Destination: Killarney, Count Kerry, Ireland
Dates: 31 May to 2 June
Reason for Travel: Ireland is known for many things: good beer, lively music, friendly people and, the ultimate pull for me, its beautiful scenery.
Best Hotel: Neptunes Town Hostel is the best place to stay for the budget traveller. With impossibly friendly staff, a free breakfast and rates starting at 12 euros per night, I loved every moment of my stay at this hostel.
Best place for lunch: St Mary’s Cathedral. If the weather’s on your side, the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral are the perfect spot for a picnic.
Best place for a drink: Courtney’s in Plunkett Street. With regular gigs and a pint of Guinness going for 3.90 euros, this pub has been going strong since the 1800s.
First thing you should do: When in Killarney, don’t miss out on a trip to the Gap of Dunloe. You can traverse the Gap in the luxury of a traditional horse-drawn cart but, to escape the crowds, I’d suggest walking it.
Best place to shop: Quills Irish Gift Store on Killarney High Street is the perfect place to stock up on all of your souvenirs and favourite Irish treats. Plus it’s open every day of the week.
If you want to feel like a local you should… explore Killarney National Park. Whether you choose to hire a bicycle or use your own feet, the many trails of this park cry out to be explored.
Don’t leave without: taking a tour. Whether you’re into biking, hiking or ghosts, there is a tour on offer for every sort of visitor to Killarney. These excursions will vary in price, but you can enquire at the lime-green tourist office (you really can’t miss it) on the high street. Another thing you have to do is pay a visit to Ross Castle for 4 euros. Built in the 15th Century and boasting an array of its own urban legends, visits to the interior of the keep are allowed by tour only.
Insider tip: On the Muckross side of Killarney National Park lie the most haunting ruins I have ever seen. Muckross Abbey is a 15th Century friary that fell into disrepair – and nature has been reclaiming it ever since. Another must see is Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. It won’t be the biggest water feature you’ve ever seen, but its setting is perfect.
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