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Upcoming Trip to Killarney

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#1
making my first trip to Killarney this weekend, brother in laws bachelor party. Lots of golf planned, but looking for recommendations for dinner / night life / sight-seeing. Anyone have anything to share?
 
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#3
I stopped there with my, at the time, French gf just as a means to rest for the night. Nothing too memorable, honestly, as our main goal was just seeing the incredible scenery around/on the coast. Although I think, pretty sure, that we made a day trip to the nearby national park (EDIT: Looking at my pictures we did go, on July 12, 2008) of the same name which was awesome. Any way, we rented a car and just drove around. Crazy roads (at least in 2008) but so worth it! We did not really utilize towns as a base point though because, as dumb luck and general/brilliant Irish hospitality would have it, we lucked our way into staying in a gorgeous countryside farm house that at that point in time was not being utilized by the family in question in County Cork. County Cork, county Kerry and county Clare (saw just a little of Clare though) are especially brilliant but longer rides that you might expect by looking at a map as, again...the roads...I do not think we made it all the way up to Galway or Mayo but those are supposed to be amazing too. I remember Dingle as being especially beautiful but tons of great places to check out. I would recommend, if you can, staying longer, renting a car and just going. The southwestern coast especially of Ireland is just so nice. I think we went to Ireland from July 1 to July 16 and spent the majority of our time in the SW, maybe a 2 days in Dublin to start and end the trip.
 
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8893

Curiouser
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#4
Been through it several times while visiting family in Kerry and doing the Ring. Not much to commend Killarney itself imo except maybe a trip to Kerry Woolen Mill for gifts. It is very touristy and there will be lots of buses as it is a popular spot to board for the Ring of Kerry bus tours. I'd recommend a stop in Kenmare; we stayed overnight there two summers ago and it was a nice town with good people, B&Bs, restaurants, pubs and stores.

You have to do the Ring and plan your stops along the way. Last time we followed Rick Steves's advice and drove it from the bottom instead of the top and timed it perfectly to miss most of the bus traffic, which can really affect your experience (especially if you are the driver...).

If you are a Star Wars fan, Skellig Michael is where the last one was filmed.
 
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#5
Just got back from a trip to Ireland and stayed in Killarney at the Lake Hotel for 2 nights while we did the Dingle Peninsula drive (that last 1/2 mile up Connor Pass is interesting), explored Killarney National Park, and tried to visit Skellig Micheal (damn you Ernesto!). Went with the wife and am not a golfer, so certain things you may do that I did not do. Food in Killarney, which is truly a tourist town, is hit and miss, as it is in most of Ireland. Caragh had good grub while Murphy's was a disaster as it took close to 2 hours to get our order. Happened to stop in Dingle for lunch on Sunday and spent 2 hours watching the All-Ireland Hurling Championship between 2 time defending champ Galway and the youngsters from Limerick, which was a blast.
 

SubbaBub

Your stupidity is ruining my country.
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#6
Start your Ring of Kerry run early, 8 am early. Drive counter-clockwise to say ahead of and not drive into the bus traffic. Veer off the main run and stop at Rossbeigh Strand (beach), cross Valentia Island, and drive through Portmagee. If you want to visit Skellig Michael, you should stay overnight near Portmagee as the boats leave early in the morning. Most of the boats leave from there, won't go out in rough seas, and only a few of them actually land ashore (in very calm seas). It is the kind of thing you can't really plan and need to be ready if the weather is nice. I had a glorious day the day we had in mind to do it but I was feeling ill and didn't think I had it in to make the climb to the top. Opted for the Valentia/Portmagee/RoK instead. I still regret it as this was before Star Wars put it on the mass tourist map. Maybe after a few more movies, people will stop caring about Star Wars enough to make another attempt.

As for Kilarney, it's touristy but so what, that is why you are there. Find a pub full of Americans where the Trad is playing, drink some Guinness, Jameson, and have an irish coffee. There is nothing wrong with that. Authentic Ireland is easily found elsewhere. If you have had enough of the hotel irish breakfasts, there is a place in Kilarney center called JAM, they serve sandwiches pastries and coffee. Ate there twice for breakfast. First time was to grab something for the ROK car ride (left at 7 am), second was for the trip back to Dublin.
 

SubbaBub

Your stupidity is ruining my country.
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#7
Just got back from a trip to Ireland and stayed in Killarney at the Lake Hotel for 2 nights while we did the Dingle Peninsula drive (that last 1/2 mile up Connor Pass is interesting), explored Killarney National Park, and tried to visit Skellig Micheal (damn you Ernesto!). Went with the wife and am not a golfer, so certain things you may do that I did not do. Food in Killarney, which is truly a tourist town, is hit and miss, as it is in most of Ireland. Caragh had good grub while Murphy's was a disaster as it took close to 2 hours to get our order. Happened to stop in Dingle for lunch on Sunday and spent 2 hours watching the All-Ireland Hurling Championship between 2 time defending champ Galway and the youngsters from Limerick, which was a blast.
Also stayed at the Lake. It is not reasonably walkable to the center but parking is easy and it has a nice view of the Lake (duh) and a decent hotel bar. Rooms are European (small) but adequate. Would recommend.
 
