Ireland is stereotypically known as the country with locals who are huge beer drinkers, spud eaters and the home of the leprechauns. However, that’s mostly far from the truth, even though the Irish are indeed huge drinkers. Other than that, Ireland is a beautiful country which has meshed their modern cities and natural landscapes with ease. And most importantly, the Irish are one of the loveliest people to be around, as they’re friendly and always willing to help tourists. So definitely make time to drop by this wonderful nation, because everyone will have something to do.
Read on to find out about the best places in Ireland to head to, and things to do while you are there!
Guinness is one of Ireland’s most prized exports, and we can definitely see why - It’s a delicious beer that’s both successful with locals and even worldwide. It’s always interesting to see how this wonderful beer was made, so why not make a stop at the storehouse? It may look like a humble building on the outside, however beyond that lies a 7-storey building which resembles a Guinness Cup. It’s a self-guided tour, so you can go through all the 7-storeys at your own pace. From learning about the history of the drink to learning how to pour the perfect glass of Guinness, you’re sure to be entertained and educated!
Being in the Guinness Storehouse will definitely make you feel like chugging down a cool glass of Guinness, but just hold on! As you make your way up to the 7th storey, which is known as the Gravity Hall, you can take in an amazing view of the city, and grab a glass of that classic black stuff. So enjoy the view, all while quenching your thirst, you deserve it!
Guinness Storehouse Entrance Ticket
Duration: 2 hours
2. Discover 20th century Ireland
Despite being a newcomer to the Irish museum scene, The Little Museum of Dublin has become a well-known museum that often comes recommended to the tourists. The museum is located in an 18th-century Georgian townhouse, and it’s famed for being the people’s museum of Dublin as it reflects the history and evolution of the city in the 20th century. In its permanent collection are 5000 artefacts and pieces and most of them are either donated or loaned from the public. Every visitor gets a tour when they enter the museum, and with your remarkable and knowledgeable tour guides, you’ll learn so much more about many topics. So if you’re in the city and want to learn more about Dublin, this museum is worth a visit!
The Little Museum of Dublin
Address: 15 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland
Price: from 8.60 USD (General), 6.50 USD (Seniors & Students)
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 5pm. Open till 8pm on Thursday. Last tour begins at 4pm (daily).
Website: The Little Museum of Dublin
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Irish whiskey is once again starting to have a resurgence within the nation, and is slowly becoming another Irish alcoholic beverage that the locals can be proud about. On your 1 hour tour, your tour guide will bring you around and you’ll be able to get to know some tidbits you never knew about before. You can learn about topics like the origin of the ‘water of life’, as it used to be known in the 19th century, and even about brands that are prominent or lesser-known in the nation. Also, depending on which tour you choose, you’ll be able to taste test some aged whiskey, but both tours will allow you to have a whiskey tasting sessions while experts tell you about it.
Irish Whiskey Museum Tour and Tasting
Duration: 1 Hrs Duration
4. Become a chocolatier for a day!
There are many people who believe that the top chocolate consumers globally are countries like Switzerland, Germany and France. However, did you know that Ireland actually ranks third amongst all the countries of top chocolate consumers, and even comes before France? So if you ever find yourself wondering how chocolate is created, this tour will definitely give you a chance to do so in this award winning chocolate brand’s factory. As you go around the factory, you can learn more about the history of chocolate and the brand, all while savouring the chocolatey aroma present in the factory. At the end of the tour, you can don the outfit of a Butlers chocolatier, and decorate your own chocolate novelty, which you can then take home as a souvenir. Check out our more comprehensive article of the Butlers Chocolate Experience here.
Butlers Chocolate Experience
Address: Clonshaugh Business Park, Coolock, Co. Dublin, D17 A076, Ireland
Price: from 13.80 USD (General), free-of-charge (Children, ages 3 and under)
Duration: around 1.5 hours required.
