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Updated: January 18, 2024

Exploring Ireland, with its captivating mix of bustling cities like Dublin and serene countryside landscapes, can be a wonderfully diverse yet potentially overwhelming experience. This country offers something for everyone, whether it’s the vibrancy of urban life or the tranquil beauty of rural areas. However, navigating through Ireland’s varied attractions requires some savvy planning, especially to balance between crowded hotspots and more secluded locales.

To ensure a well-rounded and enjoyable trip, it’s essential to prepare for the different scenarios you might encounter. That’s where our selection of travel books and guides comes in, each carefully chosen to aid in your journey. These resources are not just compilations of information; they are the result of extensive research and personal experiences from our numerous trips to Ireland. My wife and I have not only braved the crowds in well-known destinations but have also uncovered quiet, hidden spots that offer a unique perspective of the country.

These guides have been instrumental in shaping our travels and are our top recommendations for anyone planning to visit Ireland. They cover everything from navigating the historic streets of Dublin to uncovering the countryside’s secret delights. With these travel guides, you’re set to have a memorable Irish adventure, equipped with all the necessary insights to make the most out of your visit to Ireland. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, these books will enhance your experience in one of Europe’s most beloved destinations, known for its popularity among American tourists and its challenges with overtourism.

Lonely Planet’s Dublin is your go-to guide for exploring the city’s top sights and hidden gems. The guide includes a pull-out, passport-size ‘Just Landed’ card with important information such as Wi-Fi, ATM, and transport info to help you navigate the city from the airport to your hotel. The guide also includes color maps and images, highlights and itineraries to tailor your trip to your personal interests, insider tips to save time and money, essential information such as hours of operation, phone numbers, and websites, and honest reviews for all budgets. The guide covers popular neighborhoods and areas such as Grafton Street, Camden St, Merrion Square, Temple Bar, Kilmainham & the Liberties, North of the Liffey, Docklands, the Grand Canal, Southside, and more. For those looking for a shorter trip, check out Lonely Planet’s Pocket Dublin guide which features the best sights and experiences for a weekend trip. For those looking to explore more of the country, check out Lonely Planet’s Ireland guide for an in-depth look at the country.

Lonely Planet Dublin

Lonely Planet’s Ireland is the ultimate travel guide for exploring this beautiful country. With up-to-date information and detailed planning tools, this guidebook helps you make the most of your trip, whether you’re looking to see the iconic sights or take the road less traveled. Inside, you’ll find insider tips to save time and money, as well as detailed maps and beautiful images to inspire your journey. With coverage of Dublin, Counties Wicklow and Kildare, Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow and Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Sligo, County Donegal, the Midlands, Belfast, Down and Armagh, Londonderry and Antrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone, this guidebook has everything you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Ireland.

What NOT To Do – Ireland” by Sarah Brekenridge is a concise yet comprehensive guide, essential for travelers looking to explore Ireland effectively. This guide, highly rated with 4.9 out of 5 stars, stands out in the “What NOT To Do – Travel Guides” series by offering insightful tips on avoiding common travel mistakes while soaking in Ireland’s art, culture, and nature.

Within its pages, you’ll find:

  • Key advice on navigating Ireland’s top cities like Dublin and Belfast.
  • Essential dos and don’ts for safe and enjoyable travel.
  • Curated lists of incredible sites and landmarks.
  • Cultural insights to fit in with the locals.

This guide ensures you experience Ireland’s best without the fear of missing out, making it an invaluable companion for any traveler.

What NOT To Do - Ireland

Rick Steves Best of Ireland, co-authored by Rick Steves and Pat O’Connor and released on November 14, 2023, is a must-have travel guide for anyone planning a concise yet comprehensive journey through Ireland. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars and well-received on Goodreads, this 350-page full-color guide is perfect for travelers looking to experience Ireland’s top sights and hidden treasures within a two-week timeframe or less.

