Dublin Castle is the main government building. It was built by order of King John the Soleilless after the Normans attacked. Today, conferences and meetings of important people are held in Dublin Castle. When the castle is not in government meetings, it is open to tourists.
Cair Castle is located on an island in the middle of the River Shur in the county of Trippeary. Thanks to its owners’ wise policy of “always surrender without a fight,” this 12th-century castle is beautifully preserved. In the museum of the castle you can see the miniature “Taking of the Castle of Keir” consisting of 1000 figures of soldiers.
Cashel Castle Rock
Cashel Rock is a castle that served as the residence of the kings of Munster. It was erected in the 4th century, and a century later St. Patrick lived and preached here. After Cromwell’s invasion, Cashel became a symbol of the resilience of the Irish people. Today you can see numerous residential and outbuildings.
The famous Kell Abbey, an hour’s drive from Dublin, is familiar to the world for two things at once. Firstly, it was here that most of the legendary Book of Kells, a veritable masterpiece of religious art, was created and is now preserved in Dublin’s Trinity College.
Jameson Distillery Museum
No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the sanctum sanctorum of Ireland’s capital city – the Old Jameson Distillery. Since 1780 the national drink of the Irish – one of the most famous whisky brands in the world – is distilled here.
Today everyone who happens to be in Dublin just has to visit the Guinness Brewery Museum. The legendary beer dates back to 1752. Then no one known Arthur Guinness received an inheritance of 200 pounds. Of course, he spent the money on booze. But he did it as wisely as possible – he rented a brewery.
One of the main natural attractions of Ireland are two-hundred-meter cliffs Moher, stretching for 8 kilometers. These majestic rock formations plunge steeply down to the Atlantic Ocean, creating the visual sensation of a sheer wall.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the biggest cathedral not only in Dublin but in the whole of Ireland. Its famous abbot was the writer Jonathan Swift, known to the world for his work “Gulliver’s Travels”.
Cathedral of Christ in Dublin
The main cathedral in Dublin, Christ Cathedral boasts an exceptional age: it was founded as far back as 1031. Both Catholic and Anglican archbishops of Dublin call Christ Cathedral their fiefdom.
Temple Bar is Dublin’s most “nocturnal” neighborhood. You’ll find a small but moderately dense crowd moving through the streets here all the time. And all because this place is beloved by local youth for the availability of pubs, bars, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. No wonder tourists can’t avoid Temple Bar either!
Cong Abbey, located in the village of the same name in Ireland, boasts two venerable landmarks at once. The first is for fans of all things chivalrous and romantic.
Burren is the National Park and Plateau of the same name in the western part of Ireland. The nearest major population centers are Galway about 60 kilometers to the north and Limerick the same distance to the south.
The Dublin Needle
The architectural dominant feature of Dublin, the Dublin Needle Monument is visible from perhaps anywhere in the city. The design is exceptionally simple – a steel spire rising 121 meters high and gradually tapering.
Dublin Botanic Gardens
The magnificent Dublin Botanic Gardens cover an impressive 25 hectares in the heart of the Irish capital. “The green heart of Dublin”, as the locals lovingly call it, boasts twenty thousand all kinds of plants from all over the world.
Dublin University is the oldest higher education institution in Ireland. It belongs to the group of universities, informally called “ancient universities”, which includes also Oxford and Cambridge universities in England and four universities in Scotland.
Castle Bunratty is a wonderful treasure of Ireland which can be envied by the whole world. Not even the well-preserved walls of medieval citadel are remarkable, but first of all the furnishings of 15-16th centuries – a rarity in our times immense.
The Castle of Klononi
Clononie Castle is the residence of the Tudors and the resting place of the royal Boleyn sisters. The castle is dominated by a 15-metre high tower and is surrounded by picturesque gardens with a moat. Clononie has all the basic elements of fortification: machicolations, kill holes, a spiral staircase and an inner courtyard.
The Irish National University in Galway
The city of Galway in the west of Ireland is the administrative center of the county of the same name. The history of the city starts in the 12th century. By area it is the fifth city in the country, an important seaport and educational center.
The Book of Kells is a collection of mysteries that have reached us through thousands of years. Until now, no one can understand what kind of colors were used by the monks, because they have not faded and have retained their brightness to this day. It’s also unclear how they were able to create such exquisite miniatures without using a magnifying glass.
University of Limerick in Ireland
Limerick is a county town in Ireland and its history dates back to the distant 5th century. It is the third most populous city in the country with 70,000 inhabitants. It is quite understandable that in such a large (by the scale of Ireland) and prosperous city should have its own higher educational institution.
