14 Days in Ireland in 2024: Ireland Road Trip Itinerary Created by Local Experts

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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If you’re looking for the ultimate road trip itinerary in Ireland in 2024, then look no further! In this article, we’ve covered you with a meticulously planned and tested 14-day itinerary (created by local experts) that you’ll want to start planning for immediately.

From insider tips on what to see, where to go, where to stay, and where to eat, this itinerary is our personal recommendation for anyone visiting Ireland. We even provide links to book tours and activities, so you can sit back and enjoy your trip without any worries.

Let us make one thing crystal clear before we begin – our tips on Ireland are the real deal. We’re not just some random travel bloggers sharing our vacation stories. As true experts of the country, we write extensively about Ireland because we’ve lived in Dublin for a long time and work in the tourism industry, assisting travelers in planning their trips to Ireland. This means that our guides are not simply based on a holiday but on our deep knowledge and experience of the country.

So don’t miss out on this fantastic adventure that will take you through the stunning landscapes of southern Ireland, where you’ll encounter friendly locals, charming sheep, and unforgettable scenery. Keep reading for the best 2-week road trip itinerary in Ireland!

Experience the Best of Ireland: Our Ultimate 14-Day Itinerary

Ireland is a country that is renowned for its lush green landscapes, ancient history, and welcoming people. Planning a trip to Ireland can be an exciting adventure, but with so much to see and do, it can also be overwhelming. That’s where our ultimate local 14-day itinerary comes in – designed to help you experience the very best of Ireland. From the bustling streets of Dublin to the rugged coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way, our itinerary covers all of the must-see destinations and hidden gems that will take your breath away. So get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the Emerald Isle with our expertly crafted 14-day itinerary.

Day 1: Dublin

Upon arriving in Dublin, we suggest taking at least one day to explore the city before continuing on with the rest of your Irish adventure. We recommend spending an additional day in Dublin on your return journey as well, as a detour, and to bid farewell to Ireland in style. For first-time visitors to Dublin, we’ve got you covered with all the advice on what to do and see – click here for all the details.

No evening in Dublin would be complete without a pint of Guinness at a local pub – the first of many you’ll enjoy throughout your trip. There are also plenty of free activities around the city, so don’t hesitate to explore!

We highly recommend purchasing a Dublin Pass to make the most of your time in Dublin. With options for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days, the Dublin Pass provides access to all of the top sites and experiences around the city. You can easily visit the Guinness Storehouse and the whole area around Christchurch with the pass.

Looking for the perfect place to stay in Dublin? We suggest using Booking.com to find the best hotel deals. In most cases, Booking.com doesn’t charge you at the time of booking, and you’ll pay directly at the property. If you want to save money, choose the Non-Refundable Options for even better deals.

Where to sleep in DublinGrand Canal Hotel | Maldron Hotel Pearse Street | Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House | The Dean

Where to eat and have a pint of beer in Dublin: The best advice for you

Recommended activities: Self-Guided Guinness Storehouse tour + Pint | Skip-the-Line: Guinness & Jameson Irish Experience Tour | Walking Tour of Dublin | Hop On Hop Off Tour

Davy Byrne Dublin

Day 2: Dublin to a Kilkenny

Once you’ve picked up your car, set your sights on Kilkenny – a charming little town just over 110km from Dublin that will transport you back in time. Learn more about all that Kilkenny has to offer with our guide.

While in town, be sure to try a pint of Smithwick’s – the local beer – at one of the many pubs along Parliament Street. If you have the time, we highly recommend visiting the Dunmore Caves. These caves are among the largest in Ireland and are home to fascinating limestone formations that are sure to impress.

Where to sleep in Kilkenny: Pembroke | Lyrath Estate

Where to eat in Kilkenny: Langton’s | Hound Restaurant | Vintage Tea Rooms

Best pubs in Kilkenny: The hole in the wall | Matt the Millers | Kyteler’s Inn


Day 3: Kilkenny to Cork

Set out early from Kilkenny and make your way to Tipperary, where you’ll have the opportunity to visit the famous Rock of Cashel. Legend has it that this is the place where St. Patrick first used shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. Exploring the entire fortress typically takes a couple of hours, and keep in mind that the detour to reach the site is about an hour from the main road – so be sure to plan your visit accordingly.

