Before you leave Quay Street, have a look at the mural on the wall of Claddagh and Celtic Jewellery (1 Quay Lane), which depicts the Claddagh fishwives selling the catch at the Spanish Arch. The arch, which was completed in 1584, is the perfect starting point for exploring the West End, Claddagh and the waterways. When the tide is high and the weather fair, you can sit and admire the graceful Galway hookers under sail.
The cathedral stands on the site of the old gaol and deserves an hour with a full visual display to self-guide yourself around this majestic building. A five-minute walk from here is the university, one of three established under royal charter in the mid-19th century. Children especially will enjoy a look around the museum across the green.
Perfect for all ages, with interactive maps and exhibitions over three floors. Filling the atrium is a Galway hooker suspended from the ceiling and in full sail. Artefacts dating from the Neolithic age and found locally are on permanent display. (Spanish Parade, galwaycitymuseum.ie)
The original makers of the Claddagh Ring (since 1750), this quaint jeweller’s shop, which is the oldest in Ireland, has a small museum in the back that tells the story of one of the world’s most iconic items of jewellery. 1 Quay Street
Everyone who spends a weekend in Galway ends up strolling around the open-air market in Church Lane and grabbing a snack from one of the many food stalls. Top tip: the pea and potato curry from Bean Tree, which specialises in vegan and vegetarian dishes, is phenomenal.
If you would like to include a visit to Galway during your Perfect Irish Trip, get in touch with us at Perfect iIrish Trip and let us help you save time to planning your trip.
Start your day off with a boat trip along the canal on a Royal Canal Boat Trip hosted by Jenny. Get a return trip from Maynooth to Leixlip and let Jenny take you to Maynooth. Whilst in Maynooth get a bite to eat at Beetroot Healthy Foods (wholesome, vegan & sustainable dinning) or Sásta By The River (wholesome & sustainable dinning). After a good feed, take a walk along the Royal Canal Greenway. Visit Castletown House and take a walk around one of Irelands most beautiful Georgian Houses Ireland has to offer. Check into Celbridge Manor Hotel for a quiet and cosy night after a day of exploring and dine in their School House bar, get a nice drink and stay in one of their Heritage Rooms situated in their original building for an authentic feel but with all the modern comforts. Or if you really want to go all out, why not stay at Carton House, with over 1,100 acres to discover, spa and pool facilities and some of the most beautiful architecture you can imagine.
Royal Canal Boat Trips is a Irish family business. We run our private charters, daily, all year round from Castleknock, Leixlip, Maynooth and Kilcock. We can accommodate between two and twelve passengers per trip. Charters are three hours in duration and include refreshments. We cater for families, visitors from over seas and groups of all ages and walks of life. It is our great pleasure to welcome you all aboard, where the kettle is on, the stove is lit and the scenery waits to find you utterly spellbound.
At Beetroot Wholesome Food, we care passionately about health and wellness. We believe, that by practicing self-care and by nurturing our bodies with wholesome, plant based vegetarian and vegan fare, by thinking positive thoughts, and by respecting our planet, we can truly transform anyone’s wellbeing. We believe in sustainable ecological farming so much, that we grow our own organic produce on Beech Park Eco Farm. Beetroot Healthy Food, our Café in Maynoothwas born just a few short years ago in 2016. In that short space of time, we are so proud to have won the Restaurants Ireland accolade for Best “Free From” Award, 3 years in a row. We care deeply about cooking wholesome, additive and allergen free plant based food. We also care deeply about our planet, and endeavour to promote zero waste packaging. All Beetroot packaging is fully compostable.
Welcome to the Royal Canal Greenway, a long-distance, off-road walking and cycling trail connecting Maynooth with Longford Town. The 130km trail passes through the lush green landscapes of Ireland’s Ancient East towards the mighty River Shannon in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. The Royal Canal, sometimes called the “Shoemaker’s Canal” from a story linking one of its early promoters with such a craft, was built 14 years after the Grand Canal. Following years of decline, it finally ceased to be used as a commercial waterway in 1951, though is still enjoyed by leisure users to this day. Start your adventure at Maynooth’s fine harbour in this renowned university town, close to the walled gardens and demesne of Carton House and trek or cycle 6km to Kilcock or further afield to Enfield and beyond. With an easy access to the stretch between Maynooth and Kilcock by car along the M4 and frequent bus and rail services from Dublin city centre makes this a convenient route for walkers.
