The Irish capital often charms visitors into staying longer than planned, but don’t get too comfortable — there are ample attractions to visit outside of Dublin. Ireland’s small size means that it’s possible to pack a lot into a short trip, but ... 

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3 star rating: Worth doing
August 2014

This trip is really three one day tours, with a hotel in Galway. You wait until the other people coming on the tour take the train from Dublin, so you get a late start and see less than you might. Still, the Cliffs of Moher and Connemara days were good. They were spent on one bus, with one guide all day.

The Aran Islands day should be the highlight, but Railtours totally mishandles that one. They keep passing you off from person or operator to the next. Leaving you someplace with instructions that someone will pick you up in 10 minutes or some other time. They are late, then once they get there, they make you wait until others from some other tour come or they look for more customers.

There was no continuity and so much time was wasted that we saw less and were rushed at what we did see. Frankly, we started worrying that no one would show up at all. And all that time spent waiting, was time that we could have been enjoying the Island.

The hotel in Galway is probably fine in the winter, but having no air conditioning was a real problem The window opens out a tiny bit at the bottom, not enough to let air flow. There is no fan.

But noises from outside do get in. Young people screaming until late at night, what sounded like thousands of birds calling when the dawn starts to brake and then the city vehicles picking up trash and doing other things. We had two straight nights of hardly any sleep.

Doing what: 3-Day Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Aran Islands Rail Tour from Dublin

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