7 Days in Ireland Itinerary (With or Without a Car)

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Rolling hills, rich culture, and beautiful landscapes are just some of what you can expect when planning an Ireland itinerary! From bustling cities to country charm, Ireland has a lot to offer. So, if you are planning a 7 days in Ireland, I have you covered!

In this Ireland travel guide, you will learn all the best things to do in Ireland within 7 days, where to stay, eat, and how to get around! Best yet, you can use this Ireland itinerary with no car, or as a 7 day road trip itinerary as well!

7 Days in Ireland Itinerary - cows in Pasture

Maybe you’re on the fence, and you don’t know if you want to drive in Ireland yet. You will be able to see both options to help you make a better decision!

This Ireland itinerary is very realistic. When I was initially doing my research for visiting, I found many Ireland itineraries to be overly ambitious with the number of things you should see and do in a day. In my opinion, many were quite unrealistic for most travelers. 

In the Ireland itinerary below, I was able to do all of this with my mom, and if my mom can do it, so can you! This was also her first time across the pond and experiencing jetlag.

Kilkenny Castle with 7 days in Ireland itinerary
Mother Daughter trip – Kilkenny Castle

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Disclosure.


Who is This Ireland Itinerary For

I have designed this Ireland Itinerary for those who want to see as much as possible and want to have the option of not having to drive in Ireland.

If you’re from the United States or somewhere that drives on the right side of the road, driving on the left side is always a concern. With narrow roads and high rental prices, driving in Ireland can be really intimidating, stressful, or even ruin a trip. This is not to intimidate you – because Ireland is also known for road trips.

My mom and I decided we wouldn’t drive during our trip, however, this itinerary can serve both travelers who want to road trip Ireland, along with those who don’t. 

If this will be your first time in Ireland, this is the perfect itinerary for you! Furthermore, if you are considering a 10 day itinerary for Ireland and Scotland, this is exactly what we did (full itinerary coming soon), although you can take a sneak peek at my Scotland travel guide here.

Church Ruins at Glendalough with 7 days in Ireland itinerary
Church Ruins at Glendalough

Is 7 Days Enough Time 

The first question you may be wondering is if 7 days in Ireland enough time. I believe 7 days is the minimum amount of time you need to spend in Ireland to see some of the best attractions the Emerald Isle has to offer.

7 days will allow you to see both the countryside and city, along with exploring some of the Wild Atlantic Way! 

With only 5 days in Ireland, you could see Dublin and a day trip to an attraction or two, but it will definitely feel rushed. 

With 10 or more days in Ireland, you will be able to explore Ireland more leisurely and get a little more off the beaten path.

Think of this Ireland itinerary as a sample of some of the best attractions you can expect to explore in Ireland. Most people come back to Ireland for a second trip. This is because most people like to split Ireland with Northern Ireland (under British control). 

Kinsale Seaport in Ireland
Kinsale Seaport in Ireland

7 Days in Ireland Overview

To please both those who want to explore Ireland with no car (like us) along with people who want to road trip Ireland (what I would have done with my husband), I have broken down this itinerary into how to explore Ireland without a car, and with a car.

I am starting this Ireland itinerary with no car first. Even if you plan to drive, I still recommend reviewing it, because this is where I break down each stop. 

After, I will explain exactly what I think you should do with 7 days in Ireland driving. I will refer to the “Ireland with no car itinerary” since this is where I break down each attraction with links.

Car instructions will be italicized on each day, with a final breakdown at the end!   Find a Car Rental here!

Our 7 days Ireland itinerary with no car will use both Dublin and Cork as a base with day trips. 

  • Day 1 – 3 Cork, Kinsale, Blarney Castle, Cobh 
  • Day 3-7 in Dublin with day trips to Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Kilkenny, and the Wicklow Mountains

If you want to use this 7 day Ireland itinerary with a car, this is how I recommend you do it. This itinerary is slightly different because you will drive a loop around Ireland instead of using Cork and Dublin as a base.

7 Days in Ireland Itinerary Road Trip
Overview of 7 days in Ireland Itinerary Road Trip

Because Ireland has so much to offer, I am going to give additional suggestions throughout this Ireland itinerary as well. 


Getting Around Ireland

There are many ways to explore Ireland, so if you decide not to rent a car in Ireland, you may be wondering how to get around. Thankfully, public transportation in Ireland is very easy! 

