Ireland itinerary WITHOUT a car: 10 days of MAGIC

If you’ve always dreamt of visiting the Emerald Isle but are worried you might need a car, you will be delighted to know your dream is entirely possible.

Ireland itinerary WITHOUT a car: 10 days of MAGIC.

Not only is it easy to experience Ireland’s landscape, visit top attractions and discover authentic Irish pubs without needing your vehicle, but you will be surprised at how many options await you.

So, whether the Wild Atlantic Way is at the top of your bucket list, you want to experience the magic of Killarney National Park, or you want to kiss the Blarney Stone, we have your itinerary.

This is your Ireland itinerary without a car: ten days of magic.

Day 1 − explore Dublin

Morning/Afternoon

Day one of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent exploring Dublin.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Dublin is a fantastic place to begin your Irish exploration and to start your Ireland itinerary without a car because there are many exciting things to see.

Take the Aircoach or a local bus from Dublin Airport to O’Connell. The journey takes around 30 minutes and costs €8.00 for a single journey.

A morning in Dublin can be spent in many ways, but we wholeheartedly suggest you start with a hearty breakfast at Keoghs Café before sightseeing.

You will be steps from Trinity College, so start your discovery here, followed by St. Stephens Green for a stroll before heading to Gallaghers Boxty House for some typical Irish fare.

Continue the afternoon exploring Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter, and take time to browse the quirky shops.

MORE: Dublin Bucket List: 25+ best things to do in Dublin

Evening

In the evening, Temple Bar is a must.
Credit: Facebook /@TheTempleBarPub

Catch a comedy show at the city’s best venue, Vicar Street, followed by a few pints and some live music in Temple Bar to get your first evening off to a great start.

Places to stay in Dublin: The Shelbourne, Camden Court Hotel, Blooms Hotel

READ MORE: Top 10 best Dublin city centre hotels for all budgets

Day 2 – more capital city sights

Morning/Afternoon

Day two of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent exploring Kilmainham Gaol.

Today, you’ll continue your exploration of the capital city. You can enjoy a delicious breakfast at Brother Hubbard’s before taking on another exciting day in Dublin.

This morning, you will explore Kilmainham Gaol which is easy to access by bus or on foot if you are feeling active, and here you can enjoy a step back into Irish history with an excellent guided tour.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy one of the city’s best attractions, The Guinness Storehouse, which is easily accessible by bus or on foot, but not before indulging in some lunch at Urban 8 Café in Kilmainham.

Your Guinness tour will end with a pint, which is a fantastic accompaniment to the views from the Gravity Bar.

Evening

In the evening, grab a pint from Rascals Brewery.
Credit: Facebook / Rascals Brewing Co.

Rascals Brewery is a great place to hang out and enjoy some woodfired pizza and locally brewed beer, so why not spend the evening here enjoying a fantastic atmosphere at a Dublin favourite?

Day 3 – take a bus or train to Galway

Morning

Day 3 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent exploring County Galway.

The next stop is Galway, and getting here by bus or train from Dublin is easy. Thus, Galway is a must for your Ireland itinerary without a car.

For the cheapest option, take the bus. For the fastest and most comfortable option, take the train,

Leave early so you can make the most of your day exploring Eyre Square, wandering around the unique shops and enjoying the music from the street musicians.

Afternoon

Explore the area known for the Claddagh Ring. Pictured is the Claddagh Sculpture.
Credit: Flickr / William Murphy

Indulge in a delicious lunch at Ard Bia at Nimmo’s, then discover some Irish history.

You can spend the afternoon at the Galway City Museum, or for a unique experience, why not discover the history behind Ireland’s famous symbol, the Claddagh Ring, in the Claddagh area and see the iconic Claddagh Ring Sculpture?

Evening

In the evening, head for a traditional music session at Tig Choili.

Enjoy a delicious dinner at The Quay Street Kitchen and a live music session at the famous Tigh Choili Irish pub. Check out the best pubs in Galway here.

