Top 10 Things to Do in Ireland
Ireland is a European island within the North Atlantic Ocean. Ireland is one of the world’s friendliest countries, home to world-famous Irish pubs and lives music, beautiful parks, natural beauty, and stunning historical castles. Ireland has the most Castles in the world, totaling more than 30,000. We list the top 10 things to do in Ireland.
- Ireland is home to two countries: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is under the United Kingdom, while the Republic of Ireland is an independent country.
- The capital city of Ireland is Dublin
- Ireland has two official languages: English and Irish
- Irish descendants can claim citizenship
- The oldest pub is said to be 900 years old
- Ireland is the birthplace of the world-renowned beer entitled Guinness
- It is illegal to drink in public in Ireland
- There are about 70 to 80 million people worldwide to have Irish ancestry
- There is a leprechaun museum in Dublin
I visited Ireland, my ancestor’s homeland, in July 2018 with my best friend, Ariana Gomez. I will never forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was fortunate to have met the friendliest people, listened to traditional Irish cheerful live music at every pub, and explored Ireland’s breathtaking scenery. We went to memorable places that I will list below in hopes that this blog post will give you an insight into some things to do while visiting.
Where to Stay?
I highly recommend staying at the cutest hostel entitled Isaacs Hostel in Dublin. Hostels are great if you are on a budget and enjoy meeting new people! Isaacs was a lovely stay because the helpful staff was available 24/7. They truly made the place more comfortable. Isaacs had a delicious, free breakfast every morning, fun bar crawls every night to sign up for, and a long list of guided tours you can book confidentially. We booked all but one of our tours in Ireland through the hostel.
Fun Fact: My grandfather’s family is from Donegal, and my grandmother’s family is from County Clare. My grandparents grew up in the United States and met in New York, where they had six beautiful children.
1. Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is the largest city on the west coast.
My Experience: We enjoyed Guinness at the infamous temple bar we randomly came across through the cobblestone streets. We also went to Dublin Castle and visited the H’appenny Bridge. We didn’t go to the Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery, or the Kilmainham Gaol; however, those are the top places to visit in Dublin.
Below I have created a list of some things to do in Dublin based on my research and experience!
A. Dublin Castle–
This castle was the seat of British power in Ireland for 700 years dating back to 1204. It is currently an Irish government complex, conference center, and tourist attraction. The craft shop, heritage center restaurant, and chapel royal are open to visitors.
Address– Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland
B. Kilmainham Gaol-
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison and now a museum run by the Office of Public Works. It offers a realistic insight into some of the most disturbing parts of modern Irish history. This place opened in 1796 and closed in 1924. The leaders of rebellions throughout history were detained at this location. Access to the site is allowed by guided tour only!
Address- Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28, Ireland
C. Temple Bar-
The Temple Bar is one of the most famous pubs in Dublin. The history of this pub goes back to 1599. The place contains the largest collection of rare whiskey in Dublin.
Address: 47/48 Temple Bar Dublin D02 N725 Ireland
D. Jameson Distillery-
Visit this distillery where expert guides tell the story of Jameson in a recreated distillery scene with tastings and dining.
Address- Bow St, Smithfield Village, Dublin 7, Ireland
Similar Post: Top 10 Things to Do in Dublin, Ireland
2. Galway, Ireland
Galway has lively pubs, restaurants, street performers, and independent shops through cobblestone streets. The stores in Galway are within walking distance. The city is truly charming!
A. Claddagh Jewelers Shop:
The charming city is home to a Claddagh Jewelers shop. The famous Claddagh ring symbolizes Friendship!
Address: 25 Mainguard St, Galway, Ireland
B. Lynch Castle
The Lynch’s Castle in Galway has an interesting story behind it about the Lynch family who once lived there. The Lynch family was one of the most powerful forces of the city 500 years ago, as they were one of the fourteen founding tribes of Galway. Walter Lynch was sentenced to death by his father as a sacrifice to public justice. Walter murdered a Spanish merchant staying with the family in Galway for being too romantic with his girlfriend. His father’s punishment went down in history as he shockingly hung his son from the window.
