You’ll never run out of great experiences and gorgeous locations to visit in Ireland. Here are the top 52 tips, places and things to do in Ireland. Which ones will you add to your list?
Money Saving Tips When Visiting Ireland
- Free attractions on Wednesdays
A lot of heritage sites & attractions in Ireland are free on the first Wednesday of the month such as Dublin Castle, Jerpoint Abbey, Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre and more. The Heritage Ireland website offers the full list (just look for Free Wednesday on the left side of the page).
- Use Groupon Ireland
Scan coupon sites such as Groupon Ireland for deals on attractions, restaurants and hotels. Some deals can save money on entries. For example, Giant’s Causeway Bus Tour for €15 instead of €29.20.
Tip: Pick up Lonely Planet Guide to Ireland
- Use discount codes for car rental
The majority of car rental websites have a promo code box. If you see this then search for “CAR BRAND promo / discount”. You can often find something like this on the Car Rental Ireland website, where you can save a few dollars! This tip can apply to hotels and other sites with a promo box.
Related Post: 10 Things You Must Know When Renting a Car In Ireland
Visiting during St Patrick’s Day, summer and Christmas are the most expensive times to visit. Visiting during the shoulder season, the accommodation will be a lot cheaper.
Airbnb is an alternative option where you stay in a room of somebody’s house like a B&B or even rent out the whole house for next to nothing! If you’re interested in Airbnb and have never used it before, you can use this link to save $40 on your first Airbnb booking.
- Use HereWeGo app
Need a sat nav or to use your phone for getting around in cities? HereWeGo app is a free app where you can use offline maps to navigate without an internet connection. Get directions and other info you need to go from A to B your way. Available for any country!
- Be Prepared for Weather in Ireland
Ireland is known to have all kind of weather in one day; sunny one minute and rain the next minute. Bring a rain jacket and layers which you can easily peel off if it gets too warm or vice versa.
Things to do in Ireland
- Watch GAA game
Ireland has two distinctive Irish sports; Hurling and Gaelic football. Be a spectator and catch one of these games at Croke Park stadium! Also has a museum and viewpoint to see Dublin’s skyline.
- Drive the Wild Atlantic Way
The world’s longest coastal drive is located on the West side of Ireland. The 1553 miles of dramatic views of the Atlantic cliffs and lush green mountains is known as the Wild Atlantic Way. Driving the whole route would be a memorable trip!
- Hike Ireland’s highest mountain – Carrauntoohil
The highest peak over 1000m in County Kerry, challenge yourself to the top for the views MacGillycuddy Reeks and the three bowl-shaped lakeside valleys.
- Drink a Guinness
There’s no doubt that you should try Guinness! The traditional Irish pubs alone are a bonus, sit back with a Guinness and soak in the Irish culture. Good places to check out, McDaids in Dublin and Sean’s bar in Athlone – Ireland’s oldest pub in Ireland.
- Visit Blarney Castle
It’s not just a castle; there is the famous blarney stone to kiss! One has to lean backward to get a gift of eloquence. Courts, dungeon, caves and wishing steps are the place to be for a family day out.
- Drive the Ring of Kerry
County Kerry is Ireland’s top scenic region, drive the 179km road passing through Killarney National Park and stunning views.
- Visit Geokaun Mountain on Valentia
As part of the Ring of Kerry drive, get a car ferry onto Valentia Island and drive to the top of Geokaun mountain for 360 views of The Skelligs, Dingle & Slea peninsula and Blasket Islands.
- Take a boat trip to Skellig Michael
Recently famed for starring in Star Wars Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, that aside the Skellig Islands is rich with history and wildlife.
- Visit Gap of Dunloe
Nestled between MacGillycuddy reeks and Purple Mountain, a picturesque narrow mountain pass with a river running through it.
- Visit Ireland’s most northerly point – Malin.
While in Donegal, go to Malin Head where you find yourself at Ireland’s most northerly point. Enjoy the beautiful views looking out the Malin sea.
- Opportunity to see the northern lights
You can see Aurora Borealis in Ireland! Best viewing opportunities would be in County Donegal, such as Malin head or Mamore Gap. You do need a clear sky to see the northern lights, read more here
- Walk Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail
7.4km boardwalk linear trail through isolated areas of wilderness of Cuilcagh Mountain, blanket bog with a cracking views of the landscape.
- Attend to Ireland’s festivals
Ireland hosts thousands of festivals every year ranging from arts to music, these are among the quirky & popular festivals; Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking festival, St Patrick’s day, Earagail Arts festivali, Trad music festival and Father Ted festival!
- Ride horses in Connemara
Ride the Connemara pony through the wild region of Connemara National Park with views of vast mountains, bogs, and lakes.
A fishing town located in County Cork. Kinsale is a picturesque colorful town, explore the harbor views and Charles fort.
- Drive the Giant’s Causeway coastal route
This drive is a stunning drive up in Northern Ireland starting from Belfast following the coast road, going through Glens of Antrim, Games of Thrones scenes, Torr head and the popular attractions.
- Visit Giant’s Causeway
On the Giant’s Causeway coastal route, stop at this attraction. It is not to be missed, walk down to the basalt columns area, it’s an impressive piece of nature! Tip: Save a few bob by parking away from the car park and walk in for free
- Brave the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
The rope bridge is 30ms above the rocks below interlinking a tiny island to the mainland, worthy views looking out to the sea. Tip: Go early as possible to avoid the queues.
- Visit Ireland’s UNESCO sites / Experience the winter solstice at Newgrange
Ireland has two world heritage sites; Skellig Michael and Brú na Bóinne. Newgrange is a 5000-year-old passage tomb located 40km north of Dublin. On mornings around the winter solstice a beam of light penetrates the roof-box and travels up the 19-meter passage and into the chamber.
