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IRELAND Where to go

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1. Posted by martyturek (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi there.
A friend and I are looking at travelling to Ireland in the next few weeks. We dont know weither to go to dublin or belfast. we understand they both have such great points going for them.Can anyone help us make this decision. We are also looking at things to do and places to stay.
Thanks Marty

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Dublin and Belfast are only about a 2-hour bus ride apart, so you can easily do both. They're in different countries, so be sure to bring proper currency - or just use your credit or debit card.

In Northern Ireland, I'd recommend a drive up the Antrim Coast to Giant's Causeway. It's really beautiful - and the drive is breathtaking. You can also visit Donegal, the Mourne Mountains, and Carrick-a-Rede bridge (near Giant's Causeway).

In the Republic, I've only been to Dublin - which is full of things to do. Guinness Storehouse is a must, and there's also Kilmainham Goal, Dublin Castle, Temple Bar, and lots more. I'm sure someone else here can help fill in the gaps.

Have a great trip!

3. Posted by lukeg1980 (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I was in Ireland last year and definately found Belfast the more interesting of the two cities. Naturally with "the troubles" over the past 70 years there is more recent history in Belfast and one of the most amazing things I have seen - the peace wall. Make sure you write a peace message on this before you go. I was not expecting the city to be litteraly divided!

Dublin seemed a bit more functional, mind you guiness tour is great and temple bar district is awesome for a big night out.

Make sure you get a take on Irish history from a local of both cities if you get the chance, their views are facinating.

And that's my 2 cents.


4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Go to both!

They are only a few hours apart on the train! :)

5. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello Martyturek

I would choose Dublin.
Belfast is still part of the UK and not the Republic of Ireland, so is a bit Englandy.

I lived in Dublin, for 7 years.
What types of things do u like to do, when travelling, and which type of accomodation are u looking for? Hostels or 4 star hotels?


6. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Marty

Im a local! I would reiterate what others have said - whilst NI is obviously still part of the UK it is still Irish & definately unique!! Belfast is a great up and coming city and there is plenty to do - open top bus tour, a troubles tour, a murals tour - you can find any detail you need out from the Welcome Centre on Donegal Avenue (main shopping street!)

But l love Dublin and to that end l would jump on a train and travel for 2 hours and visit Dublin also they are so close - you could even just go for the day if your stay was short!

Enjoy Ireland (bring a rain coat the weather is starting to turn rubbish!)


7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Purdy

you can find any detail you need out from the Welcome Centre on Donegal Avenue (main shopping street!)

They've got great cheap souvenirs there! I bought my mom a pretty carving to hang on the wall for something like 2 quid.

8. Posted by Gerrit_BE (Full Member 83 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I live in Belfast since over a year, but beforehand lived in Dublin for a year as well. I can only say that in all possible aspects, Belfast is much much better. That's also why I deliberately decided to continue my Irish adventure there.

To be honest, I am not too enthousiast about Dublin. Maybe because I don't like nightlife at all. But that is just the problem: Dublin is little more than nightlife. Temple Bar is a nice night out for once (it's very atmospheric, but avoid watching the decadence because that's a turn off) and Grafton Street has some excellent shops. But that's it really. I find Dublin quite disappointing for a city of that size though with very little culture. Also, the city is very narrow-minded, that's at least how I experienced it. I didn't have much of a good time and would advise to skip the city alltogether or limit yourself to maximum 1 or 2 days. The coast near Dublin is very nice though (Bull island, Dun Laoghoire, Dalkey, Bray, ...) but the city itself is not that exciting.

In the Republic, Galway is in my opinion much more interesting than Dublin: very cosy and charming with its colourful houses and narrow little streets, very vibrant as well but less decadent than Dublin, some amazing sceneries along the coastline south of the city (those little hills and bays are the most beautiful part of Ireland I've seen so far), option to make a day trip to the amazingly beautiful Aran Islands, ...

Belfast of course, forgive me for being biased, is the most interesting city of the island. The Troubles are just part of it (it is very different when first visiting, the Murals can be very beautiful if you try to forget the violent undertone of them) but there's much more: there's the amazingly beautiful City Hall, the very beautiful Queens University, some very nice architecture in the area next to City Hall, a very nice and diverse shopping district in and near Royal Avenue, very vibrant student area near Queens, option to make day trips along the very nice coastline, ...

I recommend to not waste too much time on Dublin, and to go for Belfast. And try to visit Derry and Galway as well for a day, they are in my opinion much more worth the trip than Dublin.

9. Posted by dwilson (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Depending on how much time you have the cities of Galway and Cork are well worth a visit

10. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi there

As a lot of people have mentioned here, dublin & belfast are only a couple of hours away by train/bus so both would be well worth a visit.
Also, can I ask how long you are staying for? If you had the chance to visit both you could see the beautiful countryside & villages that most people visit Ireland for along the way, maybe fly to Cork, and travel North untill you hit Belfast. Ireland is such a small country you could see the lot in a couple of days.

Happy Travelling!!!