Ireland is a beautiful land full of life. This country is also known for its love for wine. It boasts of a rich historical background and has witnessed a lot of middle-aged battles too, which makes it an integral part of history. We can always feel a vibe of happiness, which makes it more popular among the visitors. For someone who intends to pursue a Master’s in Ireland, it goes without saying that they will indeed research about the local populace and explore the place as well.
In this blog, we list out the major tourist attractions in Ireland which, if you do a Master’s there, you should definitely not miss!
The beautiful Aran Islands is a cluster of three islands on the west coast of Ireland at Galway Bay. Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer are names of the three Aran Islands. Although the islands are 60.7 km away from Galway, the inhabitants of these are Irish speaking people and are known for their rich Irish heritage and culture. Also, most islanders can speak English fluently. This island is mostly made of karst limestone. It is surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean. Apart from these wild, beautiful landscapes, the Aran island is also famous for unique knitted sweaters and thatched cottages.
|Best time to visit||June, July, August and October|
|Approximate travel time from Dublin to Aran Islands||3 hours 30 minutes|
Source: Travelling Canucks
Everyone who visits Ireland must visit the magical Blarney Castle, one of the most enchanting tourist attractions in Ireland, without fail. The Blarney Castle is made of a carboniferous limestone called the Blarney Stone, which according to the legend is believed to bestow the person kissing it with the skill of flattery.
There is a famous story of how the inarticulate Lord of Blarney was able to persuade Queen Elizabeth I, who had initially deprived him of his traditional land rights. However, he was able to persuade the queen after he was endowed with the gift of eloquence, as a result of kissing a particular wall at the Blarney Castle. Since then the word blarney has come to mean “flattering, clever or coaxing talk”.
|Best time to visit||No restrictions as such|
|Approximate travel time from Dublin to Blarney Castle||3 hours|
Burren National Park
Source : Pinterest
Spread across 1,500 hectares of upland on the southeast of Burren is the Burren National Park. The National Park is a beautiful arrangement of limestone pavement, calcareous grassland, hazel scrub, turloughs and fen. This biodiversity region hosts a variety of birds, plants, lichens, vertebrates and invertebrates.
During the right season, you can also enjoy the guided walks along the seven way-marked trails through the park and nature reserve.
Despite the fact that Burren lacks soil cover due to its naked pavement of limestone, it is still known as the Fertile rock due to the growth of rich vegetation on it. On your visit to the national park, you can also observe the unique eco-friendly farming techniques adopted by the local farming community to preserve the rare flora and fauna in the region.
|Best season to visit||April to September|
|Travel time from Dublin to Burren||2 hours 35 minutes|
Cliffs of Moher
Source : Lonely Planet
Situated on the west coast of Ireland at the southwestern end of Burren is the famous Cliffs of Moher. Situated 702 feet above the ground, this majestic wonder of nature stretches for about 14 kilometres across and 8 kilometres to the north. The charming panoramic view from the top of the cliff is what attracts tourists and photographers to this place. Around 1.5 million people visit the Cliff of Moher every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland.
The Cliff of Moher is also a part of the UNESCO Geopark as it is the home to over 35 species of birds. Make sure you also visit O’Brien’s Tower, which is considered to be the highest point on the Cliff of Moher. There is a popular legend surrounding the rock formation at the southern end called the Hag’s Head, which has got a resemblance of an old woman’s head looking out of the sea. According to the legend, the woman fell into the sea while chasing her lover, an Irish hero.
|Best season to visit||Spring, summer and early fall|
|Travel time from Dublin to Cliffs of Moher||3 hours 7 minutes|
The Dingle Peninsula, also known as Corca Dhuibhne, is the northernmost peninsula in County Kerry, and it is considered to be the westernmost point of both Ireland and Europe. The peninsula mainly consists of mountain ranges extending from the Slieve Mish range to the Conor Pass. It is home to the native Gaelic people.
