few days), then do the Ring, following on to Cork and up through Naas and ending my trip back in Dublin.

    Any recommendations are greatly appreciated! Thanks from a fan!

  12. Natalie Kriedemann May 9, 2018 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Hello Katie

    Just came across your Ireland trip.

    We are 2 couples, planning to visit Ireland for 2 weeks. Your trip is perfect, however, we want to include a 3 day Shannon Canal boat trip……where would you suggest, from your experience, should we slot this in on the trip?

    Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    • The Traveling Spud
      The Traveling Spud June 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Oh you’re going to have so much fun! Depending on where you are flying out of, I would schedule it around there. I flew into Shannon airprot so honestly would probably do it in the beginning. But it will depend on where you are starting.

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