20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Kylemore Abbey

  Kylemore Abbey   On our second day in Connemara, after a stressful 4 hour drive from Dublin straight to County Galway (where we may or may not have run off the road several times), we skipped setting an alarm and slept in until almost 10. The king bed at Rosleague Manor was heavenly, the […]

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[…] 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Kylemore Abbey […]

[…] 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Kylemore Abbey […]

[…] Galway: Visiting Kylemore Abbey, Ireland’s Most Beautiful […]

[…] Galway: Visiting Kylemore Abbey, Ireland’s Most Beautiful […]

[…] Manor is conveniently located to local sights, including the seaside village of Cliffden, majestic Kylemoore Abbey, wild Connemara National Park and the remote Sky Drive. We stopped by each but heavy rain on the […]

Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal Factory in Ireland

One of the best things to do in Waterford, Ireland is visit the House of Waterford Crystal for a guided tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory! Here are lots of photos and a look at what the tour entails!

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[…] Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal […]

[…] Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal […]

[…] Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal […]

[…] Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal […]

[…] can read my in-depth post here or book tickets online […]

[…] Waterford Crystal is headquartered in duh, Waterford! They offer a really fun guided tour that I highly recommend. You can read more about the crystal and tour in this post here. […]

[…] Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal […]

[…] Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal […]

[…] Visiting the House of Waterford Crystal […]

The Perfect Ireland Itinerary & Road Trip

My Ireland travel guide!

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MikeNovember 8, 2017 - 2:15 pm

Hey Sher, great write-up…very comprehensive. I agree, Ireland was never really tops on my list either, but I’m so glad I had a chance to go. I love it when a place exceeds my expectations. How did you do with the driving? Did you fall in love with Tyson at Roseleauge?

SherNovember 8, 2017 - 2:19 pm

Ha I wrote about our experiencing with the driving in this post.

It ended up being fine so now I want to road trip Scotland! The main thing I found strange was how you had to pay inside at the gas station, there would also be like empty parked cars while everyone waited to pay ha!

I read your Tyson story – loved the interview with Mark! Funny enough I wrote my post about Rosleague last night.. will be publishing it in a couple weeks :) Which was your favorite of the blue book properties?

The GuestbooksNovember 13, 2017 - 8:37 am

Love this post! I’ve always wanted to do a trip to Ireland so this is so much food for thought and really comprehensive! I’m based in Dubai at the moment but definitely one for the bucket list when I’m based in the UK again. Thanks for sharing all your tips! : )

[…] the planning process, we looked at Auto Europe to get an idea of all the car rental agencies available in Ireland and […]

[…] nearly 3 weeks in Ireland driving all around the country, our road trip was complete! As an American, driving on the left in Ireland certainly took some […]

[…] We stayed at the Killarney Royal, a charming, boutique hotel conveniently located in the centre of town. The hotel has been family owned for over 3 generations and was originally a townhouse, so all the rooms are slightly different and feature antique furnishing. We loved how spacious and luxurious our room was – easily the largest hotel room we stayed in during our trip to Ireland! […]

[…] Photo courtesy of Sher from Sher She Goes […]

[…] to see more amazing stops like Connemara? Check out this great Ireland itinerary by Sher She […]

[…] This Northern Ireland self driving tour is circular and it starts and ends in Belfast. Ideally you would spend two nights in Belfast, either split (one at the start and one at the finish) or both together at the beginning. We then suggest stopping for an overnight somewhere halfway like Ballintoy or Bushmills. Finally, you would spend a night or two in Derry before returning to Belfast or going south into the Republic of Ireland. […]

[…]  Read more:  7 Stops to Include on Your Irish Road Trip […]

[…] Ireland is the best place to take a week or two and explore, if you’re interested check out this Ireland Itinerary. […]

[…] structures and ancient burial tombs. This makes it a great hotel to stay at for anyone looking to road trip Ireland and drive through the Wild Atlantic […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

DonnaFebruary 14, 2018 - 8:31 am

Hi Sher: Love all your articles! We are budget travelers, but would like to splurge 1 night to stay in a castle or another luxury type accommodation. Do you have a suggestion for one that will accommodate 4 per room? We’re open to any location at this point as we are still working on our itinerary for 8-9 days. I looked at Gregan’s Castle and it appears we would have to get 2 rooms there which would be out of our budget even for a splurge! Thanks for all the great info!

SherFebruary 14, 2018 - 1:57 pm

Hi Donna! Thanks for the kind words. Yes – I would definitely recommend splurging a night in one of Ireland’s cool castle hotels. Have you seen my post on the list here?

