Ireland is an incredible and small country, with impressive places to discover. We would be lying if we said that we fell in love with Ireland and that we are looking forward to returning. Due to its geographical location as a shield of Europe to the severity of the Atlantic, the climate in Ireland is very variable, and the wind and rain have outlined a landscape that often seems magical and mystical. Folktales and literature are full of anecdotes of goblins and fairies.
Many of these places can be visited by renting a car or on excursions from Dublin. We leave you a choice of 10 incredible places to see in Ireland:
Dublin is the capital and largest city to see in Ireland. Dublin is placed on the east coast and historically founded as a Viking settlement. Nowadays it is an important center for education, art, industry, economy, and administration.
The city of Dublin has a lot of places, to explore such as Dublin Castle (which was founded as a defensive fort in 1204), St.Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral. The city also hides a lot of beautiful landscapes, such as the views of the River Liffey and the large number of parks that you will find throughout the city. Some examples of parks in Dublin are Phoenix Park (the largest park in Europe), Trinity College and St. Stephens Green among many others.
In spite of all that, the main attractions of Dublin are the large number of cultural activities that you can attend, as well as the traditional music and the many Irish Pub that the city offers.
2. The Cliffs of Moher
On the west coast of Ireland are the highest cliffs in Europe. A majestic scenery that will make you feel like a tiny creature while you view the vast Atlantic Ocean.
The Cliffs of Moher are one of the leading attractions to see in Ireland. From there people can enjoy magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands, accompanied by an estimated number of 30,000 different bird species, including Atlantic Puffins and common alks.
In the same region of the Cliffs of Moher, you can find many other beautiful places to explore. Some of them are a coastal village of Doolin, the Cave of Ailwee or the Castle of Bunratty (a tower of the 15th century located in the center of Bunratty village).
3. Killarney and the Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is located on one of the most beautiful west peninsulas in Ireland and, as the name suggests, offers a circular drive to enjoy its landscapes. Among some of the possibilities granted by the region, we propose a visit to the Lake Hotel in Killarney and enjoy a romantic dinner watching the sensational views offered by the Killarney Mountains and its lakes.
Approach the Victorian Muckross House located on the central lake, visited by Queen Victoria in 1861. More than a century after the visit, everything remains practically the same in this magnificent Victorian mansion, located in the spectacular scenery that provides the Killarney National Park.
You can visit the Ross Castle in Killarney surrounded by a beautiful garden, half an hour away by a lovely walk in the middle of nature and facing the great lake Leane.
4. The Dingle Peninsula
Numerous films have been shot on the endless beaches of the Dingle Peninsula. Spectacular landscapes and picturesque ports are this wonders that give us the southwest of Ireland. If time is with you, nothing will have to envy the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean or Thailand.
You can even meet the famous Dingle resident dolphin, with whom you will have an almost guaranteed encounter if you do one of the guided tours that leave from the port. A drive along the Dingle Peninsula, or even by bicycle should always include Connor Pass as the primary point to enjoy spectacular views of this peninsula in the southwest of Ireland.
5. Giant’s Causeway
This place is declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is an area of 40,000 basalt columns intertwined with each other, which can reach 12 meters high. They are the result of an old volcanic eruption, and they are one of the leading tourist attractions in the area. They are located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland.
At first sight, this peculiar geological formation seems to have been created by man. It is not difficult to understand where the myth was born from, which tells how the giant McCool was who started the construction of this passage, to cross the sea and to face a giant rival called Fingal in Scotland.
Limerick is a city in the Midwest region that lies on the River Shannon. The historical part of the city is located on the King’s Island which is surrounded by the Shannon and the Abbey River.
Limerick is renowned for its history and castles, being the 15th-century castle known as King John’s Castle the most famous of them. The city is also known as the cradle of the Irish Rugby and is located very close to the tiny village of Foynes, where you can find the Foynes Flying Boat Museum.
7. Glendalough, County Wicklow
This beautiful valley formed in the glacial era, one of those that possess a natural beauty in its maximum expression an authentic oasis in the middle of the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Glendalough is one of the most visited spots in Ireland, a short distance from Dublin and offers several trips that can last from one day to several days like the famous Wicklow Way.
The Howth Peninsula, for me, is one of the most beautiful places on this island. If it does not appear in a list of most visited places in Ireland, it is because they are taken into account every day of the week. Now, if the listings were made taking into account only on Sundays, Howth, sure, would be in one of the first positions.
Twenty minutes from Dublin city, this picturesque fishing village offers everything one expects from Ireland; sea walks, harbor, fish, seals, golf, cliffs, pubs, restaurants, etc.
Located in the southeast, it is the oldest city to see in Ireland. Waterford holds a special place in Irish history, the city has served as a Viking settlement and is known for its ancient history as a producer of glass, known as Waterford Glass.
Waterford is located near Copper Coast, which has been declared a UNESCO Global Geopark due to the geological diversity that tourists can find along that area.
Located in the southwest region, it is the second largest city in the state. Cork City is built on the River Lee, whose canals divide the city by placing the center of the town on an island.
Cork hosts a lot of things to do and see, especially if you’re one of those who like to learn about the local culture. This is due to the large number of museums, parks, Irish Pubs and ideal places that Cork offers. Cork is also a university city, so it is a place full of young people where you can find an exciting atmosphere and an intense nightlife.
Besides all that, if you want to explore the surroundings of Cork, there are many other places and beautiful towns that you can explore. Some of them are Blarney Castle, Kinsale, Cobh or the Fota nature park.