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Things to do in Ireland

Natural beauty and historic sites that don't all include Guinness.

Ireland is a stunning country with natural attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher and Killarney National Park. On a road trip from Dublin to Cork, you’ll find historic castles and charming towns scattered throughout magical green forests and heather-clad moors.

Keen to have a craic?

Top things to do in Ireland

castle ireland

Visit a castle

You can find dozens of castles — built by rich and powerful clan chiefs of centuries past — nestled in the rolling green hills across Ireland.

While many are worn in stone-toppled ruin, others are still standing strong. But all hold spectacular medieval history.

A few of the most popular and well-kept include Blarney Castle, Bunratty Castle, Doe Castle and Cahir Castle.Visit Blarney Castle

sheep on road ireland

Take a road trip

We said it before and we’ll say it again — we highly recommend touring Ireland by car. The countryside is a lovely oasis to meander through. You’ll see lush green moors, sparkling lakes and charming towns tucked into the hills.

Many of the top attractions, such as the Cliffs of Moher, are a day trip away from major cities. While you can usually book tours that include transportation to see the sites, a road trip provides cost-effective flexibility and the ability to stay as long as you like.Inis Oirr And Cliffs of Moher Cruise

soccer game ireland

Catch a soccer game

After a day of sightseeing, cap it off in true Irish form with a game of soccer.

If you’re in Dublin — and a football fan — try to catch a match at the Republic of Ireland’s Aviva Stadium. You can also book a tour of the building, which Aviva claims is built upon “the foundations of the first ever sporting stadium in the world.”

Adult tickets cost €12.00 each (about $13.40), and students over the age of 12 can get in for €9 (about $10). Oh, and remember to wear the team’s white and green.Experience Gaelic Games in Dublin

surfing ireland

Hit the surf

One of Ireland’s best-kept secrets is that it’s a world-class surfing destination.

Catch an Atlantic wave at one of the top surf spots including:

  • Easkey. Seaside village known for being untouched by commercial high-rises and chains.
  • Inch Beach. A long, sandy strip in Kerry where you can catch waves nearly year-round.
  • Inchydoney Island. A tiny island near the southern tip with surfing schools and an expansive, sandy beach.
Sligo Surf Experience

cliffs of moher

Let the Cliffs of Moher take your breath away

The Cliffs of Moher is Ireland’s most-visited natural attraction — majestic, imposing and stunningly gorgeous all at once.

At some points the cliffs reach heights of 234 yards, offering expansive views over the Atlantic Ocean.

Take in the scenery, feel the salty air on your face and watch the birds swoop and dive. But don’t get too close to the edge.

Day trips are most common from Dublin or Galway.Inis Oirr And Cliffs of Moher Cruise

killarney national park

Connect with nature at Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park is home to 40,234 square miles of breathtaking lake and mountain scenery.

There are self-guided trails or you can choose to book a guide to learn about the park’s history first-hand — and access the best off-the-beaten-path lookouts.Visit Killarney National Park

giants causeway ireland

Have an adventure at Giant’s Causeway

Located in Northern Ireland, Giant’s Causeway is a magnificent showcase of basalt columns leftover from an ancient volcanic eruption.

The result? A spectacular collection of geometric rock formations clustered amidst crashing waves.

Day tours are most popular from Belfast.

A word to the wise: it gets cold and rainy in this part of Ireland, so bring a warm jacket and sturdy boots.Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip Including Giant's Causeway from Dublin

guinness storehouse ireland

Pull one at the Guinness Storehouse

A trip to Ireland is not complete without tasting the fizz of the Emerald Island’s most famous beer.

At the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin you can learn what it takes to make a hearty pint of stout and sip the black stuff in the heart of town. Just don’t forget to clink, sláinte!Skip the Line: Guinness Storehouse Entrance Ticket

Ireland attractions and experiences


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Bottom line

Ireland is a wonderful place for a good-time getaway, as wandering folks will notice a touch of magic woven throughout the sleepy small towns and lively city centers.

After making a list of sites you’d like to see, read up on Ireland’s dynamic transportation system for help planning your way from point A to point B.

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