Backpacking Ireland

Irland is known as the “Green Island”, and this name immediately reveals one of the country’s greatest asset. The island off the coast of the Atlantic ocean is characterized by wide grasslands that you can explore by foot while on a hike. Naturally, you can also walk along the steep cliffs and breathe in the fresh sea air. If at some point you start to feel lonely – don’t worry! You’ll find entertainment in one of the lively cities’ pubs, where you can recharge your batteries with stew and ale.

Have fun discovering our ideal backpacking route of Ireland!


Important Basics

Official Language

English, Irish

Basic Vocabulary
EnglishIrish
HelloDia duit
GoodbyeSlán
Thank youGo raibh maith agat
Yes
NoNíl
Capital City

Dublin

Form of Government

Parliamentary republic

Phone Country Code

+353

Currency

Euro

Climate

Highest temperature by day: 8°C to 18°C

Highest temperature at night: 3°C to 11°C

Summer: June to September / Winter: December to February

Fun Facts

There are no wild snakes in Ireland. 

Cities

Dublin

Dublin is the capital and a real highlight of your trip! More than 525,000 people live in Dublin, whose translation from Gaelic means “town of the ford of the hurdles”. Dublin is located on the east coast and is on average 20 meters above sea level.

The capital has a maritime climate, meaning that winters are mild and summer rather cool.

It is quite convenient to explore the city center on foot. There are many sights that you should not miss, such as the Christ Church Cathedral, the city’s oldest building, or the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is the largest church in the city.

The Dublin Castle, the hearth of Irish history, is considered another great highlight. The Trinity College is another important sight, since it is worth walking around the university campus and visit the exhibition of the Book of Kells in the old library. There, you can also find the so-called Long Room, which is really beautiful.

Of course, Dublin offers some great museums that are worth visiting, such as the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Dublin Writers Museum. A visit is not only worthwhile when the weather is bad.

If the sun shines, you have plenty of great options in Dublin. For instance, you can spend time in Phoenix Park, which is the largest city park in the world, where you can also see tame deer. The park is also the residence of the American ambassador and the Irish president… who would have ever imagined that?

Dublin is versatile and you will surely like it! You can stay overnight at one of the city’s hostels and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €27 a night.

Wicklow National Park

After having spent time in the capital, you will immerse yourself in nature. Rent a car in Dublin and drive from there to the Wicklow Mountain National Park.
The Wicklow Mountains National Park is located in the eastern part of the island, and it is one of the six national parks present in Ireland. It is about 200 km2 in size, and it has earned the status of national park only in 1991.
Next to the Wicklow Mountains, near Glendalough, which translated from Gaelic means “valley of the two lakes”, you can admire the ruins of a 6th-century monastery.
Another important sight of the National Park is said to be the megalithic structures in the northwestern part, which are located around Seefin Mountain and Sorrel Hill. The hills have a 10-meter diameter and are about three meters high.
On the southeastern shore of the Upper Lake, it is possible to find in the woodland the remains of the Reefert Church. The name of the church, which dates back to the 11th century, derives from the Irish world for kings’ graves.
The archaeological monument Daher is also worth seeing. The stony ring fort has a dry-stone wall with a diameter of about 20 meters, which, today, is still about one-meter high.
You can get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €32 a night at one of the local hostels.

Killarney

From Wicklow Mountain National Park, continue your journey by car. Next stop: Killarney.
Killarney, located in the southwestern part of Ireland, counts approximately 14,500 inhabitants. It borders the northern end of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain in Ireland. Moreover, the lake Lough Lane, which belongs to the Killarney National Park, is really close.
The national park is of course worth seeing, as well as Ross island and Ross Castle. The Torc waterfall is beautiful and the stone circle of Lissyviggeen is interesting and exciting. Killarney is altogether famous for the seemingly deserted lake and the picturesque mountains of Killarney National Park.
If you wish to discover something more than nature and history, you can also go to a Gaelic Football match. Gaelic Football is the Irish national sport and Killarney has a long football tradition, meaning you are in the right place to learn about this interesting sport!
Otherwise, if you want to relax or go swimming, we can recommend the recreational center which includes a sauna. It is called Aura and it is not too far away from the city center.
A particularly nice experience, which is highly suggested, is a boat trip over one of the lakes in Killarney.
Here, you’ll spend the night at a hostel and get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €27 a night.

Dingle

Your next stop will be Dingle, which you will reach with your rental car. The Dingle Peninsula is located in Kerry County, in the western area of Ireland. It is 50 km long and 9 km wide.

The peninsula is hilly and, here, you can discover many prehistoric monuments, especially in the western part. The Gallarus Oratory, a rustic corbel vault construction from the early Christian period, was built using dry-stone walling techniques and is a stunning sight. 

The flat sandy beach on the Inch spit, as well as the western coastal road called Slea Head Drive, are absolutely worth seeing. Moreover, you can do different hikes on the Dingle, for example, to Mount Brandon or Sliabh Mis.

