Solo Travel in Ireland

A Bucket List of Unique and Unmissable Experiences which make Ireland Perfect for Solo Travellers

SFiddler marks St Patrick's Day in Dublin Glencar Waterfall, Leitrim, North-West Ireland Solo Tours of Ireland

Whether you're looking to meet new people or just yearning get away from it all, Ireland is a great place to travel independently. Famed for its legendary hospitality, its good 'craic' and its céad míle fáilte (hundred thousand welcomes), Ireland will greet you as a friend, wherever you're from and wherever you're heading to.

Safe, enchanting and above all welcoming, Ireland is an ideal destination for the solo traveller. Meeting people and breaking the ice is never difficult in Ireland, so you can expect good company and good memories. But, that doesn't mean you can't just get away from it all: if quiet solitude is what you really need, the peaceful isolation of Ireland's spiritual sites and unspoiled landscapes might be just what you're looking for.

The Bucket List of Solo Travel in Ireland

This Insider's Guide presents list of reasons why Ireland is attractive to independent travellers, and a set of experiences which you might consider when planning your own solo voyage on the Emerald Isle. Think of it as the Bucket List of Solo Travel in Ireland. Pack your toothbrush, your camera and a real sense of adventure.


Experience a real Irish Festival

Irish communities love to get together, enjoy the 'craic', and have the kind of party where everyone is welcome. If you're travelling alone in Ireland, and want to experience real Irish culture, you should be sure to find out what festivals are happening in the areas you visit.

You might be surprised by the number and variety of festivals in Ireland: we Irish don't need any excuse to get together and enjoy good company, good music and the occasional pint of Guinness. Popular and famous festivals include Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann traditional music festival, The Dublin Horse Show, Fairyhouse Easter Festival, the truly bizare Killorglin Puck Fair (where a goat is formally crowned king in the Kerry town of Killorglin), and the All-Ireland Finals in Hurling and Gaelic Football.

Some of the festivals have to be seen to be believed. There's The Rose of Tralee beauty pageant, a self-ironic throwback and one of Ireland's guilty pleasures, famously satirized as "The Lovely Girls Competition" in hit Irish comedy show, Father Ted.

Then there's the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, which has been finding spouses for shy farmers for as long as anyone can remember. Expect a fun, tongue-in-cheek pageant of innocent, semi-awkward flirting. It's good-humoured, unobtrusive and well-meant Irish fun.

Aside from these and other quaintly caricatured examples, each local community will have its own festivals, celebrating pretty much anything, and they're a great way to experience Irish culture, meet the locals, and find some unmissable photo opportunities to take with you. There will be dancing, drinking and plenty of laughter at them all so let your inhibitions go and get involved.

St Patrick's Day Festival and Parades

The most unmissable of all Irish experiences is St Patrick's Day, celebrated on 17 March every year not only in Ireland but across the globe. Traditionally a commemoration of Ireland's patron saint, St Patrick's Day has come to represent much more than this, becoming a unifying symbol of togetherness, acceptance and good-natured fun for individuals from all backgrounds. It's hard to imagine a mainstream festival better suited to the open-minded solo travel community.

Click to find Festivals & Events in Ireland ▼

Music Festivals and Walking Festivals

Music Festivals and Walking Festivals are expecially good ways to meet local people and soak up the culture, seeing it through their eyes and hearing it through their ears.

National Festivals

Dublin & The East

Galway & The West

Cork & The South-West

Kilkenny & The South East

Northern Ireland

Donegal, Sligo & The North West


Retreat into Ireland's peaceful Surroundings

Finding inner peace in solitude, and escaping into a place of "retreat", has a long history here in Ireland. Since the Seventh Century, monastic hermits have sought out the grounding isolation of Ireland's magical landscape, its plunging valleys and hidden lakes. Hundreds of years on, Ireland's peaceful landscapes remain as tranquil, calm, and unspoiled as ever.

It's no surprise, then, that Ireland remains such a profoundly spiritual destination, whatever your faith or beliefs. Today, Ireland attracts visitors from across the globe who retreat to Ireland's peaceful escapes for a summer's escape, a week's leave, or just an afternoon of time-out during a hectic travel schedule.

