Why go to Ireland? If you prefer the excitement of the big city or the calm beauty of the outdoors, a bachelor party in Ireland can satisfy it all. An easy (and relatively short) flight from the U.S., Ireland is usually quite reasonably priced and there are options aplenty for hotels, restaurants, and, of course, pubs.
Best ideas: Possible itineraries for a trip to Ireland are nearly endless, but we’d suggest flying into Dublin and spending a night or two in the city. The Conrad is a great option for a night out in Temple Bar. From there, rent a car and drive across the country (only about a four-hour endeavor) to do some hiking in Killarney National Park, then head north to see the Cliffs of Moher. End your trip in Galway and a visit to O’Connell’s Bar.
Good to know: Ireland uses the euro, so make sure you factor in exchange rates when looking at prices. Also, driving in Ireland is on the left side of the road and it’s not always the easiest to adjust to, so keep that in mind if you plan on renting a car. Finally, as Ireland is part of Europe and the EU, you will need a passport to enter the country and it must be valid for six months after you return home. As for major events, Ireland is known for many things, but St. Patrick’s Day has to be one of the biggest. Celebrating in the country — really anywhere, though Dublin really does it up! — is an experience you will never forget.
From the charming Irish brogue you’ll hear tripping out of the locals’ mouths to the one-big-family vibe and landscapes out of paintings, you’ll find no shortage of reasons to spend your last days as a bachelor on the Emerald Isle. Oh, and apparently the Irish are known for quality drinking, too.
In This Article
Travel & Essentials for an Ireland Bachelor Party
The weather in Ireland is notoriously hard to predict. In the morning it can appear to be a beautiful spring day, and by lunch time it’s the depths of winter outside, moving back into summer by the evening. Generally, though, the country is known for cool temperatures and plenty of rain and mist — even in the summer, the mercury rarely reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, the best times to visit Ireland are the spring and early fall (April through June and September to October) Temperatures during these months are comfortable for the most part, and tourist numbers are lower than in the popular summer months.
As noted, Ireland has very unpredictable weather, so although it does not make packing easy, it’s best to dress in layers no matter what season you visit. If visiting during the winter, do dress warmly: Parkas, sweaters, and boots would be advised even in the cities — Irish wool is famous for a reason. During warmer months, lighter jackets will suffice, but waterproof is a good rule of thumb. With a few exceptions in the big cities, Ireland is a casually dressed country without much bother for fancy clothing or splashy name brands. And the must-have essential? A good umbrella.
Ireland has three major airports in Dublin, Cork, and Shannon. Chances are you’ll use Dublin, as it’s the biggest and has the most connections to the rest of the world. Located only about five miles north of the capital, Dublin Airport serves over 31 million passengers a year. Connections to the U.S. are served by American Airlines, Delta, and United, as well the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus. A bonus fact about Dublin Airport is that it serves as a U.S. preclearance facility, meaning as an American, you can pass through U.S. customs and immigration when you leave Ireland as opposed to when you land in the States, saving much hassle and time.
Assuming you’ve arrived at Dublin Airport, the cheapest and most efficient way to get into the city is to take the Airlink bus. At 6 euros ($7) one-way for adults or 10 euros ($11) round-trip, it’s a total bargain that will have you in the city center in roughly 40 minutes. The Airlink operates every 15 to 20 minutes from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. You can also take a taxi into the city for roughly 30 euros ($35) one-way, while Uber is also available. If connecting to other parts of Ireland from Dublin, you’ll probably be renting a car and there are plenty of companies to choose from at the airport.
If you’re focusing your time in Dublin, getting around town is very doable on foot or with the help of the occasional taxi. City buses are also extremely efficient and cost-effective, running to nearly every area you’d wish to visit. If your trip is going to take you further afield, there are still plenty of cool ways to see the sights. We suggest taking the trains, which connect all parts of the country and are a relaxing and enjoyable way to travel. If you’re brave enough to manage driving on the left-hand side (!), renting a car is also a viable option and will serve you well if visiting the countryside or smaller villages.
