115 of 116 people found the following review helpful
My husband and I recently took our first trip out of the U.S. and decided to take a dream trip to Ireland. We started reading this guide well before we left to get an idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. The guide is fantastic. The pictures and details about each place helped us to choose many sites in a small country with so many beautiful places to go. We took this guide everywhere with us. As first time European travelers we needed to know all the basics; how to get around, what a round-about was (we don't have those here), where to convert our money, hours that the places are open and when they close, customs of the country, etc. This book really layed it out and helped us in deciding where we wanted to go. We ended up traveling from Dublin to Connemara, to Cork, to Waterford and finally back to Dublin. We felt that we were able to pick facinating sites, covering Newgrange, which is older than the pyramids, to castles, (Blarney & Bunratty), Cathedrals in Dublin, Trinity College, shopping on Grafton Street and buying beautiful scarves and sweaters to take home at Blarney Woolen Mills. Some sites we passed as we drove across the country and decided to make part of our journey, such as Jerpoint Abbey, others we had planned, such as the Rock of Cashel. We also bought the street maps for Dublin done by DK. Our trip was fabulous and we now only choose the DK guides when we take a trip either in the states or abroad. For a beautifully done, comprehensive book, you cannot go wrong here. Take it from the first time traveler....this one had everything we needed.
75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 1998
On the plus side, the Eyewitness guide is easy to read and gives you a more accurate idea of what to expect at the various attractions across Ireland, and has a decent section on Northern Ireland, which is often noticeably lacking in many other guides. However, it is VERY limited in terms of its listings of lodgings, restaurants and pubs. I bought the guide while living in my husband's native Northern Ireland on the recommendation of a friend, but found I had to continually refer to other guide books to find hotels, B&B and restaurants that normal people (those of us with incomes under $100,000/year) can afford. Also, the listing of hotels, etc., at the back of the book is rather frustrating, as you have to flip back and forth many times to determine if there's an accommodation, etc. near where you want to travel. Basically, it's a good companion guide, but not very effective on its own.
155 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2001
The following is a true story. The only proof I have to offer is that I have absolutely nothing to gain by lying about it. . .
In september of 1996, I walked into my boss's office and informed him that I wouldn't be back the next day. I have a feeling that he knew I wouldn't be coming back the next week. . Or the next month, either. As a 7-year member of a Fortune 500 management team, I had to deal with some fairly stressful situations. I needed a break. A big one.
Brian, the understanding boss, stood up, shook my hand, turned around and took this book off his shelf. "I've always wanted to go" And with that he, almost sadly, handed me the tome.
I went home, cancelled my paper, had my mail stopped, made arrangements for a neighbor to feed my fish and started packing.
2 kites, 1 touring bike, 1 fly rod, 1 fly vest, 3 changes of clothes and 1 plane ticket later I was sitting staring out the window of a largish plane listening to a Nun tell me about the last flight she'd taken (from Ireland) and how she got air sick. This was to be her second flight.
Now the point of this little aside - Over the next 8ish hours, the Nun and I (she didn't get sick) read every page to one another. She had lived in Ireland for 40 some years and still hadn't heard of all the palces and sights in this book. It's that good. I visited small out of the way places that I figured would be overrun, only to find that they were just as had been explained in the DK book. I even took 2 walking tours with my new friend in the habit.
The book doesn't pretend that it will have every B&B listed in it's pages, nor should you expect it to. the "Bord Failte", or the "Irish Board of Welcomes" puts out a comprehensive listing of all B&B's in the country that are approved as far as having met their requirements. Anyway, pick that and a 10 punt phone card up at any news dealer in the airport even before you look for a cab.
As far as good pubs, just wait until 6:30 and hook up with the frst large group you see walking around. They'll be glad to take you with them. The whole country is just sickeningly friendly. And they're not looking for a tip. I had a waitress run to catch me on the street when I left a tip at my table. Had I been listening on the plane, the book explains who does and who doesn't expect a tip, where to hail a cab, the best places for lunch, what you want to do and why.
3 months later, I returned home with a completely different attitude about the world.
Anyway, the book has well earned it's stars as far as I'm concerned.
I can strongly recommend this book. . . And Brian? You should have gone.
