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Blarney Castle is one of the most iconic places to visit in Ireland. (This is Blarney House)

Highlights of Ireland: The Best Spots to Visit & More

  • Post last modified:October 25, 2023
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  • Post category:Europe / Guides

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Ireland is a small island country in Europe that boasts some of the greenest land in the world. Despite its size, this country has so much to offer. From draw-jopping cliffs, to rolling hills, to historic castles, you could easily spend a few weeks here. Here are some of the best places to visit in Ireland.

Getting to Ireland

The only way to get to Ireland is by flight, or potentially on a cruise ship. The main international airport is in Dublin, the capital. however, there are also a few other airports in the country such as Cork, Shannon, and Belfast.

RyanAir is a budget airline, and is an Irish company, so it can be rather cheap to get to Ireland from any other European country. As well, Ireland is one of the cheapest places to fly to from the US. We have gotten tickets to Ireland for as low as $100 from New York!

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Local Adjustments in Ireland

Heading to a new country means that you need to be prepared. Here are a few things to keep in mind when traveling to Ireland.


The official language of Ireland is technically Gaelic. However, English is currently the first language, and spoken by everyone. Many Irish people don't even speak Gaelic anymore, although you will find that a lot of the signs will be in both Gaelic and English.


Ireland is part of the EU, and therefore uses the euro. However, If you travel into Northern Ireland, they are part of the UK, so they actually use the pound. The good thing is that most places in Ireland take credit card, so no need to exchange large amounts of money, although having some cash on you for transportation and souvenirs is always good too.


The outlets in Ireland is something a lot of people get confused with. Despite being a European country, the outlets are actually the same as the UK, which is plug type G. In Ireland the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.

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Best Places to Visit in Ireland

Despite its size, this country has a lot to offer! Here are the top places to visit in Ireland, from cities to landmarks.

1. Dublin

As the capital of Ireland, it is without a doubt that Dublin is a must see. Dublin is also pretty cheap to fly into, making it a very easy place to visit. You can find flights from all over Europe for as low as 15 euros, or flights from the US for as low as just $100!

Trinity College, Dublin
Guinness Factory, Dublin
Things to do in Dublin, Ireland: Day trip to Howth

Dublin has so many great places in and around it.

Dublin is a not just a great starting point for your Ireland trip, but is a super fun city. There are plenty of things to do in and around the city, making it the perfect place to stay for a few days. Not to mention, the nightlife is really great!

Wondering what to do in Dublin, Ireland? Well this Irish capital has plenty to experience. Being pretty cheap to fly into, it also makes for a very easy place to visit. You can find flights from all over Europe for as low as 15 euros, or flights from the US

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2. Cliffs of Moher

This is in our opinion, the most beautiful place to visit in Ireland. These jaw-dropping cliffs over the sea run 14 kilometres long and 700 feet high, and just keep getting more stunning the further you walk along them. 

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They are located in The South Eastern part of the country, with direct bus service from Galway on the 350. The entrance fee is 8 euros for adults, 5 euros for seniors, and is free of charge for children under 16.

Cliffs of Moher, best places to visit in Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the best places to visit in Ireland.

3. Giant's Causeway

Located in Northern Ireland, lies an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The story goes that mythical Irish giant Finn MacCool built the causeway in order to get to Scotland and battle with a rival giant called Benandonner.

The Visitor Experience admission fee is £8.50 for adults, £4.25 for children, and £21 for a family ticket. Children under 5 and National Trust members can visit free of charge.

Giants Cause, best places to visit in Ireland

Giant's Causeway is located up in Northern Ireland.

4. Carrick-a-Reed

Located right by Giant's Causeway, is a long suspension bridge that will add a bit of adrenaline to your body. This is a bridge that connects the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede.

It spans 20 metres and is 30 metres above the rocks below, and while the area is free to access, it is £6.50 to cross this bridge that is owned and maintained by the National Trust.

Carrick-a-reed, best places to visit in Ireland

Carrick-a-Reed is located just by Giant's Causeway.

5. Blarney Castle & Gardens

This is where the famous Blarney stone is located. Legend has it, that if you kiss the stone, you will be given the gift of eloquence. This isn't the only reason to visit though, as the area has a beautiful castles, houses and gardens to check out as well. 

Entrance rates are normally €18 for adults, €13 for students & seniors, and €8 for children 8-16. Children can enter free of charge, and you can get slightly reduced rates on the other tickets if you book online here.

Blarney House, best places to visit in Ireland

Blarney Castle is one of the most iconic places to visit in Ireland. (This is Blarney House)

6. Belfast

This is the capital of Northern Ireland and also home to the famous Titanic. Belfast is a great place to base yourself if you would like to visit other places in Northern Ireland such as Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Reed, or Dunluce Castle.

Belfast, best places to visit in Ireland

The Titanic Museum is located in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

7. Galway

When we think Galway, we can't help but think of and sing Ed Sheeran's song "Galway Girl". This small city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular hang out spot surrounded by shops and traditional pubs.

There are cute cafes, boutiques and art galleries that line the winding roads of the Latin Quarter, which still have parts remaining of the medieval city walls.

Galway, best places to visit in Ireland

Wondering if Ed Sheeran will show up for his "Galway Girl"

Galway is the perfect spot to spend a day or two, to enjoy true Irish culture. The best time to go is during the Galway races, which take place each year at the end of July/ early August, when the entire city fills up of people in their best attire drinking all day and night. Galway is also our favorite place to experience live Irish music, as they truly keep alive old Irish traditions.