Places to stay in Galway: The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Leonardo Hotel Galway, Eyre Square Hotel

MORE: Top 10 best hotels in Galway city centre

Day 4 – explore County Galway

Morning

Day 4 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent exploring Connemara National Park.

Start your morning with a delicious breakfast at The Kitchen, a cosy café with many options and great coffee.

You will spend the day exploring Connemara National Park, a must-see when visiting Galway. Don’t worry, though. You will not need a car since plenty of day tours go from Galway.

Afternoon

Head to Kylemore Abbey in the afternoon.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

There are plenty of tour options, including Kylemore Abbey, hiking opportunities or Aughnanure Castle, so choose which tour suits you.

There are also long tours of around 9 hours, which take you to Connemara, Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands, which is an excellent way to see a lot in one day if you are up for it.

Evening

Finish your day with a meal at Hooked.
Credit: Facebook / @HookedGalway

You might want to relax after a long day out this evening back in Galway, so why not try some local seafood at Hooked for dinner, followed by a cracking pint of Guinness at Taaffes Bar?!

RELATED: Top 10 best things to do in Galway (County Guide)

Day 5 – the heart of County Kerry

Morning/Afternoon

Day 5 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent exploring Killarney.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Take an early morning bus from Galway to Killarney, one of the country’s top destinations and the heart of County Kerry.

On arrival, check into your hotel and grab a hearty lunch at The Mad Monk before renting a bicycle from town and enjoying a day of adventure at Killarney National Park.

There are plenty of routes to choose from, and since the park is so large, get a map from the Visitors Information Centre at Killarney House & Gardens.

Some notable attractions in the park are Torc Waterfall, Muckross House & Gardens, Lough Leane and the Gap of Dunloe.

Evening

Lord of the Rings fans will appreciate the Shire Pub.
Credit: Facebook / The Shire Café & Bar

Grab some delicious woodfired pizza from Killarney Brewing Company and locally brewed beer.

Lord of the Rings fans might want to enjoy a pint at The Shire Pub, but otherwise, The Killarney Grand is great for a lively night, while The Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder is a great option for whiskey lovers.

Places to Stay in Killarney: The Europe Hotel & Spa, Castlerosse Park Resort Hotel, Great Southern Killarney.

Day 6 – Killarney and the Ring of Kerry

Morning

Day 6 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent exploring the Ring of Kerry.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Today will be dedicated to the glorious Ring of Kerry, a must on your Ireland itinerary without a car one of the most exciting road trips in Ireland. Again, you can relax knowing you won’t need a car to see this region of Ireland.

You can easily take a day tour from Killarney, which will take you to various stops along the tour, like Waterville, Kenmare and Sneem. But first, fuel up at your hotel or in Curious Cat Café.

Afternoon

Explore the Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park.
Credit: Chris Hill for Tourism Ireland

Your morning and afternoon will be spent exploring the Ring of Kerry, and depending on the tour you choose, you may have additional stop-offs included.

Paddy Wagon is an excellent company for short- or long-day trips from most Irish cities, and their Ring of Kerry tour will take you to Dingle Bay and allow you to explore more of Killarney National Park.

RELATED: Ring of Kerry route: map, stops & things to know

Evening

Grab a pint or a bite to eat at the Laurels.
Credit: Facebook / The Laurels Pub & Restaurant

Upon returning to Killarney, an evening at The Laurels is a must, where you can enjoy food from an ever-changing menu, listen to live Irish music or get involved in one of their authentic Irish dance nights.

READ MORE: Top 5 best pubs in Killarney, Ireland

Day 7 − on to Cork City

Morning

Day 7 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent visiting Cork City Gaol.
Credit: Flickr – William Murphy / Vincent Moschetti

You can take the bus or the train to Cork City, so leave early to make the most of your time there.

Here, you can explore attractions like Cork City Gaol, English Market and Elizabeth Fort. If you are peckish, nip into Liberty Grill for a delicious late breakfast or brunch.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, head to Blackrock Castle Observatory.

If you travel with children, you could spend the afternoon at Blackrock Castle Observatory.