When it was built in the 1720s, Castletown set a radical precedent and it is an extraordinary part of our cultural inheritance. Now, as the OPW breathes contemporary life into Ireland’s earliest and finest Palladian house, it is trailblazing once more. We hope you enjoy your visit.
Celbridge Manor Hotel is a magnificent Georgian-fronted hotel situated in the heritage town of Celbridge in County Kildare. Only minutes from Celbridge Village, the hotel sits on beautiful grounds, linked to the Clane Road by an opulent tree-lined avenue. The hotel combines old-world charm with the very best of modern convenience. Built in 1737 by Parliament Speaker, William Connolly of the nearby Castletown House, Ireland’s finest Palladian country house, the hotel served as a school until the mid 1970’s, when it was converted into a hotel. The hotel is decorated to a very high standard, reflecting the elegance of its inception in the Georgian era. The hotel contains 66 luxurious bedrooms, all tastefully decorated and containing all modern conveniences. Each bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, which contains a separate shower and stand-alone roll-top bath. The hotel serves the very best in fresh local produce and our Schoolhouse bar is a great place to catch up with friends, watch the big game, have a bite to eat or simply relax! The hotel is conveniently located 30 minutes from Dublin city centre and 30 minutes from Dublin airport and there is easy access to the M4, M7 and M50 motorways. Celbridge is also serviced by frequent bus and rail services. When you arrive at the gates you will be immediately transported to a world far removed from everyday life. A warm welcome awaits you, warm wood panelled lobby, sweeping staircase and light filled atrium.
An exciting date for your diary and one that will always be remembered in the vibrant history of Carton House as we reopen to guests and visitors following an extensive restoration and luxury redesign. With more than 75 locations around the globe, Fairmont is known for its grand and awe-inspiring properties, many of which are steeped in history and are a focal point of their local regions. We are sure you will agree that Carton House fits this description perfectly, and our hotel will be the most historic property in the prestigious Fairmont collection. From the moment you arrive at Carton House this summer, you will discover a guest experience which has been completely reimagined. There will be a number of exciting new dining experiences to enjoy including The Morrison Room which has been transformed into a fine dining restaurant and Kathleen’s Kitchen serving a true taste of Ireland with the finest locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. A new bar, The Courtyard Bar will also serve a light menu with premium spirits, fine wines and cocktails providing guests with an indoor and outdoor destination to relax and unwind.
If you would like to include a visit here during your time in Ireland, visit our website or get in touch and let us help you save time planning your Perfect Irish Trip
*Please note, we are advising international travel to Ireland from Spring 2022 and within Ireland from Summer 2021 onwards, unless advised otherwise by government officials, but we can help your plan your trip now 😊
For Ireland the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern.
2. What side of the road to drive on.
In Ireland drivers drive on the left side of the road. If you plan on ranting a car we recommendHertz or Budget. If you are worried about driving on the opposite side of the road to what you are used to, we recommend getting an automatic car and/ or co-sharing the driving journey. If you are traveling Europe, other countries where you will drive on the left hand side of the road are – The UK (Britain, Scotland and Whales), Malta and Cyprus.
3. What currency is used.
The euro is used in Ireland and throughout Europe, which is great if you are visiting from Europe or if you are doing a tour across Europe, you will not need to keep switching currencies.
4. Irish weather and temperature.
Ireland reads the temperature gauge in degrees celsius. You can have 4 seasons in one day in Ireland. Irish people can have problems preparing for their day as they might dress in the morning for a sunny day, then by lunch time it’s lashing rain and they have dressed in sandals and shorts. During the summer months the weather is warmer, sunnier and mild. You can expect temperatures to reach between 16-20°C (60.8 – 68℉) and on average expect 10-14 days of rainfall during each summer month and showers in-between. The best advice is to dress is to pack light clothes, but also good rain coat and bring shoes you are happy to walk in the rain with as backup in your case.
