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Best Places to visit in Ireland

Best Places to Visit in the Republic of Ireland

Cliffs of Moher - Ireland
Our pick #1

Cliffs of Moher

Crowing jewel of the 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way tourism trail along the Republic of Ireland's west coast, the Cliffs of Moher are the country's most dramatic and spectacular natural wonder. Stretching for more than 9 miles along the County Clare coast and towering more than 700 feet above the ocean, it's perhaps the best place in Ireland to appreciate the majesty of nature. Seabirds wheel overhead and although crowds can build in the day, visit in the evening for a more peaceful trip, and to watch the sunset.

Ha Penny Bridge Dublin - Ireland
Our pick #2

Dublin

The Republic's capital city is growing in popularity as a city break destination. Separated in two by the River Liffey, the city has a bountiful cultural history, and was named the UNESCO City of Literature in 2010. There are museums and galleries aplenty and Phoenix Park is the place for people who like their green space. Ireland is the home of Guinness, and a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, as well as some of the city's traditional pubs, is also a must for first time visitors to the city.

Galway - Ireland
Our pick #3

Galway

The world first noticed Galway when pop megastar Ed Sheeran released his song 'Galway Girl' in 2017. But the city has long been an attractive destination in Ireland. A European Capital of Culture in 2020, this coastal city boasts a large university population but has also managed to maintain its status as a Gaelic stronghold, rooted in tradition. Home to a thriving music scene, free evenings here are best spent in cosy pubs listening to local musicians.

Horses in Connemara National Park - Ireland
Our pick #4

Connemara National Park

Not far from Galway lies the wild and windswept Connemara National Park, probably the best place in the country to visit for those in tune with their wild side. Peat bogs, sheep-grazed mountains, towering coastline and shimmering lakes dot the landscape, interspersed just occasionally by tiny hamlets and the odd larger town. Remember your hiking boots, your waterproofs and a map, and head out to explore

Kilkenny Castle - Ireland
Our pick #5

Kilkenny

Medieval Kilkenny is a step back in time for visitors to Ireland's east. The city actually served as the country's capital for a time, way back in the Middle Ages. History fans will enjoy the 'Medieval Mile', a route dominated by cobblestone streets and narrow alleys. The route links the 13th century St Canice's Cathedral and Kilkenny Castle. But Kilkenny is far from a city stuck in the past. Home to vibrant bars, restaurants and shopping, it continues to make a buzz in modern Ireland.

Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland

Belfast city hall
Our pick #1

Belfast

The capital of Northern Ireland is another appealing city break destination, especially in the warm summer months from June - August. Visitors will want to make a visit to the Titanic Quarter, home to a number of galleries and museums about the fateful vessel which was built in the city. Other highlights for travellers include HMS Caroline, the Belfast Cathedral, the impressive City Hall, and Stormont parliament building, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Giants Causeway - Northern Ireland
Our pick #2

Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway is probably Northern Ireland's most famous attraction. Located on the north coast of the Emerald Isle, this UNESCO-protected rock formation formed millions of years ago, when a flood of molten lava oozed upwards through cracks in the ground and solidified into hexagonal columns. Or so the science says. In Irish folklore the Causeway was built by giants so that they could cross the ocean to Scotland in order to battle rival giants.

Siege cannon on Derry city walls - Northern Ireland
Our pick #3

Derry

Still officially known as Londonderry, Derry is a city located near the border with the Republic of Ireland. It has a troubled past, becoming infamous during the Troubles in Ireland from the 1960s to the late 1990s. The Bloody Sunday massacre took place in the city, when 26 protestors were shot by British Army troops. However, the past now behind it, Derry welcomes travellers to see its historic City Walls, the only intact example in the whole of Ireland. The city is also home to award winning museums and a vibrant cultural scene.

Mourne Mountains - Northern Ireland
Our pick #4

Mourne Mountains

Sweeping peaks, hidden lakes and a famous silence. The Mourne Mountains Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is where to head in Northern Ireland for hiking and outdoor adventures. Keep your eyes peeled for the Mourne Wall, which stretches over 15 mountains - follow the entire 31km length of the wall for a real challenge! The Mourne Mountains were also used in Game of Thrones to portray the entrance to Vaes Dothrak.

Giant's Causeway & Derry main image - Dark hedges
Our pick #5

Dark Hedges

Fans of the HBO blockbuster series will also want to visit the Dark Hedges. This unassuming path is lined with ancient mature beech trees, which close together overhead to form a foreboding passage. In Game of Thrones the Dark Hedges were used to portray the Kings Road, but in real life they were planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress the visitors approaching their mansion.

See also

For further information to help plan your trip to Ireland, see the following:

Ireland tours - browse our trip offering to Ireland
Best Time to Visit - climate and seasons in Ireland
Tourist Visas - details regarding visa regulations and procurement
Top Travel Tips - useful information on money, health, food and shopping

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