Website: Butlers Chocolate Experience
5. Lie back and cloud gaze
The Irish Sky Garden was designed by famed American artist, James Turrell and is worth a visit. It might not seem like the easiest garden to get into, but there’s actually a doorway that leads to the centre of the crater. As you go through it, you’ll find yourself being under the wide sky. In the middle of the crater is a plinth that’s designed to hold two people comfortably, and whether it be day or night, you can lie back and enjoy the view of the sky as it’s framed by the rim of the crater. Just keep in mind that entrance to it is by appointment only, so visit their website for more information.
Irish Sky Garden
Address: Castletownsend Rd, Russagh, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, Ireland
Price: from 5.40 USD, visit is by appointment only.
Website: Irish Sky Garden
6. Ring the bells in the tower
If you’re in the city of Cork, you have to stop by this iconic landmark. It’s a church that’s well-rooted in the history of the city, so take some time to stroll through the gorgeous and classic church. The entrance to the church is free-of-charge, so it’s something worth visiting. However, the main draw to the church is its tower. Pay a fee, and you’ll be able to access the top of the tower, and admire the beautiful sights of the city.
While you’re in the tower, you can actually ring the bells that will resonate throughout the city. There are a total of 8 bells, which all make up to 1 octave each. You’ll also be provided with sheet music, you can choose a tune you love and hear it come to life.
St Anne’s Church
Address: 2 Church Street, Shandon, Cork, Ireland
Price: from 5.40 USD (Adults), 4.30 USD (Seniors, ages 65 and up and Students over 16 with a valid student card), 2.70 USD (Children, ages 5 - 15), free-of-charge (Children, ages 5 and under) - For tower access. Church access is free-of-charge.
Opening Hours for November - February: 11am - 3pm (Monday - Saturday) and 11.30am - 3pm (Sunday)
Opening Hours for March - May & October: 10am - 4pm (Monday - Saturday) and 11.30am - 3.30pm (Sunday)
Opening Hours for June - September: 10am - 5pm (Monday - Saturday) and 11.30am - 4.30pm (Sunday)
Website: St Anne’s Church
7. Head to the market to shop or snack
If you’re in Cork and identify as a foodie, you should definitely drop by the English Market. This is a staple market in Cork, and has been around for a really long time. However, in 1980, it was seriously damaged by a fire and was repaired hastily. With its refurbishment, it has become more multicultural with more produce from all around the world for sale. In the recent years, it’s also become a tourist attraction, and even Queen Elizabeth II visited it during her 2011 state visit. If you have access to a kitchen, you can grab some fresh ingredients and whip up a meal. Or just walk around and snack on some local specialties.
Address: Princes St, Centre, Cork, Ireland
Opening Hours: 8am - 6pm (Monday - Saturday). Closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays
Website: English Market
8. Scream your head off on Europe's largest wooden roller coaster
For families with kids and want to keep them entertained on your Ireland trip, Tayto Park is a must-visit. It’s a newcomer to the amusement park scene and is only a short day trip from Dublin. This is the brainchild of the prominent crisp brand, and you can spend the entire day here. There are plenty of exciting rides, like the Cú Chulainn Coaster, Europe’s largest wooden roller coaster, where you ride on and scream your head off. There’s also a museum where you can learn about how these iconic crisps are made, and even take some bags of them home. However, it’s not only an amusement park, there’s also a zoo within Tayto Park where you can have fun while being educated about a diverse collection of animals.
Address: A84 EA02, Kilbrew, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, Ireland
Price: from 16.15 USD (Adults & Children, ages 3 and up), 13 USD (Special needs adults/children), 16.15 USD (All-day wristband), free-of-charge (Children, ages under 3 and Carers)
Opening Hours: Check website for specific timings.
