• What To Do In Ireland {Part 1}

    April 22, 2013

    Our trip to Ireland was such an amazing experience. What a beautiful country! The people were incredibly friendly and kind, and Mal and I spent a lot of time chatting with the locals. Our time in Ireland definitely surpassed all of our expectations.

    As I previously mentioned, I wasn’t in blogger mode last week, so here’s just a brief recap of our trip to Ireland. I didn’t bother blogging about the things that were just so-so, so my posts will give you our recommendations for where to stay, what to see, and where to eat. I guess you could say it’s just the good stuff from our trip.

    Mal and I started our adventures in Dublin and then headed south to Kilkenny, Waterford, and Dunmore East. We then traveled east to Kinsale, Kenmare, and Killarney before heading north to Doolin and Galway and finally driving back to Dublin to catch our flight home to Boston. It was quite a week with lots and lots of driving!



    Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison. The tour was really interesting and gave a great history of Ireland at the time. Definitely a must-see if you’re in Dublin.

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    Guinness Storehouse, obviously.

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    We heard the Gravity Bar on the top floor of the Guinness Storehouse wasn’t worth checking out, but whoever told us that was totally wrong. The Gravity Bar was awesome! You get a free pint and the views of the city are amazing!

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    Trinity College Dublin. What a beautiful campus! Sadly, we didn’t get to see the Book of Kells (the line was insanely long), so I recommend visiting the library early if you want to see it!

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    Saint Stephen’s Green, a public park in the middle of Dublin. It was so beautiful!

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    O’Neill’s Bar & Restaurant. Our cab driver recommended this place to us, and we all really loved it. The food was served cafeteria-style, so you ordered your food and then brought it back to your table. There were tons of delicious, made-to-order options!

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    Dakota Bar. After wandering around Dublin for awhile, Mal and I worked up quite an appetite, so we popped into Dakota for some apps and drinks. We ordered the buffalo chicken wings to share and loved them! Dakota was also a great place to relax and people watch.

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    T & H Doolan’s, Waterford’s oldest tavern and where Sinead O’Connor first got her start. The staff was incredibly nice and the food was tasty.

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    Sea Cliffs at Dunmore East. Across the Street from the Haven Hotel is a park with some really gorgeous views.

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    Newlands Country House. Gorgeous house, comfy bed, great breakfast.

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    Kilkenny Castle. We arrived late in the day and did a self-guided tour, which only ended up being about 30-35 minutes and it was enough time to see everything.

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    After the tour, Mal and I headed outside to the huge lawn behind the castle where people were hanging out and relaxing.

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    Dunmore Cave. So worth the visit! Really cool, really interesting! Mal said it was his favorite part of our trip!

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    Left Bank. Mal and I had drinks here before dinner one night. It’s such a neat bar with a bunch of different rooms and an outdoor space.

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    Langton’s. The owner of Newland Country House, where we stayed in Kilkenny, highly recommended Langton’s for dinner.

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    Langton’s is a gorgeous restaurant with lots of different rooms for dining. Mal and I enjoyed a really nice meal there.

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    More adventures to come!

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    { 54 comments… read them below or add one }

    Erica { EricaDHouse.com } April 22, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Ummm…the castle and the cave look INCREDIBLE! I could so see myself taking a vacation there – future honeymoon perhaps 🙂


    jen April 22, 2013 at 11:13 am

    hi tina! wow your trip looks like it was amazing! i’m so happy you saw the prison and trinity college. they were two of my favorites as well. 🙂 i totally agree about the guinness tour. the tour itself disappointed me, because it was all video – but the view from the gravity bar can’t be beat – and it was definitely the best guinness i’ve ever had. maybe it was all in my head. lol. thanks for sharing.

    OH – did you get a chance to take the luas anywhere? i loved that tram and found it so clean and easy to use. one of my coworkers got in trouble by security for putting his feet up on an empty seat!


    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl April 22, 2013 at 11:19 am

    What a beautiful place! Looks like a dream vacation! Next, we need to see some food pics! 😉


    Jennifer@knackfornutrition April 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Looks like a great time! I am itching to travel abroad!


    Stephanie @ Food Fit 4 Real April 22, 2013 at 11:43 am

    So glad you are home and it looks like you had a great time. As a full time blogger, I hope you took the time you needed to relax and get out of blogger mode for a week. You deserve a vacation too! I know that last week was difficult for many people and I hate that it affected you on vacation. Thanks for the highlights of Ireland.


