Ireland & Northern Ireland // HONEYMOON TRAVEL GUIDE

Well here it is, my first honeymoon travel guide for all you wanderlusts out there. I travel a lot. it’s kinda my jam and since you’re busy planning a wedding, picking out your dress and getting shit organized; I’ve put together travel guides from a few of my favorite places to make planning your perfect honeymoon that much easier.

So heres the DL on the Emerald Isle. 😉


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Ireland is a small island with a big reputation: breathtaking landscapes and fascinating, friendly people. It’s a beautiful country filled with rolling green hills, castles, scenic coastlines, a good pint, and ultra-friendly locals. Dublin is a lively capital city with great pubs, and awesome people; it’s pretty hard not to have a good time here. The country’s small size makes it easy to explore regardless of the length of your trip. It’s a magical land full of wonder, history, and fun and I can’t recommend visiting here enough. No one ever walks away unhappy after a visit to Ireland. Visit Ireland. It’s phenomenal.

Most people who visit Ireland spend time in its capital city, Dublin. Fans of Ireland’s most famous export (Guinness) will find no shortage of pubs that claim to pour the city’s best pint. The city’s Georgian architecture, music, and “craic” have made Dublin one of Europe’s most popular locations. While the city isn’t the prettiest in the world (and on a cloudy day it can feel downright gloomy), there is so much literary and cultural history here you can’t help but always feel inspired. This is just a fun city (probably helped by the fact the Guinness and Jameson factories are located here) with a lot of amazing pubs, nightlife, live music and dancing (so much Irish jigging), and an up and coming foodie scene. But, more than that, Dubliners are a friendly, witty, and inquisitive bunch always happy to show you a good time and have a laugh.

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Typical Costs

Accommodation – Budget hotels average around 50 EUR and will include a private bathroom and some include an Irish breakfast. In the bigger cities, especially Dublin, definitely expect to pay a bit more. Overall Dublin is a fairly expensive city. You could also try Airbnb, which has entire homes averaging about 50 EUR a night.

My suggested places are:

Air B&B // it’s usually around the same price as a decent hotel and you get all the privacy.

Bed & Breakfasts // They are a real thing in Ireland and it’s quite the experience. You don’t have as much privacy because your renting a room in someones house but it’s a great way to experience what Ireland is really like, meet the locals, and experience the culture. You should try it at least once.

You’ve spent a wonderful day sightseeing in the Irish countryside and you’ve pulled up to your lodging for the night. Your host warmly welcomes you with a hot cup of tea and a biscuit. You relax in an over-sized chair in the sitting room and warm yourself by a crackling fire. This scene isn’t fantasy, its reality nearly every day in Ireland’s fantastic bed and breakfasts. Ireland has a long tradition of B&Bs and they are very popular with travelers.

Food – Fast food items start at around 4 EUR and usually consist of kebab and fires/chips, while a simple meal at a pub will set you back 9-14 EUR. A nicer meal, with a drink, will be upwards of 18 EUR. If you go out early to lunch or dinner, you’ll find many restaurants offer “early bird” specials where you can get good deals. If you cook your meals, expect to pay 50-60 EUR per week for groceries that will include pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foods. For the best value food, visit the pubs! Local meal, with local people, at local prices!

My suggested places are:

Cornucopia Restaurant // Great for a casual breakfast

Matt The Thresher // A great dinner sot, a little fancier, amazing seafood & local cuisine

The Winding Stair // Great date night dinner with a view of the river Liffey, sooo romantic <3

Transportation – Public transportation is pretty good in Ireland. Whether you’re on a bus or train, expect friendly drivers, and timely departures. Bus trips around Dublin cost about 2 EUR for a single journey. Longer bus journeys, such as Dublin to Belfast will cost around 17 EUR. It costs about 45-65 EUR to get to Cork from Dublin by train and takes about 2.5 hours. It costs about 35-55 EUR to get to Galway from Dublin by train and takes about 3 hours. Buses take about the same amount of time but will save you about 10 EUR. Taxis are expensive and, since most cities are extremely walkable, I suggest you avoid them.

Activities – Most museums throughout the country cost about 9-14 EUR. The Guinness Brewery is one of the few I would recommend, but the most expensive, costing 21 EUR at the door. Save 10% by booking online in advance (added bonus – you also get a fast pass to skip to the front during busy season). Day trips around the countryside will set you back 36 EUR or more.


THINGS TO DO IN DUBLIN

Go shopping on Grafton Street, walk around Trinity College, explore St. Stephen’s Green, and go to a pub. I’ve also listed more cultural experiences below. But if you really wanna get a flavor for the city center those are my top picks ;)

All the tourist books are gonna tell you to go to temple bar. It’s pretty there for sure and has a different feel from the rest of the city but it’s SOOO TOURISTY. Fore a more authentic experience I would suggest having a bite to eat or a pint in the Swan Bar.

