15 Best Places to Visit in Ireland
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Are you planning a trip to Ireland and wondering where to go? Look no further as we have compiled the ultimate travel guide to the 15 best places to visit in Ireland. From stunning natural landscapes to iconic historical landmarks, Ireland has something to offer every traveler. Our guide will take you on a journey through the top tourist attractions in Ireland, showcasing the country’s rich history and culture.

Explore the enchanting Emerald Isle and discover hidden gems that will leave you in awe. Whether you’re interested in charming cities, rugged coastlines, or ancient ruins, Ireland has it all. Our guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan the trip of a lifetime to some of the most beautiful Ireland vacation spots.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the magic of Ireland. Let us take you on a journey through the 15 best places to visit in Ireland.

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Experience the Charm of Dublin

Start your Irish adventure in Dublin, the vibrant capital city known for its lively atmosphere and historical landmarks. Experience the charm of Dublin by visiting its must-see places in Ireland.

Must-see Places in Dublin

Dublin offers a plethora of attractions to suit every traveler’s preferences. Here are some of the top must-see places in Dublin:

AttractionDescription
Guinness StorehouseLearn about the brewing history of Ireland’s most famous beer and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Gravity Bar.
Dublin CastleExplore the historic castle and its beautiful gardens, which are still used for official state receptions.
St. Patrick’s CathedralVisit the largest church in Ireland and admire its stunning stained glass windows and beautiful interior.
Trinity College DublinTake a tour of Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious university, founded in 1592.
Temple BarExperience the lively atmosphere of Dublin’s cultural quarter with its traditional pubs, restaurants, and shops.

These are just a few of the many must-see places in Dublin. With its rich history and culture, Dublin is sure to captivate you.

Dublin Cityscape

Wander the Ring of Kerry

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Ring of Kerry, a scenic drive that takes you along the stunning coastline, charming villages, and majestic mountains. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore hidden gems like Killarney National Park and the Skellig Islands.

The Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometer long circular route that starts and ends in Killarney. It is one of the most picturesque routes in Ireland, showcasing the best of the country’s natural beauty. The route takes you through stunning seaside towns like Cahersiveen and Waterville, where you can stop for some fresh seafood and take in the views.

Ring of Kerry

Best Things to Do in the Ring of Kerry

  • Drive the scenic route and stop at various viewpoints to take in the stunning views
  • Explore Killarney National Park, home to the beautiful Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall, and the 15th-century Muckross House and Gardens
  • Take a boat trip to the Skellig Islands, and explore the ancient monastic settlement on Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Visit the 19th-century Muckross Abbey and discover its history and legends
  • Take a hike on the Kerry Way, a 214-kilometer long hiking trail that takes you through the stunning landscapes of the Ring of Kerry
  • Experience the traditional Irish way of life at the Kerry Bog Village Museum, and learn about Ireland’s history and culture

The Ring of Kerry is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore Ireland’s natural beauty and rich history. Whether you’re driving the scenic route, hiking along the Kerry Way, or exploring the Skellig Islands, there’s something for everyone in this enchanting region.

Uncover the Mysteries of the Giant’s Causeway

Prepare to be enchanted by one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway. Located in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway is a geological wonder with more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that seem to emerge from the sea.

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According to legend, the columns were formed by the giant Finn MacCool as a bridge to Scotland. In reality, the columns were created by volcanic activity around 50-60 million years ago. The hexagonal shape of the columns makes the causeway a truly unique natural phenomenon.

Giant's Causeway

Explore the site on foot, following the trails that wind through the rock formations. Marvel at the stunning views of the coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. The Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland.

“The Giant’s Causeway is a geological wonder with more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that seem to emerge from the sea.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the award-winning visitor center, where you can learn more about the history and geology of this incredible site. Take a guided tour or explore on your own, and discover why the Giant’s Causeway is one of the most visited attractions in Ireland.

Explore the Wild Connemara

Are you looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination for your Ireland vacation? Look no further than Connemara, a region known for its rugged beauty and untouched landscapes. Here, you can experience the true magic of Ireland and immerse yourself in a world of natural wonder.

Connemara Ireland vacation spots

One of the main attractions in Connemara is the Twelve Bens, a range of mountains that offer breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Hike through the ancient woodlands and take in the tranquil beauty of the lakes and rivers that dot the landscape.

No visit to Connemara is complete without a visit to Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful castle with stunning gardens that sits on the shores of a peaceful lake. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens or enjoy a boat ride on the lake to fully appreciate the serenity of this enchanting place.

