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- 21 Jan 2022, 3 nights
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Kerry's biggest town, Tralee, is packed with traditional charm. It's right on the edge of the Dingle Peninsula, boasting Blue Flag beaches and close proximity to Glanageenty Forest, which has lush hiking trails. Another big perk is the safe and vibrant nightlife – wander around to discover plenty of snug bars where you can sip Guinness to the soundtrack of live bands playing folk music.
Hostels in Tralee are usually cosy bases filled with personal touches. Many are family-run, so you can expect a bit of local knowledge on what to see and do as well as a real taste of Irish hospitality. You'll find rooms with en-suite bathrooms, and many provide a free continental breakfast too. Look out for Tralee hostels that have free tea and coffee all day, so you can enjoy a warm drink after exploring Kerry's countryside.
The Mall is Tralee's high street, with a mix of clothes shops, restaurants and pubs: this is Ireland, after all. Heading south on Denny Street you'll find the Tralee Town Park, a large green space with a museum and a theatre, as well as rose gardens. Blennerville used to be Tralee's port, and has a quaint fishing village atmosphere with a windmill you can visit (and a pub to pop into afterwards).
You can get a feel for the region's culture and history at the Kerry County Museum, where there are exhibits including a medieval brooch found in a local bog and a pair of duelling pistols owned by an 18th-century politician. In the evening, try to bag tickets for a performance at Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre where you can see Irish dance and music shows. If you're in the mood for a dolphin-watching boat trip, take a bus to Dingle, which is about an hour away.
Cork Airport is the nearest to Tralee and is around 2 hours' drive away. Tralee Bus Station and Tralee railway station are right next to each other on John Joe Sheehy Road, which is useful if you're arriving by public transport. Both are about 6 minutes' walk from The Mall. The town centre is small enough to reach most places on foot, but if you want to go a bit further, the Tralee People's Bus Service has two routes that cover most of the suburbs.