To explore Ireland's isolated locations and sacred sites, you can join spiritual group tours, visit designated 'retreat' accommodation, attend yoga or meditation retreats, book a fitness vacation, or simply 'go it alone' and explore Ireland's most peaceful destinations in your own way and at your own pace.

Sacred Sites and Locations in Ireland

In planning your spiritual retreat in Ireland, be sure to look up destinations and sacred sites such as the below. These are just some of Ireland's recognised sacred locations.

Irish Retreats: Locations, Attractions and Organisations

Ireland is such a perfect place to retreat and get away from it all, but even in planning your alone-time, you don't have to go it alone. There are various destinations, organisations and individuals which can help you to achieve the kind of escape you're looking for.

Buy a Round in a traditional Irish Pub

The traditional Irish pub lies at the very heart of Irish culture and, if you want to meet people and get a real taste of life in Ireland, the pub is the first place to go. The traditional Irish pub is one of life's great levellers: social status is irrelevant, age is forgotten (for over-eighteens, at least), and personal background is just something to pry about over a few drinks.

Pull up a stool in an Irish bar and it won't be long before people introduce themselves. Buy them a drink and you'll have great company for the duration of your stay. We Irish are great talkers, and we love to pass the hours with engaging banter and good old Blarney. If you're lucky, you might even catch a trad session - a traditional celtic music night, where local musicians play for their own amusement and for anyone else who happens to be there.

Buying a Round

A crucial element of Irish pub etiquette is the round system, where each group member takes their turn at buying a drink for the others. To avoid or skip your 'round' is a serious social faux pas, whatever your own cultural background. In Ireland, it is often said: "It is impossible to two men to go to a pub for one drink".

Walk the Irish Landscape

Ireland has so much to attract foreign visitors - the history, the culture, the friendly familiarity of the people - but it is the landscape which underpins each of these charms and keeps people coming back year after year. Travelling alone gives you the flexibility to fasten up your boots, get out there and see the world. And the Irish landscape is something you don't want to miss.

Wild and untamed, the landscape of Ireland's coastline is something you have to experience for yourself. Head to the west coast for the embracing majesty of the Atlantic, to the North for the world renowned Giant's Causeway, or to the East for the charming, calming presence of the Irish sea, ever to your left as you head south from Wicklow to Wexford and then Waterford.

Inland, you will find no shortage of glens, mountains, forests and dales to keep you occupied and your camera clicking busily. Walks will often, but not always be hilly. Ask at the local outdoors shops which are the best routes for your level experience, fitness and enthusiasm.

Walking Tours in Ireland

A great way to break up your walking adventure in Ireland is to join a walking tour. With the help of a guide, you can put your map and compass away, take in the scenery, and know that you are experiencing some of the best routes, approved by local experts. Perhaps more importantly, you will be able to chat with others about where they have been and what they have experienced, getting great tips for where to head off to on the next leg of your solo tour of the globe.

Top Tip:

If you're interested in finding out more about walking in Ireland, you might like to consolute the wide range of Ireland adventure travel articles which is available through the outdoor adventure specialists, AWE365.

Landscapes of Ireland

Learn to do something totally new

If you're looking to break up your alone-time in Ireland, and would like to spend a day of even a few days with like-minded people, you might consider taking a class or attending a residential course.

If you have a special hobby already, re-discovering it abroad is a great way of reconnecting with the people, places and experiences that you miss most about home. Learning new things about your hobby abroad can also give you a fresh perspective to take back with you when you are ready to return home.

But what about just learning something totally new and different? What better opportunity can there be to learn new things than when you are surrounded by new people and new places?

Classes or courses for beginners in particular are a great way to meet local people, because they are such great levellers: everyone in attendace is new to the experience, out of their comfort zone and maybe even feeling slightly out of their depth. Suddenly, you're the confident, broad-minded one with an interesting story to tell - you've travelled all this way after all...?

Have a jam with local musicians. Try your hand at drawing and painting. Give ceramics and sculpture a go. What about joining in with Irish sports and games?

Classes and Courses in Ireland

There is a strong culture of lifelong learning in Ireland and you won't have to look too hard to find courses and classes which interest you. For short, informal sessions, look out at the local community and arts centres. For longer, more structured and even residential courses, check out some of the below.

