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Ireland tours
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Ireland tours

Cozy pubs, welcoming locals, and green landscapes as far as the eye can see—experience everything the Emerald Isle has to offer on our trips to Ireland.

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Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland
12 days | 14 days with London extension

4.6 star rating

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on 2023, 2024, and 2025 tours when you book by September 28†
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Experience Ireland on tour

On our trips to Ireland, you’ll experience green landscapes, live music at local pubs, and bucket list coastlines along the Wild Atlantic Way. Watch our video to learn more about what you'll see when you join one of our Ireland tours.

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What travelers say about their Ireland trips

Trip of a lifetime!
04/12/22 by 1st-time traveler Jeanne
We thoroughly enjoyed our Grand Tour of Ireland! From the jolly welcome dinner til the wonderful last night! Mike, our guide and Daniel, our coach driver were utterly amazing at every experience & turn—literally!
Grand Tour of Ireland
A dream come true
04/08/22 by 2nd-time traveler Toni
The tours of Scotland and Ireland were phenomenal! Additions of extra sites and activities rounded out the trip allowing us to see even more than we planned! Love the GoAhead experience!
Landscapes of Scotland & Ireland
Worth every penny!!
03/22/22 by 1st-time traveler Suann
This tour did not disappoint! Yes - it was cram packed and yes it was busy, but we got to see ALL of Ireland. All the must sees and a lot of smaller, less publicized things as well!! So happy I took this trip!
Grand Tour of Ireland
Insightful Ireland Tour
03/04/22 by 1st-time traveler Ronald
A truly insightful trip. I was able to get a better understanding of more recent events based on the history of Scotland, Ireland and England that was revealed by the sites we visited.
Landscapes of Scotland & Ireland
Dream vacation
By first-time traveler Carmella B. on 10/18/2018
Without question, it was a life time dream vacation, for my daughter and I, Ireland was magnificent in it's beauty and charm, and it's history. Well worth a second visit. Our tour guide Brian was very courteous, and very caring about his group.
See more reviews of A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin
Best trip ever!
By first-time traveler Carol S. on 7/11/2017
I have taken several trips now using Go Ahead tours. They are always very good, tour guides have always been very good too but this trip was the best one so far. The country itself is fabulous, the people are so nice and there is a real sense of their strong culture and generations of family ties.
See more reviews of Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle
Wonderful Experience!
7/27/2018 by first-time traveler Diane
We had visited Ireland 3 years ago on a different Go Ahead Tour, and we loved it so much we wanted to return. This time we chose "The Wild Atlantic Way" which is a new tour at Go Ahead, beginning in Belfast and moving around the northwest coast. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful
See more reviews of Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way

Travel tips for Ireland Trips

What are the best places to visit in Ireland?

The length of the guided tour of Ireland you choose plays a big factor in what you can see and do. It’s helpful before choosing to think about which specific sites you’d like to see on your trip. Ireland is a relatively small country and easy to explore, but it can take some time to get around. On our Ireland tours, you can choose a number of different ways to experience the country according to your interests. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in Ireland.

  • Dublin. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest, offers beautiful stained glass windows and a rich history. But don’t miss Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse, or Trinity College.
  • County Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary is a must-see. The ancient buildings on a limestone outcrop above the town of Cashel offer a glimpse into Ireland’s medieval history.
  • County Cork. Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone, isn’t the only reason to visit County Cork. Ireland’s largest county is also known for having the country’s best food.
  • County Kerry. Home to the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that winds through some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. Those views are rivaled in Killarney National Park, which is dotted with lakes and dominated by Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohi.
  • County Clare. The Cliffs of Moher, offering some of the most purely beautiful vistas in all of Ireland, are the big draw in County Clare. You can also check out the traditional music scene in the quaint village of Doolin, not far from the cliffs.
  • County Donegal. The towering Slieve League Cliffs, rising nearly 2,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, are some of the highest in Europe. You won’t find a better place to snap incredible photos.
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What are the top attractions in Ireland?

In the land of cozy pubs, green landscapes, and rich culture, there’s a lifetime of attractions to explore in Ireland. Here are some of the top sites to visit in Ireland:

  • Ring of Kerry. One of the most scenic drives in Ireland passes through charming villages and treats you to stunning views of the mountains, lakes, and coastline.
  • Grafton Street in Dublin. A great place to experience Irish culture, this vibrant pedestrian street is home to pubs, cafes, high-end boutiques, and souvenir shops.
  • Glendalough. Located in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and lakes, Glendalough is home to an ancient monastic settlement founded in the sixth century by Saint Kevin.
  • Wild Atlantic Way. The western coast of Ireland is home to some of the Emerald Isle’s most magnificent scenery and is a great way to experience the country’s beauty and diversity.
  • Kilkenny Castle. Originally built in 1195, this historic castle is a beautiful example of medieval architecture and offers stunning views from its ramparts.
  • Cliffs of Moher. This nearly nine-mile stretch of towering sea cliffs is breathtaking when the rushing waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash against the coastline.
  • Dublin Castle. Once the seat of British power in Ireland, the castle is now a popular tourist destination and houses a number of museums and art galleries.
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The largest cathedral in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe is known for its beautiful stained-glass windows.
  • Dingle Peninsula. Our trips to Dingle Peninsula allow you to get to know this incredible part of Ireland, from scenic drives with views of the Irish coastline to the charming, colorful town of Dingle.
  • Giant’s Causeway. This jaw-dropping geological site is made up of 40,000 basalt columns formed by volcanic activity more than 50 million years ago.
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When is the best time of year to take an Ireland tour?

