8 Must See Places in Ireland & Northern Ireland
My friend and I took a trip to Ireland last October and stayed in the city of Dublin. Dublin is the capital and the largest city in Ireland that is located on the east coast of the country.
Both being a woman traveling to an unfamiliar country, we both wanted to find the easiest way to explore the country. Instead of renting a car and driving ourselves around, we decided to book a few tours to take us to all the places we've been wanting to see. It was more expensive than exploring on your own, but it was the best choice for us due to we didn't want to worry about where we are going or what we are going to do.
Believe it or not, Dublin has an amazing transportation system. They have a very reputable and respected tour companies that run from one end of the country to the other. We literally went around almost the whole country by taking day trips. It did take a very long day for us, but I was glad to be able to see so much in just a few days. Ireland is small. It's very easy to cover a lot in just a week long visit. Below, I will be listing a few must-visit places in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
8 Must See Places in Ireland & Northern Ireland
Of course, you cannot come to Ireland without exploring Dublin. There is so much to do, so much to see, and definitely a great city to explore many famous pubs and shop. To explore Dublin in a day, you can check out Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour.
2. Ring of Kerry
The best way to see the coast! A 167 kilometers of Irish coastline in the West of Ireland. The Ring of Kerry is easily accessible via bus or tour companies. The highlights of the Ring of Kerry includes Killarney National Park, Torc Waterfall, Inch Beach, and Ladies View, a panoramic viewpoint of the coastline. Dotting the drive are churches dating back centuries, lovingly restored B&Bs, small villages, pristine beaches, and heritage centers welcoming visitors all year round. The roads can be very narrow, so be careful.
3. Clare - Cliffs of Moher
Ireland's most visited destination. Definitely lived up to its hype. A beautiful view of the coast. The cliff's piece down into the Atlantic that provides such a serene and lovely sight. One of the places I've been wanting to see and being there was just an amazing feeling. Get your camera ready!
4. Galway City
Galway is located in the stunning West Coast of Ireland neighboring Galway bay. There are a bus companies from Dublin that will take you directly to Galway as well in less than three hours. Galway shop street is the perfect place to find postcards. You cannot come here without trying their fish and chips. Although Ireland is not known for their food, beer and definitely the fish and chips is a must try! Also, make sure you check out Galway Bay due to they have the most amazing and stunning views of the the coastline with rustic houses and lighthouses surrounding it.
5. Belfast City - Northern Ireland
Belfast is Northern Ireland's beautiful and infamous capital. Belfast is known for its history of political and religious unrest. A great way to Belfast is to book a black cab tour. The cabs will take you to a 1.5 hour guided tour of the city and Belfast's political murals. Learn the city's industrial roots and see Belfast's top attractions including; Belfast Dock and the Harland, and Wolff shipyard. Check out the Titanic Museum when you have time!
P.S - Northern Ireland uses Pound-UK money while the rest uses Euro. Do not worry! most places in Ireland accepts credit cards in case you didn't bring cash.
6. Giant's Causeway & Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
In crossing the border to Northern Ireland, drive along Ireland's wild, rocky coast for some jaw-dropping sea views. Experience one of Ireland's great geological marvels, the UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Giant's Causeway. The most efficient way to get to Giant's Causeway is through a tour company and will take you approximately 4 hours.
You will also catch a view of the Dunluce Castle, a medieval construction that's also known as the "House of Greyjoy" in Game of Thrones - The Iron island.
A walk to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is something you must try if heights is something that doesn’t scare you easily. The 80 foot high bridge was invigorating. Seeing it in person up close did not scare me until when I was actually on it! It was definitely an adrenaline booster.
7. Blarney Castle & Cork
Visiting the rolling green hills of the Irish countryside is truly a must. A visit in Blarney Castle, on the way to Cork, is definitely worth it. The Blarney Castle is famous for the enchanting Blarney Stone, which grant those who kiss it. Be sure to wear shoe with good grip for the climb up to the stone is narrow, spiral and a bit slippery.
After the castle, do not forget to stop by at Cork City. Explore the English markets and take a stop to see St. Finn Bar's Cathedral to admire that colossal and the sacred structure.
8. Kilkenny & Glendalough
Kilkenny and Glendalough is the south-easy famous attractions in Ireland. This was a trip we didn't get to complete due to I caught a fever during my trip. Thank goodness it only lasted a day and I was fine before coming back to the states.
Kilkenny is a perfect day trip from Dublin due to it is only an hour and a half away. It is known best for its medieval city, a beautiful castle, and a town that is full of crafty shops. The Kilkenny Castle was built in 12th century and is truly a magical spot. Tour the castle at your own pace and discover the gorgeous rose garden surrounding the area.
Glendalough is the perfect place for those who love nature, hiking and historical sites. Glendalough literally translates into "valley of two lake", which is exactly what you will find during a hike. During a hike, you will find views of waterfalls as well. This is also a great spot for a picnic on a sunny day, so bring your snacks!
Ireland is a beautiful country. A safe place with great locals. If solo traveling is in your list, Ireland will be a great choice. I felt safe the entire time I was there. Just remember to always be cautious.