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Week in Ireland:...
 

A Week in Ireland: Dublin, Cork & Galway

8 days |  11 days with London extension
8 days |  11 days with London extension
Group size1538 travelers
Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

906
Physical activity
a woman walking along the street in the temple bar neighborhood of dublin ireland
an entrance gate to the guinness brewery in dublin ireland
five glasses full of beer
blarney castle in county cork
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
This tour itinerary varies by year
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    Waste no time getting to the core of Irish culture.

    Luck of the Irish? We prefer to call it charm. Filled with trademark emerald landscapes, loaded with intriguing history, and burnished by its people’s sparkling wit, the island nation of Ireland has dazzled visitors time and again. On this tour, you’ll roam its leading cities, savoring pub culture and diving into the country’s past. And we couldn’t forget about its natural wonders: You’ll see all the heavy hitters, from the rocky Burren to the Cliffs of Moher, over the course of one magical week—and if you aren’t quite ready to stow your carry-ons, tack on an extra couple of days in London.

    Special departures of this itinerary

    St. Patrick's Day

    Your tour package includes

    • 6 nights in handpicked hotels
    • 6 breakfasts
    • 3 dinners with beer or wine
    • 5 sightseeing tours
    • Expert Tour Director & local guides
    Read more

    Included highlights

    • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
    • Temple Bar district
    • Cobh Heritage Centre
    • Blarney Castle
    • The Burren
    Read more
    Start planning today

    An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

    Talk to a Tour Consultant

    Day-by-day itinerary

    Print itinerary
    Overnight Flight1 night
    Day 1: Travel day

    Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

    County Dublin2 nights
    Day 2: Arrival in County Dublin
    Included meal: Welcome dinner

    Fáilte! (Pronounced “FALL-cha,” this expression means “welcome” in Irish, and you might hear it a fair bit over the next few days.) Head to your hotel and settle in, then get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers over a welcome dinner, served with beer or wine. 

    Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dublin
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Settled by the Gaels and disputed over centuries by the Vikings and Anglo-Normans, Dublin traces its history back more than 1,300 years. Today, you’ll peel back some of the Irish capital’s layers on a comprehensive tour, led by a local expert.

    • Stop in Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed public park in any European capital city. First established as a royal hunting ground by government decree in 1662, this 1,750-acre greenspace today houses Áras an Uachtaráin—the presidential residence.
    • Pass by St. James’s Gate Brewery, the legendary 260-year-old brewery behind Guinness dry stout. More than 50 million barrels ship out of the plant each year, making it the world’s most prolific producer of stout-style beers.
    • Walk through Old Dublin, then step into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the country’s largest church. Founded in 1191, it serves as the national cathedral for the Church of Ireland, and its arresting Gothic architecture befits a building of its stature.
    • Traverse Dublin’s city center, passing 17th-century St. Stephen’s Green as you go. Afterward, take some time to admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square. Another gardened area in the heart of Dublin, it’s been called home by some of Ireland’s foremost writers—Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats among them.
    • See the dignified facade of Trinity College—Ireland’s oldest university.

    Fill your afternoon with an excursion out into County Wicklow and pay a visit to gorgeous Glendalough, the well-preserved ruins of a once-influential abbey. Or, if you’d prefer some free time, head down to the shores of the River Liffey and breathe in the ambiance of the lively Temple Bar district.

    Glendalough

    From $55 per person

    County Cork2 nights
    Day 4: County Cork via Cobh
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Make your way to Ireland’s largest region: County Cork. Sprawling across 2,900 square miles of the country’s southern reaches, it lays claim to a number of tourist attractions. Today, you’ll visit one. 

    • From Dublin, head southwest to Cobh, a seaport town of roughly 14,000 on the other side of massive Cork Harbor. Here, you’ll enter the Cobh Heritage Centre: Learn about Irish life, emigration, and maritime tradition over the centuries. (Did you know that Cobh was the Titanic’s final port of call before its doomed maiden voyage?) 

