Dingle Travel: A Guide To Visiting The Town
When planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, you absolutely must visit Dingle, even if it’s just for a weekend. This essential Dingle travel guide will cover every vital piece of information to help you with your planning!
Dingle is a beautiful coastal town in western Ireland that is most well-known for its beaches and prime location along the Dingle Peninsula, one of Ireland’s most scenic areas.
A trip to Dingle isn’t complete without experiencing the breathtaking landscapes on hikes or seaside roads.
The views in western Ireland are unmatched in comparison to the sights around the rest of the country! Dingle is one of the top places to visit in Ireland, find out why in this travel guide.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Like most locations in Ireland, Dingle travel is best experienced during its shoulder season when not many people visit, but the weather is still great! That’s not to say that visitors shouldn’t come to this beautiful area during other seasons, however.
Below, learn more about the different seasons and what visiting during each time will be like as a tourist.
Dingle’s peak season is during the summer from July to August. This is the time of year that there’s the least amount of rainfall but the weather averages around 16°C (60°F).
Though the beautiful weather might make you think this is the perfect time to travel to Dingle, this is when the town is at it’s busiest. Prices can be a lot higher, especially for accommodation, which can make visiting not as affordable as it could be during the shoulder season.
The spring months between March and June and the fall months between September and November make up Dingle’s shoulder season. During this time, the temperature averages around 15°C (59°F).
Though it’s shoulder season, it’s arguably the most beautiful time to visit Dingle because all of the flowers are just starting to bloom in the spring. Prices are quite reasonable during this time, unlike the summer when they’re known to skyrocket.
The off-season in Dingle is between late November and February when the weather can be quite dreary and cold. This time of the year is most well-known for bringing heavy storms and rain, but prices can be quite low because people don’t visit during this time.
It’s best not to travel Dingle during this time. Though prices are lower, the weather (which averages 4°C/40°F) makes it hard to enjoy Dingle the way that it’s meant to be enjoyed!
WHERE TO STAY
There truly isn’t a shady area to stay in Dingle, but there are neighbourhoods to stay in that make exploring during your trip a lot more accessible. Of course, there are also some great suburbs located right outside of Dingle town that are a good choice for people who prefer quiet.
Below are the best places to stay in Dingle to find accommodation.
Dingle Town Centre
What better way to set yourself up for success during your trip than to book a stay right in the middle of town? This way, you can walk or cycle everywhere because you’ll be so close to all of Dingle’s best pubs, nightlife, and attractions.
Hotels and bed and breakfasts in this area typically cost around €85 ($100) while you could snag a hostel for just €55 ($65) depending on the time of year. This is also the perfect place to stay if you plan on taking a day trip because you’ll be right in the area that a tour bus would usually pick people up.
Cooleen is a lovely neighbourhood in Dingle that’s located right on the water. There are a lot of quaint bed and breakfasts and holiday guest homes that are always available for visitors to stay in when spending time in Dingle.
One night in a hostel can cost as little as €42 ($50) per night while a bed and breakfast or hotel would cost closer to €93 ($110) per night. This area is most well-known for its gorgeous views, and though it’s not near some of Dingle’s most famous sights, it’s only a short walk from the town centre.
The Marina is another coastal neighbourhood in Dingle that has beautiful lodges and hotels. Often, this is where families will try to stay during their visit to Dingle.
A night’s stay in a hotel averages €80 ($95) in this area of the town and there aren’t any hostels; just lodges, hotels, and bed and breakfasts in the Marina. By staying here, you’ll only be a short walk away from downtown, and you’ll also be right next to where many of Dingle’s boat tours dock.
While staying in Dingle Town puts you right in the action, and near to ammenities, there are some great (small) towns and hamlets nearby that you could stay as well.
Check out Camp or Castlegregory which are just a 30 minute drive from Dingle, or the unique Gleann na n Gealt sheep farm where you can enjoy a farm stay out in nature. Find out more here.
What To Do
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Dingle is home to many fun things to do, and there’s truly something for every type of adventurer travelling to Dingle. From gorgeous coastal drives to the tastiest ice cream in the entire country, you’re sure to keep busy during your trip to Dingle!
Here are the top three things to do when you visit Dingle that you won’t want to miss.
Ice cream at Murphy's
Murphy’s is Ireland’s most well-known ice cream shop that originated in Dingle! All of the ingredients used in the ice cream are from local farmers and dairies, and the flavours are to die for no matter the time of year.
Your Dingle travel experience wouldn’t be complete without trying at least one scoop of this outstanding ice cream. Find out more here.