For lunch, we recommend stopping in Waterford to try a blaa – a white bread roll stuffed with delicious local ingredients and found in any bakery or restaurant in the city. From there, it’s just a short drive to the Dunmore East marina, where you can begin your journey along the South East Coastal Drive. This picturesque drive will take you to Tramore, a breathtaking stretch of beach nestled among the dunes. Next, head to Dungarvan, which can be easily reached via the Cliff Road – a scenic route that hugs the coastline.

Where to sleep in DungarvanDún Ard Bed and Breakfast | The Park Hotel

Where to eat in Dungarvan: The Tannery


Day 4: Cork and the surrounding areas

From Dungarvan, it’s about a one-hour drive to reach Cork. However, we recommend making two worthwhile detours before arriving in the city. The first is to Helvick Head – a stunning promontory where the official language is Gaelic. The second detour is to Cobh, a town with colorful houses and a laid-back atmosphere.

Once in Cork, take in the charm of Ireland’s third-largest city by exploring on foot. Be sure to make a stop at the English Market – a must-see destination for any foodie.

One hidden gem worth checking out is the Shandon district, which extends uphill and culminates at the top of St. Ann’s Shandon. Visitors can climb to the top of the “liar from 4 faces” bell tower and ring the bells, which are capable of sounding at four different times due to the ever-changing wind.

In Cork, you can visit the Beamish Brewery, the oldest brewery in Ireland dating back to 1600.

Where to sleep in CorkMaldron Hotel Shandon Cork City | Radisson BLU Hotel & Spa | Rochestown Park Hotel Jurys Inn Cork

Where to eat in Cork: Market Lane | Quinlans Seafood Bar | Gallaghers Gastro Pub

Best pubs in Cork: Larry Tompkins Pub | Welcome Inn | Jim Cashmans Pub

Day 5: Cork to Glengarrif

Take a leisurely drive from Cork and walk the coastal road to Glengarrif. The coast is particularly beautiful and it is worth taking the trip lightly and calmly: you can take a detour to Baltimore, or the beautiful Crookhaven before heading back to Bantry and then stop at Glengarrif for the night.

Where to sleep in Glengarrif: Eccles Hotel and Spa

Day 6: Glengarrif to Killarney

From Glengarriff, it won’t be long before you reach Killarney and the stunning Ring of Kerry – a 179km loop that can be completed in one day by starting from Kenmare to the south and avoiding the large tour coaches that typically begin their route from the north.

After departing from Kenmare, head towards Sneem and be sure to visit the ancient Staigue Fort. Take a brief detour along the R567 to reach Portmagee, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Skellig Islands, Portmagee, Valencia Island, and the Dingle peninsula. The Ring of Kerry continues through Cahersiveen, Kells, and Lough Carragh – a picturesque valley where you’ll find blackface sheep, a unique Irish breed with black snouts. The final stops before reaching Killarney are the Glencar Valley and Killorglin.

All of this can be completed in 4 to 7 hours by car, allowing for plenty of opportunities to stop and rest along the way before arriving in Killarney.

Where to sleep in KillarneyAghadoe Heights Hotel | Killarney Towers | The Lake

Where to eat in Killarney: Cronins Restaurant | Quinlans Seafood Bar | Cellar One at The Ross

Best pubs in Killarney: John M Reidy | Dan Linehan’s Bar | Murphy’s | The Shire Bar

Recommended Activities: 1-Hour Lakes of Killarney by Boat | Killarney on Horse & Carriage | Ring of Kerry: Full-Day Tour from Killarney


Day 7: Killarney

Killarney is an ideal destination for nature lovers, as it’s situated on the shore of Lough Leane and offers ample opportunities to connect with the great outdoors. The Killarney National Park covers over 10,000 hectares and features three lakes and four mountains that can be explored via two different routes, or both.