Hm, I’m not sure if they have room for 4 at Gregans, perhaps you could email them to ask if one of their suites could accommodate? Gregans is a more cozy house. If you can’t get rooms there, I would still recommend making a dinner reservation. It was very good!

At Rosleague, in Connemara, the rooms are HUGE and they might be able to fit 4.

In Killarney there’s lots of options for bigger parties. We had 4 of us in a loft style room at Old Weir Lodge for incredibly affordable rates.. I think we each paid around $30/night but this was also off season. I wouldn’t say it’s luxury but definitely very comfortable.

We also stayed at the Killarney Royal in one of their corner rooms which had 2 queen size beds and I’m sure 4 would be comfortable there.

If I went back to Ireland I would love to stay at Adare Manor or Ashford. Both are pricey (depending on the season) but they seem like once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Falconry, boating, archery, golf etc. Adare opened right after my trip ended but we saw the outside renderings and it looks FAB. Ashford books out months in advance, even in the off season. They also have a cottage on the grounds which are converted into rooms, I believe those are cheaper and you still get to experience the castle + grounds.

I will say in general the Irish are very hospitable and friendly. We made a mistake one night and booked a last minute room in Dingle which only came with a twin (there were 2 of us). It was meant for a single. They were very nice at the front desk and didn’t force us to upgrade rooms. Instead, they added in an extra cot / rollaway bed.

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

SavannahMarch 30, 2018 - 3:56 pm

Hi!! This was an amazing guide!
I was wondering what your opinion on staying at one hotel in Dublin for the duration of the trip and taking multiple day trips to certain sights?! It seems to be less expensive and less stressful than trying to find a bunch of different hotels, but I also don’t want to miss anything since this is a once in a lifetime thing! Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

SherMarch 31, 2018 - 10:25 am

Hi Savannah – glad the guide was helpful! Hm, so do you mean you don’t plan to rent a car? If that’s the case then yes, a great way to see Ireland is to base yourself in Dublin and do day trips. Dublin is on the northeast of the Republic of Ireland and a lot of the famous sights are on the western coast, so it will be a bit of a longer drive. It’ll also probably be much more expensive than if you rented a car to drive around Ireland on your own and Dublin hotels tend to be much more expensive than in other cities. But, a guided tour will take care of all your transportation! so, there’s pros and cons :)

[…] 7 Stops to Include on the Perfect Ireland Itinerary – Sher She Goes […]

[…] 7 Stops to Include on the Perfect Ireland Itinerary – Sher She Goes […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

[…]  Read more:  7 Stops to Add to Your Ireland Itinerary […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

Kasey BuchingerMarch 7, 2019 - 12:46 pm

This is the best itinerary of an Ireland trip I have read yet! Thank you so much. I traveling with children (3.5 years and 8 months) is there any of the stops that you would recommend NOT going to? Or ones that you would recommend on adding? I often wear the baby in a carrier, so needing to use a stroller is not necessary.

Thanks in advance.

SherMarch 7, 2019 - 1:48 pm

Hi Kasey,

Thanks so much for the kind words!! I am actually planning to head back to Ireland this year!

Hm… So let me preface this by saying I don’t have kids so I may not aware of all the do’s & don’ts for young children. I would suggest spending less time in Dublin, which is most popular for its bars, and seeing the countryside. I think kids would like Dingle, with the dolphin, boat tours and the Slea Head drive is very beautiful. Skip Minard Castle, it is a long drive and they are ruins, not a still standing & furnished castle like Kilkenny. The town of Kilkenny is nice too.

Kerry is probably very kid friendly. The town center is very cute, lots of shopping, great food + ice cream, Killarney park is beautiful and kids probably like the horse buggy rides. If you have time, pop over to Wexford and the Irish National Heritage Park – the park itself is a open air museum, and then they have some excellent activities you can book like falconry, archery, dressing up like Vikings, etc. I wrote some more about it here, and you can check out their Youtube channel to get a feel for it.

Hope that helps!

KApril 1, 2019 - 10:19 am

Thank you so much for this! Just a quick 1uestion re Itinerary…Does the number of days include the previous days’ plans? I.e. for the 5 day itinerary, is the idea that you’d do the itinerary for days 3 and 4 as well? (i.e. Dublin, Newgrange, Howth, Galway, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara Galway)? Thank you!