Ireland has so much to offer, from the cities to the countryside and everything in between, that it’s hard to imagine needing another spot to visit in one trip. But if you are feeling adventurous and want to flex that passport, take the ferry from Dublin to Liverpool, England. Home of the Beatles and some first-class football clubs (Liverpool F.C. and Everton F.C.), Liverpool is a port city well worth exploring. Ferries from Dublin run 12 times a week, with the journey taking roughly 7.5 hours.
Pros and Cons of a Bachelor Party in Ireland
- A wonderful mix of city and country; depending on what you want, even in a single day, you can have both.
- As far as Europe goes, it’s one of the shortest flights across the Atlantic you can get.
- Prices, especially in the countryside, are usually very reasonable.
- Did we mention there’s Guinness?
- It’s eminently Instagrammable — Ireland has some fantastic cities that are well worth exploring but when it comes to the ‘gram, it’s nature all the way. The outdoors and countryside, including some magnificent coastline, are sure to make your feed.
- You will need a valid passport to travel to Ireland.
- Depending on when you go, the exchange rate between dollars and euros can be less than ideal.
- The weather is far from tropical, so bring plenty of warm layers.
- With so much to see, driving is especially helpful, but it is on the other side of the road.
Best Attractions and Activities in Ireland
From brewery tours to hiking to sports, you can hit it all up in Ireland. Though bachelor parties tend to focus on nighttime activities, Ireland has much that is not to be missed when the sun is up.
Guinness Brewery tour (Dublin)St James's Gate, Ushers, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Let’s be honest, when you think of the Irish, you probably also think of a pint of Guinness. So why not spend the day seeing where it’s made? Spread over seven floors, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is well worth touring — and you even get to enjoy a free pint at the end. Tours are a bit over an hour in length, and prices start at 18.50 euros ($20) per adult. (Photo courtesy of Guinness Storehouse)
Cliffs of Moher (Co. Clare)Cliffs of Moher, Lislorkan North, Co. Clare, Ireland
Voted as Ireland’s favorite visitor attraction in 2019, these natural wonders are beyond worth checking out. Located on the country’s West Coast, the cliffs have been facing the Atlantic for 350 million years. Natural beauty and stunning wildlife are just two of the reasons to visit in person. We do advise booking tickets at 4 euros ($5) for adults, which gives you two hours to explore the area. (Photo courtesy of Cliffs of Moher)
Game of Thrones tour (Dublin)Suite 5016, 77 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, Co. Dublin, D02 KK18, Ireland
Rated a No. 1 activity on TripAdvisor, this 11-hour tour (yes, it’s a full day) will immerse you and your friends so deeply in GoT that you’ll think winter really is coming. A coach tour, with two fairly sizeable outdoor treks involved, it will take you to key filming locations along the West Coast from the series and even supply you with cloaks and swords for the visits. Lunch is included and tickets start around 60 euros ($67) per person. (Photo courtesy of Game of Thrones tour)
Climbing and hiking in County Kerry (Co. Kerry)Co. Kerry, Ireland
Ireland has so many woodlands, we highly recommend getting out of the cities and exploring the outdoors. There are plenty of areas and guides out there, but we recommend taking a look at Kerry Climbing. A family-run business, they’ll expertly guide you and your friends at rock climbing, mountaineering, and learning navigational skills, all in gorgeous Killarney National Park. (Photo courtesy of Kerry Climbing)
Once you’ve come back from your day treks and seen Ireland by day, there’s nighttime to consider. Here are our favorites things to do under the cover of darkness.
