The best places to visit in Ireland cannot be grouped in any number as the country is filled with tourist destinations waiting to be visited. Ireland, which has some of the greenest and most magnificent scenery on earth, is bursting with holiday destinations that are so alluring that you’ll want to check them all out.
You will not run out of intriguing activities to do in Ireland if you want to spend your time participating in one of the countless outdoor activities available or learning about the works of some of the most well-known artists in state museums and galleries.
With this list of the best places to visit in Ireland, you can learn about all the things to do in this breathtakingly beautiful nation.
18 Best Places to Visit in Ireland
1. Cliffs of Moher
One of the most well-known and best places to visit in Ireland is the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which provide the most stunning vistas on the entire island. A massive river basin formed this enchanting natural wonder more than 320 million years ago.
Seas slamming against the cliffs in Galway Bay may be heard from the bottom, while the top is covered in beautiful, rich green pastures.
Near to a million tourists from all over the world visit the cliffs each year in County Clare, which is close to Galway bay and takes approximately an hour and a half to get to.
They reach 214 meters at their tallest point and extend eight kilometres along the Atlantic. For the best experience of the place, visit from April to around September.
2. Killarney National Park
The oldest national park in existence and a fantastic biosphere reserve is the Killarney National Park in Ireland. The national park has many man-made constructions, like the Castle of Ross.
The national park is home to numerous endangered species, including the unique number of red deer in the nation. The national park also has the Muckross House, traditional farms, gardens, and lakes as part of the Kerry region.
Situated on Muckross Lake’s banks is one of Killarney’s three internationally renowned lakes famous for their majesty and beauty.
The Muckross Mansion exuded the richness and elegance of ancient times, and Queen Victoria also visited it.
The mansion and gardens are quite a wonderful delight, and you may tour the gardens in luxury on one of Killarney’s renowned horse-and-traps, the Jaunting Cars.
For a glimpse at how ordinary folks formerly lived, the historic farmsteads at the park are also very worthwhile to see. The 11-kilometer journey across the picturesque Gap of Dunloe, a constricted and stony mountain pass formed by glaciers at the end of the Ice Age, is a landmark in the western section of Killarney National Park.
This place is among Ireland’s top destinations for its rich history and scenic beauty and should be on your list of places to visit in Ireland whenever you plan a trip.
3. Trinity College, Dublin City
One of the historical gems of Ireland is Trinity College, the country’s oldest university, located in Dublin. Established by Queen Elizabeth in 1592, Trinity College is a Universe unto itself. This should also be on your list of places to visit in Ireland.
After you pass through the doors and across the cobblestones, it seems as though the contemporary, lively city outside has vanished completely.
A walk across the grounds and into the quiet realm of academic study is like traveling through time.
Additionally, the college is well known for its rare assets. Among these are the astounding Book of Kells on permanent display and the magnificent Long Room, which served as the model in the Harry Potter series first movie’s library.
4. Ring of Kerry
With its breathtaking beauty that changes colors with the setting sun, the Ring of Kerry is every photographer’s dream. The natural and unspoiled landscapes make it the best place to visit in Ireland for a scenic holiday. A wide variety of outdoor activities are available in this region of breathtaking natural beauty, like golf, water sports on beautiful beaches, cycling, strolling, horseback riding, fantastic freshwater fishing, and deep-sea fishing.
The optimum time to visit this location out of the places to visit in Ireland for an outstanding experience may be from May to October.
5. Cork City
The next best places to visit in Ireland is the Republic of Ireland’s second-largest vibrant city is filled with places to entertain its tourists. With clubs, cafes, bars, and diners crammed into its compact streets, Cork offers one of the greatest culinary scenes in the whole nation.
This relaxed, pleasant multicultural city in Ireland is defined by lively art galleries and unique museums. Another place to visit in Cork is the St. Annes Church and Tower. The renowned Shandon Bells tower may be seen in St. Anne’s Church (1722), which is located on the city’s north side and across the River Lee.
The church continues to ring its original 18th-century bells, one of the city’s must-see landmarks. St. Anne’s Tower stands out on the city skyline as a distinctive landmark through its red sandstone and white ashlar limestone facade (south & west).
The 132-step trip is worth it because visitors can ring the bells from the first level, examine the clocks’ interior mechanisms, witness the bells up close, and enjoy breath taking 360-degree views of Cork City far beyond the rooftop. For an immersive experience, visit Cork in the months of March to May and September to November.
6. Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
Kilmainham Gaol should be at the top of any list of the finest places to see in Dublin for anybody interested in learning more about Ireland’s difficult past because it occupies a notably gloomy place in Irish history.
The 1916 Uprising’s leaders were taken here and killed in the jail yard after being found guilty of high treason. Eamon De Valera, the future president of Ireland, was the sole person who was saved because he was an American citizen instead of an Irish citizen.
The jail, which dates back to 1796, was an unpleasant place where those who had committed crimes like not paying their train fees or going hungry during the famine were kept.
