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Ireland and Paris with a 7 year old

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cdnmommy posted 5/17/2014 12:52 PM

Don't try to talk me out of it - flights are booked and non-refundable. :)

We have the opportunity to travel in August to Ireland for 5-6 days, and will also spend 3 or 4 days in Paris. H and I have been to Paris and already know what we would like to do, but having not been to Ireland before, I am wondering if anyone has any first-hand family travel experiences to share to help us plan. I have already found some great websites but IMO nothing quite matches the vast SI community for experience. Plus, I'm pretty sure we have a few members who live there and might have some off-the-beaten-path suggestions.

Our parameters:
- We will rent a car
- We arrive in Dublin on a Tuesday morning. I haven't booked the flight to Paris yet so we can finish our journey anywhere we can catch a flight to Paris
- DS will be 7, and is a great traveler. He loves new experiences so would probably be open to almost anything that is suitable for his age.
- We really want to visit the Guinness Storehouse.

Some specific questions:
- If we are in Dublin for a couple of days do we need a car there or is the city walkable/accessible by public transit?
- How is the Guinness visit with kids? Is there anything for them to experience or is that going to be a "suck it up" trip for our son?
- Any must-sees?

H and I keep looking at each other in disbelief because we always said we would never travel overseas with DS when he was this young, but we really can't pass up the chance. DS is in French immersion and has been asking to go to Paris, and we have always wanted to see Ireland. We "won" two tickets in a charity auction and got a great deal on a third ticket.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

FaithFool posted 5/17/2014 13:48 PM

Don't drive in Dublin whatever you do. My cousin has been rear-ended twice by people texting and driving, it's commonplace and very dangerous.

Plus the drinking/driving thing is very much a reality there as well.

Highly recommend the Camden Court Hotel. It's central, family friendly and has a great pool and rec centre attached.

You can walk to just about anywhere, take the LUAS (tram) or DART (rapid transit train) or the bus.

Taxis are ok for short trips as well.

If you're flying in and will be fatigued, I'd be very wary of jumping in a car right away as you have to get used to right-hand drive on a stick shift. (I've heard that the rental cars aren't automatics.)

The Guinness tour is interesting, vast warehouse space, lots of "inner workings" type displays, but it's really all about the free pint at the end in the rooftop bar.

Check to see if minors are allowed, I'm fairly sure it would be OK.

Know nothing about Paris. Have fun!

[This message edited by FaithFool at 1:49 PM, May 17th (Saturday)]

gettherefromhere posted 5/17/2014 17:48 PM

Lots and lots to do in dublin. Don't rent a car, especially if you are not used to driving on theleft side of the street.the city bus system isn't too awful. You can do the hop on hop off bus to see most sights. A pass is good for two days and one of the stops is guiness. I've been 3-4 times and there are always kids there. Another neat stop was the old prison...does your 7 year old like museum/tour stuff?
The duck boat tour is cool.
If you are into history of ireland the jeanie johnston boat tour is a good tour.
Lots of parks.
Kids are welcome in pubs for meals.
We did a ghost tour one on a bus that had all the windows covered and went to different places in town hearing different ghost stories.
One day we took the train to malahide which is a coastal city pretty near dublin. From the train station in malahide we walked to the malahide castle which is on beautiful grounds. We then walked the other direction to the coast. Lots of places to eat....beautiful area. It is also pretty easy to get there by bus from dublin. If you google malahide you should get lots of info.

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