The sights of Ireland are a tribute to both the Middle Ages, the prehistoric period, and the ineffable natural wonders. Despite the image, which does not fit the traditional description of the tourist region, Ireland attracts many tourists, mostly from European countries.
The capital of Ireland, Dublin is one of the oldest European capitals. It was founded in the ninth century and its streets are full of architectural sights, the most prominent of which is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the center. And the valley of the River Liffey and Dublin Bay make the city also surprisingly picturesque.
There are ancient castles in almost every county of Ireland: Belliley, Bellintobir, Bunratty, Donsoghlay, Cloghan, Caldwell, Carraicfirgus, Monye, King John’s castles in Limerick and Louth, and many others, no less remarkable. Today many of them have been converted into first-class hotels. Even older attractions in Ireland are Viking camps and castles. For example, Waterford, in the south-east of the country, the oldest city in Ireland, was founded by the Vikings in 914.
The architectural masterpieces of Ireland’s cathedrals and monasteries are no less appealing: Cong Abbey, Laissedell Mansion, Dublin’s St. Canaille Cathedral, Millayfont Abbey, Kells Abbey and others. Among the mysterious sights of Ireland stands out the Newgrange Mound, which is older than the pyramids of Egypt. The mound is surrounded by blocks of stone: just a few days a year, the sun’s rays reach inside the tomb, illuminating the inner tunnel, making it something akin to the famous Stonehenge. Nearby are two other burial mounds, the Naut and Dowt, with nearly five thousand years of history.
The county of Donegal in the north of Ireland is famous for the legend of Dalahan, the headless horseman. The sense of being on the edge of the world is enhanced by countless flocks of birds in these picturesque, wild, oceanfront settings. The coastline from Killibags to Cape Malin Head is particularly prized by eco-tourism enthusiasts.
County Donegal, in the north of Ireland, is famous for the legend of Dalahan, the headless horseman. In these picturesque and wild places on the ocean does not leave a feeling of being on the edge of the world
The west coast of Ireland is full of beautiful bays, inlets, islands and beaches. The Barrens in County Clare are full of subterranean caves, fissures in polished limestone, springs and sinkholes – the region’s main attractions. Some seven dozen megalithic tombs, ruins of ancient castles and Iron Age stone forts, known as “ring forts,” testify to their antiquity. It is also home to the popular Irish Doolin Music Center.
At the entrance to Galway Bay are three islands – Inishmore, Inishman and Inishire, the famous Aran Islands. The long stretches of “lunar landscape” have welcomed travelers from all over the world since ancient tribes, still unknown to historians, settled here; the first Christians of Ireland landed here as well. The earliest monastic settlements were founded here in the late 4th century. The isolation of the islands has preserved the ancient traditions and even the almost extinct Galic language.
Among the natural wonders of Ireland a special place belongs to the Cliffs: two-hundred-meter steep cliffs on the Atlantic coast of the country. And the famous Bridge of Giants, whose basalt formations of regular hexagonal shape do not leave a feeling of man-made, even despite their impressive size, make you think that here, indeed, once lived giant craftsmen.
Perhaps Ireland’s most famous natural attractions are the charming, though rather bleak, heathlands and rolling hills, where local legends and lore come alive. And the most Irish of all sights is the Connemara countryside in the northwest: here there is really nothing but countless bogs, bare valleys, mountains and lakes, grass and an incredible amount of rock. These are the typical Irish landscapes, and it is here that the old traditions of the locals are best preserved. There are still stone fences all along the coast, a hallmark of Connemara: clearing the land for crops from stones, the Irish put up kilometers of fences that protected the crops from the winds.
Many tourists besides attractions in Ireland are attracted by the peculiarities of local traditions and famous pubs and bars, which are the main meeting and socializing places of the Irish.
Ireland’s 20 Best Sights
The state of Ireland occupies part of the island of the same name in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, standing out for its distinctive cultural traditions, ancient architecture, picturesque hills, green valleys and clean rivers.
Do not forget to subscribe to our Telegram channel.
Who Should Come to Ireland and Why?
Ireland is a country with a rich history, preserving ancient castles, medieval abbeys and temples. People come here to look at the architecture of the old cities, artifacts of the Stone Age, to admire the natural sights.
The island’s rocky shores move smoothly into broadleaf forests and plains covered with emerald vegetation. And in its depths hide national parks for ecotourism lovers. There you can learn a lot about the nature of Ireland, walk and admire the local beauty, or engage in equestrian sports.
