7 days in Ireland: the ultimate one week Ireland itinerary

Ireland’s compact size means you can drive across the entire country in half a day, so you’ll easily be able to explore the island in a week. So, if you have seven days to spare, check out the ultimate one week Ireland itinerary.

When planning a trip around most countries, seeing everything in one week would be an impossible task. That’s why we’re here with our one week Ireland itinerary!

Thanks to the compact size of the Emerald Isle, proper planning and a willingness to be on the go for seven days straight will make it perfectly manageable to see all of Ireland’s highlights.

From kissing the Blarney Stone to exploring Galway’s Salthill, wandering the streets of Dublin to living like giants on the Causeway Coast. Here is our ultimate one week Ireland itinerary.

Table of contents

Tips and advice – useful info for your Irish road trip itinerary

A handy map for your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Ireland Before You Die

Booking.com – the best site for booking hotels in Ireland

Best ways to travel: Hiring a car is one of the easiest ways to explore Ireland in a limited amount of time. Public transport to rural areas is not as regular, so travelling by car will give you much more freedom when planning your own journey. Still, you can book guided tours that will take you to all the best things to see and do, according to your preference.

Hiring a car: Companies such as Avis, Europcar, Hertz, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car offer a range of car rental options to suit your requirements. Cars can be picked up and dropped off at locations around the country, including at airports.

Travel insurance: Ireland is a relatively safe country. However, it is important to make sure you have appropriate travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances. If you’re hiring a car, it’s also important to make sure that you’re insured to drive in Ireland.

Popular tour companies: If you want to save some time planning, then booking a guided tour is a great option. Popular tour companies include CIE Tours, Shamrocker Adventures, Vagabond Tours, and Paddywagon Tours.

Day one – Co. Dublin

Spend day one of your road trip in Dublin.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Highlights

Starting and ending point: Dublin

Area of Ireland: Leinster

Morning – explore the city centre

Start your one week Ireland itinerary exploring Dublin City Centre.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • There is no better place to kick off your whistle-stop tour of Ireland than the country’s capital city, Dublin, which can also be explored by boat. And, while we always suggest at least three days in Dublin, 24 hours is just enough to soak up its electric atmosphere.
  • Where convenience is concerned, it just makes sense as most flights fly into Dublin. This makes it the natural first stop on your one week Ireland itinerary. Plus, the dynamism of this bustling city means you’ll want to make sure you have enough energy to fully enjoy it.
  • Spend your morning exploring the city’s historic centre. From landmark buildings like Trinity College to vibrant shopping streets and quirky independent cafes, there is so much to see and do in the city centre.

Afternoon – discover Dublin’s museums

Discover Dublin's museums in the afternoon.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Spend the afternoon exploring some of the city’s top museums and heritage sites.
  • Venture into the National Museum of Ireland to discover Ireland’s past. Alternatively, Guinness Storehouse – tipped as one of the best places to visit in Ireland by tourists and locals alike.
  • Other top attractions include Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Castle, both of which are well worth checking out.

Evening – spend the evening soaking up Dublin’s iconic nightlife scene

End the first day of your one week Ireland itinerary soaking up the lively atmosphere of Dublin's Temple Bar.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland
  • Ireland is known for its vibrant and traditional pub culture. Dublin is no exception.
  • Make your way to the bustling Temple Bar district in the city centre, which is home to some of the best pubs, bars, and restaurants that Dublin has to offer.

Where to eat

Breakfast and lunch

Make your very own pancake stack.
Credit: Instagram / @pog_dublin
  • herbstreet: Set in the stunning Grand Canal Dock, herbstreet is a fantastic option for breakfast in the city. With fresh, creative dishes available daily, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
  • Nut Butter: Delicious and nutritious is the perfect way to describe the menu at Nut Butter. With a vast selection of healthy, wholesome dishes, breakfast here will fuel you for a day of exploring.
  • Metro Café: This vintage-style café specialises in heartwarming, comfort food dishes. Think cooked breakfasts and delicious American-style pancakes.
  • Póg: Fancy creating your very own pancake stack? If so, then head for breakfast at Póg. Catering for all dietary requirements, those with specific allergens or intolerances won’t have to miss out.
  • Tang: Climate conscious? So are the team at Tang! If you want to enjoy breakfast without worrying about its environmental impact, then this is the spot for you.
  • Balfes: For an upscale city centre breakfast, enjoy a slow morning at Balfes.
  • Brother Hubbard: The unofficial coffee kings of Dublin, Brother Hubbard is a great place for breakfast in the city.

Dinner

Enjoy a delicious dinner at Sprezzatura to end day one of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @sprezzaturadublin
  • Sophie’s: Located on the rooftop of the iconic Dean Hotel in Dublin, Sophie’s is a great spot for pizza, cocktails, and stunning city views.
  • PI Pizza: Whether you fancy a takeaway or want to dine in, PI Pizza is regarded by many as the home of the best pizza in Dublin.
  • Sprezzatura: This fantastic Italian eatery is a must for fans of Italian cuisine while in Dublin. With freshly-made pasta dishes, vegan pasta (!!!), and much more, you will be spoilt for choice.
  • EatYard: If you’re indecisive or are travelling with a group of people who all have different tastes, we recommend heading to EatYard. This street food market hosts various vendors that can cater for all palettes.
  • FIRE Steakhouse and Bar: If you want a luxury dining experience while in Dublin, book a table at the award-winning FIRE Steakhouse and Bar. The food, the service, and the décor are all incredible, so you can rest assured you will enjoy an unforgettable experience here.

