Europe, International

How to Spend Six Days in Ireland

So you want to go to Ireland but have no idea how to narrow down all the beautiful sights and landscapes? Well, this is the road trip itinerary for you because I was in the same boat. I’m calling this the “Taste of Ireland” road trip because that’s what it is… just a taste what Ireland has to offer. An amuse bouche if you will. This 6 day road trip will whet your appetite and make you want to go back to Ireland again because who are we kidding? You can’t do justice to this amazing country in just under a week.

Get ready to amuse your bouche. PS, none of the links below are sponsored or affiliate links. Just links to websites to help you better plan your trip! Here’s a quick summary and a map to get you started. For more details about each day, keep scrolling down!

Day 1: Dublin
Day 2: Brú na Bóinne to Galway
Day 3:Galway to Cliffs of Moher
Day 4:Dingle Peninsula
Day 5:Killarney National Park to Rock of Cashel to Kilkenny
 Day 6: Kilkenny to Powerscourt Estate to Glendalough

Before you go: Make sure to book your rental car and B&Bs well in advance of your trip. Automatic cars are more rare in Ireland so if you’re like me and don’t want to worry about a manual on those narrow roads, be sure to book it way ahead! Also, I booked my trip for May back in January and a lot of the popular B&Bs with good locations were already full! So, be aware of this and try to plan accordingly.

I booked a package deal through Great Value Vacations via Groupon Getaways. This gave me flight, car rental (automatic was an upcharge), hotel for the first night and vouchers for 5 nights of B&Bs anywhere in Ireland. Be sure to check places like Travelzoo and Groupon Getaways because they always have deals going for Ireland!

Day 1: Dublin
Fly into Dublin, preferably arriving in the morning. Check with your car rental company to see if you can get access to your car but not take it off the lot. I wouldn’t advise taking your rental car into Dublin! I was able to get the keys to my car, stow my luggage but leave my car at the airport until later. This was a life saver!

Grab the Airlink bus into the city. You can purchase a return ticket for €10.00 right at the airport.

Start at Trinity College and queue up to see the Trinity Library and the Book of Kells. This was definitely worth the wait in line! The book lover in me lost her mind with all those old books in that beautiful library. You can buy the tickets online if you want to avoid the lines here.
Trinity college, Dublin - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip Dublin - Due Midwest

Next, go for a stroll or just grab a spot on the grass in St. Stephen’s Green. Don’t sit for too long because you may just fall asleep like I did!

St. Stephan's Green, Dublin - Due Midwest

Stop by the Temple Bar area and grab lunch or dinner (and a pint!) in one of the many pubs.

Temple Bar, Dublin - Due Midwest

Wander over to Grafton street and get your shopping on. If you’re like me, you’re fighting the jet lag pretty hard at this point. Try to make it past dinner time and then head to bed. Spend the night in Dublin or head back to the airport and get your car to drive to Drogheda, the nearest town to Brú na Bóinne which is an absolute can’t miss part of the trip.

* If you want more time to explore Dublin, you can add a day here at the beginning of your trip or you can add a day at the end before you fly home.*

Day 2: Brú na Bóinne to Galway
Get up as early as you can manage and head to Brú na Bóinne. Brú na Bóinne is a UNESCO world heritage site which features three different Megalithic burial sites; Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. If you want details about what to do and see in Brú na Bóinne, check out my post here.

Ireland Road Trip Day One - Due Midwest

Hop back in your car and drive across the country to Galway. Check into your B&B and leave your car. I stayed at the Dun Roamin B&B which I would definitely recommend. It was about 10 minutes by foot to the city center and you were right across the street from Galway bay and the beach. Best of both worlds!

Ireland Road Trip Day One - Due Midwest

Walk into the city and wander around Quay Street/High Street to find some great souvenirs. Pop into Claddagh Jewellers  for a claddagh ring and Galway Wollen Market for the perfect Irish sweater or blanket. While I was at Galway Wollen Market, I found a gorgeous green wool poncho for around 100 Euros. I get so many compliments at home!

Head to the King’s Head for dinner and make sure to order a side of brown bread.  Then, grab a good spot at Tig Coili to listen to some trad (traditional Irish music) while sipping on a pint. I’m a cider drinker so I recommend the Magner’s!