A boat trip to Blasket Islands is also a must. To explore the area you can go on a bike tour, hike, or ride a horse.

You can sleep at one of the city’s hostels and get a bed in a dorm for €18 a night.

Galway

From Dingle, you’ll reach your last destination: Galway. Galway is also the capital of the County. The city, which counts approximately 80,000 inhabitants, is located on the western Irish coast on the northernmost shore of Galway Bay.

Summer months are the warmest here, with an average temperature of 19°C in July and August.

Galway is also called the “city of the tribes” because the city was dominated by 14 merchant families, indeed “tribes”, since the 15th century. These families built many castles all over the Galway County, which means many well known corners and streets bear names that recall these “tribes”.

Lynch’s Castle, as well as the Galway City Museum, are beautiful and worth seeing. The Spanish Arch is located at the southwest end of the city and it is one of the few remaining that once used to protect the city. You should also take a look at the archway. Here, you will spend the night at a local hostel and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €25 a night.

After having seen all corners of Ireland, discovered the vibrant capital and enjoyed the calm nature in the National Park, now it’s time to go back home. Drive back to Dublin to catch your flight back home.


Dublin

Dublin

Dublin is the capital and a real highlight of your trip! More than 525,000 people live in Dublin, whose translation from Gaelic means “town of the ford of the hurdles”. Dublin is located on the east coast and is on average 20 meters above sea level.

The capital has a maritime climate, meaning that winters are mild and summer rather cool.

It is quite convenient to explore the city center on foot. There are many sights that you should not miss, such as the Christ Church Cathedral, the city’s oldest building, or the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is the largest church in the city.

The Dublin Castle, the hearth of Irish history, is considered another great highlight. The Trinity College is another important sight, since it is worth walking around the university campus and visit the exhibition of the Book of Kells in the old library. There, you can also find the so-called Long Room, which is really beautiful.

Of course, Dublin offers some great museums that are worth visiting, such as the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Dublin Writers Museum. A visit is not only worthwhile when the weather is bad.

If the sun shines, you have plenty of great options in Dublin. For instance, you can spend time in Phoenix Park, which is the largest city park in the world, where you can also see tame deer. The park is also the residence of the American ambassador and the Irish president… who would have ever imagined that?

Dublin is versatile and you will surely like it! You can stay overnight at one of the city’s hostels and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €27 a night.

Wicklow National Park

Wicklow National Park

After having spent time in the capital, you will immerse yourself in nature. Rent a car in Dublin and drive from there to the Wicklow Mountain National Park.
The Wicklow Mountains National Park is located in the eastern part of the island, and it is one of the six national parks present in Ireland. It is about 200 km2 in size, and it has earned the status of national park only in 1991.
Next to the Wicklow Mountains, near Glendalough, which translated from Gaelic means “valley of the two lakes”, you can admire the ruins of a 6th-century monastery.
Another important sight of the National Park is said to be the megalithic structures in the northwestern part, which are located around Seefin Mountain and Sorrel Hill. The hills have a 10-meter diameter and are about three meters high.
On the southeastern shore of the Upper Lake, it is possible to find in the woodland the remains of the Reefert Church. The name of the church, which dates back to the 11th century, derives from the Irish world for kings’ graves.
The archaeological monument Daher is also worth seeing. The stony ring fort has a dry-stone wall with a diameter of about 20 meters, which, today, is still about one-meter high.
You can get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €32 a night at one of the local hostels.

Killarney

Killarney

From Wicklow Mountain National Park, continue your journey by car. Next stop: Killarney.
Killarney, located in the southwestern part of Ireland, counts approximately 14,500 inhabitants. It borders the northern end of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain in Ireland. Moreover, the lake Lough Lane, which belongs to the Killarney National Park, is really close.
The national park is of course worth seeing, as well as Ross island and Ross Castle. The Torc waterfall is beautiful and the stone circle of Lissyviggeen is interesting and exciting. Killarney is altogether famous for the seemingly deserted lake and the picturesque mountains of Killarney National Park.
If you wish to discover something more than nature and history, you can also go to a Gaelic Football match. Gaelic Football is the Irish national sport and Killarney has a long football tradition, meaning you are in the right place to learn about this interesting sport!
Otherwise, if you want to relax or go swimming, we can recommend the recreational center which includes a sauna. It is called Aura and it is not too far away from the city center.
A particularly nice experience, which is highly suggested, is a boat trip over one of the lakes in Killarney.
Here, you’ll spend the night at a hostel and get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €27 a night.

Dingle

Dingle

Your next stop will be Dingle, which you will reach with your rental car. The Dingle Peninsula is located in Kerry County, in the western area of Ireland. It is 50 km long and 9 km wide.

The peninsula is hilly and, here, you can discover many prehistoric monuments, especially in the western part. The Gallarus Oratory, a rustic corbel vault construction from the early Christian period, was built using dry-stone walling techniques and is a stunning sight. 