Ireland Travel Tip: Whether you’re using public transportation or doing an Irish road trip, you will need internet service. We used an E-sim with Holafly. It works for both Andriod and Iphone, and we had service just about everywhere (countryside was a little spotty, but to be expected). You can check e-sim plans here.

The Irish Rail

Ireland is well connected by train transportation through the Irish Rail. You can book your tickets ahead of time (which I recommend) because they come with an assigned seat. It is a super easy and convenient way to explore Ireland.

Train in Ireland

The Buses & Trams

The bus, Bus Éireann, is also very easy to use. The only downside to the bus is that you must have Euros to pay. The bus drivers can offer you change, but generally speaking, it needs to be small bills.

You can see where the bus stops are and when they are scheduled right on Google Maps. Dublin also has some trams. These tickets can be paid for by the machine, and you can use a credit card here.

Bus in Ireland

Tour Buses

Additionally, if you are not driving in Ireland, you will do a couple of bus tours. In my opinion, they were excellent, especially because there is no way I want to drive 4+ hours – especially on the other side of the road. Some are a detailed tour, some are just transporting you, and others are somewhere in between the two.

Cabs

Uber does not really exist in Ireland. Instead, they have Bolt, but I found Bolt to be pretty expensive. Therefore you would have to rent “hire” a cab company.

Driving in Ireland

If you are driving in Ireland, I recommend using Google Maps as navigation, but still always double-check the route. Sometimes, the maps will have you going down these tiny country roads.  


Day 1 Cork: 7 Days in Ireland Itinerary No Car

Most people will fly in and out of Dublin Airport (DUB), Ireland, however, if you are NOT driving in Ireland, I recommend you start in Cork. You can either take the train to Cork (very easy) or take a connecting flight to Cork Airport (ORK).

For drivers, this is your day 5 in Ireland!

For the train, you can go right onto Irish Rail and get your ticket from Dublin Heuston to Cork Kent train station. The train ride is around 2 hours and 40 minutes.

An overview of day 1 in Cork will include:

  • Kinsale
  • Downtown Cork

Explore the Seatown of Kinsale

If you love colorful homes and seaside villages, Kinsale is a must on any Ireland itinerary. Not only is Kinsale known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, but they have to be one of the prettiest towns and oldest towns in all of Ireland. 

From Cork, you will just need to take the 226 bus to Kinsale. It takes about 25-45 minutes, depending on where you catch the bus in Cork. The bus arrives hourly. 

While exploring the charming alleys around Kinsale, make sure to check out the colorful stairs near The Gallery of Kinsale, walk down Market Quay, and stop by the Stone Mad Gallery. Kinsale is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs too, with dozens of small shops.

You can check out the Market House Museum. Inside they have artifacts of the town’s maritime history along with items from the Lusitania Spanish Armada shipwreck. If you are looking for a snack and coffee, I can recommend a stop at Jesk of Kinsale, located on Market Quay. 

If you are driving, I’d recommend getting to Kinsale early, since parking is limited and the streets are very narrow. Here are more of the best things to do in Kinsale!

Colorful street in Kinsale - a must with 7 days in Ireland
Market House Museum
Market House Museum

Downtown Cork

After enjoying the morning in Kinsale, head to downtown Cork. If you are feeling rather jetlagged, you visit downtown Cork tomorrow, as well. We visited both days. 

Cork is a really fun and lively area. With tons of shopping and restaurants, it is honestly just fun exploring up and down the streets! I would suggest stopping in at the English Market Cork, which is considered one of the best things to do in Cork. Additionally, you should stroll down Saint Patrick Street.

Depending on time, other popular things to do in Cork include visiting Bishop Lucey Park, Saints Peter and Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, St Augustine’s Church, Elizabeth Fort, and National Monument – Cork. You can even catch a show at the Cork Opera House

If you have been a long-time reader, you know I search out good pizza in every country I visit, and Ireland was no different. We ate dinner at  II Padrino, and it was pretty good.

If you are searching for a local and authentic Irish Bar, check out Fordes Bar. You will likely be surrounded by locals, and if that doesn’t intimidate you, enjoy yourself a pint of Guinness!

English Market in Cork

Day 2 Blarney Stone & Cobh: No Car

After an exciting first day in Ireland, we will keep the momentum going with a day trip to: 

  • The Blarney Castle
  • Town of Cobh

The Blarney Castle is a must on any Ireland itinerary, and Cobh, in my opinion, is so underrated, therefore you will be glad you visited!

Full disclosure, we did a tour that transported us to both Blarney Castle and Cobh. However, that tour is no longer available.

