West of the United Kingdom in Northern Europe is the Republic of Ireland. A beautiful island of almost 5 million people.
The country is known for its stunning lush, green countryside responsible for its nickname the “Emerald Isle.” The island shares only one other country, Northern Ireland.
With its cool summers and mild winters, Ireland is a popular tourist destination. Are you dreaming of traveling to Ireland? Why not start planning now?
Ireland is truly a bucket-list-worthy destination. Keep reading for 10 reasons why traveling to Ireland should be on your bucket list too.
1. A Place of History
The Irish date back 10,000 years! The Celts arrived between 600 and 150 BC, and they brought their Q-Celtic language with them. The language morphed into Irish Gaelic dividing them from the rest of Europe.
One of the most famous and still-celebrated Irishman is St. Patrick, though it’s thought his original birthplace was Scotland. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland when he was about 16.
After escaping and returning to his family, he later returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Immerse yourself in history as you tour the countryside of Ireland.
Speaking of history…
2. The Castles of Ireland
With an estimated 30,000 castles to choose from, you’ll get your fill of ancient ruins. At Blarney Castle, you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone and leave with the gift of eloquence.
A few of the most famous castles of Ireland include:
- Bunratty Castle
- Ashford Castle
- Cahir Castle
- Malahide Castle
- Ross Castle
- Kilkenny Castle
Don’t forget to check out the seat of the government in Dublin at the Dublin Castle. Do you like ghosts? Then don’t miss Ross Castle where a few are purported to roam the castle halls.
3. Amazing Scenic Road Trips
If you love taking road trips, then you’ll love taking them across the Emerald Isle. Rent a car on arrival and then take your time driving between your chosen castles and attractions.
Drive around the entire island and even take in parts of Northern Island. Another great scenic drive is from Ireland’s capital of Dublin to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.
4. Whiskey and Beer
If you’re a whiskey or beer drinker, Ireland is for you! The country’s most famous beer is Guinness, and the Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s number one attraction with almost two million visitors per year.
Is whiskey more your thing? You’ll find distilleries around the country too. The oldest whiskey distillery in Ireland is Bushmills, dating from 1608.
If you love a pint or two, though, one of the best ways to get it is in a local pub.
5. The Pub Culture
Don’t just visit Ireland for the famous attractions, take some time and acquaint yourself with the locals. Irish pubs are famous around the world for their culture and tradition.
The pub is where people go to socialize after a football match or mass. Ask for a “pint” and you’ll be served a pint of Guinness. Don’t take a sip until the beer settles or the locals will know you’re a novice.
The round system is still common in pub culture in groups of 3-4. You take turns buying a round. Buy your round early if you don’t want to drink too much!
Have your money at the ready unless you’re buying food too. Pay the bartender after each drink.
6. Stunning Coastline and Surfing
The west coast of Ireland is home to the Cliffs of Moher. This stunning natural landscape stretches for five miles and takes their name from the old Mothar fort.
The fort was destroyed during the Napoleonic wars in the 1800s. These beautiful cliffs are about 700 feet high in places, and the view is stunning.
Don’t miss surfing in Ireland! Surf spots abound so make sure you book with the pros. You can plan your trip here.
7. Irish Festivals
If you’re in Ireland in March, don’t miss the St. Patrick Day festivals. The festivals on St. Patrick’s Day are full of traditional Irish symbols. There are many festivals across Ireland during the spring and summer months.
You’ll get your fill of music, dancing, and fun. Look for everything from modern rock bands to ancient ceremonies and displays.
Newgrange boasts new discoveries from as late as 2018. This ancient site is older than the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge. Carbon-14 dating places it between 3200 and 2500 BC.
This ancient site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of about 200,000 tonnes of rock. It’s believed the site was built by a religious group that worshipped the dead.
9. The City Life
Do you love the country but don’t feel at home unless you’re in the big city? Don’t worry! Ireland has some fun cities full of attractions.
Dublin is home to the Guinness Storehouse. If you love architecture, you’ll love St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Check out Ireland’s second-largest city, Cork. It’s a cultural hub full of music, food, and fun.
10. Fun for Foodies
Travelers to Ireland will love the food. Start your day with a hearty Irish breakfast. A full breakfast includes bacon, eggs, sausage, beans, and mushrooms. You’ll also get toast or boxty.
What’s boxty? The famous Irish potato pancake. Don’t forget to try Irish soda bread.
Don’t leave the small west-coast fishing villages without ordering some seafood.
Looking for modern dining? The major cities offer lots of fine dining with local and seasonal produce.
A Bucket-List Must: Traveling to Ireland
Put traveling to Ireland at the top of your bucket list. The amazing Emerald Isle is full of scenic driving, history, castles, and old ruins. Don’t forget to stop at a festival or two if you’re there in the right season.
Get to know the people through the local pub culture, and stop in at the famous Guinness Storehouse for the public brewery tour.
If you’re a surfer, you can’t miss the stunning coastline and surf spots. Don’t forget to try the seafood along the west coast.
Are history, ruins, and architecture your thing? You’ll delight in Newgrange and as many ancient castles as you can visit. There’s also plenty to see for the city person.
You’ll never forget your wonderful trip to the Emerald Isle.
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