15 Best Things To Do In Ireland

15 Best Things To Do In Ireland

By will

Ireland is a beautiful and unique country with a long and varied history.
There are so many things to do and see here, it can be hard to know where to start.
I’ve put together a list of the top fifteen must-see attractions and activities that will help you get the most out of your visit to Ireland.
From the iconic Cliffs of Moher to the Guinness Storehouse, and from Skellig Michael to the Ring of Kerry, you’ll find something here to suit any taste.
Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience, an outdoor adventure, or a bit of both, there’s something here for everyone.
So let’s get started and explore all that Ireland has to offer!

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher
Photo by Jeff Buck

You’ll be in awe of the stunning Cliffs of Moher, standing 700 feet tall and stretching for 5 miles along the coast of Ireland. Located in County Clare, this natural wonder is one of the most visited attractions in the country.

Whether you opt for a guided tour or a self-guided hike, you’ll take in spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also get to explore the ancient ruins of O’Brien’s Tower, a round stone structure that was built in the 1800s.

The Cliffs of Moher offer a unique experience that you won’t soon forget. Capture the breathtaking beauty of the cliffs by taking stunning photographs, or just relax and take in all the splendor of the area.

This is a must-see for any traveler to Ireland.

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouses
Photo by N Chadwick

Head over to the Guinness Storehouse for an immersive experience—it’s an absolute must-see! Located in Dublin, the Guinness Storehouse is the home of the world-famous stout beer.

This iconic landmark offers visitors an interactive journey through the history and brewing processes of the famous Guinness. Starting from the ground up, visitors can explore seven floors of interactive experiences that tell the story of Guinness.

On the top floor, you can savor a pint of the famous beer whilst enjoying the breathtaking views of Dublin.

At the Guinness Storehouse, you can learn about the brewing process from grain to glass, explore the history of the Guinness family, and explore the Gravity Bar, which provides 360-degree views of Dublin.

Furthermore, visitors can take part in beer tasting sessions and learn how to pour the perfect pint.

The Guinness Storehouse is the perfect place to learn more about the brewing process, the history of the Guinness brand, and to enjoy a glass of the world-famous stout beer.

Skellig Michael

Path to Christ's Saddle, Skellig Michael
Photo by Rob Burke

Experience the awe-inspiring Skellig Michael, a 6th-century monastic settlement located off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland.

With its rocky terrain, quaint chapel, and beehive-shaped stone dwellings, it’s truly a sight to behold. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skellig Michael is only accessible via a boat ride across the Atlantic Ocean.

Once on the island, visitors can make their way up hundreds of steps to reach the top, where the ruins of the monastery and its breathtaking views await.

A visit to Skellig Michael provides a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of nature, coupled with a sense of history and spirituality.

The island is home to thousands of gannets, puffins, and other birds, as well as a variety of other wildlife. As visitors take in the stunning views and explore the ancient ruins, they can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder.

Whether you’re looking for a day of sightseeing or a spiritual journey, Skellig Michael is an unforgettable experience.

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Ring of Kerry

Take a journey around the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, a 180-km circuit around the Iveragh Peninsula that offers spectacular views of Ireland’s wild west coast.

You’ll be able to explore the many villages, mountains, and lakes that make this area so special.

From the stunning beaches of Rossbeigh and Inch to the historic sites of Staigue Fort and Derrynane House, the Ring of Kerry has something for everyone.

Stop at the quaint villages of Sneem and Waterville to find pubs, cafes, and local crafts. Taste the unique flavors of seafood and locally grown produce.

Admire the lush green hills and the rugged coastal scenery.

For a truly unforgettable experience, take a boat trip across the Kenmare River to visit the islands of Valentia, Great Blasket, and the Skellig Rocks.

Whether you go by car, bike, or boat, the Ring of Kerry offers a mesmerizing journey of the Emerald Isle.

Titanic Belfast

Immerse yourself in the history of the RMS Titanic at Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience.

Located in the historic dockyard of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, the birthplace of the Titanic, the experience is a must-see for anyone visiting Ireland.

