A guide to planning your road trip to Ireland, including must-see spots to add to your itinerary

Before getting down to the fun part of planning all the things you want to do on your trip, it’s important to get the practical stuff taken care of.

A guide to planning your road trip to Ireland, including must-see spots to add to your itinerary.

Start off by checking the entry requirements regarding Ireland – which can sometimes change.

You’ll need a valid passport and to check the vaccination requirements for entry – the latter should be done at least eight weeks before you’re due to depart. And don’t forget to sort out your travel insurance, too.

As you’re planning a road trip, be aware that US citizens are allowed to drive in Ireland on their regular license for the duration of their trip, as long as this doesn’t exceed twelve months.

And if you want to order some euros to take with you, be aware that if this will be more than €10,000 (fairly unlikely, true!), you’ll need to check and comply with the Irish Revenue guidance on travelling with cash.

Ahead of your road trip to Ireland, it’s also important to check that you won’t be stung for expensive roaming charges while you’re away.

Check with your current provider to see where you stand on this score. You may also wish to have a look at the plans on offer from other cell phone companies to see if a better package is on offer.

Ireland Before You Die’s tips for your road trip to Ireland:

  • You need to book at least a week away to get the most out of your trip to Ireland.
  • The country’s peak tourist season is between July and August – this is when prices are likely to be highest.
  • April, May, September, and October are likely the best months to visit to avoid peak times while also having a good chance of avoiding the worst of the weather.
  • Be aware that, even in the summer, the weather can change very quickly in Ireland – never set out without a raincoat and extra layers!
  • Tipping in Ireland is generally appreciated – plan to tip around 10-15% of a restaurant bill.

Planning the itinerary – what to do in Ireland

And now, the fun part! It’s time to put together an itinerary to ensure you can pack as much into your road trip to Ireland as possible.

It’s a good idea to plan out a round-robin route, perhaps starting and finishing in Dublin, that’ll take you on a rough circuit of the island. Here are some must-see things to add to your itinerary.

The Book of Kells and Old Library, Co. Dublin

The Book of Kells is one of the things to do on your road trip to Ireland.

Dublin’s unbeatable for vibrant bars and live music, but be sure to take some time out to visit the Book of Kells and Old Library at Trinity College, too.

The Book of Kells is considered Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure, and a newly opened immersive experience will take you into the pages of this ninth-century manuscript.

The Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary

The Rock of Cashel in Co. Tipperary.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

On the drive between Dublin and Cork, you’ll find the Rock of Cashel, which is not to be missed.

One of the country’s most historic sites, this was the seat of Ireland’s ancient kings, and the existing ruins are a fascinating insight into this past.

The Blarney Stone, Co. Cork

The Blarney Stone is one of the things to do on your road trip to Ireland.
Credit: Flickr/ elcareeb

No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to the famous Blarney Stone! According to legend, those who kiss the stone will receive “the gift of the gab!” It can get crowded, so you may want to arrive early to avoid a queue.

Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry

Check out Skellig Michael.
Credit: imdb.com

Situated off the coast of the Ring of Kerry, Skellig Michael is a rocky island that’s home to an ancient monastery and colonies of nesting puffins.

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If it seems familiar, that’s for good reason: it was one of the filming locations for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When planning your trip, be aware that landing tours to Skellig Michael only run from the beginning of May until early October.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

The Cliffs of Moher is one of the things to do on your road trip to Ireland.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

And if you’re ready for some hiking to take in Ireland’s stunning natural scenery, you should add a trip to the Cliffs of Moher to your road trip itinerary.

The cliffs and the nearby visitor centre are one of Ireland’s most-visited tourist spots. The well-marked hiking trail that runs along the entire coastline is popular, too: allow around five hours for the walk.

Get set for your Irish road trip adventure – get planning

So now you have all the information you need to start planning your exciting road trip to Ireland!

Use the guide above to tick off all the things you need to do before you leave so that once you’re en route, all you’ll need to concentrate on is the adventure that’s about to begin.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



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