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Travel Itinerary: 12 Days Scotland and Ireland Itinerary & Road Trip

Perhaps our favorite road trips of all time have been our adventures driving around Ireland and experiencing the beauty of Scotland.  It’s tough for many people to get more than a couple weeks off work for vacation, as it was for us! But we were determined to pack it all into this trip to maximize our time of work

So to help those of you who are planning a trip to Ireland, here is a copy of our 12 day Scotland and Ireland itinerary. 

(NOTE: You could easily cut out Scotland and just use as a 1 week Ireland Itinerary)

Download a PDF Version of This Ireland Travel Itinerary for Easy Reference!

Why Did We Do Our Trip This Way???

People have asked us why we combined Ireland & Scotland into this travel itinerary — and also why we split the trip the way we did (Dublin => Scotland => Ireland).  Basically, it was all because of flight prices + it was an efficient way to pack it all in.

We flew to Dublin was because of good roundtrip airfare from the States. Then we took a few days to rest & explore Dublin before flying to Scotland – the flights between Dublin and Scotland were quite cheap. Then we rented a car when we returned to Dublin to drive around Ireland.

We did a road trip, because we wanted the freedom to explore and see the countryside on our own, including driving the lesser known Dingle peninsula.  We started the trip in Dublin, and there’s so much to do in Dublin that we didn’t need a car until we left the city. Renting a car in Ireland can be a little tricky, but Scotland was quite straight forward.

This trip was one of our firsts as a couple, and it is still the highlight of our travels!  Enjoy planning your trip with this travel itinerary.

Here is our Exact 12 Days Scotland & Ireland Itinerary & Road Trip (prices are for 2 people)!

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Accommodations We Recommend During Your Trip to Scotland and Ireland

For our trip, we were on a bit of a budget.  So we did our best to combine some cheap hostel stays with some charming B&B’s, as well as hotels.  Below I’ve included links to all the places we actually stayed.  However if you are not interested in hostels, I offered a reasonably priced non-hostel option as well, which ticks all of our boxes for convenience, good location, reviews, and character.

Dublin — Barnacles Temple Bar Hostel  (if you are young and enjoy hostels) or The Charles Stewart Guesthouse if you are a couple & want something more low key.

Edinburgh — Castle Rock Hostel (again, if you are ok with a hostel) or Edinburgh City Hotel

Ballachulish (Scottish Highlands) — The Ballachulish Hotel – we really loved this hotel! It’s in an old castle-like building overlooking a Loch. They had a wonderful restaurant with an amazing view too.  At a reasonable price, we really had a memorable experience at this place!

St. Andrews — St Andrews Tourist Hostel or Ogstons On North Street

Killarney — Old Killarney Cottages – This place is so cute and the cottages are HUGE!  We actually met my family who traveled from the States, so we split the cost of our enormous thatched-roof cottage.  A really great option if you are staying for a long visit too.

Ennis — Rowan Tree Hostel or Knocklyon House

Galway — Prairie House – Boutique Townhouse – there are lots of B&B’s around Galway, especially in the Salthill area (where we stayed).  Wonderful hospitality, and cozy surroundings.

Trim — Castle Arch Hotel 

Airbnb — Airbnb is also a really great way to unique budget accommodations (and an apartment rather than a hotel room).  Sometimes they are standalone rentals, other times you will be staying in a guest bedroom of a local — who are often happy to give you recommendations or even show you around!  If you want to learn more, read our full post about our experiences at Airbnb’s across the country.

Activities & Other Expenses for your Trip to Ireland and Scotland

Dublin Pass (museums)

Guinness Storehouse + Free Pint – a visit to the Guinness Storehouse is a MUST!  Even if you don’t like beer, it is one of the best and most fun museums we’ve been too.  Plus, the Guinness tastes amazing here (I never liked it before this trip).  Check out our story and full review of the Guinness Storehouse here.

Hop on-off bus – this was a really great way to get around Dublin.  We loved it.

Mary King’s Close / Vaults Underground Tour – this tour was amazing & a bit scary.  But definitely a must do in Edinburgh, because the historical stories and experience of being down there in the dark is just crazy!

Dublin 3 hour bike tour

Jameson Whiskey Tour in Dublin

Edinburgh Hop on / Off Bus

Edinburgh Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour

Edinburgh: The Royal Yacht Britannia 2-Hour Tour

Killarney on Horse & Carriage: 1-Hour Jaunting Car Tour

Killarney hop on / off shuttle – Muckross route – the Muckross house and nearby agricultural park is a fascinating experience. Walk the grounds and see actors who are dressed in period clothing and working in traditional homes – tending to animals and cooking foods just like they would back in the day. A really fun experience!

Kenmare Bay Cruise

Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour from Dingle

Loch Ness Cruise Including Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

Download This 12 Days Scotland and Ireland Itinerary as a PDF for Easy Reference!

Planning a Trip to Ireland? Check Out Our Ireland Travel Guide!

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More Awesome Ireland Activities – Book Here!

More Awesome Scotland Activities – Book Here!


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