According to the Huffington Post, the top five most visited countries in Europe last year were France, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, and Germany. A lot of tourists pack immediately and flock to these popular and classic countries.
Lonely Planet said that it is about time for people to see Ireland. It is an astonishing country that offers one of the most splendid tourist experiences in the world. Ireland has an enchanting land where legends and reality mingle, allowing people to discover the mystique and charm of the Emerald Isle.
The landscape alters the beauty of rolling green hills, gorgeous cliffs and coastlines, like the banks of the River Shannon. However, the country has something to offer more than its luscious environment: a life experience you will never forget.
1. Visit Westeros in Ireland.
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you have the duty to visit Ireland. The HBO blockbuster series films in many locations in Northern Ireland. These locations include Antrim, County Down, County Londonderry and the Dark Hedges. All around the real-life “Westeros”, you will see many waterfalls, parks, majestic wooded areas, and iconic castles.
photo credit: viralscape
2. Revisit World History.
Ancient Ireland has Bru Na Boinne tombs in County Meath. About 5,000 years old, the site is older than the Egyptian pyramids, even Giza. It has several large passage tombs like Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange. During winter, Newgrange received sunlight and it penetrates the chamber for a few minutes. Tourists visit the tomb site to welcome the dawn.
photo credit: Jean Housen via Wikimedia Commons
3. An Inspiring Site For Book Lovers.
Ireland has an amazing literary lineage. It is the place of renowned authors: CS Lewis, James Joyce, WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney, or Samuel Beckett. Cair Paravel, the royal castle in Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, was inspired by the Dunluce Castle in County Antrim.
4. Ireland’s Brewing Traditions.
The old and popular Jameson Distillery is in Midleton, on the banks of the Dungourney River, in Dublin. It will take you back to the oldest traditions of whiskey making. Visitors learn its history through a series of reconstructed scenes from the original distillery, exhibition areas that feature the seven stages of whiskey making, and a video that demonstrates what the distillery was like when its founder John Jameson was still alive. It has had between 300,000 and 350,000 guests annually since opening as an attraction in 1997.
photo credit: ballsbridgehotel
5. A Land Of Hospitality And Festivals.
Feel the Irish spirit by joining St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Cork Sailing Festival and the Galway Arts Festival. Ireland has more than 400 festivities annually. From music to food to literary to Celtic films. St. Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to see parades, expressive costumes, street theater and a lively carnival atmosphere that will leave you craving for more.
6. Celebrate the Irish Folklore.
Ireland is popular for its fairies, merrows and leprechauns. But its folk tales are just as interesting. For instance, the mysterious Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is tied to a fantastic legend. According to the Irish folklore, the stones were the work of an Irish giant named Fionn Mac Cumhail (Finn McCool). McCool built the Causeway just to keep his feet dry while walking towards Scotland. Causeway’s Chimney Stacks and Organ is the proof that McCool lived there, according to locals. However, geologists believe otherwise. They suggest that a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago created the 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that make it a heritage today. The underlying truth is yours to investigate.
photo credit: Patrice78500 via Wikimedia Commons
7. You should allow yourself to experience pub culture.
Traveling also means experiencing local cultures. A pint, witty conversations, and the real Irish hospitality are parts of the charms of an Irish pub. The pubs here are known to serve delicious stouts and lagers, and beef and Guinness pie. These pubs also offer both traditional and modern live music to go with their beloved pints. Be sure to visit the 816-year-old Brazen Head pub in Dublin, and Vintage Cocktail Club with its delectable cocktails.
Whether you go for the pubs or castles, Ireland is a must-see for everyone. The land of whiskey, Guinness and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations presents fabulous experiences from its exceptionally friendly people.
About the author
Ellen Summerhills has one ultimate goal: to travel the world. She juggles her time between school, minimal travel, and writing for resumesplanet.com.