A Week in Ireland: St. Patrick's Day

8 days Special Event
Can you think of a better time to visit Ireland than during St. Patrick’s Day week? Drop in on the Emerald Isle during one of the most festive times of year, exploring its vibrant cities and breathtaking countryside. Start your journey in Galway, making your way to Cork and the Blarney Castle before settling in for the celebrations in Dublin. Don some green, grab a pint and join the locals for the city’s legendary St. Patrick’s Day parade.

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 1.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, 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

  • 6 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Shannon today.

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Galway

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! After landing in Shannon, travel to Galway. Once settled in, discover the local energy and living traditions of Ireland’s third-largest city on a guided tour.

• Stroll past Lynch's Castle, Galway Cathedral, the Druid Theater Company and the broad expanse of Eyre Square

• View the city’s medieval walls and Spanish Arch

• Peruse authentic Claddagh rings in a local shop

• Watch fishermen at work in the traditional fishing village of Claddagh

Later, get to know your Tour Director and  fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: The Burren & Cliffs of Moher

  Included meals: Breakfast

Journey outside the city to explore two of the country’s most dramatic landscapes.

• Travel through the limestone plateau called the Burren

• Explore the Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean

Back in Galway, enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city.

County Cork 1 night Hotel info

Day 4: Cork via Blarney Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast

Pay a visit to Blarney Castle, where you’ll have the chance to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone. Then continue on to Cork, a city synonymous with the Irish spirit of rebellion, and explore the city with your Tour Director.

• Wander along Cork’s web of canals to the city center

• Stop at the English Market, a traditional food hall best known for its butchers and fresh fish

Dublin 3 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Zip through lush scenery on your way to Dublin, where you’ll embark on a guided tour of the Emerald Isle’s capital city.

• 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

• End your tour with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district

Day 6: St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Celebrate your own way  today—catch a glimpse of the legendary St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or take advantage of the cultural events held across the city. 

This evening, enjoy more free time or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Dinner & Show $99pp* Details

Enjoy this special evening of Irish food, music and live entertainment. Dinner will be served first, giving you a taste of traditional Irish dishes. You’ll then be treated to a live show of Irish music and dance. Join in the fun as you enjoy a merry and memorable night. Please note: The specific venue and day of the week for this excursion may change due to availability. This excursion is seasonal and runs from April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 7: Free day in Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the day exploring Dublin on your own or add an excursion.

Later, say goodbye to your fellow travelers and take in Irish entertainment at a farewell dinner in one of Dublin’s oldest pubs.

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)

Day 8: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Galway, Ireland
  • Cork, Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
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  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.               

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets with some hills and stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.        

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Shannon and depart from Dublin. A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation is by private motor coach.          

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. 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 baggage 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 transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.          

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).        

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to goaheadtours.com and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.          

Cuisine

  • Irish pubs serve up hearty lunches, such as the traditional stew of bacon and boiled cabbage. Soda bread is delicious, very filling and served with many a meal. Nibble a scone at afternoon tea, with a pat of high-quality butter from County Kerry. Guinness stout is an international sensation, but locals might favor Murphy's, depending on where you are.
  • Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental Europe, Asian and even American influences. 

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Ireland operates within 230-240 volts and use a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter. 
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances, but these amenities cannot be guaranteed.        

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though charges may apply.
  • There is no internet access on the motor coach.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.         

Time zones

  • Ireland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm in Dublin.           

Currency

  • You will use the euro in Ireland.
  • 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.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.      

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

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: 3/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Loved ireland

This was my first trip oit of the country, so i was very nervous. Everything was made very easy on our trip, our tour director was so good! He really knew his history and had alot to say about the area. He made great suggestions to where to go to eat. He always went the extra mile with the group to make sure we got to where we were going and followed the itinerary in a timely manner. He was always polite! We loved ireland and will definetly come back someday there is so much to see.Galway was my favorite place on the tour wish we had one more night there. I would recommend go ahead to anyone especially first time travelers they will be at ease and very impressed!

