Exploring IrelandOur Travel Guide
From ancient high kings to modern day poets, saints and scholars to ramblers and fishermen, Ireland pulsates with legendary tales. Travel the countryside and immerse yourself in the Irish culture.
Start in Dublin. Dublin, and indeed Ireland, have come a long way in 100 years. Irish music, art and literature have traveled the world and made an impact on millions of hearts and minds. Today, the city is a multi-cultural, creative hub and in 2010 Dublin was even designated as a UNESCO City of Literature in recognition of its cultural profile and international standing as a city of literary excellence.
We loved our travels in Ireland and found the people to be warm, down to earth, and friendly. Put Ireland on your list of countries to visit.
Ireland at a Glance
Currency: is the EURO.
Power: voltage is 230 V 50 Hz; Power sockets G
Visa: 90-day visa on arrival for most nationalities
Driving in Ireland is done on the left-hand side of the road!
When to visit Ireland: Expect rain and clouds year round and it can get below zero in the winter. Best times to visit are March to May and then September to November when the temperatures are still good and the crowds are smaller.
Best Way to get around: The best way to explore Ireland is by renting a car.
- Sight Seeing 95% 95%
- Cost 75% 75%
- Ease of Travel 95% 95%
- Activities 80% 80%
Ireland is the one country that seems to love Americans. They are friendly and warm. When I had a bicycle accident near Killarney, some locals came out to help and took me into their home. and fed me, allowed me to use the telephone, and waited until I got someone picked me up. It really was unusual to find this kind of hospitality and friendliness while traveling.
Top 5 Experiences in Ireland
If the ‘luck of the Irish’ is on your side and you find yourself in the infamous city of Dublin, there will be countless things for you to do and see while you’re there. Not only is Dublin deeply rooted in their incredible history, and culture, the people of Dublin are all such characters, as well.
Some of our favorites in Dublin:
Visit the Guinness Storehouse Factory
Located in the heart of St. James’ Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Ireland. In fact, the interior is designed to look exactly like a pint of Guinness itself and is known to be the largest pint in the world. Take a tour. You won’t regret it.
Take a Tour of the Old Jameson Distillery
Jameson Distillery Bow St. is an Irish whiskey tourist attraction located just off Smithfield Square in Dublin. Jameson Distillery Bow St. is the original site where Jameson Irish Whiskey was distilled until 1971.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, founded in 1191, is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. With its 43-metre spire, St. Patrick’s is the tallest church in Ireland and the largest.
Until 1922 it was the seat of the British government’s administration in Ireland. Most of the current construction dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British, government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922).
After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins. It now hosts the inauguration of each President of Ireland and various State receptions.
The castle was built by the dark pool (“Dubh Linn”) which gave Dublin its name. This pool lies on the lower course of the River Poddle before its confluence with the River Liffey; when the castle was built, the Liffey was much wider, and the castle was effectively defended by both rivers. The Poddle today runs under the complex.
Visit Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral, more formally The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland.
There are so many other sites to see while in Dublin including the Irish Whiskey Museum, visit the National Museum of Ireland, and Dublin’s National Botanical Gardens. You will love walking around the city and exploring the sites.
2. Hike the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are among the most cinematic sights in a country full of them. That said, the cliff side path at the Cliffs of Moher is actually part of the Burren Way, a walking trail that runs 123 kilometers through County Clare. One of our favorite experiences was parking in Doolin, a village near the cliffs, and then hiking to the Cliffs of Moher via the Cliffs Coastal Trail. The hike is 8 kilometers and will take roughly 2.5 hours. The best part besides the breathtaking and dramatic scenery along the way? There is a shuttle that can take you back to Doolin once you’re done so you don’t have to walk back! Also, once you’re at the Cliffs of Moher, if you’re a bit more adventurous and can handle the rugged terrain, our deal experts recommend taking the “left” or “red” path, which allows you to go out of the rope area a bit and experience a different view.
3. Explore a galaxy far, far away…..
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skellig Michael (County Kerry) was visited by Vikings and in the 6th century a small group of monks retreated here, but it wasn’t until “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, that the island welcomed one of its most famous visitors to date, Luke Skywalker. The Skelligs are only accessible by boat to the breathtaking site, though travelers should note this trip isn’t for the faint of heart. “But for those up to the challenge, it’s a privilege to experience this stark serenity untouched by the modern world.” (Tourism Ireland)
4. Drive the Dingle Peninsula
Rick Steves says “the peninsula is just the right size for a day-long driving or cycling tour (it’s about 30 miles around — and a much harder pedal than drive),” and we agree. There are two can’t-miss experiences on the peninsula. The first is the Gallarus Oratory, one of the country’s best-preserved early Christian churches. “Built between the 7th and the 9th centuries A.D., its walls and roof are made entirely from dry stones without mortar—yet the interior stays remarkably dry,” says Frommer’s. The second is arriving at the Cross at Slea Head (on Slea Head Drive) just before sunset to watch as the day melts into the sea.
The Dingle Peninsula was a highlight on our travels.
5. Take a “Game of Thrones” tour
Fabled castles, haunted forests, a stunning, hand-woven tapestry and now a series of exquisite stained glass windows – Game of Thrones® has become a part of Northern Ireland’s epic story.
Westeros might feel like another world, but the Seven Kingdoms are very real and they aren’t far away. The dramatic landscape of Game of Thrones® finds a home in Northern Ireland.
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