A Night Out in Temple Bar (Dublin)Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
Not one bar but hundreds of pubs, restaurants and clubs, Temple Bar is a cultural hotspot of Dublin known for its nightlife. Whether you want a quiet pub to enjoy a pint or a rowdy nightclub to dance the night away, you’ll find it in the Temple Bar area. One night in Temple Bar might not be enough to fully enjoy the atmosphere. (Photo courtesy of AmySueBrantastic)
Traditional Irish music (Belfast, Northern Ireland)51 Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2FH, UK
If you’ve never experienced traditional Irish music being performed live in front of you, it’s a must-do on any trip to Ireland — luckily you can find it in pretty much every pub across the country. For something a little different, we recommend The John Hewitt bar in Belfast, located next door in Northern Ireland. Note that it’s technically part of the U.K. but is currently easy to cross into — just don’t forget your passport, though! The possibility of a return to a hard border across the island with Brexit makes the future of cross-border trips uncertain though. (Photo courtesy of The John Hewitt Bar)
Gaelic GamesCo. Cork, Ireland
Gaelic games are sporting events including football (Americans call it soccer) and hurling, all under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Matches are played across the country at most times of year and are well worth enjoying on an evening out. (Photo courtesy of the Gaelic Athletic Association)
Skip it: The Blarney StoneMonacnapa, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland
To some, this may be a controversial statement, but here it goes: Skip the Blarney Stone. The line is long, the crowds are immense, and unless you truly think it’ll bring you good luck or the gift of gab, give it a pass. (Photo courtesy of Liam Conrad)
Best Hotels, Resorts & Airbnbs in Ireland
There is a lot of country to explore in Ireland and no shortage of unique places to stay. Here are a few of our favorites.
Temple Bar Inn (Dublin)40-47 Fleet St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 NX25, Ireland
Located smack dab in the epicenter of partying in Dublin, the Temple Bar Inn is a simple winner. With clean rooms, outstanding Irish breakfasts, and a fabulous location within walking distance to nearly all the sights in Dublin, this one can’t be beat on price, either — rooms start around 99 euros ($111) a night. (Photo courtesy of Temple Bar Inn)
Kinnitty Castle Hotel (Co. Offaly)Birr, Kinnitty, Co. Offaly, Ireland
There are not many times in life when staying in a castle is a reasonable option, but if you visit Ireland, it’s not hard to do at all. Located in the center of the country, Kinnitty Castle Hotel offers gorgeous accommodations along with the option for you and your friends to try your hand at clay-pigeon shooting, archery, and tennis. As if that weren’t enough to keep you busy, the pub on site is first-class. Rooms start at 110 euros ($122) a night. (Photo courtesy of Kinnitty Castle Hotel)
Druids Glen Hotel and Golf Resort (Co. Wicklow)Leabeg Upper, Newtown Mount Kennedy, Co. Wicklow, A63 DW08, Ireland
Ireland is home to some of the best golf in the world, and if you’re looking for the best resort to enjoy it all from, Druids Glen has been voted top links again and again. About a 30-minute drive from Dublin, this five-star hotel and golf resort is nestled in 360 acres of Irish countryside and has not one, but two championship golf courses. To relax after a round, enjoy the spa or one of its highly rated restaurants. Rooms start at 175 euros ($195) per night. (Photo courtesy of Druids Glen Hotel and Golf Resort)
Country Home Rental (Co. Sligo)Shannonspark West, Easky, Co. Sligo, Ireland
If having your own place to crash is more what you’re after, there are some amazing home rentals available all across Ireland. An example would be this outstanding Atlantic-view home that sleeps 14. Offering wood-burning fireplaces, surfing lessons available nearby in town, and dinner cooked at your place upon request, this one’s a winner for any group of guys. Prices are around $84 per night. (Photo courtesy of Airbnb)
Conrad DublinEarlsfort Terracе, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, D02 V562, Ireland
If you’re seeking a classic and luxurious Dublin stay, look no further than the Conrad. A brand known for class, the Conrad Dublin does not disappoint — in fact, its presidential one-bedroom suite even comes with a baby grand piano, so treat yourself! Bonus: Conrad is a Hilton Honors member, so you can use and earn points for your stay. Prices start at 194 euros ($217) a night. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Dublin)
Best Restaurants in Ireland
Taste at Rustic (Dublin)17 South Great George’s, Dublin 2, Co. Baile Átha Cliath, Ireland