Still, you can’t miss visiting the Crawford Gallery if you prefer to delve into some incredible Irish artwork. Another option for a well-spent afternoon would be to go beer tasting at the Franciscan Well Brewery.

READ MORE: Top 10 best things to do in Cork

Evening

To round off your evening, go for drinks, music and food at The Oliver Plunkett.
Credit: Facebook / @TheOliverPlunkett

Your first evening in Cork should be spent in an authentic pub, like The Oliver Plunkett for a lively night out, but before this, make sure to enjoy a delicious dinner and cocktails at Cornstore Cork.

Places to stay in Cork: The Metropole Hotel, The Kingsley Hotel, The Maryborough Hotel & Spa

Day 8 – kiss the Blarney Stone and more

Morning

Day 8 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent kissing the Blarney Stone and exploring Blarney Castle.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool / Tourism Ireland

Killarney is only an hour from Cork City, so you can either take the train or bus. When you arrive in Cork, we highly recommend taking the Paddywagon tour to Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone, giving you the ‘gift of the gab’.

In addition, this excellent day tour includes a stop at Charles Fort in Kinsale, the gorgeous town of Kinsale, and Cobh, the last port for the Titanic.

Afternoon

Head to Kinsale in the afternoon. Pictured is the colourful streets of the town.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool / Fáilte Ireland

In the afternoon, you will have plenty of time to wander around Kinsale and try delicious gourmet food and a fantastic pint with a view at The Bulman.

MORE: Top 10 best things to do in Kinsale

Evening

In the evening, head to Market Lane.
Credit: Facebook / @MarketLaneCork

In the evening, go to Market Lane for a delicious dinner and cocktails before spending the late evening at the lively Crane Lane Theatre, which hosts excellent live music.

Day 9 – explore County Waterford

Morning

Day 9 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent exploring County Waterford.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool / Waterford City and County Council

To break up the journey back to Dublin, stopping in Waterford in Irelands Ancient East is an excellent option.

From Cork City, you can catch the bus to Waterford. The journey takes around two hours, and buses depart every hour. This makes it an essential stop for your Ireland itinerary without a car.

Waterford has so much to offer and is worth an overnight stop. Take an early morning bus from Cork to Waterford (around two hours) and check into your hotel.

MORE: Top 10 best things to do in Waterford

Afternoon

Reginald Tower should be explored in the afternoon.

Enjoy some lunch at The Reg, a popular local eatery, before setting off on foot to explore the city.

This afternoon, you can explore city attractions like Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum, The House of Waterford Crystal, The Viking Triangle and Reginald Tower, all of which are easily accessible on foot.

Evening

Head to Momo for some delicious food.
Credit: Facebook / Momo

Head to Momo Restaurant for dinner, followed by drinks at Tullys or live music at Uisce Beatha.

Places to stay in Waterford: The Tower Hotel & Leisure Centre, Waterford Marina Hotel, Granville Hotel

RELATED: Top 10 best hotels in Waterford, according to reviews

Day 10 – back to Dublin

Morning

Day 10 of your Ireland itinerary without a car should be spent heading back to Dublin and Grafton Street.
Credit: Flickr / Simon

Make your way back to Dublin, where you can visit some attractions you might have missed before, or perhaps you want to do some last-minute shopping on Grafton Street.

The best way to get here is to take the bus, which takes around 2.5 hours and runs every hour.

Afternoon

Enjoy an afternoon at Jameson Distillery.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

You might be hungry upon arrival in Dublin, so check back into your hotel and then enjoy some food at Herbstreet.

Options for this afternoon could be to visit the popular Jameson Distillery on a guided tour, or if you have children, you could enjoy some time at Dublin Zoo.

Evening

Finish off your Ireland itinerary without a car with cocktails at the Vintage Cocktail Club.

For your last evening in Dublin, go to F.X Buckley’s Steakhouse for a treat – voted one of the best steak restaurants in the world, followed by some delicious bespoke cocktails at The Vintage Cocktail Club.

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