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Best of Ireland

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Connemara
Tour Style: First Class
11 Days from $1,778 per person

Ravishingly beautiful and enchanting to explore, you'll soon learn why the Irish say if you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough… 

Visit the Ring of Kerry and unspoilt region of Western Ireland featured in John Wayne's ‘The Quiet Man'. See the stronghold of the O'Donnell Clan and beautiful Dingle Peninsula, as well as Adare, one of Ireland's prettiest villages.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Spend the morning relaxing and enjoying the sights of Dublin. Later meet your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city with a Local Specialist. This evening visit Glasnevin Trust for an informative and poignant tour with a Local Specialist where you will hear stories about some of the brave characters from recent Irish history. Enjoy a Welcome Reception of drinks and canapés and get to know your fellow travelers.
    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Ballsbridge
  3. Head through scenic Co. Wicklow known as The Garden of Ireland and on to New Ross – the ancestral home town of John F. Kennedy. Visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship to gain a Cultural Insight into the plight of Irish Emigrants. Later arrive in Waterford and see how the famous crystal is crafted during your guided tour of the visitor center to gain a Cultural Insight.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Dooleys
  4. Travel via the historic seaport town of Youghal, once home to Sir Walter Raleigh. At Blarney, gain the 'gift of the gab' as you have a chance to kiss the famous stone. Arrive later in Killarney, your home for the next two nights.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Dromhall
  5. Today we experience Ireland's most scenic coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry. It is undoubtedly one of the most magical and varied places in the whole of Ireland and is truly a photographer's delight. We will also see Daniel O'Connell's Cahirciveen, the fishing village of Waterville, the Black Valley and Moll's Gap. Here mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is often breathtaking beyond words.
    meal(s):FB
  6. Explore the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula with its small fishing towns and rugged landscape. Visit Adare, one of the prettiest villages in Ireland. Your orientation of Limerick includes views of St. Mary's Cathedral, King John's Castle and the Treaty Stone.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Greenhills
  7. This morning enjoy an included visit to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park dedicated to life in Ireland during the 18th and 19th century. Visit the magnificent Cliffs of Moher and see the history of the cliffs brought to life with a visit to the ‘Atlantic Edge' exhibition. Later arrive in Galway with free time to see the Cathedral or stroll through Eyre Square.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Connacht
  8. This unspoilt region of Western Ireland is captured in the film ‘The Quiet Man' featuring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Today see the untouched landscape of the Connemara with its picturesque mountain ranges and golden beaches that stretch out into the Atlantic. During your scenic drive, stop at Kylemore Abbey for an included visit to the country's most romantic castle and walk through the Victorian Walled Garden. Travel on to Westport House for a memorable Be My Guest experience. Enjoy a welcome drink in the impressive drawing room which features James Wyatt's 19th century sky ceiling and an impressive original parquet floor. After a guided tour of the house you will be hosted for a delicious afternoon tea in the restored Victorian kitchens.
    meal(s):FB, BG
  9. Heading north stop in the town of Knock to view the Marian Shrine. See the grave of Irish poet W.B. Yeats in the churchyard of Drumcliff. Visit the town of Donegal and view the castle which was once the stronghold of the O'Donnell Clan. Later arrive in Sligo.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Clarion/Fitzwilton
  10. Travel back to Dublin where you will have time to explore this lively city. Walk down Grafton Street and see the street performers and musicians or walk the banks of the River Liffey and cross the Ha’penny Bridge. Tonight join your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):FB, FD
    hotel:Clayton Leopardstown
  11. After a hearty Irish breakfast, say farewell to your Travel Director and fellow travelers as your Irish vacation comes to an end. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
    meal(s):FB
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip itinerary.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 full breakfasts, 1 cream tea, 5 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with Banoffee and Baileys flavors in the Old Kitchens of a stately 16th century home near the charming town of Westport

Cultural Insight

  • Explore the tragic history of Ireland's famine emigration at the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, a replica of one of the original famine ships used in the 1800s, and learn how delicate Irish crystal is crafted at the House of Waterford Crystal during a workshop tour

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dublin
  • Orientation of Waterford, Killarney, Limerick, Galway, Donegal
  • Visit the Glasnevin Trust in Dublin, Famine Ship in New Ross, the crystal showroom at Waterford, Blarney to kiss the stone and gain the ‘gift of the gab', Adare, Bunratty folk park, Cliffs of Moher, the rugged Burren, mystical Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, the Marian Shrine at Knock, County Donegal
  • View St. Patrick's Cathedral and Phoenix Park in Dublin, King John's Castle and St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, Donegal Castle
  • See the Cathedral of Galway
  • Scenic drives along the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula
Definite Departure
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Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $400 p.p.