The best time of year to go on a tour of Ireland depends on your preferences. The summer months (June to August) are generally the warmest and most popular, but they can also be the busiest and most expensive. The spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) months are less crowded and can offer more affordable prices. Winter (December to February) can be cold and rainy, but it can also be a good time to visit if you want to experience the festive holiday season.

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What is the weather like in Ireland?

Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Ireland has a temperate climate. Typically, the summers are warm and the winters mild. No matter what time of year you visit Ireland, be sure to pack a raincoat or umbrella. The weather in Ireland can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for rain.

  • March, April, and May. Many consider spring the best time to go to Ireland. Ireland’s weather in March includes drizzles of rain and longer days. With spring flowers blooming and Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in full swing, this is a great time to travel on any of our tours to Ireland.
  • June, July, and August. Summer in Ireland isn’t scorching hot like many other parts of the world. The temperature in August and throughout the summer rarely breaks 70°F. With flora at its greenest, summer is considered one of the best times of year to go.
  • September, October, and November. Ireland’s weather in the fall brings mild days in the 50s. With summer tourists home, the lush hills still green, and all of Ireland’s top attractions still open, fall comes highly recommended as one of the best times to book any of our Ireland trip packages.
  • December, January, and February. The weather in Ireland is mild compared to many other parts of the world during winter. It rarely snows, and the weather in Ireland in February can reach up to 60 degrees. You will need to pack a coat, but the hearty stews of Ireland taste even better with a chill in the air. Local traditions and fewer crowds make this one of the best times to visit.
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What are the most popular activities to do in Ireland?

One trip isn’t enough to experience all that Ireland has to offer. From visiting rolling sheep-dotted hills to lively centuries-old towns, sunny beaches to vertigo-inducing cliffs, there’s so much to do and see on group tours of Ireland. Some of the most popular activities include:

  • Hear traditional Irish music. A “trad session”—a loosely organized, sometimes impromptu live performance—at an old-fashioned pub is the best way to go. Our favorite pubs in Ireland will do the trick.
  • Drive the Wild Atlantic Way. True to its name, the winding, 1,550-mile route along Ireland’s western coastline is rugged and untamed. But the Wild Atlantic Way has more than just scenic views. Between long stretches of natural splendor are little cliff-top villages and seaside towns and cities that offer a window into the Irish way of life.
  • Walk along the Cliffs of Moher. Offering uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands from hundreds of feet up, these cliffs are a longtime favorite among travelers who have gone on our tours.
  • Learn how to pour the perfect pint. A visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin involves more than enjoying a pint of Ireland’s favorite beer. You can also learn the six-step ritual for pouring a Guinness, including what type of glass to use and the perfect temperature for pouring.
  • Tour the Kilmainham Gaol. The prison that opened in 1796, famously housed Nelson Mandela, among other revolutionaries and political prisoners. A tour offers a sobering, fascinating window into Ireland’s history.
  • Explore the medieval town of Kilkenny. Walking the central Medieval Mile will have you feeling like a time traveler. Don’t miss the nearby ancient hilltop fortress, Rock of Cashel.
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone. Millions of pilgrims have climbed the steps, leaned backward, and kissed the magical stone in hopes of gaining the gift of gab. Thanks to the installation of an iron railing, you no longer have to be held by the ankles and lowered down to kiss the stone.
  • Travel around the Ring of Kerry. The 112-mile coastal route winds through some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, including Killarney National Park.

Get the full scoop on the Emerald Isle in our Ireland Travel Guide

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What are some unique experiences to have in Ireland?

Sheep-dotted hills, centuries-old towns, towering cliffs, ancient castles, and that rolling, green landscape. You’ll take it all in during your trip. But it’s those experiences you can only have in the Emerald Isle that make for lifelong memories. Here are some unique experiences you can have on our tours of Ireland:

  • Explore Giant’s Causeway on the coast of Northern Ireland
  • Kiss the fabled Blarney Stone outside Cork
  • Tour the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
  • Visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast
  • Take a cooking class and learn how to make traditional Irish dishes
  • Take stunning photos at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare
  • Enjoy a pint in the world’s oldest bar in County Westmeath
  • Celebrate the winter solstice in Newgrange
  • Feast like a king in the banquet hall of a castle

Ten amazing things to do in Ireland

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What are some cultural customs and etiquette to be aware of in Ireland?

Ireland is a friendly and welcoming country. The Irish people are known for their warm hospitality and their love of conversation. They are also known for their sense of humor and their love of music and dance. Still, it is helpful to be aware of their customs and etiquette when traveling to Ireland.