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THE BOOK OF KELLS

Trinity is Ireland’s oldest university. The campus is beautiful and highly photogenic, right in the center of the city. The college also has an art gallery and displays the Book of Kells, an ancient manuscript dating to 800 AD. A guided tour is 13 EUR and includes admission into the Old Library Exhibition and the Book of Kells.


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Kilmainham Gaol

This gaol was used as a prison up until 1910. Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. It was temporarily used after the 1916 Easter uprising and during the War of Independence for imprisonment and mass executions. Often there were about eight people to a tiny cell. In 1960, it was restored and opened as a museum in the 1990s. It has a great introductory exhibit, and your ticket gets you a tour that lasts one hour and begins on the hour. Opening hours will vary depending on the month, but it’s usually open from 9am-5pm. Admission is 8 EUR for adults, with discounts available for families, students, and seniors.


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Rent a car. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Just do it. While driving on the wrong side of the road takes some getting used to, it’s the best way to see the country. There’s so many little towns, pubs, hikes, castles and just straight up scenery that you won’t have the freedom to explore via the bus. Also, it rains A LOT so it’s pretty nice to have a warm, dry car to adventure around in. It’s the best way to experience the entire country, I promise. And, you can just pop over to Northern Ireland while you’re at it :)

 
- Irish tow-truck

- Irish tow-truck

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day trips from dublin

Discover the true beauty of Ireland on this wonderful day trip to the monastic site of Glendalough and oh-so colorful Kilkenny, the medieval capital of Ireland. Hike around the beautiful land of two lakes or stop for a cuppa tea at the local restaurants near by. This place is a gem, don’t miss it.

WICKLOW
Visit St. Kevin's monastic city at Glendalough famed for its rounds towers, and Celtic crosses which will provide you with a true insight into the workings of an early Christian monastery. Glendalough, known as the valley of 2 Lakes and surrounded by dense forests and romantic babbling brooks this is truly the picture-postcard vision of Ireland you have come to enjoy and explore.

WICKLOW GAP
Enjoy the rolling hills of Wicklow, the magnificent peeat bogs, and dramatic waterfalls. Featured in many movies, Wicklow is knows as the Garden of Ireland and this area is a favorite of many Dublin city dwellers as they escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin city.

KILKENNY
Once the capital of Ireland in the middle-ages, it is renowned for its magnificent Norman Castle dating back to 12th century. With its narrow street and colorful shops and buildings, Kilkenny is unique as a city and a mecca for those who choose to visit. You will have plenty of time to enjoy a pint of Kilkenny in Kilkenny (minimum stop 2hrs).


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I spent a lot of time on the West coast of Ireland where I traveled via car, there are busses but like I mentioned above the freedom of a car really lets you explore the ‘real Ireland’ <3 getting lost on country roads, finding little hikes and exploring small towns in the country was probably my favorite pastime on the emerald isle.

Connemara, or Land of the Sea, is a wild region of bogland, pristine lakes and mountains located in the west of County Galway. Unlike the more famous Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula, Connemara is sparsely populated and the landscape much more open. This is Ireland’s big sky country. Because the area is so remote, the Irish language and traditions have survived here and Irish is the first tongue of many of the inhabitants, particularly along the south coast.

Connemara is a beautiful place to drive through but this area more than any other in Ireland is all about open air and out doors. All manner of activities are catered for from hiking to fishing, horse riding and scuba diving. All told, Connemara is the ultimate anti-dote to life in the fast lane. Two days is good, A week is fabulous. Any longer and you may not want to get back on that freeway.

Dunguaire Castle, Kinvarra, County Galway

Dunguaire Castle is located in the beautiful village of Kinvarra in co. Galway. It was built on a rocky outcrop in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan and takes its name from the nearby ancient fort of Guaire, King of Connaught who died in 662 AD.

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The Cliffs of Moher stretch for eight kilometers along the Atlantic coast and reach a height of 214 meters. They are home to a wide variety of tourists, tourist busses, birds and offer pretty epic views that many have seen on postcards and paintings. When I went it was the one sunny day Ireland has all year, JK but not really ;) Save this activity for a nice day, your pretty exposed so the wind can be relentless. You can walk along the ridge-line of the cliffs to a lonely lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic. It’s a show stopper.

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Northern Ireland


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Cross the border into Northern Ireland to visit the famous Giant’s Causeway, a natural phenomenon that looks like a staircase for giants! It’s open daily from 9am-5pm with some extended hours depending on the month and it costs 10 EUR.

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Dunluce Castle (from Irish: Dún Libhse) is a now-ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim (between Portballintrae and Portrush), and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (locally pronounced carrick-a-reedy) is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede (from Irish: Carraig a' Ráid, meaning "rock of the casting"). The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction. The bridge is open all year round (subject to weather) and people may cross it for a fee.