*If you have an extra day or two, head up to Connemara which is an area that was on my list but I skipped for time. I heard from other travelers at my B&B that it was amazing!

 Day 3:Galway to Cliffs of Moher
Hop on the Wild Atlantic Way and head out of Galway. I would leave in the morning so you have plenty of time to explore on your way to the Cliffs of Moher.

Stop at Dungaire Castle which is a gem that I stumbled upon. It was built in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan on the shore of Galway Bay.  You can’t miss it as it’s right off of the WAW 🙂
Ireland Road Trip Day Two - Due Midwest

Also make a quick stop at Black Head burren. Try to wrap your head around this large expanse of limestone in all directions butting up to Galway Bay. Make sure to keep your eyes out for wildflowers hiding in the crevices! As Edmund Ludlow famously said about the landscape, “Not a tree whereon to hang a man; no water in which to drown him; no soil in which to bury him.”

Ireland Road Trip - Due Midwest

Ireland Road Trip - Due Midwest

Make your way to the Cliffs of Moher. I would make sure to give yourself at least an hour or 2 to explore, longer if you want to walk up and down both sides of the cliffs. If you want more information about what to do there, check out my post here.

Ireland Road Trip Day Two - Due Midwest

Head to your accommodation for the night. I picked the Cahergal Farmhouse which was just amazing. Set in beautiful farmland near Newmarket-on-Fergus, it was a perfect spot for a relaxing night after a day of driving. It is quite near Bunratty Castle where they host Medieval castle banquets which sounds quite entertaining! If you have extra time, I would definitely look into exploring the castle.

 Day 4:Dingle Peninsula
Spend the whole day exploring the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula. This was by far my favorite part of my trip. If I had more time, I would have stayed the night in Dingle. The town of Dingle was so cute but I just stopped for lunch and didn’t spend too long exploring. In addition, it would allow for more of a leisurely exploration of the peninsula which would be nice! I did feel like the day was full but definitely doable. For a whole rundown what I did on the Dingle Peninsula, see the full post here.

Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest   Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest
Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest   Ireland Road Trip Day Three - Due Midwest

Make your way to Killarney which is another cute (but touristy) town. Since it is the gateway to the more popular Ring of Kerry, make sure to book your hotel/B&B enough in advance! They have a great collection of cute shops there so make sure to spend time browsing if you’re like me and that’s your jam.

My favorite store was probably the Aran Sweater Market where they had a ton of selection and it was open late. This also started the saga of the sheep… long story short, I was looking for a gift for my nieces. I saw these hand knit sheep at the sweater market and thought they were great but wanted a second opinion. I texted my mom and brother with a photo but due to the time difference and lack of WiFi, I didn’t get their enthusiastic “yes!” until I was already halfway to my next stop. I looked EVERYWHERE for these dang sheep and they were nowhere to be found. Likely because they were knit with Aran Islands wool so the east coast wouldn’t have them readily available. There is a happy ending to this story because I ended up finding them at the airport. The airport! Another story about that will be coming up so stay tuned 😉

*If you have extra time, here would be a great place to add days. Add a day to drive the Ring of Kerry or head out to the Aran Islands. When I come back, I will definitely be heading out to the islands! I’ve only heard great things about them!

 Day 5:Killarney National Park to Rock of Cashel to Kilkenny
Start your day with a drive through Killarney National Park. Make sure to stop by Ross Castle, Torc waterfall and the Ladies View. If you want to know more about what I did in the park, check out the full post here.
Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest   Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest
Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest   Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

Drive across the middle of the country and make your way to the Rock of Cashel. Marvel at the site that has been significant to this area of Ireland since the 5th century. If you want more details about my time at the Rock of Cashel, see the full post here.

Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest   Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

After you’ve finished hanging with St. Patrick at the Rock of Cashel, make your way to Kilkenny. Kilkenny was one of my favorite cities because it felt like people actually lived there and it wasn’t just made for tourists. Does that make sense? Make sure to head to Kilkenny Castle and at least wander the grounds. Since it was such a nice day when I was there, there were a lot of people making good use of the gardens! You can go inside the castle for a self-guided tour from 9-:5:30 most days so if you have time, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Ireland Road Trip Day Four - Due Midwest

For dinner and an evening’s entertainment, I highly recommend Kyteler’s Inn. Make sure you get there early enough to grab a spot for the live music because it got packed in there! I saw the Raglan Rogues which were a hilarious and talented duo that are definitely worth seeing. I also highly recommend the sticky toffee pudding. 🙂

 Day 6: Kilkenny to Powerscourt Estate to Glendalough
Leave Kilkenny in the morning and head to Powerscourt Estate. Make sure you allot enough time to explore the extensive gardens here! If you want more information about Powerscourt, head to my post on it here.
Ireland Road Trip Day Five - Due Midwest  Ireland Road Trip Day Five - Due Midwest
Ireland Road Trip Day Five - Due Midwest  Ireland Road Trip Day Five - Due Midwest

I spent the night in Glendalough so I did Powerscourt Estate and gardens first but since they are quite close together, you could do this in either order. Make your way over to the monastic settlement in Glendalough, nestled in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. If you are an avid hiker, I would definitely make sure to leave enough time in your schedule to properly walk around this beautiful national park. To see what I got up to in Glendalough, check out my post on it here.

Ireland Road Trip Day Five - Due Midwest  Ireland Road Trip Day Five - Due Midwest

That’s your whole six day trip! Each day in Ireland is full to the brim of gorgeous scenery, historic sites and of course Irish charm. Make sure to let me know if you have any questions about the itinerary or if you want more specifics on what I did. I hope you enjoyed this and let me know if you want to see more itineraries in the future!

Six Day Road Trip in Ireland - Due Midwest

The Ultimate Six Day Ireland Road Trip


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  • Reply Diana

    What a great trip – you covered a lot of ground.

    May 24, 2017 at 2:58 PM
  • Reply Rawnie Hansen

    Oh, wow! I like this post…that Irish nature is just incredibly beautiful. It’s so rugged, yet elegant. I bet you had a great trip – you certainly covered a lot of ground! I also LOVE the library…but I’m a fan of libraries, period, so that would be a place that I would love to visit and spend some time at.

    May 24, 2017 at 3:32 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I definitely packed in a lot but now I know where I want to explore more when I go back! I’m a huge fan of libraries too! It was really amazing. I wish I could have sat there and read all of them 🙂

      May 24, 2017 at 4:33 PM
  • Reply Dariel

    Beautiful Ireland! I’ve been dreaming about doing a road trip on the Wild Atlantic Way and even target to go there next year. The library is gorgeous and the scenery, wow.

    May 24, 2017 at 5:02 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      The Wild Atlantic Way was my favorite! I would love to go back and drive the whole thing. I hope you have fun on your trip!

      May 25, 2017 at 1:50 PM
  • Reply Eniko Krix

    Wow awesome road trip suggestion. I was an au pair in Ireland for 2 months but didn’t see much unfortunately as I was always working and saving for my epic Aussie road trip… I love nature and hiking and will be definately back one day to explore the country.

    May 24, 2017 at 8:18 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      If you love nature and hiking, you should definitely go back! I think I would like to stay in one place next time I go so I have the ability to hike around!

      May 25, 2017 at 1:51 PM
  • Reply Abbi @ Spin the Windrose

    This looks so great! I’ve (ashamedly) never been to Ireland (I’m from England!) but it’s up there on my list, the scenery looks absolutely stunning. Love that you’ve created a taste-of guide; it’s always so hard to choose which destinations you should visit when you’ve got a limited timeframe, but this looks like a really worthwhile itinerary!

    May 24, 2017 at 9:54 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you! I had such a hard time narrowing things down because there is so much to see! Will be heading back there for sure (you should go too!).

      May 25, 2017 at 1:52 PM
  • Reply Alyssa J

    Love your pictures! I’ve only been to Dublin, but the rest of Ireland looks amazing!

    May 25, 2017 at 2:10 AM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you! I’ve heard people say that Dublin isn’t Ireland… I don’t agree with that but I can tell you I highly recommend exploring the west coast as it was my favorite!

      May 25, 2017 at 1:53 PM
  • Reply Kris

    These pictures are so beautiful! I’ve always wanted to see the Cliffs of Moher. The Irish countryside always looks so lush and peaceful. I’d love to do some hiking and exploring there.

