Planning a trip to Ireland? From its history to its culture, there’s so much to see and do. While no trip could cover everything, here are a few highlights you definitely shouldn’t miss.
1. Get out of the city
Ireland’s cities are beautiful, fascinating, and packed full of fun activities, nightlife, and culture, but they only tell half the story of this beautiful green gem of a country. Make sure to take at least a day trip out to the countryside to enjoy some of the natural wonders of Ireland. Explore the rocky landscape and tiny exotic plants of Burren National Park or take a boat trip along the base of the Cliffs of Moher. You might recognize the latter as the “Cliffs of Insanity” from the film The Princess Bride…just don’t try to climb them!
2. Have a drink with the locals
Ireland may be famous for its Guinness, but it’s hardly the only brew to be had! While you’re in town, stop in at the local pub, get to know the locals, and see what’s on tap. If you happen to be in Dublin in September, check out the Irish Craft Beer Festival for the largest celebration of craft beer, cider, and spirits in the country.
3. Catch some live music
You won’t need to buy concert tickets to enjoy live music in Ireland! In fact, you may have a hard time avoiding it. Nearly every pub plays host to talented performers on a regular basis. Ireland’s culture is steeped in music, from the traditional jigs and reels played by busking street performers to thoroughly modern punk pub bands. Whatever your fancy, take some time to enjoy the tunes!
4. Visit a castle
There are an awful lot of castles in Ireland—literally too many to count! From tumbledown ruins in the middle of a field to grand old edifices like Ashford Castle (which has its own falconry school!), you can’t go far without practically tripping over a castle or two. Make time to visit at least one; at several, including Ashford, you can even book an overnight stay!
5. Do something “touristy”
There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist! There’s a reason lots of great places are tourist destinations, and many are worth a visit. Check out the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, or venture out to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone (unless you’re afraid of heights…then you might want to skip that one). Titanic Belfast, in Northern Ireland, is the world’s largest museum dedicated to the infamous ship, and in Cobh, the Titanic Experience walks you through the ship’s last port of call. Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Check out a tour of the filming locations near Belfast! Whatever your interests, there’s a fun tourist attraction for you in Ireland.
Ireland’s not a big country, but there’s so much to see and do that you’ll find yourself wishing you had more time, no matter how long your trip is. Keep a list of the things you just couldn’t get to—that way, you’ll have a head start on planning your next trip to the Emerald Isle!
About the Author
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.