Ireland

Travel Guide
King John\'s Castle featuring a castle, a river or creek and heritage elements

Land of legends, medieval castles and Guinness beer, this wonderfully green island is known for its wild beauty, rich culture and chatty locals.

The island of Ireland has been inhabited since around 8,000 B.C. Ancient ruins dot the landscape alongside medieval castles. Despite its long human history, Ireland still features large swaths of undeveloped natural landscapes, including desolate islands and Europe’s highest seaside cliffs. Explore Ireland’s ancient artifacts and rocky coast before heading into Dublin and having a pint of creamy stout.

Start at one of Ireland’s oldest sites, Brú na Bóinne, a collection of burial sites north of Dublin that are more than 5000 years old. Get a guided tour through Newgrange, one of the most impressive sites. Walk through the narrow halls of this massive grass-covered burial mound.

Stop at Ireland’s beautiful castles, which are spread across the landscape in various states of preservation. Cahir Castle in the island’s southern interior is a well-preserved 12th-century fortress, one of the country’s largest. Walk its corridors and look out over its battlements. Well-kept Ashford Castle in Galway functions as a five-star hotel. Make a reservation if your dream is to stay overnight in a 13th-century castle.

Rent a car to explore Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coastline. Nearly the entire coast is lined with steep, rocky cliffs that descend straight into the ocean’s heavy surf. The most desolate and dramatic coastal landscape can be found in the Aran Islands just off Ireland’s west coast. Head to Inishmor, the largest of these three islands. Walk along an almost completely uninhabited slab of gray rock with the ocean just below you.

Complete your trip to Ireland with a visit to the welcoming city of Dublin. During the day, see its architectural attractions like Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At night, experience its main cultural attraction: the pub. Have a Guinness and enjoy conversation with Dublin’s famously sociable locals.

Fly into Dublin or take a ferry from France or the UK to reach Ireland. The northeast corner of the island, including Belfast, belongs to the UK, but you can cross the border freely.

Popular cities in Ireland

Dublin showing street scenes, signage and heritage architecture
Dublin
Known for Poolside bars, Tours and Live music
Come for the culture, and stay for the craic. Ireland’s compact capital has something for everyone.

Reasons to visit

  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
  • Christ Church Cathedral
Glucksman Gallery showing modern architecture
Cork
Known for Friendly People, Dining and Shopping

Reasons to visit

  • Cork City Gaol
  • English Market
  • St. Patrick's Bridge
Dunguaire Castle which includes a river or creek, château or palace and heritage elements
Galway
Known for Friendly people, Poolside bars and Tours

Reasons to visit

  • Eyre Square
  • Galway Cathedral
  • Galway Harbour
Muckross House featuring flowers, a park and a castle
Killarney
Known for Nature, Historical and Live Music
Explore the cobbled streets, 19th-century architecture and beautiful walking trails of this Irish town known for its pub culture, hospitality and mountain surrounds.

Reasons to visit

  • Killarney National Park
  • Ross Castle
  • Muckross House
Limerick featuring a river or creek, night scenes and a city
Limerick
Known for Friendly people, Dining and Poolside bars

Reasons to visit

  • Thomond Park
  • King John's Castle
  • St. Mary's Cathedral

Popular places to visit in Ireland

Ireland

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