best places to visit in ireland

15 Top Best Places to Visit in Ireland

15 Top Best Places to Visit in Ireland

Ireland is a wonderful place with a lot of history, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. It’s known for its unique charm and is considered one of the best places to visit. The country has a mix of nature, history, and even the best coffee in the world.

Don’t forget its famous beers! Ireland, where the Game of Thrones was born, offers a variety of attractions. Explore these amazing spots for a memorable European holiday filled with cultural richness and stunning views. Enjoy your time in Ireland!

Here, we’ve highlighted some of the best places to visit in Ireland for you to consider adding to your bucket list.

Table of Content
1. Dublin
2. Killarney National Park
3. Galway City
4. Cork
5. Dingle Peninsula
6. Cliff of Moher
7. Aaran Island
8. Blarney Castle
9. National Gallery of Ireland
10. Rock of Cashel
11. Glendalough
12. Donegal
13. Ring of Kerry
14. Connemara
15. Clare

1. Dublin

Dublin City, situated in Ireland, is an awesome mix of history and modern vibes. It’s a place where you can feel the old charm in the air, with its ancient churches and stylish walkways. But that’s not all – Dublin is also known for its lively pubs where they serve the famous Irish drink, Guinness.

Exploring Dublin is like taking a journey through time, with medieval churches telling stories of the past and elegant Georgian walkways showing off a touch of sophistication. It’s no wonder Dublin is often listed among the top places to visit in Ireland.

If you’re a fan of literature, Dublin has something special for you. The city is like a book lover’s paradise, with its rich literary history. And, of course, no visit is complete without a stroll through Trinity College, home to the ancient Book of Kells.

Dublin is more than just a city – it’s an experience that combines tradition and modernity, making it one of the top places to explore in Ireland.

Dublin best Places to Visit in Ireland

2. Killarney National Park

When you’re in the Kerry region, check out Muckross House, Gardens, and Traditional Farms. It’s in the stunning Killarney National Park and is a must-see.

Situated near Muckross Lake, one of the three famous lakes in Killarney known for their beauty, this old mansion is like a time machine to the 19th century. It’s all grand and fancy, and even Queen Victoria visited once. Preparing for a royal visit was a big deal back then, with many renovations and landscaping.

The house and gardens are amazing, and you can tour the grounds in style on Jaunting Cars, the famous horse-drawn carriages of Killarney. Don’t miss the old farmsteads – they give you a peek into how regular folks used to live.

The Killarney National Park & Lakes area is full of breathtaking views. Whether you’re driving or walking, you’ll keep coming across stunning scenes of lakes and mountains. In the western part, the 11-kilometer drive through the Gap of Dunloe is a real highlight. It’s a narrow and rocky mountain pass with a cool history from the Ice Age.

And don’t forget about Ross Castle, another gem in this national heritage site. Exploring the park is best done on winding lanes or cycling paths – that way, you won’t miss any of the beauty it has to offer.

Killarney National Park Best Places to Visit in Ireland

3. Galway City

Galway City is a charming destination that seamlessly intertwines tradition and contemporary vibrancy. It stands out as one of the notable places to visit in Ireland, offering a warm and inviting atmosphere for all travelers.

As you wander through the lively streets of Galway, you’ll encounter a captivating blend of Irish heritage and modern energy. Street performers, musicians, and artists contribute to the city’s dynamic ambiance, creating a lively scene. The central Eyre Square serves as a bustling focal point surrounded by shops, quaint cafes, and a welcoming environment.

For those with a love for diverse culinary experiences, Galway is a haven. Quay Street, a culinary hotspot, boasts a variety of restaurants and pubs where visitors can indulge in delicious meals while immersing themselves in the lively pub culture.

Beyond the urban charm, Galway unfolds stunning natural landscapes. The Claddagh area, overlooking Galway Bay, provides a serene escape with breathtaking views, offering a perfect setting for relaxation.

Cultural richness is deeply embedded in Galway’s identity, evident through the numerous festivals hosted throughout the year. Events such as the Galway Arts Festival and the Galway International Oyster Festival showcase the city’s vibrant spirit and commitment to cultural celebration.

Galway city Best Places to Visit in Ireland

4. Kinsale Co.Cork

Kinsale has been a favorite for visitors for many years. It’s easily one of the best small towns in Ireland, especially if you’re a tourist.