It is the perfect place for a short vacation; you can either relax in the beautiful scenery of diverse flora and fauna or enjoy the food and breweries or visit the Blasket Islands and learn about the literary heritage of the residents.
|Best season to visit||July and October|
|Travel time from Dublin to Dingle Peninsula||4 hours 30 minutes|
Source : Ireland
Glendalough, or the valley of the two lakes, is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Ireland. The enchanting scenery and thriving wildlife make Glendalough a perfect place for activities like picnics, trekking and rock-climbing. This glacial valley is known for its 6th century early medieval monastic settlement.
Both the upper and lower lakes and the Monastic city monuments can be visited any time of the year free of cost; however, you will have to pay parking fees for the vehicles. The best way to enjoy Glendalough is to walk around the serene valley and get lost in its colourful and lush nature.
|Best season to visit||July, August, June (warmest),March, September, April (snow and rain)|
|Travel time from Dublin to Glendalough, Co||1 hour 15 minutes|
Killarney National Park
Source : Lonely Planet
Killarney National Park is the oldest national park in Ireland. The national park was identified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981. As of now, it expands over 102.89 km2 covering a very diverse ecosystem such as the lakes, woodland and rocky mountains. It is home to the only red deer population in Ireland and also to various other rare species of plants and animals.
You can visit Ireland’s highest mountain range McGillycuddy’s Reeks standing at the height of 1000 metres, and the famous lakes of Killarney at one place. However, the center of attraction is the 19th century Muckross House and Gardens, which is also one of the major tourist attractions in Ireland.
|Best season to visit||Spring and autumn|
|Travel time from Dublin to Killarney National Park||4 hours|
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin
Source : Wikimedia
The National Museum of Ireland was built in the year 1856 for displaying the collection of the Royal Dublin Society. Since then, it has become the home to over 2 million archaeological objects and artefacts making it one of the sought-after tourist attractions in Ireland. It is often referred to as the Museum of a Museum due to the large variety of collection from prehistoric artefacts from western Europe to treasures from ancient Egypt, Medieval Ireland and more.
The museum holds some of the rarest specimens in the world such as a dodo skeleton, a rare solitaire bird and a death’s-head hawkmoth(like the one in the ‘Silence of the Lambs’). The large collection of extinct animals has given the museum the name Dead Zone.
|Best season to visit||Any time of the year|
|Travel time from Dublin to National Museum of Ireland||15-20 minutes|
Rock of Cashel
Source : Wikimedia
The Rock of Cashel, commonly known as the Cashel of the Kings and the St. Patrick’s Rock, is one historic site of Ireland’s province of Munster. It gets the name from the fact that it is located in Cashel, County Tipperary. This rock served as the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster until the Norman Invasion, when a lot of destruction happened. The majority of the structures left at the site belong to the 13th century.
|Best season to visit||Mid-September until October.|
|Travel time from Dublin to Rock of Cashel||2 hours|
Ring of Kerry
Source : Rick Steves Europe
Located in County Kerry is the 179-kilometre-long circular tourist route called the Ring of Kerry. The route begins from the Killarney on N71, which is followed by to Kenmare, then through the Iveragh Peninsula to Killorglin and through Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen, and Glenbeigh on the N70 and finally coming back to Killarney via N72.
People who prefer to walk can do so on the path called the Kerry Way, which is separated from the route meant for vehicular transportation. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Ireland that you can visit while traveling along the Ring include the home of Daniel O’Connell, Staigue stone fort and Derrynane House, the Muckross House, Ladies View and Lough Leane. The estimated time to drive through the Ring of Kerry is 3 hours and 30 mins.
|Best season to visit||June, July, August, September|
|Travel time from Dublin to Ring of Kerry||5 hours|
This blog is aimed at providing you an overview about the historical and tourist attractions in Ireland which you must visit while pursuing your higher studies there. Hope this blog throws some light on important tourist attractions in Ireland.
To know how to get around Ireland, read