Julie Ireland, Itinerary 165 Comments

Ireland is a popular destination on many travelers’ wish lists, for a good reason. This country is a joy to explore, with stunning landscapes, friendly and welcoming people, and ancient historical sites. Don’t let it’s small size fool you…there is a lot to see and do here. On this 10 day Ireland itinerary, tour the highlights of this country.

This itinerary is designed as a road trip. You will need to rent a car in order to tour the island. Ten days is just enough time to visit the highlights of Ireland, including Dublin, the Rock of Cashel, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, and Northern Ireland. It’s an amazing trip, but expect to have busy, action packed days.

Ireland Itinerary Map

10 Day Ireland Itinerary Map

10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin
Day 2: Dublin
Day 3: Drive to Killarney
Day 4: Skellig Michael and the Ring of Kerry
Day 5: Dingle Peninsula
Day 6: Killarney to the Cliffs of Moher
Day 7: Cliffs of Moher
Day 8: Drive to Northern Ireland
Day 9: Northern Ireland
Day 10: Fly home

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the points of interest of this Ireland itinerary. You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest. If you click the star, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Ireland Itinerary Day 1

Arrive in Dublin

Your tour of Ireland begins in Dublin, Ireland’s largest city. Depending on where you are arriving from, you may have limited time (and energy) today.

Check into your hotel and take a quick nap if you need it. Spend the afternoon and early evening getting acquainted with Dublin. We recommend heading over to the Temple Bar area, for dinner and drinks in one of the many pubs.

Sláinte! You are in Ireland!

Dublin Temple Bar

Temple Bar in Dublin | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Where to Stay in Dublin

LUXURY:  Merrion Hotel. With impeccable service, a 2-star Michelin restaurant, landscaped gardens, and gorgeous rooms, this is a top pick in Dublin if you are looking for a luxurious hotel.

UPSCALE: Hotel 7. Located within walking distance of the top sights, this beautiful hotel gets rave reviews from prior guests. 

MID-RANGE:  Roxford Lodge Hotel. This boutique-style hotel offers stylish, Victorian-style rooms, and elegant dining room, and a handy bus station near the hotel. If you are traveling as a family, check out the family room that can accommodate four people.

BUDGET: In Dublin, there are several hostels that get good reviews: Jacobs Inn Hostel, Abbey Court Hostel, and Gardiner House.

Ireland Itinerary Day 2


Spend day 2 of this Ireland itinerary touring the city of Dublin. Must see sights include a visit to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, the Kilmainham Gaol, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and the National Museum of Ireland. Many people love the tours at the Guinness Storehouse, which ends with a pint of Guinness in the penthouse bar with 360° views over Dublin.

End the day with live Irish music in one of the pubs.

Dublin things to do

Dublin | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

If you prefer, you can skip some of these sights in Dublin, opting to take a four-hour day trip out of the city to Newgrange, also known as Brú na Bóinne. Newgrange is a 5,000 year old passage tomb, one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites.

Tonight, sleep in Dublin.

Ireland Itinerary Day 3

Drive to Killarney

It’s time to say goodbye to Dublin and hello to the Irish countryside.

Today you will drive out to Killarney. If you drive directly there, it takes about four hours. However, there are sights to see along the way.


From Dublin, it takes an hour and a half to drive to Kilkenny.

Kilkenny is an awesome little city in Ireland. We only spent about two hours here, having dinner and then a pint (or two!) in one of the many pubs. We loved this place, more so than Killarney or Kinsale. Explore the town in the morning, have lunch, and then continue your road trip, heading to the Rock of Cashel next.


Kilkenny | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

The Rock of Cashel

From Kilkenny, it takes one hour to drive to the Rock of Cashel.

This is not to be missed. Overlooking the Plains of Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most historic sights. This was the seat of the ancient kings of Ireland. St. Patrick baptized King Aengus here in 450 AD. Now visitors arrive every day to tour this historic complex of buildings.

You can tour the Rock of Cashel in about an hour, but make sure you also walk downhill to the much less visited and just as awesome Hore Abbey.

