The cliffs of moher- how to spend a week in ireland

If you haven’t read my rant about planning this trip to Ireland, feel from to take a moment to do so. It was absurd. But thankful I persevered through and ended up with a fabulous little vacation. Let me tell you how to spend a week in Ireland and all about the trip so you can use it on your own trip and get the most out of your Irish adventure. 

green ireland. how to spend a week in ireland
The other side of the Cliffs of Moher

My favorite thing about Ireland wasn’t the beautiful green everything, the quirky little buildings, the castles on every corner so seamlessly blending with the new… though all those things were great, it was the people who really sold me. The Irish are so incredibly warm and welcoming. They open their home to you, a stranger, and share all of its magic with you.

I have been many places, most are proud of their culture but not as willing to share it with an outsider. The Irish would make everyone Irish if they had their way, I think. People at the shops told us stories about anything and everything, barkeeps gave us the lay of the land, strangers went out of their way to provide assistance if we seemed lost. It was overwhelming at first but oh so nice to feel so welcomed in a foreign place. I am sure you will have a similar experience on your travels there. 

Day 1 – Kilkenny

Get into Dublin early, grab your car and head straight out of town to Kilkenny. It’s a small town, find a central car park and explore it on foot. There are plenty of interesting buildings and things to see as you wander. 

kilkenny castle ireland
Kilkenny Castle

Head toward the middle of town and check out Kilkenny Castle and then walk along the canal. 

Grab some dinner then head 20 min out of town for a nature walk, the Castlemorris Wood Walk, there are two options. The Red loop 6km and Green loop 3km, we took the shorter, easy walk, very green. The entrance is through the Grand gates of Castlemorris, you will see the entrance on the left follow the little arrow markers for whatever color path you would like to do.

castlemorris wood walk

End the night with a famous Irish beer and catch some live music.

Day 2 – Cork

Today, hop in the car and head to Cork, making a few stops along the way. 

Grab an Irish Breakfast then head to the Rock of Cashel. You will probably need about an hour to check it out. Very cool and very old. 

rock of cashel

On the way into Cork stop at Blackrock Castle Observatory, it’s just outside of town. It’s a cool little castle with some cool exhibits. We just made a quick stop but if you have some time you can head inside. 

blackrock castle observatory how to spend a week in ireland

Up next, head out to Blarney Castle. Give yourself a couple of hours, at least since the gardens are large and very pretty and there will likely be a line to get up in the castle, which has tons of stairs. The infamous Blarney stone is at the top, kiss it if you wish. I did not. Upside down, 400 floors above ground, germy stone… Nah, I’ll pass. 

blarney castle- how to spend a week in ireland

Give yourself some time to wonder cork the rest of the day. Take a stroll through the English Market, grab a super delicious burger from West Cork Burger and follow the South Parish Walk (pdfs of the routes are available here). Along the walk, you will see Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral. It is amazing! The biggest church I have seen. End the night at a pub and some live music for a true Irish evening.

Day 3 – Cork, Kinsale, Cobh

Start today with a little more cork. 

Learn some buttery history about Kerrygold at the Butter Museum

Then ring Shannon’s church bells at the Church of St Anne, walk up the 132 stairs to the top and catch an awesome view of the city. 

Grab coffee and donut at Huckleberry’s, the shop is so cute and full of funny puns. 

kinsale ireland

Then hop in the car and head to Kinsale. Grab some fish and chips then wander the town a bit, it’s pretty small and good for shopping. Then check out the Charles Fort, it has some nice views. 

Charles Fort

Head out to Cobh for the evening. Check out the fabulous church and the cute little houses. Grab an ice cream at the little shop on the water. 

Head back to Cork for the night, end the night at a pub with some live music. 

Day 4 – Killarney

Today is action-packed, so get an early start. 

Start the journey at Carriganass Castle, it’s a quick stop, a nice leg stretch. 

how to spend a week in ireland

Then you will catch the last part of the Ring of Kerry. 

First stop: Reenagross park in Kenmare. It’s just outside of town, a short walk through a pretty park, with lots of trees. 

Wander Kenmare for a bit, maybe get some ice cream. 

Onward to Derrycunnihy. First, is a leg stretch at Ladies’ view. It’s a great view. 

ladies view- how to spend a week in ireland

You will pass castle ruins and an old church before you get to Torc falls. It’s a quick 5 min walk to the top to see the falls. It is also a great place for a bathroom break. 

Torc Falls Ireland

Then take a stroll around the Muckross house, it’s a big house with awesome gardens. 

Then hit the Muckross abbey. 

Last stop Killarney. Get some dinner, maybe at a pub… with live music (are you seeing the pattern here?) We stayed in an adorable Airbnb about 45 min from town that was on a farm. You can stay in Killarney or Limerick, however, limerick will give you a head start on the next day. 

Day 5 – Clare/Galway

Day 5 you are headed to Galway, a cute little harbor town in the west. It’s a bit of a drive so may as well make some stops along the way! 

First stop: Bunratty Castle. This is a pretty famous Castle, it’s been turned into a folk park so there is a lot of history and lots to learn. That being said it is a bit touristy and pricy. We still enjoyed it. 

bunratty castle

They have women there who are constantly cutting apples for delicious pie, I absolutely recommend getting some pie while you are there. We spent about 2 hours there but you could spend a whole afternoon if you wanted to. Alas, we had much more to see, and if you are following this itinerary than so do you. 

apple pie makers at bunratty castle

Next, a coffee break in Ennis, like most towns in Ireland it’s small and quaint. We took a walk along the main road and peaked into the friary, for time’s sake we didn’t go in. 

