Things to do in Ireland…where to stay and visit

Visitors will never be short of things to do Ireland, which is why it’s such a popular holiday destination for people all across the world.

Irish pilgrimage sites
Irish Cities
Irish Castles
Tourist attractions in Ireland

Many, especially from countries like the United States, Australia and Great Britain, come to rediscover their Irish roots.

Others, from western European countries like Germany, France and Holland, come to enjoy the beautiful scenery, the culture and the warm welcome.

Bunglass cliffs, Donegal
Bunglass cliffs, Donegal photo Tourism Ireland

Places to visit in Ireland

A beautiful country steeped in history and mystery

Ireland is a country steeped in history and mystery. Every rock, tree or mile of coastline seems to carry a legend or story from times gone by.

There are several areas of breathtaking beauty such as the Lakes of Killarney, Glendalough and the Dingle Peninsula.

Glendalough in County Wicklow has the monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century photo Tourism Ireland

There’s the amazing Giant’s Causeway and numerous ancient monuments such as the Hill of Tara and Newgrange, which are older than the pyramids of Egypt.

But what many people enjoy just as much is soaking up a touch of Irish culture, enjoying some live music and banter over a pint of Guinness in the intimacy of a small pub.

These are some of the top attractions that await them.

Irish Cities

Ireland isn’t just a land of legends, landscapes and leisure. It’s a modern thriving country with bustling cities to match.

Cork, Ireland - photo Tourism Ireland
Cork city at night photo Tourism Ireland

Cities like Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway are vibrant, cosmopolitan centres that are excellent for weekend breaks. They’re all plenty big enough to provide everything you want but not so big as to be overwhelming.

Belfast – Capital of Northern Ireland. A vibrant city with a fascinating history.

Cork – The 2005 European Capital of Culture. Cork is full of places to visit including the famous Blarney Stone.

Derry – Walled city in Northern Ireland with a long and eventful history.

Dublin – One of the finest cities in Europe…steeped in history and culture yet bustling with life and excitement.

Galway – Bustling city on the West Coast of Ireland. Galway is surrounded by beauty spots with stunning views.

Limerick – One of Ireland’s oldest cities. Full of history and plenty of attractions both old and modern.

Waterford – Oldest city in Ireland. Waterford is a vibrant city founded by the Vikings in 914 AD.

Some of the must visit destinations in Ireland

Ireland has a host of attractions stretching out from coast to coast. These are just a selection of them to get you started. We’ll be adding more over the coming weeks.
The Blarney StoneKissing the Blarney Stone
Tourists come from all over the world to kiss this famous stone in the Battlements of Blarney Castle in the hope of receiving the gift of the gab – the ability to charm and persuade. Read more

Brú na BóinneBrú na Bóinne, Ireland
A World Heritage site containing several ‘passage graves’ that were built by people in prehistoric times for celebrated leaders. Brú na Bóinne is older than the Egyptian pyramids and is one of the oldest remaining examples of human civilisation in the world. Read more

Bunratty Castlemedieval Bunratty Castle
A medieval castle that has been fought over between the Irish and the English many times since it was built 800 years ago. You can tour the castle and attend medieval banquets inside. There is also a folk park that gives a glimpse of life in 19th century Ireland. Read more

The BurrenGrikes and clints run along the limestone paths of the Burren
A very mysterious place. The Burren contains monuments from every era since the Neolithic age and is an Archaeological Heritage site. It is just as well known for its incredible habitat which enables Alpine, Mediterranean and Arctic plants to live side by side. Read more

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridgeCarrick a Rede Rope Bridge, Ireland photo Stuart Yeates
A suspension bridge that links the mainland in Northern Ireland to the island of Carrick-a-Rede. Tourists who dare to cross the bridge are rewarded with fantastic views from the island. Read more

The Cliffs of MoherCliffs of Moher photo by pdxgoat
The cliffs reach 700 feet tall and there are many fabulous views of the caves, the cliffs, the Aran Islands and the Burren from various viewpoints around the area. They were shortlisted for inclusion in the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Read more