- Muckross House
A Victorian mansion with a large lake located in Killarney National Park. Explore the gardens, walk around the lake and stop for a cake in the cafe.
Not far from Dublin, Wicklow is known as Garden of Ireland, the largest national park with stunning mountain views. Go hiking, mountain biking, visit Powercourt waterfall & gardens.
- Glendalough Monastic site
Visit the Christian settlement founded in 6th century, located in County Wicklow with a valley looking out to a large lake.
- Howth Head
When the weather is shining, people head to Howth head for coastal walk. A few miles from Dublin, hop of the DART and breathe in the sea air. Spot seals if you can!
- Dublin Bay cruise
Cruise around Dublin Bay for the views of Dublin Mountains, Ireland’s eye, Dalkey Island. Start with a one-way cruise to Howth from Dublin city out to the sea. Enjoy fresh fish in Howth. Read more here.
- Ireland Ancient East trail
Over 5000 years of history in Ireland, follow this trail to unlock the history of Vikings, Castles, Kings and more.
- Have afternoon tea at Father Ted
Are you a fan of Father Ted TV show? Well have a cake & tea at Father Ted’s house and enjoy the stories! No you won’t be served by Mrs. Doyle.
- Cycle on Aran Island
Get a ferry to the Aran Islands and hire a bike. It is the best way to get around and explore the islands, stop by Dun Aonghasa – largest stone forts. Read more here.
- River Shannon
This is the longest river in Ireland running from Cavan to Limerick. Enjoy a canal boat trip along the gentle waterway.
- Molls Gap
One of the top things to do in Ireland, a mountain pass panoramic viewpoint. Grab a hot beverage from Avoca café and admire the Irish views with countless sheep.
- Spike Island
Monastic fortress in Cork Harbour, this island is rich with history with ever-changing roles from a monastery to a fortress to a convict depot. Also gives beautiful views of Cobh town.
- Visit Cobh
Small town with big history, known for the Titanic’s last call of port in 1912. Titanic Experience in Cobh is a themed attraction about Titanic and Irish emigrations.
- Salmon fishing in Ballina
Into fishing? Try salmon fishing in the river of Ballina town.
- Slea head drive
Rated as number 1 thing to do on TripAdvisor, driving the Slea head drive is a lovely 30-mile circular route as part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Starting in Dingle taking the Ventry direction will take you through stone forts, beehive huts, coastal views. Read more here.
- Visit Fungie the dolphin in Dingle
Friendly dolphin that loves meeting people, this is a wild dolphin off Dingle’s coast who enjoys swimming alongside a boat. Take a boat trip!
- Visit Galway
A lovely city in the West with many festivals in the summer and a gateway to Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy getting lost in the winding lanes and soaking in the atmosphere.
- Learn the mastery of pulling the perfect Guinness
Guinness Storehouse is a must experience when visiting Dublin, enjoy the journey of the making of Guinness and learn how to pull the perfect pint of Guinness. Take a certificate home to show off. Tip: Save 30% by booking online.
- Explore Ballycarney Castle
Tucked away on a corner of the ring of Kerry route, worth driving out to explore the ruins of Ballycarney Castle and awesome photo opportunities!
- Visit EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum
Have Irish heritage in your family tree? Visit this state of art museum showcasing the stories of Irish people around the world. Search for your Irish ancestors and discover your family story. Read more here.
- Visit Johnny Fox’s pub
Known as Ireland’s highest pub with a traditional Hooley Irish dancing show to experience. Great Guinness, great atmosphere and great food. Worth a visit.
- Visit Dunluce castle
A ruined medieval castle on a clifftop in Northern Ireland makes for a fantastic stop and wonderful photo opportunities.
- Find the Dark Hedges
Games of Thrones fans will love this recognizable road, drive out here and pull up one side to take a picture of the iconic scene! It might be one of your favorite things to do in Ireland.
- Sea Kayaking with sharks
Basking sharks are the world’s second largest sharks, harmless to humans. Kayaking alongside them in the west coast between April to August. Unique experience!
- Kylemore Abbey
A pretty abbey that reflects perfectly against the lake, this is one of Ireland’s popular attractions to visit. Try visit early if you can to avoid the crowd. With a Walled gardens for the little ones to run around offers a perfect day out the family.
- Hike Croagh Patrick – Ireland’s holy mountain
Located in County Mayo, a sacred mountain hosting the tradition of pilgrimage yearly stretching back 5000 years. You might see some hikers bravely walking barefoot on this holy mountain! Unbelievable views of the Clew Bay on a clear day.
- Slieve League
Never mind the well-trodden path at Cliff of Moher’s; Slieve League sometimes referred as Sliabh Liag is three times higher than cliffs of Moher and one of Europe’s largest cliff tops!
- Titanic Belfast
A visit to Ireland isn’t complete with a trip to Titanic museum in Belfast, the one hour tour offers insight how the world famous ship was built and stories.
What is at the top of your travel to-do list? Where do you want to visit most? What are your favorite things to do in Ireland? Share in the comments below.
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6 Indispensable Items to Pack for Ireland
- Get the Lonely Planet guide to Ireland.
- Get a good quality mirrorless camera for capturing your trip. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- The Gerber Dime multi-tool. It’s just like your favorite Swiss Army knife, but the lack of blade makes it TSA-friendly.
- Weather is unpredictable, so bring a lightweight umbrella and rain jacket (even in summer you may find areas chilly and rainy)
- Waterproof hiking boots. I love Keen because they are lightweight and super comfortable.
- A great cross body travel bag. Cross body bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
Read More About Ireland
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