Rock of Cashel Drone

Hore Abbey with the Rock of Cashel on the hill behind it | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Before driving to Killarney, there is still enough time in the day to visit either the Blarney Stone or the colorful town of Kinsale.

The Blarney Stone

Located in Cork, the Blarney Stone is a major tourist site, where groups of people line up to kiss the famous Blarney Stone to get the “gift of gab.” We skipped this and put our time into Kinsale instead.


Kinsale is one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns. With colorful, winding lanes, fabulous restaurants, and a nearby golf course, Kinsale attracts a lot of visitors during the summer months. It’s also the starting point (or ending point, depending on which way you are traveling) of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Ideally, Kinsale deserves a full day of your time. However, with just an hour or two, you have enough time to explore the colorful town center and have a drink, snack, or even dinner, depending on what time it is when you get here.


Kinsale | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Old Midleton Distillery

If you want to tour a whiskey distillery in Ireland, this one is the best of the best. You can take a tour of the distillery, ending with an Irish vs. Scotch whiskey taste test. The Old Midleton Distillery is located just east of Cork.


Today’s road trip ends in Killarney. You will spend three nights in Killarney, using this town as a home base for the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.

Where We Stayed in Killarney: We stayed at the Gleann Fia Country House and we highly recommend this B&B. We had a huge family room, Tyler and Kara loved playing Monopoly in the conservatory each night, and being located just outside of town, it was very easy to get to by car.

Restaurants to try in Killarney

Bricin Restaurant. This is a fabulous restaurant serving traditional Irish cuisine. We loved the food and we loved the atmosphere.

Treyvaud’s. Another great restaurant serving gourmet food.

Dinner at Treyvauds

Ireland Itinerary Day 4

Skellig Michael & the Ring of Kerry

Today, you can either drive the Ring of Kerry or visit Skellig Michael.

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael is a rocky island located off of the coast of the Ring of Kerry. Visit an ancient monastery, see the nesting spot of Puffins, and see where “Star Wars: A Force Awakens” was filmed.

To get here, it is a one-hour trip by boat over the somewhat rough Atlantic Ocean. Only a handful of boats are permitted to make the trip everyday, so your tickets must be booked well in advance. Also, landing tours to Skellig Michael only run between the beginning of May and early October.

If you visit Skellig Michael, tours typically return to Portmagee by 2 pm. You have enough time the see the highlights of the Ring of Kerry as you make your way back to Killarney.

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary


Star Wars Ireland

Skellig Michael | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Ring of Kerry

If you are in Ireland during the off-season, you will not be able to visit Skellig Michael, but you can still drive the Ring of Kerry.

The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland’s most popular drives. In one day, you can drive through miles of green, rolling hills, explore colorful, Irish towns, and see a fantastic stretch of Ireland’s rugged coastline. Learn more about what to do in our Guide to the Ring of Kerry.

If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the experience with a driver and guide, this Ring of Kerry tour starts and ends in Killarney.

Ring of Kerry

View on the drive along the Ring of Kerry

Tonight, sleep in Killarney.

Ireland Itinerary Day 5

Dingle Peninsula

The Dingle Peninsula is gorgeous and this is one of Ireland’s best road tripping spots. Yes, the Ring of Kerry is beautiful, but the Dingle Peninsula is stunning. Tour charming little Dingle, enjoy the views out to the Blasket Islands, walk on the huge beach named Inch Beach, and be prepared for some amazing sights.

Dingle Peninsula Ireland

Dingle Peninsula | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary


Dingle 10 day Ireland Itinerary

Dingle | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Tonight, sleep in Killarney.

Ireland Itinerary Day 6

Killarney to the Cliffs of Moher

Today we drive north to the Cliffs of Moher. From Killarney to Doolin (a great home base for exploring the Cliffs of Moher) it is two and a half hours of driving, but we recommend some stops along the way.

Adare is a cute town with a small strip of colorful, thatched houses. Unfortunately, a fire several years damaged several of these houses, so it’s not quite the scenic detour that it once was.

Adare Cottage 10 day Ireland Itinerary

Adare | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Limerick is a small city with a very cool castle that can be explored.

