In this guide, we’ll go through our top 3 holidays from Knock or Dublin. For each destination, we’ll offer you insider tips on where to stay, how to get from the airport to the city, must-visit attractions, and the best foods to try.
Once you’ve been inspired by these enticing getaways, book smart with Trazler. You’ll be able to build a seamless trip in just a few clicks, giving you more time to focus on all the fun stuff you plan to do on vacation.
1. Alicante, Spain
Where to Stay
Alicante offers a variety of areas to stay depending on your preferences. If you want to be close to the main attractions, shopping areas, and nightlife, the Old Town (El Barrio) is a great option.
If you’re looking for a beachfront location, consider areas near Playa de San Juan or Playa del Postiguet. Many hotels offer stunning sea views.
For a more tranquil and luxurious stay, resorts in the Alicante Hills offer amenities like golf courses, spas, and fine dining.
And if you’re planning a longer stay or traveling with a large group, consider staying in the residential district of Ensanche Diputación. This area of Alicante is close to the city center but offers a more relaxed, local atmosphere.
Getting to Alicante
The 3-hour flights from Ireland to Alicante typically land at Alicante-Elche Airport (ALC), which is 9 km outside of the city. To get from the airport to the city you can take a bus, taxi or private car transfer. The journey to the city center takes around 20 minutes by car or 40 minutes by bus.
Brimming with history and an abundance of natural beauty, Alicante offers attractions for a wide variety of traveler interests.
One of the most popular things to do is visit the Santa Barbara Castle. Sitting at the top of Mount Benacantil, this fortress offers panoramic views of the city and sea.
Due to the warm climate, swimming is a popular pastime. Located right in the city center, Postiguet Beach is perfect for relaxing or swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. And for some underwater adventuring, the close island of Tabarca has a marine reserve where you can go snorkeling or diving.
Other popular activities include
- strolling through the Explanada de España,
- playing golf at Hotel Alicante,
- or taking a trip to the nearby Terra Mítica theme park.
Alicante’s cuisine is very Mediterranean, consisting of a tasty mix of seafood, local fruits and vegetables, and rice dishes. Be sure to try the famous Paella, Arroz a Banda (fisherman’s rice), and tapas.
When it comes to drinks, it’s common to have a glass of one of Alicante’s Denomination of Origin wines or Horchata, the local beverage.
Trazler Smart Tip: A tapas tour is a great way to explore the best tapas bars in town while learning about Alicante’s culture and cuisine.
Other things to know
The primary language in Alicante is Spanish. Workers in tourist areas are likely to speak English as well. Though learning a few Spanish phrases might enhance your travel experience, especially if you plan on traveling outside of the city.
Looking for another vacation destination in Spain? Check out our guides on Malaga here.
2. London, England
Where to Stay
Each neighborhood in London has its own charm that travelers might enjoy. For first-time visitors, Covent Garden and Soho offer easy access to major sights like the British Museum and the National Gallery, as well as many shops, restaurants, and theatres.
For those wanting a bit of luxury, Mayfair and Knightsbridge offer upscale hotels, proximity to high-end shopping, and attractions such as Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.
If you’re a history buff, consider the City of London or Westminster, where you’ll be close to the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey.
South Bank is a great choice for families, with attractions like the London Eye, Tate Modern, and the London Aquarium. It’s also a hub for street performers and delicious food markets.
And for those looking for a bit of quiet, Kensington, Chelsea, and Notting Hill offer a residential feel, with beautiful parks, independent shops, and the famous Portobello Road Market.
Getting to London
Flights from Knock are likely to land at London Stansted (STN), while flights from Dublin can land at London Stansted (STN), London Gatwick (LGW), or London Heathrow (LHR), depending on the airline.
From Stansted Airport, the Stansted Express train will get you to London Liverpool Street Station in about 47 minutes.
Heathrow Airport offers the Heathrow Express, which will get you to Paddington station in around 15 minutes. Alternatively, the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground connects Heathrow with the city center, although it is slower than the Heathrow Express (45-60 minutes).
From Gatwick Airport, the Gatwick Express train will take you to Victoria Station in around 30 minutes.
Trazler Smart Tip: Contactless payment offers the most affordable rates on London’s public transport, including trains and the Underground (“the Tube”).
Taxis are also available at all three airports, though fares and journey times vary greatly depending on traffic. Pre-booked airport shuttle services might be a cost-effective alternative for larger groups or those landing during peak hours.