I did find a transfer that includes Blarney Castle, Kinsale, and Cobh. The price is pretty good, and it will actually open up your day 1 in Ireland a little as this tour will bring you to Kinsale as well. 

You can easily take public transportation to both Blarney Castle and Cobh. But, if you did go with the Blarney Castle, Kinsale, and Cobh tour, I would consider spending more time in downtown Cork or even taking the bus out to Blackrock Castle Observatory during your day 1 – which we didn’t have time to do during our visit. The bus ride from the city center is about 30 minutes.

For those who are driving, this will be a part of your Day 4. You will drive to Blarney Castle on your way to Cork. On Day 5, you will visit Kinsale and Cobh.

Blarney Castle

Easily one of the most famous castles in Ireland, the Blarney Castle is certainly worth the visit. Because of its popularity, I suggest getting there early and when you arrive, walk straight to the castle and begin climbing up!

Why do you ask? Because kissing the famous Blarney Stone, which is at the top of the castle, is known to give you 7 years of good luck! It is called the gift of Gab. I must admit, climbing up the tiny spiral staircase can be an issue for those who have weak knees, but exploring inside the castle is so cool.

Once reaching the stone, you will lay on your back and kiss the rock upside down, hanging slightly off the castle – a unique experience, to say the least.

This tower house was built by Cormac MacCarthy back in the 1400s. Once you make it to the top of the castle, you will find rolling hills and cows in the pasture. Back in the day, a fortress wall would have likely surrounded the castle. Additionally, you will find walking trails, gardens, and the Blarney House.

How to get to the Blarney Castle: To reach the Blarney Castle and Gardens, take the 215 bus. If you drive, there is a large parking lot.

Admission: 20 euros per adult; children 9 euros (5 and under are free). They also offer 2 adults and two children for 50 euros.

Address: Monacnapa, Blarney, Co. Cork, T23 Y598, Ireland

Visiting the Blarney Castle is a must with 7 days in Ireland itinerary
Kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland
Kissing the Blarney Stone

Explore Cobh

This charming seaside town, pronounced like Cove, is famously known for being the last port to call the Titanic left from. It is also where many Irish left to emigrate to the states.

Explore down the charming streets, making a stop at the famous “Deck of Cards” view at the top of Spy Hill, walk up to St. Colman’s Cathedral, and then make your way down to Kennedy Park. 

While here, you could also check out the Titanic Experience, located in the White Star Line building. You can expect to spend 1 hour in an immersive experience learning more about the Titanic.

Near the building, there is usually an ice cream truck with the fluffiest ice cream I have ever tasted! 

Ireland Fun Fact: Cobh was originally known as Queenstown. 

How to Get To Cobh

From Blarney Castle, take the 215 bus back to Cork Kent (train station). Take the Cobh/Midleton Service. You can find the timetable here. You should be able to see all this with Google Maps. 

If you drive, parking is very limited in Cobh, so allow extra time for parking.

Deck of Cards Houses in Cobh Ireland is a must see with 7 days in Ireland itinerary
Deck of Cards Houses in Cobh
Cobh town looking down from St. Colman's Cathedral
Cobh town looking down from St. Colman’s Cathedral

Alternative Day 2 in Ireland

Alternatively, you can take a tour of the Ring of Kerry. This is a wildly popular thing to do and includes sites like Dingle Bay, Skellig Rocks, Inch Beach, and Torc Waterfall.

However, you will see dramatic cliffs when you visit the Cliffs of Moher. I know some people just feel like they need to do it, and if you were going to tour out of anywhere for the Ring of Kerry, Cork would be the closest destination.

Personally, I think two towns and Blarney Castle are more worth it, but I totally believe in forging your own path when traveling; therefore, I want you to know all you’re options!


Where to Stay in Cork

I would recommend staying in the City Centre of Cork. We stayed near the Airport at Cork International Hotel, which is within walking distance of the airport. It was a nice hotel, and the bus stop was 3-5 minutes from the hotel, however, I would have rather stayed in the center looking back.

Some hotels I would recommend staying at include: 

Cork Bay in Ireland

Day 3 Head to Dublin

Next, we are heading to Dublin because, with 7 days in Ireland, Dublin is an absolute must! 

For those driving: This will be your day 1 in Ireland. I would not rent your car until leaving Dublin and heading to the Wicklow Mountains on Day 3. 

From Cork, you will book your train from Cork Kent train station to Dublin Heuston train station. I always recommend getting these tickets in advance so you are guaranteed a seat! I recommend an early train so you can utilize the day in Dublin. 