Where to drink

Head to NoLita for some delicious drinks.
Credit: Facebook / @nolitadublin
  • NoLita: Planning a night out with friends? This classy cocktail bar and restaurant will offer great vibes, amazing drinks, and lively music.
  • Vintage Cocktail Club: This speakeasy-style bar is one of the most unique haunts in Dublin. Popular among locals, you can enjoy expertly mixed cocktails here.
  • The Marker Bar: Classy and decadent, the Marker Bar sits atop the luxurious Marker Hotel, offering panoramic views out over Dublin City.
  • Kehoe’s Pub: Operating in the city for over 200 years, Kehoe’s Pub is traditional and historic. A must-add to your one-week Ireland itinerary.
  • The Long Hall: One of the oldest pubs in Dublin, this traditional spot has gained a reputation as one of the best watering holes Ireland’s capital has to offer.

Where to stay

Splashing out: The Marker Hotel, Dublin’s Docklands

The Marker Hotel is one of the best places to stay while completing your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @TheMarkerHotel

If you are looking for a five-star stay with all the luxurious amenities and extras you could wish for, then book a night at the Marker Hotel in Grand Canal Quay. Guests are welcomed into modern and stylish ensuite rooms and can make the most of the on-site restaurants, bars, and spa facilities.

Mid-range: The Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street

The Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street is a great mid-range option.
Credit: Facebook / @thedeanireland

The Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street is an elegant and upscale boutique hotel set in one of Dublin’s historic Georgian townhouses. With comfortable ensuite rooms, an on-site restaurant and bar, and a hotel gym, there is plenty to be enjoyed with a stay here.

Budget: The Hendrick in Smithfield

The Hendrick in Smithfield is a great budget option for your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @thehendricksmithfield

Looking for a great budget stay in Dublin? Book a room at The Hendrick in Smithfield. A short 15-minute walk outside the city centre, this hotel offer small but welcoming rooms and an on-site bar serving delicious food and drinks.

Day two – Co. Dublin to Co. Cork

Travel from Dublin to Cork.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Highlights

  • Cork City
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • Blarney Castle
  • Mizen Head
  • Jameson Distillery

Starting and ending point: Dublin to Cork

Route: Dublin –> M9 –> Kilkenny –> M8 –> Cork

Alternative route: Dublin –> M7 –> M8 –> Cork

Mileage: 285 km (177.09 miles) / 255 km (158 miles)

Area of Ireland: Leinster and Munster

Morning – start the long drive from Dublin to Cork

Stop off at Kilkenny Castle on day two of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • On day two of your one week Ireland itinerary, you’ll be heading south. From Dublin, make the two-and-a-half-hour drive southwest to Cork.
  • If you fancy a quick pit-stop on the way, we recommend stopping off in Kilkenny, sitting about halfway between the two.
  • One of the main draws for many tourists visiting the Emerald Isle is its abundance of castles, so checking out the historic Kilkenny Castle is a must!

Afternoon – arrive in Cork

Spend the afternoon exploring the sights of Cork, including the Jameson Experience.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland
  • Now it’s time to finish your journey to Cork. Cork is Ireland’s second-largest city, so you certainly won’t be stuck for things to do.
  • How you choose to spend the afternoon depends on what you want to get from your visit.
  • Suppose you want to explore the history of the Rebel County. In that case, some of the highlights include Blarney Castle, where visitors can kiss the famous Blarney Stone for good luck, the 18th-century Shandon Bells in Cork City Centre, the gruesome Spike Island, or the amazing Jameson’s Distillery for a taste of Irish whiskey.
  • If you want to discover the more scenic parts of County Cork, head west. Check out Mizen Head, Ireland’s most south-westerly point, the Beara Peninsula for scenery like none other, the Skellig Islands, and the colourful town of Kinsale.

Evening – dine in Ireland’s culinary capital

Wind down at The Terrace as the sun sets over Cork City.
Credit: Facebook / @TheMontenotteHotel
  • Cork has gained the reputation of being Ireland’s culinary capital. So, you are in the perfect location to discover all the culinary delights of this brilliant city.
  • Head to one of the city’s top restaurants for a delicious meal before watching the sunset from the Terrace at the Montenotte Hotel.

Where to eat

Breakfast and lunch

Start day two of your one week Ireland itinerary with a delicious breakfast from Avoca.
Credit: Instagram / @powerscourthotel
  • If you want some breakfast before hitting the road, then grab a bite to eat at one of the top Dublin cafés we mentioned above.
  • Avoca Café: Located in County Wicklow, this is a great place to stop between Dublin and Kilkenny for a delicious breakfast.
  • Café La Coco: This beautiful little café close to Kilkenny Castle is a great spot for breakfast or lunch.
  • The Fig Tree Restaurant: This Kilkenny café serves delicious hot breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, and more.

