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The Best Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

Are you planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland? If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you must have seen all of the beautiful pictures from my recent trip to Ireland and Scotland. Now that I am back from my trip and able to get back into the groove of things, I figured I would write a post about my Ireland and Scotland Itinerary. I know most of my readers enjoy these pre-planned itineraries and hopefully, this is one you can add to your collection. Here are some of my favorite things and highlights from my Ireland and Scotland Itinerary.

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Picture of a Castle and Graveyard in Ireland
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Ireland and Scotland Itinerary – best way to see ireland and scotland

Ireland and Scotland are two beautiful countries worth visiting. I feel these two countries are perfect for those of you wanting to take your first solo trip. There are so many things to see and do. Ireland is the country more for those of you who love nature and the beautiful outdoor greenery. Where we visited in Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow have a city feel yet, it is a lot slower paced and calm compared to cities like Dublin. We noticed that everyone was very hospitable in all the areas we visited.

RELATED: Most beautiful places in Ireland

TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES  

  • Car RentalExpedia is a reliable platform to book rental cars.
  • Luggage: It depends on what type of bags you like. If you are looking to backpack around Europe, I highly recommend the Osprey Fairview 40L.
  • What to Pack: Use this ultimate Carry On Essentials list for things you should pack for every trip.
  • Send Money Anywhere:  WISE is the best account for transferring funds abroad.
  • Stay Connected: Staying connected abroad is important for safety and travel. Using Airalo will save you time and money for your trip by getting an eSIM right from the start.

Ireland vs. Scotland: Looking to choose between Ireland or Scotland?

So you can choose between Ireland or Scotland or you can choose to read this entire post on how to visit both Ireland and Scotland in this detailed Itinerary. There is a big difference between the 2 areas and it is difficult to choose but varies on you.

If I had to choose between visiting Ireland and Scotland, I will definitely choose Ireland. There was just so much more to see there and I felt like Irish people were so welcoming, kind, and so much more. I also find alcohol, especially whiskey better in Ireland than in Scotland. I don’t like the smokey flavors and I’ve done whiskey and bourbon tastings in the US< Ireland, and Scotland.

Scotland is a beautiful place to visit and I do suggest visiting both and making that decision for yourself.

Best Time to Visit Ireland and Scotland – When to visit

You must have come to this page wondering when is the best time to visit Ireland and Scotland. Well usually the best time to visit Ireland and Scotland may vary depending on your budget and whether you want to have better weather. The best weather time to visit would be during the summer times to avoid heavy rainy days. If you want to save money and avoid crowds, you are better off traveling in the fall or spring months. We traveled in October and luckily only had one bad rainy day The bad rainy day did affect our visit to Cliffs of Moher, but we were prepared to be stuck in the rain. I found that the best month to visit Ireland and Scotland was in October. I felt the weather was comfortable, it was easy to see a lot and do a lot, it felt less crowded than most places do during summer, and the prices were quite affordable.

RELATED: One Month Trip in Europe

Language in Ireland and Scotland

The main language of Ireland and Scotland is English. The Irish are also taught Gaelic or the Irish language, but it is not used very often and most Irish people do not use it unless needed to by their profession.

Forms of Currency in Ireland and Scotland

Now the currency in Ireland is the Euro. If you head to Northern Ireland, the currency then changes to the British Pound since they are part of the United Kingdom. Traveling in Northern Ireland, they do, however, accept the Euro in most locations since many people from Ireland travel there.

In Scotland, the currency is the British Pound.

How to get around Ireland and Scotland

The best way to get around Ireland and Scotland is by driving, however, they do drive on the left side of the road. If you do not feel comfortable driving in another country, the best way to get around would be by bus or taxi. Just a fun little tip, many of the taxi drivers in Ireland, especially in Dublin love to talk your head off. It makes it fairly easy to learn more from these locals. Only looking to travel to Scotland? Be sure to read about this Scotland Itinerary. A lot of people will take a road trip through Ireland and Scotland. It can be pretty easy to navigate driving especially outside of the city.

RELATED: Scotland Roadtrip

Tips to Save Money in Ireland and Scotland

One of the best ways to save money in Ireland and Scotland is to take full advantage of free things to do. Additionally, I highly suggest you purchase a tourist travel pass whether that be an all-day pass or a 7-day transit pass, it makes it a lot easier to travel around and save money by taking the public transportation card. In Ireland, we purchased a 7 day Leap Card for about 40 euros which was perfect for us since it was a base location. For Scotland, we purchased a daily travel pass for the day.

Another way to save money is by purchasing your Dublin Pass with Bus Tour which includes Free Entry to over 35 Attractions.

