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Ireland: Why Must You Visit the Island of Ireland? - Ultimate Guide

Dublin Center in Ireland

Ireland is one of the top travel destinations in Europe because of its amazing sights and beautiful natural beauties. The island of Ireland consists of unique landscapes and picturesque cities. Except for Ireland’s natural sceneries, travelers can buy traditional Irish products, eat delicious Irish food and drink famous Irish beers and whiskey.

The vibrant atmosphere in the streets of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, attracts many travelers that visit the city every year. Also, the nightlife in Dublin has many surprises for them who love live music performances.

Things to See & Do in Dublin

1. Trinity College and College Green

Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland

What must you know before visit Τrinity College in Dublin? It is one of the most popular places that has been built in the center of Dublin, the capital of Ireland. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland.

Trinity College is a large site that consists of squares, gardens and parks as well popular collections of great treasures and exhibits, such as the 9th-century illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells and the Books of Durrow and Armagh. There are interesting exhibitions in the Treasury and the 18th-century Long Room that house priceless artifacts and more than 200,000 historic books of Trinity College.

There are many important alumni of Trinity College university, who are also very famous around the world. Some of them are Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett. Walking in the 18th-century buildings of Trinity College you can bring yourself back to the past.

A good idea is you relax and enjoy the place sitting on the opposite side, where the old Irish Parliament building has been constructed.

2. St. Stephen’s Green Park

St. Stephen's Green Park in Dublin, Ireland

Close to the center of Dublin, there is the 2-acre St. Stephen’s Green Park, which is another great place in Dublin that you have to visit. This park is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places to visit in Dublin.

If there is good weather, you should sit on the grass and relax or have a delicious picnic-lunch. Also, you will find an ornate fountain in St Stephen Green park. This park is a large natural playground for children and their families.

3. Dublin Castle and the Chester Beatty Library

Dublin Castle in Ireland

Another must-see place is the Dublin Castle, which was the central administration of British rule until 1922. Walk and explore the amazing rooms of the Dublin Castle. Discover the medieval fortress, the vice-regal court and the state apartments as well as the castle museums including the Chester Beatty Library and Gallery. Nowadays, the Dublin Castle houses exhibitions and hosts music performances as well as ceremonial events.

Exploring the Chester Beatty Library and Gallery, you can see Medieval, Renaissance manuscripts, Egyptian papyrus, Buddhist paintings and many other interesting historic and art exhibits that come around the world.

4. Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, Ireland

Dated back to 1789, the Kilmainham Gaol, has been connected with the notorious history of Ireland and Irish nationalism. Here, the rebel leaders of 1916, who struggled for the Irish Independence, were executed, because their act was considered a high treason.

Inside the jail you can find the exhibition that makes you understand how prisoners lived here. Into this jail important historic events took place for Irish history during 1796-1924. The Stonebreaker's Yard is sure to send shivers up the spine, as this is the spot where the leaders of the uprising met their grisly fate.

5. Kildare Street Museums and House of Parliament

House of Parliament in Dublin, Ireland

To the top of Kildare Street, you can see the Irish Parliament. The Parliament building was once known as Kildare House after James Fitzgerald, the Earl of Kildare, who commissioned its construction in 1745 and set out to create a grand Georgian mansion to reflect his lofty social status. It is worth to be mentioned that the house was renamed Leinster House, when he became Duke of Leinster (1766).

On the opposite side of the house, there is a branch of the National Museum of Ireland, which is famous for its archaeological exhibits including important historical exhibit collections from different historical periods, such as the Ireland's Gold period, Prehistoric Ireland period and the Viking era.

6. The National Gallery of Ireland

At the end of Kildare Street you will see the National Gallery of Ireland. It has two entrances, one entrance in the Clare Street and another one in the Merrion Square West. The National Gallery of Ireland houses impressive collections of Irish masterpieces of art as well as interesting collections of European artifacts that dated back to the Middle Ages.

Opened in 1864, the National Gallery of Ireland includes unique art collections that are worth to be explored. There are 4 different levels in this gallery and you can also see other popular exhibitions that are hosted.

7. Merrion Square

If you come out for exit of the National Gallery of Ireland, you can sit on Merrion Square. This is the grandest Georgian square in Dublin. At the center is of Merrion Square you can see a beautiful park, where there is also a statue of the well-known writer, Oscar Wilde.

Many buildings have small top windows as you can see. Specifically, the top windows are very small, because they create an optical illusion of the houses being taller than they really are.

8. Grafton Street

Do not forget to visit the Grafton Street, the Dublin's shopping location, Grafton Street. There is a statue of Molly Malone that sits at the bottom of the street. In the Grafton Street many live music performances have taken place. Here, popular singers, songwriters and music bands, such as U2 have given extraordinary live performances.