Top activities in Connemara:Best time to visit:
Hiking in the Twelve BensSummer (June-September)
Visiting Kylemore Abbey and GardensSpring (April-May) or Fall (October-November)
Exploring the lively town of ClifdenAnytime

For a taste of the local culture, head to Clifden, a vibrant town with a lively arts scene and colorful streets. Be sure to check out the Clifden Castle, an ancient ruin that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or looking for a peaceful retreat, Connemara is a must-visit destination for your Ireland vacation. With its stunning landscapes and unique charm, it’s not hard to see why it’s considered one of the best vacation spots in Ireland.

Step Back in Time at the Rock of Cashel

When it comes to Ireland travel destinations, the Rock of Cashel should definitely be at the top of your list. This medieval fortress perched upon a hilltop in County Tipperary is an iconic landmark that showcases Ireland’s rich historical significance.

The Rock of Cashel, also known as St. Patrick’s Rock, is an impressive complex of ancient ruins that date back to the 12th century. It was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and was donated to the Church in the 1100s. Since then, it has served as a symbol of Ireland’s religious and political heritage.

Explore the ancient ruins and immerse yourself in the history of the site. Marvel at the iconic round tower, the stunning Gothic cathedral, and the impressive Cormac’s Chapel. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about the fascinating stories and legends that surround the Rock of Cashel.

What to Expect at the Rock of CashelWhy You Should Visit the Rock of Cashel
  • Ancient Ruins
  • Round Tower
  • Gothic Cathedral
  • Cormac’s Chapel
  • Guided Tours
  • Rich Historical Significance
  • Stunning Medieval Architecture
  • Fascinating Stories and Legends
  • Breathtaking Views of the Surrounding Countryside
  • Unique and Authentic Experience

Visiting the Rock of Cashel is a must if you want to truly experience the magic and charm of Ireland. Whether you’re fascinated by history, architecture, or just breathtaking views, the Rock of Cashel has something to offer everyone.

Rock of Cashel

So if you’re planning a trip to Ireland, be sure to add the Rock of Cashel to your itinerary. You won’t regret stepping back in time and immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this iconic landmark.

Discover the Stunning Cliffs of Moher

One of the top tourist attractions in Ireland is the Cliffs of Moher, located on the west coast of Ireland. These dramatic cliffs tower over 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean and offer panoramic views of the rugged coastline and surrounding countryside.

Cliffs of Moher

Visitors can explore the walking trails along the cliffs and observe the unique bird species that inhabit the area, such as puffins and guillemots. The Cliffs of Moher also offer an interactive visitor center, which provides educational exhibits and information about the geology, history, and culture of the area.

“The cliffs are truly breathtaking and offer a glimpse into the natural beauty of Ireland. Don’t forget your camera!”

To fully appreciate the Cliffs of Moher, consider taking a boat tour to view the cliffs from the water. This vantage point allows for a unique perspective of the towering cliffs and provides an opportunity to see the abundance of marine life in the waters below.

Experience the Magic of the Dingle Peninsula

Embark on a journey to the Dingle Peninsula, one of the most hidden gems in Ireland. This picturesque region is located on the southwest coast of Ireland and is known for its breathtaking landscapes and charming traditions.

Travel along the winding roads of Slea Head Drive, where you’ll encounter stunning coastal views, ancient ruins, and colorful fishing villages. Explore the quaint streets of Dingle Town, where you can sample traditional Irish music, delicious seafood cuisine, and locally brewed beer.

Take a boat tour to the Great Blasket Island, a former Irish-speaking community with stunning natural beauty. You can also visit the ancient beehive huts at the Fahan Group, a fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s early Christian past.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hike along the stunning cliffs of the Dingle Peninsula, where you can witness dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean and spectacular sunsets. And be sure to keep an eye out for the resident dolphins of Dingle Bay, who love to play in the surf and put on a show for visitors.

Dingle Peninsula

“The Dingle Peninsula is a place of spectacular beauty, with long sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and rugged mountains. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the magic of Ireland.”

Visit the Enchanting City of Galway

As you travel through Ireland, make sure to stop and experience the bohemian vibe of Galway. This vibrant city is known for its colorful streets, lively arts scene, and must-see landmarks.

Begin your exploration at the iconic Spanish Arch, a 16th-century monument that once guarded the city’s quays. Stroll along the bustling streets of the Latin Quarter, where you’ll find charming cafes, boutique shops, and street performers.

Must-see Places in GalwayDescription
Eyre SquareA bustling city center with a beautiful park and bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde
Galway CathedralA stunning Roman Catholic cathedral with intricate mosaics and stained glass windows
National University of Ireland, GalwayA historic university featuring 18th-century architecture and picturesque campus grounds

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Galway City Museum, which showcases the rich history and culture of the city. And of course, no trip to Galway would be complete without experiencing the lively pub scene. Head to the famous Quays Bar for traditional music and a pint of Guinness.

