Must-see attractions in Ireland

  • Inside Merrion Square, where Pride Village sets up every year

    Merrion Square

    Dublin

    Merrion Sq is the most prestigious and, arguably, the most elegant of Dublin's Georgian squares. Its well-kept lawns and tended flower beds are flanked on…

  • The entrance door to Marsh's Library

    Marsh's Library

    Dublin

    This magnificently preserved scholars' library, virtually unchanged in three centuries, is one of Dublin's most beautiful open secrets and an absolute…

  • panish Arch Next To The River

    Spanish Arch

    Galway City

    The Spanish Arch is thought to be an extension of Galway's medieval city walls, designed to protect ships moored at the nearby quay while they unloaded…

  • Seats at Croke Park Stadium.

    Croke Park Stadium & Museum

    Dublin

    This museum is all about the history and importance of Gaelic sports in Ireland and the role of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) as the stout…

  • Sunrise over Tralee wetlands.

    Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre

    Tralee

    A 15-minute nature-safari boat ride is the highlight of a visit to Tralee's wetlands centre. You can also get a good overview of the reserve's 3000…

  • Millmount Museum & Tower

    Counties Meath, Louth, Cavan & Monaghan

    Overlooking Drogheda, Millmount is an artificial hill that may have been a prehistoric burial ground like Newgrange, but has never been excavated. The…

  • Dysert O'Dea

    The Burren

    The centrepiece of this fascinating historic site where St Tola founded a monastery in the 8th century is the four-storey, 15th-century O'Dea Castle…

  • Muckross House

    Killarney National Park

    This impressive Victorian mansion is crammed with fascinating objects (70% of the contents are original). Portraits by John Singer Sargent adorn the walls…

  • Ennis Friary

    County Clare

    North of the Square, Ennis Friary was founded by Donnchadh Cairbreach O'Brien, a king of Thomond, between 1240 and 1249. A mix of structures dating…

  • Killarney House & Gardens

    Killarney National Park

    Dating from the early 18th century, Killarney House was once part of a much larger residence that was later demolished; it was restored in 2016 and now…

  • Corcomroe Abbey

    The Burren

    Moody and evocative, marvellously ruined Corcomroe Abbey sits in a quiet green hollow, 2km inland from Bellharbour, surrounded by the stark grey Burren…

  • Clare Island Abbey

    County Mayo

    The chancel roof of 13th-century Clare Island Abbey is dotted with faded fragments of murals, dating from around 1500. Look out too for the tomb reputed…

  • Vandeleur Walled Garden

    County Clare

    Within a 170-hectare forest 800m south of the centre, this stunning 'lost' garden was the private domain of the wealthy Vandeleur family – merchants and…

  • Roscommon County Museum

    The Midlands

    Set in a former Presbyterian church (1863), this volunteer-run museum has an idiosyncratic collection, including an inscribed 9th-century slab from St…

  • Patrick Pearse's Cottage

    Connemara

    Pádraig Pearse (Patrick Pearse; 1879–1916) wrote some of his short stories and plays on the shore of a remote lake in this small thatched cottage, which…

  • Muckross Abbey

    Killarney National Park

    Signposted 1.5km northeast of Muckross House, this well-preserved ruin (actually a friary, though everyone calls it an abbey) was founded in 1448 and…

  • Slievemore Deserted Village

    County Mayo

    The bleak remains of more than 80 houses in this deserted village at the foot of Mt Slievemore are slowly being reduced to rock piles, a poignant reminder…

  • Dún Dúchathair

    Aran Islands

    Many locals pick this ruined ancient fort, dating from the Iron Age or early medieval period, as their favourite Inishmore historic sight. It's…

  • Kerry County Museum

    Tralee

    An absolute treat, Kerry's county museum has excellent interpretive displays on Irish historical events and trends, with an emphasis on County Kerry. The…

  • Aillwee Cave

    The Burren

    Aillwee's extraordinary caves were carved out by water some two million years ago. The main cave penetrates 600m into the mountain, widening into larger…