Website: Tayto Park
9. Have a soak in some seaweed
We don’t think many people look at seaweed and think, “Wow, that’s something I want to soak in!” However, don’t look down on this old-fashioned spa treatment! This practice dates back to the Edwardian times, and is promoted as a bath that makes you feel more rejuvenated. So if you’re in the area, and spent the entire day taking part in outdoor recreational activities, this bath is perfect for you! This spa doesn’t only offer the seaweed bath, and there are other packages you can choose from. So if you’ve ever wanted to experience what it might be like to be a sea monster, and then come out feeling like a million bucks, definitely try out this seaweed bath.
Voya Seaweed Baths
Address: Strandhill, Carrowbunnaun, Sligo, Ireland
Price: Depends on what treatment you choose.
Opening Hours: 10am - 8pm, open all-year round.
Website: Voya Seaweed Baths
10. Immerse yourself in nature in the park
Killarney National Park is a beloved attraction for both locals and tourists alike, and it is beautiful and quiet. The park was designated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, because of the quality, diversity and extensiveness of its various habitats, and the area can accommodate many species, including some rare ones. It also acts as a home to many animals like the white-tailed eagles, which were reintroduced into the area in 2007. And it’s also home to red deer, and in this national park, you can get up close and personal with these gentle animals. While you’re in the area, you can also take an hour’s tour on a Jaunting Car, where you can explore the entirety of the national park. Learn about the history and wildlife from a long-time local, and they might even tell you some hilarious stories!
Killarney National Park
Address: Dinish Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm, daily (Killarney House and Gardens), 24-hour pedestrian access to Killarney National Park.
Website: Killarney National Park
11. Spend the day touring an Irish castle
Have you ever wondered how rich Irish people from before lived their lavish lifestyles? The Powerscourt Estate will give visitors a glimpse of this. This famous attraction was originally the residence of Viscounts Powerscourt until it was eventually owned by the Slazenger family on 1961. Now, it has been developed and it houses a golf club, a restaurant, and even a hotel, to cater to all the guests who would visit the estate. Strolling around will bring you to its magnificent garden, even comparable to that of Versailles. There is also a nearby waterfall which you have the option to visit. One can spend a whole day here and feel that it might not be enough to really appreciate and tour the whole place. It is an example of timeless Irish architecture that is so well preserved. Now, what would a trip to Ireland be if you don’t visit such a history-rich place?
The Powerscourt Estate
Address: Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Price: Gardens - from 11.42 USD (Adult Ticket), 9.71 USD (Student/Senior Ticket), 5.71 USD (Child Ticket) || Waterfall - from 6.85 USD (Adult Ticket), 6.28 USD (Student/Senior Ticket), 4 USD (Child Ticket)
Opening Hours: Open Daily 9:30am – 5:30pm (Last entry 5pm)
Website: The Powerscourt Estate
12. Take a stroll in the magnificent Irish highlands
Is there really a word that is enough to describe the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland? Located in County Clare, this tourist attraction will leave you in awe. With 14 kilometers worth of sea cliffs, visitors will feel that they have been transported to another timeless world in Ireland. As of now, everything is made more convenient with the help of the environmental friendly Visitor Centre, which was established by the Clare County Council to help cater to the tourists who want to go all out with their Cliffs of Moher experience. There are now exhibits which feature the local wildlife and views from different points in the cliffs, cafes, and several souvenir shops for everyone. If you are up for it, there is also the option of a coastal walk trail for more adventurous visitors. It will run from Hag’s Head going to Doolin. It’s the perfect way to explore the attraction at your own pace while taking in scenic views along the way!
The Cliffs of Moher
Address: Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Price: from 9.14 USD (Adult Ticket), 5.71 USD (Student/Senior Ticket), Free (Children under 16)
Opening Hours: Open Daily from 8am - 9pm
Website: Cliffs of Moher
Ireland isn’t a country that’s typically recommended to tourists when they want to visit Europe. However, we believe it’s a wonderful city with many things to offer to a tourist. It’s on a par with many of the European countries, so it’s definitely worth a visit!
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