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#8
Also stayed at the Lake. It is not reasonably walkable to the center but parking is easy and it has a nice view of the Lake (duh) and a decent hotel bar. Rooms are European (small) but adequate. Would recommend.
Our room was a good size. Should have seen our room in Dublin (Bushwells) for about the same rate. The buffet breakfast was good, just ahd to time it around when one of the tour bus trips was leaving. Greta rea to go for a morning job around, too. I agree that its too far to walk from downtown Killarney, which I was worried about; but, after seeing the town, was OK with it. Was glad we stayed in the city center in Dublin (to avoid driving), Kinsale (cute Irish town with good restaurants), and Galway (nightlife) was worth it.
 
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#9
Start your Ring of Kerry run early, 8 am early. Drive counter-clockwise to say ahead of and not drive into the bus traffic. Veer off the main run and stop at Rossbeigh Strand (beach), cross Valentia Island, and drive through Portmagee. If you want to visit Skellig Michael, you should stay overnight near Portmagee as the boats leave early in the morning. Most of the boats leave from there, won't go out in rough seas, and only a few of them actually land ashore (in very calm seas). It is the kind of thing you can't really plan and need to be ready if the weather is nice. I had a glorious day the day we had in mind to do it but I was feeling ill and didn't think I had it in to make the climb to the top. Opted for the Valentia/Portmagee/RoK instead. I still regret it as this was before Star Wars put it on the mass tourist map. Maybe after a few more movies, people will stop caring about Star Wars enough to make another attempt.
We left Killarney at 7:30 AM and made it to Portmagee going direct (clockwise) in just over an hour for our 9 AM boatride with no problem.

The tour operator we went with, Paul Devane, says the seas were light. We likely had 5 to 10 foot rollers on our 20 foot boat both ways from all directions as Ernest stirred the ocean a bit two days prior. About half of our group got seasick, including myself (just on the way there, not back) as the side-to-side versus the head-on waves got to me. We were going though as no one had been able to land on the island in the last 4 days. I did hear from a friend who went the day before that they were not able to land and the waves were breaking over the top of the boat on the way out.

We did land; but, I am not good with heights (at Cliffs of Moher, I happily stayed on the inside of the stone wall while my wife made me nervous walking along the cliff-side path). From the start of the stairs, I felt that I could have pushed my way-up; but, coming down would have been an issue as I do get vertigo. I was disappointed in myself; but, it was the right call. My wife went up to the first 'landing' and came back down. I think if I had gone and if she (we) did not have kids back home, she would have tried it. Its a tricky climb as at least half the people who came back down did a few sections on their bum.

If anyone is planing on going to Skellig Micheal, remember to book way in advance as UNESCO limits the number of visitors a day to roughly 100.
 

SubbaBub

Your stupidity is ruining my country.
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#10
Yes, down is always harder. You can't quite see your feet without risking toppling yourself and you have little to hold onto to balance yourself.

The "stairs" are not realy stairs. It is a serious climb. I didn't feel up to it healthwise. Maybe someday. Glad you made the trip at least.
 
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#11
With the new Are Lingus flights to Ireland out of Bradley it appears more and more people are visiting Ireland and using Dublin as a gateway to the rest of Europe. I was recently in Ireland and it was extremely easy compared to New York and Boston.

I strongly recommend going to Dingle and visiting the Dingle Pub at night!! Lots of fun!

While walking around in Galway I saw these young ladies. UConn travels very well!!

IMG_0878.jpg
 
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#12
With the new Are Lingus flights to Ireland out of Bradley it appears more and more people are visiting Ireland and using Dublin as a gateway to the rest of Europe. I was recently in Ireland and it was extremely easy compared to New York and Boston.

I strongly recommend going to Dingle and visiting the Dingle Pub at night!! Lots of fun!

While walking around in Galway I saw these young ladies. UConn travels very well!!

View attachment 34073
Stopped in Dingle for lunch for an hour or two, don't remember seeing this pub. Then again, it was raining and crowded, so everyone was just running from the car to a pub or from pub to pub with little attention paid.

Agree about Dublin, especially with the UK leaving the EU soon and Ireland staying in the EU. Flying to Dublin instead of London on the way to another city cuts out having to go through customs twice. Big advantage.

We flew into Dublin and flew out of Shannon. Shannon is easy to navigate and like Dublin and London, can go through US customs there; but, it lacks a lot of amenities, such as an actual restaurant post-security.
 
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#14
... nothing quite like traveling for fun to Ireland or to other non-US countries, then inexplicably finding compelling reasons to spend time in pubs, restaurants, etc pock full of Yanks. :rolleyes:
 
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#15
... nothing quite like traveling for fun to Ireland or to other non-US countries, then inexplicably finding compelling reasons to spend time in pubs, restaurants, etc pock full of Yanks. :rolleyes:
Point well made!!