    May 25, 2017 at 2:15 AM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you! The Cliffs of Moher were really cool! They are touristy but worth the hype! Ireland is a great place to hike! I’d love to go back and do more of that next time with lots of pub stops along the way 🙂

      May 25, 2017 at 1:55 PM
  • Reply Megan B.

    What a fantastic itinerary! You sure packed a lot of adventure into a short amount of time. I also really appreciated your tips (like not trying to drive into Dublin) that you learned through your own travels. Thanks so much for sharing!

    May 25, 2017 at 1:41 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thanks Megan! It was definitely a packed trip but now I know what I want to see more of next time. I had the hardest time narrowing it down!

      May 25, 2017 at 1:56 PM
  • Reply Lauren

    I love Ireland! A very comprehensive post (I would suggest adding in clickable links to the menu so people can hop to the section they want though!). Now I want to go back!

    May 25, 2017 at 2:42 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      I was going to do that but I don’t know how… I’ll have to look it up. Thanks for the suggestion!

      May 25, 2017 at 4:44 PM
  • Reply Deepika

    Thanks for sharing this amamzing Irish itinerary with us! Simply loved your awesome recommendations at every place and needless to say those pictures are stunning!

    May 25, 2017 at 3:33 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you! It was a great trip so I’m glad the itinerary was helpful! Encourages me to do more 🙂

      May 25, 2017 at 4:45 PM
  • Reply Greta @ Pickles Travel blog

    Gah this looks like such an incredible trip!! Ireland has been on my bucket list for forever and I need to just GO! I’m finally going to make it to Scotland this fall, so I’m getting closer and closer!

    June 10, 2017 at 4:21 PM
  • Reply Jill at Reading the Book

    What a gorgeous post and some great suggestions! I adore Ireland, but although I’ve been to Dublin twice, I’ve spent most of my time in the north. I definitely would like to get across to the southern half of Ireland some day, and you have some great suggestions here!

    June 10, 2017 at 4:44 PM
  • Reply Nina

    This is so wonderful! I laughed about you falling asleep in Stephen’s green haha… airplane sleep doesn’t count so that’s totally fair 😛 looks like an amazing route! I’m headed to Ireland next month, super excited!

    June 10, 2017 at 4:59 PM
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    June 28, 2017 at 8:55 PM
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  • Reply Eva

    Great itinerary! I just came back from a trip around Ireland myself – we focussed on stopping by whiskey distilleries and included northern Ireland, too! An amazing experience. And I would like to ad- yes, the Aran Sweater shop! We visited the one in Killarney. Couldn’t help buying a swetaer, they are so beautiful!

    October 5, 2017 at 9:06 AM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you! I didn’t have enough time for Northern Ireland so I will definitely be back to go there. I am so happy I got the sweater too. It makes me think of Ireland whenever I wear it!

      October 5, 2017 at 11:27 PM
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  • Reply Janelle

    Hello, what month did you visit? we are trying to figure out the best time of year. Thank you!

    April 18, 2018 at 4:18 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Hi Janelle! I went in the end of May around Memorial Day here in the US. I had amazing weather and there weren’t a ton of tourists either.

      April 19, 2018 at 3:25 PM
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  • Reply Jennifer

    Great post! My husband and I are going for 6 days in December. We will have a rental car. We will be doing a lot of driving to see all of the beautiful places. Did you spend most of your money on gas? We are trying to budget accordingly.

    November 10, 2018 at 4:14 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      Thank you Jennifer! I bought my trip through Groupon so most of what I paid was up front. Once I got there, my only expenses were food and gas. I honestly don’t remember how much I spent on gas but it wasn’t crazy. Since my car was small, it had pretty decent gas mileage. I think the money was worth getting to see all those places but I think you could have just as good of a time staying in one place and exploring from there.

      November 12, 2018 at 6:38 PM
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  • Reply Angela

    Looks like a road trip I would love! I’ve only ever made it to Dublin but would really like to see the countryside. Sounds like you packed a lot in your trip.

    February 12, 2020 at 3:22 PM
    • Reply duemidwest

      The countryside is my favorite part! Dublin is fun but there is so much more to see. I hope you make it back there to explore more!

      February 13, 2020 at 5:40 PM

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