RELATED: UK Travel Itinerary

Ireland and Scotland Tours – Make Travel Planning Easy

Are you worried about making plans for your trip? These are some of the best tours for your trips to Ireland and Scotland.  Don’t worry these tours and guides will make the trip smooth and affordable to do on your own. There are a lot of different tours you can easily take in Ireland and Scotland.

These are a few of the Ireland and Scotland Tours that I recommend:

Ireland Tours

Most of these tours can be taken from Dublin making it easy to stay in one location.

Take all the guesswork out of planning a trip and book the Southern Ireland: 10-Day Small-Group Tour.

Scotland Tours

Where you will visit in 8 Days in Ireland and Scotland

  • Day 1: Dublin
  • Day 2: Dublin
  • Day 3: Blarney and Cork
  • Day 4: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Day 5: Glasgow, Scotland
  • Day 6: Cliffs of Moher
  • Day 7: Northern Ireland Belfast, Giants Causeway
  • Day 8: Dublin

You can easily add a pit stop to London to this Scotland Ireland Itinerary if you wanted to. I would suggest visiting after Glasgow if possible.

things to do in Ireland and Scotland

The Temple Bar | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
The Temple Bar | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 1 | Dublin

We arrived in Dublin early in the morning, but the first thing was wanted to do before heading out into the world was to shower! It’s one of those things you have to do. So during our adventures and our arrivals, we had an already jam-packed schedule that we needed to attempt to keep and prevent jet lag. We went with the Food Tour with Irish Food Trail, a short visit to the Irish Whiskey Museum, and wandered the Temple Bar area.

RELATED: Best Day Trips from Dublin

Recommended things to do in Dublin Day 1

Dublin Castle | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Dublin Castle | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Guinness Storehouse | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Guinness Storehouse | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 2 | Dublin

Today is a jam-packed day full of fun and exciting stuff. Hopefully, now you are starting to get over your jet lag and was so exhausted that you slept well. You will explore the beautiful Dublin Castle which is one of many castles you will explore, then you will check out the famous trinity college with the Book of Kells and the famous Guinness Storehouse. I suggest you save a lot of time to spend at the Guinness Storehouse since it has about 9 floors worth of things to check out and explore. Then afterward, enjoy a whiskey tasting at the Teeling distillery.

RELATED: 2 Days in Dublin

Recommended things to do in Dublin Day 2

Rock of Cashel | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Rock of Cashel | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Kissing the Blarney Stone | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Kissing the Blarney Stone | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 3 | Blarney and Cork

So now there are several Dublin day trips you can take visiting Blarney Castle and Cork. You can either choose to rent a vehicle or there are options to pay to take a day trip with a bus tour. It all depends on your comfort level. We found it very affordable to take the tours and it was more relaxing for us to have someone else drive rather than being exhausted and driving on our own. Book your tour here.  

RELATED: Best Ireland Castle Itinerary

Recommended things to do in and near Cork

Edinburgh Castle | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Edinburgh Castle | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Victoria Street | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Victoria Street | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 4 | Visiting Edinburgh, Scotland

Traveling to Scotland was very affordable by plane. Now the best deal we found was a 22 euro one-way flight from Dublin to Edinburgh with Ryan Air. We were checking at rates and were deciding we wanted to take a visit to Scotland. We were so close and the flights were very affordable that we wanted to make the most of our trip. It was filled with lots of things to do and see. Now I do have to warn you, Ryan Air can be expensive if you travel heavily. Since we were just staying overnight, we decided to make Dublin our home base and leave most of our belongings there.

Edinburgh was a beautiful city to explore especially if you love Harry Potter. Additionally, Edinburgh Castle is one of the most beautiful with the best view of the city. If you want more drinking after all this happens to be a drinking trip lol, be sure to try some Scotch Whiskey at the Whiskey experience. Scotch whiskey is very different than Irish whiskey due to the peat whiskey barrels.

Finally, enjoy some time down Victoria mile where the inspiration for Harry Potter came along. Be sure to read about the Harry Potter Tour in Edinburgh.  Additionally, there is a cute Harry Potter shop you must add to your trip! If you have more time to spend in Scotland, be sure to visit the Isle of Skye. Learn about 10 things to do in the Isle of Skye.

RELATED: One Day in Edinburgh

Recommended things to do in Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Whiskey Experience
  • Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar
  • Royal Mile/Victoria Mile
  • Underground Ghost Tour
Glasgow Cathedral | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Glasgow Cathedral | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Inside Glasgow Cathedral | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Inside Glasgow Cathedral | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 5 | Glasgow, Scotland

Take the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow. I think by this point we were kind of exhausted. We definitely loved Glasgow Cathedral and wish we spent more time at the Riverside Museum. In Glasglow, you will find that most of the things to do there are free like the Cathedral, People’s Palace, the Art Museum and the Riverside Museum. Furthermore, I think we ended up becoming burnt out from all of the museums.

