The Best Places to Visit in Ireland

The Best Places to Visit in Ireland

Green, charming, and effervescing with culture, the Emerald Isle captures the hearts of all who visit Ireland. Friendly people with irresistible and delightful accents, lively music, ancient relics, and gorgeous scenery conspire to enchant Ireland's visitors. Tumbling surf on windswept Atlantic beaches, jagged cliffs, regal castles, imposing cathedrals, farm-to-table dining, traditional music, and singing in fire-lit pubs – a tour of Ireland is guaranteed to make indelible memories. Here are 12 of the most amazing places to visit in Ireland, better said -  a few of many don’t-miss destinations on your Ireland vacation.

Top Cities to Visit in Ireland

Belfast Botanical Gardens in Ireland

Belfast

The capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is where the famous RMS Titanic was built: An excellent museum that relates the tragic tale. The museum and monument are located on the site where the RMS Titanic was built from 1909-1912 and visitors can explore the shipyard and many interactive exhibits and see original artifacts from both the ship and White Star Line. You'll also want to visit St. George’s Market for authentic local food, antiques, and crafts. Don't miss the Botanic Gardens with its ornate Victorian palm house of glass and cast iron.

Ireland, Derry Londonderry Walled City

Derry-Londonderry

Derry, or Londonderry, is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and is known for its intact 17th-century surrounding wall that includes seven gates. While there's still debate between Irish nationalists and unionists as to what to call this great city, it remains the only completely walled city in Ireland. Visitors are encouraged to walk atop the ramparts of the walls - but go slow as the walls are over 20 feet in height! While there, check out the neo-Gothic Guildhall with its organ and the famous Peace Bridge. Don't miss out on the murals! Similar to in Belfast, locals of the area painted political murals that offer a look into a time that's widely known only as "The Troubles".

Couple sitting outside Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin

Ireland’s capital and largest city contrast with the past. Picture 13th-century Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Christ Church all mixed with a lively contemporary culture of music and arts. Visit the Guinness Storehouse, where the iconic stout has been brewed for 250 years (check out this article on the History of Guinness). Dublin is a great place to explore the thriving food and famous Irish pub scene. 

Ireland Galaway Town Ocean Expert

Galway

Formerly a walled seaside town dominated by merchants in the 13th century, Galway has blossomed into a vibrant city. Named a European Capital of Culture for 2020, it represents the heart of Irish culture, rich with music, song, dance, and Gaelic, the native Irish language. Medieval city walls punctuate the cafes and shops of the Latin Quarter.

Natural Wonders of Ireland

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway

A geological masterpiece created by the cooling of lava that burst through the earth's crust millions of years ago, Giant's Causeway might be as famous as the bright greens of Ireland. As a result of the ancient volcanic eruption, 40,000 basalt columns still rise out of Ireland's wild Atlantic coastline. A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1986, the collection of columns is thought by locals to be the 8th Wonder of the World. Add to the scene fierce cliff faces and one of the best coastal drives in the area and you've got yourself a wonderful day trip from Cardiff.

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Cliffs of Moher

These dramatic sea cliffs draw visitors seeking spectacular views – look for whales, seals and dolphins down below. As a protected refuge, the cliffs attract thousands of birds including the cute and colorful Atlantic puffin. The cliffs have a role in traditional folklore, as well as in modern films like Harry Potter and The Princess Bride.

Killarney National Park, Ireland

Killarney National Park

This rugged expanse of mountains, lakes, and woodlands includes McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland. A herd of native red deer roams the landscape, and the white-tailed sea eagle, reintroduced in 2007, plies the skies. Walk among period furnishings and artifacts at Muckross House and Gardens, a 19th-century mansion.

Ireland Ring Of Kerry Fields Coast Farm Expert

The Ring of Kerry

This scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry passes through Killarney National Park, then twists along the serrated Atlantic coastline, through rustic villages and majestic landscapes of waterfalls, forests, and sandy beaches. The desolate ruins of a seventh-century Christian monastery perch on Skellig Michael, a lonely island seven miles out to sea.

Historic Sites in Ireland to Visit

Ireland Cork Blarney Castle Flag Stone Expert (1)

Blarney Castle

In the southwest, near cosmopolitan Cork, visit Blarney Castle home to the magical stone that gives the gift of eloquence for a kiss. Stroll through the castle’s grounds and gardens, arboretums, and waterways. If you dare, enter the Poison Garden – just don’t touch the plants!

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Trinity College

A trip to Ireland wouldn't be complete without a stroll through the Trinity College library to see the famous Book of Kells! Perhaps the world’s most celebrated medieval manuscript, The Book of Kells is an exquisitely illustrated manuscript that dates to the 9th century. Traditional Christian iconography merges with Celtic knots and elaborate figures of humans, animals, and mythical beasts. 100% worth the visit.

Ireland Waterford Strongbow And Acife Bronze Statues Towers Expert REMOVE 11072022

Waterford

Step into Ireland’s oldest city that has seen everything from Vikings to Victorians. See the tree-forged swords, towers that still reach tall, and the ancient city walls breached by invaders over centuries. The city is also incredibly famous for its glassmaking; Waterford Crystal is known around the world. 

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