Once arriving in Dublin, drop your bag at the hotel and get ready to start exploring. 

Some of the top attractions we will be exploring in Dublin include: 

  • Dublin Castle
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Ha’penny Bridge
  • Temple Bar

Dublin Itinerary travel tip: All the days spent in Dublin are interchangeable. I would recommend keeping the attractions for each day the same, since I organized them by what is closest to each other.

Day 1 in Dublin Overview Ireland itinerary
Day 1 in Dublin Overview

Dublin Castle

The Dublin Castle has played an important role throughout history and is a historical landmark in Dublin.

It was built on an old Viking settlement in the 1200s and was a place where the English and later Britsh ruled up until Ireland’s independence in 1922.

You can tour around the courtyard area, gardens, and around the building for free, but if you want to view inside the staterooms, the Viking Excavation, and the Chapel Royal, you need to purchase a ticket.

Hours: Monday – Sunday 9:45 –  5:45 PM (17:45) (last admission 5:15 PM or 17:15)

Tickets: Adult Ticket: €8; Senior Ticket (60+): €6; Child Ticket (12-17 yrs): €4; Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2-3 children): €20

Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland

Entance into the Dublin Castle
Entrance into the Dublin Castle

Christ Church Cathedral

Next, walk over to Christ Church Cathedral (The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity). This is the oldest Medieval Church in Dublin. It was built by Viking King Sitric Silkenbeard in the 11th century and then rebuilt in stone by Richard de Clare, better known as Strongbow, in the late 12th century.

You can admire the Cathedral from the outside, but you need to pay admission to go inside. Admission includes a self-guided audio tour from your phone. Inside, the architecture is just as impressive with stained glass.

Some other things you can find inside include St. Laurence’s heart, Robert Earl of Kildare’s memorial, old books and manuscripts dating back to the 1200s, and precious metals.

Admission: Adult €10.50; Child (4-12) €3.50; Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) €25

Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 AM – 6 PM; Tuesday, Thursday 10 AM – 5:30 PM; Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM; Sunday 12:30 PM – 3 PM & 4:30 PM – 6 PM

Address: Christchurch Pl, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland

Christ Cathedral in Dublin Ireland
Christ Cathedral

Dublinia (Optional)

Right across from Christ Church Cathedral is Dublina, a Viking museum. Inside, you will learn about the history of the Vikings, find interactive exhibits, and be able to climb the tower. We toured Dublinia, and I think it is great for kids, or those very interested in Viking culture. 

It is a well-done small museum, however, I don’t think it is a “must” with 7 days in Ireland. If you visit Christ Church Cathedral, you can actually get a discount to Dublinia. 

Tickets: Adult: €15; Child (3-12 years): €7.50

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10 AM – 4 PM

Address: St Michaels Hill Christ Church, Dublin 8, Ireland

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

After, take a 7-minute walk to Patrick’s Cathedral, known as the largest Cathedral in Ireland and built on an ancient well. It dates back to 1220. Archbishop Luke oversaw the construction of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, while Archbishop John Comyn is credited for elevating Saint Patrick’s to Cathedral status.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of Ireland’s finest examples of Gothic architecture, so you shouldn’t miss it.

Tickets: Adult €9; Child €3.50 – Attending service is free

Hours: Monday – Friday 9:30 AM – 5 PM; Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM; Sunday 9 AM – 10:30 AM & 1 PM – 2:30 PM

Address: St Patrick’s Close, Dublin, D08 H6X3, Ireland

Guinness Storehouse

Did you visit Dublin without stopping by the Guinness Storehouse? If you’re not a drinker, I totally understand, but I would recommend adding the Guinness Storehouse to your 7 days in Ireland itinerary.

During a visit, you will learn all things Guinness, including the legendary six-step ritual, and even pouring your own pint of Guinness. 

The bar area also has fantastic views of Dublin to enjoy. It is recommended to get your tickets in advance, and you can expect to spend around 90 minutes at the Guinness Storehouse.

Tickets: Start at €26

Hours: Monday – Friday: 10 AM to 7 PM (last admission 5 PM); Saturday: 9.30 AM to 8 PM (last admission 6 pm); Sunday: 9.30 AM – 7 PM (last admission 5 PM)

Address: Guinness Storehouse, St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H, Ireland

Guinness Storehouse
Credit: vmacphoto/depositphotos

Temple Bar Area

When we first arrived at “Temple Bar” I was surprised to find out that many of the bars said, Temple Bar. You can spot out the “famous” Temple Bar with the light decorations they have, but the whole temple bar area is really cute with cobblestone streets and painted window fronts.