SherApril 1, 2019 - 1:11 pm

Hi! It’s flexible depending on how many days you have and whether or not you’ll be renting a car! If you have 3-4 days, I would recommend staying in Dublin and taking a day trip or two :)

TCLeeApril 19, 2019 - 6:36 pm

Thank you so much for this post. We will be first time overseas travelers with a “once in a lifetime” trip next year. It’s a 2 week trip and we are hoping to see as much as we can. You gave me some feedback initially when we were thinking of taking a Viking Cruise. We’ve changed our minds and are now looking at Ireland, England, and Germany. Do you think we could see enough of Ireland in 4 days? Dublin looks great but we aren’t as interested in the bigger ‘cities’ so we are thinking only 1 day there. After I mapped out your recommendations, it looks like we would be most interested in the Galway/Clare areas. Thinking maybe we fly into that side of the island and out of Dublin to England. Interested in how many days you think we would need to see Kylemore/Clifden/Connemara Park/Aran Island/Mohr/Bunratty Castle?

SherApril 19, 2019 - 6:53 pm

Hi! You can see a lot of Ireland in 4 days, but you’d probably need to rent a car (and be comfortable driving on the left). I don’t think Galway has its own airport, so you have to check for the closest airport + factor in driving time.

Aran Island would be a full day trip.
Connemara you could drive through or you could spend all day hiking and exploring.
Kylemore Abbey might still be under construction, in which case, just a couple hours (it’s mainly the garden as the castle was under renovation when I visited)
The Clifden drive is beautiful – it would take maybe a couple hours.
Galway would be nice to spend a day in, we just drove through and had lunch. Galway is a smaller city and known for its pubs so if you like nightlife you could spend the night.

It depends on how long you want to linger in each place, and the driving. Typically what do is I add all the destinations I want to see in Google Maps and use their driving distance as a benchmark. The roads in Ireland are very narrow, and we were unused to driving on the left, so I’d add 30-45 minutes longer to the Google Maps driving estimates.

At a quick glance, I’d estimate 5 days at minimum for the places you listed, and 6-7 if you wanted to take it leisurely? Hope that helps!

[…] As great as Dublin is, Ireland is much more than only Dublin. If you have time to include other destinations have a look at this incredible Ireland itinerary! […]

IsabelleMay 11, 2019 - 11:25 am

Hi! I live your Ireland pages, but I wish your pictures were labeled. They are all so nice! :)

Tracey JonesMay 22, 2019 - 6:21 am

I am going to visit Ireland month of June 19, and these tips are very helpful for me before landing there. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips <3

Sherry McCoshJune 4, 2019 - 12:27 pm

You failed to mention The Quiet Man in your list of films! The best movie ever made. Cong was the filming location. If you haven’t seen this movie yet it is a must see!! John Wayne at this best.

kit simmonsJune 9, 2019 - 7:53 am

Can you recommend which areas to begin and end on a 4 night country trip. Leave from Dublin on Tues AM. Spend Tue/Wed/Thur/Friday night in country. Picked these areas:

Doolin – Doolin Inn or Limestone Lodge? Cliff Walk/Caves
Clifden –
Cong – Ashord Lodge
What is best base for Connemara National Park area – want beautiful scenery

Don’t know where to go first. Dublin to Doolin, night in Doolin. Doolin to Clifden night in Clifden. Clifden to Cong 2 nights Cong then home to Dublin. Can you recommend a better itinerary. 2 Teenage boys in tow. First time in Ireland. Thanks.

Help please. Hope for somewhat relaxing trip.

SherJune 10, 2019 - 5:41 pm

Hi Kit,

For the best route, plug in all the stops you want to make in Google Maps and then order your itinerary by the most efficient driving route. That’s what we did, and I recommend trying to keep driving to no more than 2.5 hours a day if you can.

Haven’t been to Doolin!

Ashford Lodge is gorgeous, you will love it. They have lots of add on activities like salmon fishing, golfing, archery, falconry etc which kids would enjoy.

We stayed in Clifden and Delphi Mountain in Connemara. Both were great, but slightly different experiences. Clifden is closer to Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey. We stayed at Rosleague – fabulous hotel, great service but slightly older clientele. Our review post is here if you want more photos.

Delphi Mountain Lodge was our second overnight. The hotel is more of a casual hunting lodge style and they sit on 1,000 acres so pretty scenery and also add-on activities. We tried ziplining and archery, very fun. Some more photos of that on our Facebook, here.

Hope that helps!

How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!)

Driving in Ireland means renting a car and driving on the left! It’s a nerve wracking experience but by sharing these tips, I hope you’ll be able to self drive your way throughout Ireland and have an amazing vacation!

