Ireland

Things to do in Ireland

Between live music, natural wonders and a stream of festivals, there are so many things to do in Ireland.

Most travelers begin in the capital city, Dublin where you can visit Dublin Castle, The Book of Kells in Trinity College and The Guinness Storehouse. Viking Splash tours are a great way for the kids to see old Dublinia. After a morning of sightseeing, shopping around Grafton Street, a literary pub-crawl in Temple Bar or wondering through the National Gallery are a must.

Wondering what to do in Ireland outside of Dublin? For a small island, Ireland has a rich and varied landscape resulting in some magnificent natural wonders. The Giant's Causeway, the hills of Connemara, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and the Ring of Kerry are just some of the places to see. For those brave enough to take on Ireland's winding roads, driving the Wild Atlantic Way is a great way to see all the sights.

For adventure seekers, there are so many things to do in Ireland. Ireland's rugged west coast is home to some of the best surf spots in Europe – like Bundoran in County Donegal and Lahinch in County Clare. Hiking the Connemara way, the Dingle way and the Wicklow way is a great way to see Ireland's wild side on foot.

Golf is another outdoor activity to enjoy when visiting Ireland. Mount Juliette Estate, the K Club and Royal County Down are some of the most prestigious courses in the country. While horseracing, hurling, Gaelic football and rugby are sports worth watching.

Still wondering what to do in Ireland? The home of U2, Sinead O' Connor and Van Morrison, Ireland has a rich tradition of music. While most towns will have live music playing most nights, Galway is Ireland's music hub. Bounce around the city's pubs to hear everything from traditional ceol to U2 cover bands most nights of the week.

While St. Patrick's Day is the most famous, Ireland celebrates many festivals throughout the calendar year. Bloomsday (James Joyce Festival), The Galway Arts Festival and Puck Fair are worth noting.

A collection of works by West Cork ceramicists Sara Flynn and Mary Neeson, whose porcelain lanterns are like miniature Mariko Mori sculptures.

To the north of Dublin, the rural county of Meath and the Boyne Valley comprise an area rich with ancient sites. The best known among these is Newgrange, a 5,000-year-old passage tomb and ancient temple that predates Stonehenge (it’s part of a larger complex called Brú na Bóinne).

POD

Though Dublin’s better known for its pub culture than its nightclubs, this converted train station has been packing in crowds since the early 1990s.

The hike to the top takes a solid half-hour, but the vistas on the way up are worth it if the visibility is good.

The most elegant of Dublin’s department stores stocks designer apparel from around the world. Brown Thomas has been part of the Grafton Street landscape since 1849, but shopping there today feels as au courant as a trip to Bendel’s in New York or Harvey Nichols in London.

When Paddy and Maureen O’Donoghue opened this bar in 1934, they invited local musicians to perform each night. Considered to be the birthplace of the popular group, The Dubliners, O’Donoghue’s maintains its nightly musical tradition.

The cheeses are displayed on long wooden tables and kept at a constant temperature of around 50 degrees.

This temple to the city’s renowned stout—a product that’s helped sustain Ireland’s economy for centuries—is the country’s star tourist attraction. The property, originally built in 1908 to house fermentation tanks, bears little resemblance today to the original operation.