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Dublin

Ah, Dublin. As the country's capital, it's probably the first place you think of when you think of Ireland. And don't get me wrong - Dublin is beautiful and so much fun, but if you're visiting Ireland, don't spend more than a day here, two days tops. Why? It's very similar to most big European cities, and after you do the obvious highlights like take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, grab a drink in Temple Bar, and walk down Grafton Street and through St Stephen's Green, you're basically done.

Since you'll probably fly into Dublin airport, a good strategy is to take a nap at your hotel after you land in the morning, head out and see the city for the rest of the day, get a good night's sleep, and then leave the city the next morning or afternoon.

I Lived in Ireland For 2.5 Years, and These Are the Places I Tell Everyone to Go When Visiting

Ireland may be a small country, but you could spend a year there and still not see every breathtaking and charming corner of the Emerald Island. I know, because I lived there for two-and-a-half years, married an Irish man, go back every chance I get, and still haven't seen all there is to see. But because I once lived there and know the country very well, all of my friends and family who plan trips there ask for my advice on what towns to visit, what to see, and where to stay and eat.

While I could give them an itinerary that would take a few months to get through, I usually stick to the true highlights for either a week or two-week trip. And I think I do a pretty good job with recommendations, because everyone that has taken my advice and come back from Ireland always says they had the best time. My biggest tip? Don't spend more than a day in Dublin, because from the Cliffs of Moher to the Aran Islands to Giant's Causeway to the Dingle Peninsula, there's so much more to see. Oh, and absolutely rent a car - driving around and getting lost is the best thing to do in Ireland! (If you don't feel comfortable driving, however, there are other options, like seeing Ireland by train via Vacations By Rail). Keep reading for my ultimate Ireland itinerary, which, of course, involves lots of Guinness and cider. Sláinte!

Related:

18 Reasons You Should Date an Irish Guy at Least Once in Your Life