Ireland

Travel Guide
King John\'s Castle showing a river or creek, heritage architecture and a bridge

Explore a Neolithic tomb, walk along rocky cliffs as waves crash below or just enjoy a laugh with the locals in this long-inhabited island nation.

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 which includes street scenes, religious elements and a city
Dublin
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 featuring modern architecture
Cork

Reasons to visit

  • English Market
  • Blackrock Castle
  • Fitzgerald Park
Dunguaire Castle which includes heritage architecture, a river or creek and heritage elements
Galway

Reasons to visit

  • Eyre Square
  • Galway Cathedral
  • Galway City Museum
Muckross House which includes heritage architecture, flowers and a garden
Killarney
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
  • Ladies View
Limerick which includes night scenes, a river or creek and a city
Limerick
The city of Limerickhugs the River Shannon as it broadens out to meet the wider sea waters of theestuary in Mid-West Ireland. Limerick has been broadening its ownhorizons in recent years with rejuvenation projects and a cultural renaissancethat have helped make it a fantastic place to explore the surrounding regionfrom.

Reasons to visit

  • King John's Castle
  • St. Mary's Cathedral
  • Thomond Park
Ireland which includes tranquil scenes, a small town or village and a house
Kilkenny
The city of Kilkenny is one of Ireland’s historic gems and lies in the heart of County Kilkenny in the southeast corner of the Republic of Ireland. A tourist favourite, the city brims with attractions, including a beautiful castle on the banks of the River Nore, a fine 13th century cathedral and a veritable maze of 17th century alleyways littered with interesting shops and ancient inns.

Reasons to visit

  • Kilkenny Castle

Popular places to visit in Ireland

Ireland