RELATED: One Day in Glasgow

But after you check out the Kelvington art Museum, you must have lunch at the Butchershop Bar and Grill. The food was absolutely fantastic and worth it! Additionally, their customer service was excellent. Finally, take the flight back from Glasgow to Dublin. If you have more time to spend in Glasgow, be sure to visit Argyll.  Read more about things to do in Argyll.

RELATED: Glasgow Tours

Recommended things to do in Glasgow

  • Glasgow Cathedral
  • People’s Palace
  • Kelvington Art Museum
  • Lunch at the Butchershop Bar and Grill
  • Riverside Museum

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 6 | Cliffs of Moher

Like we did for Blarney Castle, we decided to take a bus tour again to these locations. Unfortunately, it was a very rainy day for us. However, we were lucky since this was the only bad weather day we received and yet we expected a week full of rain. Ireland is known to have ever-changing weather. The Cliffs of Moher was a beautiful location and reminded me a lot of sunset cliffs in San Diego, California. Book your tour here. 

RELATED: Best Cliffs of Moher Tour

Other recommended things to do and places to visit on the way to Cliffs of Moher

  • The Burren
  • Galway City
Carrick-a-rede | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Carrick-a-rede | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Giant's Causeway | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Giant’s Causeway | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Dark Hedges | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Dark Hedges | Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 7 | Northern Ireland

We took another bus tour, making it one of the best tours we had during the entire trip. Northern Ireland is not part of Ireland the country, they are technically part of the United Kingdom. The form of currency does change from the Euro to the British Pound, however, many of the locations will still accept the Euro because of their close proximity to Ireland. Additionally, the Giant’s Causeway was a beautiful place to wander and explore. We got some of our best photos here. If you are really into Game of Thrones, then the Dark Hedges is the place for you. Supposedly, this location was filmed in Game of Thrones. Book your tour here. 

Be sure to read about the Game of Thrones Tour.

Additionally, you may have seen famous photos of the Carrick-a-rede bridge. If you have time to stop by Belfast, they are known for building and sending off the Titanic. They are actually very proud of that accomplishment even though most people will say well the ship sunk. However, people in Belfast will tell you well the ship was fine when it left here. If you are traveling with kids, be sure to read things to do in Northern Ireland with kids.

RELATED: 48 Hours in Belfast

Recommended things to do in Northern Ireland

  • Carrick-a-rede
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Dark Hedges
  • Ballintoy
  • Dunluce Castle
  • Belfast

Ireland and Scotland Itinerary Day 8 | Dublin

Unfortunately for us, our time was very limited and we are just heading out of Dublin in the late afternoon. We were a bit jet-lagged on our first day and so it was our time to catch up and see some of the things that we missed out on for the first day. We were able to catch up on some of the things we wanted to see today but our list of places was even more extensive. See below for some other options to check out in Dublin before heading out.

RELATED: Things to do in Ireland

Recommended things to do in Dublin Day 8

  • National Museum of Ireland
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • National Leprechaun Museum
  • Celtic Nights River Dancing
  • The Brazen Head

Finally, there you have it, my 8 Day Ireland and Scotland Itinerary! This gives you the option to travel Ireland with or without a car but providing you with daily options. If you have more time or if you are traveling in a better season, be sure to check out the Skellig Michael especially if you are a Star Wars fan. That is the location where they filmed the Force Awakens.

Map Scotland and Ireland

You can easily use this map of Ireland and Scotland to plan out your Scotland and Ireland Itinerary.

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Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Ireland and Scotland Itinerary

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4 Comments

  1. Great itinerary, I’ve done parts of it, but not all, so there are some awesome ideas for me to follow up on. I caught the train up to Edinburgh from London because I managed to find a cheap fare (almost as cheap as your RyanAir flight) and I fell in love with Scotland. I wish I’d stayed to go to Glasgow as well.

    1. Scotland was so beautiful and I’m glad I had the opportunity to go. I hope to go to London someday as well, although the bucket list to too big it may be a while til I visit London lol.

  2. We stayed for 6 weeks in Ireland last March and I just fell in love with the country. It’s so beautiful and the people are wonderful. You’re article reminded me of all things that I missed and need to see next time. Scotland’s on my bucket list to and I can’t wait to make that a reality.

  3. This makes my heart so warm. I love Ireland and Scotland and I have such good memories of both. Thank you for this wonderful guide and all the beautiful pictures.

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