Far from the beaten track, Ireland is a destination that is a little off the beaten track. However, Eire, from its Irish name, is a beautiful country full of wonders and beautiful cities to discover during a trip. Long under the yoke of England, the Republic of Ireland is now independent and covers a large part of the island of the same name. Indeed, Northern Ireland still belongs to the United Kingdom of which it is one of the four constituent parts.
If the climate may put off some travelers, it is wrong: the country has a luxuriant vegetation, swarming with medieval castles, in the heart of historic counties. Wondering what to do in Ireland? You won’t be bored during your stay on this fabulous island, there are so many places to discover! So, to help you prepare for your Irish adventure, we have prepared a list of the 16 most beautiful places to visit in Ireland!
Visiting Ireland means discovering its capital! Dublin can easily keep you busy for more than a weekend. This historic city is a testimony to the Irish past. The city has many museums, such as the National Museum, the Writers’ Museum, but also beautiful buildings to discover during your stay such as Christ Church Cathedral and its crypt, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College.
Above all, make the most of your stay in Dublin by strolling through the narrow streets and cobbled streets of the centre, strolling through the markets and tasting the delicious local beers in the various pubs of the capital. Because visiting Ireland is also about tasting its beers! Known for its cultural effervescence and festive atmosphere, the Temple Bar district is particularly recommended for your stay in Dublin. If you like to revel in this drink, you can also visit the Guinness Storehouse!
In the west of Ireland, Galway is a vibrant and charming city, a cultural center of the island, where many artists have left their joyful imprint.
In the city, you can visit the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, the mythical Lynch’s Castle residence or discover the Spanish Arch, souvenirs of the Middle Ages. Note that during the summer, many festivals and artistic events take place in Galway!
Not far from Galway is the Connemara National Park, a must if you plan to visit Ireland! This true paradise on earth, untamed by man, covers more than 2,000 hectares.
Three tours of varying difficulty and length will allow you to discover the park’s beautiful wildlife in an impressive setting. For from the imposing mountains, you will enjoy an incredible panorama of the rolling plains, the forests and gigantic lakes, the peat bogs and the red moors of Connemara!
4- Cliffs of Moher
What to do in Ireland? Admire the mythical Cliffs of Moher, of course! Located south of Galway, they are more than 8 kilometers long and up to 215 meters high.
No doubt you will be amazed by the power, grandeur and beauty of this mecca of Irish tourism!
5- Giant’s Causeway
Located in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway, or “Clochán na bhFómharach” in Gaelic, is a formidable geological formation consisting of more than 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns, some of which are up to 12 meters high!
Legend has it that it was built so that two giants, one Irish and the other Scottish, could confront each other. There are several sites to visit, so don’t hesitate to ask for a guide to learn more about this emblematic place in Ireland!
On your way to Giant’s Causeway, Belfast is a must stop. This historic city on the island was the scene of the war between the Unionists and the Nationalists, traces of which can still be seen on Belfast’s walls.
Despite its not-so-distant tragic past, the city deserves your attention. During your walks, you will be able to admire the superb Victorian architecture of the city, as well as the Grand Opera House, the University of Queens and also the Botanic Garden!
7- Kerry County
It is impossible to visit Ireland without discovering County Kerry! The Ring of Kerry is notably one of the most beautiful roads in Ireland. It will allow you to admire the mountains, the Irish coasts and especially the sublime Cliffs of Kerry.
Breathtaking panoramas await you along this 180km long route! Whether you travel by car, bicycle or on foot, you will find your happiness between roads, mountain trails or walks in the middle of nature. Whether or not it is your starting point for visiting Kerry, don’t hesitate to linger in Killarney to admire its superb historical monuments, such as Ross Castle.
8- Dingle Peninsula
North of County Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula is a must see! Taking its name from the town of Dingle, the peninsula exists thanks to the presence of a mountain range, the Sliabh Mish, which juts out into the sea!
Mount Brandon, one of the largest in Ireland with its 951 meters of altitude, will offer you a sublime view of the region. Wild and with a mild climate, between ocean and mountains, the Dingle Peninsula is a unique place to discover when you visit Ireland! Moreover, to discover a typical Irish city, you should linger in Dingle. Belonging to the Gaeltach region, where Irish is still spoken, it is home to small picturesque pubs and restaurants where you can listen to Irish music.
9- Skellig Michael
Off the coast of Kerry, the Skellig Islands rise abruptly to 218 meters above the Atlantic Ocean. Isolated, Skellig Michael was home to a small Christian monastery in the Middle Ages.
Protected and known for its archaeological sites, it has recently gained new fame thanks to episodes VII and VIII of Star Wars. Indeed, the island was used as a filming location for the two films of the saga!
What to do in Ireland? Visit the vibrant student city of Cork! The third most populated city on the island, it is currently experiencing an exceptional cultural and economic boom. During the day, you will be able to discover a fabulous architectural heritage that has spanned the ages, from the Middle Ages to the present day, with typical streets such as St. Patrick’s Street, sublime cathedrals and friendly museums.
At night, restaurants and pubs will take over and you can enjoy delicious meals, refreshing pints and pleasant concerts!
South of Cork, Kinsale is a charming little town to discover when you go to visit Ireland!
Known for its colorful houses and art galleries, it is also home to a beautiful historical heritage, such as the Charles Fort, which overlooks and protects the bay.
12- The Rock of Cashel
Visiting Ireland also means admiring magnificent castles several hundred years old. The Rock of Cashel is one of the most emblematic. Rising almost 60 meters from the top of an imposing rocky peak, it is a complex of absolutely fantastic medieval remains.
Overlooking the city, it is a mecca for Irish tourism. Anyone interested in learning more about the country’s medieval history should visit The Rock!
13- The Coumshingaun Lough
Surrounded by mountains, in the heart of a veritable cirque of rock, Coumshingaun Lough is one of the most beautiful lakes in the whole of Ireland. You won’t regret making this wonderful hike in the Comeragh Mountains when you discover the sublime view of this lake!
A dizzying and breathtaking spectacle will reward the most daring.
You’re still asking what to do in Ireland? Known for its sublime medieval architecture and unique heritage, Kilkenny is a mecca for Irish tourism with its magnificent castles and cathedrals!
It is also in this city that the beer of the same name is brewed. So to enjoy a delicious pint and stroll through the charming little streets, Kilkenny should be on your itinerary!
15- Slieve League
Situated in the northernmost county of Donegal, the Slieve League Cliff is the second highest cliff in Europe! At 606 meters you will be facing one of the most beautiful views in Ireland.
Although there is a lot of wind, the hike is definitely worth it, so allow time to discover this unmissable site!
16- Glenveagh National Park
County Donegal has many surprises in store for you… This 16,000-hectare park with its castle and gardens is about 20 km from Letterkenny.
Between the mountains of Derryveagh and the valleys of Lough Veagh and Poisoned Glen, Glenveagh National Park offers breathtaking views and a wonderful walk. The more sporty (and more courageous), will be tempted by a surfing session: a rather popular sport in the surroundings, it must be said that the wave is usually there!