Ireland is small enough that you shouldn’t limit yourself to one location. It is full of history and incredible natural beauty, from one end to the other.
It takes only about 2 hours or so to cross, and about 5 hours to drive from top to bottom. So rent a car, or get on the bus and check the quaint, historic island out!
*Top 10 See and Do* IRELAND
1. Oggle the Cliffs of Moher. It was the cliffs that brought me to Ireland in the first place – and they did not disappoint. Just over 2 hours from Dublin, the cliffs are easily accessible by tour bus or rental car, and should not be missed.
2. Be a tourist in Galway City. Located by the cliffs, Galway city is a beautiful, historic, friendly town. You have to visit the cliffs, so you may as well enjoy this cute seaside township while you are there.
3. Walk downtown Dublin at night. Dublin has a fantastic night life. There is so much going on, you are guaranteed to be overwhelmed. I visited a few pubs and dance clubs on my first visit (including ‘The Church‘), but our next visit was spent wandering aimlessly, people watching – enjoying the entertainment.
4. Drive (or bus) the countryside. With everything in such close proximity, you have no excuse not to check out a thatched roof or two. The Irish countryside is as dreamy – and green – as you would expect it to be.
5. Learn some history of the area you are going to be visiting. Instead of just looking at that wall thinking ‘gee what a nice stone fortification’, know the history of the stone famine walls. Deepen your experience! Sometimes it can be nice to pay for a tour, or get a guide – especially if you are lazy about doing your own research, but still want the benefits of learning.
6. Visit ancient tombs in the Burren, and then head to Lisdoonvarna. The karst landscape of the Burren is not only unique, but it also houses a number of ancient stone burial areas. Poulnabrone is a particularly famous portal tomb, dating back to the Neolithic period (between 4200 BCE and 2900 BCE).
Nearby is the quaint town of Lisdoonvarna, famous for love and matchmaking. Definitely worth stopping in for lunch – or a dance!
7. Check out a pub. I know, this is obvious – but you have to join in the pub tradition while visiting Ireland. Historically, the ‘Public House‘ was exactly that – a warm dry place for the public to gather. Many people could not afford to burn wood or coal to keep their homes consistently heated, and drinkable water was not always available.
Keeping that bit of history in mind, checking out a small, old, local pub is always best for an authentic experience. Not only will they be cheaper than their more popular (and populated) counterparts, but many of them haven’t changed in 200 years (or more!). Awesome!
8. Walk the grounds of Trinity College. Known as one of the 7 ancient Universities of Britain and Ireland, Trinity College, founded in 1592, is truly architecturally spectacular. There are still a handful of original buildings on site, functioning as they have been for the past 420 years or so. It is located close to downtown (Dublin), and though it is a popular tourist destination, this is a great place for a quiet (breathtaking) walk.
9. Visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. I don’t even drink beer, but I still say the Storehouse should not be missed – if even just for its historical significance.
10. Climb The Giants Causeway. A spectacular example of columnar jointing (maybe the best in the world), the causeway is a fascinating example of Mother Natures unusual artistry. If you decide to visit Northern Ireland, you can’t miss the Giants Causeway.
- The Church Nightclub Restaurant (thechurch.ie)
- Giants Causeway (Wikipedia)
- Cliffs of Moher (cliffsofmoher.ie)
- The Burren (Wikipedia)
- Poulnabrone (Wikipedia)