The iconic six-floor building houses nine interactive galleries that take you on a journey from the Titanic’s conception to its launch, its fateful maiden voyage, and its legacy.

You can explore the shipyard that built the Titanic, get a glimpse of the first-class cabins, and learn about the heroic efforts of the crew.

There are also interactive exhibits, multimedia displays, and a short film that ensure you leave with a deeper understanding of the Titanic.

Titanic Belfast is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a greater appreciation of its fascinating history.

Glendalough

After exploring the incredible Titanic Belfast, the next must-see attraction on my visit to Ireland is Glendalough. Located southeast of Dublin, this area is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and fascinating spiritual history.

Glendalough is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, as there are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained. The ancient ruins of Glendalough are a must-see. A short walk takes you to the ruins of St. Kevin’s Church. This place was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and was used as an important pilgrimage site until the 17th century. The view of the surrounding valley from the top of the hill is breathtaking. There are also the remains of several other churches, a round tower, and other interesting structures to explore.

The Glendalough Valley is also perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. There are several trails of varying difficulty, ranging from easy to strenuous. The scenery is stunning, and visitors can spot wildlife like foxes, badgers, and birds. Kayaking is also a popular activity here, with the lakes in the valley providing the perfect setting for a peaceful paddle.

Giant’s Causeway

Discover the natural wonder of Giant’s Causeway, an area of 40,000 basalt columns jutting out of the sea on Northern Ireland’s coast.

This stunning landscape was formed over 50 million years ago by a volcanic eruption, and is believed to be the remains of a causeway built by the legendary Irish giant, Fionn mac Cumhaill.

Visiting the Giant’s Causeway is a must-see when traveling to Ireland. The site offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Antrim coast, and visitors can explore the interlocking columns, sea stacks, and cliffs.

Hiking trails crisscross the area, giving visitors the chance to take in the stunning views of this natural wonder.

The Giant’s Causeway is an iconic landmark in Ireland and is a great spot to spend a day exploring and appreciating the beauty of the Irish countryside.

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Wild Atlantic Way

Experience the stunning Wild Atlantic Way, an Irish coastal route stretching from Donegal to Cork. This incredible route is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and culture of the Emerald Isle.

The Wild Atlantic Way offers stunning views of the Irish coast, with its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque villages.

You can explore the stunning Cliffs of Moher, take a boat trip around the Aran Islands, or visit the charming towns of Sligo and Galway. It’s also the perfect opportunity to visit some of Ireland’s most famous attractions, such as the Blarney Stone and the Cliffs of Moher.

Along the way, you’ll find plenty of cultural attractions, such as traditional Irish pubs and music venues. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday or an adventure, the Wild Atlantic Way has something for everyone.

Irish Whiskey Tour

Immerse yourself in Irish culture on a whiskey tour along the Wild Atlantic Way, where you’ll sample some of the finest Irish whiskey while learning about the nation’s history and traditions.

Discover the unique flavors of Irish whiskey, from light and floral to peated and smoky. These whiskeys are made with Irish barley and water from the island’s mountains and rivers, giving them a distinct character and taste.

Learn about the history of Irish whiskey production, from its roots in the 1800s to its renaissance in the 21st century. Hear stories about how the whiskey was smuggled during the Great Famine and learn more about the famous distilleries of the region.

Enjoy the smooth, mellow taste of Irish whiskey as you take in the stunning scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way. A whiskey tour truly is the best way to experience the culture and heritage of Ireland.

Newgrange

After a day of exploring the country’s whiskey distilleries, my next stop was Newgrange. This ancient monument in County Meath is one of the most important archaeological sites in Ireland. Built over 5,000 years ago, Newgrange was constructed using large stones and a roofbox to capture the sunlight during the winter solstice.

It was an incredible experience to stand in the chamber, surrounded by the stones and feel the energy of the site. I was able to tour the grounds, and even take part in a solstice celebration that included traditional Irish music and storytelling.

This was a truly memorable experience, and one that I’m sure to remember for many years to come. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique experience, a visit to Newgrange is something that should not be missed.

Kilkenny Castle

Take a trip back to medieval Ireland with a visit to Kilkenny Castle! This 12th-century castle is an iconic landmark of the city of Kilkenny. It was historically the seat of the powerful Butler family. Located on the banks of the River Nore, and filled with stunning historical artifacts, a tour of the castle is sure to be a memorable experience.

Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms, which include the Great Hall, the Butler Gallery, the Chapel, and the Treasury. Each room is filled with carefully curated furniture and art from the castle’s long and illustrious past. The knowledgeable guides will provide interesting stories and insights about the castle’s history.

The castle also offers great views of the city and its surrounding countryside. A peaceful stroll around the castle grounds is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of medieval Ireland. Kilkenny Castle is a must-see destination for anyone looking to explore the history and culture of Ireland.

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Clonmacnoise

After exploring the majestic Kilkenny Castle, a must-see attraction in Ireland, I’m now ready to journey to Clonmacnoise, a 6th century monastic site located on the banks of the River Shannon.

Here I can admire ancient Irish art, literature, and spirituality. Clonmacnoise is considered one of the most important religious sites in Ireland and its ruins are a testament to its rich history.

As I wander through the grounds, I’m immediately struck by the beauty of the landscape. I can admire the Celtic crosses, round towers, and old churches that have withstood the test of time.

I learn about the monastery’s fascinating history and the impact it has had on Irish culture. I also get to experience the traditional Irish music and dance that is still performed in the area today.

Clonmacnoise is truly a remarkable place and a must-see destination for anyone visiting Ireland.

Blarney Castle

Next, come experience the iconic Blarney Castle, legendary for its ‘gift of gab’ where you can kiss the magical Blarney Stone and be granted the gift of eloquence!

Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in County Cork, Ireland. The castle is situated high above the ground and surrounded by a beautiful park, making it the perfect backdrop for a picnic.

Wander through the grounds and explore the castle’s fascinating history. The Blarney Stone itself is a legendary block of bluestone believed to have mystical powers. It is located at the top of the castle and visitors must climb the steep spiral staircase to reach it.

Here you can give the stone a kiss and receive its “gift of gab”! Blarney Castle is an experience unlike any other and a must-see for any traveler visiting Ireland.

Dublin Zoo

Explore Dublin Zoo, one of Ireland’s oldest and most beloved attractions, to marvel at its diverse wildlife and conservation efforts!

Home to over 600 animals, the zoo offers a unique opportunity to observe creatures of all kinds, including zebras, gorillas, and giraffes.

The zoo also serves as a platform to educate visitors on the importance of wildlife conservation. With exhibits dedicated to endangered species, visitors can learn valuable information about the environment and how to keep it healthy.

The zoo also offers educational programs for children and adults alike, so you can expand your knowledge about the world around you.

Dublin Zoo is a great place to discover the wonders of the animal kingdom and learn how to help protect it.

Blasket Islands

Experience the spectacular and remote Blasket Islands off the coast of Ireland, a rugged landscape full of breathtaking views!

Located off the coast of County Kerry, the Blasket Islands are a stunning archipelago with views of the Atlantic Ocean, rolling green hills, and a unique culture.

These islands are a paradise for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking, and they’re home to a wide variety of bird species.

The Blasket Islands are also home to a fascinating culture, with a rich history of storytelling, music, and folklore.

Take a guided tour to learn about the islands’ unique cultural heritage, or explore the island on your own with a map and a sense of adventure!

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day or an adventure in nature, the Blasket Islands are sure to provide a memorable experience.

Conclusion

Visiting Ireland is a great way to explore its stunning landscape, fascinating history, and unique culture. Whether you’re a fan of the outdoors, culture, or history, there’s something for everyone.

From the Cliffs of Moher to the Guinness Storehouse, Skellig Michael to the Ring of Kerry, there are plenty of must-see attractions. And don’t forget the Titanic Belfast, the Blarney Castle, Clonmacnoise, the Dublin Zoo, and the Blasket Islands.

So what are you waiting for? Explore these amazing places and make your visit to Ireland one you’ll never forget.

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About the author

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.