Here you will find the best places to visit in Ireland. These are the most amazing sights to see if you’re planning a trip to the beautiful Emerald Isle. Check them out below!
There really are too many remarkable places worth visiting and seeing in Ireland that sometimes it can all too easy to overlook some of the best and get a big dose of FOMO when you learn of something class that you missed.
So we have complied the definitive list of the twenty most unbelievable, stunning and enchanting places to visit in Ireland, jam packed with Irish geography and gorgeous landscapes.
20. The Ring of Kerry – an amazing scenic tour de force
One of the most scenic tourist trails to be found anywahere in the world the Ring of Kerry is truly astounding and real treat for any visitors to these green shores.
It runs in a loop over 120 miles long in the south west of Ireland and winds its way through spectacular scenery the likes of which would soften even the most hardened heart. Easily one of the most enchanting areas to check out in all of the wonderful land of Ireland.
19. Cliffs of Moher – cinematic and inspiring
A sight seen in many Hollywood movies from The Princess Bride to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince the Cliffs of Moher are an amazing sight, they stand 214 metres above the crashing green and blue Atlantic Ocean below and are one of the best spots to check out along the west coast of Ireland.
They are without doubt one of Ireland’s most popular natural charms and the best way to see them is by boat along the bottom. An amazing day you will never forget.
18. The Dark Hedges – Other Worldly
Long before Game of Thrones became a worldwide television phenomenon the Dark Hedges were famous in Ireland for their beauty and magical appearance. These days there are a lot more people visiting this stunning country trail but the magic remains. One that you can definitely use to make your friends jealous!
17. Carrauntoohil – as high as you can go
Located close to the Ring of Kerry, one of the other mentions on this list, Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland. Now Ireland is not known for having high mountains, on the contrary, the Emerald Isle is known for having beautiful rolling hills and at 1038 metres it isn’t a particularly high mountain.
The good news about that is that you can climb Carrauntoohil up and down in six or seven hours, and you’ll always be able to say you climbed the highest mountain in Ireland!
16. Skellig Michael – Home of Skywalker
Skellig Michael it a UNESCO world heritage site and was the site of religious settlement for more than a thousand years. In recent times it has become famous as the isolated hermitage of Luke Skywalker rather than the isolated hermitage of Christian monks and scribes.
But its rugged beauty is undeniable, and the island can only be accessed by a small ferry and when you arrive you will feel that you have been transported to another world!
15. Dingle Peninsula – Europe’s most western point
If you’re planning a trip to Ireland and want to pack as much in as possible then you would do well to combine the Ring of Kerry, Carrauntoohil and the Dingle Peninsula.
Famous around the world for its beautiful beaches, amazing restaurants and a local dolphin that loves the attention of tourists (known as Fungi). Some people say it’s the most western point in Europe but whether it is or it isn’t this truly is an area of outstanding natural beauty.
14. Hill of Tara – the ancient capital of Ireland
One thing that is not very well known about Ireland is the vast literature of Irish mythology that has been passed down since before the mists of time were but droplets of dew on the morning of human civilisation.
And in this great trove of mythology there are many stories that speak of the hill of Tara, the seat of the ancient kings of Ireland. The real hill is located in County Meath and is a great spot to visit for those interested in ancient History and archeology.
13. Glenveagh National Park – The Beauty of the Wild
Glenveagh is the second largest National Park in Ireland and is over 14,000 acres in area. It sits in the highlands of Donegal and is simply stunning in its rugged beauty.
At its heart is Glenveagh Castle which almost defies belief as its location is so remote and it was constructed over 200 years ago. A trip to this area of Donegal will leave an indelible mark on the mind of any visitor!
12. Achill Island – a miniature Ireland in itself
Achill Island is the largest of the islands that sit off the coast of this wonderful green land and a few decades ago a permanent bridge was built from mainland County Mayo, across Achill Sound to the island itself, so getting there is as easy as taking a car or bus.
The island is like a microcosm of Ireland itself with amazing beaches, ancient relics, rolling hills and fantastic nightlife. A person could spend a year on this beautiful island and would be much richer for the experience.
11. Rock of Cashel – ancient and mystical
Cashel is a beautiful little town nestled in the countryside of Tipperary. The rock on which the castle sits provides grand views of the land around and was an important military site for thousands of years.
The ancient kings of Munster had this spot as their royal seat and the whole area is steeped in history and has the air of magic, especially in the twilight of the evening when the warm light works on the clouds and across the stone walls of the castle.
10. Connemara – the beauty of solitude
Connemara is one of the most remote areas of Ireland and for the longest time was resistant to change and to the influence of the English overlords that held Ireland under their control for hundreds of years. So much so that most people in this region still speak the Irish language (Gaelic) as thir first language.