Ennis ireland

The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher was next. I recommend buying the tickets online in advance. They were cheaper and then you are ready when you get there, no waiting in line. The Cliffs of Moher is a must. It’s more breathtaking than any picture can express. You will certainly feel small! Walk the length and take it all in. We went in the afternoon which had the Cliffs lit quite nicely. Once you have had your fill it’s on to the last stop of the day. 

The cliffs of moher


This town is so charming! It may have been my favorite stop. Maybe. We stayed in a great little Airbnb on the harbor which was a nice and close walk to the main quay. Which is a bustling little road filled with music, buskers and energy. 

bustling street in galway ireland

I’m sure you will be as hungry as we were at the point. Do yourself a favor and get a pot pie from the Pie Maker. OH MY G. Of all the places we ate in Ireland, none charmed my palette like the Pie Maker. The place is so cute and unique and the pies were fantastic. I would drive all the way to Galway just for another pie!! If nightlife is your scene you will surely enjoy Galway. Grab a beer at a pub with some live music, maybe? 

best pot pie!

Day 6 and 7 – Dublin 

Admittedly, we did not schedule enough time in the charming city of Galway, so we chose to depart a little later, and gave the town one more stroll before heading to Dublin. 

Birr Castle Ireland

The road to Dublin is the longest of the legs of the journey, so to break it up we detoured to Birr Castle. Cuz, I mean, what’s a trip to Ireland without a ton of castles? The castle itself is now a privately owned residence but there is a great park to stretch your legs in and view it from afar. 

Once in Dublin, spend the rest of the trip exploring the town. It’s a fairly big city with plenty to do. 

I recommend dinner at the oldest bar in Dublin, The Braizen Head. It’s a fun and quirky bar with good food and badges everywhere. You have likely seen images of it when looking for things about Ireland. It’s quite well known. 

The Braizen head, Dublin Ireland. how to spend a week in ireland

As a clan who enjoys a good craft beer, we couldn’t miss a stop at Guinness. We only allotted a couple of hours for this, we spent 4. So if beer is of interest to you, plan accordingly. It’s really nice. 7 levels full of history and stories and, of course, beer. 

Guinness brewery

I will say, the beer straight from Guinness definitely tastes different from its imported brethren. Head to the top to get a fab view of the city and enjoy some. 

Pouring the perfect pint at guinness

If you’re tired of walking about, grab a horse and carriage instead of a taxi. The guys that drive them have plenty of stories to tell and it’s a unique way to see the town. 

Around town, you will find plenty of cathedrals and great places to eat. 

Of course, you will inevitably find the famous truth college as well. 

While you walk about there is a great app called Discovery Trails that has many self-guided walking tours. Be your own tour guide! 

the famous temple bar

Two more touristy but still cool things we did in the city was Celtic Nights and the Viking Splash Tour. Cuz I mean, you gotta at least do some of that stuff right?

Celtic Nights is a great little dinner show with live traditional Irish music and dancing (38.95). We would later find that the songs they taught us would pop up in pubs around our own town. It is cool to relive the night over and over. 

celtic nights, how to spend a week in ireland

The splash tour takes you around town on an amphibious bus. 

Both I highly recommend, they were a great way to see the city and learn some more about the culture. 

All in all. Ireland is a fabulous county full of fabulous and welcoming people if it’s not on your list of places to go you are sorely mistaken. Add it. See it. Love it. Hopefully this overview of our week there will serve useful to you on your travels!

Are you going? Have you been? How would you spend a week in Ireland? Tell me about it below!

Pin this for later!

Show 21 Comments


  1. I’ve been to Ireland and enjoyed many of the places you suggest! Beautiful! I went there specifically to climb Carrountoohil, the highest point in Ireland. It was a surprisingly hard mountain to climb!

  2. A family member mentioned they are planning a trip to Ireland in 2021. I am sharing your itinerary with them.

  3. jen

    what a great trip! I can’t wait to get there one day… one of my dream places and i’ll refer to this.

  4. I have always wanted to go to Ireland, although it is not at the top of my wanderlust list. These pictures have definitely piqued my interest though! Ladies’ View, Torc Falls, and the Cliffs of Moher have definitely pushed Ireland a little closer to the top of the list!

    • It wasn’t on the top of the list for us either but I am so happy things happened to push it to the top!

  5. We have very close friends that live in Ireland. They visited us this past summer. Now it’s our turn to visit them. This is a great itinerary. But we would need to stop off in Greystones for a visit.

  6. Lisa Manderino

    Ireland is on my list! What a great trip! All of your pictures make me want to go!

  7. Ireland looks like a wonderful place to visit, and I like the way you’ve broken down the cities. I’d love to see Galway and Dublin, and that pie looks amazing. I’m ready to go!

  8. alison netzer

    I have wanted to go to Ireland forever and this article definitely has me looking to go this summer. What a fun little trip and you packed so much in. Awesome and great pictures.

  9. Jordan

    I have been itching to go to Ireland for a while now, and your post makes that itch even worse! I love old castles and history like this, and the fact that the Irish are so friendly is another point for visiting!

  10. We traveled to Ireland and saw all these places years ago! Ireland is one of my favorite places. It will be a port of call on a DIsney cruise we are taking later this year. I can’t wait to see a part of it again!

  11. kmf

    What a fabulous and comprehensive itinerary. I’m glad you persevered through the planning! Ireland is high on my top places to visit.

  12. Ireland is high on my list of places to see. I would love to explore where my family is from and see all of these quaint little villages. We hope to go in the next couple of years.

  13. We loved Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher were so beautiful…and also Dublin was great. Can’t wait to go back and explore more. Great tips

  14. I haven’t traveled to Ireland yet, but it is on the list to visit for sure! Thanks for sharing your itinerary!

  15. Can’t wait to visit this beautiful country one day! We make a point to visit couple of European countries every alternate year. Looking forward to 2021!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *