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Ireland
Travel Guide

King John\'s Castle showing a river or creek, heritage architecture and a castle

Explore a Neolithic tomb, walk along rocky cliffs as waves crash below or just enjoy a laugh with the locals in this long-inhabited island nation.

The island of Ireland has been inhabited since around 8,000 B.C. Ancient ruins dot the landscape alongside medieval castles. Despite its long human history, Ireland still features large swaths of undeveloped natural landscapes, including desolate islands and Europe’s highest seaside cliffs. Explore Ireland’s ancient artifacts and rocky coast before heading into Dublin and having a pint of creamy stout.

Start at one of Ireland’s oldest sites, Brú na Bóinne, a collection of burial sites north of Dublin that are more than 5000 years old. Get a guided tour through Newgrange, one of the most impressive sites. Walk through the narrow halls of this massive grass-covered burial mound.

Stop at Ireland’s beautiful castles, which are spread across the landscape in various states of preservation. Cahir Castle in the island’s southern interior is a well-preserved 12th-century fortress, one of the country’s largest. Walk its corridors and look out over its battlements. Well-kept Ashford Castle in Galway functions as a five-star hotel. Make a reservation if your dream is to stay overnight in a 13th-century castle.

Rent a car to explore Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coastline. Nearly the entire coast is lined with steep, rocky cliffs that descend straight into the ocean’s heavy surf. The most desolate and dramatic coastal landscape can be found in the Aran Islands just off Ireland’s west coast. Head to Inishmor, the largest of these three islands. Walk along an almost completely uninhabited slab of gray rock with the ocean just below you.

Complete your trip to Ireland with a visit to the welcoming city of Dublin. During the day, see its architectural attractions like Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At night, experience its main cultural attraction: the pub. Have a Guinness and enjoy conversation with Dublin’s famously sociable locals.

Fly into Dublin or take a ferry from France or the UK to reach Ireland. The northeast corner of the island, including Belfast, belongs to the UK, but you can cross the border freely.

Popular cities in Ireland

Dublin which includes a church or cathedral, signage and heritage architecture
Dublin
Known for Poolside Bars, Tour and Live Music
A city break in Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, takes you to the political and cultural heart of the Irish Republic. Rich in culture, Dublin’s gorgeous Georgian architecture, the legendary pub culture and its unique character make for a trip you’ll never forget.

Reasons to visit

  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Grand Canal
  • Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Glucksman Gallery featuring modern architecture
Cork
Known for Friendly People, Dining and Shopping

Reasons to visit

  • English Market
  • Cork City Gaol
  • Fitzgerald Park
Dunguaire Castle showing heritage elements, a river or creek and heritage architecture
Galway
Known for Friendly People, Poolside Bars and Tour

Reasons to visit

  • Eyre Square
  • Galway Cathedral
  • Galway Harbour
Muckross House featuring a park, flowers and heritage elements
Killarney
Known for Nature, Historical and Live Music
Killarney is known as the gateway to the county or 'kingdom' of Kerry. The biggest attraction of the town is its beautiful surroundings of green, lush forest, lakes and high mountain peaks. Killarney itself is a popular destination throughout the year, thanks to the 19th-century architecture, narrow cobbled streets and lively pubs. Stroll the cobblestone streets and discover 19th-century architecture and beautiful trails in this Irish town known for its pub culture, hospitality and mystical mountains.

Reasons to visit

  • Killarney National Park
  • Ross Castle
  • Muckross House
Limerick showing a city, night scenes and a river or creek
Limerick
Known for Friendly People, Dining and Poolside Bars

Reasons to visit

  • King John's Castle
  • Thomond Park
  • Hunt Museum
Ben Bulben featuring tranquil scenes and mountains
Sligo
Known for Friendly People, Poolside Bars and River View

Reasons to visit

  • Knocknarea
  • Sligo Abbey
  • Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

Popular places to visit in Ireland

Ireland

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