Dinner

Enjoy some delicious dinner at The SpitJack.
Credit: Facebook / @thespitjackcork
  • Café Paradiso: Check out this fantastic restaurant for innovative veggie cuisine.
  • Electric: Enjoy delicious food in a decadent art-deco setting.
  • Ristorante Rossini: Authentic Italian food at the heart of Cork City.
  • The SpitJack: This popular brasserie-style restaurant first opened in 2017 and has quickly become one of the most popular eateries in Cork.

Where to drink

Try a pint of Beamish to end day two of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @sinecork
  • The Shelbourne Bar: The Shelbourne Bar is an award-winning whiskey pub that you need to include on your one-week Ireland itinerary.
  • Cask: For funky vibes and delicious cocktails, pay a visit to Cask.
  • Sin É: This traditional pub has a friendly local feel, making it the perfect place for a drink in the city.

Where to stay

Splashing out: Castlemartyr Resort Hotel

Book a luxurious stay at Castlemartyr Resort Hotel.
Credit: Facebook / @CastlemartyrResort

For the ultimate luxurious stay, book into the 800-year-old Castlemartyr Resort Hotel. With luxurious ensuite rooms complete with king-size beds and modern amenities, well-manicured grounds, one of the best golf courses in Cork, spa facilities, and various dining options, you can live like a king or queen at this opulent resort hotel.

Mid-range: Montenotte Hotel

The Montenotte Hotel is a great place to rest your head on the second night of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @TheMontenotteHotel

This stylish hotel boasts a convenient city centre location, comfortable, spacious rooms and apartments, as well as an on-site restaurant, cinema, spa, and health club.

Budget: The Imperial Hotel

The Imperial Hotel offers luxury on a budget.
Credit: Facebook / @theimperialhotelcork

Perhaps the higher end of the ‘budget’ scale, this fantastic hotel offers amenities that far exceed the price. With elegantly decorated ensuite rooms, various on-site dining options, and a relaxing hotel spa, this is the perfect spot for a city break.

Day three – Co. Cork to Co. Kerry

Explore the stunning Ring of Kerry.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Highlights

Starting and ending point: Cork to Dingle

Route: Co. Cork –> Killarney –> Ring of Kerry –> Dingle

Alternative route: Cork –> R561 –> Dingle

Mileage: 294 km (183 miles) / 156 km (97 miles)

Area of Ireland: Munster

Morning and afternoon – a day of driving (it’s worth it!)

You will spend much of day three of your one week Ireland itinerary driving.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Start your day off early and head to Killarney, where you can set off on a drive of the scenic Ring of Kerry.
  • Without stopping, the entire County Kerry route takes around three to four hours to complete. To fully enjoy the experience, snap some beautiful pictures, and visit all the important landmarks, we advise leaving a full day aside for this.
  • Starting in Killarney National Park, you can take in some of the most spectacular scenery Ireland has to offer. Visit the incredible Torc Waterfall and the breathtaking lakes of Killarney, the grand Muckross Abbey, and historic Ross Castle. Killarney National Park is sure to start your road trip on a high.
  • Some of the other must-sees on this scenic drive include Moll’s Gap, Ladies View, and the Gap of Dunloe. You can also get scenic views of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range – Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland – as well as charming towns such as Kenmare and Portmagee.

Evening – end your day on the Dingle Peninsula

Enjoy an beautiful sunset from the Dingle Peninsula.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • End your day in Dingle, where you can enjoy the scenery of the Dingle Peninsula, Dunquin Harbour, and Dunmore Head, Ireland’s most westerly point.
  • For those who want to see more of the sights, the Slea Head Drive is one of the most scenic roads in Ireland, boasting breathtaking views and lots of natural beauty. If you have extra time, the Slea Head Drive is worth adding to your 7-day itinerary.
  • Finally, grab a scoop of ice cream at Murphy’s, or enjoy the traditional Irish pub culture on offer here.
  • Enjoy beautiful coastal views and watch the sun go down over Kerry’s Great Blasket Island.

Where to eat

Breakfast and lunch

Start the third day of your one week Ireland itinerary with a delicious breakfast from Brick Lane in Cork.
Credit: Facebook / @BrickLaneCork
  • Brick Lane: This Cork café offers a delicious breakfast with your choice of everything from a traditional Full Irish Breakfast to a Breakfast Pizza.
  • Idaho Café: If you opt for breakfast in Cork, Idaho Café offers everything from Danish pastries to hot waffles and porridge.
  • Liberty Grill: One of the top-rated diners in Cork, you can enjoy a New-England inspired brunch.
  • Mug and Bean: If you’d rather wait until you reach Killarney, this is the perfect spot for a hearty breakfast.
  • The Shire Bar and Café: Another great option for a tasty breakfast or lunch in Killarney.

Dinner

Enjoy a delicious dinner from Quinlan's on the third day of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @quinlansfish
  • Quinlan’s Killorglin: For unforgettable seafood, stop for a bite to eat at Quinlan’s in Killorglin.
  • The Thatch Cottage: Enjoy a traditional Irish feed at The Thatch Cottage in Cahersiveen.
  • Out of the Blue: Serving exquisite seafood sourced from Dingle Harbour, Out of the Blue is an unforgettable restaurant in Dingle that you need to add to your one week Ireland itinerary.
  • The Fish Box / Flannery’s Seafood Bar: For fish and chips and freshly caught seafood, head to The Fish Box or Flannery’s Seafood Bar for a delicious dinner.

