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best places in ireland outside dublin?
bienacita
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hi there everyone-
does anyone have recommendations for cities/sights in ireland and outside dublin? i’m going for a week next month (flying into dublin, where i’ve been on a weekend trip before) and would like to see some of the countryside and other cities. does anyone have tips as to:
-whether belfast is worth a visit
-good places to see live music
-any spots that are too good to pass up that aren’t in the lonely planet guide?
-this is random, but has anyone visited derry?

dorky historical sites are welcome too [Wink]

thanks for your help!! (and let me know if this has already been discussed in another post — didn’t see one but i don’t want to be repetitive)

ncmickey
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Belfast is worth it. Take the Black Taxi tour and try to get to the Giants Causeway. I also spent some time in Derry. It is an interesting old walled city. Alot of history. It is where Bloody Sunday took place. Real interesting for a history buff. I thought some of the prettiest scenery was in the North and around Donegal

I also really liked Galway. Good party town. I think there is a College there so there are alot younger people. It is a good jump point for the Cliffs of Mohr, The Burren, the Connamarra and the Aran Islands. Cork was another city that was fun to wander around.

AgentCooper
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Cork is worthwhile for a day or two… I really admire the locals for retaining the small town feel even though it’s the second most populous city in the Republic.  There’s quite a bit of touristy places within a short distance by car such as the Blarney Castle (Blarney) and the Old Midleton Distillery (Midleton).
 
If you’re into history I highly recommend stopping by Cobh for a few hours. The seaport there (known as Queenstown at the time) was the last port of call of the Titanic as well as the Lusitania (ocean liner that was sunk by a German U-boat during the first world war right off the Head of Kinsale). There’s also a huge Cathedral (Saint Colmans?) located up on a hill that towers over the rest of the town — it too is worth checking out if your’re in the area and is just a small walk from the seaport.
 

Cil
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Others have made good suggestions. I really loved Galway.
There is Glendalough (steeped in atmosphere).

bienacita
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thanks for the help everyone! i am glad to hear that galway, cork and belfast are all good places to visit.

now i just have to convince my friend/travel buddy to basically make an 8-day circle around the island [Smile]..woohoo!

one more question in case anyone knows…is the bus or train typically more efficient/cheap for longish distances?

jonniboy
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Well, train to Belfast takes 2 hours 10 minutes and costs 48 euro return, bus takes 2 hours 40 minutes and costs about 18 euro return. A big price difference is fair enough if there’s a substantial time saving but 30 minutes doesn’t seem worth it. Belfast is worth visiting but the best places to go are along the north coast : Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Glens of Antrim and Bushmills Distillery are all near each other.