| July 19th, 2023 | No comments

Planning an Ireland vacation? You’re in for a treat. Our 7 day Ireland itinerary helps you explore the country’s must-see destinations if a week is all the time you have. 

 Ireland is full of beautiful scenery, friendly people, and incredible history. Even if you’ve only got a week, you’ll be able to fit in most of the highlights. However, it can be hard to choose how to spend time in Ireland with only 7 days.

That’s why we’ve put together a 7 days in Ireland itinerary for you. If you have more time to visit this amazing country you should definitely do that!

7 Days in Ireland – An Itinerary

The most popular way to get around Ireland is by renting a car and driving yourself. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to spend more time in the places that interest you. It also means you skip what you don’t want to see. Driving is also the best way to get a firsthand glimpse of the greenest countryside you’ll ever see.

So, it’s time to start on your 7 day Ireland itinerary, so grab your rental car and hit the road!

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Day 1: Dublin

people on a street in dublin, ireland

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and the easiest place to fly into. Spend the day exploring this charming city. While you’re wandering around, be sure to check out Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green, and Trinity College. You may also want to hit St. Patrick’s Cathedral while you’re at it. And of course, you’ll want to visit the Guinness Storehouse. You can take a tour, have lunch, and learn how to pour the perfect pint.

For the grand finale, enjoy a Guinness on the top floor, giving you a panoramic view of Dublin. Once night falls, gorge yourself on some Guinness stew or shepherd’s pie. If you’re still able to move, head out to the Temple Bar area to enjoy some live music.

Want to hit all the best pubs in Dublin? Check out GetYourGuide’s Private Pub Crawl Tour.

For accommodation in Dublin’s city center, check out the Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin.

Day 2: Dublin to Cork

No matter how late you were out on the town last night, you’ll want to rise fairly early. Get in a good Irish breakfast before you hit the road. The drive from Dublin to Cork is about 3 hours, but you’ll be making a few stops along the way.

As you leave Dublin, you’ll drive through the Wicklow Mountains. You laid eyes on this beautiful landscape from your perch atop the Guinness Storehouse a day earlier. Wicklow Mountains National Park is the largest national park in the country, and there’s plenty to explore here. Take your time driving along the mountain roads taking in the breathtaking scenery. You can also stop to check out the Irish National Stud & Gardens and Glendalough along the way.

woman sitting on a rock looking at a lake in a valley in Wicklow Ireland

After passing through the mountains, you’ll head onward to Kilkenny. This medieval town is home to Smithwick’s Brewery, so you may want to stop and have a pint. Places to visit here include Kilkenny Castle and St. Canice’s Cathedral. If you’re looking for a crash course in Kilkenny’s history, check out GetYourGuide’s Historical and Hysterical Guided City Walking Tour.

When you’re done in town, continue on to the Rock of Cashel, just a short drive out of Kilkenny. This historical monument is incredibly well-preserved and is home to many medieval structures. Explore the Gothic cathedral, the Romanesque chapel, the 15th-century tower house, and the abbey. With its historical significance and its impressive stature, this is one of the most visited attractions in the country.

After the Rock of Cashel, you’ll be on the road for a bit before reaching Blarney Castle and Gardens. This is the home of the infamous Blarney Stone, or the Stone of Eloquence. Legend has it that if you kiss the stone, you’ll never again be at a loss for words. Take a tour of the castle, stroll through the gardens, kiss the stone, and walk around the Rock Close.

Finally, after your visit to the Blarney Stone, you’ll arrive in Cork, the second-largest city in Ireland. It’s probably early evening by now depending on how long you stopped in each place on your route. Check into your accommodation and head to one of Cork’s many pubs to get some food and more Irish beer.

For accommodation in Cork, check out the Metropole Hotel Cork in the city center.

Day 3: Cork

sunset over a cemetery and church in cork ireland

Since Cork is the country’s second-largest city, you’ll need a full day to explore. Check out the English Market for some incredible food samples. You’ll also want to visit St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, home to over 1000 sculptures and the largest organ in Ireland. You may also want to check out the Blackrock Castle Observatory and the Cork City Gaol. Finally, stroll through the lush Fitzgerald Park and check out the Cork Public Museum.

