Where should I visit on the Dingle Peninsula? Which shop has the best fish & chips in town? Which pub has the best live music? What activites are worthwhile in Dingle? Where is a good place to stay?
If I lived here for an entire summer and walked away without being able to recommend a few spots, wouldn’t I be cheating myself and all of my friends? Well, I think so.
So as I prepare for my next chapter of travels, I am keen to post about my new Irish hometown of Dingle (and Ballyferriter) for posterity’s sake.
If you’re going to be in Ireland and haven’t decided on your exact itinerary, I would strongly recommend a day or two around the Dingle Peninsula, but I’m biased because after three quick months I shamelessly consider myself a local and call Dingle my Irish home!
So, without further ado, here are my ‘When in Dingle’ recommendations for those of you headed to the incredible southwest of Ireland.
Eating Your Way through Dingle
I could eat fish and chips all day long. When I visited Reel Dingle Fish & Chips shop I didn’t want to leave. It was delicious! Regardless of your time in Dingle, I would recommend make Reel Dingle at least one of your meals.
Another must taste in Dingle is Murphy’s Ice Cream shop (there are two shops in the town). Handmade in Dingle with all locally produced milk, these guys know what they’re doing with dessert. My sister Lisa mentioned it to me when I arrived in Dingle, and she didn’t lead me astray. I tried a handful of their flavors (my favorite is still their sea salt caramel) during my summer in Ireland and I have yet to find one I wouldn’t try again.
Anxious to have your first Guinness? Check out Dick Mack’s or Foxy John’s. These two pubs have even more character and quirkiness than your average Irish pub. Each of these two pubs doubles as a hardware store. When was the last time you had a beer while being around a bunch of tools? Oh wait…
Music still ringing in your ears from the endless live music choices from last night? Swing by Bean in Dingle on Green Street if you’re looking for strong, delicious coffee and a delectable selection of pastries. Simply delicious and well priced.
Have a car and heading out of Dingle? Visit my neighbors at West Kerry Brewery on the Slea Head Drive for a pint and a tour of their brewery. Or skip the tour, bike from Dingle, and enjoy more than one… Weekdays at 2 PM, 5 euro/adult.
By far my favorite memories of my summer in Ireland were from the live music at Murphy’s Pub in Ballyferriter on Sunday evenings in the summer time. If you are anywhere near the Dingle Peninsula, this is worth a visit! Locals and tourists gather for live music and can request songs from the band or even sing for the crowd. Some of the songs and performances were so incredible I had tears in my Guinness…I mean eyes. Check West Kerry Live! for the schedule of live music all around the Dingle Peninsula.
Staying in Dingle Town
I will always recommend Murphy’s B&B, and it’s not just because they allowed me to pour my own pint of Guinness. The guesthouse is located upstairs from the Murphy’s Pub, which are both owned and operated by the wonderful Murphy family. The views overlooking the Dingle Marina from the upstairs rooms are fantastic and the location is unbeatable.
In my experience, their rooms are comfortable, clean, and well-stocked. The pub is open late and has live music each night, whose combination make having a great night and then stumbling to bed quite simple. Because it is located on Strand Street, it makes it the perfect spot for exploring town, too.
Another popular choice in Dingle is The Lantern Townhouse B&B. Friends recommended it to me, and although I only stayed at Murphy’s during my summer, I would trust their opinion enough to pass it on.
Outdoor Activities in Dingle
I had a great experience with local tour group Irish Adventures when Damian and I kayaked in the Dingle Bay in mid-August. If you are keen to meet Fungie and have a laugh with local guides, I’d strongly recommend this tour company.
Two of my favorite Dingle Peninsula days were visiting Great Blasket Island and biking the Slea Head Drive. Both offer unbelivable views of the rugged Kerry coastline and give you insight to the local history, both ancient and recent, here in Dingle.
Because there are many pilgrimage paths throughout the Dingle Peninsula which culminate at Mount Brendan, if you enjoy hiking and walking then this is your spot!
Dingle Peninsula History Lessons
I’m a nerd. Before I visit new places, I enjoy learning regional trivia – like this – and reading books or articles to more fully experience the culture and history of the region I am visiting.
If you’re headed to the Dingle Peninsula I’d recommend at least Google-ing ‘Tom Crean’, ‘Slea Head Drive‘, ‘Fungie the Dolphin’, ‘The Great Blasket Islands‘, ‘Earl Grey Scheme Kerry Girls’, ‘Ogham Stone’ and then checking out the publications I’ve linked to below.
One of my favorite books I read about Dingle Peninsula locals was An Unsung Hero, the story of Tom Crean from County Kerry and his Antarctic explorations.
When you arrive, people will think you’re a local!
Get Local Updates
West Kerry Live
This regional bi-monthly publications covering all things Dingle. Check their website for local and regional events, live music and events, and interesting articles covering everything ‘West Kerry’.
‘What’s On Dingle‘ Facebook Group
This open Facebook group has a little bit of everything – events in Dingle, live music events, Irish jokes, local news. If you know you’re headed to Dingle, it might be worth joining to pick up on the local flavor before you arrive in the Dingle Peninsula!
Another great way to find local treasures is to follow Instagram and Facebook groups based in Dingle. A couple of my favorites include: DingleBrewingCompany, Beoirchorcadhuibhne, as well as the What’s On Dingle Facebook group.