The seven things that Ireland is famous for around the world

Athletic, talented, handsome, charming… Irish dance champion brothers Michael and Matthew Gardiner

There are millions of people around the world that have Irish family history, even if they themselves have never set foot on the Emerald Isle.

However, with television, film, music and nowadays social media, everybody has an impression of what they think Ireland is like, and for what the county is most famous.

Ireland is famous for so many things it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to picking the best. Whatever you choose, you’re likely to leave out someone’s favourite.

The tourism website Big Seven Travel have decided to give it a go and compiled a list of the ‘Seven Things Ireland is Famous For’. See if you agree with their choices.

Family run Wild Wicklow Tours has been named as one of the top 10 travel experiences in the world
Beautiful green landscapes

The first thing mentioned is the green landscape. As Big Seven Travel points out, the country is nicknamed the Emerald Isle, and with good reason.

Wherever you are in Ireland, you can be sure that you are not far away from some stunning countryside and incredible scenery. Many people travel to Ireland for this very reason, to feel at one with nature while hiking or cycling up and down the beautiful mountains and hills.

The Ring of Kerry, the Wicklow Mountains and Co Donegal are just a few of the locations in Ireland that can boast fabulous landscapes all year round.

Irish band Ímar perform the Father Ted theme song outside the famous 'Craggy Island' Parochial House
Irish music

The second aspect of Ireland that features is the country’s famous music scene. Traditional folk music has long been a popular pastime in Ireland, for both performers and spectators alike.

Ireland has produced world-famous musicians for generations, from the Clancy Brothers in the 1950s and 60s right up to the modern-day stars such as Hozier and Dermot Kennedy.

Visitors to Ireland can be sure of some top-class entertainment and fun when they go out to the local pubs and restaurants, as there are still countless talented performers gigging up and down the country.

Teenage busker Allie Sherlock has shown how social media can be a platform for upcoming musicians to showcase their talents to the world. She became a YouTube star after videos of her performing on busy city streets in Dublin and Cork gained thousands of views online. She was even invited to appear on US chat queen Ellen DeGeneres’ show thanks to her stunning voice and likeable personality.

Could Guinness help you stop going deaf

Guinness is listed as the third thing Ireland is most famous for, and it is hard to argue with that. A pint of the black stuff is iconicly Irish, although the stout is enjoyed by millions in all corners of the world now.

Most Irish people will tell you that it tastes better in Ireland. Whether that is true or not, only you can decide.

Guinness is famous for its heartwarming adverts, often celebrating family values and the importance of friendship and community spirit.

One of Guinness’ most famous adverts also stressed the importance of patience when pouring the perfect pint, stating that ‘all good things come to those who wait’.

Bartenders around the world have been trying to master the art of pouring a perfect pint of Guinness ever since.

When travelling to Ireland, sampling a pint of the black stuff is a must, and if you are in Dublin then the St James Brewery is a great place to visit.

Irish stay-cationers choosing Co Kerry as their favourite destination
The Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is a reasonably new label for the west coastline of Ireland that has become famous around the world. Stretching along the entire west coast of the island, from Co Donegal right down to Cork, the Wild Atlantic Way is packed with vibrant cities, great nightlife, wonderful scenery and welcoming locals.

The holiday spots along the west coast have been popular for generations, but the Irish tourism board re-branded them as one in the form of the Wild Atlantic Way to great success. The areas now attract more visitors than ever before, and each one is touched by the magical experience during their stay.

The Wild Atlantic Way will take you right up to the North of Ireland where you might come across the Carrick a Rede rope stretching out over the sea. Dare you walk across? Whatever you do, don’t look down.

If you can’t make it to Ireland, you could take a trip round Ireland with this stunning pictorial map. It shows Ireland like you’ve never seen it before.

Jameson Irish Whiskey
Irish whiskeys

Don’t be too surprised, but it is another alcoholic beverage that made the list of the top seven famous Irish things, this time with Irish whiskey.

Jamesons and Bushmills are just two of the iconic Irish whiskeys that have made their way around the world.

Both distilleries are open to the public so visitors can learn and see first-hand how the whiskeys are created. Of course, a quick sample in the bars are also very popular activities with tourists too.

Image copyright - Andreas F. Borchert CC3
St Patrick

The patron saint of Ireland St Patrick is the sixth item on the list of famous Irish things. The Catholic figure is very much synonymous with Ireland and even has a day to celebrate his importance to the country, 17th March is St Patrick’s Day.

Each year sees cities all around the world bathe their own landmarks in green to celebrate Ireland and the contribution it has made to global culture.

St Patrick is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland, and legend has it that he also banished all snakes from the country.

St Patrick is often credited for creating the Celtic Cross. It’s widely associated with Ireland across the world and there are many theories on how it originated.

Athletic, talented, handsome, charming… Irish dance champion brothers Michael and Matthew Gardiner
Irish dancing

Irish step dancing is the final thing that Ireland is famous for according to the Big Seven Travel report.

The style is fairly unique around the world, with performers keeping their bodies upright and their hands at their sides, while their legs hop, jump and tap away.

Irish dance first impacted the world in a big way in 1994, when Michael Flatley and his Riverdance crew wowed audiences with their energetic performance during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest.

From that day on, Riverdance has been a must-see show as they have toured the world.

Plenty more Irish dance groups have formed in the following years such as Fusion Fighters and ProdiJig, adding innovation and modernising the styles to entertain crowds in the 21st century.

Irish dancing is never far away in Ireland. We popped into a pub in the Temple Bar area in Dublin one evening and this happened.

No leprechauns

Not leprechauns

The list of famous Irish things only scratches the surface of the vast array of culture and tradition that can be experienced in Ireland.

Each visitor will find their own favourite place or activity to enjoy during their stay, but this list is a great starting point if you are looking for an introduction into Irish culture.

And a final footnote, well done to the Big Seven Travel writer for not including leprechauns on the list of famous Irish things. The stereotype is tired and dated now, and can be annoying to Irish people.

After all, Ireland is one of the leading technical hubs of Europe, and has long since outgrown the leprechaun symbol.