In this area you will also find boutiques, jewelers and stores, as well as the Brown Thomas market. If you're on a shopping spree, you can spend a lot of time walking around the Grafton Street area.

9. General Post Office Witness History Museum

O'Connell Street is home to the General Post Office (GPO) that was constructed in 1814. The 1916 uprising of rebels started here. Visit this must-see place, where there are holes from the bullets of uprising and learn more about the history of uprising for the Irish Independence.

10. National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History (Collins Barracks)

The National Museum of Ireland has been opened since 1997. The museum exhibition includes Irish ceramics and jewelry as well as military and historical exhibits. The Museum houses the artworks of famous artists, such as designer Eileen Gray.

Another interesting of the National Museum is the Natural History Museum that was established in 1856 and it is known as a "museum of a museum". Highlights include exploring the museum's large collections of specimens from countless species, fossils, and dioramas.

11. Irish Museum of Modern Art

Opened in 1991, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) is very popular and it is considered one of the top galleries in Ireland. Here, you can see modern art exhibits and impressive collections of artworks that have been created by Irish artists.

At the begging, the building of the museum erected as a hospital during 1600s. Nowadays, this building works only as museum and it houses about 3.500 post-war artworks.

12. The Irish Rock 'n' Roll Museum Experience

Located on Jervis Street, the building of Irish Rock 'n' Roll Museum Experience houses many interesting exhibits of the rock bands’ history, such as U2 and Thin Lizzy, which started their music career from Ireland.

In this museum you can learn more about the long rock music history in Ireland. So, you can see exhibits about Irish musicians and learn more about the music-writing and bands’ tours.

Must-Visit Places in Ireland: Top Sights & Best Cities in Ireland

1. Cliffs of Moher: An Extraordinary Natural Landscape

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher are considered one of the most beautiful natural places in Ireland and it is also the most popular and most-visited site in Ireland. The extraordinary scenery and the majestic view above the Cliffs of Moher are unique. Spend all day exploring the Cliffs of Moher, before returning to the small town of Doolin, where you can enjoy your lunch eating scallops, lamb and hake in a traditional Irish pub. In addition, enjoy Irish folk music listening live local Irish bands.

2. Kilkenny: The Famous Medieval Town of Ireland

Kilkenny is well-known for its medieval history. Here, you can visit the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle and admire the fortress that has been restored. Around Kilkenny Castle there are beautiful natural parks with ornamental gardens. This is one of the best places to visit in Kilkenny, because you will love the architecture and design of Kilkenny Center. Inside the castle you will find Irish handmade products, such as wool scarves and crafted pottery and Irish honey that are sold in former stables.

Except for Kilkenny Castle, another must-see place is the limestone cavern of Dunmore Cave, which is located on the north side of the city. The chambers of Dunmore Cave are weird and there are impressive calcite formations. The cavern reminds you something from the Viking era in 928 A.D.

At the end of the day, you can visit the Bridie’s Bar pub, where you can enjoy Irish craft beers or drink a Guinness beer before returning at your hotel.

3. Cork: How to Spend a Great Day in the Cork City

Cork is the third largest city of Ireland. The city’s vibes creates you beautiful feelings, because Cork is a youthful town with vibrant life and amazing sceneries. Here, you can walk close to the city’s waterways and eat delicious food drinking a cold Irish beers in local pubs.

Before starting a sightseeing tour, you have to enjoy your breakfast and coffee at Filter Café, which is located on Georges Quay. After your breakfast, you can visit the 18th-century Old English Market. Here, you will find traditional Irish cheeses, fish and scones as well as more other local products.

When you finish your walk at the Old English Market, you must visit the historical place of City Gaol. This place was a former prison and it has been turned into museum. There are interesting collections of 19th-century artifacts that show the life into the prison.

Another important place to visit is the Blackrock Castle Observatory. This science center is inside a 16th-century castle. Here, you can learn more about the history of universe, planets and stars through different acts.

Returning in the city center, you can have a lunch at Farmgate Café. Eat high-quality dishes with Irish ingredients, smoked salmon and lamb stew. After your lunch, visit the Franciscan Well Brewery, which sets on the site of a 13th-century monastery. Finish your day drinking an Irish beer or a Jameson whiskey.

Another must-visit town in Ireland is Galway, which is a picturesque city with colored pubs and cafes. There is a vibrant atmosphere around the city because of the large number of students and young people.

Best Budget Places to Stay in Dublin | Best Budget Accommodation

1. Kildare Street Hotel

Located in the heart of Dublin, just a few-minute walk from Grafton Street, Kildare Street Hotel is close to museums, shopping centers, pubs and restaurants. It consists of comfortable and convenient rooms. Kildare Street Hotel has great accommodation process, because of its different types of its rooms. There are rooms with private bathroom and rooms with shared bathrooms. All the rooms have TV and free Wi-Fi.

2. Jurys Inn Dublin Parnell Street