When you picture Ireland, I’m sure the first thing that comes up is the green of the hills and cliffs and the charming accents, followed by freckles and red hair. But that’s not the only things Ireland is made of, and there’s plenty of places to visit if you know where to go and where to look. The country is filled with a deep, amazing history that you can explore really easily (we’d recommend train) and have a whole lot of fun along the way.
So, for those of you who are going to Ireland, live in Ireland, or dream about Ireland, here are six places you should visit while you’re there, or six places you should look up on Google images to cry about (we get you).
1. Cliffs of Moher
About one and a half hours by car from Galway, these cliffs are visited by close to a million people from across the globe each year, and stretch for eight kilometers along the Atlantic and rise about 214 meters at their highest point. Being one of the visual staples of Ireland, these cliffs are often described as incredible and awe-inspiring, and we’d have to agree. You can take a walk along the trail up to the highest part of the cliffs, or just sit and enjoy the view.
2. Grafton Street, Dublin
One of the most famous and popular places to shop in Ireland, Grafton Street has so much more than just shops. Lined with buskers, flower sellers and performers and home to some old, traditional Irish pubs, this street hides a lot of energy that it could be mistaken for Barcelona or Paris, which you’d be forgiven for comparing it to.
3. Little Museum of Dublin
One of the newest of museums in Dublin, this museum takes you all around Ireland and Dublin’s modern history and is definitely one of the best things to see in Dublin if you’re around. Packed full of well informed personal tours, the museum includes exhibitions like Dublin by Land & Sea and The Green Mile Walking Tour, as well as items like the lectern used by John F. Kennedy during his 1963 visit to Ireland, and a U2 exhibition with mementos donated by band members themselves.
4. The English Market, Cork
Although a bit ironic that the market has the word English in it, considering how culturally far removed from Britain Cork is, this market is the thing to check out in Cork. Stocked with the best of local produce, the market has been open (in a way) since the 1700s, but became worldwide famous in 2011 after Queen Elizabeth II visited on her first visit to Ireland.
5. Giant’s Causeway
Another visual staple of Ireland, the Causeway is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is made up of around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns as a result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Already sounds cool? We know. You can also get a tour of the site by the many tour guides on hand, or go solo and experience the Causeway yourself, but we’d recommend the tour guide to get all of the cool myths and legends behind the natural wonder.
6. Guinness Storehouse
Last but not least, we figured we had to include at least one alcohol storehouse (there’s a lot of them, trust) and we also figured that there’s nothing more Irish than Guinness. Located in Dublin, the storehouse is comprised of two bars and four restaurants, where you can eat and drink after the brewery tour which goes every hour until 5PM.