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2000
I used this book for as my baseline for planning my week long trip to Ireland. The book is so well organized, it makes it easy to plot a course in Ireland and then to decide what to see while you are travelling from Point A to Point B. The beautiful photography and bird's eye view drawings give the reader an idea where to expect the greatest highlights. There are also very detailed descriptions, explanations, and historical narritaves. The book makes most of the guided tours at historical sights unnecessary. Often there was more information in the book than there was available on site. And the extra knowledge helped us greatly in avoiding most of the "tourist traps".(Helpful hint: Blarney castle was the biggest tourist trap/dissapointment on our trip. It that was the only castle in Ireland you saw, it would be OK. But you can find better castles along the side of just about any country road. And these castles won't have cheezy giftshops, entrance fees, photographer fees, electricity, repairs using modern technology, or 2 hour long lines.)
Even if you are not planning a trip to Ireland, the book is still very interesting and informative just to get an idea of all the treasures that await you on the Green Isle.
I promise this book will be the "Bible" of your journey to Ireland.
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 1999
I have been to Ireland now several times leading groups of university students, and I always recommend this book to them. Not only does it have a wealth of information, but the drawings and diagrams of the sites that they visit are of immeasurable help in appreciating and understanding the places that we do visit. Since we travel quite rapidly on this course, this is invaluable as a planner and as a reference. And at first, I only bought it for myself!!
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2003
This is an outstanding guide in a brilliant series; I only wish I'd found it before I'd wasted my money on the Rough Guides and Lonely Planet books. It's so dense with information and it's all so well-presented that it's an entertaining read even if you're just staying at home. All the practical information is there, in detail -- from general information to the little quirks and inconveniences that could mean the difference between feeling uncomfortable and feeling like you're on vacation. I'll never go anywhere again without the accompanying Eyewitness Travel Guide.
Of course, visit the tourist centers for the most up-to-date maps, phone numbers, and such. But for everything else, travel with confidence that you've got an encyclopedia of info that fits in your pocket.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2000
The Eyewitness Guides are the best! There're easy to read, have very good reviews of the sights and are easy to pack. Buy it before you go so you can spend some time getting familiar with the places you're going to see. When you arrive in Ireland buy a guide to B&Bs and a map at the tourist information center. That's all you'll you need for a great trip!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2005
My work has provided me with the opportunity to travel a good bit. I am the type of person who wants to get a working background for my destinations, both in terms of history and geographic layout. Because I work, I don't have a great deal of time to spend reading and studying different, often lengthy, travel guides before or during my trips.
Because these guides are concise, beautifully illustrated, relatively compact, and impeccably organized, I cannot recommend highly enough the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Travel Guides! The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide is THE guide I buy for every destination. Not only do I get a quick history and background of the destination, but I also will be provided with a visual guide to everything. The visual detail is really what sets the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides apart.
The street maps of common destination points are drawn in dimensional detail so you will visually recognize when you "get there." This is particularly helpful when you don't speak the native language.
The regional maps are colorful and concise. However, the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide really shows its stuff with the drawings associated with attractions such as museums, castles, and churches. Their presentation of building layouts allow the traveler who is short on time to quickly see the best of the attraction within the time the traveler has to spend.
Each DK Eyewitness Travel Guide has a good summary section in the back with practical information about where to eat, where to sleep, what to do, and how to get around.
While I may supplement the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide with others for a more detailed travel guide, the other guide is only more to read, not more to see. Buy the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide first for any destination.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2006
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are of such high quality that through them I venture thousands of miles without ever leaving home. This guide to Ireland, updated in 2003, was no exception.
Inside the cover of this, slightly larger than pocket size journal, are snippets of the island nation's history and most notable sons. Region by region you can explore the most beautiful gardens, castles and abbeys, as well as the homes and shrines of famous Irish.
Each page is of superior glossy quality. This makes for high quality pictures. Abbeys and Castles are reviewed with super exploded views of prominent structures and grounds. There is even a brief overview of Guinness and its history. The dark ale of the Isles commands much attention in the Republic's world famous pubs of which you'll become familiar in this book.
Take the journey to Ireland in person or with me through the pages of DK's fine travel guide.
Slán agus beannacht leat - Goodbye and blessings with you
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 1999
I have enjoyed many hours of daydreaming while looking at the beatiful pictures. I liked the coverage of flora and fauna, usefull information, national history, seasonal festivals, and city strees maps. It helped me decide how to spend my time in Ireland, to figure out what was a must see and how to fit it all in. A beautiful and usefull book!