If you're planning to solo travel in Ireland, you're in for a treat. This country is one of the most welcoming for solo female travellers. The country has friendly locals, a rich culture and endless things to see and do. Having spent time solo in Ireland, I've put together a guide on Ireland to help you to travel solo here.
Discover the best places to go in Ireland, where to stay, how to get around and the best time to visit. I've covered each part of the country to help you decide where to go. Happy planning!
N.b. For every booking made through this article, I donate money to projects helping vulnerable girls about the globe. Thank you for helping me to make a difference to their lives.
- Places To Go in Ireland
- Tours in Ireland
- Types of Accommodation in Ireland
- Best Area To Stay in Dublin
- How To Get Around Ireland
- Ireland Airports
- Best Time To Go To Ireland
Solo Travel in Ireland
Ireland is a great place for solo female travellers, and it’s definitely up there in my top countries for solos. That’s why I’ve given it 5 out of 5 stars for solo female travel. It is welcoming, safe and has good infrastructure. Plus it's easy to meet others here.
If you’re wondering “is Ireland safe for solos?” Yes it is. The Irish reputation is for cheer and goodwill and the hospitality extends to visitors who will find that they are welcomed into Irish society at the drop of a hat.
The Irish are a friendly bunch and one great way to make new friends in almost any part of the country is to enter a neighbourhood bar and pull up a stool. You're more than likely to meet some locals who will be more than happy to treat you to pint of Guinness and tell you some Irish tales.
Just take it easy on the Irish whisky and Guinness so that you keep your wits about you at night. When you’re travelling around, you do need to be careful if you’re visiting the cliffs of Moher and stay within designated areas to remain safe.
For those who appreciate nature, history and culture, Ireland is a must-visit destination with plenty of fascinating sites to explore, including Blarney Castle and Kilkenny Castle. But if modern attractions and eating and dining are more your style, Dublin offers an array of trendy restaurants and bars. It’s definitely a country for the sociable Girl about the Globe.
Places To Go in Ireland
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain. It's known as “the Emerald Isle” because of its lush, green landscape.
Aside from Dublin, the capital, there are several other great places to visit in Ireland. For history buffs, the ancient monument of Newgrange in County Meath and the Norman Trim Castle are both fascinating sites to explore. Meanwhile, the picturesque valley of Glendalough in County Wicklow is a must-see for those seeking stunning natural scenery and monastic ruins.
The island is actually divided into two parts: the Republic of Ireland, which is an independent country, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. If you’re considering a trip to Ireland, there are many different regions in the country, all offering a different slice of good ole Irish culture. Starting in the capital, Dublin, I’ve included all the regions worth exploring in a clockwise direction from East to West. To make it easy for you if you're planning a road trip around Ireland.
No trip to Ireland would be complete without a visit to the lively city of Dublin. Dublin is one of the top destinations in Ireland for solo female travellers. Having visited here twice, it has got more touristy over the years and attracts a lot of backpackers. The capital itself is the largest city in Ireland and is full of history, culture and plenty of Irish bars.
There's always something going on here, and the Temple Bar area is well known for its nightlife, with many pubs and restaurants playing live music. But it isn’t just about the nightlife here. The capital is home to historical sites, including Trinity College which was founded in 1592 and St. Patrick's Cathedral which was built in 1190.
If you're into literature, don't miss out on visiting the birthplace of James Joyce – Dublin's famous writer whose work includes Ulysses among other well known novels. This is definitely one for all bookworms!
And nature lovers will appreciate Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed city park in Europe and a great place to enjoy a peaceful walk away from the liveliness of the city.
Head north of Dublin and you’ll arrive at Newgrange, a prehistoric site located in County Meath. It was constructed over 5000 years ago by a Neolithic farming community and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monument is a unique feat of engineering, featuring an impressive stone passage tomb with elaborate carvings that align with the rising sun during the winter solstice.
Similarly, Trim Castle is a Norman castle situated on top of an ancient hillfort in Meath. It was constructed in the 12th century and is one of the largest castles in Ireland. The castle has been the setting for several movies, including the amazing Braveheart.
South of Dublin, in County Wicklow, lies the charming and scenic valley of Glendalough. It is renowned for its tranquil lakes and mountainous landscapes, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.
Glendalough is also home to a 6th-century monastic settlement with ancient ruins, a round tower, and other historical relics that offer a glimpse into Ireland's rich cultural heritage.
Another popular attraction in County Wicklow is the Wicklow Gap, which is home to some of Ireland's most breathtaking and diverse scenery. You can explore the medieval capital of Ireland, wander through the castle gardens, and take a stroll down the quaint medieval side streets. Or soak in the rich history and culture of the region and visit the “black Abbey,” a historic structure that dates back to the Middle Ages.
