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Land of scholars and saints, Ireland, is not just a country full of UNESCO heritage sites that serve as a window to the country’s culture and history. The Emerald Isle is a beautiful place with mesmerizing tourist attractions.
The list of beautiful places to visit in Ireland is endless and one can never define it all in one part. But to make you believe that Ireland is truly heaven for travelers, we have listed down some famous Ireland attractions.
Check out all the stunning locations here at one place.
Top 9 Photogenic Places To Visit In Ireland
1. Killarney National Park
The Co. Kerry region of Ireland is full of unusual attractions, one being the Killarney National Park. The park is famous for wild red deer and is the first national park in Ireland. The diverse ecology, beautiful lakes, yew, and the oak tree makes it the most extensive forest coverage of the country.
It is an ecological paradise for someone who takes a deep interest in wildlife and nature. Some of the species available here are extremely rare and protected under UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Traveling to the national park-
It is 268 km away from Ireland’s capital city Dublin and a 1.5-hour drive from Cork’s National Highway N22. Buses and private transport facilities from the city’s airport and main station are also available and take the same amount of time.
Nearby places to visit:
Don’t limit your journey to the National Park, explore surrounding tourist attractions such as:
- Muckross house- 19th-century mansion situated near to the lake and full of lush garden
- Ross castle- The tower was built in the 15th century and is one of the iconic places to visit in Ireland.
- Carrauntoohil- Hikers should not miss the tallest peak of Ireland that gives breathtaking views and the toughest hiking trails
2. Cliffs Of Moher
One of the first Ireland tourist attractions you’d get as a suggestion is the Cliffs of Moher. This UNESCO global geopark is a very important sightseeing place in southwest Ireland. Its jaw-dropping height ( 700 ft) and 14km length are full of gorgeous scenes of the coast.
Though the cliffs are challenging, the view is awe-inspiring, utterly wild, and inenarrable beauty. So, if you are on a day trip to Dublin, must come to the Cliffs of Moher.
How to get here from Dublin?
It is 216 km away from the main station and can be reached via 3 ways:
- The road is the longest route and it takes around 5 hrs to reach here
- A train from Ennis run to Cliffs of Moher that take a similar amount of time
- If you have a private vehicle then you can reach within 2 hours of drive from M4 and M6 highways
Things To See
Travelers who opt for private cars should explore these tourist attractions on their way:
- Newbridge Silverware- A journey to craftsmanship
- The National Stud offers beautiful views of Japanese gardens and is a perfect picnic spot
- Barrack Obama Plaza- a tribute to the great-great-great-grandfather of former US president
3. Hill Of Uisneach, County Westmeath
The mythological center of Ireland offers some unusual views and is an ancient ceremonial site. There are numerous monuments from the prehistoric and medieval eras. Some of them are visible whereas others are buried under the ground.
The place holds immense importance and is also known as the ‘Heart of Ireland’ due to its status as ‘ The burial place of Irish Gods.’ So anyone interested in seeing magnificent artworks should come to the Hill of Uisneach.
Which is the fastest way to reach Hill of Uisneach?
Around 12 buses depart per week from Dublin to Hill of Uisneach and cover 102 km of distance in just 2 hours. However, you will get a bus from Killare that stops no. 598131 at 10 am and the last bus leaves at 06 pm.
So, if this Ireland attraction got a place on your bucket list make sure you book a tour guide to explore the hills. The off-beat track and ancient walkway can be best explored via guides.
Best time to visit: Plan a vacation during summer; it is the time when the Bealtaine festival takes place. The traditional fire festival is all about feasting, music, and dance.
4. The Rock of Cashel
There are no worthy places to visit in Ireland if you have missed this one. Even Queen Elizabeth II came here to see this heritage site built upon limestone rock. The magnificent castle from the medieval era is surrounded by beautiful buildings of the past.
Fastest way to reach:
The journey is only an hour-long from Cork Bus station. Hop on the city’s bus Eireann and it will drop you at the Rock Of Cashel. However, you have to walk up the hill from Hore Abbey as no vehicles can enter the narrow path to the hill.
- Hall of the Vicars Choral
- Cormac’s Chapel
- Cashel folk village
- Bru Boru Heritage center is famous for the cultural and food events
- Athassel Priory
5. Fanad Head Lighthouse
You might think what’s there to watch in the lighthouse. Well, the Fanad Head Lighthouse is not only one of the beautiful places to visit in Ireland but the world. The 79 steps to the lighthouse sit 120 ft above sea level.