Where to drink

Enjoy a drink from Dick Mack's.
Credit: Instagram / @patvella3
  • O’Sullivan’s Courthouse Pub: This traditional Dingle Pub hosts traditional Irish music and a wide range of fantastic craft beers.
  • Dick Mack’s: For local beer, great whiskey, and good craic, make sure to add Dick Mack’s to your one week Ireland itinerary.
  • Foxy John’s: A cross between a traditional Irish pub and a hardware store, this unusual watering hole is not to be missed on your trip to Dingle.

Where to stay

Splashing out: The Europe Hotel and Resort

Enjoy a luxury stay at The Europe Hotel and Spa in Killarney on day three of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @TheEurope

Set in the stunning surroundings of Killarney National Parks, guests can enjoy a luxurious stay in beautiful natural surroundings. This five-star hotel boasts elegant rooms, various dining options, and ESPA spa facilities.

Mid-range: Dingle Bay Hotel

The Dingle Bay Hotel is the perfect option for a comfortable, mid-range stay.
Credit: Facebook / @dinglebayhotel

Set in the heart of Dingle Town, the Dingle Bay Hotel is perfect for those looking for a modern and comfortable stay. Comfortable ensuite rooms, world-class Irish hospitality, and the fantastic Paudie’s Restaurant are just some of the best things about this hotel.

Budget: Dingle Harbour Lodge

Dingle Harbour Lodge is a great option for a budget stay on day three of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / Dingle Harbour Lodge

For quality accommodation at affordable prices, book a stay at the Dingle Harbour Lodge. With sea view rooms and traditional Irish hospitality, this budget option has everything you could need.

Day four – Co. Kerry to Co. Galway

Galway is one of the most unforgettable places for a honeymoon in Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / @GalwayBayBoatTours

Highlights

Starting and ending point: Dingle to Galway City

Route: Dingle –> Limerick –> Cliffs of Moher, County Clare –> Galway City

Alternative route: Dingle –> Limerick –> Galway

Mileage: 302 km (188 miles) / 253 km (157 miles)

Area of Ireland: Munster and Connacht

Morning – head north from Dingle

Spend the morning on day four of your one week Ireland itinerary exploring Dingle.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Enjoy a slow morning with some extra time in Dingle with a coffee from Bean in Dingle.
  • From Dingle, it is time to really embrace the Wild Atlantic Way as you venture north.

Afternoon – stop for some lunch in Limerick

Continue along the Wild Atlantic Way in the afternoon and stop off at the Cliffs of Moher.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Break up this three-and-a-half-hour drive with some lunch in Limerick, and take a look around the city if you fancy.
  • Make a stop off at the incredible Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, which stand 700 ft (213 m) above the Atlantic Ocean below.
  • After you’ve snapped a few pictures, it’s time to head on to your final destination of the day: Galway.
  • You should arrive in Galway in the late afternoon. Galway is one of those places that you just can’t miss out on during your trip to Ireland. Brimming with an eclectic mix of modern and traditional Irish culture, there is plenty to do in this incredible city.
  • Take a stroll along the Salthill Promenade for a typical Irish seaside experience into the city centre, which is full of great places to eat, drink, shop, and more.
  • Check out the colourful town centre at the Latin Quarter, where you can enjoy the music of Galway’s buskers, window shop at the various local businesses, and soak up the history at sights such as the Spanish Arch.
  • Or head to the modern Eyre Square, filled with high-street shops and bronze figures of prominent Irish writers.

Evening – enjoy a Galway sunset

Enjoy a relaxing evening in Galway to end day four of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org
  • End your day in the most traditionally Irish way possible with a pint and some traditional music at one of Galway’s famous pubs
  • Watch the sun go down over Galway Bay from the stunning Salthill Promenade.

Where to eat

Breakfast and lunch

Grab a bite to eat at Hook and Ladder in Limerick.
Credit: Facebook / @hookandladder2
  • Bean in Dingle: Start your day with a freshly roasted coffee and delicious bake from Bean in Dingle to fuel up for day four of your one week Ireland itinerary.
  • My Boy Blue: If you fancy a more hearty breakfast, check out My Boy Blue for pancakes, brunch burritos, and more.
  • Hook and Ladder: This popular Limerick café is one of the top spots for lunch in the city. With freshly prepared, delicious dishes, diners will be spoilt for choice.
  • The Buttery: Open from breakfast to dinner, this popular Limerick eatery serves burgers, salads, sandwiches, and more.

Dinner

Hooked on Henry Street is a great spot for dinner to end day four of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: hookedonhenryst.com
  • Dough Bros: For unforgettable stone-baked pizza, pay a visit to Dough Bros in Galway.
  • The Front Door: This popular Galway pub and restaurant is the perfect spot for delicious Irish pub grub.
  • Aniar Restaurant: This Michelin-starred restaurant is the one for you if you’re looking for an upscale dining experience.
  • Hooked: Galway is known for its seafood. So, if you want to experience this side of the city’s culture, then head for some dinner at Hooked.