The first route follows the N71 and will take you to Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey, Muckross House, and the picturesque Torc Waterfall – a stunning 18-meter waterfall that descends from Mount Tork in the middle of the forest. A must-see stop along this route is Ladie’s View, which offers the most famous view of the Killarney valley.

The second route takes you on a journey across the lakes, which can be traversed by boat on various types of cruises. Some of these cruises even allow you to walk from one lake to another via the Meeting of the Waters, which connects Lough Leane and Middle Lake.

Where to sleep in KillarneyAghadoe Heights Hotel | Killarney Towers | The Lake

Where to eat in Killarney: Cronins Restaurant | Quinlans Seafood Bar | Cellar One at The Ross

Best pubs in Killarney: John M Reidy | Dan Linehan’s Bar | Murphy’s | The Shire Bar

Recommended Activities: 1-Hour Lakes of Killarney by Boat | Killarney on Horse & Carriage

Sunset Killarney

Day 8: Killarney to Dingle

Dingle is a destination that is sure to leave you awestruck with its incredible location and natural beauty. As soon as you start driving towards the village, you’ll be blown away by the stunning vistas that surround you. Situated on the slopes of Mount Ballysitteragh, Dingle boasts Ireland’s richest archaeological heritage, which is a testament to the village’s long and storied history.

In addition to its rich history, Dingle is also the perfect place to immerse yourself in traditional Irish culture. You can listen to some live Irish music, relax, and have fun all at the same time. From this charming village, you can also explore the peninsula by taking a drive along the Slea Head Drive – a scenic route that offers breathtaking views of the Blasket Islands. This is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to experience the rugged beauty of Ireland’s western coast.

Where to sleep in Dingle: Ocean View B&BDingle Skellig Hotel

Where to eat in Dingle: The Chart House | Out of the Blue Seafood | Fenton’s

Best pubs in Dingle: Dick Mack’s | Foxy John’s | John Benny’s | Lord Baker’s | MacCarthy’s Pub

Day 9: Dingle to the Cliffs of Moher

Departing from Dingle, take the scenic Connor Pass, which is Ireland’s highest mountain pass. From here, you’ll be able to admire stunning views of the lakes to the north, the Skellig Islands, and Dingle Bay.

As you continue your journey, make your way to Tralee before taking the motorway toward Limerick. From there, head to the charming village of Ennis, which is well worth a quick visit.

After departing from Ennis, follow the N85 towards the Cliffs of Moher, passing by the stunning coastline from Lahinch to the north. These cliffs, which are over 200 meters high and 8km long, are major tourist attractions and offer breathtaking views that are not to be missed.

Where to sleep near the Cliffs of MoherWest Coast Lodge | Island View Lodge

Cliffs of Moher

Day 10: Galway

Rise and shine early to make the most of your day and head straight from the Cliffs of Moher to the charming town of Galway, which is often considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in all of Ireland. Located in the west of the country, Galway has a unique charm that enchants all who visit it.

Galway is particularly renowned for its vibrant nightlife, fantastic food, and live music scene. However, the city’s relaxed atmosphere is equally alluring, and it’s easy to forget that you’re in a bustling urban center.

Make sure to take a stroll around the colorful streets and explore the shops, cafes, and local pubs. You’ll be sure to find plenty of hidden gems and unique experiences to savor in this beautiful town.

Where to sleep in GalwayAdare GuesthouseThe Connacht Hotel | Glenlo Hotel

Where to eat in Galway: Aniar | Oscar’s Seafood Bistro | Dock 1 | McDonagh’s

Best pubs in Galway: O’Connor’s Famous Pub | Kings Head | The Crane

Recommended activity: Hop On Hop Off Bus

glenlo abbey galway

Day 11: Aran Islands

From Galway, plan a day trip to the Aran Islands, but be sure to choose just one of the three islands to fully appreciate the unique charm of each.

Inisheer is the smallest of the three, located just 8 km from the coast. Inishmaan is situated in the middle, while Inishmore is located 18 km from the coast, making it completely isolated during periods of bad weather.