Kilmainham was forever associated with oppression and persecution in the minds of the Irish. You’ll be able to see things differently after coming here, and it will change you forever. To put it simply, this is a must-see attraction in Ireland. So go ahead and put this in your list of places to visit in Ireland now.
7. Galway City
Galway, the largest city in the west, is one of Ireland’s most dynamic cities. Its population is among the youngest in all of Europe, and it is a thriving university town.
Despite its rich past, the city is alive with modern energy. Live music fills the vibrantly painted taverns, while diners and cafés provide prime viewing locations for buskers and street performances.
A lengthy promenade leads to Salthill, a beachfront neighborhood on Galway Bay, the source of the region’s renowned oysters, where ancient town walls remnants may be seen amongst shops and pubs.
Your list of locations to visit in Ireland should include Galway City because of its distinct appeal, vibrant ambiance, history, and streets with vibrant facades.
The annual Art Festival, which takes place in July, brings the city to life. April to August is considered the best time for a visit here.
8. The Aran Islands
The Aran islands have captivated tourists ever since the fictional movie Man of Aran first brought them to the world’s attention in 1934. This is a glimpse into the past of Ireland.
A remarkable group of three islands, where Inishmore is the largest, followed by Inishmaan, while Inisheer is the smallest, the Aran Islands are situated in the westernmost region of Ireland. There are just 12,000 people living there, Gaelic is the primary language, and as you step onshore, you’ll feel as though you’ve entered another era.
The renowned 2000-year-old castle, Dun Aonghasa, is located on the biggest island, Inis Mor. Of the three Aran Islands, it is the most captivating and well-traveled.
The lone town in the Aran Islands is Kilronan, which is actually just a fascinating village with a few bars, diners, and B&Bs. Remember to carry cash when traveling to the islands because there are no ATMs.
The Aran islands provide a unique travel experience that is raw, windy, rocky, and totally irreplaceable. Local culture differs significantly from that of the mainland, and the region’s archaeological legacy is unique and absolutely stunning. Now that you are aware of which place to visit in Ireland, you can truly enjoy the genuine Gaelic charm untainted by modernization.
9. National Museum of Ireland, Dublin
The National Museum of Ireland, which is actually a group of museums, is a great place to spend the whole day. Depending on your location, you may anticipate seeing intriguing displays on everything from Irish antiquities to Irish folklore to Celtic art.
Over two million historical objects, including metalwork from the Celtic Iron Age, may be found in the National Museum of Ireland—Archaeology.
In Turlough Park, Castlebar, the National Museum of Ireland—Country Life is housed in a distinctive structure that expertly combines Victorian and modern design. You may discover pictures, movies, antique furniture, and permanent displays within that cover a wide range of topics, including Irish hearth and home, communal life, and diverse land- and water-based occupations.
The National Museum of Ireland—Decorative Arts & History is situated in a famous military compound and features historical artifacts such as clothing, jewelry, coins, and glassware. There are more than 10,000 exhibits in the National Museum of Ireland—Natural History, including some of the most popular fauna in the nation and fascinating animals from other parts of the world.
For a knowledgeable session, this museum is one of the best places to visit in Ireland.
Belfast is famous for the construction of the ill-fated ship Titanic. Early in the 20th century, Belfast constructed the Titanic, which attracted people from all over the world with her immensity and the prospect of luxury.
It caused a stir when the ship capsized during its first transatlantic journey. Over 1,500 people drowned in the freezing seas. The memories of those on board are vividly portrayed at this museum in Belfast’s docklands, not far from the site where the ship was originally built.
Fantasy author CS Lewis, who was born in Belfast, created the Chronicles of Narnia series in the 1950s. The country is also known for its 5 CS Lewis Square. This public space in east Belfast lets you take pictures with many of the characters from these beloved books, including the White Witch, Mr. Tumnus, and Aslan, the lion.
The East Side Visitor Centre offers interesting visitor information and displays close to this public area. From the railway station in Titanic Quarter, you may stroll here.
11. Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle has seen several periods of reconstruction and a variety of owners during the course of its more than 800-year existence.
Although the exterior of the castle appears Victorian, its origins are actually medieval. William Marshal constructed it at this time in order to serve as a “symbol of Norman Control.” The castle is now available to guests who want to wander through the 50 acres of verdant grounds, which feature a beautiful, tiered rose garden, enormous old trees, and a glistening artificial lake.
The great mansion is available for exploration, and here you can find period-appropriate spaces like the nursery as well as an elaborate entry hall, a spooky under croft, and a beautiful tapestry room. For individuals who like appreciating artistic creations in a compelling environment, the picture gallery with a 19th-century pitched ceiling is especially remarkable.
Because of these reasons, Kilkenny Castle is among the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland.
12. Blarney Castle
The Blarney Stone is situated atop a tower of Blarney castle, not far from Cork, and is arguably Ireland’s most well-known landmark and one of its must-see castles. Out of places to visit in Ireland, this one should be noticed.
