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119 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!!!
I just returned from a three month bike tour of Ireland. I had no tour guide; I brought only myself, my bicycle, clothes (of course), and four guide books on Ireland. The one book that I used over and over again, leaving all others tucked abandoned within my pack, was the Lonely Planet guide. The LP guide has detailed chapters on anything and everthing in Ireland,...
Published on August 6, 2000 by K. Riley

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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
I've used the lonely planet guides on other trips before, and have always been very pleased, but this one left me with a different taste in my mouth. LP was the only guide we purchased, based on our previous experiences with them, but we had the chance to peruse others in the B&B's we stayed in throughout our trip. Of all of them, I'd rate the LP as the 2nd best for our...
Published on October 3, 2005 by Steven D. Lydick


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119 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!!!, August 6, 2000
By 
K. Riley (Fayetteville, AR) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I just returned from a three month bike tour of Ireland. I had no tour guide; I brought only myself, my bicycle, clothes (of course), and four guide books on Ireland. The one book that I used over and over again, leaving all others tucked abandoned within my pack, was the Lonely Planet guide. The LP guide has detailed chapters on anything and everthing in Ireland, including phone numbers, prices, hours, city maps, hostels, B&B's, hotels etc... It also includes history and facts so that when you do arrive in Ireland and see a castle or a dolmen or the Burren, you will know the story behind it. I can't say enough good things about this guide. If you are going to travel in Ireland, this book is a must!
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, October 3, 2005
By 
Steven D. Lydick "stevelydick" (Grand Island, NE United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lonely Planet Ireland (Paperback)
I've used the lonely planet guides on other trips before, and have always been very pleased, but this one left me with a different taste in my mouth. LP was the only guide we purchased, based on our previous experiences with them, but we had the chance to peruse others in the B&B's we stayed in throughout our trip. Of all of them, I'd rate the LP as the 2nd best for our interests - as they say, individual experiences may vary! Ireland has become a very expen$ive tourist destination, so upon reflection, we would have been happier with the Rough Guide. LP has just tried to hard to cover all levels of expense in one guide, and has ended up short-changing all of them in the process. I hate to say it, but I'd rather see them do one thing well than 3 things mediocre at best. I'd still put it above most of the other guidebooks though.

Our first and foremost gripe is how out of date the price estimates on everything are. I realize it was published two years ago, but we gradually learned to depend on everything costing about 20% more than LP listed. That's quite a jump for 2 years, indicating to me either poor fact-checking for the 2003 edition, or some pretty crazy inflation and a need for another update.

Our second gripe was the local maps. They failed to provide maps for a lot of the smaller cities, and only provided maps of the city-center areas in the larger ones. Given the rarity of Irish street signage, those maps would have been a God-send for navigation in towns. Also, and this may be a function of the 2003 printing, a lot of the towns in Ireland are instituting one-way patterns in their city-centers, and LP's maps rarely identified this.

A third, again related gripe is with the existance, or lack thereof, of the various restaurants, b&b's, shops, etc. listed in the guide. Probably 30% of the restaurants in the guide just aren't there any more. I realize they must have been when it went to print, but that didn't help us any.

Our last gripe is the rather uneven coverage of large areas of the country. Granted, it reflected perfectly the tourist patterns - heavy coverage of larger cities and popular tourist areas along the coasts, pretty awful coverage of less touristed interior areas. Unfortunately, we didn't just want to go where all the other tourists go, so this left our noses still further out of joint.

Overall, I'd say if you want a guide that covers the sightes well, both LP and Rough Guide do that. If you want to keep the expenditures down, Rough Guide does it much better. If you want to go all out, um, there's probably a third option, but neither of these two will do it well. If you want to be thrifty in some areas and splurge in others, then this guide is the closest you'll get to filling your schizophrenic needs in one place - although, in that case, I'd really recommend getting two guides, one for each end of the spectrum.