The Burren is a rocky, limestone plateau with Iron Age stone structures.

Your day ends in Doolin, a very small town that is a great base for exploring the Cliffs of Moher.

Where to Stay in Doolin: For hotel recommendations in Doolin, read our post about the Cliffs of Moher.

Ireland Itinerary Day 7

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher stretch 14 km from north to south, starting at Doolin in the north and ending at Hags Head in the south. There is a well-marked hiking trail along the entire stretch of coastline. The Visitor Center, located at the midpoint, is also at the highest point of the Cliffs.

Over one million people every year visit the Cliffs of Moher, making this one of Ireland’s most popular attractions.

Today, walk the Cliffs of Moher, a journey that takes most people five hours.

Cliffs of Moher 10 day Ireland Itinerary

Cliffs of Moher | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Tonight, you have the option to spend a second night in Doolin or drive an hour and a half north to Galway.

Ireland Itinerary Day 8

Drive to Northern Ireland

This is the longest driving day of this Ireland itinerary. Today you will be heading north to the town of Portrush in Northern Ireland. From Doolin, it is a six hour drive (five hours from Galway).

Spend some time in Galway, a favorite city of many visitors to Ireland. Between Sligo and Donegal, enjoy the views of the wild and rugged coastline.

Galway 10 day Ireland Itinerary

Galway | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary


Atlantic Way 10 day Ireland Itinerary

Mullaghmore Head on the Wild Atlantic Way.

If you are making great time, you can take a three hour detour out to the Slieve League. This is another dramatic stretch of coastline, similar to the Cliffs of Moher. Because of the remoteness of these cliffs, not many tourists make it out this way. We didn’t either, unfortunately.

Have dinner and check into your hotel in lovely little Portrush.

Where We Stayed in Portrush: We stayed at the Albany Lodge. This is a basic, nothing fancy small hotel located in Portrush.

Ireland Itinerary Day 9

Northern Ireland

One day gives you just enough time to tour the highlights of Northern Ireland. Most sites are clustered around the northern coastline and around Belfast.

Northern Ireland draws many Game of Thrones fans, as this is a major filming location for the HBO TV series. We toured the sites but were disappointed. Many of them were overcrowded and barely resemble what you see on TV. If you are traveling to Northern Ireland to see the Game of Thrones filming sites, read this before you go: Game of Thrones Filming Sites in Northern Ireland…What You Should Really Expect!

Places to Visit in Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle. See the ruins of an ancient castle perched on the cliffs of the Northern Ireland coastline.

Dunluce Castle 10 day Ireland Itinerary

Dunluce Castle | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. This rope bridge spans the gap between two rocky, coastal cliffs. Get here early or late to miss the crowds.

Giant’s Causeway. This is spectacular. It is worth traveling to Northern Ireland just to see this. The Giant’s Causeway is a stretch of coastline with perfectly formed hexagonal columns, all massed together at the water’s edge…it’s an amazing sight to see.

Get here at sunrise or sunset for the best experience. If you arrive in Portrush early enough on day 8, consider coming here to watch the sunset. This just may be one of the highlights of this entire trip.

Visiting Giants Causeway 10 day Ireland Itinerary

Giant’s Causeway | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

The Dark Hedges. This is the most popular Game of Thrones filming location in Northern Ireland. The Dark Hedges is a short road lined with twisted, mature beech trees. This is the Kingsroad.

Kingsroad 10 day Ireland Itinerary

The Dark Hedges | 10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Your day ends in Belfast. If you make it before closing time (between 5 pm and 7 pm depending on the season), you can tour the Titanic Museum. The Titanic was constructed in the Belfast Harbour in 1911.

Ireland Itinerary Day 10

Fly Home

Begin your travels home. Or, for those with more time, continue on to your next destination.

With More Time

If you have more than 10 days, here are some great places to add to this Ireland itinerary.

Aran Islands

The Aran Islands sit off the coast of Ireland and are accessible from Doolin and Galway between March and October. To see the Aran Islands you can either add a day or visit the islands on day 7 of this itinerary. To do this, on day 6, drive directly from Killarney to Doolin and spend the afternoon on the Cliffs of Moher, in order to spend day 7 on the Aran Islands.