Address: Shop St., Galway, Ireland
C. John F. Kennedy Memorial Park
The John F. Kennedy Memorial Park is home to a playground and seasonal markets. Eyre square near Kennedy Park has live street performers who were Irish-Sep-Dancing to traditional music. The park was renamed John F. Kennedy Memorial Park in honor of the American president who made a speech in 1963.
Address: Eyre Square, Galway, Ireland
-Hooked Seafood- They have the BEST fish and chips in the city!
-Ard Bia– This restaurant serves locally sourced and seasonal produce. The gallery upstairs features fabulous artwork.
-White Gables- White Gables offers traditional Irish food with a focus on seafood and lobster.
-St. Nicholas Church- This medieval church was built in 1320!
Address: Market Street, Galway, Ireland
Galway Cathedral- The Galway Cathedral is a renaissance-style Catholic cathedral dedicated to our lady who is assumed to be in heaven and St. Nicholas!
3. Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher is an hour and a half away from Galway. The Cliffs are on the west coast of Ireland in County Clare. WOW! The untouched natural beauty was breathtaking. You can walk along a 5-mile-long path near the cliff if you are not afraid of heights.
TIP: Book ahead and visit during there off-peak hours to get the best deal and save money!
Off Peak Hours: 8am-11am and 4pm-Close
Peak Hours: 11am to 4pm
Adult Prices: Off Peak: 4 Euros Peak: 8 Euros
Student/Senior Prices: Off Peak: 3.50 Euros Peak: 5.00 Euros
Children Prices: FREE
4. Giants Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is a must-see because the beauty of this place is unreal. I have never seen anything so unique and mesmerizing. Visiting was my favorite place in Ireland, even better than the infamous Cliffs of Moher. I highly recommend adding this adventure to the top of your to-do list if you are ever visiting Ireland.
–Myth: The Giants Causeway was caused by a giant
–Fact: The Giants Causeway was actually caused by a volcanic activity 60 million years ago
–Location: County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland.
–Address: 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills BT57 8SU
–Prices: Adult: 8.25 Euros Child: 4.25 Euros Family: 21 Euros
-Similar Tour: https://www.irishdaytours.ie/tour/giants-causeway-tour/
5. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
After visiting the Giants Causeway, we made our way to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, as this was only 9 miles away and was the second to last stop of our tour. There is a winding 1km coastal walk filled with seabirds and glorious sites until reaching the bridge. Crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge was both exhilarating and fulfilling. The current bridge was open to the public in 2008. The bridge went under construction to comply with safety rules by the National Trust in 2000 to protect tourists.
Fun Fact: The people are super kind in Ireland. I even lost my ticket to cross the bridge. They still let me on the bridge anyway. This would have never happened in New York.
Location: Near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Address: 119A White Park Road, Ballintoy BT54 6LS
6. Dark Hedges Trees and Fairy Houses
The Dark Hedges trees is an avenue of 150 large mature beech trees planted in 1775 by the Stuart Family. This place has a famous appearance on the HBO Game of Thrones tv series. The trees on both sides of the road form a tunnel. There are mini fairy houses on the Fairy Trail on the way to the Dark Hedges. These houses were adorable, bright, and detailed.
Address: 141 Ballinlea Road, Stranocum, Ballymoney BT53 8PX
7. Dunluce Castle
Our tour stopped at Dunluce Castle. There was nothing special about the castle until it was on the hit tv show game of thrones.
8. Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle is home to the Blarney Stone. The legend states if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you receive the gift of eloquence or skill at flattery. The Stone is made of carboniferous limestone and is at the top of the castle with 127 steps and 37 feet high.
9. Horseback riding in Wicklow
We went on the Wicklow Mountain Day tour and had a wonderful experience, as the staff was kind, friendly, and helpful. Horseback riding through the mountains of Wicklow was stunning.
10. Glasnevin Cemetery
Ireland’s largest catholic garden cemetery was hauntingly gorgeous. The cemetery was the gatekeeper of over 1.5 million souls covering 124 acres with plenty to appreciate.
Photos from my experience:
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