Blarney Castle is not only visited for the famous Blarney Stone, which is supposed to provide legendary Irish eloquence but also for other things. Irish lord Cormac McCarthy constructed Blarney Castle more than 600 years ago, and now visitors may explore the enormous stone structure’s towers and tunnels.
It is surrounded by large gardens that are full of stone elements and hidden spaces. In addition to offering crystal, China, and other Irish goods in their store, Blarney Woollen Mills is also recognized for its knitwear, including jumpers.
13. Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park is home to several attractions for tourists, such as Dublin Zoo, Ras an Uachtaráin, the official house of the US embassy, the Papal Cross (where Pope John Paul II said mass for one million people in 1979), and the sometimes forgotten Farmleigh House.
This lovely Georgian-Victorian pile, created by James Gandon, serves as the official guesthouse for the Irish government. Even though the guided tour only covers the ground level of this former Guinness home, it is nevertheless rather remarkable, notably the amazing library and glass conservatory.
It’s fun to wander through the enormous pleasure grounds with the lake, walled gardens, and Japanese gardens. The grounds of Farmleigh host a farmer’s market on the weekends.
14. The Wild Atlantic Way and Dingle Peninsula
The Dingle Peninsula, which is a part of The Wild Atlantic Way, a 1700-mile defined path across Ireland’s west coast and neighboring shores, mixes wild beauty, history, and a taste of the country’s traditional culture and language.
It is no accident that the region is a Gaeltacht, where the Irish language and culture are encouraged and preserved by government funding. Even though everyone speaks English, you will hear and see Gaelic spoken, sung, and written on signs.
The peninsula, which ends in Dunmore Head, the westernmost tip of the Irish mainland, is surrounded by some of Ireland’s greatest beaches and rocky cliffs. Early Middle Ages monks constructed the stone houses that dot its open spaces, and you may also see Bronze Age stone monuments at the dingle peninsula.
You should include the wild Atlantic way and dingle peninsula in your itinerary of places to visit in Ireland.
15. Rock of Cashel
Yet another places to visit in Ireland is the Rock of Cashel. This historical fortification, which rises above the lush county Tipperary grasslands, is breathtaking at first glance.
It served as the residence of monarchs and religious leaders who dominated the area for more than 1000 years, and for 400 years it competed with Tara as Ireland’s political hub.
An awe-inspiring enclosure with a full round tower, a 13th-century Gothic cathedral, and the most spectacular 12th-century Romanesque chapel in Ireland are protected by its impenetrable walls, which are entered through the 15th-century Hall of the Vicars Choral.
Rock of Cashel is famous for its Game of thrones like location and attracts many tourists. Although entry here is free, reservations for tickets must be made online.
16. The English Market, Cork
A trip to Cork would be incomplete without stopping at the English Market. The greatest local products are available at this eccentric market, including the finest cheeses, handmade bread, and the freshest fish. The location has been home to a market since the late 1700s, although the distinctive entry on Princes Street comes from 1862.
Queen Elizabeth II’s historic state visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011 brought about recent global recognition. So, without further ado, add the English Market among the best places to visit in Ireland.
17. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
The National Gallery of Ireland, a treasured landmark located in Dublin’s tree-lined Merrion Square, was established in 1854 by an Act of Parliament. Since its public debut in 1864, this opulent gallery has undergone major renovations, producing even more stunningly light and spacious areas to display its enormous collection of artworks.
In addition to the charming building, inside, you’ll discover a selection of the nation’s most well-known artwork as well as the national collection of Old Master paintings from Europe. You may easily spend the remainder of the day shopping and dining in the greatest restaurants in this Irish city, thanks to its accessible position in Dublin’s city centre.
The wonderful pieces in the gallery are even better because entry is free. It’ll be good to give a few hours to completely explore this gallery because there are so many fascinating things to look at. This place can also be added to your best places to visit in Ireland list for its artistic history.
18. Powerscourt House and Gardens, County Wicklow
Among the next best places to visit in Ireland is the Powerscourt House and Gardens in the County of Wicklow. The pleasures of visiting this wonderful estate, located only 20 kilometers from Dublin, include breathtaking vistas, peaceful lakeside walks, fascinating history, and the spectacular Sugarloaf Mountain backdrop.
The mansion is situated on 47 beautifully landscaped acres and is currently owned by the Slazenger family. Spend some time strolling through the Italian Gardens, the Rose Gardens, and the Kitchen Gardens.
More than 200 kinds of trees, bushes, and flowers can be found there. In order to create an estate that merges seamlessly with its surroundings, the gardens were put out over for a span of 150 years. Out of the places to visit in Ireland, this is undoubtedly one of the most stunning sights and one of the best day tours from Dublin.
Hope you were able to get an idea of some of the best places to visit in Ireland. During your stay, you can discover a lot about Irish history and the vibrant Irish culture. So make sure to plan your next vacation to Ireland. Enjoy a country that offers you beautiful scenic moments and a trip down memory lane of Irish history.