10 things to do in Ireland

December 31, 2011 (Last Updated: April 26, 2020)
by Carolyn
Galway Ireland

Brace yourself for breathtaking scenery, cultural delights and truly captivating cities. Create your own unique journey around the wonderful wilds of Ireland with a trip of a lifetime you’ll never forget. Take to the open road with an exhilarating drive through Ireland.

Is there any better way to see a country than at your own, leisurely pace?

Experience the legendary ‘craic’ with a fabulous festival. Enjoy a wealth of cultural activities from theatrical productions to historic country houses. Seek out spectacular scenic delights from the soaring peaks of Ireland’s highest mountains to the tranquil meandering River Shannon.

Ireland hits the mark with some of Europe’s best city break destinations. You won’t find it difficult to discover your very own Ireland.

Top Ten Things to do in Ireland

1. Fantastic City Life – Dublin

Dublin is a city where the charming and cosmopolitan converge in delightful diversity. It’s an energetic, youthful city pulsating with a compelling mix of history, culture, hip bars and pubs, elegant architecture, great shopping and some the country’s most sophisticated restaurants.

10 things to do in Ireland
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland

2. Be inspired by literary and artistic tradition

Ireland is famous for its writers and is home to a great literary tradition –Ireland’s native sons include Shaw, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett. Visit the Writers Museum for literary information.

Check out the ‘Wall of Fame’ in Temple Bar the cradle of many musical talents, from the Dubliners to U2.

If drama is your thing visit our many Theatre’s. Visit The Gaiety Theatre, the oldest theatre in Dublin.

Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre is the city’s oldest theatre.

3. Venture into Ireland’s spiritual past

Ireland is sprinkled with the remains of ancient monasteries. A tour of the principal sites such as Clonmacnoise in County Offaly and Glendalough in Co. Wicklow makes the basis for a marvellous introduction to the splendour of Ireland.

Wonderful Celtic crosses, exquisitely sculpted monuments in stone that have stood in their places for thousands of years.

Celtic relics are on display at Clonmacnoise.

4. Immerse yourself in the Titanic epic adventure – Belfast

Everyone knows the story of the Titanic but few know that that ship was built in Belfast. When RMS Titanic sailed away on her maiden voyage on April 10th, 1912, she was hailed as ‘the new wonder of the world’.

A remarkable feat of engineering, she was the largest and most luxuriously appointed ship ever seen and, despite her tragic sinking five days later, she remains a source of enduring pride in the city where she was built.

Now you can enjoy Titanic-related landmarks around the city through walking tours and boat trips, and at the purpose-built Titanic Belfast Experience which opened in 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s maiden voyage.

The new Titanic exhibition was opened in 2012 to celebrate 100 years since the ship’s maiden (and only) voyage.

5. Take giant steps at the Giant’s Causeway (County Antrim)

To witness the drama of Ireland’s Causeway is to walk with the ancient spirits of its deep glens and experience a unique blend of majesty and sheer beauty. For centuries countless visitors have marvelled at the majesty and mystery of the Giants Causeway.

To stroll on the Giants Causeway is to voyage back in time.

The fascinating Giant’s Causeway.

6. Be inspired by Saint Patrick’s Country (County Down)

If Ireland really is the land of Saints and Scholars then the cradle of Irish Christianity lies in Northern Ireland within the ancient Capitals of counties Armagh and Down.

It was here where Saint Patrick began his mission to Ireland, established his first church, created Armagh as the Spiritual Centre of the island and where he later died and was buried.

The only permanent exhibition in the world dedicated to telling the story of St Patrick is in Downpatrick – The Saint Patrick Centre.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh.

7. The Carrick-a Rede Rope Bridge – not for the faint hearted (County Antrim)

Carrick-a-Rede boasts unrivalled coastal scenery and an exhilarating rope bridge experience. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island over a 30m-deep and 20m-wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Today visitors are drawn here simply to take the rope bridge challenge!

One of Northern Ireland’s best-loved attractions, Rocky island connected to the cliffs by a rope bridge, and an exhilarating coast path.

A walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is not for the faint-hearted!

8. The Ring of Kerry – truly a voyage of discovery (County Kerry)

The Ring of Kerry is undoubtedly Ireland’s most popular scenic drive. It is a circular route, therefore any of the towns and villages along the route can be used as a starting point.

Take time to explore the spectacular ancient and early Christian heritage of the area, in particular the 6th Century Skelligs UNESCO World Heritage site.

Each twist and turn on the road will reveal new sights – windswept cliffs, breathtaking scenery, spectacular lakes, rich flora and fauna, green and yellow chequered hills and unspoilt beaches.

A drive around the Ring of Kerry offers spectacular scenery.

9. ‘Rock on’ at the Rock of Cashel – South Tipperary

Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. The Rock, which rears above the plain, dominated the land routes southwards.

Kings of Ireland as well as Munster came to this spot and St. Patrick is known to have preached on the rock.

The impressive Rock of Cashel.

10. Discover Ireland’s Cultural Heart – Galway

Galway just oozes energy; walking through the colourful pedestrian streets of the city centre past the quirky shops, bustling restaurants and ever- present buskers, the buzz is unmistakable.

This modern, confident city is deeply rooted in its history.

Watch the sun set over Galway Bay. You’ll never forget it!

Check out Galway race week and the Galway Arts Festivals, two of Ireland’s largest and most celebrated annual events.

Horse racing is a popular pastime in Galway with regular race meetings held throughout the year.

Gourmet Ireland

Gone are the days when ‘The Spud’ was the highlight of the Irish menu. In fact, in recent years Ireland has become a foodie heaven. With hundreds of kilometres of coastline and rich farmland, visitors can expect some of the best fresh and natural produce in Europe.

Discovering Ireland through its local produce is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying ways of exploring the country. You get to meet interesting people, go to out-of-the-way places and you get to eat well.

The glorious renaissance of Irish food has brought traditional Irish cooking into a new age and fired the imagination of a new generation of Irish chefs.

Enjoy award winning restaurants and stylish bistros in towns and cities throughout the island or seek out gourmet hotspots all over the country!

Text and photos courtesy of Tourism Ireland