Let’s go backpacking Ireland! The Emerald Island is a popular destination with backpackers. It’s not the cheapest place you can go, maybe, but if you’re careful you should be able to swing it within a reasonable budget, and there’s certainly plenty to see, both in country and town. Since a third of Ireland’s population is under 25, the big cities are certainly going places and you’ll find lots of music, art, culture and nightlife to enjoy when backpacking in Ireland. Feel like going solo? Get out to the more rural areas and you’ll find the magical charm and relaxing peacefulness that’s never left this storybook place.
Ireland is a friendly, easy-to-navigate place, so there’s not a whole lot you have to be schooled on before you go. That anti-malarial medicine can be left at home, and you shouldn’t need a phrasebook. But when backpacking in Ireland a little bit of know-how in geography and how to get around can take you a long way, so do make sure you look up your bus and train routes and know the lay of the land.
Public transportation is very good in Ireland, and you should be able to find bus routes between most cities. Rather than pay each individual fare, you can also get an Open Road bus pass, which allows you unlimited rides on any scheduled trip from Bus Eireann. There are other cards for travel within Dublin and other major cities, so look them up before you go!
If you’re a student, make sure you get an International Student ID card before your trip begins--- it’ll end up saving you a lot of money. Ireland is good to its students, and you’ll find discounts on everything from travel and hostels to clothing and meals.
Between your sightseeing and splurging on food and drink, take a little bit of time to visit Ireland’s many museums as well—many of them are free, and full of historical and cultural tidbits you might not find anywhere else.
Dublin—A city with a definite character, this is one place you can’t miss while backpacking Ireland. Whether you’re into old architecture or museums or just enjoy hitting up a few good pubs, Dublin has it all. With more than a thousand years of history, this is a place that’ll have you reaching for your camera again and again—and sealing down never-to-be-forgotten memories in that memory book in our head.
Glendalough—a well-preserved old Monastic settlement, Glendalough is close enough to Dublin to be easily accessible and yet far enough to be feel completely remote and alone. Getting away from the city to Glendalough is like falling through a manhole into an enchanted fairy kingdom, with wild, dramatic scenery, lakes and forests.
Kerry—gem of Ireland’s crown, this area contains some of Ireland’s most spectacular landscapes and is a wonderful place to do some hiking. Although the larger towns may be full of tourists in the peak season, you’ll find plenty of room to breathe in the Killarney national park, and plenty of trails down which you can ramble.