Slea Head Loop
The Slea Head Loop is one of the most breathtakingly scenic drives in Dingle.
The whole journey is only 30 minutes long, but while you’re visiting Dingle, it’d be great to try to see at least a small portion of it just because of its incredible beauty. Find it on the map, here.
Dingle Whiskey Distillery
The Dingle Whiskey Distillery has been a popular and trendy distillery since 2012 when it first opened.
Tours are available to visitors who wish to learn more about Irish whiskey, and you might even be able to taste test some at the end!
TOP TOURS IN DINGLE
Dingle is filled with quite a few lovely tours that will make your experience visiting this area of Ireland a lot more enjoyable. Most of the trips have to do with the outdoors, but there’s truly something for everyone!
Here are three of Dingle’s top tour experiences:
Dingle Nature Healing Experience
This is a unique experience offered by a Dingle local to help visitors feel more connected to this area’s nature in more ways than one. Guests will also learn about different healing methods that involve plants.
This tour is best for couples and solo travellers and isn’t a great space for young kids because you have to stay calm and relaxed for the majority of the experience. Keep in mind that this is a cultural and spiritual experience, and guests should be respectful. Find out more here on Airbnb Experiences.
Dingle Sea Safari
The Dingle Sea Safari is a fun boat ride that covers the Blasket Islands coastlines and brings guests to all the best geological features in the area. The guide also teaches about the history of this area of Ireland.
This tour is super personal and only allows a maximum of twelve guests at a time. It’s perfect for all ages interested in Dingle travel and lasts approximately 3 hours. Find out more about this highly rated tour on Viator, here.
Brewery Tour & Beer Tastings
Dick Mack’s is one of the best award-winning pubs in Dingle and was built in 2017. This 1-hour tour is the perfect introduction to the brewery behind-the-scenes and its history.
This tour is excellent for couples and solo travellers. Families may enjoy the trip, but children might not have as much fun on a tour such as this one in comparison to the Dingle Sea Safari. Find out more about this highly rated tour here on Viator.
BEST DAY TRIPS FROM DINGLE
Dingle’s prime location makes it super simple to take day trips, though it’s easiest to get to most of these locations by taking a car. There’s everything from quaint small towns to larger cities in the middle of the most beautiful National Park, so no matter what you’re interested in seeing, you’ll be able to reach it from Dingle.
Here are the top three most popular day trips from Dingle that you won’t want to miss out on.
Great Blasket Island
Great Blasket Island is a gorgeous area just off of the peninsula of Dingle and is part of the Blasket Island group. On the island, there are beautiful beaches, restaurants, walking trails, great views, and more.
The only way to get to Great Blasket Island is to hop on a ferry from Dingle town’s Marina, which will take about 40 minutes one way. Keep in mind that ferries run every season except for the winter due to the weather.
Killarney is truly one of Ireland’s greatest highlights that’s filled with an abundance of history, hiking trails, and quintessential Irish beauty. Killarney is almost exactly an hour away from Dingle by car, but buses are also available and take closer to two hours.
If you’re lucky enough to be driving to Killarney from Dingle, be sure to stop by Inch Beach which is one of the most famous beaches in all of the Emerald Isle. Fun fact: it’s a lot longer than an inch long!
Tralee is a quaint little town, only a 50-minute drive away from Dingle. It’s also simple to catch a bus from Dingle to Tralee if you don’t have access to a rental car or a car of your own, making this one of the most accessible day trips from Dingle town.
Some of the most famous sights in Tralee include the Kerry County Museum, the Blennerville Windmill, and the Tralee Bay Wetlands. Many people say that Tralee is even one of the greatest highlights along the Dingle Peninsula.
WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT
Dingle is home to some of Ireland’s greatest foods, so you honestly can’t go wrong when choosing a restaurant or pub to go to. Because Dingle is located on Ireland’s coast, it’s most well-known for its seafood which is from local fisherman.
Here are some of the must-try dishes and must-visit restaurants and pubs in Dingle!
Dingle’s proximity to the water makes it easy for restaurants to have accessibility to all of the best catches of the day. An average seafood dish will cost around €15 ($18) if you’re looking to find the best.
Your Dingle travel experience will be even more memorable if you try the seafood at least once.
Ice cream doesn’t sound like a typical dish you’d expect to find on a list of what to try in an Irish town, but Dingle has some of the best dairies around. Be sure to try it at Murphy’s and prices start around €5 ($6).
Dingle makes some of Ireland’s best cheeses and the greatest place to try it is as The Little Cheese Shop. Prices range drastically but start around €20 ($24) for a kg, or you could just order a cheese appetizer dish from a restaurant for closer to €10 ($12).