Croagh PatrickCroagh Patrick © Copyright Bart Horeman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
A mountain in Co Mayo where St Patrick fasted for forty days and nights. St Patrick was standing at the top of the mountain when he banished all the snakes from Ireland. The mountain is said to contain gold. As well as having a status as a religious pilgrimage it is also the site of the natural phenomenon,’The Rolling Sun’. Read more

The Dingle PeninsulaDingle Peninsula
An area with striking views and fascinating ancient monuments. It contains mountains, lakes and archaeological remains, some of which are up to 6,000 years old. The stunning views and wildlife at the Dingle Peninsula has inspired artists for generations. The National Geographic called it the ‘most beautiful place on Earth’. Read more

Garnish IslandGarinish Island © Copyright Florian Fuchs and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0
An island off Co Cork that is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse gardens in the world. Species of flowers from several different climates are able to live side by side there. It is only 37 acres but attracts thousands of tourists every year thanks to the fabulous gardens and architecture. Read more

The Giant’s CausewayGiants Causeway
Another World Heritage site, The Giant’s Causeway is a spectacular natural phenomenon in which a vast area of rock has been split into nearly 40,000 hexagonal columns. It has fascinated tourists and scientists since it was discovered in the 17th century. Read more

GlendaloughSaint Kevin's Church at Glendalough
An area of natural beauty in the Wicklow Mountains, surrounded by lakes and valleys. There are plenty of walks and climbing routes you can try. It is also a site filled with historical monuments thought to have been built by St Kevin. Read more

Guinness StorehouseGuinness Storehouse
The most popular tourist attraction in Ireland. The Storehouse is a celebration of 250 years of Guinness. You can take a tour, enjoy live entertainment and relax with a free sample of Guinness. The Storehouse cost £30million to build and has an impressive glass atrium in the centre that is shaped like a Guinness pint glass. There is a great atmosphere with musicians from all over the world performing. Read more

Hill of TaraHigh Cross on The Hill of Tara © Copyright - Neil Forrester and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0
In ancient times the hill of Tara was the political and spiritual capital of the country. It is known as the ‘Seat of Kings’ and over a hundred kings would have had their coronation there. There are several monuments still here from ancient times including the Stone of Destiny and the Mound of Hostages. Read more

Lakes of KillarneyKillarney Lakes_© Copyright Mozzercork and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0
The clear water in the lakes, the mountains, hills, forests wildlife make the lakes one of the most stunningly beautiful natural areas in Ireland. The area includes famous beauty spots such as the Gap of Dunloe and Ladies’ View. Read more

NewgrangeNewgrange Ireland © Copyrigh tLocutus-Borg and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0
Part of the Brú na Bóinne site, Newgrange is the most famous ‘passage tomb’ in Ireland. Its key feature is the roof box opening which fills the chamber with light at sunrise during the Winter Solstice. Read more

Peace Bridge

The Peace Bridge symbolically and literally brings both sides of Derry/Londonderry together. Read more

Ring of KerryLadies View © Copyright Ingo Mehling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0
A 100-mile route that you can drive around and enjoy some of the most beautiful parts of Ireland. There are several attractions along the way including Killarney National Park, the Ogham stones, Skellig Michael, Rossbeigh and many more. Read more

Wild Atlantic WayDingle Peninsula pic for Wild Atlantic Way - source unknown
The longest officially signposted route in the world. Takes in the entire west coast of Ireland and some of the most striking scenery and attractions the country has to offer. Read more

More top attractions in Ireland

Galway named as one of the ‘best trips’ in the world by top American travel magazine

The top seven things tourists love about Ireland

Dublin named as one of top 10 cities to travel to in Europe

Top ten must visit Irish destinations

Walk in the footsteps of Luke Skywalker and Jon Snow behind the scenes at Ireland’s top film locations

Top 10 heritage gems in Ireland’s Ancient East

Camper touring Ireland – the perfect adventure

Hill of Tara – ancient seat of Irish kings

History of the Hill of Tara