Where to drink

Enjoy a lively night at The Quays in Galway.
Credit: Facebook / @quaysgalway
  • O’Connell’s Bar: One of the most popular nightlife spots in Galway, this traditional pub has a lively feel and plenty of history.
  • The Quays: This historic bar and restaurant is located at the heart of Galway’s Latin Quarter and is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the iconic Galway nightlife scene.
  • The Front Door: With five bars spread across two floors, this popular Galway watering hole has something for everyone, making it one of the most popular spots for a night out in the city.
  • Tigh Choili: Truly traditional, Tigh Choili has a quaint and cosy feel with great pints, live music, and friendly Irish hospitality. A perfect stop on your one week Ireland itinerary.

Where to stay

Splashing out: The g Hotel

No one week Ireland itinerary is complete without a stay at The g Hotel.
Credit: Facebook / @theghotelgalway

This glamorous five-star spa hotel is the perfect location for those looking for a truly memorable stay. With a range of deluxe rooms and suites, various bars and dining options, and an award-winning ESPA spa, this is the ultimate indulgent escape.

Mid-range: The Hardiman Hotel

The Hardiman Hotel is a fantastic mid-range option.
Credit: Facebook / @TheHardimanHotel

First opened in Eyre Square in 1852, The Hardiman Hotel is one of the most historic hotels Galway has to offer. Boasting spacious ensuite rooms and various dining options, this is the perfect place to stay if you want to enjoy a central location.

Budget: The Nest Boutique Hostel

The NEST Boutique Hostel is a great budget option to end to conclude day four of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / The NEST Boutique Hostel

For those on a budget, the cosy Nest Boutique Hostel on the Salthill Promenade provides the perfect place to stay. With comfortable ensuite rooms and a buffet breakfast the next morning, you don’t have to splash the cash to enjoy a comfortable stay in Galway City.

Day five – Co. Galway to Co. Donegal

The Slieve League Cliffs are one of the best walks in Donegal.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Highlights

  • Connemara National Park
  • Dunguaire Castle
  • Kylemore Abbey
  • Benbulbin
  • Donegal beaches
  • Slieve League Cliffs
  • Glenveagh National Park
  • Mount Errigal
  • Malin Head

Starting and ending point: Galway City to north Donegal

Route: Galway –> Connemara –> Sligo –> Donegal

Alternative route: Galway –> Sligo –> Donegal

Mileage: 301 km (187 miles) / 202 km (126 miles)

Area of Ireland: Connacht and Ulster

Morning – continue north along the Wild Atlantic Way

Drive through Connemara National Park on day five of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Wake early and head north out of Galway City. There are plenty of great stops along the way, so make sure you leave enough time to take them all in.
  • From Galway, head north-west to Connemara National Park, where you take in the scenery and visit the sites including Kylemore Abbey and  Killary Fjord.
  • After your quick visit to Connemara, continue north through Westport towards Sligo, where you can stop for lunch and marvel at the distinctive Benbulbin Mountain.

Afternoon – make your way into Donegal

Mount Errigal is one of the best mountain trails in Ireland.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • After refuelling in Sligo, head to Donegal, your final stop of the day.
  • Stop off at the iconic Slieve League Cliffs, amongst the highest sea cliffs in Europe, located in the southwest of the county.
  • Continue northeast through Ireland’s second-largest park, Glenveagh National Park, and marvel at the stunning Mount Errigal. Two unforgettable spots on this one week Ireland itinerary.
  • Donegal has plenty to offer visitors from the stunning Donegal Town to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, such as Murder Hole Beach – don’t let the name put you off – and Portsalon Beach.

Evening – enjoy a breathtaking Donegal sunset

End day five of your one week Ireland itinerary with a magical sunset in Donegal.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Make your way to the north of County Donegal in the early evening to catch a beautiful sunset over the Atlantic.
  • Check out Fanad Head for one of the world’s most beautiful lighthouses.
  • End your day by watching the sun go down over Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head. Plus, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll be delighted to know that Malin Head was featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Where to eat

Breakfast and lunch

Start your day with a delicious breakfast from Caprice.
Credit: Facebook / @capricegal
  • Dela Café: This Scandinavian-inspired Galway café is one of the city’s most popular breakfast and brunch spots.
  • Caprice: Head here for fluffy pancakes and tasty egg-based breakfasts in an open, vibrant, and modern setting.
  • Sweet Beat Café: For a healthy lunch to get you through the final leg of your journey, grab a bite to eat in Sligo’s Sweet Beat Café.
  • Shells Café: Located in Strandhill, the cute café offers great food and caters for all dietary requirements.

Dinner

End day five of your one week Ireland itinerary with some fish and chips from Lizzie's Diner.
Credit: Facebook / @lizziesdiner789
  • Killybegs Seafood Shack: Seafood-lovers will be in heaven at Killybegs Seafood Shack in Donegal.
  • Rusty Oven: This is the ultimate beachside spot for delicious pizza and beers.
  • Lizzie’s Diner: If you’re in the mood for a fantastic sit-down meal, check out Lizzie’s Diner in Dunfanaghy.