However, this was just one of many pubs we were in. There was another one down the street on the left, of which I can't remember the name, and it was almost totally frequented by native Irish. Didn't see a Yank in there all night. That one was fun, too.
 
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#17
By the way, did you hear about the GAA Sport of Hurling while you were inIreland? I never heard of it before; but, we caught a Intermediate (High School) County Championship match in Killarney one day and then caught the All-Ireland County Championship between upstart Limerick and 2 time defending champ Galway the next at a pub in Dingle with a hundred or so fans. Crazy game, kind of like Lacrosse meets Rugby. The young upstarts, who had not won the Cup since the early 1970's, won by 1 point 3-16 (25) to 2-18 (24) in front of +80,000 nuts at Croke Park in Dublin. It was an exciting game as Galway scored 8 points in the last 5 minuets to make it a nail-biter. Hurling is also amateur, only travel and training expense are paid for by the GAA. Two nights later, we watched 90,000 fans (for a city with a population of 95,000, metro of 160,000) show-up to to welcome the Liam MacCarthy Cup (been awarded since 1887) home. One of the highlights of my trip.

Limerick hang on against Tribe to end 45 years of pain
 

8893

Curiouser
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#19
I would love to go to Northern Ireland. How is that as a place to visit, anyone have any experience?
I have not been and also would like to. I am a big fan of Larry Kirwan's (of Black 47) Celtic Crush show on the Loft on Sirius. Every year he does an Ireland trip where he brings along whoever signs up, and they broadcast live from Ireland several times during the trip, including many interviews with the people who are on the trip. Last year Belfast was the centerpiece of the trip and to a person every single one described it as the most amazing experience. He booked a tour that had one guide from a Loyalist family and another from a Republican family. They had grown up a block from each other and had totally different experiences, which they shared. It sounded pretty awesome. Unfortunately I don't think Northern Ireland is on his itinerary for next year's trip (I believe they are going to Kerry, where my family is from, and where I've already been twice), but I am going to keep my ear open for the 2020 trip. Sounds like it would be a blast and also great perspective to do that way.
 
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#20
You don't have to be Irish to have a great time visiting Ireland

If you have never been to Ireland should go.

You will not regret it.

You can fly round trip to Ireland on Norwegian Air out of nearby Newburgh NY airport roundtrip to Dublin for less than $300.

Let me type that again: less than $300 roundtrip to Dublin; less than flying roundtrip to Florida.

LINK:
Flights to Dublin from New York-Stewart | Norwegian

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#21
You don't have to be Irish to have a great time visiting Ireland

If you have never been to Ireland should go.

You will not regret it.

You can fly round trip to Ireland on Norwegian Air out of nearby Newburgh NY airport roundtrip to Dublin for less than $300.

Let me type that again: less than $300 roundtrip to Dublin; less than flying roundtrip to Florida.

LINK:
Flights to Dublin from New York-Stewart | Norwegian

.
Just checked, Air Lingus is $400 (depending on the date) roundtrip from Hartford/Bradley to Dublin direct right now. Due to the popularity of Ireland right now and the number of Irish immigrants in the northeastern US, nearly every major airport (Logan, Kennedy, Philly, Dulles) and several smaller airports (Bradley, Stewart, love the old Air Force bases with really long runways) go direct to Dublin and sometimes Shannon and Cork.

I went in August and loved it. In the future after the kids are on their own, health and finances permitting, my wife and I plan to take a long weekend every year in Ireland in May/June and explore one area of the Emerald Isle at a time instead of driving all over the country in 2 weeks.
 

HuskyHawk

Hoping to see something that looks like basketball
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#22
New flights on Norwegian airlines out of Providence to Shannon, Dublin and Belfast. All cheap, all direct. It’s a fantastic change for the better. I’ve been to Ireland 5 times now, but flights used to be cheap and easy and got very expensive from Boston. The go to Edinburgh too, and that’s among my favorite places.

As for Northern Ireland, Giants Causeway is on my list among others. I drove through N. Ireland back in 2001, but it was quite a bit different then. Still had crows nests in towers with machine guns. The loyalist towns are scary as hell, with so many Union Jack, English and Scottish flags. Way more intimidating than any IRA graffiti, which I was used to in Southie anyway.
 
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#24
New flights on Norwegian airlines out of Providence to Shannon, Dublin and Belfast. All cheap, all direct. It’s a fantastic change for the better. I’ve been to Ireland 5 times now, but flights used to be cheap and easy and got very expensive from Boston. The go to Edinburgh too, and that’s among my favorite places.

As for Northern Ireland, Giants Causeway is on my list among others. I drove through N. Ireland back in 2001, but it was quite a bit different then. Still had crows nests in towers with machine guns. The loyalist towns are scary as hell, with so many Union Jack, English and Scottish flags. Way more intimidating than any IRA graffiti, which I was used to in Southie anyway.
I think in its day before gentrification, Southie could rival any local in Ireland for being the most fanatical Irish neighborhood.

FYI, one of the better known discount European airlines that flies to the US, WOW Air is going to be bought by Iceland Air.

The airline most famous for $55 flights from the US to Europe has been purchased by its greatest rival
 
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