Dylan McGrath’s newly accredited five-star restaurant in the heart of Dublin is an extravagant evening that will be sure to delight. McGrath brings tastes he acquired in Spain, Japan, and South America to Dublin — think sea bream in crab broth, sashimi-style, marinated in soya, sake, and rice wine. Part of the fun is that you even get to cook some of your own food at the table. The price range is expensive though. (Photo courtesy of Taste at Rustic)
Sophie's at The Dean Dublin33 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, Ireland
If you had a long night out and need something to cure what ails you, Sophie’s has the solution. From a traditional Irish breakfast to burgers and chicken, it’s all good. Plus the views over the city can’t be beat. Prices here are moderate. (Photo courtesy of Sophie’s)
Deanes Meat Locker (Belfast)28-40 Howard St, Belfast BT1 6PF, UK
The Irish are masters of the meat-and-potatoes meal, and if your choice of meat is a steak, definitely check out Deanes Meat Locker if you and your friends find yourselves in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Bonus: They can seat large parties if you reserve ahead. Prices are expensive. (Photo courtesy of Deanes Meat Locker)
The Helm (Westport)The Quay, Cloonmonad, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Located on the water in County Mayo with fantastic views, this special spot is known for friendly service and outstanding local dishes. With a focus on seafood, we highly recommend the lobster Thermidor. Prices are moderate. (Photo courtesy of The Helm)
South Pole Inn (Dingle)Main Street Lower Main Street, Gurteen North, Annascaul, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Founded by an Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, this historic spot on the rugged Dingle Peninsula serves delicious meat dishes but also offers vegan and veggie options, so it’ll make everyone happy. The homemade South Pole vegetable curry is such a winner. Also be sure to try a pint of Expedition Ale. Prices are affordable. (Photo courtesy of South Pole Inn)
DiFontaine’s Pizzeria (Dublin)22 Parliament St, Temple Bar, Dublin, D02 NF24, Ireland
It’s said that New Yorkers all stop here when visiting Dublin — the pizza is that good! A perfect late-night spot after an evening at the pubs and open until 1 a.m., it’s inexpensive, too. (Photo courtesy of DiFontaine’s Pizzeria)
Jackie Lennox (Cork)137 Bandon Rd, The Lough, Cork, T12 C959, Ireland
Fish. And. Chips. You can’t say you’ve really experienced Ireland until you’ve had a decent portion of this classic dish. If you are in Cork, Jackie Lennox’s is the spot. Best of all, it’s open till late, so you can get your fill any time, and it’s cheap. (Photo courtesy of Jackie Lennoxs)
Best Bars and Clubs in Ireland
Although you can find strip clubs in the Republic of Ireland, keep in mind that they are not allowed to operate in Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.
9 Below (Dublin)9 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, D02 C891, Ireland
Located just off St. Stephen’s Green, 9 Below is one of the hottest and most luxurious speakeasies in the city — possibly the world. Drinks start around $15 so they’re not inexpensive, but are well worth the treat. (Photo courtesy of 9 Below)
Limelight (Belfast)17 Ormeau Ave, Belfast BT2 8HD, UK
If you and your crew find yourselves in the Northern Ireland city of Belfast and are looking for some dancing, Limelight is the spot. An iconic and enduring club, you’ll find two different rooms connected by a bar. No matter your musical tastes, you’re sure to find an area that pleases. (Photo courtesy of Limelight)
O’Connell’s Bar (Galway)8 Eyre Square, Galway, H91 FT22, Ireland
All across Ireland, you’ll find no shortage of pubs, but if you are in Galway, O’Connell’s is a must-visit. Known for its fantastic and lively beer garden, it has live music some nights and sports on others. Located right in the city center, it’s easy to find. (Photo courtesy of O’Connell’s Bar)
The Great Escape (Cork)31 Leitrim St, Victorian Quarter, Cork, T23 A580, Ireland
One of the oldest and most well-known clubs in Cork, the Great Escape is known for its lovely staff and gorgeous girls. Stag parties can even reserve VIP areas. (Photo courtesy of The Great Escape)
Club Lapello (Dublin)Dame St Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, D02 XY77, Ireland
Dublin’s longest established gentlemen’s club is located in a prime spot, open seven days a week, and is home to some of the hottest ladies in town. (Photo courtesy of Club Lapello)
Ireland has so much to offer for a relatively small country. Easy to get to from the U.S., it allows you and your mates to enjoy big-city life and country hiking all in one bachelor party trip. Don’t forget to finish each day with a good pint of Guinness.