1 / 5
 

Hi Emily! We’re so glad you enjoyed your first time out of the country. It sounds like your Tour Director was a great resource for you, providing tips and information along the way. We’re happy to hear you had a great time in Ireland and that you will return one day. Thank you for recommending Go Ahead. We appreciate your feedback very much, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 02, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A good "craic" is guaranteed

What fun we had on this trip! Many amazing memories made with the itinerary in Ireland. Our tour director, Cathal, was very friendly and knowledgeable. Shared lots of history about Ireland in a fun and entertaining way. The whole trip went by too fast. Can't wait to return!

 

Hi Sheila! Welcome home, and thank you for your review. We’re so glad you had fun and learned about the unique history of Ireland! We are also happy to hear you enjoyed your Tour Director. Let us know when you want to go back!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | March 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

"EPIC"

This was my fifth tour with GoAhead and one of the best for sure! Cathal, the tour director, was absolutely amazing. He apparently teaches history in Ireland and it was obvious. He gave us an excellent history during the bus rides to and from places. He would also play Irish music from time and time and on a couple occasions, even read some poetry by Yeats. He really added to the experience. He was very kind and super helpful with making recommendations. He even made reservations for us at a nice steakhouse in Dublin. He was, in a word, amazing. I also really loved the Dublin city tour guide. She was such a gem. She was a witty, yet refined lady who knew a lot about the culture in Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher was absolutely breathtaking, climbing up to the top Blarney Castle was awesome, and being in Dublin for St. Patrick's Day was just "epic." As always, I met some lovely people on the tour and have some new Facebook friends. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone considering booking. I do like to provide even negative feedback for the benefit of GoAhead in the hopes that perhaps it helps make the tour even better. First, I will say that the United flight over to Shannon was less than desirable. The biggest problem was that in certain rows, the televisions were not working, of course, that my row was affected. When you take these international flights, you pretty much count on watching a few movies to pass the time. I did not bring any reading material. The staff seemed unconcerned. The flight attendant tried "resetting" it once and nothing happened, then just gave up. Needless to say, I was terribly bored on the way over. On the way back from Ireland, my seat was literally on the last row of the plane, seated next to a woman I will call Typhoid Mary. No one wants to sit in the last row. The galley for the flight attendants was right behind the last row, so all I heard was talking the entire trip was talking and all the noises that come with getting meals prepared, etc. Next, the hotel in Galway was not great. While the hotel was located right in the center of town and very convenient for walking to local pubs and restaurants at night, there was no control over the temperature in the room. It was either extremely hot or extremely cold. I had to open up my windows at one point, and it was brisk in Ireland. I did mention it to the front desk and they indicated that you have no actual control over the temperature in your room. They control the temperature from the front desk. Next, while the hotel in Blarney was adorable and the food at the restaurant was quite tasty, I would suggest staying in Cork instead. There is absolutely nothing going on in Blarney besides the castle. Most folks took a cab ride into Cork which is sort of a good distance away. Additionally, the walls were so thin at Blarney Woolen Mills that I could literally hear the man snoring in the room next to me. My friend could hear the snoring and she was in the next room on the other side of me. I really loved the hotel in Dublin. The rooms were nice and the location was great. Anyway, these things, in my opinion, did not take away for the overall awesomeness of the trip. I would still recommend this trip to anyone and would go again in the future! It should be on anyone's "bucket list" for sure! And, I love GoAhead tours in general. I've already booked my sixth and seventh trips with them! You will enjoy doing business with them!

 

Hi Angela! We’re happy to hear this was one of the best tours you’ve taken with us! It sounds like your Tour Director and Dublin city guide added a very fun, enthusiastic element to your overall experience, and we’re glad to hear it. Between the amazing sites and the wonderful people you met on tour, we’re pleased that you had such a great trip. Regarding your flight experience, we regret to hear that your in-flight TV monitor wasn’t working on the way there and that on the way back you were seated in the last row of the plane. Unfortunately, we have no control over these components of your trip. We understand how frustrating flying can be, and we do hope that your next flight experience is better. Regarding the accommodations, we will be sure to communicate your feedback on the temperature of your room in Galway to our team internally. Temperature standards can vary from country to country, and they are often different from the U.S. As for the hotel in Blarney, we appreciate your thoughts on staying in Cork instead. We will consider this change as we reevaluate this tour in the future. Thank you for taking the time to review your tour, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next one very soon!

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

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great tour company

fabulous time.

 

Hi Lisa! Thank you for your review, and we hope to see you on tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | March 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/12/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

I would go again!

