The Emerald Isle is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Ireland is well known for its local charm, rolling green countryside and exciting cities as well as its culture and literature. From lucky shamrocks to pots of gold, Ireland has a rich cultural landscape bursting with stories and songs.
If you are planning a visit to Ireland, you have a lot to think about – where to go, how to prioritise your activities and how you want to spend your time. Each county has something different to offer and each city has its own flavour too.
So, to save you a lot of bother and worry, here’s a shortlist of 3 cities you simply must visit and what to do when you get there.
Ireland’s capital city is a hotspot for tourists and for a good reason. The city has been immortalised in a wide range of novels including, most famously, James Joyce’s Ulysses. Even if you go to Dublin without a plan beyond wandering the streets, you will find plenty to do in this active and exciting city. As Lonely Planet puts it, all you have to do is show up.
This awesome Dublin event guide shows just how much there is to see and do. From the medieval academic world of Trinity College to the buzzing atmosphere of Temple Bar, there is plenty to attract a wide range of interests. Naturally, tours of the Guinness Storehouse are a hot ticket too!
On Ireland’s west coast, Galway sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Lough Corrib. The City of Tribes was once run by 14 families and thrived on international trade, particularly with Spain. Now the city is a hotbed for Irish culture including traditional Irish crafts and music.
While you are here, you must check out the Latin Quarter and Quay Street to make the most of the incredible buskers playing a soundtrack to the bustle of shoppers and activity here. Galway was once a walled city and the Spanish Arch is one of the last surviving sections of the front wall. Nearby Kirwan’s Lane, named for one of the 14 families, is an ideal spot for bars and restaurants.
Cork is the second largest city in Ireland and sits on the River Lee. While the city isn’t a tourist hotspot in the same way Dublin is, there is still plenty to do here from the Ballycotton Cliff Walk to exploring the city itself including Mother Jones Flea Market to University College Cork.
Camden Fort Meagher is a great place to get a more historical understanding of Cork as a key location for the defence of Ireland. Similarly, the Old English Market is a good place to find traditional Cork goods as well as a really good lunch.
Wherever you go in Ireland, you are almost guaranteed a great holiday exploring the culture and getting to know the people. There is plenty to do and see and each of these great Irish cities has something different to offer.