You can take a boat to the Aran Islands from either Doolin or Rossaveal, both of which are just a few kilometers from Galway. However, keep in mind that if the weather conditions are poor, the boats may not operate.

For your first visit, we recommend exploring Inishmore, which is 13 km long and is crossed by a single road. Here, you can admire Dun Aengus, a dry-stone walled fort that overlooks an unprotected cliff. After a day of exploring, you can choose to stay overnight on the island or return to Galway to immerse yourself in the vibrant Irish life.

Where to sleep in Inishmore: All the accommodations on the Island

Recommended activity: The Aran Islands & The Cliffs Cruise

Irlanda Hike

Day 12: Galway to Clifden

After departing from Galway or returning from the Aran Islands, take some time to explore the rugged beauty of Connemara, a western area bordered by the Twelve Bens. The hills of this region are often populated by Connemara ponies, adding to the charm of the landscape.

Clifden serves as the capital of Connemara and is just a short distance from Connemara National Park. Additionally, the famous Kylemore Abbey, a neo-Gothic church that overlooks the shore of a lake, is just a few kilometers away.

As you make your way towards Kylemore Abbey, consider deviating to the Rinvyle Peninsula, a tongue of barren and wild land that separates Leenane from Letterfrack. While on this route, take the time to stop at Tully Cross, Lough Fee, and Lough Muck, as well as the beautiful beach of Glassilaun and the dunes of Lettergesh.

If time allows, don’t miss the chance to visit the picturesque village of Cong. Whether you choose to stay in Connemara, Clifden, or Galway, there are plenty of accommodation options available.

Where to sleep in Clifden: Sharamore House | Clifden Station House | Adare GuesthouseThe Connacht Hotel | Glenlo Hotel


Day 13: Clifden to Newgrange

If you choose to spend the night in Clifden, you can return to Galway and take the M6 towards Dublin to reach Newgrange. While on this route, be sure to stop at Clonmacnoise, a monastic site that offers visitors the chance to admire the ruins of a cathedral, 8 churches, numerous tombstones, Celtic crosses and Irish round towers.

Newgrange is another must-see destination and is located in the middle of the Boyne Valley. Here you can explore the most spectacular and ancient funeral complex in Ireland, along with other nearby sites such as Trim Castle and the Hill of Tara. From here, you can travel all the way to Dublin,

Where to sleep in DublinGrand Canal Hotel | Maldron Hotel Pearse Street | Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House | The Dean

Where to eat and have a pint of beer in Dublin: The best advice for you

Recommended activities: Self-Guided Guinness Storehouse tour + Pint | Jameson Whiskey Distillery Tour with Tastings | Walking Tour of Dublin | Hop On Hop Off Tour


Day 14: Dublin

If you have already explored Dublin to your satisfaction, consider taking a day trip along the stunning mountain area south of Dublin. Drive along the R115, also known as Military Road, towards the Sally Gap, and take a detour to Lough Tay, nicknamed the Guinness Lake due to its resemblance to a pint of Guinness and its contrasting colors of fine sand imported from Florida and dark water. Note that due to landslides and collapses in 2018, the lake’s shape has changed.

Another must-visit destination along the way is Glendalough, a free and highly popular tourist attraction. This site is believed to have been the residence of Saint Kevin the hermit, and the monastic ruins are located between the Upper and Lower Lakes, with most remains surrounding the Lower Lake.

You may also want to check Howth if you prefer to visit the coast south of Dublin and only spend half a day outside of the city: go by car or take the DART and explore this beautiful village.

Afterward, return to Dublin for an evening and night before bidding farewell to the city.

howth sunrise

If you’ve had your fill of exploring Ireland, consider spending your last day strolling through Dublin. Take a leisurely walk and plan to visit some of the attractions you may have missed on your first day, such as the Guinness Storehouse, Christchurch Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Temple Bar, St. Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, and more. Spend your evening and last night in Dublin before saying farewell to the city.