The flat sandy beach on the Inch spit, as well as the western coastal road called Slea Head Drive, are absolutely worth seeing. Moreover, you can do different hikes on the Dingle, for example, to Mount Brandon or Sliabh Mis.

A boat trip to Blasket Islands is also a must. To explore the area you can go on a bike tour, hike, or ride a horse.

You can sleep at one of the city’s hostels and get a bed in a dorm for €18 a night.

Galway

Galway

From Dingle, you’ll reach your last destination: Galway. Galway is also the capital of the County. The city, which counts approximately 80,000 inhabitants, is located on the western Irish coast on the northernmost shore of Galway Bay.

Summer months are the warmest here, with an average temperature of 19°C in July and August.

Galway is also called the “city of the tribes” because the city was dominated by 14 merchant families, indeed “tribes”, since the 15th century. These families built many castles all over the Galway County, which means many well known corners and streets bear names that recall these “tribes”.

Lynch’s Castle, as well as the Galway City Museum, are beautiful and worth seeing. The Spanish Arch is located at the southwest end of the city and it is one of the few remaining that once used to protect the city. You should also take a look at the archway. Here, you will spend the night at a local hostel and get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €25 a night.

After having seen all corners of Ireland, discovered the vibrant capital and enjoyed the calm nature in the National Park, now it’s time to go back home. Drive back to Dublin to catch your flight back home.

Ireland Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - Dublin
Home - Dublin
Flight
50
6-person dorm
27
2. Dublin
Dublin
-
6-person dorm
27
3. Dublin – Wicklow NP
Dublin – Wicklow NP
Rental car
8-person dorm
32
4. Wicklow NP
Wicklow NP
-
8-person dorm
32
5. Wicklow NP - Killarney
Wicklow NP - Killarney
Rental car
8-person dorm
27
6. Killarney
Killarney
-
8-person dorm
27
7. Killarney
Killarney
-
8-person dorm
27
8. Killarney - Dingle
Killarney - Dingle
Rental car
Dorm
18
9. Dingle
Dingle
-
Dorm
18
10. Dingle
Dingle
-
Dorm
18
11. Dingle - Galway
Dingle - Galway
Rental car
6-person dorm
25
12. Galway
Galway
-
6-person dorm
25
13. Galway
Galway
-
6-person dorm
25
14. Galway - Dublin - Home
Galway - Dublin - Home
Rental car + Flight
50

Total price.

Flights 100,00
Transportation 67,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 328,00
Total495,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Irish Breakfast: in Ireland, the typical Irish Breakfast consists of meat and egg, often served with baked beans, potatoes, and mushrooms. It’s super delicious!

Soups

Irish potato soup: the Irish potato soup is characterised by its creamy consistency.

Main courses

Seafood: Seafood dishes are super popular in Ireland. Especially in summer, you can order whole seafood platters, which offer all kind of choices.

Smoked salmon: The locals love to eat salmon. Usually, it is smoked and prepared with lemons and white wine. It simply tastes delicious.

Soda bread: you can order the typical Irish bread as a side dish or to eat something in between meals.

Coodle: this is a sumptuous snack which include different kinds of sausages and breads. It is served with oven-roasted vegetables and salad.

Champ with bacon: this meat dish is prepared with bacon and cabbage together with a creamy herb sauce as a topping.

Irish stew:the stew consists of lamb and cabbage, accompanied with onion and garlic sauce. It is simply delicious!

Drinks

Beer: we all know Guinness; in Ireland it tastes twice as good! Yet, there are also other good types of beer.

Irish whiskey: of course, this liquor should not be missed during a visit to an Irish pub

Ireland

The local currency in Ireland is Euro. See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of living

Food

Free time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Roadtrip: is there a better way to travel across Ireland? Hardly, that is why it is an absolute must!

Irish Pubs: go to a Pub in the evening. No other country gives so much importance to go to a pub; here, you’ll also get to know Irish culture.

Be sociable: the Irish love the community and to make new friends. Here, you should be open and friendly.

A round on you: in Ireland, people like to buy a drink and take turns. This is the wrong place for stinginess!

Don'ts

Curse first: the Irish are known to curse a lot. Don’t be offended because it is not against your personality.

Light clothing: even in Summer, Ireland is not a country where you can lie on the beach with only a bikini. Always remember to take warm clothes with you.

Jokes about the accent: the Irish accent is not to be overheard. However, don’t try to make fun of it or imitate it, as it can easily be considered offensive.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

Yes

Temporary national ID

Yes

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert Koch Instituts

Additional Remarks.

Ireland isn’t part of the European Convention on the Regulation of the Movement of Persons between the Member States of the Council of Europe from 13/12/1957. Travel documents must be valid upon entry and exit. Please also inform yourself on the current entry regulations regarding the Corona virus. Current information about this can be found at your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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