For dinner and drinks, we ate nearby at Merchant’s Arch Bar and Restaurant. The food was delicious, the decor was really cool, and they even had a live singer playing traditional Irish music, which was also excellent. Reviews

Address: 48-49 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 EY65, Ireland

The Temple Bar is a must visit Ireland Itinerary
Merchant's Arch Bar and Restaurant
Merchant’s Arch Bar and Restaurant

Ha’penny Bridge

Before ending the night, less than a minute away, you can see the Ha’penny Bridge, a landmark in Dublin. Built in May 1816, the bridge spans over the River Liffey and used to cost half a penny to cross, therefore its name.

Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin

Pubs to Check out in Dublin 

I listed two pubs above, but it is totally understandable if you want to check out as many pubs as possible while in Dublin. Some others you can check out include: 

  • The Brazen Head – Known as the first Pub in Ireland
  • The Celt
  • The Stags Head

Day 4 Dublin

On day 4, we will be exploring more of what Dublin has to offer – make sure to wear your comfortable walking shoes! Some of the top attractions you can expect to see include: 

This is day 2 for those who are driving.

  • Trinity College & Book of Kells
  • Molly Malone Statue
  • Grafton Street
  • St. Stephen’s Green
  • National Gallery of Ireland
  • Merrion Square Park
Day 2 in Dublin Map
Day 2 in Dublin Overview

Trinity College & Book of Kells

Start your morning off by visiting Trinity College to see the Books of Kells. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Dublin, and a ticket is required. Therefore, make sure to get your ticket at their official website here. The Books of Kells, in particular, are a very popular attraction.

If you want to try and see the Trinity College library section within the Books of Kells with few crowds, you must book the first time slot and get there early. In case you didn’t know, The Book of Kells is an important manuscript from the Bible that the monks took with them when fleeing from Vikings.

You can expect to spend around 1 hour exploring the museum and library area.

Tickets: Starting at €18.50 per Adult

Address: The University of Dublin Trinity College, College Green, Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College & Book of Kells
Trinity College & Book of Kells

Molly Malone Statue

From the Book of Kells, take a short walk to the Molly Malone Statue. If you haven’t yet heard the Molly Malone song, this is your cue to type “Molly Malone song” into Youtube. I’ll wait!

Welcome back!

So, a statue of Ms. Molly was erected for this popular Irish song, and I also think the surrounding area is pretty. Furthermore, it is near our next stop!

Molly Malone Statue
Molly Malone Statue

Grafton Street

Ok, maybe you don’t want to buy anything, but you should still walk down Grafton Street, one of Dublin’s most popular shopping streets. I personally got a wool beanie from Aran Sweater Market that I love.

Again, even if you don’t shop, it is still a fun street to walk down to our next stop on this Ireland itinerary. You can also make a quick stop at Zozimus Bar if you want a picture under the hanging umbrellas.

Grafton Street in Dublin Ireland

St. Stephen’s Green

Known as one of the best public parks in Dublin, taking a stroll in St. Stephen’s green is a must. The park stretches 22 acres and has played an important role in Irish history.

Enjoy walking down the tree-lined walkways or hang out by the lake and take in some nature from the busy city. If you walk around the edge of the park, you will find a lot of information about the history of the park.

For example, one of the boards will talk about the 1916 rebel rising. The British soldiers posted on the roof of the Shelbourne Hotel and would fire at the rebels down in the park. However, they would stop firing at 3 PM so the parkkeeper could feed the ducks.

Additionally, if you want to do more shopping, look no further than Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. This greenhouse-like shopping centre is also famous for photos due to its unique design. 

National Gallery of Ireland

Take another relatively short walk to the National Gallery of Ireland. Not only is it free to visit, but this museum offers beautiful artwork. The gallery is so large, you can likely spend all day here.

You don’t have all day, but I would recommend checking out The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife by Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) and The Grand Gallery (Room 44). 

Just ask the guards on where to find it – we had several people lead us!

Hours: Monday: 11 AM – 5:30 PM; Tuesday – Wednesday: 9:15 AM – 5:30 PM; Thursday: 9:15 – 8:30 PM; Friday – Saturday: 9.15 – 17.30; Sunday: 11 AM – 5:30 PM

Address: Merrion Square W, Dublin 2, D02 K303, Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland Strongbow a must see in Dublin

Merrion Square Park

Finally, end the day with a stroll through Merrion Square Park. This cute and quaint park is a popular spot for locals to relax, offers pretty flora and fauna, and has the Oscar Wilde Memorial (he used to live in a house overlooking the square).