    Later, chart a course for Cork—Ireland’s second city, hugging both shores of the River Lee—and settle into your hotel. Enjoy some free time, then sit down with your group for an included dinner, served with beer or wine. 

    Day 5: Blarney Castle
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Now one of Ireland’s most famous tourist sites, Blarney Castle was first built in 1210, then rebuilt in 1446 as a stronghold of the local MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty. Today, you’ll set out into the Irish countryside and visit this famed fortress, completing a popular quest in the process: planting a peck on the Blarney Stone. Originally added as a defensive structure, this slab of limestone supposedly grants all who kiss it “the gift of gab.” Stretch out over the parapet and give it a smooch—then let us know how you feel! 

    Cap your day with an evening excursion to the historic town of Kinsale and enjoy walking winding streets and tucking into a traditional Irish meal. Feeling some alone time? Spend the night in or take some free moments to explore the neighborhood around your hotel.  

    An Evening in Kinsale

    From $109 per person

    County Galway2 nights
    Day 6: County Galway via the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Board your bus and roll north to County Galway, a beautiful lake-dotted region with a backstory to match. Before arriving in Galway proper, stop to enjoy some of the best views in all the Emerald Isle. 

    • Redefine “taking the scenic route” with a quick detour into County Clare and a walk along the mesmerizing Cliffs of Moher. (Sheer crags stretching into the distance, crashing waves below—you know this one!) 
    • Drive on through the Burren. Distinct from the lush greens that typify the rest of the Irish landscape, greys dominate this limestone plateau, punctuated by bursts of wildflowers. Botanists will surely delight in this journey: More than 70% of Ireland’s flower species grow here. 

    Arrive in Galway, then let your Tour Director take the lead on a walking tour of the city’s highlights.  

    • Stroll past a trio of Galwegian icons: Lynch’s Castle, a castle-turned-bank that dates to the 16th century; the rustic home of “Ireland's most prestigious theatre (troupe),” the Druid Theatre Company; and John F. Kennedy Memorial Park, a popular greenspace better known to locals (and the world) as Eyre Square. 
    • Get a grasp of Galway’s Norman history by viewing its medieval walls—12th-century fortifications that once encircled the city—and the Spanish Arch. First erected in 1584 as an extension of Galway’s protective walls, its name alludes to the Spaniards who moored their ships and lived in the area. 
    • Peruse authentic Claddagh (said “CLA-da”) rings in a local shop. Steeped in legend and symbolism, these pieces of jewelry have been produced in their current guise—two hands clasping a crowned heart—since at least 1700 and are inextricably linked to Galway. 
    Day 7: Free day in County Galway
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

    For architecture and vistas plucked out of a fantasy novel, you’ll want to come along on our visit to Kylemore Abbey and Connemara National Park. If you’d rather get to know Galway a bit better, spend a free day taking The Long Walk through the seaside neighborhood of Claddagh, or see where your feet take you. (The city was named the European Capital of Culture in 2020—there’s plenty to do!) 

    Later, celebrate your trip with your group during a farewell dinner, served with beer or wine. 

    Kylemore Abbey & Connemara National Park

    From $89 per person

    Flight Home
    Day 8: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to Dublin’s airport for your flight home, or continue to Europe’s most popular tourist destination on your trip’s extension. Can you guess where that is? 

    Please note: Some airport transfers may leave very early in the morning to accommodate return flights.

    Extension to London
    Mind the gap, get in the queue, ask for bangers with your mash—now you’re ready for London! After wrapping your stay in Ireland, fly over the Irish Sea and experience England’s bustling capital from a local’s perspective. Want to see even more of the region’s regal history, as well as a certain world-famous megalith? Our two excursions to Windsor and Stonehenge have you covered.
    London3 nights
    Day 8: Flight to London
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Fly to England this morning and get comfortable at your London hotel. (If you fancy some exploration, ask your Tour Director for recommendations.) 