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JadeNovember 7, 2017 - 10:46 pm

This was such a super helpful post! I had a good giggle at some of the things that seemed so odd to you. Driving in Australia is almost the same as Ireland by the sounds of it (drive on the left-hand side of the road but sitting on the right-hand side of the car, paying for fuel by the litre and leaving the car to pay inside). These all seem like everyday things to me that I never think that not everyone has these same experiences! I remember just thinking about hiring a car in the US but the thought of driving on the wrong side of the road had me chicken out and also I couldn’t figure out how the gas prices worked hahaha

Awesome post though and super informative! x

SherNovember 8, 2017 - 11:33 am

you should definitely do a U.S. road trip! you’ll pick up driving on the “right side” (get it, haha) in no time. A funny thing about U.S. gas stations – I’m from New Jersey originally and I think we’re one of the only states where we have gas attendants, literally people who pump your gas for you – so the first time I had to pump my own gas I was completely lost ha!

[…] In my opinion, the best way to tour Ireland is by self driving. Ideally, plan an Ireland itinerary for enough days to cover a full circularly loop around the island, so that you get to experience a bit of scenery from the Wild Atlantic Way and the rich culture of Ireland’s Ancient East. It’s best to rent a car and self drive so you have the freedom to stop and go as you wish. If you’re hesitant to drive on the left, I wrote about our experience driving in Ireland here. […]

[…] opt for the former because they charge you double the price of fuel and as I mentioned in my Driving in Ireland post, fuel is already expensive in Ireland! Also, car rental agencies won’t give you a credit for left […]

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

[…] Geographically, Gregans Castle Hotel occupies a unique position in Ballyvaughan Village. 30 minutes in one direction is the Cliffs of Moher and the crashing waves of the Atlantic ocean. In the opposite direction, is the Burren, a bleak, barren landscape with neolithic structures and ancient burial tombs. This makes it a great hotel to stay at for anyone looking to road trip Ireland and drive through the Wild Atlantic Way. […]

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

NikkiDecember 2, 2017 - 2:33 pm

I liked your Harry Potter reference first off.
Secondly, these are wonderful tips and I appreciate you sharing your experiences. My husband claims he can drive anything, and we will find out in 3 years when we go to Ireland for our anniversary! Lol
Thanks for sharing!!

SherDecember 2, 2017 - 3:41 pm

haha YES i’m glad you noticed it. have a great time!! you guys will totally be fine, i think i was just extra nervous because I live in NYC and barely drive even on the right!

[…] history and so much more, I never wanted to leave Dublin; besides, I was a little scared of the driving in Ireland. During my stay, I was able to  drink like an Irishman at Marlborough Hostel, discover the story […]

[…]  Read more:  Quick Tips to Master Driving on the Left […]

[…] to stay in Killarney for an extra night and then drive straight to Dublin Airport to fly out. After driving on Ireland’s roads, we realized this plan was way too ambitious, since it meant we would need to get up very early and […]

[…] Slea Head Drive is a magnificent circular route around the Dingle Peninsula and part of the Wild Atlantic Way. The drive both starts and ends in Dingle with clearly marked signs along the road. We plugged in ‘Slea Head’ into google maps and found it quite easy to navigate without maps or GPS! […]

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

Don't Skip Wexford Ireland - Here's WhyJanuary 28, 2018 - 7:01 am

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

HeleneMay 5, 2018 - 3:34 am

I’m French and I find this very helpful ! A bit afraid for our first driving day as we are collecting the car in central Dublin… man…
Very nice blog too !

SherMay 5, 2018 - 12:29 pm

Ha, nice to know it’s not just the Americans who are unused to it :) Have a great trip Helene!

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

[…] How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!) […]

7 Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland (Beware #6)

    What to Know Before Renting a Car in Ireland   I knew I wanted to self drive part of our vacation to Ireland, but it took some convincing to get my mom on board. While we love travel and take quite a few trips internationally, we hardly do road trips. Ireland is one […]

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LizzieNovember 12, 2017 - 4:32 pm

Great post! I definitely agree, especially about getting a smallish car for Ireland. Those roads are so narrow!!!!

[…] decided to put together a quick recap of our entire experience, from hiring a rental car in Ireland to driving throughout our road trip. Hopefully this will help you with your Ireland vacation […]

All the Best Food We Ate in Ireland!November 18, 2017 - 4:55 pm

[…] 7 Useful Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland […]

[…] 7 Useful Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland […]

Hiking the Gap of DunloeNovember 28, 2017 - 9:44 pm

[…] an outing through Gap of Dunloe Tours. Another great way to see this stunning area would be to rent a car in Ireland. That way, you can stop and take in all the stunning vistas along the way. My husband John and I […]

[…] Ireland is a haven of natural beauty waiting to be explored. Anyone visiting this beautiful nation would be crazy to not want to head out and hit the open country roads in search of this beauty that can be found around every corner. If you need any more convincing that exploring Ireland by car is the best way to get around, check out this post that highlights some useful tips on car rental in the Emerald Isle. […]

