New Year's in Dublin: Grand Tour of Ireland9 Days • 3 Cities New Year's in Dublin: Grand Tour of Ireland
Get ready to ramble through rugged, rolling hills in this New Year's immersion of Ireland. Johnny Cash wasn’t kidding when he sang about its 40 shades of green. From the Cliffs of Moher and lush green fields of the countryside, to massive urban parks, the Emerald Isle takes beautiful scenery to the next level. But there’s more to Ireland than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. Have a pint at the Guinness Storehouse, learn Irish history from inside a prison, and feel like royalty from atop Blarney Castle. At night, pubs abound with live music to keep the good times going in one of the most scenic and friendly countries in the world.
What are the top highlights?
- Ring in the New Year as only the Irish can in Dublin
- Pour the perfect pint of Guinness while overlooking Dublin’s skyline
- Make friends with locals and enjoy live music in Ireland’s pub scene
- Stand in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, 700 feet above the Atlantic
- Kiss the Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of gab”
- Explore the Aran Islands, rich in Irish tradition
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 7 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Entrances to the Guinness Storehouse, Blarney Castle & other select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Leave your shamrocks and leprechaun jokes at home, and board your overnight flight, bound for Ireland. You’re about to discover the true allure of the Emerald Isle (and it’s not gemstones).
Day 2: Arrive in Dublin
Welcome to Dublin! In the last decade or so, the city's become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe. Companies like Facebook, Airbnb, eBay, and Twitter all have European headquarters in Dublin (so you know it’s a big deal).
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
- Meet your Tour Director for a guided tour of some top sights, including the Temple Bar neighborhood, St. Stephens Green park, and Grafton Street.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, take the party elsewhere.
Day 3: Sightseeing Tour of Dublin
Today, you’ll see the best Dublin has to offer with a local guide on a walking and bus tour of the city. In the afternoon, tour the Guinness Brewery and order a “pint of Gat” (that’s how the cool kids order a Guinness). As day turns to night, put on your party pants as you ring in the New Year with a night out in Dublin.
- Pass through Phoenix Park, one of the largest city parks in the world. Look around—you’ll probably see a deer (there are 300 in the park).
- Pass by Trinity College, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, home to the storied library that inspired Hogwarts’ own.
- Go inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the 800-year-old church named after the famous saint. This is the biggest church in Ireland, and it stands on the exact spot where St. Patrick is said to have baptized converts.
- Witness the history and brewing process of the world’s most famous beer at the Guinness Storehouse. Then sample the magical stout at the Gravity Bar, 200 feet above the city (that 360-degree view of Dublin ain’t so bad either).
- Celebrate New Year's Eve in Dublin! Tonight is yours to do as you please. Party with fellow travelers and locals as you count down to the best year yet.
Free Time Suggestions
Weird Science: The Science Gallery is not your typical science museum. Located within Trinity College, its exhibitions demonstrate how closely linked science is to our everyday lives. Harness your inner Jesse Pinkman and get really excited about science.
Whiskey Business: Switch up your drinking habits and try some whiskey! Visit the Jameson distillery, where Jameson Irish whiskey was distilled until 1971. Feel sophisticated as you sip Jameson and discuss its toasted wood undertones.
Day 4: Travel to County Kerry via Blarney Castle
Next stop: County Kerry, the southwestern part of the country. With rolling hills, massive lakes, and a quaint city center, County Kerry is quintessential Ireland. En route to County Kerry, stop for a visit to the famed Blarney Castle and kiss a dirty rock (everybody’s doing it).
- Climb the spiral staircase of Blarney Castle with your Tour Director.
- Lie back and kiss the Blarney Stone upside-down (Spider-Man style) to receive the "gift of gab." Word of advice: don't focus so hard on all the people kissing the stone before you.
- Continue on to County Kerry and enjoy some free time in the evening.
Free Time Suggestions
Sing the Night Away: Killarney is known for its raucous pub scene. Irish men and women drink and sing with the band well into the wee hours of morning. Go to any of the downtown pubs and see for yourself (just know you’ll be expected to join in).