It is very interesting to spend holidays in this country. On May 1, tourists gather for the pagan Beltaine, symbolizing the beginning of summer. On this day, locals decorate rowan bushes with ribbons and toys and build large fires on the hills in the evening. Halloween fans flock to the country in the fall, as Ireland is the home of this popular holiday. Right after Halloween, another Celtic holiday, Samhain, marking the end of the harvest, is celebrated.
Picturesque Ireland is perfect for a family vacation. There are medieval castles, interesting museums and excursions in every town. Come here with your child, go to Dublin Zoo, visit the Aqua Dome in Tralee and check out the Adventure Park amusement park in Bandoran.
Don’t miss the national dishes while you’re in Ireland: hard cheese with a nutty, creamy flavor, and sausage pudding. Be sure to buy souvenirs for your family and friends. Handmade wool sweaters, cashmere pieces from the Blarney factory, whiskey, crystal, Celtic jewelry, leprechauns, and clover charms make good gifts for them.
Ireland’s Historic Landmarks
The seat of government in Dublin is a majestic and beautiful castle founded in the 13th century. The complex was originally intended to protect the city. At various times it housed the Irish court, the residence of the king and the government.
Now it is a place for conferences and official meetings. When there are no state events, the castle is open for visits. Tourists can see the interior decoration of the halls, the Birmingham Tower, the Church of the Holy Trinity, and the art center located in the underground of the royal chapel.
In the town of Kells near Dublin rises Kell Abbey. The first mention of the castle dates back to 554. Here the monks who created the masterpiece of religious art, the Book of Kells, found refuge. It is a collection of the Gospels decorated with exquisite ornaments and miniatures that have not lost their brilliance of colors to this day.
The abbey was repeatedly attacked by Vikings, so many structures of the complex were destroyed. Only the main tower and the high walls surrounding the courtyard have survived well.
The biggest castle in Ireland, built in the early XII century on an island in the middle of the river Shur, is very well preserved. It was founded by Conor O’Brien, a prince who lived before the Normans invaded.
Walking around the castle, it’s easy to see with your own eyes the peculiarities of ancient Irish life, see the rooms of the lord, the three-story donjon, the steep stone stairs, the watchtowers and the grating that protects the gate.
In the county of Clare is the Castle of Bunratty. The citadel, built in Norman style, was destroyed many times during the wars, but was always rebuilt as it was of great strategic importance. The castle has been completely restored and is open to tourists all year round. There is stored wooden furniture, paintings, tapestries of the XVII century, medieval weapons.
In the courtyard is an open-air museum. Guests can see farm huts, a mill, learn about ancient crafts, taste dishes cooked in an ancient oven, and buy local souvenirs.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The largest cathedral in Ireland is located in Dublin. It is a bright example of Gothic architecture founded in the early XII century near the source of St. Patrick.
Now it is a huge temple complex including the church, chapels, and the archbishop’s palace. It regularly holds religious services and important national ceremonies. Inside the cathedral are kept church relics, ancient frescoes and an organ.
Church of Christ Church
Dublin’s main cathedral is known locally as Christ Church or Cathedral of Christ. It was built in the 11th century and has always been the center of religious life of the country. The cathedral is decorated with original tiles of XIII century, columns, wall paintings and frescoes.
There is a small museum in the crypt, where unique works of art are exhibited: ancient manuscripts, paintings, candlesticks and church utensils.
Newgrange is a huge block tomb in the Bru-na-Boin complex, near Dublin. It consists of a wide burial chamber and a narrow, long passageway. The top of the structure is covered with earth and stones. The mound is about 5000 years old. It is much older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. During the excavations, scientists have found many unique artifacts.
There is a hole in the top of the mound – through it, from December 19 to 23, the sunlight penetrates into the burial chamber for a short time. But to see the illuminated room can only lottery winners. On normal days, tours are conducted in the light of spotlights.
The prehistoric sanctuary is located in County Sligo and is one of the main Neolithic megalithic structures in Ireland. Scientists have not reached a consensus on the age of the monument. Some experts believe that the stone blocks are about 7,000 years old.
In Carrowmore, there are about 30 dolmens, surrounded by fences of hewn stones. When you come here, tourists can get in touch with the ancient culture and admire the picturesque green hills.
Museums of Ireland
In the historic part of Dublin there is a beautiful gray brick structure with a high tower – Dublinia Museum. It’s a great place for families. The halls of the museum recreate the medieval and Viking era.