    Stephanie Clement April 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Quick question: why did you quote “locals” at the beginning?


    Maureen April 22, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I agree, the views at Gravity Bar are totally worth it (even on a cloudy day like when I was there). Maybe it was because I was totally jet lagged at the time, but I remember being pretty underwhelmed by the Book of Kells, so I don’t think you missed much by skipping it.


    Lindsay April 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    What an amazing trip. I can’t wait to see more pictures and recommendations. My sister is visiting Ireland later this year. I’ll pass along these posts so she can plan her trip 🙂


    Morgan@Healthy Food Newsletter April 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Looks like you had a great time in Ireland! I need to go back to explore more and visit the Guinness Factory. Last time I went, I went with my parents when I was only 15 about six years ago so I would appreciate the trip a lot more now than I did then!


    Krista @ Tiny n Fit April 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Sounds like a great vacation! I loved the views from the Gravity Bar. And I agree with Maureen- the Book of Kells was neat to cross off my list, but underwhelming. Can’t wait to see more recaps of your trip!


    Christy April 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    We ate at Langton’s too! Looks like you guys lucked out with some beautiful weather!! Can’t wait to hear about the rest of your trip.


    cami@chow-daily April 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Wow, looks like an amazing place. I love the views from the Dunmore East! Also, the Dakota Bar looked like a great place to lounge and enjoy food and a drink.


    christina April 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    LOOKS SO FUN! Did you crossfit there? Hope you got a shirt if so…


    Tina April 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Sadly, we didn’t have time. 🙁


    Elizabeth @ Positive Change April 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I love just reading the recap of your trip! Sounds like you have had an amazing time so far!


    Katie Thieman@ SarcasticallyKatie April 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Glad you had a good time! Looks beautiful. Ireland is on my travel bucket list.


    Maureen April 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I am bookmarking this for good ideas when I ebentually get to travel to Ireland. Hubby is Irish and I have a full on Irish name, so we’re hoping for free beers from the locals. 😉


    Jen W April 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Tina! Your trip looks amazing. I’ve been to all the Dublin spots you mentioned (except the gaol). Whoever told you not to go to the Gravity Bar must not like gorgeous cityscapes or fun. You and Mal are such great travel buddies – so cute!

    Sorry that you had to hear all about Boston while you were so far from the city you so obviously love. My favorite local running store here in Wisconsin is doing a “Runners heart Boston” 2-miler tonight as a fundraiser (Performance Running Outfitters). We’re sending all our thoughts and prayers to Boston!


    Selinda April 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I leave for Ireland in 12 days 🙂 I have a lot of the same activities on my itinerary – great to hear you enjoyed them!


    sara @ fitcupcaker April 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Looks like a beautiful country. Ive wanted to go to Ireland since I saw PS I love you! ha


    Shel@PeachyPalate April 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    You managed to fit loads in! Can’t believe you ended up in Dakota…you should see how jammed it gets of a weekend night! Having lived in the UK I now realise the Irish do pub grub well..simple tasty food, that said it can be a bit limited for dietary restrictions! Can’t wait to see how you got on in Galway!


    Rachel Wilkerson April 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Ahhh this is bringing back memories of study abroad! I hit the Guinness factory, Kilmainham Gaol, and Trinity College on my trip there and all were fantastic. All must-sees. 🙂 But it was actually the time we spent in the countryside that was my favorite part of the trip…Ireland is SO beautiful and spending a few days on buses touring the small towns all the way up to Northern Ireland was absolutely incredible. I want to go back so badly!


    Fizz @ fizzsbizz April 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Looks like you had some spectacular weather!! I would love to go to Ireland! It looks so beautiful and lush. I can’t even believe that green, so gorgeous!


    stephanie April 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    so refreshing to hear about your vacation! keep it coming!! can’t wait to read more and i’m starting to think i need to take my own vacation to ireland soon!


    Clare April 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Looks amazing… I think I know where my next vacation destination will be. Thanks for sharing!


    Theresa April 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I’m so glad you made it home safely! I can’t wait to read more. I’m pinning this so I can refer back to this post when it’s time to plan our trip to Ireland. It’s bound to happen, I am an O’Brien after all 🙂

    Thanks for the tips! Glad you’re home.


    mary @ minutes per mile April 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    When I went to Ireland I also visited the Guinness factory. Don’t remember much other than I jumped inside and immersed myself in one of their barrels of barley… classy.
    Looks like it was a fun trip!


