Planning a 3-day Ireland itinerary can be a pain in the backside… So, we’ve done all of the hard work for you!
We’ve spent 25+ years travelling around Ireland and the itinerary below leans on that experience and the many mistakes we made along the way!
In a nutshell, this 3-day itinerary:
- Starts and ends in Rosslare
- Has been meticulously planned
- Has an hour-by-hour itinerary for each day to save you time/hassle
- Follows logical routes that take you to hidden gems, tourist favourites and great pubs and restaurants
Who this itinerary will suit
Now, before you scroll down, take 10 seconds to look at the graphic above – each of our road trip itineraries have been tailored to specific needs.
This road trip is specifically for those of you:
- Starting in/near Rosslare
- Using public transport and organised tours
- Looking to explore at a fast pace
- With a good level of fitness (i.e. it includes long walks and hikes)
- Remember, we have hundreds of different itineraries here if this one doesn’t suit you
An overview of this itinerary
The map above gives you a very high-level overview of where this route will take you.
It uses several bases (e.g. Cork for 3 nights) and provides you with day-long road trips you can head off on, so you avoid having to change accommodation constantly.
Now, I’ll stop rambling on – here’s a day-by-day insight into each of the days below!
Day 1: Arrive in Rosslare and head to Wexford Town
It’s day one and welcome to Ireland! Today, you’ve arrived into Rosslare via the ferry and will be making your way to Wexford Town, where you will be spending one night!
We’re going to assume you’ve arrived in the country just a little before lunch, so we’ve planned an afternoon’s worth of activities for you.
Recommended accommodation in Wexford Town
- Budget: Sinnotts Bar (great value, fabulous reviews and a 20-minute walk from town centre) and Whitford House Hotel (8-minute drive from town with top reviews)
- Central mid-range: Talbot Hotel and Clayton Whites (two central hotels with brilliant reviews)
Stop 1: Rosslare Europort Train Station
The train station is just a five-minute walk from the harbour. There are four trains a day leaving this station.
We are assuming that you are going to make the 12:55 train. But, If you don’t make this, don’t worry, there are also buses that leave from Kelly’s Hotel and that take you into the town.
Stop 2: Arrive in Wexford and head for lunch
Assuming you made the train, you should arrive in Wexford at 13:18. It’s a quick train trip, so pay extra attention, so you don’t miss your stop!
We absolutely love Simon Lambert and Sons and The Red Elephant, which serves a variety of Asian dishes. The latter has everything from Nuea Kem Tod Jim Jaew (crispy salted beef salad) to pineapple fried rice.
Trimmers Lane Cafe is also a fantastic spot, with customers raving over their Korean chicken burgers. But, if you’re in the mood for something healthier, they also serve some delicious salads.
Stop 3: Irish National Heritage Park
It’s a really interesting spot, and most people spend between one and three hours here.
This wonderful outdoor museum showcases 9,000 years of Irish history through recreated buildings, homesteads, places of ritual, and more. It’s an engaging insight into ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ where you’ll be lucky enough to compare everything from Viking settlements to Stone Age settlements.
Choose from three guided tours running throughout the day: Pre-historic Ireland, Early Christian Ireland, or the Age of Invasion. The tours are a lot of fun, and your guides will even be donning Medieval costumes!
Stop 4: Back to Wexford Town for dinner and drinks
Once you’re finished looking around the heritage park, hop back on the same bus you arrived on (the 877) to get back into Wexford Town Centre.
If you didn’t stop by your hotel already, we recommend stopping by to check in and freshen up before dinner. That way you don’t have to lug all your stuff around!
Our Wexford Town food recommendations
For dinner, we recommend checking out Cistin Eile, La Cote, or Simon Lambert and Sons (they have a different menu for dinner).
Cistin Eile serves beautifully plated modern Irish dishes, with choices like beetroot and mushroom toast with local goat’s cheese and slow-cooked beef (this is a customer favourite).
La Cote is our top choice when it comes to seafood. They have a mouth-watering tasting menu as well as an a la carte menu, featuring fishes such as citrus cured sea trout.
Simon Lambert and Sons’ dinner menu is still laden with comfort food. We recommend the smoke BBQ plates if you’re feeling hungry, otherwise, the fish tacos are great!
Our Wexford Town pub recommendations
For your first night, we suggest popping into The Sky and The Ground (a quirky historic pub with a great selection of craft beers and a large beer garden) or Mary’s Bar (a traditional pub) for post-dinner drinks.
If you’re in the mood for music tonight, stick around The Sky and Ground or pop into T Morris. Wexford Town is also home to the National Opera House, which would make for an interesting night!
Day 2: The trip to Dublin
On day 2 of your 3 days in Ireland, you’re waving goodbye to Wexford and hopping on a train to get to lively Dublin, where you’ll be spending one fun-filled night!
Before you set off, get yourself some breakfast from your accommodation before you check out, or if you’d prefer to find somewhere in Wexford Town, we suggest stopping by Cream Cafe for a hearty-cooked breakfast.
Recommended accommodation in Dublin
- Budget: Abigail’s Hostel (Temple Bar), Jacobs Inn (central hostel) and the Generator Hostel (short walk from the city)
- Mid-range: Dublin Skylon Hotel (just outside the city), Wren Urban Nest (Temple Bar) and the Harding Hotel (very central)
- Luxury: The Merrion (St. Stephen’s Green – very central) and The Westin (just off Grafton Street)
Getting around Dublin + money savers
- Time savers: If you want to avoid walking where possible, it’s worth getting a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off Bus around Dublin. It goes to or near all of the main sites on this itinerary plus plenty more.