The park is over 11 acres, and it is a great spot to even take a seat after all the walking you’ve done today. 

Merrion Square Park
Oscar Wilde Statue

Jameson Distillery Bow St

If you love Whiskey, Jameson, or both, you may want to consider including a trip to the Jameson Distillery. You can even swap out the Guinness tour with this one if you prefer. Enjoy a handful of different experiences, including their history and tastings. See the Jameson experiences here.

Address: Bow St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 N9VH, Ireland


Day 5 Day Trip to Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains

Ready to see a stunning Medieval town, spectacular landscapes, and sheep hearding? Then get excited because today you will be experiencing all 3! For those of you not driving, you will need to take a tour. We took this tour on Viator, and it was really outstanding.

Usually, I am not one to do tours, but when there is so much driving involved in touring Ireland, it was nice not having to do it. We were brought on a comfortable and airconditioned coach bus and were given ample time to explore each spot! 

For Drivers, this will be your day 3 of your Ireland Itinerary.

Glendalough Valley a must with 7 days in Ireland itinerary
Glendalough Valley

Glendalough Wicklow Mountains National Park

Located in one of the last ancient native Irish forests, get ready to take in some Ireland beauty. As you drive through, look out for sheep that may be crossing the road as you make your way to one of the earliest Christian Monastic Settlements in Europe. This area has been featured in films including P.S. I Love You and Leap Year.

Enjoy exploring around the ruins, a graveyard, and nature trails that offer lovely views of the valley. We even saw deer during our visit.

Address: Derrybawn, Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Glendalough Christian Monastic Settlements
Glendalough Christian Monastic Settlements

Sheepdog Demonstration

If you go on the tour, a sheepdog demonstration is included at the Cullen Family Farm in the Wicklow Mountains. This was a unique experience to see this traditional Irish demonstration up close and personal. We got to see baby lambs, ask questions, and give the pups some pets. 

If you’re driving yourself, you can call the Cullen Family Farm, or look up the Irish Working Sheepdogs located in Kildare and has good reviews.

Sheepdog demonstation in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland

Kilkenny

Arriving in the town of Kilkenny, start at the Kilkenny Castle. If you’re on a tour, your time is more limited per spot. I definitely recommend seeing this 13th-century castle. However, if you choose to go inside, limit your time so you can see more of the town! 

On the side of the castle, there is a pop-up shop with coffee and pastries. The croissants and coffee are very good!

I’d say you have about 20 – 30 minutes to go inside if you’re a fast walker.

Tickets: €8 Adult; Child (12-17) €4

Kilkenny Castle is a must visit in your Ireland itinerary
Kilkenny Castle

Other top attractions I recommend seeing include walking down Medieval Mile, Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, The Black Abbey (incredible stained glass), and St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower.

We ate at the Cave Café, which is attached to the Playwright on St Kieran’s St. My mom said the fish and chips were excellent, and the portion was enormous!

The Black Abbey Stained Glass
The Black Abbey Stained Glass
Cave Café Fish and Chips in Kilkenny Ireland
Cave Café Fish & Chips

Day 6 Day Trip to Cliffs of Moher and Galway

This may have been my favorite place during our whole 7 days in Ireland itinerary. Driving down some of the Wild Atlantic Way, seeing the Cliffs of Moher, and driving through the quaint little villages with stonewalls was so cool! I especially loved being on the bus tour, so I could really take in the scenery.

One thing we haven’t really talked about yet is the weather in Ireland. They don’t call it the Emerald Isle for nothing. That means that at any given time of the year, Ireland’s weather can be extremely unpredictable.

We were very fortunate to get sunny days throughout our time Ireland; I know, crazy right? Therefore, when we visited the Cliffs of Moher, we had full clarity. 

I think visiting, regardless of the weather, will still be special. I mean, they filmed Harry Potter, Leap Year, and the Princess Bride here.

This is also your day 6 on your Ireland itinerary if you’re driving.

Cliffs of Moher

An absolute must with 7 days on your Ireland Itinerary is the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs reach over 700 ft tall and line down the coast for 5 miles. Upon arrival, you will see a visitor center, which includes food and a museum. I recommend walking straight to the cliffs first to take in the views!

