Ireland

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.

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.

A stand stocked with West Cork cheeses: Ardrahan, Garrigaline, Coolea, Durrus, Gubbeen.

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.

The pub is owned by the flute player of the Chieftains and famous for virtuoso trad sessions. Even without a formal performance in the capacious back room, a pianist, an accordion player, and a fiddler are set up on a stage playing ceili-style dance music for a roomful of eager listeners.

Attending a true Dublin “trad session”—a group jam session featuring instruments like violin, mandolin, banjo, accordion, and uilleann pipes—is a memorable event.

The latest addition to the George’s Street scene takes a humorous angle on the current economic recession. The owners have outfitted the bar-restaurant like a tenement, with recycled furniture, a hodgepodge of tag-sale objets, and lines of hanging laundry.

The best in Irish design is showcased in this Nassau Street store, handily located between Trinity College and the National Museum on Kildare Street.

Daylong classes on the 100-acre organic farm includge mushroom foraging, wine tasting, and raising chickens. Indulge in a class taught by Rachel Allen (granddaughter-in-law of Myrtle, Ireland's Giada De Laurentiis) in a loftlike demonstration kitchen.

The shop has a line of sophisticated bags by designer Conor Holden that you won't see anywhere else.