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Things to do in Ireland

Things to do in  Ireland

Welcome to Ireland

Coastlines, castles, and hospitality abound on the Emerald Isle. Pucker up at the Blarney Stone; sip a stout in a thatched-roof pub, or after a tour of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin; or feel the icy blast of the Atlantic at the Cliffs of Moher. Indisputable highlights include the UNESCO-listed Giant's Causeway, with its mysterious rows of hexagonal columns; the culture-rich cities of Galway and Cork; and the natural wonders contained by the Ring of Kerry. Roughly 300 miles long, the island can easily be explored end to end, with live music, ancient ruins, and traditional watering holes never too far away from any stop.

Top 15 attractions in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher

Towering 702 feet (214 meters) above the Atlantic Ocean at their highest point and stretching for 5 miles (8 kilometers) along the water, the famed Cliffs of Moher define the rugged west coast of Ireland. They're also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland, with tours available from Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Killarney, and Doolin.More

Trinity College Dublin

One of Ireland’s most prestigious academic institutions, Trinity College Dublin, founded in the 16th-century, boasts alumni including literary legends such as Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Samuel Beckett. Tourists from the world over come to wander the historic cobblestoned campus in the city center and see the Book of Kells, a prized medieval manuscript housed in the Trinity College Library.More

Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park, with idyllic lakes and ancient woodlands backed by the serrated MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains, is an area of stunning natural beauty. The park is also historically significant, with two heritage buildings on-site: Ross Castle, a 15th-century fortress-turned-hotel, and Muckross House, a stately Victorian estate.More

Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway is a cluster of approximately 40,000 basalt columns rising out of the sea on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the area draws thousands of tourists each year who come to marvel at and photograph this natural wonder.More

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle has served many functions since it was built by King John of England in 1230. Originally a defense center against Norman invaders and the seat of the English government, it has since also been the site of the Royal Mint and police headquarters. Today, the castle grounds attract visitors and function as a venue for Irish government functions and ceremonies.More

Guinness Storehouse

The 7-story, pint glass–shaped interior of the Guinness Storehouse, one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions, draws travelers from all corners of the world who want to see the birthplace of the famed dark beer and get a taste straight from the barrel. Highlights include multimedia exhibits and a complimentary pint.More

The Book of Kells

Dating back to 800 AD, the illuminated manuscript known as the Book of Kells is renowned for its extraordinary illustrations and ornamentations. Its intricate drawings incorporating Celtic and Christian traditions are a testament to the incredible craftsmanship of the medieval Irish monks believed to have created it while on the remote island of Iona in Scotland. Despite Viking raids, theft, and fights between various Irish and English factions, 680 astonishingly detailed vellum (calf-skin) pages of the book remain intact.More

Temple Bar

A compact cluster of crowded cobbled lanes, Temple Bar is an urban playground known for its nightlife. Once a rundown slum before artists and bohemian types—drawn by cheap rents—moved in, Dublin’s so-called cultural quarter has since been revamped. It is now home to galleries, vintage shops, cafés, cultural institutions, and a high concentration of pubs.More

House of Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal, the prestigious brand behind New York City’s Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball and the chandeliers at Westminster Abbey, was founded back in 1783. These days, the public can visit the main crystal factory complex to observe skilled craftsmen blowing the molten crystal or browse a collection of dazzling crystal pieces.More

The Burren

Covering an area of more than 115 square miles (300 square kilometers), the Burren is a vast, otherworldly expanse of scarred and fissured limestone rock, naturally sculpted through acidic erosion. Though it may look barren from afar, this rocky plateau is anything but lifeless. In spring and summer, wildflowers and rare plants thrive here.More

Molly Malone Statue

The bronze Molly Malone Statue commemorates the young woman featured in the local ballad, 'Cockles and Mussels'. As the song goes, this beautiful woman plied her trade as a fishmonger through the streets where her statue now rests, until she suddenly died of a fever. As a nod to the folk song, a statue was erected on the corner of Grafton and Suffolk streets and unveiled at the 1988 Dublin Millennium celebrations.This tune has been adopted as Dublin's unofficial anthem, boosting this heroine to eternal fame. Though there is debate as to whether or not a Molly Malone like the one in the song ever existed, she is real to the people of Dublin and is remembered both in song as well as on June 13, National Molly Malone Day. The statue also acts as a popular rendezvous spot for groups as the beautiful bosomy woman with her cart cannot be missed.More