During the summertime, Kinsale has a unique Spanish atmosphere. This makes sense because back in 1601, just three years after the Spanish Armada’s defeat, the Spanish sent a military group to Ireland, and a lot of them landed in Kinsale. This event led to a big battle, with the English surrounding the town and eventually winning against the Spanish and Irish forces.

Today, Kinsale is a draw for people who enjoy sailing, strolls, fishing, breathtaking views, and delicious food. The town is brimming with all kinds of restaurants offering top-notch seafood. There’s an annual Gourmet Festival and other exciting events. And don’t forget to visit the impressive Charles Fort – it’s a must-see spot.

Kinsale Co.Cork best places to visit in ireland

5. Dingle Peninsula

Part of the renowned Wild Atlantic Way, a 1700-mile scenic route around the west and nearby coasts of Ireland, the Dingle Peninsula stands out as one of the most unique places in Ireland. Here, you’ll discover a blend of untamed beauty, rich history, and a glimpse into traditional Irish culture and language.

This uniqueness is no coincidence. The area is recognized as a Gaeltacht, where the Irish government actively supports the preservation of the Irish language and culture. While everyone also speaks English, you’ll hear the melodic tones of Gaelic spoken and sung, and see it on signs throughout the region.

Stretching to Dunmore Head, the westernmost point of the Irish mainland, the peninsula is surrounded by some of the country’s finest beaches and rugged cliffs. Scattered across its open landscapes are stone huts crafted by monks during the early Middle Ages, along with stone monuments dating back to the Bronze Age.

Exploring the Dingle Peninsula offers a journey through not just stunning landscapes but also a unique cultural and linguistic experience, making it one of the most exceptional places to visit in Ireland.

Dingle Peninsula Best Places to Visit in Ireland

6. Cliff of Mohar

The Cliffs of Mohar are so incredible that it’s tough to find the right words to describe them. “Vertigo-inducing” and “awe-inspiring” come close, but they’re even more than that – they’re wild and beautifully rugged.

If you’ve read about Ireland before, you’ve probably seen pictures of these cliffs in postcards and guidebooks. Yet, no image truly captures their magnificence. These cliffs are considered one of the most beautiful places in Ireland and for a good reason.

Situated about one and a half hours by car from Galway in County Clare, these cliffs attract nearly a million visitors from all over the world each year. It’s a popular day trip from Dublin too. Stretching for eight kilometers along the Atlantic, they reach a height of 214 meters at their highest point.

Walking along the trail is a must – it lets you feel the incredible power of nature at its most majestic. The Cliffs of Moher truly stand out as one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Ireland.

Cliff of Mohar best Places to Visit in Ireland

7. Aaran Island

First introduced to the world through the fictionalized documentary “Man of Aran” in 1934, these islands have been captivating visitors ever since. It’s like getting a glimpse of Ireland in the olden days – Gaelic is the primary language, only about 1,200 people live here, and stepping ashore feels like stepping into a time machine.

There are three islands in total – the biggest is Inishmore, followed by Inishmaan, and the smallest is Inisheer.

These islands are wild, windy, rugged, and completely one-of-a-kind, offering a visitor experience unlike any other. Once you’ve been here, the memory of the great stone fort of Dun Aonghasa and the towering cliffs of Aran will stay with you forever.

The local culture is unique compared to the mainland, the archaeological heritage is unmatched, and the stunning scenery is just awe-inspiring.

A visit to these islands is a journey into a world that’s both ancient and incredibly special, making them one of the most unforgettable and unique places to experience in Ireland

Aaran Island Best Places to Visit in Ireland

8. Blarney Castle

One of Ireland’s most iconic landmarks is the Blarney Castle, located not far from Cork, and it’s a must-see for visitors. Perched the top of the castle is the renowned Blarney Stone, believed to grant eloquence to those brave enough to lean over the parapets and kiss it. However, the Blarney Stone is just one of the many attractions that make Blarney Castle worth exploring.

Constructed over 600 years ago by the Irish chieftain Cormac McCarthy, the castle offers a fascinating tour, allowing visitors to explore everything from its towering turrets to its mysterious dungeons. Surrounding the castle are extensive gardens adorned with stone features and hidden corners, creating a picturesque setting for a stroll.

Additionally, near the castle is the Blarney Woollen Mills, celebrated for its quality sweaters and knitwear. The Mills also houses a shop where visitors can browse and purchase Irish gifts, including crystal, porcelain, and other cherished souvenirs.

A trip to Blarney Castle goes beyond the legend of the Blarney Stone; it provides a rich historical experience within the castle walls and the enchanting beauty of its gardens. The nearby Blarney Woollen Mills adds the perfect touch for those seeking authentic Irish treasures to commemorate their visit.

