Ireland, recommendations and thoughts for other travellers
Tralee – a pricey but a wonderful place to stay is Ballyseede castle – if your budget will allow, it’s a real treat. Make sure you allow time to enjoy the grounds, the drawing room, the lovely breakfast.
Doolin – Aille River youth hostel – this is a great hostel and the team there are wonderfully helpful and friendly.
Pubs – we went to O’Connor’s and loved it, but can’t compare with the others as we didn’t get there. Pub grub at O’Connor’s was good too.
Both the homemade chocolate place, Wilde Irish Chocolates (next to O’Connor’s, open erratic hours it seems) and the County Clare Jam place are well worth a stop.
Drives and day trips – for sheer take your breath away beauty the cliffs of Moher are unmissable, ask at the youth hostel for a map for the best/cheapest place to park.
Galway – we stayed in the Salmon Weir youth hostel which was fine. Key pluses were they did our laundry for 4 euros and they were conveniently located with respect to a car park. It’s central and the 3am curfew was fine given the pubs closed around 1am anyway.
Dinner – the Dale was friendly and the food was fine with generous portions.
Pub – we loved The Spanish Arch.
Dublin – we stayed in the sister hotels the Castle Hotel and St George’s. Both were fine, I thought St George’s was a little better value given it was a little cheaper and didn’t miss too many of the “frills”. The Castle has it’s shabby appeal though and they have traditional Irish music there a few nights a week – not that you’ll have trouble finding that elsewhere in the city.
Food – we found some good deals in Temple Bar. Consider (here and elsewhere) going to dinner early as there is often a cheap menu served before 6 or 7pm so if your schedule is flexible you can save a few euro.
Attractions – my favourite was the book of Kells/Trinity library but the Guiness Storehouse is also very well set up. Temple Bar in the evening was very good fun. It’s worth looking around to find the right band – we especially enjoyed Clare Peele who was playing at The Quays upstairs.