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Poulnabrone dolmen (Poll na mBrón in Irish, meaning "hole of the quern stones" (bró in Irish)) is a portal tomb - one of approximately 172 in Ireland - located in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland. It dates back to the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC and 2900 BC. It is situated 8 km (5 miles) south of Ballyvaughan, 9.6 km (6 miles) north-west of Kilnaboy.

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Belfast is in many ways a brand-new city. Once shunned by travellers unnerved by tales of the Troubles and sectarian violence, in recent years it has pulled off a remarkable transformation from bombs-and-bullets pariah to a hip-hotels-and-hedonism party town.

take a black taxi tour

The city is compact, so you’ll rarely need to use public transport. Taxis are fairly cheap, with a 10-minute ride costing around £5, and much of the city can be reached on foot. If you need them, buses run through the city and out to the airport. 

To see more of the outskirts while learning about the complex history of the city, take a Blackcab Political Tour with someone who knows the city, its history and its intricacies. You’ll see the Peace Wall and murals, and learn about The Troubles from someone who has lived through them. Tours cost £35 for up to three people or £15 per head for more. 

The Peace Wall - Catholic Side /// That separate predominantly Republican and Nationalist Catholic neighborhoods from predominantly Loyalist and Unionist Protestant neighborhoods.

The Peace Wall - Catholic Side /// That separate predominantly Republican and Nationalist Catholic neighborhoods from predominantly Loyalist and Unionist Protestant neighborhoods.

Alan McCullough (July 1981 – 28 May 2003) was a leading Northern Irish loyalist and a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). He served as the organization's military commander for the West Belfast Brigade's notorious C Company which was then headed by Johnny Adair.  McCullough was suspected of having organized the killing of South East Antrim brigadier John Gregg in February 2003. Gregg was a rival of Adair's who enjoyed popularity among loyalists on account of his attempted assassination of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams in 1984. The killing provoked outrage amongst the other UDA leaders and as a result of Adair and his associates, including McCullough, were forced to leave Northern Ireland. McCullough returned to Belfast in April 2003 but a month later he disappeared from his home in the company of two men. On 5 June his body was found in a shallow grave in Mallusk. The UDA claimed responsibility for the killing using their cover name Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

Alan McCullough (July 1981 – 28 May 2003) was a leading Northern Irish loyalist and a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). He served as the organization's military commander for the West Belfast Brigade's notorious C Company which was then headed by Johnny Adair.

McCullough was suspected of having organized the killing of South East Antrim brigadier John Gregg in February 2003. Gregg was a rival of Adair's who enjoyed popularity among loyalists on account of his attempted assassination of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams in 1984. The killing provoked outrage amongst the other UDA leaders and as a result of Adair and his associates, including McCullough, were forced to leave Northern Ireland. McCullough returned to Belfast in April 2003 but a month later he disappeared from his home in the company of two men. On 5 June his body was found in a shallow grave in Mallusk. The UDA claimed responsibility for the killing using their cover name Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

The Shankill Road (from Irish: Seanchill, meaning "old church") is one of the main roads leading through west Belfast, in Northern Ireland. It runs through the working-class, predominantly loyalist, area known as the Shankill.

The Troubles” are a major chapter of Irish history, and is still very true in Northern Ireland, especially in Belfast. The conflict began in the late 1960s and is usually deemed to have ended with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

The Queen-lovers, pro-Britain protestant Loyalists.
The Queen-haters, pro-Ireland catholic Nationalists.

What surprised me the most is that despite the 21 years that passed since the last uprisings, both cities are still divided. Loyalists on one side, nationalists on the other.

A mural depicting Martin Luther and the Protestant reform.

A mural depicting Martin Luther and the Protestant reform.

Stephen McKeag (1 April 1970 – 24 September 2000), nicknamed "Top Gun", was a Northern Irish loyalist and a Commander of the Ulster Defence Association's (UDA) 'C' Company in the 1990s. He is responsible for many brutal killings of Catholics and Republicans. He is also have thought to have shot the most Catholics in the North. Although most of his operations took place from the Shankill Road in Belfast McKeag was actually a native of the lower Oldpark Road in the north of the city.

Stephen McKeag (1 April 1970 – 24 September 2000), nicknamed "Top Gun", was a Northern Irish loyalist and a Commander of the Ulster Defence Association's (UDA) 'C' Company in the 1990s. He is responsible for many brutal killings of Catholics and Republicans. He is also have thought to have shot the most Catholics in the North. Although most of his operations took place from the Shankill Road in Belfast McKeag was actually a native of the lower Oldpark Road in the north of the city.

Aryn & Adrian // Married

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Wow where to start? Roya is absolutely the best! She made my husband and I so comfortable in our engagement and wedding shoots. She is SO creative and takes the most beautiful pictures. She had great ideas for where to take our engagement pictures and we got so many compliments on them! After it rained pretty much the entire week leading up to and the day of our wedding, I got nervous that we wouldn’t be able to get some of the outside shots of our venue that I wanted. But Roya figured it out! The previews she sent a couple days after were beautiful! Y’all need to book her now!