Though our stunning island may be small in size, Ireland boasts a large number of unique attractions. With its world-famous natural wonders and numerous cultural hotspots, Ireland’s popular places have the power to invoke awe in every and any visitor.
And with so many must visit places in Ireland, where do you begin? Read on for our top 15 must visit places in Ireland.
The animated city of Dublin is full to the brim of fascinating museums, significant history and welcoming people.
Dublin city oozes of creativity; James Joyce, W.B. Yeats and James Kavanagh were known to drink in many of the pubs scattered around the area.
Home to the famous Temple Bar, there are so many places to see in the lively hub of Dublin – from Kilmainham Gaol to Guinness Storehouse and everything in between.
Take a walk along the cobbled streets, indulge in some delicious Irish pub grub and soak in the captivating culture of the capital city with a pint of Guinness in hand.
Standing 714ft above sea level, just 8 miles off the coast of South West Kerry is Skellig Michael.
Once home to one of the earliest monastic settlements in Ireland, this natural wonder is now almost solely inhabited by numerous seabirds and is only accessible by boat.
The Star Wars fans amongst you may recognise this UNESCO World Heritage Site from its feature in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The Aran Islands are a cluster of three islands located just off the entrance of Galway Bay.
Known for their serene atmosphere, limestone landscape and genuine Irish culture; a visit to the Aran islands is a completely unique experience.
Visit UNESCO World Heritage site: Dun Aonghasa, enjoy traditional music in Kilronan Village or spot some seals bathing in Inis Mor’s Seal Colony.
Embrace the strange but wonderful feeling of taking a rare step back in time when you visit the cultural region of Connemara.
This authentic area honours candid Irish culture in abundance with Irish music, food and language all celebrated here.
Connemara boasts a wild landscape with plenty of significant spots to be seen and discovered; from Letterkesh beach to Killary fjord.
Stretching 30 miles into the Atlantic Ocean is an area dominated by mountain ranges, sea-cliffs, sandy beaches and rich traditions. Dingle Peninsula’s magnificent coastline consists of natural wonders and dramatic scenery.
As well as its captivating landscape, Dingle Peninsula is known for its quaint villages – each being a perfect place to savour the local hospitality after a long day of exploring.
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a circular route around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry.
This winding route will take a day to drive but it’s recommended you give yourself more time and experience the route at a more leisurely place.
Popular attractions such as the Skellig Monastery and Valentia Island can all be spotted along the classic Ring of Kerry route, with the option to experience small but sincere Irish towns by taking an alternative route.
Said to be the ‘Riviera of the Wild Atlantic Way’, Westport, in county Mayo, is a bustling, vibrant town.
The wild beach coastline is home to countless wildlife – from basking sharks to humpback whales.
Take a ride on a swan shaped pedalo boat in Westport House, take a walk along the twin tree-lined banks of the Carrowbeg River or explore the famous Croagh Patrick.
SLIEVE LEAGUE CLIFFS
The Slieve League Cliffs are a signature point on the Wild Atlantic Way route and easily earns its place on the list of music visit places in Ireland.
As the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe, Slieve League are nearly three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher. Located in the rural county of Donegal, the cliffs can be hiked or spotted from afar from the Bunglas Viewpoint.
Lively and fun-loving, Ireland’s second largest city possesses stretches of waterfront and quirky streets.
With traditional pubs and curious coffee shops standing side-by-side, this buoyant city is the perfect mix of the old and the new.
Experience the history of Cork City Gaol, pick up local produce in the English Market or catch a glimpse of the spires of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral.
Situated on the south-west coast of Ireland is the picturesque town of Kinsale.
With the Battle of Kinsale being a turning point in Irish history, this quirky town is carved into the chronicles of Ireland.
Take a stroll around Kinsale, browse in the many Irish owned boutiques and galleries and enjoy the towns stunning harbour views.
Only 1.5 hours from Dublin by car or bus is Kilkenny city – otherwise known as the Marble City.
With its medieval architecture, boutique shops and traditional Irish pubs, Kilkenny is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike.
Unsure where to begin with this popular spot? Read our local’s guide to Kilkenny for some inspiration!
Wicklow National Park
Wicklow Mountains National Park is situated just south of Dublin and is one of the largest of Ireland’s National Parks, containing an area of approximately 20,000 hectares.
With wildlife and stunning scenery as far as the eye can see, there’s no wonder the Wicklow Way self-guided walking trail was listed in the 2015 book 1001 Walks You Must Take Before You Die.
Sky Road, Clifden
As one of the top must visit places in Ireland, the Sky Road in Clifden is said to be one of the most picturesque areas in the Connemara region.
The peninsula is part of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route and takes you from Clifden onto the Kingston Peninsula.
The Sky Road offers views over the entire landscape including the Connemara countryside, the Atlantic Ocean and the coastline of County Mayo.
There truly are very few places in Ireland that offer the rugged scenery that the Sky Road so effortlessly offers.
From the Game of Thrones filming locations to the alluring street art – there is so much to experience in the compact city of Belfast.
The people in Belfast are second to none and the sites and experiences are just as special.
So whether you want to explore the Botanic Gardens or delve into the history of the Titanic, you won’t be stuck for something to excite you during a trip to Belfast.
Causeway Coastal Route
The Causeway Coastal Route stretches along the rugged Antrim Coast from Belfast to the historic city of Derry.
This route is home to the famous Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and spectacular wildlife.
As one of Ireland’s most scenic and varied drives, this is one of the top must visit places in Ireland for any adventurer!
We hope you enjoyed our ‘Top 15 must visit places in Ireland’ blog.
Are you interested in taking a vacation to the Emerald Isle? Get in touch with our team who are more than happy to help you organise the trip of a lifetime!