This full day tour includes a visit to the Cliffs of Moher and a visit to the Aran Islands. Here are a few more tours to the Aran Islands:



Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park is a great place for hiking and exploring the Irish outdoors. You can visit Connemara on a day trip from Galway. On this tour from Galway, visit Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey, and the village of Cong.

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery located just around the bend from Connemara National Park. This is a very picturesque spot, a gorgeous building that is featured in many publications about Ireland.

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle is a medieval castle that has been turned into a five star luxury hotel. It’s an impressive building to see, and John Wayne, President Ronald Reagan, King George V, John Lennon, Brad Pitt, and many more celebrities have been guests here. Ashford Castle is located one hour north of Galway.

Spend more time in your favorite spot

You could also add more time to places we already list in this Ireland itinerary, such as Northern Ireland, Kilkenny, Galway, and Dublin.



Best Time for this Ireland Itinerary

Spring, summer, and fall are the best seasons to visit Ireland. Summer is peak season, so expect large crowds of people but longer days and warmer temperatures.

If you want to avoid most of the tourists, late spring and early fall are your best bets.

If you have any questions about this 10 day Ireland Itinerary, let us know in the comment section below. 

More Information for Your Trip to Ireland

BEST OF IRELAND: For a list of top experiences in Ireland, read our post Best Things to Do in Ireland. Walk the Cliffs of Moher, drive the Ring of Kerry, visit Dublin, and explore the Dingle Peninsula

HORE ABBEY: If you have plans to visit the Rock of Cashel, learn why you should add on Hore Abbey in our Guide to Hore Abbey.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Northern Ireland was a big filming site for Game of Thrones, but there are some things to know before you go. The Giant’s Causeway is one of our favorite places in Ireland and worth the time to get here.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Get more travel ideas in our article 10 Days in Europe itinerary, which has 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you have less time, we also have an article that lists 25 different ways to spend one week in Europe.

Planning a trip to Ireland? Read all of our articles in our Ireland Travel Guide.



Ireland Itinerary 10 Days


Ireland Itinerary Ireland Travel


All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Ireland Itinerary Road Trip 10 Days

Comments 165

  1. Avatar for Taylor

    Hi! Love your blog and have been using it for years! It is my go-to when we are planning our trips 🙂 We are thinking of doing Ireland / Scotland in 2024, but won’t have enough time to do both back-to-back (we have between 10-12 days and don’t want to rush splitting time between them). Any feedback on which you enjoyed more? We love scenery and road tripping – we loved the landscape and sites in Iceland. Both Ireland and Scotland look beautiful, but I am having a hard time choosing which to visit!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Taylor. I’m glad you like our site!! 😊 All four of us like Scotland a little bit more than Ireland (but don’t get me wrong, Ireland is amazing!). We LOVED the Isle of Skye and Edinburgh and just driving through Scotland is gorgeous. So, if you have to choose between them, Scotland gets my vote. Let me know if you have any questions as you plan your trip. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Taylor

        That is the consensus I have seen online – glad you confirmed that for me! We are planning for end of May into June and will be using all the great info you have on here. Will reach out if I have additional questions, but you guys do a great job at providing detail 🙂

  2. Avatar for Rachel

    Hi! Planning a trip for next year. I was wondering if we should do the $ exchange or just use our credit card? We plan to go to Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Also if we drive from Dublin and look to see everything up to the Carrick a redi rope bridge (approx. 5-6 hours one way) should we stay in Portrush for the night and then head back down to Dublin the next day or just do it all in one long day?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Rachel. We primarily use credit cards, using local currency when credit cards aren’t accepted, which is generally rare. When we arrive, we get local currency out of the ATM at the airport, rather than using currency exchange, as the conversion rate is much better with our credit card. The rope bridge is too far from Dublin to be done as a day trip, in my opinion. If you follow this itinerary, you can see the rope bridge on day 9 of this itinerary. But if you don’t follow this itinerary, Portrush is the best place to stay to visit the rope bridge. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Christine Stone
    Christine Stone

    Hi Julie,
    How did you go about renting a car before you left Dublin?
    Did you go back to the airport? Rent in town?

