Ireland may only be slightly larger than the size of the state of West Virginia, but this island is a goldmine of cultural destinations to explore and is packed with activities that are perfect for the whole family. Make your trip even more authentic and explore Ireland like a local. Get ready for your Irish adventure!
Get an insider's perspective
With the guidance of a local, you can find all the top neighborhood places to eat and exciting things to do in Ireland. When you stay at one of the many homes featured on HomeExchange, you receive personalized insights from your exchange partner. Members from our Community know about the best places worth exploring around their homes and often provide a hand-selection collection of their favorite destinations to share.
You might start by wandering the Emerald Island's cool countrysides and vast mountainous landscapes with a cycle tour ride through Killarney National Park or the Aran Islands. Maybe a trek to the seaport city of Waterford and explore the historical and archeological finds of the Waterford Museum of Treasures is more your speed. And why not indulge in a whiskey tasting hosted by a resident distiller. Experience the authentic Irish heritage with a journey to a sheepdog farm in Wicklow to watch a dog training demonstration. These are just a few great activities that let you indulge in the local culture without having to wade through a mass of tourists.
If you’re looking to get into the spirit of things, you can also enjoy fun festivals, events, and celebrate, not surprisingly, St. Patrick's Day. Events like Dublin's Writers Week, the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Sligo, or Belfast’s St. Patrick's Day Carnival.
Experience Ireland like a local
What can you do to make yourself at home in Ireland? Immerse yourself in the culture by taking a craft course or a Gaelic gourmet cooking class in the city of Galway. Here, you'll find medieval city walls as much as you'll find cozy cafes and homely pubs. The city is also home to memorable (and delicious) food festivals like the International Oyster and Seafood Festival. Yum!
Finding your way around town won't be hard, even if you get lost, as Galway's seaport city is one of the world's friendliest cities. Expect a warm smile-filled welcome everywhere you go. Take in a visit to the cultural center of Cnoc Suain, where you can delight in an immersive experience filled with the Irish language and storytelling classes. Escape the hustle of the city and set off to explore a bog. You’ll be amazed by the lush natural beauty of Ireland, but maybe stay on the planned wooden walkways, as bog walks can get a little muddy.
Visit lesser-known spots
While major cities like Dublin or friendly Galway are lovely places to explore, if you want to have a more authentic Irish experience, it's worth it to travel to lesser-known spots. Looking for an alternative the tourist-filled Cliffs of Moher? We recommend catching the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean on a hike up Slieve League cliffs. Skip out on visiting the Giant's Causeway. Drive southeast for an hour and discover the hidden trove of the lush Waterfall Walk of Glenariff Forest where the damp conditions are ideal for rare ferns and moss to grow amongst the few peaceful waterfalls. Or try your hand at the local trade and see what’s biting near the fishing village of Ballintoy Harbor, which doubled as the fictional Iron Islands depicted in Game of Thrones. By heading off-the-beaten-path, you get to experience Ireland like a resident and discover a whole lot more to do!
Whether you're planning to spend a summer with your family, heading somewhere with your significant other, or looking to go on a solo adventure, HomeExchange makes the experience of visiting Ireland more authentic. The fantastic part about using HomeExchange is that our team is always here should you need any help. Get ready to live like a local. Happy home exchanging!