Blarney Castle Best Places to Visit in Ireland

9. National Gallery of Ireland

Established in 1854 through an Act of Parliament, the National Gallery of Ireland is a cherished institution nestled in Dublin’s leafy Merrion Square.

Although it opened its doors to the public in 1864, the grand gallery recently underwent a major renovation, creating even more spacious and bright areas to showcase its extensive art collection. Rest assured, the impressive 19th-century architecture was carefully preserved.

Beyond its charming exterior, the gallery houses a collection of Ireland’s most famous artworks and paintings by European Old Masters. Conveniently located in Dublin’s city center, it provides an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s best shops and eateries after your visit.

What makes this gallery even more fantastic is the price – admission is free! With so many captivating pieces to admire, we recommend setting aside a few hours to fully immerse yourself in the art and history within its walls.

National Gallery of Ireland  Best Places to Visit in Ireland

10. Rock of Cashel

Ireland’s Rock of Cashel stands out as the country’s most frequented heritage site, often gracing images capturing the essence of the Emerald Isle. Notably, even Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain chose to visit this historic location by helicopter during her official 2011 tour of the country.

Positioned atop a limestone rock formation in the Golden Vale, the Rock of Cashel boasts a striking ensemble of medieval structures, including the High Cross, a Romanesque Chapel, a 12th-century round tower, a 15th-century castle, and a 13th-century Gothic cathedral.

Among the notable structures is the meticulously restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Tourists are drawn to the site not only for its historical significance but also for attractions such as an engaging audio-visual show and various exhibitions. Legend has it that this site served as the seat of the High Kings of Munster before the Norman invasions took place.

Rock of Cashel  Best Places to Visit in Ireland

11. Glendalough

Glendalough, one of Ireland’s most captivating tourist attractions lies a significant monastic site. Established by St. Kevin in the 6th century, this settlement evolved into the remarkable Monastic City, making it a must-visit destination in Ireland.

For centuries, visitors have flocked to the valley of the two lakes, Glendalough, to immerse themselves in its enchanting history, breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and intriguing archaeological discoveries.

Exploring the well-preserved round tower at the monastic site is a delightful experience. The surrounding woodlands and lakes provide a perfect backdrop for a stroll or a tranquil picnic.

Marked nature trails guide your way, and a Visitor Centre offers all the information you need for an extraordinary day out in one of Ireland’s magical and mysterious tourist attractions, Glendalough.

Glendalough best places to visit in ireland

12. Donegal

This county, located in Ireland, is predominantly inhabited by Irish speakers and is situated along the northwestern border with the Atlantic Ocean. Renowned for its castles nestled amid rocky coastlines and stunning mountains, including the quartzite Mount Errigal, the region boasts a unique charm.

Additionally, the county is home to Glenveagh National Park, a former private estate showcasing lakes, bogland, and forests that have been transformed into a captivating national park.

Donegal best places to visit in ireland

13. Ring of Kerry

If you find yourself in Kerry, make sure to check out one of Ireland’s most beautiful drives, the Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula. You can begin your journey from Kenmare or Killarney, and most folks end up back where they started.

Even though the whole drive could take less than three hours without stopping, you probably won’t want to rush it. Along the way, you’ll be treated to amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, opportunities to explore lovely islands, admire wild mountains, and pass through charming villages. It’s a scenic adventure worth taking your time to enjoy.

Ring of Kerry best places to visit in ireland

14. Connemara

Another amazing place on the map of Ireland is the vibrant Connemara. This mesmerizing place features numerous surprises from bogs to lakes and mountain vistas, that make the visitors fall in love with it. The serene villages of Connemara shower the colorful vistas where one can dive in, admiring the beauty and diversity of nature.

Connemara best places to visit in ireland

15. Clare

Situated in the western part of Ireland, Clare is one of the country’s counties. The standout feature of Clare is The Burren, a wild and rugged area showcasing ancient monuments dating back to the Stone Age and timeless churches.

Ennis, the county town, holds the distinction of being both the historical and cultural hub and is the largest settlement in Clare. This county boasts a wealth of history and culture, making it one of the top destinations for exploring Ireland’s rich heritage.

Clare Best Places to Visit in Ireland

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3 Comments

  1. I really should come back to Ireland now that tourism is more a thing than back when I was a student. I’ve always thought it a beautiful land, just couldn’t figure out how or where to go to places.

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