    I am using your info to plan our trip to Ireland and Scotland.
    It has been so helpful.

    I hate to but I’m thinking we will skip the Skellig Islands. It sounded like you were really lucky to get good weather. I’ve read that your chances of getting to Inishmore are a bit better and that if the weather is bad you can take a mini bus tour and still see the Island. Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Chris. We actually did this itinerary a bit differently than it is written. We flew into Belfast, having visited Scotland just before this Ireland road trip, so we rented the car in Belfast and then returned it in Dublin at the very end (we did a counter clockwise loop around Northern Ireland and Ireland but wrote the itinerary the way I did because I think it works better). To rent a car, Tim checks the major companies and then picks the one with the best price. Lately we’ve been using Avis a lot. You can either pick up the car when you fly in and just keep it parked while in Dublin, or pick it up in the city the day you leave. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, it just depends if you don’t mind paying for the car and not using it right away, to save time picking it up later, or if you want to save the money, but get a later start on the day you leave Dublin. Lately, we tend to rent the car at the airport and keep it parked (we’ve done this on recent trips to Italy and Portugal because we hate taking the chance of getting delayed at rental car offices). And yes, the weather can cancel trips to Skellig (had ours been a day earlier it would have been cancelled). If you are not willing to take that risk, Inishmore looks like a good alternative and a popular place to visit in Ireland. However, if the weather is bad, I don’t know how easily tours to Inishmore get cancelled, so that’s something to look into. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Allison Kohler
    Allison Kohler

    HI, I follow your blog and have used your egypt and budapest/vienna/prague trips as guides for trips I took successfully. Heading to Ireland next August with my 2 nephews and I’m a little confused with the lack of information in your blog for Galway and Belfest. Driving 6 hours to get to northern Ireland for a couple of sites? Can you elaborate more on those 2 areas for me please.
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Allison. We don’t have any additional information about Galway and Belfast, other that what is written in this guide. Galway and Belfast are good places to get dinner and stay the night. You won’t have any additional time to do anything else in Belfast on this itinerary, other than the Titanic Museum, unless you add another day. And for Galway, we don’t have a list of things to do, since your time will be limited, but again, it’s a nice place to stay with lots of great restaurants, and worth a quick stroll through town. We thought the drive between Ireland and Northern Ireland was beautiful and worth the drive to see the sights listed in Northern Ireland. Of course, if you don’t think those few sites in Northern Ireland are worth the drive, you do a loop where once in Galway, you drive back to Dublin. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Allison Kohler
        Allison Kohler

        Thanks Julie! If there was more time, are there things to do in Galway and Belfast? Did you find the few places listed, can’t miss sites? Thanks again. Allison

        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          We don’t have guides to Galway and Belfast because we only spent an hour in each of them. In both, we just strolled through town a little bit (which is very nice) and got lunch. You can look for more things to do on TripAdvisor, as well as restaurant recommendations, as well. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Al

    Thanks for all the info!. We just returned from 7 days in Ireland and the itinerary was very helpful. I’m now putting together a book of our vacation and would like to create a map like the one you have here (not the google interactive map but the other more simple one) . Is there a website or program that I can use to create a similar map? thanks for your help!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Not that I know of. Kara, who is a graphic design major, created that for us. But I’m glad you like it and had a nice time in Ireland! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for sanjeev borkar
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      That’s a great question! For each individual area, for example the Cliffs of Moher, we got into more detail about parking. Most places have dedicated parking lots so we never had an issue parking in Ireland. Sometimes it was free and sometimes we had to pay a small parking fee. If you plan to have a car while in Dublin, it is helpful to book a hotel that offers parking. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Mike

    Thank you for your itinerary. My wife and I just got back a week ago and spent 11 days exploring Ireland using this itinerary. Everything went smoothly and we explored a lot of small towns that we would have never visited if it weren’t for you. I was nervous having to drive on the “other side of the road,” but all went well. I just had to remind myself to “stay to the left.”

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
Load More Comments

Leave A Comment

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