Pay it Forward: Volunteering in Ireland

Volunteering is a great way of enhancing your connection with the places you visit, and can give a strong feeling of reward that you have given something back to the community you have learned to love. If your stay here in Ireland is only brief, volunteering might not be easy (though local charities and organisations certainly won't decline your help!), but solo travellers spending more than a week or two in Ireland will certainly be able to find ways of contributing.

It's a huge misconception of solo travel that people think travelling alone means being alone, even being lonely. For most experienced solo travellers, the reality couldn't be further from the truth, and volunteering is yet another means for independent travellers to meet and connect with local people and the causes which matter to them most.

Click for Useful Volunteering Contacts ▼

Volunteer Ireland

Volunteer Now - Northern Ireland

Volunteer Dublin City

Go Overseas - Volunteering

How to find other Solo Travellers

Ireland is known throughout the world for its friendliness and hospitality and you will find this wherever you choose to stay. It's a classic tip for solo travellers that hostels are the ideal place to meet potential travel buddies, but here's a sneaky tip: you don't have to stay in a hostel to meet people there. Most hostels will have a lounge, a bar and an internet connection, all which make them very popular gathering places for travellers of all kinds. Drop in, pay for a drink or a meal, and say 'hello'.

Solo Traveler Online Community

As a solo traveller, you are never alone: you are part of a proud global community which is tight-knit and very organised. Here are some of the people and the resources around which this community agglomerates.

Where to Stay?

Hostels & Group Accommodation ▼

Hostels in the North-West of Ireland


Hostels in the West of Ireland


Hostels in South-East Ireland


Backpacker Accommodation & Hostels in the South-West of Ireland


Hostels in the North-West of Ireland


We are currently working to add new listings to this section of the Ireland Travel Guide. If you know an attraction or lodging which you think should be listed here, please get in touch to let us know.


Hotels ▼

Hotels in Dublin


Hotels in the East of Ireland


Hotels in the West of Ireland


Hotels in the South-East of Ireland


Hotels in the South-West of Ireland


Hotels in the North-West of Ireland


Hotels in the North and Border Regions


B&Bs ▼


B&Bs and Guesthouses in East Ireland


B&Bs and Guesthouses in West Ireland

Abbey Court, Westport

Abbey Court B&B in the west of Ireland
Westport, Co. Mayo

A central location makes this an ideal B&B for exploring Westport town. An easy walk from Westport's traditional pubs and acclaimed restaurants.

Bertra House B&B

Bertra House B&B in the west of Ireland
Westport, Co. Mayo

Between Westport and Louisburgh, Bertra House is ideally situated Croagh Patrick, Bertra beach and The Great Western Greenway.

Buttermilk Lodge

Buttermilk Lodge B&B in the west of Ireland
Clifden, Co. Galway

Buttermilk Lodge is warm and friendly, a traditional Irish home. Close to Clifden with restaurants, pubs and traditional Irish music.

Clifden Bay Lodge

Clifden Bay Lodge B&B in Galway
Clifden, Co. Galway

Situated on the scenic Lower Sky Road, Clifden Bay Lodge is just 3km from Clifden, the capital of Connemara. Open year-round.

Conerstones B&B

B&B in the west of Ireland
Moyard, Co. Galway

Cornerstones is a Four-Star Irish Tourist Board approved Bed and Breakfast, situated in the beautiful scenic village of Moyard.

Crag Shore B&B

B&B in the west of Ireland
Lahinch, Co. Clare

This traditional family B&B is quietly situated on a hill with beautiful views onto the Atlantic Ocean and its splendid coastline.

Creevagh Heights B&B

Creevagh Heights B&B in the west of Ireland
Creevagh, Co.Mayo

A beautiful family-run Bed and Breakfast in the most scenic part of north County Mayo - "a little piece of heaven".

Fough East B&B

B&B in the west of Ireland
Ougherard, Co. Galway

Nestled beside Lough Corrib and the Connemara mountain range, Fough East is just two minutes' walk from local pubs and restaurants.

Grovemount House

B&B in the west of Ireland
Ennistymon, Co. Clare

Family-run guesthouse on the outskirts of Ennistymon on your way to the Cliffs of Moher and the unforgettable Burren landscape.

