Some ELI volunteers and interns travel extensively throughout Ireland, others chose to stay close to Dublin, focusing on the city, its environs and their work. No matter which camp you find yourself in, here are a few ideas to help you get the most from your stay.
- Arm yourself with helpful Dublin and Ireland travel apps. Transport for Ireland offers some options, including the useful Journey Planner recommended by the Lonely Planet.
- Speaking of Lonely Planet, this renown travel publisher offers several outstanding guidebooks to Ireland and a wealth of online resources.
- There’s lots to see and do in Dublin, and you’ll slowly discover much of it just by walking to and from your placements, talking with your host family, coworkers and the friends you will inevitably make. Here are a few supplementary suggestions:
-- First Time Dublin: Seven Things to Do -- a list for Dublin novices.
-- TimeOut Dublin -- your guide to the what, where and how.
-- A Dubliner’s Don’t-Miss Guide -- features gaelic football, gravediggers and pub crawls.
-- Secret Dublin by Pol O Conghaile -- discover the city’s off-the-beaten-path gems such as a “secret” ancient Huguenot Cemetery in the heart of Dublin; a desolate island inhabited by wild goats; and Sinead O’Connor’s moving poetry recording at the National Library’s Yeates Gallery.
Ready to hit the road? It’s not as daunting as it sounds! For Americans, Ireland will seem surprisingly small: Dublin to Galway -- across the whole island -- is just 133 miles, and only a 2-hour drive. So let’s go!
- Ireland does have trains, but not the extensive rail system you’ll find on the Continent. (Eurail passes for Ireland are expensive, limited and usually not recommended.)
- Buses are the way to go if you want to avoid car rentals and driving on the left side of the road. Bus Eireann is the national company, offering convenient connections, student discounts and “Open Road” tourist tickets for as little as 60 euros for an unlimited 3-day pass.
- You can also check out connections and prices on private bus services, including Citylink, GoBus and JJKavanagh.
- Buses are also a good way to also explore the wind-swept coasts and rugged terrain of Northern Ireland.