If you’re looking to schedule an airport transfer that aligns exactly with your arrival time, Trazler will help you build a personalized trip in a single browsing session.
London is famous for its iconic landmarks, so visits to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey are a must for any first-time visitor. First-timers should also take a ride on the London Eye, or visit The Shard’s viewing platform to get unforgettable views of the city.
Art and history enthusiasts will be thrilled by the wealth of museums, many of which are free to enter. Popular museums in London include the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Art lovers will also enjoy a visit to the Tate Modern or the National Gallery.
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a while, take a stroll through Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, or St. James’s Park.
Each park is a little oasis right in the heart of the city, offering beautiful trails, tranquil ponds, and picturesque picnic spots.
You can’t take a trip to London without trying British classics like fish and chips, English breakfast, and Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding. Traditional afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream is also a must-try.
If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, London is home to a growing number of Michelin-starred restaurants like Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.
And for lovers of street food, vibrant markets like Borough Market, Camden Market, and Portobello Road Market offer delicious food from all corners of the globe.
Other things to know
London is one of the world’s most expensive cities, and the currency used is the British Pound. Keep an eye on the exchange rate to ensure you budget enough euros for your anticipated expenses.
3. Edinburgh, Scotland
Where to Stay
Edinburgh offers a range of neighborhoods to stay in, each with its distinct character. The Old Town is the historic heart of the city and is home to major landmarks like the Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. This is a great place to stay for sightseeing and first-time visitors.
Adjacent to the Old Town, the New Town is known for its Georgian architecture and high-end shopping on George Street and Princes Street. This is a great place to stay for those who want a luxurious stay and plenty of transportation options.
If you’re looking to enjoy the nightlife, Haymarket and The West End are full of restaurants, cocktail bars, and concert venues. Leith also has a great selection of restaurants, including several Michelin-starred establishments.
Finally, Bruntsfield and Morningside offer a more residential vibe. These areas are known for their local boutiques, brunch spots, and proximity to the Meadows, one of the city’s largest parks.
Getting to Edinburgh
When flying in from Knock or Dublin you’ll land at Edinburgh Airport (EDI), located about 10 miles from the city center. The travel time from the airport to the city center is approximately 30 minutes by taxi, tram, or the Airlink 100 express bus.
A visit to the Edinburgh Castle, which sits on an extinct volcano, is an absolute must. Home to the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, this historic fortress offers stunning city views.
Just below the castle, you’ll find the Royal Mile, a historic street that stretches down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Here you’ll find the Witches Well, St Giles Cathedral, and Cannonball House.
At the end of the Royal Mile pay a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Arthur’s Seat, the highest peak in Edinburgh.
Fans of literature should also visit the Writers’ Museum, take a literary walking tour, or grab a drink at The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling famously wrote the early Harry Potter novels.
Trazler Smart Tip: Book your visit tickets in advance so you can skip the queues and secure your spot at popular attractions
Edinburgh’s cuisine contains a blend of Scottish and international influences. Traditional Scottish dishes you must try include haggis (a savory pudding containing sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs), neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes), and Scottish salmon.
Be sure to start one of your days with a Scottish breakfast, which often includes black pudding, baked beans, tattie scones, and more.
Edinburgh is also known for its fine dining scene. There are several Michelin-starred restaurants, such as The Kitchin, which serves Scottish dishes with a French twist, and Number One at The Balmoral, known for its modern Scottish cuisine.
And for those looking to try some of Scotland’s famous alcoholic beverages, Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is filled with pubs and restaurants where you can sample Scotch whisky and locally brewed craft beers.
Other things to know
- The currency in Scotland is the British Pound (£).
- Edinburgh’s weather can be unpredictable, and it’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons in one day. You should pack layers and a waterproof jacket, even in summer.
- Alcohol cannot be sold in shops after 10 pm.
- Scotland is in the same time zone as Ireland, but daylight saving time starts and ends on different dates.
Our top 3 holiday picks from Knock or Dublin each offer unique experiences, from the sun-soaked beaches of Alicante to the hustle and bustle of London and the historic charm of Edinburgh. Whether you’re seeking cultural experiences, adventure, or relaxation, these destinations have got you covered.
Now, all that’s left to do is pick your favorite and let Trazler take care of the rest. With the power to plan a seamless vacation with a few clicks, your dream getaway is just around the corner. So check out our tips on traveling from Dublin and focus on the exciting times ahead. Safe travels!