Where to drink

Enjoy a drink at McCafferty's Bar.
Credit: Facebook / @mccaffertyslk
  • The Reel Inn: For great music and good craic seven nights a week, the Reel Inn is a must-add to your one week Ireland itinerary.
  • McCafferty’s Bar: Located in Letterkenny, this popular bar hosts a range of traditional and contemporary musicians.
  • Olde Castle Bar: This local family-run bar and restaurant boasts warm Irish hospitality, traditional pub grub, and plenty of history.

Where to stay

Splashing out: Lough Eske Castle

Enjoy a luxury stay at Lough Eske Castle on day five of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @LoughEskeCastle

For a luxurious stay in Donegal, check out the five-star Lough Eske Castle. Located on the shores of Lough Eske, this five-star castle hotel offers bright and spacious ensuite rooms, quality dining options, and fantastic spa facilities.

Mid-range: Sandhouse Hotel and Marine Spa

The Sandhouse Hotel and Spa is a great mid-range option.
Credit: Facebook / @TheSandhouseHotel

For something more mid-range, try the Sandhouse Hotel and Marine Spa in Rossnowlagh. This four-star hotel boasts state-of-the-art facilities, various deluxe ensuite rooms, sea and beach views, and an on-site marine spa.

Budget: The Gateway Lodge

The Gateway Lodge is a perfect budget choice for day six of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @thegatewaydonegal

For something more budget-friendly, try The Gateway Lodge in Donegal Town. Boasting a central location, this fantastic hotel offers 26 ensuite bedrooms with super king beds and the amazing on-site Blas Restaurant.

Day six – Co. Donegal to Co. Antrim

On day six of your one week Ireland itinerary, you will make your way along the Causeway Coastal Route.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Highlights

  • The Causeway Coastal Route
  • Quaint seaside towns
  • Derry City
  • GOT filming locations
  • Dunluce Castle
  • The Giant’s Causeway

Starting and ending point: Donegal to Ballycastle

Route: Donegal –> Derry –> Castlerock –> Portrush –> Ballycastle

Alternative route: Donegal –> N13 –> Limavady –> Ballycastle

Mileage: 169 km (105 miles) / 155 km (96 miles)

Area of Ireland: Ulster

Morning – stop of in Derry City

Start your morning in Derry.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Wake up early and head east from Donegal. You will cross the border into Northern Ireland.
  • Head through Derry City, a great spot to stop for some breakfast before continuing on your journey.
  • Begin your journey along the Causeway Coast, one of the most scenic roads in Ireland. You will pass the imposing Binevenagh before stopping off at Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne. Enjoy some sea air and breathtaking coastal scenery.

Afternoon – explore the magic of the Causeway Coastal Route

The Giants Causeway tour is one of the best Northern Ireland tours.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Stop for some lunch in one of the stunning seaside towns, such as Portstewart or Portrush. While you’re here, it’s worth taking a stroll along the white-sand beaches, including National Trust Portstewart Strand and Whiterocks Beach.
  • Continue your journey east along the Causeway Coast, named so for the iconic Giant’s Causeway. Stop off at the iconic Dunluce Castle, a medieval castle on the coast, the mythical Giant’s Causeway, and the historic Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Evening – end the day in Ballycastle

End day six of your one week Ireland itinerary with a magical sunset in Ballycastle.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • In the early evening, continue east towards the picturesque town of Ballycastle. There are many filming locations featured in HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones near here, such as The Dark Hedges and Murlough Bay. So, it’s worth leaving time to visit these if you’re a GOT fan.
  • End your day watching the sun go down over Fairhead from Ballycastle Harbour before heading to one of the town’s lively pubs to conclude day six of your one week Ireland itinerary.

Where to eat

Breakfast and lunch

Enjoy a delicious breakfast from Primrose on the Quay.
Credit: Facebook / @primroseonthequay
  • Blas: Start your day off with some delicious breakfast at Blas in Donegal town. They serve everything from nutritious açai bowls to hearty Irish breakfasts and Belgian waffles.
  • Ahoy Café: This Killybegs Café is renowned for its delicious breakfast and lunch dishes making it the perfect place to start your penultimate day on your one week Ireland itinerary.
  • Hidden City Café: This Derry eatery is a popular spot for a delicious and wholesome breakfast.
  • Primrose on the Quay: This family-run café and bistro is open seven days a week, serving delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Dinner

On day six of your one week Ireland itinerary, end your day with dinner at the Ramore.
Credit: Facebook / @ramorerestaurants
  • Ramore Restaurants: This Portrush restaurant complex hosts various options to suit everyone, from the Asian-inspired Neptune and Prawn to the traditional Harbour Bar or the classy Basalt, which offers panoramic views of Ramore Head.
  • The Central Bar: This Ballycastle restaurant offers delicious European dishes, a cocktail lounge, and an upscale bar area.
  • Morton’s Fish and Chips: One of the most renowned chip shops in Northern Ireland, we advise getting a portion of fish and chips from Morton’s and enjoying it on the beach.

