10 things to do in Ireland
Dublin’s oldest neighborhood, Temple Bar, is the most popular tourist spot. And it’s all because of the huge number of restaurants and pubs located here. Most of them are designed for tourists who believe that intense Guinness drinking will help them comprehend Ireland. The city’s oldest pub deserves a special mention – The Brazen Head, which opened as far back as 1198, the current building of the institution was built in the 16th century. Now The Brazen Head is one of the best pubs in the country where you can taste excellent Guinness and enjoy live Celtic music.
2. Walk on St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is an annual Irish national holiday that is celebrated on March 17 in memory of St. Patrick. St. Patrick, according to legend, brought Christianity to the pagan island. On this day, there are music and beer parties, a parade with songs and dances, and guinness beer pours like a river. The holiday used to be celebrated only in the United States and Ireland, but now parades dedicated to St. Patrick are held in many countries around the world, including Russia.
3. Betting on dog racing
Dog racing is one of the most popular activities in Ireland, especially considering the fact that casinos are illegal here. At dog racing, you can not only enjoy the fight for first place, but you can also try to win something by placing a bet. You can read more here.
4. Learn about the history of Guinness
“St. James Gate Brewery is the same brewery where the world-famous Guinness dark beer is brewed. It is truly an iconic place. Here is the home of Arthur Guinness, the founder of the company, and its museum, which is located in a seven-story building. The first floors of the building are dedicated to souvenir products, company history, and beer tastings, and at the very top is the Gravity Bar, which offers a stunning view of the city. Admission price for an adult is €13.50 (this includes the price of the pint of beer you will be offered).
5. Go to a Rugby Cup match
Rugby is without a doubt the most popular sport in Ireland. Every year six teams – England, Wales, Scotland, France, Italy and Ireland – battle it out for the Six Nations Cup, Europe’s most prestigious competition. The next competition will be held from February 2 to March 16, 2013. There will be 2 matches of the Irish team in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium arena. You can see a more detailed schedule of matches here.
6. Take a lap around the Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a popular hiking route that runs through County Kerry. There are lots of sights along the 166 kilometer route, including Ross Castle, Killarney Lakes, Tork Falls, St. Mary’s Church, and more. The ring is usually traveled by car, but there are also trails for hiking.
7. See the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. They are over 200 meters high and 8 kilometers long overhanging the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a place fans of Harry Potter will love, because scenes for the last movie were filmed here.
8. Visit Galway
Galway is the cultural capital of Ireland, the city of sailors and pirates. It is one of the few major Irish cities where you can still hear the Gaelic (Celtic) language and take part in the national holidays. It is also said that the most “Irish” Irish people live here : )
9. Visit the Earl’s Tea party.
Ashford Castle in the northwest of the country in County Mayo goes back to 1228. It often changed owners, so, for example, in 1873 it passed into the possession of the Guinnesses. It is now one of the finest hotels in Ireland. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, guests gather in the spacious drawing room and enjoy tea.
10. Buy Claddagh rings as a gift
No jewelry store in Dublin is without Claddagh rings (rings in the shape of hands that hold a heart topped with a crown). The heart symbolizes love, the hands symbolize friendship, and the crown symbolizes loyalty. Linked to this ring is the legend of a faithful lover who waited for her fiancé to return from slavery and he gave her such a ring as a present. This ring used to be the national wedding ring in Ireland, but now it is also given as a token of friendship. The average cost of the ring is from 300 euros.