Postcard From... IrelandDecember 12, 2017 - 3:00 pm

[…] places to visit in Ireland via Teacake Travels. And if you’re headed to Ireland check out this fab guide to renting a car in Ireland for some really useful […]

[…] railroad really opened up tourism to the area by providing an easy access route. As I mentioned in this post, it can be quite difficult to get around Ireland if you’re relying solely on public transport, […]

[…] need an automatic. You can also pick up and drop off in different cities. I have an in-depth post here covering everything you need to know about renting a car in Ireland, with helpful information […]

[…] we wanted to be cautious. The clouds were quite dark and stormy and we had nightmares of our tiny red rental car being blown into the […]

[…] Atlantic Coast from Kinsale in County Cork to the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal. We rented a car and drove a good portion of the Wild Atlantic Way, what […]

[…] 7 Useful Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland […]

[…] its gloomy glory and so long as you dress appropriately for the unpredictable Irish weather and rent your own car, you’ll have the freedom to stop and go as the rain […]

[…] 7 Useful Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland […]

[…] Atlantic Coast from Kinsale in County Cork to the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal. We rented a car and drove a good portion of the Wild Atlantic Way, what […]

[…] 7 Useful Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland […]

DennieApril 18, 2018 - 10:39 am

Thanks for the tips about renting a car in Ireland. I just called my Mastercard and they stated that they offer full coverage and will be sending me documentation to bring along with me.

Unfortunately, I’ve read that there are some car companies in Ireland that may reject it still so you might have to go somewhere else which isn’t always an option if you’ve shopped around for a deal and especially if you have to get going.

SherApril 18, 2018 - 6:57 pm

Hi Dennie – Great! So glad you were able to use your Mastercard too. We used Hertz (it was the cheapest at the time we went) and while the counter guy was sketchy – he tried hard to upsell us – they did accept the letter and provide full coverage. Not sure about other car companies in Ireland but I’ve generally heard good things about Conns and Dooley’s, which seem like family run local businesses. Can try calling or emailing them to confirm?

DennieApril 23, 2018 - 11:03 am

Thanks for the heads up about Dooley. They seem to be the only car company which not only has a decent reputation but a glowing one in Ireland. I’m doing my research and it seems every other company there has a dozen or more horror stories/reviews attached to them.

Fabio M.May 9, 2018 - 8:16 am

Actually interesting finding these tips all together. Another thing I’d say is to be aware of aggregator websites that show you cars from other rentals at a cheaper price, offering their own insurance, because it looks frequent that when you reach the front desk they’ll tell you that insurance is not valid and you’ll need to pay for another one.

SherMay 9, 2018 - 2:05 pm

Hi Fabio – glad you found it helpful and thanks for the tip! Totally agree insurance is the tricky issue. We were lucky enough to do research before and find that our credit card fully covered the insurance. The salesman did try to trick us about adding on other things but accepted it!

JamesMay 25, 2018 - 11:55 am

Wow those pictures look INCREDIBLE! And of course, thanks for the great tips.

Pam RJuly 6, 2018 - 1:39 pm

Can I ask what credit card you used.

SherJuly 6, 2018 - 4:56 pm

Hi Pam – sure, we used the Citi AAdvantage mastercard. I’m not sure if the card is still around, but it’s super handy! no foreign transaction fees, earns American Airlines miles and it covered our rental insurance.

[…] and my favorite backpack of the moment for my trip to Ireland. But, we rented a small car to self drive around the Emerald Isle and there definitely isn’t much room in these mini cars for luggage so try to pack light! We had […]

KarlAugust 26, 2018 - 8:15 pm

You mentioned you’d recommend your credit card, but I didn’t see where it said which company you had your card with?

We are planning a family trip to Ireland next year, so should be interesting. (Definitely going to be spendy for a vehicle that holds all 6 of us.)

thanks for your article.

DennieAugust 27, 2018 - 9:42 am

Karl, I just came back from Ireland in June and I used SherSheGoes’s suggestions and my Capital One Mastercard which has a lot of travel coverage including rental car insurance.

Note: The car rental companies will charge you €30 for using your card’s coverage and if there is any damage they will charge you and leave it up to you to settle things with your credit card company. Also, expect another €40 in administrative fees and they’ll charge you for the full tank which you can settle up with them at the end. Our car’s full tank cost €74.

I’ve never paid more to rent a car than in Ireland but with that being said it was absolutely worth it and Ireland is beautiful and was made to be explored by car. Also, people are not joking when they say that the roads are narrow. We rented a Toyota Corolla which in the US is a small car but it felt very wide on small Irish roads which were barely wider than the width of the car. Try and get the smallest car that you can possibly manage.