Galway City

Galway is a must-see destination on any Ireland itinerary. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and charm of this enchanting city.

Embrace the Tranquility of the Aran Islands

Escape the mainland and discover the tranquility of the Aran Islands. Located just off the West Coast, these three rugged islands offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Experience a traditional way of life, explore ancient stone forts, and cycle or walk along the breathtaking coastal paths. The Aran Islands are a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss on your Irish adventure.

Aran Islands

Experience the magic of Inisheer, the smallest of the three islands, and discover Dun Aonghasa, a prehistoric fort perched at the edge of a 300-foot cliff. Or explore the largest island, Inishmore, and its many hidden gems like the Black Fort and the Seal Colony at Port na Seacht.

The Aran Islands offer some of the best things to do in Ireland. Take a guided pony and trap tour to explore the island’s hidden secrets or hike up to the highest point on the island for a stunning panoramic view. Don’t forget to stop by the Aran Sweater Market, where you can purchase an authentic Irish sweater to keep you cozy on your travels.

Getting to the Aran Islands

Transportation MethodEstimated Travel Time
Ferry from Rossaveal45 minutes to 1 hour
Ferry from Doolin1 hour
Flight from Inverin Airport10 minutes

There are several ways to get to the Aran Islands, whether by ferry or plane. Ferries depart regularly from Rossaveal and Doolin, and flights are available from Inverin Airport. Plan your journey ahead of time to ensure smooth travels.

The Aran Islands are filled with stunning landscapes, ancient ruins, and traditional Irish culture. Add this peaceful getaway to your itinerary and experience the best of Ireland.

Journey to the Historic City of Cork

As you explore the best places to visit in Ireland, a trip to the historic city of Cork is a must. Located in the southern region of the country, Cork is known for its vibrant cultural scene, picturesque waterfront, and friendly locals.

One of the most famous landmarks in Ireland, Cork City Gaol, offers a glimpse into the city’s dark past as a prison for some of Ireland’s most notorious criminals. Take a guided tour and learn about the history of the gaol, from its inception in the 19th century to its closure in 1923.

For those seeking a more modern experience, visit the English Market, a bustling indoor marketplace filled with artisanal food and drink vendors. Sample delicious local specialties like Cork’s famous black pudding, fresh seafood, and craft beer from nearby breweries.

Famous Landmarks in CorkDescription
Blarney CastleA medieval fortress known for the Blarney Stone, which visitors can kiss for good luck.
St. Fin Barre’s CathedralA stunning 19th century building with intricate interior details, including stained glass windows and marble flooring.
Shandon BellsA historic tower with views overlooking the city, and famous for its iconic bells and clock.

With so many things to see and do, a visit to Cork is an essential part of any Ireland travel itinerary.

Cork cityscape

Marvel at the Beauty of the Killarney National Park

Enter a world of enchanting natural beauty when you visit Killarney National Park, one of the most spectacular Ireland vacation spots. Situated in County Kerry, this stunning park covers over 25,000 acres of pristine wilderness and is home to an array of flora and fauna, including red deer, otters, and eagles. The park’s centerpiece is the magnificent Killarney Lakes, which offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and woodlands.

Killarney National Park

The best way to experience Killarney National Park is on foot, with a wide range of hiking trails available to suit all abilities. Stroll along the serene shores of Lough Leane or explore ancient oak forests and hidden waterfalls. You can also take a scenic boat ride on the Lakes of Killarney to fully appreciate the park’s stunning landscapes.

Best time to visitMay – September
Entrance feeFree
ActivitiesHiking, boating, cycling, fishing, wildlife watching, horseback riding
AccommodationCampsites, hostels, hotels, and B&Bs in the nearby town of Killarney

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Killarney National Park, consider taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park’s stunning landscapes. This peaceful, romantic experience offers an unforgettable way to take in the natural beauty of the park.

Make sure to also visit the iconic Muckross House and Gardens, a magnificent 19th-century mansion set amidst stunning gardens. Exhibiting both Tudor and Victorian architectural styles, the house provides visitors with a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of its past owners.

Don’t forget to bring your camera as you explore this idyllic corner of Ireland and its many natural wonders. Killarney National Park is a must-see on any Ireland travel itinerary.

Discover the Rich History of Kilkenny

Immerse yourself in the rich medieval history of Kilkenny, one of the top Ireland travel destinations. This charming city boasts a wealth of historical landmarks, architectural marvels, and cultural treasures that offer a glimpse into Ireland’s fascinating past.