Cork is the second largest city in Ireland. Known as “the rebel city” because of its rebellious history during English rule, it has museums, and art galleries as well as lively nightlife. The city has a long history dating back to medieval times when it was occupied by Vikings and later became part of England until 1691.
The city is home to the Crawford Art Gallery, a heritage building in the heart of the city with a large collection of Irish art. You can visit Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral with its three spires, take a walk along the River Lee and cross its many rivers, or stroll through Bishop Lucey Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city.
Many people come to Cork not just to see the city, but to kiss the Blarney Stone. If you haven’t heard of it, this magical stone located in the grounds of Blarney Castle is said to give you the gift the gab if you kiss it. (It does feel really weird kissing this piece of limestone but it is a tradition!) Make sure to explore the rest of the castle grounds afterwards. You can take the bus from Cork to reach it if you’re not travelling around Ireland by car.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the Jameson Distillery in Dublin, you can explore the one in Cork. Known as the Old Midleton Distillery, it was founded in 1825 by John Jameson, who also founded the famous Jameson Distillery in Dublin.
The distillery in Cork was established to cater to the growing demand for Jameson whiskey in the southern part of Ireland. Nowadays, you can take a guided tour of the distillery, take part in a whiskey tasting and see how Jameson whiskey is made. It’s an interesting part of the Irish whisky culture.
Donegal is a county in the north-west of Ireland that's known for its rugged coastline and beautiful beaches. It has some of the most breathtaking coastline in Ireland, and taking a drive along the Wild Atlantic Way is the perfect way to experience it. It is also home to the Slieve League Cliffs, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe that offer stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean.
Known as the surf capital of Ireland, Bundoran is a great spot for both experienced and beginner surfers. But it isn’t just about the waves here. You can take a boat trip to the remote island called Tory Island, to discover its unique culture and history. Or visit the Doagh Famine Village, an outdoor museum that tells the story of life in Donegal during the Great Famine and beyond.
Explore the Inishowen Peninsula with its picturesque villages, stunning beaches, and ancient ruins. Or hike Glenveagh National Park which is home to mountains, lakes, and woodlands. In the evenings you can sample the traditional music and dance of the rich cultural heritage in one of the Irish pubs or at one of the local music festivals held in Donegal.
And of course, being Ireland, Donegal has its very own castle. This 15th-century castle is a must-see in a mix of Gaelic and English architectural styles.
Killarney National Park
If you're looking for a beautiful and peaceful place to relax, consider the Killarney National Park. With its lakes and rolling hills, this National Park in County Kerry was the first one in the country. Within its 26,000 acres you’ll find lush green hills dotted with sheep grazing, and many trails to hike along.
It’s the perfect place for the outdoors and nature Girl about the Globe who wants to escape the cities, see some wildlife and enjoy some beautiful views. Make sure to see the Torc Waterfall and to visit the Muckross House, a 19th-century mansion which is now a tourist attraction.
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a 111 mile scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. As well as stunning views of the Atlantic coastline and rugged mountains, take your time to stop at all the little villages and towns along the way for some traditional Irish food and music. You’ll need a whole day here if you’re planning to stop off.
Stop at the Ladies View, a scenic overlook that provides stunning views of the Lakes of Killarney. And make sure to also park at the Kerry Cliffs: These cliffs offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic coastline and the Skellig Islands. As you drive around, you also drive through the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass with towering cliffs and panoramic views.
You can walk along the beach at long sandy beach of Rossbeigh or take a dip in the ocean. Visit the charming town of Kenmare with its colourful buildings and have a bite to eat in its excellent restaurants. Or see another colourful village called Sneem which is known for its traditional thatched-roofed buildings and beautiful harbour.
The Ring of Kerry is also a gateway to the Skellig Islands. You can take a boat tour to these remote islands, which are home to a 6th-century monastery and an abundance of seabirds. Or just visit the Skellig Experience Centre to learn about the history and wildlife of the Skellig Islands at this interactive museum.
Dingle Peninsula, Kerry
The Dingle Peninsula is a beautiful region in the south-west of Ireland that's known for its rolling hills, sandy beaches and charming villages. It's home to Conor Pass, which is the highest mountain pass in Ireland.
Explore the town of Dingle. This charming, vibrant town is known for its lively pubs, traditional music, and friendly locals. And there is surrounding countryside for hiking and cycling too. The town is also home to a variety of museums and galleries, showcasing the local history and art.
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
One of the popular attractions in the country are The Cliffs of Moher. These dramatic cliffs are located on the west coast of Clare country and offer amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. They are one of Ireland's most famous natural attractions, and they offer stunning views from their cliffs 214 metres above the Atlantic.
The cliffs offer a range of activities including walking trails, birdwatching, and boat tours. Visitors can also explore the nearby visitor center, which offers exhibitions and displays about the cliffs' natural history and folklore.