One last piece of advice - buy a heritage card when you get to your first castle/tomb/historic place! If you plan on visiting more than one or two historic places, its 20e cost will be recouped within days with all the free admissions it will get you for the rest of the trip!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good Lonely Planet guide, December 11, 2001
By 
RM (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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As with many other countries, Lonely Planet has a very good guide for Ireland. Every city, town, and village are covered in this book. No matter where we were, we could always find something on the location. The index is wonderfully useful for that purpose. There are also some suggested itineraries. My only criticism is that LP seems to have missed many of the excellent guesthouses in Ireland. I would think this should be LP's speciality, so found this aspect disappointing. Still, I would not leave home without LP, on this trip or any other for that matter. Even if you don't want to go the budget route --something many associate with LP -- you will gain from the descriptions of places, restaurant and pub recommendations, maps, history, and more. And despite its reputation, LP does list high-end hotels, castles, and the like. I haven't found a single excellent guide for Ireland, so I suggest doing some internet research before leaving and taking LP and at least one other guide (I like the Blue Guide series).
Bon voyage!!
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands Down Winner, January 4, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Lonely Planet Ireland (Paperback)
On my first trip to Ireland I brought 10 travel books with me. On my second trip to Ireland I only brought the Lonely Planet. This book is the definitive guide! No matter where I was in Ireland, this book had everything I needed and more.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers every little nook and cranny, December 14, 2005
By 
This review is from: Lonely Planet Ireland (Paperback)
My mom and I decided to spend a month driving all over Ireland. We took this book and the "Ireland (Eyewitness Travel Guides)" book. Both were very helpful. I'm drawn in more by pictures which is rather limited in this book but I promise in the 4 weeks we drove down all sorts of bad roads and lanes, never once did we come across a landmark, area or town that wasn't mentioned in this book! It was amazing.

I can't judge the hotel ratings but we tried some of their restaurant suggestions and they were great too! (In Kinsale, Co. Cork try The Blue Haven the pub features the same food as the restaurant. The salmon & sticky toffee pudding are a must have!)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst LP book I've ever bought, but some utility, May 28, 2007
I've been using Lonely Planet guide books for over 15 years, for all parts of the world---Africa, Europe, SE Asia, N America--and this is definitely the worst I've seen. I paid full price and wish I had read it (or the other reviews here) first.

A quick symbol of what's wrong with this book: The back cover, in an obvious effort to appeal to the Irish-American market, touts the book's usefulness for those wanting to "Get Back to Your Roots: hints and tips on researching the family tree." Not really my thing, but okay. Problem is, the entirety of information on genealogy consists of a tiny text box on p.682 that basically tells you to go buy some other books. Thanks! This same pattern is repeated throughout the book: endless efforts to appeal to a series of niche audiences (especially those w/ the $ to shell-out for the thing) with absolutely nothing treated in depth.

More serious problems:

--very thin information about transportation, particularly in less-traveled areas. thin info on ferries, driving, trains

--maps mediocre

--almost nothing discussing regional cultures, local histories, etc. Just a thin overview in the front

--coverage is best for those regions likely to be overrun by US tourists; other areas practically ignored

--the bias in accommodations is towards the high- and low-ends with the kinds of places most travelers would be interested in and able to stay at ignored (as with genealogical info, the list of websites giving accommodation info is far more useful than anything in the book itself)

--the border is pretty much a non-entity these days, but the differences between the two countries aren't discussed at all, or practicalities like driving a rental car across the border

(A minor point: is LP putting the orientation information (directories, getting to/from, health, etc) in the back of all its books, or just this one? The front seems a much more useful/obvious place to look for that kind of thing.)

In the end, the book isn't terrible--it just isn't very good. And that's hard to justify in an era when much of the information it contains can be had for free online.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Source of Information!, January 18, 2003
By 
"lindsay_001" (Sarnia, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lonely Planet Ireland (Paperback)
This Lonely Planet travel guide book is directed more towards the younger crowd on a budget. It is easy reading, with loads of useful information. I definitely recommend it!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must companion for the Emerald Isle, September 27, 1998
By A Customer
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This review is from: Lonely Planet Ireland (Paperback)
We spent several weeks in Ireland using this as our guide. While there are some things that are outdated (we could not find the CYBER CAFE in Galway) - the recommendations were helpful and the commentary interesting. They recommended a number of things that we would not have gone to had they not included them. Their city maps are a bit sparse but the level of information is excellent and clear.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition useless for actual travel, September 10, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was pretty proud of myself for planning to go "all Kindle" for my upcoming trip to Europe. What I mean is, instead of buying the dead tree edition of this book, I just clicked the "download to iPad" button and thought I was good to go. The night before the trip I took a second, closer, look at the contents of this ebook. OK, the text is not as nicely laid out as in the paperback editions that I'm used to. But the real deal killer was the maps. They are all crappy: Low resolution, pixelated and hard on the eyes. Some maps are readable anyway, but some (for example "Greater Dublin," location 2135) are blurry and completely illegible. And the whole-country color map, always found on the inside cover, doesn't seem to be present at all.

I have no opinion on the contents of this book yet. I'll let you know after I buy the paperback edition and take it on the road. I guess the future hasn't arrived yet ...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great help!, March 28, 2001
By A Customer
I have just returned from my first visit to Ireland - I hope there will be many more.
Before going I did a lot of background reading, but decided to take just one guide. I chose this and am very glad I did. It was quite accurate, easy to use, and fun to read during long waits for rural busses!
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Lonely Planet Ireland (Country Guide)
Lonely Planet Ireland (Country Guide) by Fran Parnell (Paperback - January 1, 2008)
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