Ireland is easily one of my favorite places in the world to visit, but there certainly are some attractions that are really expensive, but just not worth the time and effort. It all depends on personal preference, but there’s nothing worse than wasting time (and money) on an attraction that just isn’t worth it.
I’ve put together a list of 10 things to do in Ireland that are totally worth it and one that I’d recommend skipping so that you don’t have to go through the hassle yourself.
1. The Guinness Factory and Brewery
Learn about the history of Ireland’s most popular and beloved beer of all time at the original factory. On a guided tour, you’ll be able to learn all about the history of the beer and its production. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about how Guinness is made, and, best of all, at the end of the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to go to the top of the building and pour your own pint! Totally worth it.
2. Dingle Peninsula
Found on the southwest Atlantic coast of Ireland, the Dingle Peninsula stretches for 30 miles and features jagged cliffs, rolling hills, soaring mountains, and exquisite panoramas. The region is also an official bastion of Irish culture and language, making it an incredible place to visit for the gorgeous views and cultural experience.
3. Killarney National Park
Covering 26,000 acres of land, Killarney National Park is nothing short of spectacular. It’s full of lakes, waterfalls, woodlands, and a plethora of hiking trails, truly encapsulating the enigmatic reputation of the Irish countryside. If you’re a lover and natural landscapes and exquisite scenic beauty, Killarney National Park is totally worth the visit.
Galway is one of the most popular Irish cities that people choose to visit, and for good reason. This sweet little harbor town features 18th-century architecture and is known for its pretty cobblestoned lanes as well as some of the original medieval city walls. You’ll find plenty of traditional folk music, as well as delightful galleries, cafes, hopes, and more. Galway is the best place to have a fun, traditional, Irish experience!
5. Cliffs of Moher
Ireland is known for its majestic cliffs, and the Cliffs of Moher are some of the best. Located on the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, the cliffs run for about 14 kilometers and you can enjoy unbelievable views from the top. They’re daunting in size, but it’s well worth the visit.
6. Skellig Michael
One of Ireland’s famed World Heritage Sites, Skellig Michael is a remote island just off the western coast of Ireland. It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s remote, and it features unique and beautiful pathways and rock formations. And, this was where many scenes from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” were filmed, making it a pretty cool attraction for the geeks among us!
Newgrange is a tomb that was built during the Neolithic period, and it lies in County Meath near River Boyne. It was built in 3,200 BC making it older than both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids! This remarkable historic site was left untouched after being discovered in the 17th century, and visiting it today is rather spectacular.
8. Ring of Kerry
If you enjoy the scenery and going on long drives, you simply have to do the Ring of Kerry. It’s a 179-kilometer-long circular route that traverses the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. It passes through rural seaside villages and along breathtaking coastal landscapes. If you really want to see an authentic side of Ireland, its coastlines, and its culture, this is absolutely the way to do it.
Visit this amazing glacial valley, known for its medieval monastic settlement that was founded way back in the sixth century by St. Kevin, a hermit priest. It’s located in County Wicklow, and it’s home to gorgeous landscapes, awesome hikes, and historic monastic ruins.
10. Giant’s Causeway
Giant’s Causeway is a region that consists of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns (created naturally by means of volcanic activity). It’s located on the coast of Northern Ireland and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the late ’90s. It’s a truly beautiful scenic site that boasts unique scenery that is totally worth the time and effort to visit.
One Tourist Attraction in Ireland That I’d Skip: Temple Bar in Dublin
Just like anywhere in the world, there are some tourist attractions that are simply overrated, and one famous one that I didn’t think was worth the time was the Temple Bar district. Sure, it can be fun, but most of all, these days, it’s just a huge tourist attraction.
Everything is sickeningly expensive and it’s all a show for foreign visitors. If you really want an authentic experience of Irish pub culture, drinking, folk music, and hospitality, you’d be better off going to any other random Irish pub! They will be far less expensive and not nearly as busy.
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