SherAugust 28, 2018 - 5:10 pm

Hi Karl – Dennie was helpful to chime in! I used my Citi AAdvantage Mastercard, and have heard from others that recently Chase Sapphire provides Ireland car rental coverage (at the time of my trip, they did not). Best to call the number on the back of each of your credit cards and speak to customer service to confirm! Start with any Mastercards you may have – in my experience, Visa cards are a no-go for Ireland + Italy car rental protection.

What time of year are you all visiting? If you can, try to visit off season. We went in October and because it was past the peak season, our rental price was not bad. You just have to be OK with the temporary insurance hold, and bring an extra credit card that has no foreign fees for daily purchases. Might actually be better to rent 2 small cars for 6 people, since the roads are soooo narrow!

Jeffery SearcyAugust 28, 2018 - 8:55 pm

Just tried the discount code for KnowRoaming and its expired. Thank you for all the good advice though :)

SherAugust 29, 2018 - 10:12 am

Hi Jeffery – Thanks for letting me know! Let me double check it..

MelodiSeptember 4, 2018 - 8:56 pm

Hi Sher,

Fantastic and extremely helpful post, thank you! I just had a questi on on the US pre-clearance at the airport when returning to the US. How, do you actually do it? Is there somewhere in the airport we need to complete this?

SherSeptember 4, 2018 - 9:09 pm

Hi Melodi, the Dublin airport has a separate section to guide you through pre clearance. You don’t have to do anything special – when you check in for your flight as usual, they will know by your ticket that you’re headed to the US so you just follow the airport signs for “US Pre Clearance”. It’s straightforward once you’re there! Basically, they just have you go through security twice and section off the room.

MelodiSeptember 5, 2018 - 7:49 am

Thank you so much for your quick response & all the info in your blogs, I’ve read then all.

JerrySeptember 25, 2018 - 12:39 pm

Excellent and very helpful info. Thanks so much! My wife and I are going over to Ireland for our 30th anniversary in 2 weeks. This info will be very helpful.
Thanks again
Jerry
Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Don't Skip Wexford Ireland - Here's WhySeptember 30, 2018 - 9:37 am

[…] 7 Useful Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland […]

SlainteNovember 12, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Something that may be of benefit to people who will want to use the car hire cdw.

If booking from the US, rates quoted are exclusive of cdw (adding at counter is about €25/d) which still has a reduced deductible.
If you ring direct to a location, they can quote inclusive of cdw which will be cheaper than adding it in at the desk.

Larger vehicle’s have higher daily rates on insurance, so more to save if you need insurance ringing direct

Diesel comparing to unleaded fuel normally doubles your range per tank, dieselon average is 10c/ltr cheaper at the pump, so if driving alot it may be worth it.

And if your booking bigger cars/suv’s some cards do not cover them.

SherNovember 12, 2018 - 2:54 pm

Hi Dermot – appreciate your tips!

Yes, CDW is an extra cost on most quotes so it’s important to confirm how much the car will cost with CDW as well as the deductible cost. For us, we were able to benefit from our US credit card and waive insurance altogether, although I know not everyone can take advantage of this.

For diesel vs unleaded, we booked a small car with unleaded fuel. They did try to upsell us on diesel when we got to the car rental counter, but for our trip (1 week driving a full loop Dublin to Dublin), the fuel cost savings weren’t worth the cost of the upgrade. I’m sure it could be for those who need a bigger car!

JulieJanuary 3, 2019 - 8:16 am

With gas prices and the extra fees with the rental cars, would you say it’s still cheaper to drive yourself than take all the tours?

SherJanuary 3, 2019 - 10:26 am

Hi Julie – it depends! Tours are really convenient, because they take care of literally everything, but if you want to have the freedom to stop by the side of the road for photos, or linger in one spot and rush through others, you can’t do that, you have to stick to the schedule.

With rental cars, you have to be OK with the potential for damage, insurance, + driving on the left… but you get to explore a LOT more of Ireland and go off the beaten path. You can also stay overnight in cities besides Dublin!

As far as pricing, it depends what time of year you’re visiting and how long you have to spend. If you are visiting Ireland for 5 days or less, I’d say just fly in to Dublin, explore the capital and take day trips + tours. If you have 2 weeks or more, it’s probably cheaper and nicer to rent a car! So not a cut and dry answer, but I hope that helps!

DennieJanuary 3, 2019 - 11:06 am

Hi Julie,

My wife and I went to Ireland in May for about 10 days and we rented a car and highly recommend doing so because it’s a gorgeous country that is made for exploring.