Triple Discount: $20 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8:30 am, 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7:00 am, 9:00 am and 11:00 am.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Ireland must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Ireland.

  • The currency in the republic of Ireland is the Euro (€) and in Northern Ireland is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some money with you, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive at your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Ireland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Culinary experiences to try include a full Irish breakfast, a visit to a chip shop, and hearty lunch at a good local pub.  And be sure to sample Irish national specialties including Irish stew, coddle, potato bread, corned beef and whiskey cake.

    Ireland is famous for its stout and beer, the most famous being Guinness. Other popular brands include Murphy’s Irish Stout, Beamish, and Kilkenny beer. Whiskey is also renowned with the most famous distilleries being the Old Midleton Distillery in Cork, the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin, and the Bushmills Distillery in Antrim.

  • The weather in Ireland is mild, moist, and quickly changeable. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Ireland is less common than in the U.S. When dining in a restaurant, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave a tip of up to 5-10 percent.  Leave your gratuity on the table rather than adding it to your credit card receipt to ensure that your waiter receives it.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Reviews

Sunday, July 9, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Great tour director (Michael McClure)! I would recommend a Guinness tour instead of the cementary tour in Dublin. We were disappointed that we didn't get to see that!
Vacation : Wondering if other tours groups paid as much as we did....!
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Best of Ireland Reverse
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Interesting stories told throughout the trip
Vacation : this said optional not required
Friday, July 7, 2017
Best of Ireland Reverse
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : amazing and informative trip I would highly recommend ! Michael Brabenec was our travel director and he was awesome !! the coach trip was a great way to see all the main areas in Ireland for the first time--and trafalgar did it right ! the hotels were awesome- so much food !! -trips wonderful. extra excursions well worth it--they planned everything and we just "showed up"---even had a few surprises along the way ! -it was so awesome I cannot wait to do it again in another country!! Highly recommend trafalgar coach trips..and hope to get Michael again !!!!! (and even at the beginning.. planning the trip itself..everyone was so helpful and informative and efficient--I had not one issue from start to finish except it was over way too fast and I cannot wait to do it again !!!!)
Vacation : bought what I wanted at each town !
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so happy to see that Ireland was everything you had hoped for and you enjoyed the expertise of your Travel Director Michael.  We love hearing when everything goes flawlessly for our guests.  Thank you for sharing and see you again soon!