It is located on the eastern Fanad Peninsula in the Donegal Gaeltacht. The eastern coastline is home to dolphins, whales, and other wild marine creatures. The night view of the lighthouse is simply amazing when stars fill the sky and light up the place with colorful beams.
Location- Araheera, Portsalin, Co. Donegal
Best time to visit: Unfortunately the lighthouse opens only two days a week Saturday and Sunday between 11 am to 05 pm.
Ticket prices: €10 for adults and €25 for a family with 2 adults and 2 children. If you don’t want to go inside the tower admission fees are €6. Children are not allowed to climb the tower. Free for kids under 5.
6. Achill Island
If you are looking for more dramatic spots in Ireland with picturesque scenes and trails, Achill Island is best. However, traveling the island in a private car or bike is highly recommended to get lost in the beauty of Achill. And reaching here is even more dramatic as a swing bridge connects the island with the mainland.
Route to Achill Island
Hop on the train from Westport to Eireann and then take a bus to the island. You can even drive straight to the island from County Mayo if you have a car or bike.
Things to do here:
- Aquarium and Visitor center- The only aquarium here is perfect for a rainy-day trip when you can’t go to other places to visit in Ireland
- Take a coastal walk on Sli Grainne Mhaol
- Prefer camping over hotels at Keel East for a worthy night experience on Achill
- Enjoy local food and drinks in Ted’s pub
- During summers Keel beach is an ideal place to soak in the sun
7. St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin is undoubtedly the wonderful and colorful city of Ireland. The city has beautifully maintained gardens and grounds that can uplift the mood in just minutes. St. Stephen’s Green is one of those Ireland tourist attractions in Dublin.
The garden has mature trees, clean walkways lined by flower-laden trees, and visitor-friendly ducks. You can feed them and enjoy yourself with family here. The place is great for relaxing after your day trip to Dublin.
Things to do in Ireland Other than St. Stephen's Green
- Irish Whiskey Museum
- The Little Museum of Dublin
- Trinity College Dublin
- Irish Famine Exhibition
- Museum of Literature Ireland
- All these Ireland attractions are at a walkable distance from Garden.
8. Skellig Islands
The two rocky, small and steep islands called The Skellocks or Skellig is magnificent and famous for the birdlife that exists here. Right from Herring Gulls to Black Guillemots, you will find every bird species here.
However, only 180 people at once are allowed to visit this place. And not just tourists, the location is a top pick for filmmakers. Several scenes of Star Wars are screened on the island.
How to reach the Skellig?
South West Kerry is the nearest location to the island from where you can reach the coast via boat.
Things to do:
- Visitors must visit the local bar to experience the traditional dance and music whilst enjoying local drinks. The raspberry-colored bridge bar is famous for this in Portmagee
- Explore the giant footprints of dinosaurs on Tetrapod Trackway
- Mooring restaurant is a great dining place to taste the seafood specials
- Learn the chocolate production at Skelligs old chocolate factories
9. Giant’s Causeway
Antrim has the most beautiful walkway that is listed under UNESCO world heritage site. The causeway was destroyed during a volcanic activity some 60 million years ago. However, the remains of the hexagonal walkway are still visible and look fantastic because of the seaside location.
- Via road takes only a few hours as it is only 2 miles away from Bushmills village of Antrim
- Seasonal and regular bus services run from Antrim Coaster Service 252
- Train from Belfast to Coleraine run regularly however you have to change bus from there
Besides these top 9 places to visit in Ireland, one should also include the following things in their Ireland trip:
Things To Do In Ireland
- Sports fanatics should not miss the GAA game at Croke Park that is situated in the capital city of the country
- Love motorcycles? Watch the Irish racing event at North West 200 that held in May each year
- Irish pub culture can be experienced at the world’s oldest bar- Sean’s Bar in Athlone
- If you are brave and strong then come to the haunted castle ‘ Leap Castle’ in Offaly
- The Murder Hole beach in the County Donegal is still a mystery but a worthy tourist place as well
Nature, beauty, history, culture, and tradition; Ireland is about everything and one can never go empty hand from here. The memories you make here will be the best till now.