Where to drink

Enjoy a pint at the Glenshesk Bar.
Credit: Facebook / The Glenshesk Bar
  • The Harbour Bar: This traditional Irish pub offers a laidback atmosphere, great live music, and flowing pints.
  • The Glenshesk Bar: Welcoming visitors of all ages, the Glenshesk Bar is a great spot for a lively night out.
  • The Boyd Arms: Located in the heart of the town, this bright pink pub was established in 1761, making it one of the oldest pubs in Ballycastle.
  • The House of McDonnell: This historic bar in the heart of Ballycastle was first established in 1744, meaning its full of history and a traditional feel.

Where to stay

Splashing out: Ballygally Castle Hotel

Splash out with a luxury stay at the Ballygally Castle Hotel on day six of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @ballygallycastle

Located in the quiet seaside town of Ballygally on the Antrim Coast, the Ballygally Castle Hotel is the perfect place to stay for Game of Thrones fans. The proud host of GOT door number nine alongside various other memorabilia from the show, fans will be in heaven. Even if you’re not a GOT fan, you can enjoy the stunning sea views, luxurious bedrooms, and on-site restaurant.

Mid-range: Further Space Glamping, Glenarm and Ballycastle

Further Space Glamping is a fantastic mid-range option.
Credit: Facebook / @furtherspaceholidays

Glamping is all the rage nowadays and if you’re after a unique stay that allows you to make the most of your scenic surroundings, then book a night in one of the Further Space Glamping Pods. With locations in Glenarm and Ballycastle and various other locations around Northern Ireland, these gorgeous little pods offer comfortable pull-down beds and private bathrooms and kitchen areas.

Budget: Marine Hotel, Ballycastle

The Marine Hotel in Ballycastle is a great place to stay for day six of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @marinehotelballycastle

The rooms here are simple but have all the amenities you could need. With fantastic sea views, the on-site Marconi’s Bar and Bistro, and breakfast in the morning, this is a great budget option.

Day seven – conclude your visit in Belfast

On the final day of your one week Ireland itinerary, you will head to Belfast.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

Highlights

Starting and ending point: Ballycastle to Belfast

Route: Ballycastle –> Cushendall –> Glenarm –> Carrickfergus –> Belfast

Alternative route: Ballycastle –> A26 –> Belfast

Mileage: 103 km (64 miles) / 89 km (55.5 miles)

Area of Ireland: Ulster

Morning – make your way along the Antrim Coast towards Belfast

Cushendun village is a quaint coastal spot.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • Wake early and continue along the Antrim Coast, passing the stunning Glens of Antrim and the coastal towns of Cushendun, Glenarm, and Carrickfergus.
  • Stop off at the historic Carrickfergus Castle, a Norman castle overlooking Belfast Lough.

Afternoon – explore Northern Ireland’s capital city

Pay a visit to Titanic Belfast on the last day of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Tourism Ireland
  • For us, there is no better place to complete your ultimate one week Ireland itinerary than in Belfast. Arrive here in the early afternoon and grab some lunch before exploring the city.
  • There are plenty of things to do in Northern Ireland, from the iconic Titanic Belfast, where you can learn about the ill-fated Titanic, to the historic Crumlin Road Gaol. Alternatively, hop on a fun-filled beer bike tour of the city to a challenging hike up Cave Hill.
  • For a taste of the local Belfast cuisine, head to the fantastic St George’s Market. The market is home to over 300 traders offering everything from local food to handmade crafts, as well as live music and cooking demonstrations.

Evening – it’s time to head home

Your one week Ireland itinerary has come to an end and it's time to head home.
Credit: Facebook / A4-Nieuws
  • After a busy day in Belfast, you’ll be glad to hear that you don’t need to drive all the way to Dublin Airport to fly home. Belfast is home to both the International Airport and the George Best City Airport, making it a convenient last stop on your one week Ireland itinerary.

Where to eat

Breakfast and lunch

Enjoy a delicious breakfast from The Dairy.
Credit: Facebook / @thedairy.gleno
  • The Dairy, Gleno: For a fantastic, freshly-prepared breakfast, head to The Dairy in Gleno. With an extensive vegan and vegetarian menu, herbivores need not be put off by the name of this café.
  • Ursa Minor Bakehouse: For delicious breads and bakes, stop in at the Ursa Minor Bakehouse in Ballycastle.
  • The Tea Room at Glenarm Castle: For some lunch in stunning surroundings, stop in at The Tea Room at Glenarm Castle.
  • The Lamppost Café, Belfast: Located in East Belfast, the Lamppost Café pays homage to former Belfast resident C.S. Lewis and his novel series, The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Maggie Mays: For a delicious and affordable feed, pop into this laidback Belfast café with locations across the city.

Dinner

Home is a great place for the last meal of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @homebelfast
  • Coppi: Serving Italian and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, Coppi in St Anne’s Square is a must-visit for a delicious feed.
  • Holohan’s Pantry: Traditional Irish cuisine and warm, welcoming hospitality are exactly what’s on offer at this Belfast Restaurant.
  • Home Restaurant: Catering for various cuisines and dietary requirements, this popular Belfast restaurant is the perfect place to end your one week Ireland itinerary.

Where to drink

Enjoy a drink at McHugh's.
Credit: Facebook / @mchughsbar
  • Bittles Bar: Known as the home of the best pint of Guinness in Belfast, you need to pay a visit to this family-owned pub in the city centre.
  • McHugh’s: This historic pub is spread across four floors, each with a different vibe, making it the perfect location for everyone.
  • Kelly’s Cellars: Located in the heart of the city, this historic bar boasts a lively atmosphere, flowing drinks, and traditional Irish music.