Galway is a beautiful city located in the western part of Ireland, famous for its bustling nightlife and rich music scene. It's a cultural hub that was nominated as the European Capital of Culture in 2020. Apart from its lively atmosphere, Galway is also known for its literary heritage. Many famous writers like W.B Yeats and Oscar Wilde have lived and been inspired by this city.
You can immerse yourself in this literary culture by visiting places like Coole Park, a nature reserve that was once a favorite spot of W.B Yeats for hiking and inspiration. In the heart of Galway City lies Eyre Square, a popular hub of activity that is surrounded by restaurants, pubs, and shops.
One of the must-visit places in Galway is the Galway City Museum, situated on the banks of River Corrib. The museum is dedicated to showcasing the rich history of the region from prehistoric times to the present day. Once you’ve learnt about the region’s history you can just take a leisurely stroll along the Salthill Promenade and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Near Galway is The Burren, Clare. The Burren is a unique region in the north-west of Ireland that's known for its lunar landscape and limestone cliffs. It's home to many ancient monuments, including Poulnabrone Dolmen which is over 6000 years old.
The Aran Islands are located off the coast of Galway and have long been considered sacred by locals. They are a group of three islands; Inishmore is the largest of the three, followed by Inishmaan and Inisheer. The islands are known for their stunning natural beauty, ancient historical sites, and unique culture. They are also famous for their handmade woollen jumpers.
Here, you can witness the traditional Irish way of life and immerse yourself in the Irish music, dance and language. Explore the prehistoric forts and ruins, stroll along rugged cliffs and sunbathe or surf at the sandy beaches. In the summer months, you can reach the islands by ferry from Galway in 1.5 hours.
Above Galway is Connemara. Connemara is a region in the west of Ireland that's known for its rugged landscape and majestic mountains. It's home to Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery dating back to 1920.
Nearby is one of Ireland’s hidden gems. On the border of Galway and County Mayo is the Royal Abbey of Cong. You can stroll across stone bridges and see the ruins of a Medieval Abbey. This region is great for nature solos with green meadows and lakes.
Sligo is a picturesque town in the northwest of Ireland that's known for its vibrant arts, music scene and festivals. Along with its rich cultural heritage, the town is dominated by mountains, lakes and beaches making it popular with nature lovers.
One of the most famous landmarks in Sligo is the magnificent Benbulben mountain, which is a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The town is also home to several historic sites and cultural attractions, such as the Sligo Abbey, a medieval monastery dating back to the 13th century, and the Yeats Memorial Building, which celebrates the life and work of the famous Irish poet, William Butler Yeats.
For the wellness solo, the Voya Seaweed Baths are a relaxing experience for anyone who wants to unwind and rejuvenate their skin. The saltwater pool is filled with seaweed that's harvested from the surrounding waters of Sligo Bay. This charming town is ideal if you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural heritage and some artistic flair.
Overall, Ireland is a wonderful country to visit as a solo female traveller, offering a rich mix of culture, history, and natural beauty.
When you solo travel in Ireland, you won’t be short of company here but you are guaranteed to meet others on a tour and there are plenty of tours to take. If you’re interested in exploring Ireland's historical and cultural heritage, there are plenty of guided tours that cover the country's famous landmarks and attractions. Some popular options include the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Blarney Castle.
For a more adventurous experience, there are tours that offer hiking, cycling, and kayaking adventures so you can explore the country’s mountains, lakes and coastlines whilst keeping fit!
Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated Ireland activities and top things to see in Ireland. Choose from a tour of the Ring of Kerry, entrance to the Guinness Storehouse, or a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, seeing Galway and Kilmacduagh Abbey on the way.
Some of the tours require a minimum of 2 people but there are plenty to book as a solo including day trips and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check Get Your Guide tours, prices and availability
Types of Accommodation in Ireland
Ireland has a wide choice of accommodation options. From 3 to 5-star hotels and spas to hotels on lake shores, there’s something for every kind of solo. With plenty of hostels if you’re on a budget and looking to be sociable and aparthotels to give you the flexibility to cook. There are guest houses, B&Bs and lodges and cottages in the countryside too.
The Best Area to Stay in Ireland
For party and city and sightseeing solos, choose the bustling city of Dublin. For Arty and Cultural solos, Galway has a vibrant arts and culture scene with traditional Irish music in cozy pubs. For history, stay in the lively city of Cork which has a laid-back vibe and of course, the famous Blarney Castle. Or for nature solos, choose the small town of Killarney, which is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is a starting point for the Ring of Kerry. For all accommodations, check rates and availability for all Ireland accommodation here
Best Area To Stay in Dublin
Dublin is easy to get around but if you’re looking for the best area to stay for you, it depends on what you’re looking for from your trip. The Temple Bar area is known for its lively nightlife, restaurants and pubs and is good for the party solo.