Friday, July 7, 2017
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everything was smooth without any hassle
Vacation : Quality for the cost, will book again
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Best of Ireland Reverse
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The whole trip was excellent. Our tour director was extremely friendly, organized, understanding, and knowledgeable. He took extra time to make sure all travelers were comfortable during our bus routes. He celebrated my birthday during the trip which I had forgotten about. I really enjoyed the hidden gems he shared with us.
Vacation : Reasonably priced tour. We got alot for the money!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so happy that you celebrated your birthday with us.  Hope it was filled with fun and lots of happy memories from your trip.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Best of Ireland Reverse
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The London tour was fabulous. Tony Perry the tour guide was the best. He was always there with information as well as guidance for what we wanted to do in our spare time. Rob Rainwater from GET was very helpful in setting everything up.
Vacation : Very disappointing. Our tour guide, Jillian McDonnell, was very good at dropping us places for several hours and picking us up. When she guided us, she went so fast that half the group couldn't keep up. She wasn't a good source of information other that the potato famine and revolutionary heroes. I asked her before the trip about something that I really wanted to see. She said that she'd think about it. That was it.She also was supposed to send us an email list which has never come.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Best of Ireland Reverse
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The sites we visited were great, the tour director and bus driver were excellent, the optional excursions were interesting. Good value.
Vacation : The sites we visited were interesting, the tour director and bus drivers were excellent, and the optional excursions were great. Good value.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I would definitely use this travel service again and recommend it to others. Every part of the trip went smoothly without any problems.
Vacation : An awesome trip! Excellent tour guide and bus driver. Great accommodations, delicious meals, interesting and incredible visit sites and scenery. Historical information and Irish heritage stories made the trip extra special.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Tour guide was excellent. She made sure that all our needs were addressed.
Vacation : Hotels were fine. Too many one night stays. It would have been more desirable to have two night stays and modify the tour, e.g. eliminate the Marble factory. Wake up call a 1/2 later would have been desirable.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Well planned itinerary with an excellent tour leader.
Vacation : Excellent tour and tour guide.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Loved all the countryside we enjoyed on the trip!!!
Vacation : Friendly and helpful service all the way.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : From the planning with Barb Gardner to the travel with Valerie Foley, our trip was wonderful. Thank you GET for a fabulous experience in the Emerald Isle.
Vacation : I would attach photos, but I'm old and not technologically capable.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for the fantastic feedback.  We will be sure to share it with both Barbara and Valerie.  We appreciate your business and hope to see you on another trip very soon.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : All in all I thought everything went as planned with no hitches. The tour guide was exceptional, the hotels great and the food was great.
Vacation : Very well executed travel plan. I really got a feel for the country and its history. I wish some of the hotels were closer to the heart of the city. I could have used a few more days in Dublin.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Trafalgar ran this tour of the Best of Ireland and I was quite pleased. The hotels were all nice although the beds always had a comforter as a top cover and it was really too warm most of the time. There was no alternative though - it was all or nothing. The only night I was comfortable was one hotel had a small electric fan in the closet and I had it on all night.
Vacation : The only comment I have is that on the GET tour I took of Italy six years ago, the director, Alfred Heinrich, was always with us and also collected everyone's address and gave us each the list so that we could see where others came from and we could stay in touch afterwards. I am still in touch with some of those people. Our tour director on this Irish tour, Michael McClure, was not always with us. He did not make any attempt to collect our addresses or emails either. He was very knowledgable and helpful, but I was disappointed that he did not engage with us more.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We enjoyed the trip, mostly good weather, dood tour Director and Excellent Bus Driver(Damien)
Vacation : Great Trip.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our trip to Ireland exceeded our expectations. The tour guide and driver were excellent displaying a great sense of humor daily.
Vacation : We covered close to or over 1600 miles. The trip encompassed so much history, beauty and daily pub life. We feel we experienced so much and highly recommend the tour.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Staff was always informative and pleasant.
Vacation : Great itinerary which was well paced.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Excellent tour, our first time travelling with a tour group and it was wonderful. I would highly recommend it, in particular, our guide Daren Blake was uber-organized and extremely knowledgeable of all things Irish. He absolutely made the trip the cultural study it ended up being. From the exposure to the sports (we hurles), the drinks, the locals, food, political viewpoints, vast knowledge of its history and people, to the music he played for us on the coach he was the epitome of the perfect host! The driver, Tony Davis, was excellent as well-helpful, courteous, not to mention excellent driver on those scary and winding roads . We couldn't have asked for a better team to guide us on our 10 day journey through this stunning country!
Vacation : Excellent
Friday, September 23, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Loved our trip, it was our first tour and the tour director Daren Blake and the coach driver, Tony could not have been better. Our bags and check in's were looked after perfectly. I felt like we truly got a cultural immersion with the knowledge Daren imparted. I've told friends that I feel like I know more about Ireland than I do the States! Loved every minute!
Vacation : Ireland is a beautiful country. The people are so amazing and friendly. The weather was perfect, a little rain, a little sun.....4 seasons in a day! Would highly recommend. The only thing I can say negative is I wish we could have gotten to Northern Ireland....but that will just have to be for our next trip! Thank you!
Friday, September 23, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Company employs excellent people as guides and drivers. Highlights of each country are well presented. Any concerns are quickly attended to by the tour directors. A traveler can just enjoy the vacation and not have to worry about any details. Its a great way to travel.
Vacation : Tour Director, Daren Blake was excellent as was our driver and all the local guides. I travel to learn about a country and this tour was excellent in all respects. From the pickup at the airport to the farewell dinner the tour moved seamlessly. The hotel dining room wasn't open yet on the morning we left and our tour director (Daren) had the hotel make up box breakfasts for us. Just another example of looking after his clients. The whole trip contains surprises such as stops for "hidden treasures" which were historic places or items not on regular stops. This is my fourth triip with GET and I will continue to use them.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We do pride ourselves on hiring an training the best Travel Directors in the business. We're so happy to see that you enjoyed their expertise and knowledge. Thank you for your repeat business!

