While relatively small, the small island of Ireland has so much to offer. The friendliness of the people is out done only by the beauty of the landscape. Ireland boasts so many stunning parks, castles and alleyways. Equal parts rugged and charming, Ireland is most deserving of a spot on your bucket-list. While there is a ton to see in Ireland, our Ultimate Ireland travel bucket-list, ensures you get to see the absolute best.
Ultimate Ireland Travel Bucket-list
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most famous tourist attraction and for good reason. Located in County Clare, the Cliffs are some of the most impressive formations in the world. Spread across over five miles of pure Southwest coastline, the Cliffs stand at over 700 feet. On clear days you can even see across to the Aran Islands. However the views are impressive no matter what type of weather. On clear days head there late in the evening for sunset. If it’s a bit rainy stick around and you may be able to witness that good old Irish luck produce a rainbow over the cliffs.
Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth, Trinity College is Ireland’s most prestiges University. The main chamber of the library is popular with both travelers and photographers. This stunning library houses the Book of Kells, the most famous medieval manuscripts, written around 800 AD. Be sure to check out Campanile in the Front Square for some beautiful shots of the University. Visiting Trinity College is a great rainy day activity when that Irish rain rolls around. Do get tickets in advance to avoid the long lines.
The Ring of Kerry
Arguably Ireland’s most scenic road, the Ring of Kerry wraps the southwestern coast of Ireland. Spanning over 100 miles, the Ring of Kerry is a must for any road trip through Ireland. Notable stops along the Ring of Kerry is; Killarney National Park, Skelligs Chocolate, Portmagee and Staigue Stone Fort. For the most stunning shots make sure to make a stop at Kerry Cliffs. These stunning cliffs give the Cliffs of Moher a run for their money. If you complete the full loop be sure to budget at least five hours for stops along the way and to enjoy the scenery.
Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park containing lakes, mountains forests, was the first national park of Ireland.While part of the Ring of Kerry, I set Killarney National Park as its own item because it is simply that beautiful. You could easily spend a whole day here hiking and taking in one of the most beautiful national parks in Ireland. For those looking to add a few castles and manor houses check out Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey and Muckross House.
Head to the Jameson Distillery for a tour of Ireland’s most beloved whiskey. Founded by John Jameson’s in 1780 in Dublin, Jameson is Ireland’s number one selling whiskey. Whether you head to the original plant in Cork or the Dublin location you will be sure to learn a lot about the history of whiskey and have a taste or two.
Known as Ireland’s “rebel city” Cork is a must for anyone looking to see Ireland. Dublin’s more hipster sister, Cork is known for its amazing food, craft breweries and festivals. Points of interest in the town include the Jameson Distillery, Fitzgerald Park and their famous English Market. Nearby is Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the Blarney Stone, rumored to bestow upon you the gift of eloquence. Titanic fans will want to check out Cobh where the the infamous ship had its last port call here in 1912. Nature lovers should head to Mizen Head and the lighthouse for stunning views.
Having a pint of Guinness in Ireland is practically a right of passage. Even for those of you ( like me) who don’t like beer you will be re-missed if you didn’t at least try a Guinness. And if you’re going to have a Guinness, why not do it at the top of the Guinness factory at their Gravity bar? Sounds perfect I know.
After a tasting at Guinness why not continue the festivities into the streets of Dublin. Head to temple bar, one of Dublin’s most lively and popular areas. This area is famous for its lively bars and music scene. Stop into the Brazen Head, Foggy Dew and of course Temple Bar itself. There are a ton of pubs to choose from which makes a pub crawl another great option for those looking to really get the most out of Dublin’s nightlife.
A great day trip from Dublin, Glendalough has some pristine nature . Make sure to stop by Gleann da Loch the raw beauty that comes to personify Ireland. The Wicklow Mountains with its’ many streams, valleys and lakes is a stunning retreat from Dublin’s city hustle. It is the perfect getaway for those looking to take in stunning mountains and hike. Check out Glendalough Monastic Site, one of the most significant Early Christian sites in Ireland. Did I mention they filmed much of P.S. I love you here in Wicklow? Yep movie fans can even book a P.S. I love you tour.
Known as the most Irish city, Galway is Ireland’s second largest county. Besides its’ charming city, Galway has a ton to offer visitors. For starters they have some stunning castles. Dunguaire Castle, Abbeyglen Castle Hotel and Ballynahinch Castle Hotel are a few. Nature lovers can enjoy Connemara National Park which offers a ton of trails for scenic hiking. With close access to the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands, Galway makes a great spot to stay for a few days. If you’re looking to splurge on a castle stay Galway is the perfect place.
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