Heron's Rest B&B

B&B in the west of Ireland
Galway, Co. Galway

On the banks of the river Corrib in the heart of Galway's Latin Quarter. A boutique interior with gourmet breakfasts and a welcoming feel.

Hillbrook Farm B&B

B&B near the Burren
Lahinch, Co. Clare

An elegant and traditional Irish B&B situated on a real Irish farm on the edge of the Burren National Park, near Lahinch in rural County Clare.

Kate's Place B&B

B&B in the west of Ireland
Doolin, Co. Clare

A homely and inviting B&B in Doolin. King, queen and double bedrooms all have their own private en-suite bathroom.

Linden Hall B&B

A B&B in Ireland
Westport, Co. Mayo

A warm and airy period-style townhouse in the heart of Westport town. Expect good humour and a relaxed atmosphere.

Lurgan House

Irish B&B bedroom
Westport, Co. Mayo

A warm and wecloming traditional family home just two minutes' walk from Westport town centre. The views will leave you speechless.

Railway Lodge

B&B west Ireland
Connemara, Co. Galway

Modern convenience with traditional Irish style. Each bedroom has modern en-suite facilities as well as orthopaedic beds.

Slieve Aughty Centre

B&B west Ireland
Loughrea, Co. Galway

Total immersion in nature and quality time with family. Go horseriding or walking through the forest, enjoy delicious organic food.

The Garden Gates

B&B in the west of Ireland
Westport, Co. Mayo

Five-star bed and breakfast between Westport and Castlebar. A warm and friendly welcome awaits you, personal attention is guaranteed.

Churchfield B&B

B&B in the west of Ireland
Doolin, Co. Clare

Located within a couple of hundred yards of Doolin's Traditional Music Pubs and within short walking distance of shops and restaurants.


B&Bs and Guesthouses in Central & South-East Ireland

Dromana House

Dromana House, Cappoquin, Co.Waterford
Cappoquin, Co.Waterford

Set on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river Blackwater Dromana House is surrounded by 600 acre privately owned estate. There are garden and woodland walks a plenty. With a multitude of of activities available, from river fishing to boating and from croquet to boules there is something for all ages at Dromana House.

Kilcannon House

Kilcannon House B&B
Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

A relaxing stay in atraditional Irish B&B, nestled in the wonderful West Waterford countryside, surrounded by rolling hills. Free Wi-fi. Ample private parking. Dog kennels in the enclosed yard. Lock up for motorbikes and bicycles. 2 Complimentary bikes available for guest. Tea, coffee, herbal tea, decaf coffee. Telephone: +353 (0)58 68418 Mobile Phone: +353 (0)85 8631659

Rosquil House B&B

Rosquil House
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

Phil & Rhoda Nolan welcome you to Rosquil House, a guesthouse offering the ambience of a hotel with the best traditions of Irish hospitality. AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION WINNER - Guest Accommodation of the year 2010 Ireland Michele Erdvig's Emerald Award 2010 - Favourite New Guesthouse. phone +353-56-7721419 +353-56-7721419 fax +353-56-7750398

Augherea Guest House

augherea B&B
Longford, Co. Longford

A period residence and coach house just 1km from Longford Town, Augherea was built in 1775 and retains many of its original features.

Ashley Park House

Ashley Park House
Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

An 18th century country house offering the accommodation on the grandest scale and in a setting of unmatched tranquility and peace.

Dawn House B&B

Dawn House B&B
Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford

Enjoy a warm welcome at Dawn House in rural County Waterford with amazing scenery, beautiful green fields and forests.

Duncrone B&B

Duncrone B&B, South-East Ireland
Ardmore, Co. Waterford

Spaceous grounds make Duncrone especially family friendly, and the breathtaking views will make you want to stay forever.

Greese View House

Greesview B&B
Moone, Co. Kildare

A relaxing setting with extensive grounds and fanastic views from the spacious conservatory. The perfect place to unwind.

Marsh Mere Lodge

Marshmere Lodge B&B
Arthurstown, Co. Wexford

Enjoy good food, stunning views while sampling the local cuisine and authentic Irish hospitality. Beside Dunbrody Country House.