It has been the muse of many an Irish poet, such as W.B. Yeats for its extreme beauty and isolation. An encounter with Connemara is an encounter with your very soul. Going there simply makes you closer to yourself.
09. Aran Islands – a mirror of yesterday
Taking a trip to the Aran Islands is like taking a wall back in time to the Ireland of old. Much has been said and written of the difficulties that the Irish have faced during the years of the great Irish Potato Famine. And these islands are one place where you can really get a feel for the hardship our forefathers had to endure.
are one of the few places still existing in Ireland where you can experience what a traditional Irish village looks and feels like, it is a perfect window to the past and truly one of the most beautiful places in Ireland.
08. Killarney National Park – clear lakes and waterfalls
If you are planning a trip to Ireland and want to pack in as much as possible then add as much around the area of Kerry as possible. The first national park created in Ireland is Killarney National Park and is set in some of the most beautiful rugged, mountainous landscapes one could imagine.
The amazing Torc Waterfall is situated here as well as many beautiful lakes and herd of native red deer can be seen roaming across the moorland. If you like The Lord of the Rings then you might feel like you are actually in Middle Earth when you visit here!
07. Hook Lighthouse – oldest working lighthouse on Earth
The the beautiful county of Wexford, on Ireland’s east coast stands the oldest working lighthouse in the world. Originally the the Town of Wexford was a Viking settlement and it is fitting that the oldest working lighthouse in the world is in a place settled by a people famed for their sea faring ability.
The Vikings were the first Europeans to make it across the Atlantic to North America, an incredibly dangerous journey in those days and they could have used some lighthouses to protect them from the rocky shores on which many of them died. Hook Lighthouse is a beautiful example of a Georgian lighthouse that still stands strongly to protect the people of Ireland from the depths of the Irish Sea.
06. Newgrange – 5000 years of history
Newgrange is one of the most important archeological sites on the planet. The organic remains within were recently carbon dated and the results show that the site was in use over five thousand one hundred years ago. And the ancient peoples that populated this land had detailed knowledge of the movement of the sun and stars as the passage tomb is illuminated by the rising sun on only one day of the year.
The winter solstice marks the point in the year when the sun begins to grow more strongly, the days now become longer and this tomb was built to honour this time. This is truly a magical spot in Ireland and stands close to the hill of Tara, the ancient home of the kings of Ireland.
05. Galway City – European Capital of Culture 2020
Galway City is a great spot to visit if you are planning a trip to Ireland. It’s very famous for its amazing hospitality and nightlife. If it’s a great night you’re after you will find it here.
With great pubs, restaurants, friendly locals and traditional Irish music, this city attracts people from all over the world keen to sample Irish culture and fun. A night spent in Galway is a night you’ll never forget. Maybe you’ll forget some of it if you’re having too much fun!
04. The Burren – rugged limestone karst
There is one place in Ireland that really seems like another planet, and it’s called The Burren. Fans of geography or geology will absolutely love this area as it’s one of the best examples of a limestone karst landscape in the world.
Walking around this amazing landscape really makes you feel like you’re walking on the moon. This is the true beauty of the Irish wilderness. Another place in Ireland that you will never forget.
03. Glendalough – nature and history merging
The Wicklow mountains are one of the most popular places for Irish people themselves to go in Ireland. Close enough to Dublin to be within a short car ride it’s a great area for trekking. Although you are technically still quite close to the city you feel completely lost in nature and beauty.
It is also an ancient monastic site and was originally the location of a Christian settlement that was founded by St Kevin around five centuries after the death of Christ. Almost everyone you meet in Ireland will talk about the unrivalled beauty of this magical location
02. Dublin City – capital of Ireland
In this fair city the girls are definitely pretty (as the song says), but any trip to Dublin is unforgettable. At one time the city was the second city of the British Empire so you can understand that you will enjoy some fantastic Georgian architecture along with all the museums, restaurants, pubs sports arenas and music venues.
No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to this wonderful city that is brimming with history and life. Make your friends jealous with some stories of the fun you had in Ireland’s capital city.
01. Giant’s Causeway – a globally important site
The Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and even just looking at photographs of the place is enough to know why.
It seems as though it might have been made thousands of years ago but it is a natural rock formation. That doesn’t stop the many stories of its construction by an Irish giant who wanted to battle a Scottish giant across the sea, of course.
This site is also close to the dark hedges and you could certainly fit both into one day. So that’s our list of the twenty best places to visit in Ireland. Let us know if you’ve been to any of them or if you think we got the list wrong (spoiler: we didn’t!).