We got to see Dublin, Kilkenny, New Ross, Hook Head lighthouse/peninsula, Kenmare, Ring of Kerry (and all sites along), Skellig Michael, Killarney (national park and all nearby areas of interest), Limerick and Cliffs of Moher. It was amazing and would not have been possible without a car.

You just have to be prepared to pay more for a rental car than you’ve probably ever paid before. Also, people are not kidding when they say get the smallest car possible. Even a compact Toyota Corolla seemed like a big car on many Irish roads.

SherJanuary 3, 2019 - 11:07 am

Hi Dennie – Thanks so much for chiming in and sharing your experience! :)

Lynette GardnerFebruary 16, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Hi Sher,
We have a trip planned in June to Ireland and Scotland. There will be 7 of us going (6 Adults, 1 child). I am seeing on here that everyone is recommending the smallest vehicle. Would it be better for us to rent 2 cars for our group? I would also like to know if anyone has any advice on taking/driving the rental car from Ireland to Scotland? We have a home of a friend that we are staying at in Ireland, so we have a base and will be doing trips from there. It is located in Enniscrone, and we are flying into Shannon. Would appreciate any advice from you and others on the best thing to do for rental cars.

SherFebruary 16, 2019 - 1:29 pm

Hi Lynette,

Hm.. With 7 people, you could do either a van or 2 cars. I would check rental rates to see the price difference. I do think a smaller car is much easier to navigate, because the roads are often very narrow, but you may be more comfortable with driving than we are and like traveling as a group.

We used Kerry Coaches on a different trip to Ireland, we had 7 of us + the driver and they have some really comfy vans. Nice seats, lots of room inside and mini tables. You can inquire with them, if you want to have everyone together and prefer not to drive at all.

I’m not 100% certain about crossing international borders. I would guess that it is not allowed or carries a very hefty fee, but double check with the company you are renting from. Especially with Brexit going on… it may be tricky.

ken prichardMarch 12, 2019 - 1:42 pm

don’t forget to pay your M50 tolls 3.10 euros at most gas stations or else the rental company will tack on additional fees to cover their fees to M50 toll road services… like 2.00 more each way!!! Hertz rent a car actually charges you directly when you bring the car back …it’s a little bit more than 3.10 not much more but you’ll feel secure known it’s paid and you don’t have to inconvenience yourself at gas stations here and there and most likely you’ll forget! and see it on your visa bill…

julieMarch 14, 2019 - 10:43 am

Very helpful post! Thank you! So which rental company did you use? We use the same card you use, AA MC, and have rented all over the world with it. and never get the insurance from the rental agency. Just need to figure out who to book thru that will accept that we ARE covered by our card and not force us to buy the damn scam insurance. Can any one give me suggestions? We’ve had a great experience with SIXT in Portugal, but their UK office is unable to give us quote without the CDW.

SherMarch 14, 2019 - 12:48 pm

Hi Julia – I think we used Hertz. We got price quotes from all the car rental companies online and just went with the least expensive really. Just make sure to call the customer service # for your cc, verify that they cover Ireland and get the document in writing so you can present it at the car rental counter.

[…] 32 counties in the Republic of Ireland, the best way to explore is by hopping in a car and tackling the left. From Dublin, head west to the legendary Wild Atlantic Way, famous for its […]

Sean RigganApril 8, 2019 - 2:04 am

We’re getting ready to go to Ireland next month (Late May 2019). Any recommendations for specific car rental companies to use (or avoid)? Have you ever considered “Turo”? As I’ve researched the specifics of renting a (5-7 passenger) car in Ireland, I’m getting the sense that it’s something of a free for all/cash grab. Am worried about having a reservation ahead of time, and then arriving to find that the rental deal/contract isn’t as represented (and as a foreigner, not sure what recourse is available while standing in an airport…)
This is definitely different that renting a car back in the USA!
Thank you!
Sean R.

SherApril 8, 2019 - 1:05 pm

Hi Sean – I don’t have a recommendation for a company in particular (I used Hertz and I see lots of people recommend a local company called Conn’s). I just went with what was cheapest.

Rates depend on the season so yes in peak season things will definitely be more expensive. Have you looked into 2 small cars? That could be a lot more affordable and easier to navigate since the roads in Ireland are SO narrow compared to the US.

For us, picking up the car was an experience. They heavily tried to upsell us, you just have to come prepared (if you have your own insurance via a credit card) and stay firm. Read all the fine print and it should be ok.

For drop off, we had trouble finding the right place since it was different from the pick up (at dublin airport). But the actual drop off process was straightforward and we didn’t have any issues. I have heard some people get charged for dings and damage, so you could protect yourself by taking photos of existing damage at pick and/or taking a video of the car when you drop off.

