Bus Eireann is a good way to get around. The trains don't go all over but the bus does, and it takes a bit longer but they have nice comfy seats and you can catch a nap. I stayed in Dingle for a few days, and the bus goes right there. The town is easily walkable. My friend and I went for walks in the countryside around there, and then one day we took a van tour of the rest of the peninsula. It's a little eight-seater or so van, with a guide/driver from there, and he just drives you around and tells you things, and stops at certain places to get out and look. But, you have to have at least four (or was it six?) people to go on the trip -- we got other people staying in the hostel to come with us. You can also rent bikes and do a daytrip of biking around the peninsula. We wanted to, but the weather was horrid, so we opted for the bus tour instead.
Come here for Guiness, Irish music, and late nights with backpackers and locals. Sure, it's full of tourists, but that doesn't make the pubs any less Irish!
Killarney's a good base for the Ring of Kerry, however it is the hugest tourist trap I've ever seen. Worse then Disneyworld. I suggest you visit any small town within the country and rub elbows with the farmers to experience the "real" Ireland.
County Kerry's Killarney is a popular tourist stop, and in the summer the streets are crowded with tour buses. Finding a place to stay in a Killarney hostel shouldn't be too much of a problem during weeknights, but call ahead to get a bed on the weekend as it can get fairly crowded. Tourism seems to go back decades ago, and the town thrives on the income that comes from tourists.
There are some nice walks within the city and along the river. Ross Castle is a decent walk away, but is a quite scenic historical place. Built in the fifteenth century, it sits on the the shore of Lough Leane and is worth a tour inside. Muckross Abbey, the ruins of a Franciscan abbey, is the other attraction local to Killarney. There is also a cathedral (where you can find free parking if you're driving a car) inside the city.
Because of the town's location, a Killarney hostel makes a good base camp for those wanting to travel Ring of Kerry, another highly traveled route by tour buses. Nightlife is quite lively, with many pubs and live music venues. There are also lots of opportunities to see some sort of popular athletic games -- Gaelic soccer, rugby, and rowing.
However, for a real Irish experience, it might be best to pass through Killarney and find a smaller town, since Killarney seems to have become a plastic pit stop for tour buses and tourists looking to buy trinkets. While it's not as a large city as Dublin or Cork, it definitely can reach a fair level of popularity with visitors.
Hi, I'm Emily Schreiber,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Killarney hostels. Welcome.