Ireland is a captivating location and continuously attracts an array of travellers from all walks of life. These countries hold an interesting history, bustling cities, delicious cuisines, remarkable architecture and colourful landscapes.
The buzzing cities hold an upbeat atmosphere, packed with a variety of fun attractions to enjoy. On the other hand, the countryside provides a peaceful setting, with a collection of remarkable landscapes to appreciate. With all of these on offer, there is no reason not to put both Ireland and Northern Ireland on your bucket list.
Here are top spots to see in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
1. Guinness Storehouse
Guinness, known all over the globe as Ireland’s famous beverage, makes the Guinness Storehouse one of Dublin’s most acclaimed attractions. The captivating museum delves deep into the history of Guinness, the process in which the beverage is made, and how it grew into the icon it is today. Guests are offered opportunities to taste Guinness throughout the tour and can even finish with a complimentary pint, perched high upon the storehouse. The Gravity Bar, located on the top floor of the museum, provides unique, panoramic views of Dublin to enjoy. The storehouse is located in the heart of the city, with plenty of parking available on Crane Street. Tickets to enter the multi-storied museum can be purchased at the door, or online prior to arrival.
2. Kilmainham Gaol
Also located in Ireland’s capital, Kilmainham Gaol is an old Irish prison, turned into a museum open to the public. The prison was operational from 1796 to 1924, housing and executing various rebellion leaders through its years of establishment. When visiting receive a fully guided tour, providing an in-depth history of the prisoners, living conditions and haunting events throughout the establishment. Wander through ghostly corridors and the lonely cells. The experience is quite fascinating and provides a unique insight into Irish history.
3. Cliffs of Moher
Towering cliffs ever extending in each direction, overlooking a vast, crystal ocean; The Cliffs of Moher provides visitors with effortlessly picturesque landscapes to marvel. The cliffs are located on Ireland’s west coast, approximately 1 hour 30 from the city of Galway. Travellers are instantly offered sweeping views of the natural, soaring landscape. Walk along the cliff’s edge, at a safe distance as there is no barrier, and enjoyed the serene setting. Cafes are also nearby to escape the wind and cold with a hot chocolate.
Around 1 hour 30 north from the Cliffs of Moher is the charming, lively city of Galway. Spend the morning wandering through a maze of colourful, narrow streets, and browsing through a range of plentiful shops. The city is also home to Ireland’s oldest jeweller, and original makers of the Claddagh ring. This intriguing city hides a collection of captivating attractions, and could potentially be thoroughly explored in two, action-packed days.
5. Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
The Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge is located within Northern Ireland, a short drive from the well-known Giant’s Causeway. Visitors can purchase a ticket upon arrival, and hike to the bridge through a lush, green landscape, alongside a cliff overlooking clear waters. Walk across the swaying, yet sturdy bridge and take in the vibrant landscapes and clean waters below. The hike to the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge would be a great morning venture.
6. Giant’s Causeway
The Giants Causeway is an icon of Northern Ireland. The causeway is comprised of thousands upon thousands of pillar-shaped rock formations. This puzzle is said to contain approximately 40,000 individual pillars. Although Giant’s Causeway was a result of a volcanic eruption many years ago, there is a myth regarding its formation, involving a threat to Ireland and a giant. Guests can explore this myth within the visitor centre, which also contains a gift store.
Travellers stopping by the causeway can either take a short downhill hike, alongside a scenic coastline or take the convenient shuttle bus, that frequently runs down to the causeway. As Giant’s Causeway is extremely close to the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, these two activities can be paired together in one day.
7. Dark Hedges
Another one of Northern Ireland’s praised gems; the Dark Hedges is a vastly popular spot among tourists and only 20 minutes from the Giants Causeway and Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. The Dark Hedges is an ever extending avenue of beech trees, over handing a pedestrian-only path. The hedges are considered one of the most photographed destinations within Northern Ireland. For Game of Thrones fans, the Dark Hedges was even featured in an episode of season 2. The trees were planted in the 18th century, and still stand today for guests to admire.
Ireland and Northern Ireland continue to captivate the interest and engagement of a wide variety of guests. Through its fascinating history, vibrant countryside, majestic castles and buzzing cities, they both prove to be remarkable travel destinations. There is an endless stream of things to do, and there is always something new waiting to be uncovered.
Visit tourismireland.com for more info to plan your trip.
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