Newlands House

Newlands B&B
Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

Newlands Country House offers true luxury in the charming Kilkenny countryside, just a short distance from the bustle of Kilkenny city.

Rivervalley Farmhouse

Rivervalley Farmhouse B&B
Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford

Traditional Irish hospitality in a beautiful rural area of Wexford, 30 minutes from Rosslare and just two hours from Dublin.

Springview Farm House

Spring View Guesthouse
Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny

A traditional Irish farm house to take you even closer to the authentic Irish experience. A charming 18th-century residence on a working farm.

Woodlands House

woodlands country house, Gorey, Ireland
Gorey, Co. Wexford

At Woodland Country House, relax in comfortable old-world charm in an idyllic Wexford setting. Well located for Gorey & Courtown Harbour.

Woodstock Arms

Woodstock Arms, Ireland
Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny

A comfortable and affordable family-run B&B and pub situated on the central square in the picturesque village of Inistioge, Kilkenny.

Inny Bay

Inny Bay, Ireland
Annagh, Co. Longford

A Bed and Breakfast and Self Catering accommodation located on the peaceful shores of Lough Ree, just 20 minute drive from Athlone.

Killurin Lodge

Killurin Lodge, Wexford
Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

A four star, family run B & B offering a hearty Irish Welcome in a modern, comfortable setting. Wexford town is only a 5 minute drive.


B&Bs and Guesthouses in South-West Ireland

YNA Dingle Cottages

Dingle, Co. Kerry

A huge selection of guesthouse located in the picturesque fishing village of Dingle, Co. Kerry and it's surrounding areas.

Abbey Court, Kenmare

Kenmare, Co. Kerry

Luxury accommodation near the shore of Kenmare Bay, just a short walk from the town itself. Here, nothing is overlooked but the sea.

Ashfield B&B, Kenmare

Kenmare, Co. Kerry

Stunning mountain views and comfortable, spacious en suites set Ashfield B&B apart. Off the road parking and WiFi available.

Beachview B&B

Allihies, Co. Cork

Located in Allihies on the Beara Peninsula, Beachview is family-run and family-friendly. Immaculate rooms and very personal service.

Cashen Course House

Ballybunion, Co. Kerry

Perfect for the passionate golfer, Cashen Course House is ideally located for visitors to the Ballybunion Old Course and others nearby.

Cill Bhreac House

Dingle, Co. Kerry

A charming and friendly B&B, Cill Bhreac House boasts an enviable location with commanding views over Dingle Bay and the surrounding hills.

Kathleen's Guesthouse

Killarney, Co. Kerry

Charming and spacious guesthouse in an ideal location for walking in the National Park, catching a round of golf or exploring Killarney town.

Sallyport House

Sallyport House B&B in Kenmare, Ireland
Kemare, Co. Kerry

A charming Edwardian house on Kenmare Bay, surrounded by trees and parkland, and abutted by Reenagross Woodland Park.

The Smugglers Inn

Waterville, Co. Kerry

Thirteen well-appointed rooms, just yards from the globally-renowned Waterville Golf Course. Enjoy seas views or mountain vistas.


B&Bs and Guesthouses in Donegal and Sligo


B&Bs and Guesthouses in Northern Ireland and the Border Region

Skelly's B&B

B&B in Northern Ireland
Virginia, Co. Cavan

Recently opened, family-run B&B in a great location close to numerous services, activities, attractions, local landmarks and historic sites.

Teach an Cheoil

farmhouse B&B in Northern Ireland
Ballycastle, Co. Antrim

Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast in the stunning and picturesque Glens of Antrim close to Ballycastle, an easy drive from the Giant's Causeway.

J&J Guesthouse

Ballycastle , Co. Antrim

A traditional Irish family home ideal for touring nearby glens and the giants causeway. Short walk from beach, shops, pubs and restaurants.

Church View B&B

Belturbet , Co. Cavan

Church View is located in the heart of the Irish Lakelands in the heart of Cavan, and is the perfect getaway destination in Ireland.

Nutgrove House

Luxury B&B in Northern Ireland
Downpatrick, Co. Down

Historically Listed Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Downpatrick, County Down, rooms are fully en-suite with bath and shower facilities.

