11.29.18

IRELAND TRAVEL GUIDE!

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

ok, i hope you save this post for travel tips because i SERIOUSLY recommend going to ireland. we both had never been and loved so much about it. the beautiful scenery, the people were so kind, the food and cocktails were great, the pubs were fun, and going in early november was perfect! we decided to pack a ton in and drive around a lot of the country so we could experience as much as possible in 4 days (which might have been extreme but i am still happy we did it because we saw so much)

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

we got to fly first class on aer lingus which was a real treat! it was fun to start our Ireland experience as soon as we got on the plane in san francisco. all of the staff was really friendly and we were able to curl up in our seats and watch movies and drink wine and really relax before hitting the ground running. they’re a global partner with alaska air which means you can use your alaska miles to book a flight to ireland! they served us scones and tea and delicious food, it really was a fun flying experience, i’d recommend it!

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
 
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

FIRST STOP: DUBLIN

a lot of people told me dublin feels really touristy. i’m sure there are parts that do, but overall i loved the vibe there. it might have been because we went in the off season so it wasn’t quite as crowded. but the streets were decorated for christmas, and there were tons of little shops and restaurants to pop into. i will just call out our favorites in each stop so you can write them down. we were also pleasantly surprised at the quality of food you get for the price in ireland!

cute lunch at hatch and sons for some stew and soda bread with butter (loved the bread everywhere we went)

we loved our dinner at the winding stair. excellent wine, cozy atmosphere with a view, and delicious food!

cocktails at the vintage cocktail club! what a treat. they truly appreciate the art of the cocktail and it feels like you have stepped back in time. we went early and didn’t need a reservation.

we also loved our dinner at fade street social. the scallops, truffle fries with bacon, yummy flatbreads…also a great street to wander around and find bars that aren’t as touristy.

the blind pig speakeasy. does it get old when a bookshelf flies open when you press a picture? not really. we spent our last night in this cave drinking cocktails and listening to live music by candlelight.

CLICK THROUGH TO SEE THE FULL GUIDE…

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

we tried out two different hotels, the dean and the dylan. the dean hotel is a boutique hotel and has a very ace hotel vibe, it’s hip with cool decor and a great rooftop bar. it is also in a great location but the only downside is that it’s very loud at night. the dylan was comfortable and in a quieter neighborhood but maybe not as “cool” as the dean. but we slept like babies there 🙂

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

on our second day (a little jetlagged) we made ourselves wake up early and hit the road. now remember we were driving on the other side of the road for us so we were pretty nervous beforehand, but it was all okay!

a few driving tips: rent an automatic SMALL car. the highways are super easy to drive on but the smaller streets get very very narrow and you do not want an SUV. i was putting in my side mirror sometimes because the brush would hit the side of the car on some of the roads. we just made sure to speak out loud a lot to get used to it, driving on the LEFT! joanie drove and i navigated and both people need to stay really aware. there are a lot of roundabouts which we aren’t as used to in the U.S. but they overall it is totally doable! once you are on a highway (motorway) you are in the clear and that is 2/3 of the drive.

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

as far as our driving route, this is what we did because we really only had 4 full days. it was a lot of driving but luckily the scenery is beautiful and it was fun. we downloaded some podcasts and books and just relaxed most of the time.

i wish we had one more day and we would have added galway (a lot of people told us to go there but we ran out of time) and maybe kinsale too. i think we probably did the max in our monday-friday span of time but you could squeeze in one more with an extra day. you could also explore northern ireland if you had a longer trip too!

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

DOOLIN

after about a 3 hour drive from dublin, we stopped in a little town called doolin. very small with some cute cottages and only a few pubs. we had a guinness (loved it in irelnd!!) chowder, and fish and chips by the fire at gus o’connors and we were pretty happy. next door is that adorable pink house with the thatched roof!

then we drove 15 mins to the cliffs of moher…

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

CLIFFS OF MOHER

harry potter and the princess bride were filmed here! they are a magical sight to see. with the fog it feels quite mysterious and almost spooky. i heard this gets pretty crowded during busy months but we just parked at the visitor center across the street, paid 8 euro each and walked across to the cliffs. we did it all in like 30 mins because it started to rain but people walk these for hours. i would say to set aside 30 mins to an hour minimum for this so you can soak it in. if it was a nice day you could spend awhile here.

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

ADARE MANOR (outside of limerick)

well this was quittteeeee the experience. we drove up at night as the castle torches sparkled and a man with a top hat smiled and directed us in. we walked inside the castle and you feel all warm inside. almost like a kid again! excited to see what is around the next corner. everything feels authentic and full of charm. it almost feels like you are in a movie! again, we went in the off season so we got a nice room for 300 euros and that included an epic breakfast buffet. i know it gets more expensive than that but honestly for a special anniversary or something it is such a worthwhile stay. the friendliest staff, the best dinner we had on the trip, the comfiest beds, a cool bar with interesting cocktails, and you are in a freaking castle!

