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.

Housed in a graceful building that is itself a sort of exhibit (with classically Victorian architecture and a rotunda based on Rome’s Pantheon), this archaeological museum explores Ireland’s ancient Celtic heritage.

The resting place of 14 of the executed leaders of the insurrection of 1916.

A 1960's Brutalist building set amid Trinity College's brilliant historic setting creates stark architectural contrast and delightful dissonance.

Karen Crawford’s boutique originally began life on Smock Alley in Temple Bar before moving to the heart of Dublin’s fashion hub on Drury Street.

A 1999 brick structure in a village of painted stone, the center has classrooms, a small shop, and a 120-seat concert hall offering performances by some of the region’s tried and true masters. More and more, the rural traditions of Ireland will be sheltered in places like this.

Writers from the West Cork Literary Festival soak up local atmosphere at this classic pub.

Europe’s largest enclosed urban park—encompassing more than 1,700 acres—is set just two miles west from the city center.

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.

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