This guidebook provides strategic advice to maximize your time and budget, offering meticulously planned two-day itineraries for destinations including Dublin, Kilkenny, Kinsale, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Town, the Aran Islands, Belfast, and more. Discover the real Ireland as Rick Steves shares tips for avoiding tourist traps and experiencing local culture, from neighborhood walks to museum tours.

The book also offers practical trip planning strategies, covering everything from itinerary design to packing tips and transportation advice. With detailed maps, vibrant photos, and suggestions for side trips to places like the Valley of the Boyne and Blarney Castle, this guide is an invaluable resource for experiencing Ireland’s legendary warmth and beauty.

Lonely Planet’s Experience Ireland is a must-have travel guide for anyone looking to truly immerse themselves in the Irish culture and way of life. This guide offers a unique perspective on the destination, with one-of-a-kind adventures and local expert tips to help you create your own personalized trip. Inside, you’ll find information on the best festivals, secret hangouts, hidden locations, and delicious local food scene, as well as practical information on money, transportation, and responsible travel. With comprehensive maps, beautiful full-color photography, and a handy seasonal trip planner, this guide is the perfect companion for your journey. What sets this book apart from a regular Lonely Planet guide is the ability to build your own trip with the trip building tools, QR codes, and expert advices, making your journey even more unique and memorable.

Discover the heart of the Emerald Isle with Fodor’s Essential Ireland, your ultimate guidebook crafted by local experts. This comprehensive guide covers Ireland’s best, from bustling Dublin to the scenic beauty of Kerry, Clare, Galway, Cork, and the allure of Northern Ireland. It’s packed with practical advice, including detailed itineraries and over 30 maps, ensuring you navigate Ireland with ease.

Immerse yourself in stunning landscapes and vibrant culture through the pages of this guide, which features beautiful color photography. You’ll find expert recommendations on top sights, hidden gems, finest eateries, coziest hotels, and most exciting activities.

Fodor’s Essential Ireland also enriches your journey with special sections on Ireland’s top festivals and events, mouth-watering local cuisine, and a deep dive into the rich tapestry of Irish history and culture.

Whether it’s your first visit or a return to this charming land, Fodor’s Essential Ireland is the key to unlocking a memorable, hassle-free Irish adventure.

“Ireland: A Short History” by Joseph Coohill is an essential read for travelers seeking to deepen their understanding of Ireland. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, this concise yet comprehensive Kindle edition guides you from Ireland’s prehistoric roots to contemporary events like the St Andrews Agreement. By exploring pivotal moments like the Great Famine and the Good Friday Agreement, the book provides a rich context to Ireland’s sights and people.

Understanding Ireland’s complex past enhances your travel experience, offering deeper insights into the places and people you encounter. This knowledge enriches your interactions and transforms your journey into a more profound exploration of the Emerald Isle’s unique identity and heritage.

Ireland - A Short History

In all our overviews of travel guides, we include a travel book that is made for children. This Ireland Travel Activity Book and Journal is easy to use for children and will be really entertaining for kids making the life of parents much easier, even on longer trips. The book will help making the trip to Ireland fun, easy and entertaining for you and the kids.

The Rough Guide to Ireland is a comprehensive and entertaining travel guide that provides practical information and honest recommendations for exploring Ireland. The guide includes detailed regional coverage, with information for every kind of trip, from off-the-beaten-track adventures to chilled-out breaks in popular tourist areas. It features honest and independent reviews, written with Rough Guides’ trademark blend of humor, honesty and expertise, to help travelers make the most of their trip to Ireland. The guide also includes meticulous mapping, with practical full-color maps and clear numbered, color-coded keys, as well as full-color photography, time-saving itineraries, and a rundown of the top sights and experiences to be found in Ireland. Additionally, the guide includes information on getting around, accommodation, food and drink, health, the media, festivals, sports and outdoor activities, culture and etiquette, shopping and more. A free eBook version of the guide is also available.

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