Adults and children can watch actors dressed in knight’s armor, national dress and join their “games”. The museum, which introduces living history, is visited by 125 thousand tourists every year.
Irish National Museum
Next to the parliament building in the center of the capital is the national museum. It contains the rich cultural heritage of the Irish people.
The extensive collection includes:
- Celtic outfits and jewelry;
- Christian relics;
- Pre-Christian archaeological finds;
- ancient forged weapons.
The gem of the exhibit is the Klonikavan Man. It is an Iron Age mummy found in the swamps of Meath County. The estimated age of the exhibit is 2,300 years old.
Art Museum in Dublin
The National Gallery of Ireland is of great interest to connoisseurs of painting. There are paintings of Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian and German masters, written before the beginning of the XVIII century. A separate hall has a huge collection of Irish paintings.
There are about 14 thousand paintings, sculptures, pencil drawings, as well as samples of graphics in the museum vault.
Museum of leprechauns
There is a museum dedicated to Irish folklore in the capital. The exposition tells about leprechauns – magical creatures dressed in green clothes and granting wishes. Tourists will learn a lot of interesting things about the little people, which are compared to elves or fairies.
During the tour, adults and children are shown a tunnel with optical illusions, a room of Irish mythology, artifacts from the Newgrange tomb, and an ancient well. Souvenirs are sold on the grounds of the museum.
Guinness Beer Museum in Dublin.
The history of the legendary brewery begins in 1752, when Arthur Guinness rented a small building and founded the family business. For 200 years the small company has grown into a global brand.
The exhibition halls of the museum tell about the traditions of brewing and methods of making beer. Here you can taste beer in the bar Gravitation, buy sweets with beer fillings and interesting souvenirs. On the roof of the building is an observation deck, which offers a gorgeous panorama of Dublin. Beer Museum attracts about 700,000 visitors a year.
Kilmanham prison, used by the British authorities to hold prisoners, is now converted into a museum. The complex, built in the capital, is called the Irish Bastille because many of the country’s notables and independence fighters served their sentences or were executed there.
Visitors can see the courtyard and the cells where the prisoners languished. The Kilmanham Museum has an exhibit on Irish nationalism. On the second floor is an exhibit of sculptures, paintings and drawings from the incarcerated.
Natural attractions, parks and activities
In County Clare, near the village of Liscannor, one of Ireland’s main attractions, the ocean-front Cliffs of Moher, can be seen. Tourists flock here to climb to a height of two hundred meters and admire the magnificent scenery.
On one of the cliffs is the O’Brien Tower, equipped with an observation deck that offers an even more gorgeous view.
In the west of the country, the Burren National Park sits near Galway. This is an unusual place, attracting fans of fantastic scenery.
Here you will find:
- limestone plateaus;
- small groves;
- underground caves;
- peat bogs.
On the territory of the park grows ivy, fern, mountain ash, hazel, heather, alpine grasses and mosses. In the reserve there are hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. It is recommended to travel as part of a tour.
Killarney National Park.
In the southwest in Kerry County, there is a nature preserve founded in 1932. The 10,000-hectare area has beautiful lakes, underground springs, forests, heathland, and green hills. Travelers here can see deer, marten squirrels, geese, falcons. The flora is represented by the rare Killarney fern, strawberry tree, and centuries-old oaks.
In the valley of Glendaloch in County Wicklow the monk Quentin settled in the sixth century. In a picturesque corner surrounded by high hills, he built a small monastery, outbuildings and a hospital.
The abbey is a place of pilgrimage for the faithful and attracts tourists with its beautiful natural scenery. There are many trees, shrubs, flowers, but most importantly – many religious shrines and ancient stone towers are preserved.
It’s easy to spend a whole day in Dublin’s Botanic Gardens. In the center of the capital on 25 hectares of land grows more than 20 thousand plants. Its indoor greenhouses are filled with tropical trees and herbs while the outdoor areas are filled with gorgeous roses and medicinal plants from around the world.
Along the perimeter of the park are laid out alleys – there guests take a leisurely stroll and rest on cozy benches. Everyone can sit in a cafe or try national cuisine in the local restaurant. In the garden there is a store where seeds and seedlings of the plants are sold.
There’s a big amusement park for kids of all ages on the outskirts of Dublin. Tayto Park, named after potato chips, is open every day. Children can enjoy the rides, roller coaster, fun competitions and costume shows.
The park has separate areas for kids with safe swings, trampolines and mazes. The ticket price includes a visit to the Teito factory, where they make those delicious chips. Children can watch the interactive exhibition and try the products that just came off the assembly line.