Dublin is a great city if you’re into nighttime revelry (not so great for nighttime bike rides, FYI). Generally speaking, Ireland is one of the best countries in Europe for nightlife, because the drunker Irish people get, the friendlier they are and the more musical they become — the only downside is that high taxes on booze make it one of the more expensive places in the world to get a pint of Guinness, a tragic injustice or a shrewd move by Ireland’s broke-ass government, depending on your perspective.
Dublin is a sprawling city with lots of outdoor activities beyond the center. Phoenix Park is great for an morning bike ride; Howth is a quaint fishing village at the northern end of Dublin Bay and has an excellent hiking trail; the everlong sea wall at Dun Laoghaire (have fun pronouncing that) is the perfect setting for a brooding walk on a stormy afternoon.
Two weeks is just enough to get a taste of the Emerald Isle. From Dublin you can take a bus — or, if you get carsick easily, the expensive and relatively slow train — to a number of interesting places.
Galway has a reputation for excellent music, plus it’s quite close to the soaring Cliffs of Moher. There may or may not be llamas on the road to the cliffs, btw.
Drogheda is near Newgrange, Ireland’s answer to Stonehenge.
Wexford is the defacto capital of the Irish Riviera (yes, it’s a real thing) and if you’re a fan of the film Brooklyn, consider visiting Enniscorthy, where the book’s author Colm Tóibín is from. I have some friends there who own a lot of sheep (that’s me, a couple years ago, wrangling them).
Kerry and Dingle in the west are best known for their spectacular landscapes.
Cork is a walkable city with a very compact and lively center and is a minihub for Ireland’s tech scene.
And though it’s technically not part of Ireland, Belfast is worth a visit for the history and (in my opinion) some of the best music in the country; Madden’s Bar is a guarantee of great traditional music.
You can get to Ireland for surprisingly cheap from Utah, with flights from Salt Lake City to Dublin starting in the mid $500s (but you do have to be flexible about when you go). Here’s a sample fare.
Feb 1-14 from Salt Lake City to Dublin on American for $545. To get the cheapest flight and support this website, book your airfare on DoHop.
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