On a clear day, you can even see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. If you’re not going on a tour, I’d recommend getting your tickets ahead of time.

Cliffs of Moher is a must with 7 days in Ireland
Cliffs of Moher

The Burren

After enjoying the Cliffs of Moher, stop at The Burren, a UNESCO Global Geopark. This unique landscape is covered in jagged pieces of limestone and looks out to the Atlantic Ocean.

In fact, the Burren is known as one of the finest examples of Glacio-Karst in the world, and is super close to the Cliffs. 

The Burren in Ireland
The Burren in Ireland

Galway

Looking for the Galway girls? Next, you will head to the famous city of Galway, Ireland. Explore the bustling streets through the Latin Quarter, relax in Eyre Square, pass Lynch’s Castle (which is now a bank), and grab a bite to eat! 

I know in Ireland, you probably want to eat Irish food, but if you want pizza or Italian food, I enjoyed Gatto Rosso- Italian Pizzeria & Restaurant Galway.

Latin Quarter in Galway
Galway Girl Statue in Ireland

Day 7 Day Trip or Dublin

We have finally made it through an exciting 7 days in Ireland, and you have done so much! If you happen to be leaving this day, you can explore around Dublin a little more and hit things you might have missed. 

Dublin has so much to offer, including The National Museum of Ireland, the Little Museum of Dublin (our bus tour guide highly recommended it), the National Botanic Garden, and even Malahide Castle & Gardens (an impressive 12th Century Castle that has raving reviews). 

If you know you will be doing a lot of paid Dublin attractions, getting the Go City Dublin Pass can actually save you a lot of money and even includes transport to the Malahide Castle with a hop-on-hop-off bus. Otherwise, it is a little difficult getting there without a car.

Or, if you have a full day before flying out, you can even take a day trip tour to Northern Ireland to see Belfast, Rede Rope Bridge, and Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This is one thing we plan to come back and see during our next trip to Ireland! When visiting the Republic of Ireland, they use the British Pound. If you’re driving, you probably will not be able to do this as the drive is far.

For those driving in Ireland, you will be waking up in Galway, and driving about 3 hours back to Dublin. You can do a small day trip to the Aran Islands from Galway, explore more of the city, or head back to Dublin and see anything you missed on your first 2 days in Ireland, including some of the above! 

O'Neill's building in Dublin Ireland
Dublin Ireland Temple Bar Area

Where to Stay in Dublin

I have done some pretty extensive research when it comes to where to stay in Dublin, so here are my recommendations for you. I can highly recommend booking in advance.

These rooms go fast, especially during the summer, or around events. Furthermore, I found the rooms in Dublin to be relatively small – just so you’re aware.

  • Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin – Located in an excellent area and within walking distance of attractions. Nearby, we ate at Flanagans Bar and Restaurant (not the chain), and it was terrific.
  • Academy Plaza Hotel – In the same location as the Riu, but at a lower price point. We stayed here and have no complaints other than the rooms being on the small side.
  • The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection – A historic landmark hotel in a more quaint area of Dublin and within walking distance to all.
  • Arthaus Hotel – In the same quaint area as The Shelbourne, but at a better price point. Also a beautiful hotel with raving reviews.

7 Days in Ireland WITH A Car

Because I know this may have been confusing to those who are planning on driving, I just wanted to do a quick review of exactly how your Ireland road trip itinerary will go! 

If you are not driving, skip this! 

Dublin Day 1

You will start by seeing some of the top attractions including:

  • Dublin Castle
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Ha’penny Bridge
  • Temple Bar

Jump to Day 3 with No Car for more details.

Dublin Day 2

On day 2 in Ireland, you will follow the same as Day 4 in Ireland with no car and see attractions including:

  • Trinity College & Book of Kells
  • Molly Malone Statue
  • St. Stephen’s Green
  • Grafton Street
  • National Gallery of Ireland
  • Merrion Square Park

Jump to Day 4 for more details.

Day 3 Kilkenny & Wicklow

On day 3, pick up your car and head to Kilkenny. You will follow day 5 for non-car drivers, which explores Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains. You should spend the night in Kilkenny. Some places to stay in Kilkenny include: 

Kilkenny is a very small town (9,000 people inhabit Kilkenny), so you really have to book in advance here!

Day 4 Cork

On Day 4,  you will head to Cork. Because you have a car, I would recommend stopping at the Rock of Cashel, a historical fortress.

Then you will continue on to Blarney Castle – a must with 7 days in Ireland. You can see more about things to do at the Blarney Stone on Day 2 Ireland with no car.

