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St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle

11 days Special Event, Shorter Stays
On this adventure through the Emerald Isle, you’ll see that even the oldest traditions continue to thrive. There’s no better time to discover the country’s vibrant spirit than during St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Kick off your tour in Ireland’s capital city, where you’ll take in historic sights and join the locals at the legendary St. Patrick’s Day parade. Then, take off to discover the ins and outs of this charming country, from “The Rebel County” to the breathtaking Ring of Kerry.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including cobblestone streets and paved roads, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Ireland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

Dublin 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in, then set out on a tour of Ireland’s capital city with a local expert leading the way.

• Pass St. Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square

• Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Later, join your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Today is yours to explore on this festive day. Join locals to watch the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, or take advantage of the many musical, art and sporting events held throughout the day.

Day 4: Free Day in Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Glendalough $29pp* Details

County Wicklow has some of the wildest and most spectacular mountain scenery in Ireland, as well as many of the country’s most important historic sites. Journey through Wicklow’s captivating landscapes to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking raiders in the 10th century. Here, you’ll see St. Kevin’s Cross, marking the place where the saint lies buried. You’ll also view the remains of the sixth-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by monks as a place of refuge. Your Tour Director will lead you on a tour of the site followed by free time.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $39)

County Cork 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: County Cork via the Irish National Stud & Rock of Cashel

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to County Cork, stopping for several guided visits along the way.

• Visit the Irish National Stud farm in County Kildare, where world-class race horses are bred and trained

• Explore the Japanese Gardens of the Irish National Stud farm

• Take a tour of the iconic Rock of Cashel, commanding stone buildings that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: County Kerry via Cork, Cobh & Blarney Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to County Kerry today, stopping in Cork, Cobh and Blarney on the way.

• Pass through Cork, also known as “The Rebel City”

• Discover the town of Cobh, once a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration over the past 150 years

• Stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone

Day 7: The Ring of Kerry

  Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. 

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney

• Gaze across Dingle Bay to Dingle Peninsula

• Take in unsurpassed views of the Skellig Islands

• Explore the area’s picturesque villages

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Galway via Bunratty Castle, the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head north to Galway today, taking time to visit a historic castle and view spectacular scenery en route. 

• Take a guided tour of the 13th-century Bunratty Castle

• Walk along the mesmerizing coastline of the majestic Cliffs of Moher 

• Pass through the Burren, a unique limestone plateau where fields of rock are dotted with wildflowers

Day 9: Free day in Galway

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Galway to explore on your own.

Dublin 1 night Hotel info

Day 10: Travel to Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

En route to Dublin, make a stop at the historic Kilbeggan Distillery for a tasting of Irish whisky. Once back in the capital, say goodbye to your fellow travelers as you enjoy live entertainment at tonight’s farewell dinner in a traditional Irish pub.

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay to visit Belfast.

Add Belfast Starting from $399 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

The city of Belfast was once the largest in Ireland, the home of Irish linen and the most productive shipyard in the world, a place whose hills inspired Jonathan Swift to write Gulliver's Travels. Come discover the charming Victorian architecture of the cultural heart of Northern Ireland.

Belfast 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Journey to Belfast, the cultural heart of Northern Ireland, where you’ll get the local perspective of the city on a guided tour.

• Glimpse the copper-domed City Hall and the recently restored Grand Opera House

• Learn all about Belfast’s long history, from its origins in the Bronze Age and rise as an international seaport to its role in the conflict known as The Troubles

• Enter the Titanic Belfast Museum for a look at the vessel’s infamous history

Day 12: Free day in Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Belfast or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway $79pp* Details

Pay a visit to the rugged Giant’s Causeway, a series of naturally formed basalt columns. The hexagonal columns, which you can walk on, are 60 million years old and originated as volcanic lava. A colorful local legend says that mythical giant Finn McCool built the walkway so that he could cross the sea to Scotland. Please note: Rain gear is recommended for this excursion.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Cork, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please be respectful and avoid showing bare legs or shoulders when visiting churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).


There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Ireland. However, it’s always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates.


Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meat-based dishes. Traditional Irish stew and bacon and boiled cabbage are always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black stout known as Guinness is a national institution. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting and sometimes unexpected cuisine.


Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Dublin (or Belfast on the extension). Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations are easily walkable, but you may want to spend your free time exploring Dublin by a combination of walking and public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses, and if you wish to take excursions on your own outside of Dublin, use the very efficient Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) trains, which hit most locations on the coast.


Ireland operates on the European standard 220 volts. For those on the post-tour extension trip, Belfast operates on 220-240 volts.

Time Zones

Ireland falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).


The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour (and the British pound on the extension). Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.


At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Trip

This was such a fantastic trip! Our tour guide, Matthew, was wonderful. We left with some amazing memories and new friends!


Hi Shannon! Thank you for your review! We're so glad you had a fantastic time in Ireland and that you enjoyed your Tour Director. We hope to welcome you on another tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | April 05, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Loads of Craic!

This was an amazing tour of the highlights Ireland has to offer! Matthew was a wonderful tour director and turned all the time spent on the bus into much fun with Irish music, treats, and multiple impromptu stops to places he knew we’d enjoy (photo ops, stone forts, and even a hurling demonstration from the locals). He was thoughtful in remembering the multiple birthdays that were celebrated and the honeymoon of our newlywed couple. The friendships made and the experiences were priceless! John the bus driver was also great in navigating us across the country with the Irish traffic jams (sheep). Highly recommend this tour to anyone wishing to visit this beautiful county.

1 / 3

Hi Susan! We are so glad one of our team members was able to speak with you about your tour experience. Between the sites, stops, and new friendships, we’re happy your time in Ireland was a memorable one. It sounds like your Tour Director and bus driver played roles in the successful outcome of your tour, and we’re glad to learn it. It’s also wonderful to know that you would recommend this tour. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on another tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | April 07, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing trip!

I had such an amazing time. Matthew, our tour director, was awesome!!


Hi Gin! We're thrilled you had an amazing time. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on another tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 23, 2016