13 spectacular attractions you must visit in Ireland
With a breathtaking natural beauty and a history rich in culture, Ireland truly is a dream tourist destination.
Ireland is renowned for its temperamental weather, but there are plenty of locations that will have you eyeing the Emerald Isle as your next holiday destination.
1. Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Carved out by the weather and the Atlantic ocean, the Cliffs of Moher are located on the west coast of Ireland, on the southwestern part of County Clare. Majestic in their rugged beauty, the best time to visit is at sunset. The Cliffs of Moher are a great place for nature lovers to explore with twenty species of birds residing around the area.
2. Giant's Causeway, County Antrim
This is Northern Ireland's most popular destination. Its surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful and have attracted tons of international visitors for centuries. Giant's Causeway consists of approximately 40,000 basalt stone pillars formed from a volcanic eruption, and ancient legends claim that angry giants hurled rocks and boulders into the sea.
3. Grafton Street, County Dublin
Grafton Street has an abundance of street performers, cute cafe's, pubs, restaurants and souvenir shops that will enthral the average shopaholic, and intrigue any curious tourist.
4. The Books of Kells and The Old Library Exhibition, County Dublin
A visit to Dublin is incomplete without the sights of arguably the most famous artefact in the heart of Dublin—the Book of Kells. This ancient masterpiece has had it displays protected and preserved since the nineteenth century in Trinity College, Dublin. The toil and painstaking labour of the beautifully handwritten Latin text of the Gospels, which were performed by monks in 800 AD, proves that this artefact is worthy of such adulation. The rich history surrounding this text inspired the 2009 movie The Secret of Kells.
5. Trinity College, County Dublin
Apart from housing the Book of Kells, Trinity College Dublin is another of Dublin's most famous tourist attractions, as well as being Ireland's oldest university. Trinity College is famous for its high excellence in education and history ranking in the top 100 world universities.
6. Newgrange, County Meath
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Predating the ancient Egyptian pyramids, the passage tomb is estimated to have taken a total of 30 years to build. According to Irish mythology, Newgrange is the home of the god of love Oenghus.
7. The Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
Commonly known as the Ring of Kerry, this rugged trail faces the Atlantic Ocean and encompasses some of the beautiful Irish countryside and cliffs, with restaurants and cafes along the way. Spanning 179km long this trail passes by seaside villages and coastal landscapes. There are great attractions littered along the way, such as the stunning Skellig Islands, Valentia Islands and the Cahergal Stone Fort, as well as Skelligs Chocolate Factory which overlooks the UNESCO World heritage site Skellig Michael—a place that may be familiar to you as Luke Skywalker's hideaway in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
8. Titanic in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Located in County Antrim, Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic tourist attraction. The six-floor building—consisting of nine galleries—was purposely built beside the actual site where the Titanic was constructed. The exhibition is set up to bring visitors on a journey using authentic, interactive dynamic visuals allowing people to see each step of the story brought to life.
9. Powerscourt Waterfall, County Wicklow
If you're looking for Ireland's highest waterfall make a trip to Powerscourt in Wicklow. This beautiful attraction although not as large as some waterfalls you may have seen in other parts of the world, the simplicity in such a tranquil place is one you will enjoy.
10. St Patrick's Cathedral, County Dublin
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From the stained glass windows to the memorials to the artwork it's undeniable that the architecture is stunning inside St Patrick's Cathedral. The Irish tradition, history and culture are embedded in this important place which happens to be the tallest church in Ireland. The author of Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift is laid to rest in this historic place of worship.
11. The Little Museum of Dublin, County Dublin
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If you're a history buff and want to learn about Ireland, then this quirky little museum gives insight into Irish culture and modern Dublin. Don't be fooled by its name, this museum spans three floors with over 5,000 artefacts, including the history of the famous band U2 along with JFK's original speech from his historic visit in 1963.
12. Aran Islands, County Galway
The three rocky islands Inis Mór, Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin—known collectively as the Aran Islands—are found in the Wild Atlantic Way. Churches, monuments and forts can be found on all three islands. The Aran Islands are a clear picture of what the west of Ireland looks like—quiet beaches, cliffs and historic lighthouses and lively late night music sessions.
13.The Guinness Storehouse, County Dublin
The lifeblood of Ireland's most famous city is definitely Guinness and this beverage stands to be Ireland's most recognisable export to date. Along with viewing the Book of Kells, a visit to Dublin requires a trip to the famous Guinness Storehouse. You'll learn how to pour your very own Guinness as well as the artistry behind the brewing process by visiting the tasting rooms. You're also guaranteed free samples of Guinness on the hour (need I say more?).