Best Restaurants in Dingle
The Boatyard: The Boatyard is a casual seafood restaurant overlooking the beautiful seafront in Dingle. They have midrange pricing and are busiest around dinner.
The Half Door: Similar to The Boatyard, The Half Door is also a seafood restaurant, but it was started by Denis O’Connor, one of the best chefs in the area. Prices are a bit more expensive, but the food value is worth it.
Pantri Cafe: The Pantri Cafe is a popular breakfast spot and restaurant known for its cosy and casual vibe. Prices are budget-friendly to midrange, and they’re most well-known for their healthy vegan and gluten-free options.
BEST PUBS IN DINGLE
Like most other places in Ireland, Dingle has its own fantastic pubs that you honestly won’t want to miss. Pub culture is thriving in Dingle, and there’s no better way to immerse yourself with the locals than by going to at least one pub during your visit!
Here are three of the best pubs in Dingle that you won’t want to miss out on.
Foxy John’s is truly one of the unique pubs in all of Ireland. It’s one of the best meeting spots for locals and half of it is a hardware store, which only adds to the ambiance of the pub itself!
The real highlight of Foxy John’s is the gorgeous beer garden in the backyard that is especially cosy in the summer months. Feel free to shop for some Irish hardware and talk with the locals while you drink your pint!
An Droichead Beag
An Droichead Beag is a casual pub that means the little bridge in Irish Gaelic. Though the building dates back to the early 18th century, the pub was opened in the 1950s and has been thriving ever since.
The inside of the pub is fascinating, with its exposed brick and stone walls, exciting memorabilia, and nooks and crannies for you to escape within. There is also live music throughout the week.
Dick Mack’s is arguably the best pub in all of Dingle, and it also has its own beer garden that is often filled with spots to sit, great decoration, and sometimes even food stalls. They also have great live music for you to listen to while drinking your pint of Guinness.
One of the best things to do when visiting Dick Mack’s is to take a tour of their own brewery. The pub first opened back in 1899 and has only risen in popularity since opening back then among the locals and tourists!
If you have time to visit only one pub during your Dingle travel experience, make sure it’s Dick Mack’s.
LIVE MUSIC VENUES
Dingle is one of the best places to witness live music in Ireland, and the town is not short on venues. Whether you’re interested in traditional music or modern, local bands, there’s sure to be someone playing in one of the sites that you’ll love.
O'Flaherty's Irish Pub
O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub is one of the best places to listen to live traditional music in Dingle. It’s located in downtown Dingle and is even a popular spot among the locals, so it’s a great way to get immersed in the local culture.
The Mighty Session
The Mighty Session is an Irish pub that is well-known for its traditional music and jam sessions throughout the week. What makes this pub different from other pubs in Ireland is that there’s a lot of open floor space for visitors to go out and dance!
The Dingle Pub
The Dingle Pub is located right on Main Street and is home to a wide variety of music that plays twice daily! It’s impossible to miss a live music session here, and you can also stay right next to the pub in the owner’s bed and breakfast.
FESTIVALS IN DINGLE
Dingle is home to some of Ireland’s best and most notable festivals. There are more than 20 different festivals held in Dingle every single year, but below are the three most popular ones that draw crowds from far and wide.
Dingle Food Festival
The Dingle Food Festival has been held annually in October since 2007, and it’s all about food! Irish natives and tourists come from all over just to go to this food festival, which consists of more than 50 vendors, food tastings, cooking demonstrations, and more.
However, most people come to the festival to participate in what’s known as The Taste Trail. To follow the trail, guests buy a set of tickets that allows them to go to over 50 different restaurants and shops around Dingle to taste test food and drinks. Tickets cost around €20 for the whole weekend.
Animation Dingle Festival
The Animation Dingle Festival is an annual conference and workshop held in March that started in 2012. During the festival, guests learn more about the animation industry in Ireland, participate in workshops, and even see some early screenings of animations that people are working on.
Tickets are available in either a student pass or professional pass. It’s recommended that you purchase your tickets well in advance because they’re known to sell out once they go on sale rapidly!
Dingle Literary Festival
The Dingle Literary Festival is held annually in November and provides a platform for writers in Ireland. Different poets and authors are featured each year from all around the country, and they share their writings and love for literature.
Tickets start around €50 but vary depending on how many days you plan on spending at the festival. Try to purchase tickets when they first go on sale, because like many other Dingle festivals, tickets sell out quick.