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8. Cork

This South Eastern city, is the second largest in the country. This city itself is nice to walk around for a few hours, and to check out the old English market, but the most popular attraction is Blarney, which is located just 15 minutes away from the city.

Kinsale, Ireland

Kinsale is a great day trip from Cork.

This small port city is a popular place for cruises to stop. Cobh is a great place to walk along the seaside or sit outside at one of the cute cafes. Our favorite Instagram-worthy spot is the 'deck of cards', which is a row of colorful houses, and has St. Colman's Cathedral as a backdrop.

Cobh is a small coastal town in southern Ireland that is a popular cruise port. Known from 1849 until 1920 as Queenstown, Cobh is known for its early Irish emigration, as well as being the last port that the famous Titanic sailed from. Here are ten great things to do

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10. Limerick

Limerick is the third largest city in Ireland, and considered one of the safest for tourists. Check out the iconic milk market, visit King John's castle, or take a stroll through the Terra Nova Fairy Garden.

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11. Killarney

Killarney is a town on the shores of Lough Leane in southwest Ireland’s County Kerry. This stop on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive, is lined with colorful houses, 19th-century buildings, and the St. Mary's Cathedral.

Another great area to check out while here is Killarney National Park, which was the first national park in Ireland, and has a beautiful castle, lakeside mansion, gardens, and waterfall. Killarney is located just an hour south of Limerick, and a little over an hour west of Cork.

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12. Dingle Peninsula

Ireland's westernmost peninsula is full of rolling hills, jagged cliffs, and sandy beaches. This 30 mile stretch makes a great trip by car, and a challenging but beautiful trip by bike. This area is just an hour from Killarney, or two hours from the larger cities of Cork and Limerick.

castles in Ireland

The area of Dingle has some of the most beautiful castles in Ireland.

Getting Around The Best Places to Visit in Ireland

Now that you know the best places to visit in Ireland, let's check out the best ways to get around in the country.

Renting a Car

We personally think that the best way to get around this country is by car. Because it isn't such a large country, taking a road trip is definitely the most fun, and will allow you to see much more in a shorter amount of time.

The only downside is that cars can be fairly expensive, and they drive on the left side of the road, which can be confusing for a lot of people from different countries around the world. We suggest that if you choose to rent, to book in advance, and from the airport once you arrive.

Taking the Bus

Taking the bus is the much more affordable option. We think that this is good if you want to travel a little slower, and plan on spending a few days in each place, as within cities cars are not really necessary.

This is one place where if you buy tickets in advance online, you will actually save a little bit of money. Buses are fairly reasonable in price if bought in advance, and the country is pretty easy to travel in this way.

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Irish Food & Drinks

The Irish cuisine is heavy, hearty, and full of flavor. Here are some of the must try foods when you are traveling through this country.

Irish Breakfast

Our favorite meal of the day in Ireland is breakfast. This is because they know how to do it so well! An Irish breakfast includes eggs, bacon, toast, beans, black & white pudding, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, and a kind of leftover and fried potato. With all of that to start your day, you will be sure to be full of energy.

Irish Breakfast

An Irish breakfast is the best way to start the day.

Soda Bread

This is an item that you can find in many Irish households, with their own spin on the traditional recipe. Rather than yeast, this bread is leavened by using buttermilk and baking soda.

Irish Stew

An Irish stew is the perfect meal to have as a family, or even in a pub. This hearty stew is made from lamb, or mutton, as well as potatoes, onions, parsley, and sometimes carrots.

Beef and Guiness Pie

This stew is made from a mix of the best that Ireland has to offer. The dish is made from beef, mushrooms, and Irish stout. It's finished off by being cooked together and held together by a light, flaky crust. 


This traditional potato pancake is a super popular food to try in Ireland. As an old Irish rhyme goes- "Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can't make boxty, you'll never get a man".


Traditionally, Coddle is a dish that is made by using leftovers. This dish typically consists of layers of sausage, bacon, and potatoes, which is the ultimate comfort food.


Barmbrack is a speckled loaf cake which is a quick bread with raisins and sultanas. This bread is associated with Halloween in Ireland, when something is placed inside the bread, and the person who receives it is considered to then receive good luck.


Welcome to the official beverage of Ireland. Guinness stout beer is not only something to try because this is where its made, but this beer actually is so much better in Ireland than anywhere else in the world. There is an art to pouring a Guinness, and the Irish have got it down perfectly.

Heading to Dublin? Make sure you check out the official Guinness Brewery!

Guinness Factory, best places to visit in Ireland

The Guinness Factory is one of the best places to visit in Ireland.

Weather in Ireland

The weather in Ireland is not the most ideal, in that there is a lot of rain, and we mean A LOT. We highly recommend bringing an umbrella, no matter what time of the year that you visit. A poncho is also a good thing to bring in case you plan on doing hikes, where holding an umbrella might not be the most comfortable.

We suggest that if you are visiting in the summer to bring your summer clothes, but maybe a light sweater for the night just in case. If you are visiting in spring, fall, or winter, definitely make sure you pack some layers!

Trinity College, Dublin

Ireland is a super rainy country, so make sure to bring an umbrella!

Ireland is a beautiful place full of history, stunning landscapes, and some great nightlife. Add this great country to your bucket list and experience all that it has to offer! (Just don't forget that umbrella!)

Want to see some other great places to visit in Europe? Check out some other awesome cities to visit here!

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