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A Week in Ireland: St. Patrick's Day

8 days
Can you think of a better time to visit Ireland than during St. Patrick’s Day week? Nope, neither can we. Drop in on the Emerald Isle during one of the most festive times of year, exploring its most vibrant cities and namesake emerald 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

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

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 the broad expanse of Eyre Square, Lynch’s Castle and Druids Lane

• 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 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 through Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled green spaces and site of the presidential residence

• Travel along the River Liffey and get a look at the legendary Guinness Storehouse

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral

• Visit Trinity College to see the illuminated Book of Kells

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 Evening $99*pp 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 optional may change due to availability.

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 $29*pp 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, 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
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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

Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any event—a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, please be respectful and refrain from baring legs or shoulders when visiting churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Ireland. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine. Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meatbased dishes. Pubs serve up hearty lunches, like traditional Irish stew. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black beer known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental European and Asian influences.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Shannon and depart from Dublin. Included transportation on this tour 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 reach most locations on the coast.

Electricity

Ireland operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

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

Currency

The euro is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards, credit cards and traveler’s checks, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. 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. Please note: With the conversion to the euro, it has been increasingly difficult to exchange traveler’s checks outside of Europe’s major cities—both at banks and shops—and they often attract higher fees.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is 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

Traveled On: 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

Traveled On: 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

Traveled On: 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!

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 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

Traveled On: 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

Traveled On: 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

Traveled On: 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

Traveled On: 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.

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