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22nd Apr 2018

Six Amazing Weekend Breaks In Ireland You Can Enjoy Without A Car


There’s no denying that having a car makes it much easier to get around in Ireland.

While other countries may have more sophisticated public transport systems, it can sometimes be a little tricky to get around this country of ours – especially when you venture outside Dublin.

That said, with some clever planning, it can be done so we’ve rounded up some of the best options for weekend breaks in Ireland that don’t require a full driving license.

Whether you want to leave the car at home or have no plans to invest in some wheels, this may come in handy…


This charming Mayo town is serious craic and is decently served by bus and train. You can be there in about three hours on the train and there’s a ton of gorgeous hotels to choose from. We’ve stayed in both Hotel Westport and The Wyatt Hotel and can heartily recommend both.

When it comes to eating out, An Port Mor and Sage are definitely worth a visit and you’ll find some great live music in Matt Molloy’s.

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Another city that’s less than three hours away by train yet is a whole new world when it comes to things to do. From the Titanic Museum to Game Of Thrones tours, Belfast is such a vibrant spot and the nightlife is worth the trip alone.

If you’re interested in getting to know more about the city’s deep and turbulent history, a Black Taxi Tour is a great place to start.

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Clare is famous for its picturesque towns and villages and Ennis is one of the most easy to access as both Irish Rail and Dublin Coach travel from Dublin. It’s a busy spot during the summer but the best time of all to visit is during the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in August, as the whole place is taken over by an absolute session. A must for trad fans!

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It seems like an obvious choice but I’m always surprised by the number of people who have never been to Galway. The trains and buses arrive right into the city, you can stroll around the whole city centre in about 20 minutes and Salthill is ideal for a stroll to blow off the cobwebs on Sunday morning.

Try to get a seat at the Michelin-starred Loam while you’re in town and don’t forget to stop for a sneaky pint in Neachtain’s!

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One of the best things about Kilkenny is that it is so compact and has a real old-fashioned charm. The Smithwicks Experience should definitely be in your plans as the tour is really interesting (and you get pints at the end!). Kilkenny Castle is truly majestic and a great way to spend a few hours before you hit some of the pubs to sample the local hospitality. A lovely break just a 90-minute trip from Dublin City.

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You may have thought that Kerry would be difficult to access without a car but there are a few trips specifically designed for just such an occasion. Irish Rail has a one day trip to Killarney Lakes and the Gap of Dunloe that departs from Heuston Station and includes a boat trip AND a pony and trap ride. If you’re going to be a tourist, do it right.

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