The iconic Ireland attractions, such as rolling green hills, spectacular coastlines, and rural cottages, are sure to lure you to the Emerald Isle. The island is full of heritage, culture, and welcoming people who keeping bringing visitors back again and again. Beyond the pubs and music, there are many tourist attractions in Ireland that consistently impress visitors. Even if you arrive for the Guinness and the craic (an Irish word meaning fun), make some time for sightseeing in Ireland. You will be rewarded by soaring cliffs, majestic castles, and unusual wild places. Ireland is a place to be explored by car, so hop in your rental, brace yourself for the roundabouts, and get ready to drive from coast to coast.
Many of the best things to see in Ireland are outside of the capital city of Dublin. Each corner of the country has something to offer travelers, from the soaring cliffs of Donegal to the caves of the Burren in County Clare. Don’t miss the opportunity to drive the beautiful coastal road called the Ring of Kerry or visit the hometown of famous Irish poet William Butler Yeats in Sligo. Ireland attractions are spread across the country, so to plan an itinerary you will need to focus in on one particular area or hobby. If you are interested in food, don’t miss the Oyster and Guinness festival in Galway. If you’re searching for history, make a trip to Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone.
Good sightseeing in Ireland is available in Dublin as well. Important historical monuments include Kilmainham Gaol, the Abbey Theatre, and Trinity College. The library at the college contains the famous Book of Kells, and don’t skip a walk through the impressive Long Room library. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland is near Trinity, the pedestrian shopping street called Grafton Street, which ends at St Stephen’s Green. Take a stroll along this central avenue to see street performers, colorful flower stands, and traditional pubs. Stop in for a pint of Guinness (at any time of day!) or grab a cup of tea at Bewley’s, an Irish café with a reputation for quality.
Many of the top Ireland attractions for art are in Dublin. The National Gallery of Ireland has a vibrant collection of paintings by Jack B Yeats and the Hugh Lane Gallery was recreated Francis Bacon’s studio. For more recent works, check out the offerings at IMMA, the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Dublin is also at the center of music, theater, and literature in the country. One of the top tourist attractions in Ireland for the music fan would be the National Concert Hall. Affordable tickets make this attainable for even budget travelers. The Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre, and various literary venues all prove to visitors that Dublin has a thriving culture.
There is a great deal of sightseeing in Ireland within a short drive of Dublin as well. Head to Newgrange to see a settlement that predates Stonehenge by 1000 years. Or go to Glendalough in County Wicklow, which is a sixth-century monastic settlement that offers spectacular walks along two lakes. Don’t leave Wicklow without seeing Sally Gap, the Powerscourt Waterfalls, and maybe stopping at Avoca for a freshly-baked scone. Don’t just remain on the east coast however, the rest of Ireland has plenty to offer. Beaches on the western coast of Ireland, are powdery white and beautiful, the lakes in Killarney continually take visitors’ breath away, and the Cliffs of Moher in Galway look even more impressive when you see them with your own eyes. For a full island tour, venture up to Northern Ireland to see Belfast or the Giant’s Causeway. Ireland is so full of attractions, you will have a lengthy list of reasons for a return trip before you depart.