    Janny April 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    So beautiful! I have a friend that went to grad school at Trinity. I’ve been meaning to visit her in Dublin. I can’t wait! Looking forward to the rest of the pictures. 🙂


    Sandy April 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Your trip sounds (and looks) amazing! My husband & I want to go to Ireland – hoping to go in 2014 – so this is extremely helpful! Can’t wait to read Part 2!


    Ann-Marie April 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    “The food was served cafeteria-style”

    I think you mean it was a carvery…

    Glad you enjoyed Ireland though! 🙂


    Alyssa April 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Looks like an awesome time! Can’t wait to hear more!


    Danica @ It's Progression April 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Looks like so much fun! and relaxing, which is obviously the best part of any vacation/trip 🙂


    Elizabeth April 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    I loved Ireland when I went in 2010! I’ve bee dying to go back! I loved Trinity College and was fortunately able to see the Book of Kells… very cool! I also so Kilkenny Castle! If you ever return you should definitely try to see the Aran Isaldn and the Aillwee Caves!


    Kristina April 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Did you get to Northern Ireland at all? I went to Dublin a month ago and took a day trip up to Northern Ireland to see Giant’s Causeway. It’s an amazing sight and I think it was my favorite part of the island.


    Tina April 23, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Sadly, we didn’t have time. Next time we go to Ireland, we will definitely head north!


    ask April 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    So glad u had a great trip !


    Rayna April 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    That sounds incredible! One of my good friends is visiting family there right now, and she says it’s just spectacular. I’m glad you had such a good time!


    mi-an dela cruz April 22, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I wanted to ask you where you got that black jacket you’re wearing?
    i really like it!


    Tina April 23, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Thanks! It’s from City Sports. They sent me one to review, and I’m actually hosting a giveaway this week, so you can win one! 🙂


    mi-an dela cruz April 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    @Tina: yayyyy!!!


    Linda @running4two April 23, 2013 at 2:54 am

    I’m glad you guys had a good time :-). I was in Ireland 10 years ago and we actually stayed in the Trinity College dorms. It was so neat!

    I look forward to seeing the rest of your pictures :-).


    Stacey April 23, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Dave and Marie!


    sandra April 23, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Just wanted to say I posted your article on how to lose weight by eating more on my blog. Tell me if you want me to take it out. I just really liked it and wanted my readers to know about it and get familiar with you as well! As you know I love your blog 🙂


    Tina April 23, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Thank you! 🙂


    Gaz April 23, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Your photos bought back so many happy memories, lived in Ireland for 10 years and the people are great. So pleased you enjoyed, did you make it to Johnny Fox that is a good evening too


    Holly April 23, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I won a trip to Ireland a few years ago and it’s nice to see familiar sites and relive part of my trip through yours. It’s also neat to see how many things you did that we didn’t do and I hadn’t even heard of. Definitely a great country and an amazing experience!


    Courtney April 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Love this post! I went to some of these same places on my Ireland trip!! It really is a wonderful place 🙂 My trip to Ireland truly changed my life (I recently posted about this on my blog as well!)


    Kelly@BalancedDaily April 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Awesome pictures! The only time I’ve ever been in Dublin is when I got stuck there for 3 days trying to get home from a semester abroad in Spain because there was about 3 inches of snow on the ground. You’re trip looks like it was great, must have been helpful to get so many tips from friends and readers.


    eileen ann April 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    i have been to Ireland a few times and love the scenery, people and music. the first time i was 16 and went out for a run. It was early in the morning and a cow was walking down the street so i tried to get it on the side walk, not sure why :).


    Michelle April 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    What a great trip, loved the sea cliffs and the Dunmore cave!!! Ireland is definitely on my list to visit. Can’t wait to see more of your trip.


    sti @ little windmill yoga April 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Tina you’re so pretty. God bless Boston.


    Lindsay April 25, 2013 at 4:38 am

    We just keep trekking after you guys so thanks for all the recommendations! We are off to start a Eurotrip TOMORROW (I’m just a lil excited) after living in S. Korea for the past two years, and Ireland is our last stop. We are using Celtic Rider’s three day self-guided motorcycle tour, they give you a bike and a gps, and you just GO! I can’t wait to read the next 2 “what to do in Ireland” segments!


    gerrylife April 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Great Pics!! Glad u had a wonderful time. Going to Ireland and the UK is a trip I hope to make also.


    Rebecca November 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Hey I’ve been reading forever and I’m thinking about doing a groupon/living social trip to Italy and I thought i had remembered you doing Ireland as a groupon/LS. would you recommend doing a trip like that?


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