2 Days in Ireland
Ireland is filled with unbelievable scenery on all sides of the island. During my quick trip to Ireland, I was able to visit the capital of Dublin, the world famous Cliffs of Moher and plenty of pubs, breweries and distilleries along the way.
Getting There: Ireland is a fairly cheap country to travel to from the US. The best airlines to book for budget travel are WOW Airlines, Aer Lingus and Norwegian Air. We flew Norwegian to Stockholm and then Aer Lingus to Dublin. Norwegian, although a budget airline, was surprisingly very comfortable and the plane was one of the nicest I have been on. Tickets are very cheap and you usually have to fly to London Gatwick, Oslo or Stockholm first but the layover is definitely worth it! Each passenger has their own screen where you can watch free movies and TV shows, order food, play games and track the location of the plane during flight. I would absolutely suggest carrying on your luggage especially if you plan to be in Ireland or Europe for less than 2 weeks. We decided to check out luggage on Aer Lingus from Stockholm to Dublin and our luggage was lost for 2 days.
Transportation: From the Dublin Airport to the city center you can take the Air Link for about 6 euros per person. Parking in Dublin can be very difficult with traffic and the steering wheel being on the opposite side of the car. I would not rent a car until you plan to leave Dublin to avoid driving in the city.
Stay: The best area to stay in Dublin is Temple Bar – Temple Bar Hotel and Temple Bar Inn are great hotel options. For budget travelers, one of the most popular hostels in Dublin is the Barnacles Temple Bar House.
Day 1: On our first day in Dublin we did exactly what you would expect to do in Dublin, drink whiskey and Guinness. We started our day by visiting the Guinness Brewery and Storehouse. This brewery is a little different then most as they do not give you a tour of where they are brewing. The experience is more like a museum – you will learn all about the brew making process and the history of Guinness. There is a tasting room and the ticket to the museum includes a pint of Guinness at any of the restaurants within the brewery.
Purchase your tickets online to receive a 6 euro discount. Online tickets are 14 euros and ticket purchased at the brewery are 20 euros. There are restaurants to eat at the end of of the tour on the top floor and they have some of the best views of Dublin.
The next stop on our alcohol tour was the Teeling Distillery which was probably my favorite activity in Dublin. Teeling is the only functioning distillery currently in Dublin. The tour ranges from 14 euros to 30 euros depending on how many different batches you want to taste at the end of the tour.
Pictured above is the tasting for the Teeling Trinity Tasting which includes tastes of the small batch, single malt and single grain.
The tour is short but very informational not only about the distillery and Teeling whiskey but also about the history of Dublin.
The tour ends with a tasting in the Teeling Distillery Bar. You can also purchase additional drinks and whiskey tastings here. The gift shop is also located in the bar and you can fill up your own bottle of whiskey for a souvenir!
Unfortunately, the Old Jameson Distillery was closed for renovations during our visit but should be reopening in March 2017 (just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day!) You can also visit the Jameson Experience in Middletown, Cork which is about a 3 hour drive from Dublin.
Other Sights to See in Dublin (that we missed thanks to our plane being delayed more than a day)
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Temple Bar
- Chester Beatty Library
- St. Stephen’s Green
- Ha’ Penny Bridge
- Dublin Castle
Day 2: The main reason that I chose to visit Ireland was to see the Cliffs of Moher with my own eyes. The drive from Dublin is about 3 hours and we rented a car through Europcar and picked up the vehicle at the Dublin City Centre location. The office is conveniently located near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Driving on the opposite side of the road is so much harder than you would think. It took three of us in the car driving as a team for every round about and turn onto a new street!
The drive across Ireland to County Clare is beautiful, stop often and take as many pictures as possible.
When you arrive to the Cliffs of Moher you will park in the lot located across the street and the admission price is 6 euros per person. I would plan to arrive at least an hour or two before sunset so that you can take some great pictures during daylight and sunset. There are a few restaurants, bars and gift shops located near the cliffs. After leaving, check out the nearby town of Doolin for live music and great food. On our way back to Dublin, we stopped at the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna for some delicious craft beer and food, definitely try the mussels, fish and chips, goat cheese and all 3 of their craft beers (The Burren Red was my favorite!)