To hit all the highlights in Cork with a guide, check out GetYourGuide’s Guided Historical Walking Tour.

When the day is done, head out on the town for some more hearty Irish food and beer. Cork’s nightlife rivals Dublin’s so check out as many places as possible before you head out tomorrow.

Day 4: Cork to Galway

There’s no time to waste during your 7 days in Ireland itinerary! Wake up in Cork, grab some breakfast, and try to hit the road early. The drive from Cork to Galway takes just over 2.5 hours, but you’ll be stopping along the way again. First, head to Killarney National Park. The first national park in Ireland includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountains in the country. There’s plenty to explore within the national park, including the Muckross House and Gardens and the Bourn Vincent Memorial Park. If you’re looking to see more nature, you can choose one of the hiking trails.

Once you’re done exploring the national park, drive up past Limerick to the Cliffs of Moher. One of the country’s most visited attractions, the Cliffs of Moher just might be the highlight of your Ireland vacation. Rising 702 feet at their highest and stretching 5 miles along the Atlantic coastline, the cliffs are a natural phenomenon. Check out the Visitor Centre to find out more about the cliffs and O’Brien’s Tower for an incredible view. Finally, drive along the Wild Atlantic Way as part of your road trip.

Once you’ve marveled at the Cliffs of Moher, you’re on the home stretch to Galway. The last leg of the drive will take about 1.5 hours. Once you arrive, check into your accommodation and set out to find some delicious Irish food. For accommodation in Galway, check out Jurys Inn Galway.

Day 5: Galway

The city of Galway sits right on the Atlantic coast of Ireland and it’s full of character. When you first wake up, head out for breakfast at a Michelin-star restaurant. Once you’ve had your fill, it’s time to hit the highlights. Check out the free Galway City Museum to learn about the city’s medieval history.

The center of the city is the lively Eyre Square, so start here and make your way outward. Shop on Quay Street, check out the Galway Cathedral and visit the Spanish Arch and the St. Nicholas Collegiate Church. Once you’ve hit all the sights, try kayaking down the Corrib River, the shortest and fastest-flowing river in Europe.

If you’re looking to get a little off the beaten path, check out GetYourGuide’s Traditional Irish Poitin & Gin Distillery Tour.

Day 6: Galway to Dublin

Unfortunately, your trip is coming to a close. It’s time for the last leg of your drive from Galway back to Dublin. If you’re eager to get back to Dublin and explore more, hit the road and drive straight across the country. The drive should take about 2.5 hours.

If you’re not in a rush to get to Dublin, there are several places you can stop along the way. Roscommon is one option, about an hour and a half northeast of Galway. This small Irish town is home to the ruins of Roscommon Castle and Roscommon Abbey.

Just south of Roscommon, you’ll find the small city of Athlone. Things to see here include the 5000-year-old Athlone Castle and the Church of St. Peter & Paul. This is also the perfect place to stop for lunch along the way, as you’ll have a plethora of options.

And just south of Athlone, you’ll find the Clonmacnoise Monastery. This 6th-century monastery is considered by many to be the best monastic site in the country.

Once you arrive in Dublin, take full advantage of your last night in this beautiful country. Gorge yourself on delicious Irish food, drink your fair share of Guinness, and dance the night away in the pub.

Day 7: Dublin and flight home

Your 7 days in Ireland itinerary has come to an end. If you have time before your flight, grab one last hearty Irish breakfast before you go. You may even want to put some Bailey’s in that coffee before you head to the airport. You’ve covered considerable ground during your Ireland vacation and seen some truly amazing things.

And now that you know how to spend time in Ireland, you can start planning your next 7-day Ireland itinerary.

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Brittany Muldoon

Written by Brittany Muldoon

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Brittany had brief stints in North Carolina and North Dakota before moving to Prague, CZ, where she's been living for the past 7 years. Having traveled most of Europe over the past decade, she loves sharing her experiences through her writing and photography. She's recently started dipping her toes into solo travel and hopes to explore more of Portugal and the Nordic countries in the coming months.

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