  • St Peter's Roman Catholic Church

    Counties Meath, Louth, Cavan & Monaghan

    Displayed in a glittering brass-and-glass case in the north transept, the shrivelled head of St Oliver Plunkett (1629–81) is this church's main draw (the…

  • Cascades

    County Clare

    Best seen by walking through the arch by Byrne's Inn, Ennistimon's cascades are quite a sight after heavy rain when they surge, beer-brown foaming, and…

  • Thoor Ballylee

    County Galway

    In an idyllic setting by a stream, this 16th-century Norman tower was the summer home of WB Yeats from 1921 to 1929 and was the inspiration for one of his…

  • Achill Sea Salt

    County Mayo

    At the O’Malley's factory, tours reveal just how the family magics Achill's mineral-rich waters into flavoursome flakes of crunchy salt. After seeing…

  • Dromore Wood

    The Burren

    Extending along a lovely river, Dromore Wood encompasses some 400 hectares of picturesque Irish woodland as well as the ruins of the lakeside 17th-century…

  • Glenveagh Castle

    Glenveagh Castle

    County Donegal

    This castle was modelled on Scotland's Balmoral Castle. Henry McIlhenny made it a characterful home with liberal reminders of his passion for deer…

  • A bridge in Poisoned Glen.

    Poisoned Glen

    County Donegal

    With a name like this – misnomer that it is – how can you resist its allure? Follow a rough walking path into the rocky fastness of the glen (4km round…

  • Grianan Of Aileach

    Grianán of Aileách

    County Donegal

    This amphitheatre-like stone fort encircles the top of Grianán Hill like a halo with eye-popping views of surrounding loughs. On clear days you can see as…

  • Landscape with Mount Errigal, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

    Errigal Mountain

    County Donegal

    The pinkish-grey quartzite peak of Errigal Mountain (752m) dominates the landscape of northwestern Donegal, appearing conical from some angles, but from…

  • Pine trees on the rocky shores of Ards Forest Park in Donegal.

    Ards Forest Park

    County Donegal

    Anyone looking to stretch their legs will love this forested park, criss-crossed by marked nature trails varying in length from 2km to 13km. Covering 480…

  • Two people on a boat sailing in the Glenveagh National Park.

    Glenveagh National Park

    County Donegal

    Lakes shimmer like dew in the mountainous valley of Glenveagh National Park. Alternating between great knuckles of rock, green-gold swaths of bog and…

  • Pile of colorful fresh vegetables, red and white onions in Galway food market, Ireland.

    Galway Market

    Galway City

    Galway's bohemian spirit comes alive at its street market, which has set up in this spot for centuries. Saturdays are the standout for food, when farmers…

  • Visitor Centre

    The Midlands

    Three connected conical huts, echoing the design of early monastic dwellings, house the visitor centre museum. A 20-minute audiovisual show provides an…

  • Irish National Famine Museum

    The Midlands

    In direct and deliberate contrast to the splendour of Strokestown Park is the harrowing Irish National Famine Museum, located in the Stables Yard of the…

  • Tullan Strand Bundoran, Donegal, on a summer day

    Tullan Strand

    County Donegal

    The long strand of surfing beach has a bountiful supply of that gorgeous trademark fine white sand that much of Ireland is famed for. There are rip tides,…

  • A view across Lough Eske

    Lough Eske

    County Donegal

    Almost surrounded by the Blue Stack Mountains, tranquil Lough Eske ('Lake of the Fish') is a scenic spot perfect for walking, cycling or fishing. It's a…

  • Rossnowlagh beach

    Rossnowlagh Beach

    County Donegal

    This stunner of a Blue Flag beach is the main draw in town, with the Atlantic surf rolling onto its broad expanse of sand. You can drive your car straight…

  • Ashford Castle Estate

    County Mayo

    Just beyond Cong Abbey, the village abruptly ends and the woodlands surrounding Ashford Castle begin. First built in 1228 as the seat of the de Burgo…

  • Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre

    Cliffs of Moher

    Covered in turf and cut into the hillside, the cliffs' state-of-the-art visitor centre has engaging exhibitions covering the fauna, flora, geology and…

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