Check out our recommendations for Ireland!
When people think about Ireland they think of Guinness and people with red hair. This may, in part, be true, but Ireland is and has so much more to offer. Ireland is the third largest island in Europe and is known around the world for its low lying mountains and vast green landscape. This week in HomeExchange, we decided to blog about some of the best things to see and do in Ireland in the hope that we may encourage some of you to participate in an exchange to the Emerald Isle. Full of rich culture and tradition, we hope there are attractions in our list below that will appeal to all types of people.
1. Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route which runs for 2,500km along the Atlantic Coast from Donegal in Northern Ireland to West Cork in the South. Designated discovery points guide the route which is rarely done in it’s entirety, but can be dipped in and out of, by any mode of transport you want. There is plenty of culture and beautiful scenery to be appreciated, with the famous Galway City standing as the halfway-point. The route isn’t supposed to be “finished”, it exists purely as a scenic journey and unforgettable experience!
2. Croke Park, Dublin
Ireland’s premier sporting arena, Croke Park has been at the centre of the Gaelic Athletic Association for over 100 years. It now boasts to an 82,300 capacity, making it Europe’s third largest stadium after Barcelona’s Nou Camp and Wembley in London. There exists on the premises a GAA museum and a renound bar called The Davin bar on Level 5, which is the largest bar in Ireland and has 400 beer taps in total, although Guinness still tops the list for popularity!
3. Cruise on the River Shannon
If you fancy taking a relaxing boat ride down Ireland’s largest river, and taking in the sights and scenery along the way, then look no further! This river represents the largest physical barrier between East and West Ireland. There are plenty of boats available for hire at many different points along the river. So pick where you want to go and what you want to see and hop on one of the boats – it couldnt be easier or more beautiful!
4. English Market, Cork City
Trading in the heart of Cork City since 1788, the English Market is Ireland’s most famous covered food market. Tripadvisor spoke about it being “an amazing shopping destination and, even more, an interesting cultural destination” which really lays tribute to the dozens of stalls that sell food and different items from all across the world. It ranges from offering the freshest of fish, the purest of meat and the most gourmet cuisine that you’d get anywhere in the world. You certainly won’t go hungry with a trip to the English Market!
5. Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s primary tourist attraction, welcoming almost 1million visitors each year. Stretching for 8km along the Atlantic Coast, they are a primary discovery point in the heart of the “Wild Atlantic Way” (see above). The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is located midway along the spectacular cliffs and has a visitor centre set into the hillside. There is also a 19th century viewing tower, which will allow you to enjoy and appreciate the view to the utmost!
6. Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry
Stretching for 48km into the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland’s South-West coast, this part of the coastline consists of steep sea cliffs broken by sandy beaches. Dingle has something to offer everyone, swimming at the numerous beaches, walks along the coast, beautiful Dingle town and it is known as being one of the top spots for surfing in Ireland! The area has a thriving Irish language community, rich Irish music tradition and is home to many talented craftspersons. If Irish culture is something that interests you, then Dingle is the place to go!
7. Guinness Storehouse / Jameson Distillery, Dublin
The Guinness Storehouse, a former Guiness fermentation plant, is a seven story building that has been remodelled into the shape of a pint of Guinness. A tour of the storehouse will teach you everything about the world famous beer, how it is made and how the brand has become the household name it is today. At the top of the building there is the Gravity Bar where visitors can collect their end of tour pint of Guinness and enjoy a 360 degree view of Dublin City!
The Jameson distillery perfectly illustrates and explains the history of John Jameson and Son, and how three ingrediants were blended to make the world class Irish whiskey. Visitors are encouraged to participate in a tutored whiskey comparison and each is rewarded at the end with a signature Jameson drink!
8. Burren, County Clare
Formed 320 million years ago, the Burren is 350 sq km of bare limestone pavement. This rough, attractive and intriguing landscape is host to thousands of tourists and visitors each year. With a remarkable history that is evident to everyone who wishes to expolre the area. Many people, from those who simply enjoy the outdoors to archaeologists, will waste no time in exploring the area and discovering pieces of Irish history.
9. Newgrange, County Meath
Newgrange is Ireland’s best known passage tomb and dates back thousands of years. One of its most appealing attributes is the “roof box” situated above the passage entrance. On December 21st, the shortest day of the year (the Winter Solstice) a shaft of sunlight enters the chamber through an opening in this roof box. Newgrange is a fascinating part of history and many people from all corners of the world will come to County Meath to experience the Winter Solstice.
10. Blarney Castle, County Cork
Blarney Castle has become one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. Built nearly six hundred years ago, tourists flock to this part of Cork to learn the history and enjoy the heritage of this traditional castle. The Blarney Stone is another attraction that brings tourists to the castle. Found at the top of the tower, legend has it that if you kiss the stone, you’ll never be lost for words again!
So, there you have it! We hope you find this useful when planning your upcoming trip and maybe even some of the tourist spots mentioned above will entice you to spend your vacation in Ireland this Summer and discover all the culture the country and people of Ireland has to offer. What do you think of our selection? Are there other places in Ireland that you would reccommend? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org! 🙂
Member of the marketing team at HomeExchange, a business student from southern Ireland. Currently living in and loving Paris. Passionate about travelling – to travel is to live!