    Day 9: Sightseeing tour of London
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Few places have influenced world history like London has: This city of roughly 8.8 million people boasts close to 2,000 years of history and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites; serves as a global financial hub; and is the most-visited place in all of Europe. Today, you’ll explore the landmarks of England’s cosmopolitan capital on a guided sightseeing tour.  

    • Pass grand Trafalgar Square—named in honor of the Royal Navy’s decisive triumph over Napoleon Bonaparte’s fleet—and Baroque St. Paul’s Cathedral. Perched atop Ludgate Hill, at the highest point in London’s historic center, this Anglican church is recognizable by its soaring dome. 
    • See Westminster Abbey, the Gothic church that has hosted 40 coronations and 16 royal weddings since 1066. A further 18 English, Scottish, and British monarchs were laid to rest within, further cementing Westminster’s place in London lore. 
    • Spot the Elizabeth Tower (the Palace of Westminster’s clock tower, better known as Big Ben); the 440-foot-tall London Eye observation wheel; Tower Bridge, with its stone handiwork and turquoise accents; and the notorious Tower of London. 
    • Stop by Buckingham Palace, the official residence and administrative headquarters of King Charles III. If you’re lucky, you might catch the Changing of the Guard. 

    Bask in a getaway of royal proportions on this afternoon’s excursion to Windsor Castle. Alternatively, hang back and spend some free time in London. If you need a recommendation, the British Museum’s millions of priceless antiquities are all just a half-hour’s walk from Buckingham Palace. 

    Windsor Castle

    From $125 per person

    Day 10: Free day in London
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Add the excursion to Stonehenge and Salisbury to your itinerary. (It’s a truly monumental way to spend a day.) Or, have a day to yourself in London, and maybe visit a stadium or two: Wembley, Twickenham, and dozens more call the city home. 

    This evening, enjoy a farewell drink with your group and celebrate a trip well-spent. 

    Stonehenge & Salisbury

    From $149 per person

    Flight Home
    Day 11: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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    Reviews

    4.6 out of 5 stars

    Overall rating 4.6 out of 5

    Based on 906 authentic traveler reviews
    Sort by

      4 out of 5 stars

      A very early morning at the end
      5/11/24 by 1st-time traveler Charlie

      Our tour ended across Ireland in Galway. Everyone flies out of Dublin. In my opinion it would be much handier to end the tour in Dublin .

      5 out of 5 stars

      Ireland and London extension
      5/19/24 by 1st-time traveler Connie

      The trip was fabulous. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. We saw many neat things. I would recommend the trip

      5 out of 5 stars

      I would do it again
      5/25/24 by 1st-time traveler Helen

      Great guide, great accommodations, excellent tour, terrific food. Everything went as planned.

      Show more reviews

      Traveler photos

      Hotels, flights & FAQ

      Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

      Hotels

      We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
      Maldron Hotel Parnell Square
      Maldron Hotel Parnell Square

      This charming hotel is located in Parnell Square in the Dublin city center. Guests enjoy a restaurant and lounge, bar, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you'll ...

      Read more +
      Cork's Vienna Woods Hotel
      Cork's Vienna Woods Hotel

      This country-house hotel is located near the Glashaboy River in County Cork. Guests enjoy a restaurant, manicured gardens, and lounge. Nearby you’ll f...

      Read more +
      Maldron Sandy Road
      Maldron Sandy Road

      This comfortable hotel is located near the center of Galway. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a hotel bar, and a restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find the Galway Sh...

      Read more +
      Crowne Plaza London – King’s Cross
      Crowne Plaza London – King’s Cross

      This upscale hotel is located in London, steps away from the St Pancras railway station. Guests enjoy on-site restaurants, the leisure club, and a fit...

      Read more +

      Flights

      Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
      Add our airfare package and you'll get:
      • Round-trip flight for your tour
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      • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
      • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
      • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
      • Find out more about flights

      FAQ

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