St. Stephen’s Green is a quieter area with beautiful parks and gardens, located just a short walk from the city centre, and ideal for those who want to be somewhere away from the hustle and bustle. Trinity College is a popular area for tourists. Located in the heart of Dublin it’s close to historic landmarks such as Trinity College and St. Stephen's Green.
Dublin 2 is known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment options, with popular streets such as Grafton Street and Dawson Street. Or you could choose the Grand Canal Dock; a modern, up-and-coming area with a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes. Depending on your budget, here are 3 recommended accommodations for solo female travellers.
$ – Jacobs Inn Hostel. If you’re on a budget and looking for a sociable vibe, this friendly hostel is located near to the Temple Bar district and has live entertainment in the evenings. They have female-only dorms and there’s a free city walk to meet others too! Prices from £66/€75 p/n for a pod in a 12-bed mixed dorm. • Check rates and availability: Jacobs Inn Hostel
$$ – Wren Urban Nest. In walkable distance to Dublin Castle and The City Hall, this snug hotel offers great customer service and cosy snug rooms that are just perfect for solos. Plus they offer vegan and vegetarian options for breakfast. Prices from £148/€168 p/n for a snug nest. * Check rates and availability: Wren Urban Nest
$$$ – The Temple Bar Inn. Just a short walk from the main shopping streets, this 4 star hotel is in a great location to explore. The staff are great and there are 2 restaurants and a bar onsite too. Prices from £184/€209 p/n for a budget double room. • Check rates and availability: Temple Bar Inn
How To Get Around Ireland
Getting around Ireland is super easy, with loads of different ways to explore this stunning country. If you're feeling brave and fancy some independence, renting a car is a great option. This gives you the flexibility to explore all the different areas of the country at your own pace. If you're from the UK, it's easy as they drive on the left-hand side but if you're used to driving on the right, it may be a bit tricky at first.
The roads in Ireland are narrow and winding, so take your time and enjoy the scenery while you're driving. The Ring of Kerry is a circular route that takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland. This drive is definitely worth doing if you have the time!
If public transport is more your thing, trains and buses can get you just about anywhere in Ireland. Irish Rail will take you to heaps of places, and Bus Éireann is perfect if you're looking for a budget-friendly option. You can also hop on a tour bus if you want to hit up all the big sights without the hassle.
Irish City Link is a great way to travel to certain parts of the country. They run routes from Dublin to Galway, Galway to Limerick and Galway to Cork. Find their timetables here
For something a little different, cycling is a fantastic way to explore Ireland. Plenty of towns and cities offer bike rental services, and there are some seriously epic cycling routes to check out. The Wild Atlantic Way and Great Western Greenway are two awesome options for exploring the stunning countryside on two wheels.
If you're running short on time or just want to get around a bit faster, there are domestic flights between major cities like Dublin, Cork, and Galway. Some smaller airports also offer flights to nearby destinations.
There are 5 international airports in Ireland. You can fly directly into Dublin from many major cities in UK, Europe or North America. There are also flights to Shannon, Cork and Knock airports that may be cheaper depending on where you're flying from.
Dublin Airport – From Dublin Airport, the bus takes 15 minutes or there is a Line 782 shuttle which takes 40 minutes. You can also find taxis at the airport. There’s also Irish Citylink which operates a non-stop express service between Dublin Airport and Dublin. Check all the options here
The bus is the cheapest option, but if you’re looking for an airport service that will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive, pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a safe and reliable service for solo females.
Best Time To Go To Ireland
If you’re wondering ‘what is the weather like in Ireland?’ Be sure to come prepared for all types of weather. The Irish climate can be quite unpredictable, so it's always best to pack a variety of clothes. You may need sunscreen and a hat one day, and a heavy coat the next.
The best time to go really depends on what you're looking for. If you're hoping for sunny, warm weather, then summer (June to August) is your best bet. But be warned: this is also the busiest and most expensive time to visit, as many tourists flock to the Emerald Isle during these months.
If you're looking to avoid the crowds and save a bit of money, then spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are great options. The weather is still mild, and you'll get to see the stunning countryside turn green and gold as the seasons change.
And if you're a fan of winter sports or cozy pubs, then winter (December to February) might be the perfect time for you. You'll get to enjoy festive cheer and perhaps even some snowfall, and there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy.
- Can I drink the water? Yes. Tap water is safe to drink in Ireland.
- Is tipping expected in Ireland? If there is a service charge added, you don’t really need to tip but if there isn’t one then the usual 10-15% is expected.
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price.
- Any ATMs? Yes. You’ll find ATMs in the cities and the bigger towns.
- Which side of the road do they drive? The left-hand side.
- Is Ireland good for vegetarians? Yes, it is. There are many vegetarian restaurants in Dublin and other cities across the country.
- Any Seven Wonders of the World? No.