Explore the Iconic Kilkenny Castle

No visit to Kilkenny is complete without a visit to the iconic Kilkenny Castle, a stunning testament to the city’s architectural heritage. Built in the 12th century, this magnificent fortress boasts a rich history and is an integral part of Kilkenny’s identity and tradition.

Kilkenny Castle

Take a guided tour of the castle rooms, admire the ornate decor, and marvel at the stunning works of art and impressive antique furnishings. You’ll also find a charming park and gardens, perfect for a leisurely stroll and a picnic in the sunshine.

Wander Through Charming Streets

Kilkenny’s historic streets are a treat for the senses, offering a charming blend of colorful buildings, fascinating museums, and quaint shops. Stroll along High Street and explore the unique boutiques and artisanal stores for a taste of local culture.

Visit the Kilkenny Design Centre, housed in a stunning 18th-century building, for a showcase of Irish crafts and design. Or wander over to St. Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, a 12th-century church with a rich history, and climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city and countryside.

Experience the Local Culture

Kilkenny is known for its vibrant arts scene, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to experience the local culture. Catch a show at the elegant Watergate Theatre, showcasing both local and international talent. Or explore the Butler Gallery, which showcases contemporary art exhibitions alongside the historic collections in Kilkenny Castle.

For a taste of traditional Irish music, visit Kyteler’s Inn, one of the oldest pubs in Ireland and a lively hub for live music and entertainment. Or indulge in some delicious local cuisine at one of the city’s many restaurants, cafes, and bistros, serving up a delightful blend of Irish and international flavors.

Take your time and explore the many facets of Kilkenny’s rich history and cultural treasures. With so much to see and experience, this charming city is sure to leave a lasting impression on your Ireland travel itinerary.

Experience the Magic of the Antrim Coast

Prepare to be spellbound by the stunning Antrim Coast, one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland. This rugged coastline stretches for 120 miles, dotted with picturesque villages and breathtaking scenery.

One of the highlights of the Antrim Coast is the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This heart-stopping attraction suspends 100 feet above the sea, offering a thrilling experience for those brave enough to cross.

Antrim Coast

Another must-see attraction is the enchanting ruins of Dunluce Castle, perched precariously on a cliff edge overlooking the ocean. This stunning castle dates back to the 13th century and has been used as a filming location for popular TV shows and movies.

Top TipsDetails
Take a road tripThe best way to experience the Antrim Coast is by road. Allow plenty of time to explore the charming villages and stop at scenic viewpoints along the way.
Visit the Giant’s CausewayWhile technically not part of the Antrim Coast, the nearby Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder that should not be missed. Marvel at the 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns formed by volcanic activity.
Explore the Glens of AntrimTake a scenic drive through the nine Glens of Antrim for stunning views of the coastline and the surrounding countryside. Stop at quaint villages along the way to experience traditional Irish hospitality.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, history, or simply breathtaking views, the Antrim Coast has something to offer for every traveler. Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable experience.

Encounter the Ancient History of Newgrange

Located in the verdant landscape of County Meath, Newgrange is one of Ireland’s hidden gems. This fascinating site is a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back over 5,000 years, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge.

The passage tomb at Newgrange is an impressive feat of engineering, with a corbelled roof that has been waterproof for millennia. During the winter solstice, the sun’s rays align perfectly with the entrance to the tomb, illuminating the central chamber with a warm golden light. It is a striking reminder of the ingenuity of Ireland’s ancient people, who were able to construct such a precise and enduring monument without the use of modern tools or technology.

“Newgrange is an impressive feat of engineering, with a corbelled roof that has been waterproof for millennia.”

In addition to the impressive passage tomb, Newgrange also features intricate stone carvings that tell the stories of Ireland’s ancient past. These carvings, called megalithic art, are found throughout the site and depict everything from animals and geometric designs to human figures and abstract symbols.

If you’re interested in ancient history and archaeology, a visit to Newgrange is a must. It offers a unique glimpse into the world of Ireland’s early inhabitants and is a testament to the enduring power of human creativity and ingenuity.

Newgrange passage tomb

Conclusion

We hope this guide has provided you with a glimpse of the 15 best places to visit in Ireland, from the lively city of Dublin to the ancient history of Newgrange. Ireland’s stunning landscapes, enchanting history, and vibrant culture make it a top destination for travelers from around the world.

Whether you’re exploring hidden gems like the Aran Islands and the Dingle Peninsula or marveling at famous landmarks like the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway, Ireland offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences. So pack your bags and embark on a journey to uncover the magic of the Emerald Isle for yourself!

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