Where to stay

If you’re spending the night in Belfast to conclude your one week Ireland itinerary, here are some of our top picks:

Splashing out: Grand Central Hotel

If you're staying in Belfast, end your one week Ireland itinerary in style at the Grand Central Hotel.
Credit: Facebook / @grandcentralhotelbelfast

For ultimate extravagance, stay in Belfast’s tallest hotel, Grand Central Hotel. With modern, luxurious rooms, various on-site restaurants and lounges, and a convenient city-centre location, this decadent hotel will offer a stay to remember.

Mid-range: Ten Square Hotel

Ten Square Hotel offers a fantastic city centre stay.
Credit: Facebook / @tensquarehotel

Located across from Belfast City Hall, Ten Square Hotel boasts a convenient location in the city centre. As well as this, guests can enjoy modern ensuite bedrooms, views of City Hall, and the fantastic on-site Josper’s Restaurant.

Budget: 1852 Hotel

The 1852 is a great budget option for the last day of your one week Ireland itinerary.
Credit: Facebook / @the1852hotel

Located on Botanic Avenue in the city’s university quarter, the 1852 is the perfect budget stay in Belfast. Modern and stylish, this budget pick is located right above the popular Town Square Restaurant and Bar, the perfect place for a pint or a bite to eat.

Best times of year for this itinerary

When is the best time of year for this one week Ireland itinerary?
Credit: Tourism Ireland

The months of July and August tend to be the busiest in Ireland, as this is when the school holidays fall. So, if you want to visit during the quieter months, we advise against visiting at these times.

Ireland enjoys milder weather conditions from late April until September. Coinciding with this, many tourist attractions, particularly in coastal areas, will only remain open between these months.

So, if you want to make the most of the good weather while also avoiding the crowds, we advise visiting in late April, May, June, or September.

Estimated cost of this itinerary

How much will this one week Ireland itinerary cost?
Credit: Flickr / Images Money

This one week Ireland itinerary can vary massively in cost depending on whether you want to opt for luxury or desire to travel on a budget.

One week’s worth of travel around Ireland will cost around €600/£500 for accommodation, food, travel, and attractions. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy a luxury break with all the added extras, this one week Ireland itinerary could cost upwards of €2500/£2000.

Other must-see places not mentioned in this one week Ireland itinerary

Wicklow is a great stop if you have some extra time.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

County Wicklow: Home to the natural wonders of the inspiring Wicklow Mountains National Park, the glittering Glendalough, and much more, County Wicklow is one of the most scenic counties in Ireland.

County Waterford: Located in the sunny southeast, Waterford City is believed to be Ireland’s oldest city. Not only does this part of the country enjoy the best weather, but it also boasts plenty of history and scenery to discover.

County Down: Home to the Mourne Mountains, Strangford Lough, and much more, County Down should not be missed if you have extra time in Ireland.

The Rock of Cashel: Perhaps one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel is an incredible fortress set atop a limestone outcrop in County Tipperary.

The Burren: One of the most breathtaking historic landscapes in Ireland, The Burren is a fascinating place to visit if you have extra time to spend in Ireland.

County Fermanagh: Home to the iconic Stairway to Heaven and the beautiful Lough Erne, spending some time exploring County Fermanagh is sure to be an enriching experience.

Aran Islands: The Aran Islands, located off the coast of County Galway, are a group of three islands that are a wonder to explore. Inishmore is the largest of the three Aran Islands and is thus the most popular.

Staying safe and out of trouble

Staying safe when travelling around Ireland.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Ireland is a relatively safe country. Still, it is always important to look after the safety of yourself and others.

  • Avoid going to quiet places at night alone.
  • Abide by speed limits and be aware that they change from kilometres per hour in the Republic of Ireland to miles per hour in Northern Ireland.
  • Remember to drive on the left.
  • Be a responsible road user: don’t drink and drive, and don’t use your phone while driving.
  • Make sure to check the parking restrictions before you park.
  • Make sure you have all of your relevant insurance documents

FAQs about this one week Ireland itinerary

What can you do in Ireland for 7 days?

You can see quite a bit of Ireland in just seven days. Our guide above will take you around the coast and to some of the country’s main tourist attractions.

Where should I go in Ireland for a week?

If you only have a week to visit Ireland, we recommend checking out the top spots, such as Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Belfast and prioritising the attractions you want to see in between.

Is one week enough in Ireland?

You can see a good portion of Ireland following our one week Ireland itinerary. However, you will be very busy with a lot of time spent travelling around. If you want more freedom to explore, we would recommend visiting for at least two weeks.

Useful articles to help plan your trip…

The Irish Bucket List: 25 best things to do in Ireland before you die

NI Bucket List: the 25 best things to do in Northern Ireland

Dublin Bucket List: the 25 best things to do in Dublin, Ireland

Belfast Bucket List: the 20 best things to do in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Top 10 snazziest 5-star hotels in Ireland

Top 10 best hotels in Dublin city centre for all budgets (luxury, budget, family-stays, and more)

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