Ireland, a world renowned destination, offers a tapestry of choices for travelers craving for a perfect nature-bound getaway.
This charming island-nation is blessed with abundant natural wonders, each with a reputation and beauty second to none. But, natural attractions aren’t the only thing that defines the Emerald Isle.
The country is also home to many historic sites, primarily castles that give it a mystic and ancient vibe. As you explore Ireland, you would also sense a familiarity with certain places that served as backdrops for Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and many other major productions.
From rich culture, colorful festivities, heartwarming food to hospitable people, there will never be a dull moment, as you dive into Irish life.
Best Time to Visit Ireland
The good news is you can visit Ireland throughout the year as it has a moderate climate that’s favorable. That being said, the weather on the island is quite unpredictable so don’t be surprised when it rains in the most unexpected times. But, frequent rain is also the reason why the country is blessed with such lush greenery.
If you are looking for the best time to visit Ireland, it’s during spring (March-May) and autumn (September- October). Like cherry blossoms in Japan, Ireland becomes adorned with daffodils and other flower varieties during spring. Although summer is also a lovely time, it will be very crowded and accommodation is costly. In winter, you would find some attractions to be inaccessible but prices much lower.
Regardless of the time you visit, we recommend you to plan ahead and be prepared with appropriate gear to bear the climate.
7 Best Things to Do in Ireland
1. Drive around the Ring of Kerry
As the name suggests, Ring of Kerry is a 179 km circuit that goes around the Ivergh Peninsula, encapsulating the scenic beauty of Ireland.
The route will take you through winding hills, pristine beaches, expansive grasslands, castles, small villages, and many other attractions. The best way to enjoy the loop is by car, and it takes around 3 hours to complete the drive without stopping. But, we recommend you to stop along the way to enjoy the wilderness at a slower pace, making little detours to admire noteworthy attractions like Skellig Islands, Gap of Dunloe, Staigue Fort, and Derrynane House.
2. Climb the Cliffs of Moher
Along the Wide Atlantic Way, in County Clare is a natural wonder that will awestruck you for a good reason.
The cliffs of Moher are 214-meter high, striated limestone cliffs that give visitors dramatic vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged landscapes surrounding it. It’s declared as a UNESCO Global Geopark for its unique geological setting. There’s usually a wind-swept atmosphere fogged with mist, but if you happen to visit it on a clear day, the view stretches as far as Aran Islands.
The sight of puffins wandering in the area is not rare too. If you are hunting for romantic things to do in Ireland, head over to Cliffs of Moher during sunset and experience a magical moment.
3. Visit the Kilmainham Gaol
If there’s one place that gives you a perfect snapshot of Ireland’s disturbing and brutal history, it is Kilmainham Gaol. The former prison, now turned into a museum, was infamous for detaining and executing prominent political activists who spurred Irish nationalism during the British occupation. It also served as a prison for common men, women, and children. There’s a gallery exhibiting newspaper articles, photographs, and weapons, artwork, and personal items of prisoners. The museum is opened throughout the year and is only accessible via a guided tour.
4. Explore the Blarney Castle and Gardens
Visiting castles is one of the most popular things to do in Ireland, and each one has a unique story to tell. Among them, 60-year old Blarney Castle is considered iconic because it offers an intriguing experience for its visitors. As legends go, kissing the Blarney Stone here will grant you the gift of eloquence. The castle itself has a mystic and warlike appeal that’s interesting to observe. The surrounding is equally worth exploring, with a Poison Garden dedicated to toxic plants, Herbaceous Border for a colorful display of flower varieties during summer, and many other areas of interest, including lakes.
5. Explore the National Museum of Ireland – Archeology
Ireland’s long-standing, rich history is best demonstrated by its National Museum of Archeology that houses an extensive collection of artifacts belonging to different eras. Step back in time as you wander through the prehistoric collection learning about the lifestyle of Vikings and Celts. The Medieval period is equally interesting to explore with information on castles, monasteries, and social structures that existed back then. The Kingship and Sacrifice Exhibition features some bog bodies that are a result of a human sacrifice ritual during the Iron Age. If you are a history buff who loves visiting museums, don’t miss this!
6. Aran Islands
The trio of islands located in County Galway will make you feel out of this world with their rugged beauty and sea-sweeping landscapes. They are known as Inis Oírr, Inis Mór, and Inis Meáin, and visitors have to take a 35-minute ferry ride to reach the islands. They are home to a traditional Irish society of Gaelic speakers. Some of the interesting sights you will see here are a prehistoric fort built on a cliff, a shipwreck, relics of Celtic churches, and stone-built cottages. The islands are perfect for a day hike, but you will surely be tempted to stay longer.
7. Explore the Guinness Storehouse
Visiting the Guinness Storehouse is a must-do when you are touring in Dublin especially if you are interested to know how the famous Guinness Stout or “Black Stuff” is made. It was originally a fermentation plant, and today, a museum consisting of 7 stories. The tour starts from the base of the world’s largest pint glass that rises through the building. The whole tour is an immersive experience with interesting details, exhibits, and a chance to taste a pine of Guinness Beer at the 360° Gravity Bar on the 7th floor while enjoying city views from the top.
Plan Your Trip to Ireland
We hope that Ireland has sparked your interest enough to include it in your travel bucket list. But, the list of things to do in Ireland is endless, so pick out the places you like, depending on how long you are going to stay.
If you are looking for a travel planner to keep your itinerary planning intact, whether it’s with your friends, family, or partner, Pilot can help you with it!