Recommended activities: Self-Guided Guinness Storehouse tour + Pint | Skip-the-Line: Guinness & Jameson Irish Experience Tour | Walking Tour of Dublin | Hop On Hop Off Tour

Guinness gate

Are 14 days enough to visit Ireland?

While 14 days can give you a good taste of Ireland, it may not be enough to see everything the country has to offer. With its diverse landscapes and rich culture, Ireland has much to explore, from bustling cities to the scenic countryside.

In 14 days, you can cover many of the major sights, such as Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, the Aran Islands, and the city of Galway, among others. However, you may have to skip some lesser-known destinations or choose to spend less time in certain areas.

To make the most of your 14 days, it’s important to plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account travel times and distances between destinations. You should also consider your interests and priorities, whether it be history, nature, or nightlife, and tailor your trip accordingly.

Ultimately, 14 days can provide a great introduction to Ireland, but if you have more time, you can delve deeper into the country and discover its hidden gems.

Is 2 weeks in Ireland too long?

Two weeks in Ireland is a great amount of time to explore and experience the country’s diverse regions and attractions. From the bustling cities to the scenic countryside, the stunning coastline to the rich history and culture, there’s something for everyone to discover in Ireland. In fact, many travelers feel that even with 14 days, their itinerary feels rushed due to the plethora of activities and sights to see throughout the country. To make the most of your trip, it’s best to plan in advance and follow a well-planned itinerary like the one we have suggested. This way, you can ensure that you have enough time to see and do everything that interests you without feeling overwhelmed or like you missed out on something important.

Can you also visit Northern Ireland in two weeks?

A two-week trip to Ireland can include a visit to Northern Ireland, but it needs thorough planning to prioritize the sights in both regions. The downside of such a trip could be spending more time driving and less time enjoying the experience. Furthermore, Northern Ireland has different customs regulations and a separate currency, the British pound, which requires travelers to conduct thorough research and prepare accordingly. Additionally, certain areas in Northern Ireland might necessitate a different type of rental car insurance due to varying regulations.

What is the best time to go to Ireland?

Although Ireland’s climate can be unpredictable, the summer months are generally considered the best time to visit. However, it’s worth noting that August can be quite rainy and crowded with tourists. We recommend visiting in June or mid-July when the days are longer, the temperatures are mild, and there’s less rain.

That being said, this itinerary can be enjoyed year-round, but from September to March/April (and beyond), the weather may be quite wet and overcast, which could make some of the recommended activities difficult to enjoy.

Should you rent a car in Ireland?

Renting a car in Ireland is a popular option for those looking to explore the country at their own pace. There are many car rental companies to choose from, with options ranging from small economy cars to larger SUVs and vans. It’s important to keep in mind that in Ireland cars drive on the left-hand side of the road, which can take some getting used to for those coming from countries where driving on the right-hand side is the norm. Additionally, many of the roads in Ireland are narrow and winding, which can be challenging for inexperienced drivers. It’s also worth noting that car rental prices are typically higher. To get the best deal, it’s recommended to book in advance and compare prices from different rental companies using Skyscanner’s comparison tool. It’s also important to check the rental agreement for hidden fees or restrictions, such as mileage limits or additional charges for drivers under a certain age.

Find the best car rental prices in Ireland with Skyscanner’s comparison tool.

Is Ireland safe?

Ireland is generally considered a safe destination, especially in rural areas. However, larger cities, such as Dublin, may have neighborhoods with higher crime rates. It’s important to take common-sense precautions and have travel insurance to avoid any unwanted situations. We suggest considering SafetyWing for insurance. SafetyWing offers comprehensive travel medical insurance for digital nomads, remote workers, and frequent travelers. Their plans cover medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, travel delays, and more. 

What is the currency of Ireland?

The currency used in Ireland is the Euro (€). It was introduced in 2002, replacing the Irish pound. The Euro is divided into 100 cents and comes in coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, €1, and €2. The banknotes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500.

It’s important to note that Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, uses the pound sterling (£) as its currency. This means that if you’re traveling to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, you’ll need to exchange your currency when crossing the border.

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