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

DINGLE

we almost skipped this stop because we got kinda jetlagged and tired of driving…but got a coffee and pushed through. so happy we did (and everyone on instagram told us we had to) it’s a very colorful fisherman town on the coast with adorable cheese shops, bakeries, a truck with fish and chips, and fresh seafood in every other restaurant. i think it’s the perfect half day trip! try a coffee at bean in dingle, the little cheese shop, fish and chips by the water at a takeaway truck, ice cream at murphys, and just walk around and find a pub you like!

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

KILLARNEY

that night we drove to our hotel, the sheen falls lodge outside of killarney. if we had more time we would have explored the national park or the town of killarney but there is only so much time in a day. we were told to choose dingle over killarney by the majority of people we asked.

as for the hotel, it’s definitely nice. we had a delicious dinner (get the bacon burger). it’s pretty old school, traditional with some modern touches. the rooms were really large and the property sits next to this cool little waterfall overlooking the water. it sort of feels like you are in the movie the shining and it very well might be haunted, but we kinda liked that. we recommend it here, but only if you can get it for a good price. some things could have been better, but we might have just been exhausted!

get a hot toddy, read a book, and enjoy the misty weather.

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest
Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

on our last day we drove back to dublin before our flight the next morning. we stopped in this secret garden like b&b, ballyvolane house, that looked super cute to stay in if you explore the town of cork. and lunch at hanna’s fermoy with gourmet cafeteria style food and a cozy stop in before you hit the highway back to dublin!

Ireland travel guide | designlovefest

what a whirlwind! but a very gorgeous one. i definitely want to bring justin back there one day, it was so rainy and romantic. i really recommend visiting!!

a big thank you to alaska air for asking me to be one of their worldwide wonderers! it was such a treat and i feel so lucky to have gotten to explore this gorgeous part of the world. i definitely left feeling inspired by the warmth and kindness of the Irish people.

19 COMMENTS

Add your own

    Natalie says:

    It looks like you had an incredible trip – I always love your travel guides. I went to Northern Ireland a little when I was younger but I’ve never really explored the Republic, which is a real shame as it’s only a very short flight or ferry away! You’ve definitely got me thinking.

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

    Lynne says:

    Hey Bri, It looks amazing! Every time you go somewhere, then I want to go there too! I wish you would have a Netflix show that was combination travel and cooking!

    Em says:

    Yes, Bri should totally have a TV show!! 🙂

    bri says:

    you gals are sweet!

    cay says:

    Hi, love these photos! Just curious what camera you use when you travel or if they are all shot on your phone.

    bri says:

    these were photos from my phone! xx

    Patrick Diceman says:

    Hi there! I really loved reading your little blurbs and the photos. I am going to Ireland in December (from Canada). Just wondering when you rented your car, did they ask how long you have had your lisence as I know many rental places require a full license for at least 2 years.

    bri says:

    hey patrick! we rented from Budget at the Dublin Airport. They didn’t ask anything about how long we’d had our licenses but I do remember something about needing to be over 25 years old, so if you’re under I’d check with them. We weren’t thrilled with the Budget car, it wasn’t expensive but it had a check engine light that came on one day into our road trip and tire pressure issues. hope that helps!

    Riana McGovern says:

    Hey Patrick, if you have time you should do the whole west coast from County Cork to County Donegal. I’m Irish and have explored our beautiful country extensively. This really is the best part! I hope you have a great trip 😁

    Jennifer Jane says:

    Looks really cold there. The flappy clothing also looks cold and unsuitable. Get a better camera because the photos are crap and do nothing to entice people.

    bri says:

    haha THANKS!

    Shelly says:

    Is she for real?

    Beautiful guide, would love to go to Ireland! Such beautiful views!

    x
    StephC

    https://sstephcc.blogspot.com/

    Eva says:

    I love this post! We did exact trip last year in November but your accommodations were much nicer than ours. Love your recommendations and the photos are a great reminder of all we saw. Thanks!

    I’m glad you had such fun – I’m from Dublin and it’s always so interesting to me to read how tourists see our country. Lots more to do and see, so come back again soon!

    Rebecca | http://www.peppermintdolly.com

    Casey says:

    This looks like it was such a fun trip! I really appreciate how detailed your travel tips are. Thanks for sharing!

    Jade says:

    I love your photos. they are just so great. I’ve been meaning to get myself out to Ireland (in particular Dublin) but i love seeing all those other places too. I want to go to that sweater shop especially. It look so cute!

    Jade | https://www.jadesouk.com

    cebu beaches says:

    I love this post! Love your photos, they are just so great and stunning to look at! Thanks for this awesome post. I love your bonnet too hehe

    Regards,
    Zane | Cebu Tours

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