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on 26 June 2002
This guide to Ireland looks at the country in fine detail and provides all the information you possibly need for your trip. There are sections on eating out, accomodation, and places of interest. Even the smallest of towns seems to be included with information on B&B's and prices. Places that are not worth seeing are also included, just so you don't end up wasting your time. I also found the history and general sections on Ireland very interesting. This is a wonderful read containing detailed maps and information.
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on 3 March 2004
Amazon have linked this review to the 2008 Edition as well as the 2004 one, so I am expanding the review to include both Editions. Don't buy anything except the most up to date edition.

2008 Edition (Village with painted houses on cover) Review.

Two editions later my review title from 2004 still works pretty well: This is the best laid out Guidebook going, with Lonely Planet's trademark plans of towns, villages and popular sites with all the places of interest, accommodations , bars etc show. There are excellent contents pages at the front to take you to the place in Ireland you want to get to and a good index at the back. There are short Irish history, culture etc sections to give you a feel for the country at the front. All the technical stuff: how to get to Ireland, insurance, visas etc is at the back.

This edition of the guidebook is more streetwise. Its writing, previously pretty anonymous, has aquired a relaxed modern Irish feel that makes it a lot easier to read through. There were seven researchers working on this edition, and it shows. Time and again this Guidebook goes the extra distance and gives you useful nuggets of information that will make you trip easier, more enjoyable or both. However, in order to provide more information on main tourist destinations some less popular places have been left out. The Guidebook is not as comprehensive as it used to be.

Despite all those researchers some information is as much as five years out of date, but overall this is now (as of early 2008) the most up to date Guidebbok to Ireland for budget travellers.

It is now completely internet friendly with web addresses all over the place.

While not being perfect this is as good as Guidebooks get. Take it out in any tourist location around Ireland and it is the nearest thing you will get to having a local person show you round.

2004 Edition (Shamrocks on cover) Review.

This guide is packed cover to cover with information in an easy to access style. Best of all are the many town maps which mean that the location of everything, from the Post Office, to the Banks, to the Bars and Accomodation is clearly laid out before you. The county by county coverage is pretty comprehensive, but with a few ommisions of smaller places that could have been included.

Since the last edition the guide has become fully web friendly, with website and email addresses included wherever possible.

As for the comprehensive nature of entires and how up to date they are, I am a frequent user of hostel accomodation in Ireland, so I can best judge by that. Coverage is in general good, but can be a few years out of date in some places. Also the choices of places in some major destinations is a bit idiosyncratic.

Overall however, an excellent guidebook that gives you the information you need when you need it.
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on 21 January 2010
I would be very surprised if the author has been to Galway since the last edition of this Guide. How much research would it take to find out that Bold Art Gallery has been closed since early 2009 or that Bistro Jackie has not exited since 2008?
He misses the real gems too, which to me looks like he hasn't even browsed off the beaten track. For instance shops like Twice as Nice (a great vintage shop which sells great Jewellery), Judy Greene's (who is a world famous local potter), Cloon Keen (a local perfumer, whose candles and body care are amazing and locally made), Griffins Bakery (which makes legendary bread and is steeped in tradition), and the Oslo Pub which brews their own beer. Yes they are harder to find....but isn't that a travel journalists job?
My suggestion is don't bother with the book, Bord Failte will have the same advice or even try tripadvisor.
A huge disappointment.
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on 1 September 2009
A huge book but with very little detail on what you should go and visit in each area. Classic lonely planet but always feel you are going to miss on on some really good stuff as it doesn't fit neatly into one of the LP categories
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on 24 July 2008
Bought this book because of the good review it had on Amazon. It proved to be invaluable on our recent holiday in Ireland and I would heartily recommend it.
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on 31 July 2009
Reading this beforehand was a bit of a chore but gave us an idea of what to look out for. But on holiday it was fantastic to quickly look up where we were, what to do and how to avoid crowds and traffic etc. We wouldn't have enjoyed our holiday as much without it!
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on 23 May 2010
We've been thinking of holidaying in Ireland for a while after hearing lots of positives about the country. I decided that to satisfy my questions and find out further info I'd invest in this Lonely Planet guide to Ireland. The books as you'd expect if you're familiar with LP Guides is incredibley informative and tells you lots of info about the locals and parts of the country that aren't always a tourist destination so you get a good all round knowledge from write ups from people who have travelled around the country.
I would recommend any of these books to anyone intending to visit any country as they are so informative from currency to food, local interest to history and they give you an insight into the many traditions of the locals.
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on 11 July 2010
We were visiting Southern Ireland - County clare, for the first time. I enjoyed the occasional tongue in cheek style of this guide, and the information was very useful. In fact the guide became our Oracle.
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on 17 July 2011
I received a free copy of this having won a competition run by Discover Ireland GB, and it came in extremely useful when planning a trip to Dublin with my friends. The book contains lots of really good information, including information about specific areas of Ireland, general background information about the country, and general travel advice. The only real criticism I have of this book is that at almost 800 pages it's not exactly travel sized, so if you're looking for something to take with you this probably isn't the book for you. Having said that, if I ever make another trip to Ireland, I'm sure I'll make great use of this book during the planning stages!
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on 1 July 2009
The Lonely Planet book was fantastic, told us exactly where to visit, eat and drink. The information was brilliant, and would buy again for another country.
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