Ireland Travel Guide
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.
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.
What started almost three centuries ago as a humble weaving shop (in the Wicklow village of the same name) is now a retail empire.
Europe’s largest enclosed urban park—encompassing more than 1,700 acres—is set just two miles west from the city center.
Writers from the West Cork Literary Festival soak up local atmosphere at this classic pub.
- If Ireland can be said to have rocked the game out of its cradle and raised it on creamy stout, the brawniest of its brood is Ballybunion, named after the adjacent seaside town in rural County Kerry.
At the long and narrow Cobblestone pub, in Smithfield, in the early evening and then again after dinner, musicians take turns depositing tall pints of Guinness before each member of the band.
Cork's best artisans and purveyors gather here to sell products like soda bread, organic greens and seafood. The 1780's brick structure's interior was devastated by a fire in the 1980's and has since been restored.
The Cobblestone is located at the top of Smithfield, near the Four Courts, in the North Inner City. The D7 area has recently become very trendy among the late '20s and early '30s and many mingle with inner city Dubliners in this convivial old bar.
An ideal pub with traditional music and the feel of Old Ireland.
There’s nothing immediately distinctive or compelling about Peter’s…but then, unassuming comfort is essential for a good Dublin pub. What is notable here is the absence of both trinkety tourist-bait décor and flickering televisions—and the presence of real neighborhood locals.
Rory Conner, an artisan cutler, has a studio crammed with rusty blade forms, drill presses, and grinders' wheels, carpeted with metal dust, and looks straight out of the 19th century.
Just 35 miles south of the city, and right in the heart of the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park, the hamlet of Glendalough makes a magical day trip from Dublin.
One of the oldest in Dublin, The Stag's Head has stained-glass windows, a massive mahogany bar, and a snug—a small, enclosed space where women in the 18th century could drink and not be seen.