Had a fabulous time...made great memories. Tour director was extremely accommodating and knowledgeable.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/12/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best tour Director

Tom was awesome, he really know what his country. Hotels, breakfast and dinner includes were great..I did enjoyed very much and will plan to do a spain trip for next year.. One thing i will like to mention is about the fligh schedulle. We basically wasted a day, leaving late a night. Even that we didnt have anything schedule it wouldnt be nice to arrive early and explore the city on our own once we were able to get to the hotel. Otherwise everything as more than excellent...

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/12/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

An Amazing Trip!

If you've been thinking about taking a trip to Ireland, this is the one to take! This was my wife and I's first trip overseas and it was amazing. Let's start with the tour director: Tom. Tom greeted us at the airport and from that moment he was a wealth of information, was super friendly, and has a great sense of humor. We learned so much about the Irish history and culture, with lots of great anecdotes and music. We loved listening to Tom talk about Ireland! You could tell he loves his country.... Now let's start with the different sightseeing and cities we visited...Galway is fantastic. Exactly what Americans think of when they think of Irish charm. Such a great city. We really recommend drifting into Taafes bar for a drink and traditional music. A great time will be had! Also loved seeing Connemara marble. Our trips to the Cliffs of Moher and Poulnabrone were also very interesting and beautiful as well. We wish we would have spent more time in Cork as it seemed like a neat city, but Blarney village was also great! It's definitely worth getting over your fears to climb the Blarney castle and kiss the Blarney stone. It was a beautiful day when we did this, too. So wonderful! Blarney is charming and we recommend The Muskerry Arms. Last but not least was our stay in Dublin. Now, Dublin is a bit too much like Chicago for my wife's tastes. BUT the St. Patrick's Parade was truly amazing. The Hop on-Hop Off bus tour is also a great thing to do and only costs 18 euro for two days. We wish we would have gotten to spend more time in St. Patrick's Cathedral, however. Overall, we had a fantastic experience. We loved the farewell story telling dinner on our last night, loved all of the people we met, and just had such a blast. We will be traveling with GoAhead again next year for our anniversary and will be taking the Grand Tour of Turkey....can't wait! Such a great company to travel with and they take really great care of you! Our driver was great too!

1 / 6

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: NV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

So fun!

Our guide,Con, was amazing. His singing and teaching us Irish songs made the bus fun. Our driver,Paddy, was really part of the group instead of just a driver. A highlight was when we met his wife and she spoke to us in Gaelic. Con helped all of my group with after trip plans. 5 of us stayed on in DUBLIN and he had us dropped off at our hotel on the way to taking the group to the airport. I found both the welcome dinner and farewell dinners superb! The hotels were all quite good.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful week in Ireland

My wife & I took part in the St. Patrick's week tour of Ireland and had a terrific time. This was my first European travel, and first trip with GoAhead. Our tour director, Conn, was entertaining, funny and knowledgeable about the country and its people. His job wasn't easy easy with our diverse group, akin to herding cats at times, but he was cheerful throughout. Our driver, Paddy, was very skillful at his task, and witty besides. The places we visited were well chosen, with the right amount of time at each location, as well as side trips for those of us who weren't pub crawling all the time. I would give this tour my highest recommendation.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NV

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

St. Patty's Day in Ireland

This was my 1st Go Ahead Tour & I will definitely be a return customer. The accommodations on the tour were beyond my expectations. Our tour director Cornelius was fabulous. There was plenty of information & guided tours along with our own personal free time to explore on our own. I highly recommend this trip to anyone that has ever wanted to visit Ireland.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/11/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: KY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

So much fun!

I had a wonderful time in Ireland with Go Ahead Tours. Our tour guide, Cornelius, and our driver Paddy were entertaining, charming, informative, and very helpful. I highly recommend being in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. The west coast is a beautiful rugged area. The air and water are so clean. You will see lots of rainbows!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/12/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a life time.

As long as I can remember I have always wanted to visit Ireland and it was just luck that I found go ahead surfing the internet. The trip was far from a disapointment. All I could have asked for was more time. Our director Tom Quinn was filled with so much knowledge and made every moment special and even joining us for dinner. I can't really say anything bad about the experience at all just wish we had more time. I will be booking this trip again next year with friends and cannot wait.

1 / 4