HIKING IN DINGLE
As with most places in Ireland, Dingle is lucky enough to be near some beautiful hikes that will introduce you to the gorgeous rugged landscape of the country! Keep in mind that the easiest way to get to most of these hikes is to drive.
When you travel Dingle, try to go on at least one hike to see the gorgeous landscapes in this area. Below, find three of the best hikes near Dingle that make for the perfect day trip.
The Dingle Way
The Dingle Way is one of the most advanced hikes available in the country, as it’s 179 km long and can take over eight days to hike fully. However, that’s not to say that you can’t come and walk the more moderate parts of it just for a few hours to see the breathtaking beauty.
The hike starts in Tralee and loops around most of the Dingle Peninsula. If you plan on doing the hike for the full eight days, then you’ll want to be prepared with lots of layers, snacks, and camping gear to be fully equipped.
Mt. Brandon Loop
The Mt. Brandon Loop is a 10.9 km trail that is best for advanced hikers because of its 3000-foot elevation gain. This hike is most popular among locals and tourists for its beautiful viewpoints, bird-watching spots, rivers, and wildlife.
This hike is best done during the warmer months between May and August because a lot of the walk is quite exposed. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and wear layers just in case it starts to rain!
Conor Pass to Croaghskearda
This 7 km-long loop trail is a moderate walking trek that is home to one of the best views. It’s also the highest open mountain trail in the entire country, which makes it extremely unique.
It takes just short of 4 hours to fully walk the entire trail and also includes Croaghskearda Mountain’s summit which overlooks the beautiful mountain range and nearby lakes. Be sure to pack water and snacks for your trek.
BEACHES IN DINGLE
Dingle’s prime location on the coast and the Dingle Peninsula makes it home to some of the country’s best beaches. This Dingle guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning at least a few of the beaches in the area.
There are a wide variety of beaches to choose from, but here are the three best that are only a short distance from Dingle town.
Brandon Bay goes on for 12 miles and is the perfect place to go surfing or swimming. Because it’s so long, it truly never gets overly busy, and you’re always able to find a tranquil area just for yourself and your family if you’d like.
The beach is mostly sandy, and the waves tend to be quite calm, which adds to the beauty of this area. From Dingle Town, the easiest way to get to Brandon Bay is to drive 25 miles straight north to the opposite side of the peninsula.
Inch Beach is arguably the most famous stretch of water along Dingle Peninsula. It’s located only a short 20-minute drive east of Dingle Town and is most easily reached by car or bus, whichever is most comfortable for you.
This beach is popular for surfing, and there’s even a surf school located here so you can learn how to catch some waves during your trip to the Emerald Isle. This 5 km-long beach also has an excellent restaurant cafe located right along the shore in case you get hungry.
Coumeenole Beach is along the Slea Head Drive and is one of the most picturesque beaches in the whole area. It’s home to beautiful cliffs, and it truly looks like paradise, which is why it has been used in the past in some Hollywood movies.
Most people visit this beach just to soak up the sights and walk along the water, though you could also dip your toes in if you’d like. Coumeenole Beach is located a 25-minute drive west of Dingle town.
COST OF TRAVEL IN DINGLE
Dingle is a reasonably affordable destination, especially in comparison to a larger city like Dublin. Below, learn more about the recommended cost of travel depending on what you’re interested in doing during your stay in Dingle.
Budget €96 ($113) / Day
With €96 a day, you’d be able to spend the night in a hostel and purchase food from cafes for breakfast and lunch with an affordable dinner from a restaurant.
Mid-Range €136 ($160) / Day
This amount of money would allow you to spend the night in a fairly lovely bed and breakfast or lodge and you’d be able to eat at the charming pubs and restaurants in town.
Top-End €212 ($250) / Day
If you’re looking to splurge and not worry about money during your trip to Dingle, €212 a day will allow you to stay in the most excellent hotels and eat at all the most exceptional restaurants.
GETTING AROUND DINGLE
Since Dingle isn’t a huge city, it doesn’t have many public transportation options available to those who are just visiting. However, it’s still a charming city that is still quite accessible, especially if you can rent a car.
IS DINGLE SAFE?
Dingle is quite safe, and there shouldn’t be any worries when visiting here. Of course, just be sure to still utilize reasonable safety precautions such as watching your bag, being careful of where you go at night, etc.
Most people also worry about safety when driving in Dingle. To ensure safety, be sure to pay attention to road signs and follow Irish road rules, such as driving on the left side of the road.
Be sure to always consult with local travel advisories at the time of your visit to Dingle and also check current political climates before you plan your trip. It’s also a great idea to check with your hotel receptionists to see if they have any safety tips specifically for the area in which you’re staying.
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