Top 10 things to see in Ireland

Ireland is a beautiful country, full of history and with the nature still in its natural state with so many UNESCO world heritage sites. No wonder that it is one of the World top destinations to travel to, especially if you are a nature lover. You just need to get couple kilometers outside of the main cities to be faced with the natural state of Ireland with breathtaking landscapes, mountain views, forests, sea sides, lakes,etc...There is plenty to see. Here is below my top 10 things to see if you visit Ireland.

1. Wicklow Glendalough

Glendalough is located in Wicklow and is one of the most important monastic site in Ireland dating back to the 6th century. It is a great location for hiking or just spend a day cut off from the busy city life. 

2. Sally gap

Getting there will make you drive through the scenic mountain roads of Wicklow. The drive there on the narrow roads can be tricky but the view is definitely worthy, especially on a sunny day. The lake is named Lough Tay also known as the Guinness lake due to its black color. but also because it is situated on the estate of Luggala which is owned by the Guinness family. Fun fact, the surrounding mountains are a popular film location and have featured in movies like King Arthur, Tudors, Braveheart or lately Vikings.

3. Bray

Bray is a sea side village located on the East coast of Ireland in the south of Dublin. You can get there from Dublin by train. The journey lasts about 45 minutes and brings you along the coast line of Ireland with great sceneries. It is the location of many summer festivals. There, you can enjoy a walk along the promenade or the pebble beach, eat some local fish and chips, or climb up the Bray head to enjoy a great view over the city. 

4. Howth

This is a coastal village located in the North of Dublin, approximately 30 minutes by train from Dublin Connolly main train station. You can enjoy many sightseeings and attractions there such as visiting Howth castle, the museum of Vintage radio or even the local market that offers a selection of local Irish food and stalls of artisans displaying products perfect for gift ideas. But also play golf, do water sports or go explore the nearby Ireland's Eye islands by ferry.

5. Cliffs of Moher

Located on the West coast of Ireland, this is a Unesco site that stands tall along 8 kilometers at the highest point of 214 metres. If you feel adventurous and need a dose of adrenaline, you can walk off the beaten path and get closer to the edge of the cliffs but be very careful as the ground might be muddy and slippery and the wind can blow pretty strongly.

6. Aran Islands

A set of 3 Islands offshore the cliffs of Moher. You can take a ferry to get there from the village Doolin. It would cost you 20 euros per adult for a return ticket and the journey would last about 45 minutes to reach the first island. Once there, you can enjoy a pint or a meal at the local pub and then visit the island. You can rent a bike for 10 euros a day and cycle around. Make sure to arrive back on time in the afternoon to catch the last ferry back to the land!

7. Connemara

The "savage beauty" as described by Oscar Wilde, this is Ireland in its more natural wild state and the most famous tourist destination in Ireland. It is also a popular film location. John Ford's movie " The Quiet Man" starring John Wayne was made in the Connemara.

8. Kerry

So far Kerry is my favourite part of Ireland. Driving the Wild Atlantic road makes you go along impressive scenic places in Ireland, from sandy beaches to farm lands, castle ruins, mountains and lakes. It is a real delight to visit this part of the country with all the natural sites like the famous Ring of Kerry. Check out my blog post about it here if you want to know more about it.

9. Waterford

Waterford is located in the South of Ireland and is the country's oldest city founded by the Vikings in 914 A.D. It is also famous for its Crystal that can be found all around the world like chandeliers hanging in Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle but also in the AFCA national tennis championship trophy and the trophies of the French and German Grand Prix in Formula one. Despite most of the production is now made in countries like Germany, Slovenia and Hungary to cite a few, there is still a manufacture that you can visit in Waterford. Their creations are remarkable.

10. Kilkenny

This is a very charming Medieval city with cobbled streets and the main castle. It is a great destination for a trip down memory lane as it was Ireland first capital in the Middle-Ages. It is a lovely small town to have a stroll around and enjoy either a pint of Kilkenny in Kilkenny, or tea and coffee in one of the many coffee shops.

This is my top 10 things to see in Ireland based on historical landmarks and breathtaking sightseeings. But of course, Ireland has many other places to see. The main advantage is that It is very easy to travel around the country by car and it takes maximum 4-5 hours to get to the furthest part of the Island. If you decide to do a road trip around Ireland, one week will be enough to visit the main spots and maybe even find some hidden gems on the way.

Safe travels.