After exploring around the Blarney Castle and kissing the stone, you will end your day in Cork.

Use the same hotel recommendations, but make sure they offer parking for the car!

Day 5 Cork (Kinsale, Cobh & Downtown Cork)

Day 5, you will drive to both Kinsale and Cobh, just keep in mind parking can be tough to find, so plan ahead. My recommendations for Kinsale are on Day 1 with no car and Cobh on day 2 with no car

To be honest, it could be worth considering taking the bus instead of driving, especially to Kinsale – the bus is so easy!

Day 6 Cliffs of Moher

Day 6 in Ireland with a car, leave Cork nice and early, as it takes almost 3 hours to drive to the Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy the stunning Cliffs, stop at the Burren, and then end the day in Galway, where you will spend the night. You want to get here early to beat the clouds coming in.

Some places to stay in Galway include:

Refer to Day 6 Ireland itinerary with no car for more details!

Day 7 Galway and Dublin

On day 7 in Ireland, you will enjoy Galway a little more before taking the 3 hour drive back to Dublin. You can explore around Galway, go back to the Cliffs of Moher if it was a cloudy day, or explore more of Dublin.

See additional Dublin options under Day 7 in Ireland itinerary no car! You can refer to where to stay in Dublin above.

Alternative Ireland Itinerary Option

If you really want to drive the Ring of Kerry, it is still possible to do it during 7 days in Ireland.

To do this, I would skip Kilkenny and drive straight to Cork, with a stop at the Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle for your day 3.

Day 4, you will explore Kinsale and Cobh, and then on Day 5, you will drive the Ring of Kerry, which will take the full day. You should stay near Killarney National Park after driving the Ring. You can even stop by Ross Castle while in the area. Places to stay on day 5 include:

From here, you will finish Day 6 (the Cliffs of Moher & Galway) and Day 7 (back to Dublin) the same as the no-car guide.

I have seen other guides also add the Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head, however, with just a week in Ireland, I feel it is a little hard to achieve – unless you take a bus tour from Cork. The drive (in my opinion) is too far, unless you plan to stay somewhere in Dingle.

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

The Best Time to Visit Ireland

Now that you know how to spend your time in Ireland, let’s talk about the weather.

The high season is undoubtedly in the Summer. This is when Ireland receives the most tourists. This is also when Ireland is known to have the least amount of rainfall, however, this doesn’t mean it won’t rain. The average temperatures in the summer are usually in the high 60’s F and slightly chilly in the morning.

I personally believe the two best times to visit Ireland is in the Spring and early Fall. This is known as the shoulder season. You can expect fewer crowds and lower prices.

It can snow during the winter in Ireland, but overall the winter is the wettest time in Ireland. If you’re traveling to Ireland on a budget, winter prices tend to be the lowest. Dublin has cute Christmas markets as well, so don’t fully write it off.

No matter what time you visit Ireland, I recommend bringing a raincoat, a light fleece jacket, and waterproof shoes. This is because you can experience all the seasons in one day, no matter the time of year!

Cliffs of Moher Ireland Girls Trip
Cliffs of Moher with mom

Ireland Travel Tips

Before wrapping up this Ireland itinerary, I want to leave you with some more Ireland travel tips and sayings for your trip!

  • Irish people DO NOT say top of the morning to you.
  • Irish people use the word “grand” as a general gesture.
  • If you hear an Irish person say, “what’s the Craic?” it means what’s going on, or if they say, “having the Craic” it means having fun!
  • Make sure you look right when crossing the street.
  • A small tip (10-15%) is usually expected at restaurant establishments.
  • Practice normal safety precautions in the cities.
  • If you visit Northern Ireland, you need British Pounds.
  • Credit Cards are widely accepted except for the bus.
  • Irish black and white pudding is not the same as American pudding. It is basically a meat paddy made with pig’s blood.
  • Guinness is life in Ireland =)
Cows at Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
Guinness Mural in Kinsale Ireland

7 Days in Ireland Itinerary Wrap-up

This concludes our 7 days in Ireland itinerary! I hope you have the best time exploring all that Ireland has to offer!

For more tips, check my Ireland Travel Guide (more Ireland guides coming soon)!

Have any questions or feel like I missed something in this 7 days in Ireland itinerary? Let me know in the comments below, or send me an email or DM on social media!

Did you find this Ireland Itinerary helpful? I’d really appreciate it if you could share it below!

7 days in Ireland itinerary
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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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