Cobh Heritage Centre (The Queenstown Story)

The port town of Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown, was the departure point for millions of Irish emigrants who left the country between 1848 and 1960. Housed in the town’s Victorian train station, the Cobh Heritage Centre chronicles the often-heartbreaking journeys of Irish emigrants during the Great Famine and beyond.More

Christ Church Cathedral

Established as a small Viking church in the 11th century, this magnificent cathedral was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century under orders from Norman knight, Strongbow, whose tomb is now held here. In the late 19th century, it was given a neo-Gothic makeover, though original elements including the 12th-century crypt remain.More

Jameson Distillery Bow St.

For nearly 200 years, this distillery produced one of Ireland’s leading whiskeys, before Jameson—together with other producers—moved operations to a purpose-built facility in Middleton, County Cork, in the 1970s. Now, the Jameson Distillery Bow St. has been revamped as a visitor center showcasing the history and heritage of the brand.More

Cork English Market

Dating from 1788, Cork English Market is among Ireland’s finest foodie destinations. Set inside a Victorian heritage building with a vaulted ceiling, the market is filled with vendors selling the finest and freshest of local produce, from grass-fed beef and smoked salmon to homemade jam, duck eggs, and fresh fruit and vegetables.More
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Trip ideas

Top activities in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher Tour Including Wild Atlantic Way and Galway City from Dublin
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Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip Including Giant's Causeway from Dublin
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Fast-track Easy Access Book of Kells Tour with Dublin Castle
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Skip the Line Guinness and Jameson Irish Whiskey Experience Tour in Dublin
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Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, Sheep Dog Trials, Day Trip from Dublin
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Cliffs of Moher, Burren and Galway Bay Rail Tour from Dublin
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Irish Food Trail - Walking Tour of Dublin
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Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Dublin

Cliffs of Moher Day Trip from Dublin

Blarney Castle Day Trip from Dublin

Blarney Castle Day Trip from Dublin

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All about Ireland

When to visit

After the rainy winter months, Ireland’s wild landscapes erupt into greenery; that said, spring is when the Emerald Isle at its most photogenic. St. Patrick’s Day in March sees countrywide celebrations and summer is festival season, but the crowds die down in-between, making April through June it ideal for sightseeing.

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People Also Ask

What is Ireland famous for?

Ireland is famous for its history, beautiful green landscapes, and warm hospitality. This English-speaking country is also famous for its pubs and live music. From the capital city of Dublin to the coastal villages of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland is famous for historic landmarks and striking views.

Where should I go on my first trip to Ireland?

Most travelers go to the capital city of Dublin during a first trip to Ireland. Dublin is home to the country’s largest airport and is a gateway for the rest of the island. Many visitors also travel to Galway and visit the Cliffs of Moher during a first trip to Ireland.

What activities are popular for tourists in Ireland?

Tourists in Ireland often visit traditional pubs, listen to live music, explore historic attractions, and seek out natural beauty like the Cliffs of Moher. Many tourists also visit whiskey distilleries, play golf, explore the countryside by bike, and go for scenic drives along the Wild Atlantic Way.

What do Irish people do for fun in Ireland?

In Ireland, locals spend their free time going for scenic walks, playing sports, attending sports matches, and meeting friends for lively conversation. In the evening, Irish people often gather in pubs, sometimes to listen to traditional music. Many also take advantage of the country’s thriving arts and culture scene, with popular festivals, theaters, and exhibitions.

What is the prettiest part of Ireland?

Ireland is pretty from coast to coast, but County Clare and County Kerry are often described as the regions with the most dramatic landscapes. These western Ireland regions are home to striking coastal cliffs, peninsulas, and lakes. Other top contenders for the prettiest region include County Cork and County Galway.

Is 7 days in Ireland enough?

Yes, seven days in Ireland is enough time to see Dublin and its historic landmarks and explore the countryside, including top landmarks in the west such as the Cliffs of Moher. For a more comprehensive visit, take two weeks.


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