Ireland: The Cliffs, Cork & all other things.
Updated: Apr 30, 2019
Although Cork is not directly next to Galway & the cliffs, I wanted to add it because it's a major city in Ireland and kept us entertained our whole trip. If you wanted to add Cork into your travels, if would be easy to do Dublin, Cork, Galway, back to Dublin.
First, I’ll start off with a trip to see the Cliffs of Moher. If you want to do the cliffs right, you should book a stay in Galway while you’re at it. We stayed at Snoozles Quay Street Hostel, which was nice because it was right on the main road. Even though it’s a small town, it has so much to offer. We were in Galway during a big rugby match, and plopped down at a pub and blended in with the locals. They get rowdy there for anything sports related (basically any time they can drink, cheers!) Here’s a link to some hot spots in Galway for nightlife. A lot of the places in Ireland don’t require a strict dress code (unless stated otherwise), so I was fine wearing flannels, jeans and booties. One tip; don’t go to the cliffs hungover, because then you’ll spoil you’re time there. We did just that!
I suggest doing the Paddywagon Tours, they always get the best reviews and have the best guides. If I could redo the cliffs, I would pack a small bag that had some crackers, cheese, cups and a bottle of wine. The tours usually give you an hour or two to sit and bask in the greatness of the cliffs (and there is a gift shop & highly priced food), but sitting and soaking it in with a bottle of wine sounds fantastic. Fair warning: the weather in Ireland is so up in the air that you could go to the cliffs and not see a single thing, or you could go and have the clearest skies, which is what we had!
Next, I want to talk about Cork & Kinsale. Cork is southwest Ireland, and about 3 hours from Dublin. We didn't do much research about Cork initially, but apparently the Cork airport is where the "Irish Coffee" originated (do not quote me, quote one local we met on the street). Legend has it that there was a traveler who was so exhausted from traveling that he decided to order a coffee, add whiskey.
We took a bus from Dublin and stayed at the Bru Bar & Hostel, which was nice because since we were guests at the Hostel, we got (small) discounts on drinks. I suggest when you book a hostel, look into all the perks / recommendations / if there is a bar INSDIE of the hostel (that would be a deal breaker for us. Bar in the hostel = younger crowd). Like I said, we didn’t do much research about Cork, so we walked around and bumped into a farmer’s market. We wondered around, tried their different exotic Irish food, and made ourselves a picnic at the park down the way (everything is walking distance in most of Ireland).
I will say, the nightlife scene was horrible. In Cork, everyone looked underage, and they were all overly dressed if to seem older. We did not have a good experience going out in Cork and honestly found it funny watching the drunk-high-school-kids attempting to get into clubs and bars.
We took a day trip to Kinsale, which is a small fishing town about 40 minutes south, and ended up falling in love with it. We found the cutest Bed & Breakfast called the Perryville House and had the greatest stay. The staff was accommodating with our short notice booking and the hotel had robes in the closet (which is such a plus).
We wandered around Kinsale by the marina, and went on a boat tour around the harbor. We found a swanky wine bar called The Black Pig, where we got a charcuterie board and a couple glasses of wine. Our waitress recommended we go to Fishy Fishy for dinner which was a tad more on the expensive side, but worth every euro. Just walking through the beautiful streets of Kinsale was enough to entertain us for a day, and I would say that I preferred staying there over Cork.
I hope you get to enjoy Kinsale like we did!