- Money saver: If you’re visiting the ‘main’ Dublin attractions, the Dublin Pass can save you €€€ (here’s how)
Stop 1: Wexford (O Hannaran) Train Station
After you’ve eaten, walk over to the train station and hop on the train from Wexford (O Hanrahan) to Dublin Connolly.
We’d recommend that you book your train tickets online in advance.
Stop 2: Dublin Connolly
The journey takes around 2.5 hours, and you’ll find yourself getting off in the heart of Dublin, close to all of the city’s major attractions.
There’s taxis outside or, if you’re staying close by, you can always stroll. Just a note – the area around Connolly tends to have some dodgy characters hanging around it, so be vigilant of your belongings.
Stop 3: Trinity College
If you can, we highly recommend pre-booking your tickets online, as the queues can get really long (bordering on ridiculous!). This fast-track ticket allows you to dodge the queue and gets you into Dublin Castle, too!
Spend around one hour seeing the Book of Kells, walking around the exhibit, and taking in the beauty of the Old Library. After that, give yourself another 20 minutes or so to walk around the university campus.
Stop 4: Lunch
There’s plenty of great restaurants in Dublin that serve up a delicious lunch, but if you fancy a tasty bite in a lovely old-world-style pub, Neary’s just off of Grafton Street is hard to bate!
From the Trinity Gates, it’s only a six-minute walk up Grafton Street.
They serve simple dishes (like soups and sandwiches) that are packed with flavour and great value for money. Alternatively, Sprout and Co. on Dawson St. is also a great choice.
They have a range of hearty salad bowls, with good options for vegetarians and vegans.
Stop 5: The Ha’Penny Bridge (via Temple Bar)
The Ha’penny Bridge (officially named the Liffey Bridge) dates back to 1816 and was the first pedestrian bridge over the River Liffey!
It’s a 10-minute walk from Grafton Street, but feel free to take your time as you make your way through the lively streets of Temple Bar.
Now, Temple Bar can be a bit of a tourist trap. If you fancy a pint, here are several pubs in Temple Bar worth trying (the Palace is our go-to).
If you feel like an afternoon coffee, there are some great cafes in the Temple Bar area or on the other side of the river. Joe’s Coffee and Vice Coffee are two of our favourites across the water.
They’re both just a short stroll from the north side of the Ha’penny Bridge.
Stop 6: Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral dates back to the early 11th century when it was founded under Sigtrygg Silkbeard, a Norse King of Dublin. It was rebuilt later in stone, largely thanks to the first Anglo-Norman archbishop, John Cumin, in the late 12th century.
The cathedral is only a 10-minute walk from the Ha’Penny Bridge and a really interesting place to visit. Some highlights are the restored crypt houses, Strongbow’s tomb, and the Treasures of Christ Church exhibition.
You can grab a ticket online here – these include an audio guide that comes in several languages, with three themes to choose from – ‘Power and Politics’, ‘Music and Spirituality’, and ‘Christ Church and the City’.
Self-guided tours with an audio guide usually last around one hour.
Stop 7: Guinness Storehouse
From the cathedral, it’s a 16-minute stroll to the Guinness Storehouse. It’s at St. James’s Gate, the home of Guinness, and there are several tours available.
We recommend the Guinness Storehouse Experience, a self-guided tour that takes roughly 90 minutes.
You’ll learn about Guinness’ history, its ingredients, and get to enjoy a pint of Guinness and one other Guinness beer (for ages 18+) whilst taking in the views of the Gravity Bar.
Stop 8: Dinner, drinks and live music
If you haven’t already checked into your accommodation, you may want to do so now before heading out for dinner, drinks, and music.
By now, you must be getting hungry. Dublin has heaps of options for dinner, but we’ve got a couple of suggestions for you!
Our dinner recommendations
If you’re looking for something close by, Spitalfields is a short walk from the cathedral. It’s a little bit pricey, but the atmosphere is great, and the food is top-notch!
However, Spitalfields is 16+ only, so it’s not suitable for young families. Otherwise, check out The Bull and Castle across the street from Christ Church Cathedral.
Their menu has F.X. Buckley Steaks (renowned in Dublin), plus a great selection of local craft beers. The restaurant can get booked out pretty quickly, but you can always eat in the bar upstairs, which also has steak on the menu.
Live music and trad bars
If you fancy a bit of live music, there’s plenty on offer. Pipers Corner on Marlborough St. has some great tunes, with live music from 9pm every Tuesday to Saturday, and from 8pm on Sunday.
The inside has more of a modern feel, but you’ll be guaranteed authentic Irish music.
For the full experience, O’Donoghues Bar on Merrion Row has live music every night of the week. It’s about as traditional as Irish pubs get, with a brilliant atmosphere.
The Celt is another fantastic pub with live music every night from 9pm, although it’s not always traditional.
Day 3: The trip to back to Rosslare
Today we head to Rosslare so that you can catch the ferry and head home!
Get some breakfast before you check out of your accommodation, or find somewhere nearby to eat.
The best way to get from Dublin back to Rosslare is by train. There are multiple trains a day from Dublin Connoly to Rosslare Europort. Make sure to check train schedules and buy your tickets in advance. The trip takes 3 hours and 30 minutes.
And that’s a wrap on this road trip
We hope you found the above road trip guide useful. If you have any questions, ask in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help.
Or, if you’d like to browse our other Irish Road Trip itineraries, visit our Road Trip Hub – cheers!