8 Top Tourist Attractions in Ireland You Won’t Want to Miss!

8 Top Tourist Attractions in Ireland You Won’t Want to Miss!

If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, there are plenty of things to see and do that will make your time there unforgettable. From the picturesque green fields and rolling hills to the intricate castles and stone walls, Ireland has a lot to offer those who visit. With hundreds of places to visit while you’re in Ireland, we have narrowed it down to 8 top tourist attractions in Ireland that are well worth your time. Here are the 8 top tourist attractions in Ireland you won’t want to miss!

1) The world-famous Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are located on Inis Mór, one of three Aran Islands off the west coast of County Galway. At 702 feet tall and 3 miles long, they’re simply spectacular to behold. The cliffs were formed over a period of 20 million years by wind and rain erosion until their final height reached 4,000 years ago. There’s more than meets eye, however; underneath them lies an extensive cave system that draws both amateur explorers and professional speleologists. Other attractions: The Connemara National Park is home to many notable areas like Lough Nahooinagh—the most important habitat for amphibians in Europe—and Kylemore Abbey where you can see beautiful gardens as well as tour The Abbey itself.

2) Kilkenny Castle – the largest Norman stronghold in Ireland
Kilkenny Castle is a medieval stronghold located near Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny, Ireland. The castle was built by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke in 1207. It received many improvements over time and became one of the most important strongholds in medieval times. Today it is open for visitors and has an excellent visitor center on-site.

3) Old Library at Trinity College
Trinity College is one of Dublin’s most historic and beautiful attractions. As soon as you enter, you can’t help but be drawn into its gothic architecture and be taken aback by its stately grandeur. As a visitor, you are completely transported back to an earlier time, making it easy to imagine famous figures from Irish history such as Jonathan Swift walking along its corridors. Furthermore, given that more than 3 million books are housed within Trinity College’s walls, it is easy to see why it has also been described as a cathedral of learning. Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I.

4) Cork City Gaol
This former prison is now a museum and one of Cork’s most popular tourist attractions. The jail was active from 1753 until 1924 when it was converted into a museum. One of its best-known prisoners was rebel leader Robert Emmet, who was hanged here after his failed 1803 rebellion. Now visitors can tour inside and out; guides offer guided tours through some of the cells as well as educational talks about life in prison during different historical periods. There’s also a special children’s play area with themed puzzles so kids can discover life behind bars for themselves. What kid doesn’t like to learn? Gaol is Gaelic for jail, by the way.

5) Inchydoney Island, West Cork – famous for its seal colony
Inchydoney Island, just off the coast of Bantry, is home to an abundance of seals. This small, uninhabited island can be reached by foot at low tide (check tide times before setting out) and is a sight worth seeing on any visit to Bantry Bay. As well as being a fantastic location for seal-watching and bird-spotting, Inchydoney Island also boasts stunning scenery. The white sand beaches make it a popular holiday destination for tourists who want peace and quiet and plenty of fresh air. It’s also an excellent location for snorkeling or diving.

6) Newgrange Passage Tomb, County Meath
Located less than an hour outside Dublin, Newgrange is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions and was also included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Newgrange is a passage tomb constructed about 5,000 years ago and was built by Neolithic people for ceremonial or religious purposes. One of its most famous features is a large circular hole (the roof box) that allows sunlight to illuminate a specially designed chamber. This alignment occurs only at sunrise on two specific days each year, during which time sunlight floods into the chamber and casts an intricate shadow onto one of six stone basins that can be found near Newgrange’s entranceway.

7) Kylemore Abbey, Connemara – designed by one of the most famous architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Forming part of Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Kylemore Castle was constructed by Lady Elizabeth Moore on an estate given to her by Queen Victoria. The castle is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, thanks to its imposing façade. Inside, many architectural marvels await interested visitors, including some of Lutyens’ finest plasterwork. A visit here is a must for any lover of architecture as you will see why it was described as ‘the supreme achievement’ of Lutyens’ career.

8) Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim (Northern Ireland)
Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge is an absolute must for anyone visiting County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge stretches between two cliffs and once was used by fishermen and women to get across a small, treacherous gap. Today it’s a draw for tourists who come from all over the world to see it and cross it. Guides can be hired at either end of the bridge, and you should probably hire one if you have any problems with vertigo or balance issues; there’s nothing that will make walking across more nerve-racking than having someone talk about how high up you are as you are making your way across.

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