What a Catch: Quinlan’s seafood bar boasts the best fish and chips in Ireland. Don’t believe them? Go check it out and prove them wrong (spoiler: you won’t).
Day 5: Travel the Ring of Kerry
Experience the mystical beauty of Ireland as you journey the 112 miles around the Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry.
- Encounter magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Lakes of Killarney.
- Look up (no, really look up) at Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, the tallest mountains in Ireland.
- Stick your feet in the sand of some of the world's most immaculate beaches.
- Consider a career in photography as you scroll through your amazing photos.
Day 6: Travel to Galway via Cliffs of Moher
You’re off to Galway, a city famous for entertainment (live music, street performers, and art shows). On the way to Galway, stop at the Cliffs of Moher for breathtaking views of the coastline.
- Make your way to Galway on bus with a stop at some big, beautiful cliffs, just begging you to take their picture.
- Gawk at the limestone walls of rock that dominate the coast for five miles and rise to staggering heights of 700 feet.
- Realize that all the white specks you see on the cliffs are actually birds.
- Get the lay of the land in Galway on a walking tour of the city with your Tour Director.
- Walk along the banks of the River Corrib, and see the flawless Galway Bay.
Day 7: Free Day in Galway + Optional Aran Islands
Make the most of a free day in Galway to do as you please. Stop for a moment and appreciate the beauty you’ve seen over the last week. From the cities to the countryside (to your Instagram pics), Ireland never fails to impress. (Even the sheep smile—and they live here!)
- Go full Irish with a traditional breakfast of bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, potatoes, and toast (yeah, that’s one meal).
- Head to Eyre Square, a happening park in the city center, with shops, cafes, and a sleek fountain depicting Galway Hookers. (Don’t worry, it’s a type of boat.)
- Walk through the cobblestoned Latin Quarter, considered the most beautiful part of the city, lined with restaurants, pubs, and quirky street performers.
Free Time Suggestions
Food for Thought: McCambridge's is a restaurant, deli, and fine foods shop located in the heart of Galway. This family owned establishment has been around since 1925, and is perfect for Irish people watching.
Rub-a-dub-PUB: The atmosphere is one-of-a-kind in Quays pub, a former medieval French church. Whether you prefer to dance, listen to live music, or just to hang out with a pint of Guinness, Quays has something for everyone.
Afternoon on the Aran Islands(extra cost)
Look out—iconic Irish countryside coming your way. Take a ferry ride to the Aran Islands, where old traditions are hanging on and you get to hang out for the afternoon. Go back in time at Dún Aengus, a 2,000-year-old fort with walls that go right to the edge of a cliff high above the sea. Take in the stunning Atlantic Ocean views, listen to locals speaking Gaelic, watch fishermen haul their catch in traditional wooden boats, and take a moment to just look around. You won’t regret it.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 8: Free Day in Galway
Lucky you—another free day in Galway. Take a breath, slow down, and do exactly what you want. Wander through town, and you’re sure to find interesting shops, tasty restaurants, and plenty of people to watch. Fun fact: Galway will host a series of cultural events as a European Capital of Culture in 2020, an honor designated by the European Union. Basically, Galway is #trending, and you get to experience why.
- Drink up some culture on your own at the Galway City Museum, perfect for history buffs, boat lovers, and people who like free museums.
- Use your free time to try some tapas (yes, in Ireland) at Cava Bodega, a colorful and lively restaurant near the city center.
- Channel your inner bookworm at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, where over 100,000 books line the shelves for your browsing pleasure.
Free Time Suggestions
Trip Down Memory Lane: Walking down Kirwan’s lane is like walking into a time capsule. It’s one of the oldest streets in the city, where you can admire 16th century architecture and pop into Goya’s Bakery for fresh pastries, coffee, and more fresh pastries (for later, obviously).
Sounds Fishy: One of the most iconic landmarks in the city is the Fishery Watchtower. Built in the 1850s, the watchtower was used to monitor fish stocks and look out for illegal fishing activity. Today, it’s a museum for fish fanatics, full of memorabilia and photographs from the old days. Take a picture from the top of the watchtower, and one day your photo will be from the old days.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 9: Fly Home
Slán libh, a cháirde!
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s, “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
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