Have a great time!

ShayApril 12, 2019 - 2:20 pm

Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me how toll roads work with a rental car. Are we allowed to use them? A few of the roads we will be traveling on have tolls and the ones without are like 45 mins to an hour longer.

SherApril 12, 2019 - 3:06 pm

Hi Shay.

Sure! Double check with the company you’re renting from, but our experience was that generally the renter is responsible for all toll payments. Make sure to have cash on you for the toll, since we found that not all of Ireland’s toll booths will accept credit cards.

There’s one specific toll that’s different. Between Junction 6 and Junction 7 on the Dublin M50 motorway (its the main highway that surrounds Dublin and you’ll drive through it if picking up or dropping off at the airport), there is no toll barrier or tolling booth so no cash payment. The car license plate is photographed and billed as you drive on the road (you’ll see a giant purple sign).

Depending on what agency you rent with, they may pay the M50 toll upfront, or tell you that you are responsible for paying it. Our rental companies paid it upfront and added the toll charge to our final bill without any extra fees.

It’s easier if the car rental company has registered the car for the toll and pays it directly. If they expect you to pay it, you create an account on eFlow and pay the fine online. You have up until 8pm on the day after you passed through the toll in order to pay, before they assess hefty fines. You can check out the eFlow website for more info.

Ask your rental car company how they will handle the M50 toll. FYI – some will charge you not only the cost of the toll (~3 euro), but also an “administrative” fee that can be as high as high as 100% of the toll.

Hope that helps!

ChrisApril 17, 2019 - 2:39 pm

Hi there. I’m planning to rent a car for a trip to Ireland in June ’19. Every place I look tells me an International Driver’s Permit is required for drivers outside of the EU. May I ask when you took your trip? Perhaps the rules have changed since then. Also, current cost estimates through AutoEurope, including second driver fee and no deductible CDW, are looking like 500-600 USD. Does this sound reasonable? Low? High? We just don’t want too many surprises at the rental counter.

Thanks and great article!
– Chris

SherApril 18, 2019 - 12:41 am

Hi Chris! Hm, that’s really odd. Where did you read that you would need an International Driver’s Permit?

The rules haven’t changed. US citizens can drive in Ireland as a tourist for up to 12 months. I double checked the US embassy website here for confirmation but you can also call the rental company in Ireland to doubly confirm.

Auto Europe is great at aggregating prices, but try comparing the rental you’re looking at directly with the rental car company. It can sometimes be cheaper going direct.

It’s hard to say whether the price quoted to you is “fair” since it depends on so many things – the type of car + car size, duration, drop off + pick up, time of year, demand etc. I did find that Ireland rentals are pricey but for us, it was worth the cost after we planned our itinerary and weighed the pros and cons.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by “no deductible CDW” – do you mean you are including CDW in the quote, or that you plan to waive CDW and use your credit card’s coverage? You can save money on the car rental price if you have a credit card that will cover Ireland car rentals. That’s probably the main cost savings.. otherwise demand among tourists is pretty high from May – September, which keeps prices high.

I think you will have a great time regardless. Have a great trip!

PamApril 22, 2019 - 1:48 pm

Hi,
Is it possible to rent electric cars in Ireland?

SherApril 22, 2019 - 3:03 pm

Hi Pam, not sure but I don’t think so!

deanjApril 26, 2019 - 7:26 am

Hi,
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! :) I traveled to Ireland for almost three weeks and it was an awesome trip. I rented a car through Dooley car rentals and it was a very reasonable trip for me. The main reason for renting a car is freedom. You’ll be able to travel on your own schedule and at your own pace.

PatMay 3, 2019 - 10:10 am

Hi Sher,
I just found your blog, when I searched for “renting a car in Rreland” I went 2 years ago and got stung with paying for the car insurance, which doubled the price from 450 to $900 for a week. I followed your great advice, my Chase Freedom Visa card was covered, they forward you to the Benefits Administrator, who then provided me with an email stating the CDW coverage. You just saved me a lot of money on my upcoming trip. That’s a great blog you have, keep it up!
Cheers,
-Pat

SherMay 6, 2019 - 9:53 am

Hi Pat – I’m so glad my post was useful and that you had a great time in Ireland! And thanks so much for letting me know that the Chase Freedom now covers Irish car rentals. That’s amazing!

Dan DooleyJune 9, 2019 - 1:12 pm

There’s a new fuel in Ireland called gaoth. You can find it in most open spaces around the coastline and if you fill up you’ll get from Kerry to donegal on a full tank of the stuff. You just need the right vehicle, locals use tractors. 😜