11 days in Europe: Ireland

Over Thanksgiving, my mom and I went on an incredible 11-day trip to Europe! Over the last few weeks, I’ve posted trip recaps for each country we traveled to – IcelandEngland and Spain. Our last stop was Ireland!

Day 1

We arrived in Dublin on Thanksgiving! It was a little strange to be in another country on an American holiday, but every time we heard someone else with an American accent, we exchanged Happy Thanksgiving wishes.


Jameson Distillery

My mom loves Jameson, so it was only fitting that we went to the distillery and took a tour! I’m not a whiskey fan myself, but I enjoyed the tour! The tour guide was entertaining and I learned a lot about whiskey.

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The Brazen Head

For Thanksgiving lunch, we had Beef & Guinness Stew at The Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub. It was adorable – each room is small and cozy, complete with a fireplace.


We loved the atmosphere that we went back for after-dinner drinks and trad music.


Day 2

West Coast of Ireland Tour

On Friday, we took a tour from Dublin to Galway to see the west coast of Ireland. Since I took this tour in 2016 and did a detailed Ireland itinerary last year, I’m posting mainly pictures in this recap! You can read a more detailed Ireland itinerary here, here and here.

Dunguaire Castle


Kilfenora High Crosses


Poulnabrone Dolmen


Cliffs of Moher

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We ended the day back in Galway. After shopping a bit (who knew Black Friday was also a thing in Europe?!), we wandered through yet another Christmas market. For a pint (or two) of Guinness, we went to Tig Cóilí, aka my favorite pub in Galway. It was just as fun as I remembered it!


Day 3

We were supposed to go on another tour on Saturday, but…. we loved Galway too much to leave. We ended up spending a lazy morning wandering Galway before heading back via train to Dublin.


Before we left Galway, we had a true Irish Breakfast (complete with Irish Coffee and Guinness, obviously) at The King’s Head.


When we arrived back in Dublin, we wandered Grafton Street a bit before grabbing dinner at The Hairy Lemon. It was funny to see so much American memorabilia lining the walls, even a Cubs hat!



We didn’t stay in AirBNBs in Ireland since we were only staying one night in each city. Instead, we opted for hotels.

  • The Harding Hotel, Dublin: The hotel was a great location, but the beds weren’t very comfortable.
  • The Residence HotelGalway: This was a really cool hotel! The location was great and the beds were comfy, but it was just a tad loud since we were right above a pub.
  • Hilton Dublin HotelDublin: Nothing special about this hotel, but it was only a 10 minute ride to the airport so it was perfect for our Sunday morning flight.

Final Thoughts

The trip was absolutely incredible! It was great to end in Ireland, a place I was already familiar with, but to be able to share that with my mom was great 🙂

Here’s our recap video from the entire trip!

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/245683112″>Europe Trip 2017</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/katbirk”>Kat Birkenbeuel</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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Just another 20-something trying to figure out this whole adulting thing.

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