During autumn months the temperature goes between 5-17℃ (41-63℉) and rainfall is expected on average of 16-20 days.
During winter months the temperature goes between 2-10℃ (36-50℉) and rainfall is expected on average of 13-20 days.
During spring months the temperature goes between 5-15℃ (41-59℉) and rainfall is expected on average of 10-17 days.
5. Emergency numbers.
In Ireland, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, you can call 112 or 999. You will be put through to an operator who will then help direct you to the appropriate line for either -the Garda Síochána (Irish Police), ambulance, fire and Irish Coast Guard. If you are travelling throughout Europe 112 is an emergency number you can use throughout.
6. National language.
Irish is the national language of Ireland, although everyone speaks English. Most people however might have a few basic cúpla focal (a few words), as Irish is thought as part of the secondary school curriculum, but most people forget the language as they do not use it. Some people attend all Irish speaking schools and have more than a few words and tend to keep the language and then in rural parts of Ireland, we have what is called ‘Gaeltacht Areas’, which are regions where only Irish is spoken. In these Gaeltacht areas, all signs are written in Irish, all the shops and cafes you visit will have Irish speaking workers to help you and all homes will have Irish speaking families in them. If you would like to visit a Gaeltacht area, we recommend you read this article.
7. Population of Ireland.
The estimated population of Ireland is roughly about 4.85 million people. A-lot to fit on one small green island.
8. The capital of Ireland.
Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. Dublin (or Baile Átha Cliath in Irish) has a population of over 565,000. Some of the most recommended things to see and do in Dublin are; To visit the Guinness Storehouse, Do a Viking Splash tour and visit Kilmainham Gaol.
9. Irish Timezone.
Ireland operates under the same timezone as the UK – April until October GMT and November until March GMT+1.
10. Do you need a visa to enter Ireland?
The short and simple answer, no, not if you are a visitor from the EEA (and including British dependent territories). To check if you need a visa, what type of visa you need and what documentation you need click here.
Ireland is home to many a scenic backdrop from the very famous HBO series – Game of Thrones. Apart from filming taking place is studios in Belfast, locations scouts where sent out to find the best on site locations for some scenes, luckily they didn’t have to go too far as many famous scenes and castle were filmed within an hour or two from the studios in Northern Ireland. Below is a video and a list with links to some of the most famous sites.
Best Game of Thrones Locations In Ireland
Castle Ward – Winterfell
The outdoor scenes for Winterfell around the castle or in the courtyard are filmed at Castle Ward in County Down. For full info click into – Castle Ward
Ballintoy Harbour – Pyke Harbour, The Iron Islands
Any harbour or shallow water Iron Island scenes were filmed at Ballintoy Harbour (or just across from it). For more information on Ballintoy Harbour click here – Ballintoy Harbour
The cave scenes between Melisandre and Davos Seaworth took place in Cushendun Caves in County Antrim and we think the final scenes between Jamie Lannister and Euron Greyjoy in season 8 took place here too. For more info on the Cushendun Caves click here –Cushendun Caves.
Tollymore Forest – Winterfell Forest
The Stark forest scenes or (most) forest scenes are filmed in Tollymore forest, county Down. One of the main scenes you may remember that have been filmed here are when the Stark Family come across the dire pups. for more information on Tollymore Forest click here – Tollymore Forest.
The Dark Hedges – The Kings Road
The Dark Hedges have become famous within Ireland because of Game of Thrones, did you know that the Dark Hedges were formed in about 1775, by the Stuart Family who had 150 Beech Trees planted to line their driveway. If you would like to know more about the Dark Hedges click here – The Dark Hedges.
Larrybane Quarry – Renly Baratheon Campbase
Larrybane Quarry is used as the backdrop of Renley Baratheon’s camp base in season 2. It is beside Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (which is the next attraction). For more information click into – Larrybane Quarry.
Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge – Iron Islands
Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge is seen where Lord Greyjoy and Euron Greyjoy fight, well spoiler alert, it’s more so when Euron throws his brother off the rope bridge and down to his death. For more information on Carrick-a-rede rope Bridge click into – Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge.
If you would like to do a self drive tour of the Game of Thrones locations in Ireland click into – Game of Thrones Self Drive RoutesIf you would like to do a bus tour we recommend Mc Combs Coach Tours (which we done ourselves on a non sponsored or paid trip) or Game Of Thrones Bus Tours
If you are planning to do a tour either via bus or self drive, we recommend you bring
Traveling across Ireland can be done in a very eco-friendly manor. We are very lucky here that many people and business owners are aiming to make the world a better place. Every day more and more companies are doing their part to make great changes, some companies however have set out with eco-friendly ethos in mind from the beginning. Here is a list of 5 of the most eco-friendly places you can explore in while touring Ireland or even if you live in Ireland and you want some adventure, we have made this list by covering somewhere in almost each of the four corners of Ireland.
Cool Planet Experience is located in the Wicklow mountains, the garden of Ireland and we highly recommend that you go here. It is more so aimed at children and young teenagers, but is a fun experience for all ages. It is 45 minutes of interactive fun to learn about global warming, climate change and how to offset your carbon footprint by learning how to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. It is located at Powerscourt House and Gardens in Enniskerry, which is a beautiful estate to walk around and bask in nature.
An area of Ireland that is becoming highly recognised are the Skellig Islands, particularly Skellig Michael. As of recent times you will see them in the Star Wars franchise. Due to the wildness that is the Atlantic ocean, these islands can only be accessed over the summer months and on calm days. There are walking island tours available, but to preserve the beauty, the buildings and the nature, there is a restriction on how many people can go onto these islands every year. The walking tours are from morning to mid-afternoon and cost €100 p/p. The eco boat tours are highly recommended, they pass both islands and give all the history, facts and information on the islands. They know the best places to stop and show you all the attractions on the islands so you don’t miss a thing. These eco boat tours cost €40p/p and last for 2 hours. (Prices may vary)
The Burren Perfumery is one of the Burren’s many amazing secrets. Hidden away in Carran (an area in the Burren), there is a beautiful and enchanting perfumery, with a shop selling all natural and organically made perfumes, toiletries and candles and a delicious café. Using herbs and plants grown on-site for their ingredients in both the perfume and café. The Burren Perfumery is one of the true gems of Irish business to visit, you can walk around the small factory, be taken on a guided tour (free of charge) and explore the gardens were some of the ingredients are grown. Entry for the tours is currently free.
Not too far from the Burren Perfumery is Hazel Chocolate Mountain, a chocolate factory. It might be one of the last things you expect to find in the limestone mountains, but it is a very interesting little corner of the Burren. There is a guided tour on offer for a set fee, but sometimes if you arrive during a non-busy time, you might be able to avail of a quick mini tour for free. Hazel Chocolate Mountain adhere to strict environmental policies; they operate from a green roof building which helps minimize energy consumption, while also increases biodiversity and offers a unique habitat for wildlife. They have no plastic in their shop, all products are wrapped and covered using either recyclable or reusable paper and the staff use cloth gloves rather than plastic while handling the chocolate. They use only sustainable and ethical suppliers for their ingredients. It is a great experience for both adults and children, especially any foodies.
Wild Ireland is an animal sanctuary set up by Killian McLoughlin, that rehabilitates animals and also houses animals once native to Ireland. Amongst the animals are 3 brown bears, European wolves, a lynx (the original Celtic Tiger), an otter and red deer, red deer, red foxes, an owl, an otter and many more. All animals have been rescued from cruel circumstances such as circuses, illegal trade and neglect. Killian worked closely with three international charities to bring the animals to his 23 acre site that they now call home.
These are only a few examples of some lovely eco-friendly places to visit in Ireland. If you would like more examples or you would like help preparing a plan/ itinerary of where you would like to stay and dine in Ireland you can look at our Eco-Friendly Tour of Ireland or have a look at our Perfect Irish Trip Packages. Happy Traveling.