Grand European Travel
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Loved it
Vacation : Excellent
Friday, August 26, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The trip was very well organized by the Tour Director Ann Hickey. The optional tours were the best , We had lots of fun.
Vacation : The trip far exceeded our expectations. The places we visited were spectacular and the Tour Director is very knowledgeable about those places. The Driver, Sean drove that big tour bus safely and skillfully.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Tour was well planned and responsive to travelers needs. Tour guide and bus driver were excellent. Shabby room in Galway hotel but it was race week and they were very booked.
Vacation : Liked the itinerary. Could have had one more day to see Dublin and actually go to see Book of Kells and/or St. Patrick's cathedral or Gaol.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : You have never let us down with the five trips we have taken with you. Looking forward to another trip in the future.
Vacation : Excellent tour director and bus driver.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Good value.
Vacation : Great tour director and great driver. Good time!
Friday, August 5, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our guide Valerie and bus driver Jim were experts. She offered background and information on the tour highlights. The weather was refreshingly cool. The limited food choices of chicken, salmon, and stew were average.
Vacation : Ireland was a lovely European choice, and there is a lot going on during the summer. Our tour encountered Ladies Day at the horse races and football in Dublin. Fog and rain made travel on the Dingle peninsula pointless.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our only complaint is on several dinner menus the three choices were Lamb stew, salmon and a vegetarian dish. Neither my husband or I like lamb or salmon so we were forced to choose the vegetarian dishes and they were awful. Other than that,mother trip was beautiful and amazing!
Vacation : Valorie, our tour guide, and Jim, our bus driver, were the BEST! It was a wonderful vacation!

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Galway

City of the Tribes Walk and Dinner

Adult Price: € 49

Join us on a stroll in the centre of the bustling medieval port of Galway. Then, we'll meet our local specialist who will enthral us with stories as we meander through the streets while taking in the main historical sights. Enjoy a hearty three-course meal with a choice of classic traditional Irish dishes. One drink will be included.

Galway Castle Banquet

Adult Price: € 67

Join us on a drive to Galway Castle where you'll begin your evening of medieval entertainment. This will be accompanied by a delicious dinner where wine will flow, and you’ll be treated to songs and the marvellous Irish art of story-telling.

Trad on the Prom

Adult Price: € 37

The best in Irish dancing from the most-awarded performers in Ireland. Combined with some of Ireland's best musical talent, this show is truly "can’t miss".

Killarney

Experience a Jaunting Cart Ride

Adult Price: € 21

Enjoy a traditional pony and trap ride through the beautiful Bourn-Vincent National Park. During your journey, your Local Specialist will share fascinating anecdotes about the area and Ireland.

Visit Muckross House and its Gardens

Adult Price: € 21

Come with us to Muckross House and its beautiful gardens. With a backdrop of oak-clad mountains, enjoy taking in the towering azaleas and rhododendrons as you meander along the shores of the lakes. The 18th century house contains some wonderful examples of furniture and paintings, including a portrait of King James VI, for whom Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.

Celtic Steps

Adult Price: € 36

Enjoy a spectacular evening of Irish music, song and dance performed by champion dancers and musicians and showcasing the music of Kerry and beyond.

Irish Folk Theatre and Dinner

Adult Price: € 69

Join us as we embrace the folklore and spirit of old Ireland’s life and times, when even the most everyday chore would be celebrated.Siamsa Tire players will cast a charm you'll remember forever.Beforehand, enjoy a hearty Irish meal in a local restaurant. This experience will be offered for those trips that stay at Tralee.

Limerick

Irish Ceilidh Evening

Adult Price: € 64

Come along and experience the craic at a special ceilidh evening. Enjoy a drink and some local specialities, watch some traditional Irish dancing, and sing along to some familiar Irish melodies.

Sligo

Luxurious River Shannon Cruise

Adult Price: € 30

The longest river in the British Isles, the River Shannon is immortalised in songs and legends. Come with us for a cruise on this majestic river, through the beautiful rolling countryside of counties Leitrim and Roscommon. You’ll also enjoy refreshments on the luxurious Moon River Pleasure Cruiser.

Scenic Drive And Dinner

Adult Price: € 45

This evening you’ll discover the beauty of the land, as we take a scenic drive off the beaten track. Later, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant with a choice of drink included.

Waterford

Explore Waterford's Viking History

Adult Price: € 17

Join us in Waterford, where the history dates back as far as the Vikings. Your Local Specialist will bring the historic area to life through stories and anecdotes; one guest even described the trip as the "best history lesson ever".

Irish Folk Fun

Adult Price: € 27

During this evening of entertainment, you'll get the chance to experience Irish hospitality in the best folk tradition. Enjoy a drink while locals sing and play music for you.

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