  • Greetings. When greeting someone in Ireland, it is customary to shake hands. Men and women should shake hands with each other, and men should also shake hands with women. 
  • Phrases to know. “What’s the craic?” (pronounced crack) is how the Irish ask, “What’s up?” At a pub, ask for a “pint of gat”—that is, a pint of Guinness. And to toast the new friends you’ll undoubtedly make in Ireland, say “Sláinte!” (pronounced slawn-cha).
  • Tipping. Though not expected in Ireland, tipping is appreciated. A tip of 10% is considered appropriate for good service.
  • Be punctual. Punctuality is important in Ireland, and being late is considered rude.
  • Dress appropriately. Ireland is a relatively casual country, but it’s still important to dress appropriately for the occasion. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear shorts and a T-shirt to a nice restaurant.
  • Learn a few basic Irish phrases. Even if you don’t speak much Irish, it’s always appreciated when visitors learn a few basic phrases. This shows that you’re making an effort to connect with the local culture.
  • Politics. Ireland has a long and complicated history, and politics can be a sensitive topic. It is best to avoid discussing politics with people you do not know well.
  • Be respectful of culture and customs. Ireland is a diverse country with a rich culture, and it’s important to be respectful of their customs and beliefs.
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How many days are ideal for a trip to Ireland?

We recommend you spend at least six days in Ireland. While our most popular Ireland tours run nine days or more, you can enjoy a shorter trip if you limit your tour to one or two cities.

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What language do they speak in Ireland?

English is Ireland’s main language, and all native Irish people can speak English. However, you’ll also see some signs and place names in Irish Gaelic.

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What type of currency is used in Ireland?

The euro.

To stock up on local currency, order some euros from your bank before you go, or use your debit card at an ATM once you arrive. For tips on using the euro while on trips to Ireland, check out our blog on currency exchange

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What food is popular in Ireland?

Traditional Irish cuisine is comforting and hearty. And, yes, many dishes are made with potatoes, which are a staple crop in Ireland. But the real joy in Irish food is enjoying it along with good company in the local pub or restaurant. While you’ll find plenty of great food experiences in Ireland’s major cities, here are some traditional dishes to savor on our Ireland tours:

  • Irish stew. This hearty stew is made with lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions, and other vegetables. It is typically cooked in a slow cooker or on the stovetop until the meat is tender and the flavors have melded together.
  • Soda bread. This traditional Irish bread uses baking soda instead of yeast as a leavening agent, giving it a slightly sour flavor that’s balanced by the sweetness of the buttermilk. Topped with butter and jam, it’s a great accompaniment to soups, salads, and stews.
  • Boxty. The Irish version of the fried potato pancake was originally made to use up leftover potatoes. The key to its trademark consistency is finely grated potato mixed with flour and buttermilk. Enjoy it plain or topped with bacon, cheese, or eggs.
  • Scones. Rich, buttery Irish scones (pronounced “scons” locally) may be the best you’ve ever tasted. They’re made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, including stone-ground flour, Irish butter, and buttermilk. They are often paired with homemade jam, clotted cream, or butter.
  • Shepherd’s pie. You’ll find this hearty baked pie at nearly every pub in Ireland. The popular (and delicious!) comfort food is made with a mix of ground lamb and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes and cheese.
  • Fish and chips. This classic dish, and popular fast-food option, is made with fried fish and french fries. It’s best enjoyed by popping into a pub for some conversation with locals as you dig into your meal.
  • Guinness. Brewed in Dublin, Guinness is known for its smooth, creamy texture and its roasted, chocolatey flavor. At pubs all over Ireland, they’ll pour it correctly to create its iconic creamy head. It’s a beer that pairs well with Irish food—especially fish and chips.
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What to pack for a trip to Ireland?

Even though the weather can be quite unpredictable, we recommend packing light for our trips to Ireland. One suitcase and one carry-on per person is a good guideline to follow; you should feel comfortable managing your baggage at the airport. After you’ve booked one of our tour packages, we’ll give you information about how to prepare for your particular trip and even share a packing list in our mobile app.

  • Layers. We recommend packing lots of layers to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • Travel umbrella. You’ll appreciate having a packable umbrella handy in the case of spot showers.
  • Comfortable walking shoes. Since you’ll be doing a lot of walking while on guided tours to Ireland, a comfortable pair of walking shoes, sneakers, or boots is essential to have with you. Those walking shoes will come in handy in a country best explored on foot.
  • Dressier attire. You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • Sun protection. For all our trips, especially during the summer months in Ireland, we recommend bringing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun.
  • An RFID money belt or wallet. Always a great idea when traveling internationally, especially through airports and crowded city streets. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) can protect your credit card info from electronic theft, and a money belt will conceal your cash without ruining your outfit.

Once you’ve reserved one of our Ireland tour packages, we’ll send you detailed information about what to bring with you. Don’t forget to download the Go Ahead Tour Companion app before you take off, so you’ll have all the info you need about your trip right in your pocket.

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