Dublin is a lively city filled with music, food, drink and plenty to see and do on a short breakEXPLORE DUBLIN
Ireland is such a fab destination, offering all sorts from fantastic nights out to loads of activities and attractions to explore. Even better it's just a short hop across the Irish Sea, making it quick, easy and budget friendly. Flights can often start from as little as £20 each way, but don't forget it's Euros in Ireland, not pound sterling. Unsure which is the best city break in Ireland for you? Take a look at our handy guide below and discover your perfect Irish escape.
With airlines like Ryanair and Aer Lingus offering budget friendly flights to Dublin airport from across the UK, including Bristol, Newcastle and Bournemouth, getting to Ireland can be incredibly cheap, especially on a short break when you don't have check-in luggage to think about either. P&O Ferries and Irish Ferries are also great options if you're planning on exploring and want the freedom of a car, or are visiting one or two of the cities which are a little out of the way.
You might be tempted to book your travel and accommodation separately to save money, but bear in mind that this won't be protected by the ATOL scheme so make sure you have comprehensive insurance to protect yourself and your travel arrangements.
From the lively traditional music in Temple Bar, to the great shopping and friendly vibe, there's something special about Dublin, making it a must visit city break, whether you've been before or not.
One of Ireland's oldest cities, a city break in Cork has a much more chilled out feel. When exploring the city, make sure to head out to the surrounding area like Fota Island and Cobh to capture the beautiful countryside too.
You'll need to fly into Shannon for a short break in Limerick, but there's a direct bus from the airport to Limerick city centre which takes between 35 and 50 minutes. Once in Limerick, make sure to visit King John's Castle as well as explore the riverside walks on offer here too.
For a city break in Galway, you should fly into either Shannon or Knock airport, both offering direct flights from across the UK, including regional airports like East Midlands and Edinburgh. Galway is a much quieter city but is at the heart of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, making this a great combo destination for both the city and outdoor adventures.
Being a small city with just over 50,000 people, Waterford can be a great alternative if you like a more intimate feeling escape. About 120km from Cork, Waterford is a little further out of the way than other Irish cities, but can make for a far less touristy option.
Ireland is great for all sorts of breaks, whether you're planning to party with friends, want a chilled out shopping break, or fancy combining a bit of nightlife with the adventurous coastline.
While Dublin is usually the go to for St Patrick's Day celebrations, it can get very busy and crowded here both with locals and tourists. While that can make a fun and exciting vibe, if you fancy somewhere a little more authentic, head to the likes of the smaller cities such as Waterford to get more of a local feel celebration.
Dublin is normally the go to for a big night out with loads of bars and restaurants on offer. There are plenty of comedy clubs, live music venues and night clubs here so you're sure to find something to suit your taste.
While Dublin is often the first city you'd think about, Cork is a fab place for students. Ireland's second largest city is home to the University College Cork, offering a huge range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses from music to archaeology, and that also means some great facilities for students too.
For first time families to Ireland, Dublin is a perfect option with loads of activities to do like Dublin Zoo and Dublin Castle, but make sure you take a look at Limerick too which has a wealth of history and fun for all the family.
Dublin is an ideal city break for a hen party in Ireland. With cheap flights from across the UK, wherever your hens are coming from, it's easy to get to. There's also lots of accommodation options, from budget friendly hotels to luxury spa resorts, as well as apartments and private homes which can be perfect for groups. Lots of restaurant options will help kick start your night out, with a visit to Temple Bar a must for live music and a dance.
Galway is a perfect city and outdoors combination. Located in the middle of the Wild Atlantic Way, you can spend a day or two enjoying this smaller city, before heading up or down the coast for hiking, adventurous walks and a range of other fun activities like whale watching or kayaking. Hiring a car from Shannon airport can be one of the best ways to explore this part of the country.
Like the UK, Ireland has fabulous summers and often dreary winters. Exploring any of the cities here are best when the weather is glorious but summer can also be full of tourists. Late spring and early Autumn, months like May and September or October can be the perfect months to visit Ireland on a city break.
It's estimated that the Guinness Storehouse and Brewery in the west of Dublin's city centre is the most visited tourist attraction in Ireland with over 1.7 million visitors per year.
The best time of year to visit Ireland is during the late spring or early autumn when the weather is still relatively decent and the crowds aren't too busy.
If you've never been, Dublin can be a great starting point, with cheap flights and plenty of accommodation options. For somewhere a little different, try Limerick, a much smaller city just outside of Shannon.
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