Arch House B&B

Arch House Bed and Breakfast in Northern Ireland
Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

Arch House B&B offers stunning views of Belmore, Benlaughlin and Cuilcagh mountains. Book direct to get the best possible value.

Arley House B&B

Dundrum , Co. Down

Offering spectacular views of the Mourne Mountains, Arley House provides an ideal location for visitors exploring Co. Down and the North.

Hollow Stream B&B

Kingscourt , Co. Cavan

Hollow Stream is located close to Cabra Castle, an ideal location for visitors travelling to the area, whether for business or pleasure.

North Coast Country

B&B in Northern Ireland
Ballintoy, Co. Antrim

Contemporary, high quality guest house in Ballintoy. The ideal location to explore the Causeway coastal route.

Rowanville B&B

Grange, Co. Sligo

Four-star accommodation and warm, friendly Irish hospitality with hotel-style bedrooms at B&B rates. All rooms en suite, wifi throughout.

The White Hill

Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan

Just a few yards from Lough Muckno, a spacious modern country house in a spectacular setting. Half a mile from Castleblayney centre.

Number Nine

Downpatrick, Co. Down

Located within walking distance of Downpatrick. Number Nine is surrounded by the many activities and natural beauty of the area.


Self-Catered Cottages & Holiday Homes ▼


Cottages & Holiday Homes in East Ireland


Cottages & Holiday Homes in Western Ireland


Cottages & Holiday Homes in South-East Ireland


Cottages & Holiday Homes in South-West Ireland


Self-Catered Accommodation in North-West Ireland


Safety for Solos: Staying Safe in Ireland

Ireland is a very safe place to visit and you will find most people to be friendly and welcoming. Statistically, it is among Europe's safest travel destinations. (Caveat: travellers may wish to avoid Belfast around 12 July which marks the height of the politically-charged marching season.) But despite the reputation for friendliness and safety which Ireland enjoys internationally, you should apply all the usual solo travel precautions, protecting yourself, your documents, your money and your possessions in that order.

The Irish police are called Garda (pl. Gardaí). If you require ememergency assistance from Gardaí, ambulance, fire service, coast guard or mountain rescue, dial 999 or 112. The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) is specialist service offering immediate support and assistance to tourists who are victimised while visiting Ireland. They have a list of safety tips for visitors to Ireland.

Click to reveal 5 Safety Tips for Solo Travellers ▼

A well-respected solo globetrotter of huge experience, Janice Leith Waugh of sets out her five principles of safety as follows:

  1. Public is safer than private: stay in busy public places wherever possible, especially if you're travelling with new acquaintences you've met along the way.
  2. Proactive is better than reactive: if you're lost or confused and need help, confront the situation and ask an appropriate person for help. Don't wait for an inappropriate one to find you.
  3. Engage others in your personal safety: connect with officials, security guards, bar staff, and so on so that they know you're alone. They will look out for you and move unwanted attention away.
  4. Decisions should not be rushed: so often, people who have been conned or robbed will say how stupid they feel for having fallen for a scam. Take your time over every deicision and don't let anybody pressure you into anything you're not sure about.
  5. When politeness fails... being polite is definitely the best way to enter into any interaction, especially when you're abroad and travelling alone. But, if you feel threatened or pressured, it's okay to be direct, blunt or even rude.

Beyond Ireland: Onward Solo Travel

Where next?

In its location, it language and its culture, Ireland is a clearly marked trail leading towards neighbouring nations, equally suited to independent travel. Scotland, England, Wales and France are only a short ferry journey away. By air, the whole of Europe beckons.

Having met travel buddies in Ireland, you might want to move on as a pair or group. Equally, you might consider joining a group for the next leg of your adventure. And, of course, for the truly independent of spirit, you can strike it out on your own once again and explore the vast world which is right on Ireland's doorstep. Ireland is the perfect gateway to all that Europe has to offer.

By the time you leave, Ireland will be your new home so don't wait too long before you come back.

Solo Tours of Ireland ▼

My Ireland Tour offers a range of singles tours of Ireland, where travellers can join like-minded people to discover Ireland as a group.

Visit our solo tours page to find out more.


My Ireland Travel Guide