12 best places to visit in Ireland

Exploring Ireland offers an array of unforgettable experiences, from its stunning landscapes to its rich history and culture.

In this article, we explore 12 of the best destinations in Ireland, offering a mix of stunning landscapes, historic sites, and lively cities. Let’s take a closer look at what makes each of these locations worth visiting.

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Number 1. Dublin

Ireland’s capital, Dublin, is well-known for its historical and cultural landmarks. The magnificent work of ancient art known as the Book of Kells is housed in the city and is on display at Trinity College

A visit to Phoenix Park, one of the biggest enclosed public parks in a capital city, Temple Bar’s lively atmosphere, and Dublin Castle exploration are all available to visitors. Dublin boasts a rich history, with both contemporary educational facilities like the Science Gallery and centuries-old structures.

Dublin, Ireland - View of pub street in the downtown of Dublin.

Number 2. Cliffs of Moher

One of Ireland’s most breathtaking natural landmarks is the Cliffs of Moher. They extend 8 km along County Clare’s Atlantic coast, reaching a maximum elevation of 214 metres.

Views of Galway Bay, the Maumturk Mountains, and the Aran Islands are available to tourists from the cliffs. With its stunning ocean views and long, picturesque treks along the cliff pathways, the area is a refuge for nature lovers and bird watchers.

Number 3. Ring of Kerry

Ireland’s most breathtaking scenery may be seen during a lovely drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, known as the Ring of Kerry. You’ll pass by lakes, mountains, and some of Ireland’s best beaches on this trip.

Travellers can make stops at tiny towns and historic ruin sites along the journey, and they can keep an eye out for local fauna. It’s a great way to take in Ireland’s diverse landscapes while driving or cycling the route for a more immersive experience.

Number 4. Galway

Galway is famous for its lively cultural festivals and arts scene. There are a lot of theatres, art galleries, and stores that sell regional handicrafts in the city. There’s always music on the streets of Galway, especially in the summer when the Galway International Arts Festival takes place.

The city also acts as a starting point for visits to the breathtaking Connemara National Park and the Aran Islands, which are renowned for their intact Irish cultures.

An aerial view of Cong Abbey in the village of Cong, straddling the County Galway and County Mayo borders in Ireland.

Number 5. Killarney National Park

In County Kerry, there is a breathtaking natural beauty spot called Killarney National Park. It includes the well-known Lakes of Killarney and the highest peak range in Ireland, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, along with lakes, mountains, and forests.

The park can be explored on foot, by bicycle, or in a horse-drawn carriage. The ancient structures Ross Castle and Muckross House, which provide insight into Ireland’s past, are also located inside the park.

Number 6. Skellig Michael

Off the coast of County Kerry is a UNESCO World Heritage site called Skellig Michael. A small community of monks lived in isolation on this secluded, rocky island between the 6th and 12th centuries.

Explore the well maintained monastic ruins while taking in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, the island is well-known for being the site of “Star Wars” filming.

Number 7. Cork

The second-biggest city in Ireland, Cork, offers a blend of culture, history, and contemporary living. The city is well-known for its culinary culture, with a wide selection of fresh, regional produce available at neighbourhood markets like the English Market.

Historic locations like Cork City Gaol and St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, which offer an insight into Irish life in the 1800s, are also located in Cork. Tourists can visit the charming village of Kinsale and enjoy the lovely shoreline in the vicinity.

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork Dublin

Number 8. The Burren

In County Clare, the Burren is a distinctive karst region known for its uncommon flora, rare geology, and historic archaeological monuments. There are several hiking paths in this area that pass by spectacular cliffs, limestone pavements, and caverns.

The Poulnabrone Dolmen, an old burial place that dates back more than 5,000 years, is located in the Burren. Its lunar-like terrain provides a striking contrast to the lush, hilly landscapes that are commonly associated with Ireland.

Number 9. Giant’s Causeway

The famous basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, which is situated in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, are the outcome of a long-ago volcanic eruption. The causeway got its name because it is said to have been built by a giant.

It’s one of the most visited tourist destinations in Northern Ireland and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wandering around the seaside columns, visitors can take in the breathtaking views of the coastline.

Landscape around Giant's Causeway, A UNESCO world heritage site which has numbers of interlocking basalt columns result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.It is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

Number 10. Donegal

The sandy beaches, the Derryveagh Mountains, and the rocky coastline of County Donegal are well-known features. There, people still speak Irish frequently, giving guests a taste of authentic Irish culture.

Glenveagh National Park, located in Donegal, is home to the beautiful Glenveagh Castle surrounded by breathtaking scenery. For those who want to enjoy Ireland’s natural beauty away from the crowds, the county’s isolated location makes it an ideal getaway.

Number 11. Kilkenny

Known for its 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny is a richly historic historical city. Kilkenny Arts Festival is just one of the many events held in the city all year long, which showcases its thriving arts community.

Explore the beautifully preserved historical structures, take a leisurely walk along the River Nore, and visit the Smithwick’s Experience to discover the history of one of Ireland’s oldest brewers.

Front side of Kilkenny Castle in Kilkenny Ireland

Number 12. Dingle Peninsula

One of Ireland’s most picturesque regions is the Dingle Peninsula, which features striking scenery, historic ruins, and the energetic town of Dingle. Dingle is a centre for artists and musicians, and the region is well-known for its traditional Irish music and culture.

Aside from taking in the breathtaking Slea Head Drive, visitors may explore historic beehive cottages and maybe even sight Fungie, the well-known local dolphin that frequently greets boats in Dingle Harbour.

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Author

  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

    View all posts https://www.tiktok.com/@travellingkng

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