The 9th-century Book of Kells and other illustrated manuscripts are on show in Dublin’s Trinity College Library. Dubbed the “Emerald Isle” for its lush landscape, the country is dotted with castles like medieval Cahir Castle.
Newgrange and Knowth have prehistoric burial mounds, while at 15th-century Blarney Castle a legendary stone is said to confer ‘the gift of the gab’. In the country’s west is the traditional music centre Doolin, Killarney National Park biosphere reserve, the rolling hills of the Dingle Peninsula and the scenic Ring of Kerry highway.
Western Galway hosts a noted summer arts festival. Off the southwestern coast, the island of Skellig Michael houses the remnants of a centuries-old monastery.
Full of amazing historical sights, wild and wonderful scenery, and friendly, welcoming people, Ireland is an absolute delight to visit, and visitors invariably come away smitten with the country. A magical place that is dripping in history, its fantastic cities are home to castles, cathedrals, monasteries and more, and wandering around the ancient streets is a magical experience.
With so much on offer, you’ll have your work cut out trying to visit as much of marvelous Ireland as possible. To help you out and give you an idea of what is available to you, here are some of the best trips that will take you to all of the corners of the Emerald Isle.
1. From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Burren and Galway Full-Day Tour
A wildly popular tour, this excursion takes you on an amazing journey around the sights surrounding Dublin. You’ll come away tired but happy with all that you’ve seen and done.
Setting off from Dublin, you head to the delightful city of Galway, where you can explore its old cobbled streets before heading on to the Burren, with its wealth of incredible landscapes that appear so lunar-like.
The tour then continues to the fabulous Cliffs of Moher, which offer stunning views out over the Atlantic. Then it’s time to stop by the Kilmacduagh Monastery on the way back, for a look at the marvelous ruins. A magical day out, this tour is definitely worth checking out.
2. Dublin: DoDublin Card 72-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Tour
If you want to see all the main historical sights and landmarks in Dublin, you can’t go wrong with this brilliant bus tour, which will take you to Trinity College, Temple Bar, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.
The audio commentary on the buses is fantastic and will entertain and educate you in equal measure. The ticket also includes a free walking tour around the city, as well as discounts to many attractions.
With seventy-two hours to use the card, you’ll definitely be able to see loads of Dublin at your leisure — and for a great price to boot.
3. Wicklow Mountain, Glendalough & Kilkenny Full-Day Tour
A simply fantastic day out, this tour will introduce you to the history and culture of Ireland, as well as to a number of its most scenic parts.
Among the many highlights are the wonderful 12th century Kilkenny Castle, the 7th century Glendalough Monastery, and the absolutely stunning Wicklow Mountains.
Your guide will provide you with loads of insight into everything you see. The bus journey takes you through some gorgeous parts of Ireland, with rolling hills, lush valleys, and peaceful waterways. Not to be missed.
4. From Galway: Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher Tour with Cruise
Having set off from Galway, this tour takes you through the beautiful landscapes of the Burren before you ride a ferry to the picturesque Aran Island of Inisheer with all its incredible sights.
After that, it’s time to take the ferry back; the views of the Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking to behold as the waves pound against them. Once you have arrived, you can take a scenic walk along the cliff’s edge and gaze out over the ocean.
With so many incredible landscapes for you to explore and enjoy, this tour certainly won’t disappoint.
5. From Dublin: Game of Thrones and Giant’s Causeway Tour
For lovers of the TV series ‘Game of Thrones,’ this tour is an absolute must when in Ireland; it takes you to many of the landscapes and settings featured in the show.
After you depart from Dublin, this tour takes you to the eerie yet beautiful Dark Hedges – an avenue with lots of intertwined beech trees. The professional guide will tell you all about Game of Thrones and Ireland itself.
After that, it’s off the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, which is a very popular tourist attraction. Beautiful to behold, the views it offers up of the Atlantic are stupendous and will certainly live long in the memory.
6. Ring of Kerry Full-Day Tour from Kilarney
One of the most unspoiled and untouched parts of the country, the breathtaking landscapes of Kerry need to be seen to be believed. This full-day tour will take you to many of its most beautiful spots.
Among the many highlights is a visit to the wonderful Kilarney National Park, full of fantastic views, wildlife, and wilderness to enjoy.
Exploring the quaint villages of the region is equally memorable. In addition to all of this, you’ll get to see forts, waterfalls, lakes, and woods on this comprehensive tour.
7. Cliffs of Moher Tour and Galway City from Dublin
Starting from the capital of the country, this tour takes you through the wonderful landscapes of the Burren before you arrive at the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.
After breathing in the fresh sea air and gazing out over the waters far below the cliffs, it’s time to head to the lively city of Galway.
Renowned for its brightly painted pubs and live music scene, it is a fun place to visit and there are a wealth of historical sights for you to explore. Wandering around the old cobbled streets is a lovely way to end a perfect day.
8. Guinness Storehouse: Standard Ticket with Free Pint
No visit to Dublin or indeed Ireland is complete without stopping by the Guinness Storehouse and learning all about the world-famous brew.
With many interesting exhibits on the history, brewing process, and advertising campaigns of Guinness, you’ll definitely come away with a newfound appreciation for the drink.
After having explored the most popular attraction in the city, it’s time to sit back and relax with a pint in hand and see what all the fuss is about.
9. Malahide Castle & North Coast Half-Day Morning Tour
After having set out from Dublin, the tour takes you to the wonderful 12th century Malahide Castle, which is magical to explore. The extensive gardens are delightfully landscaped and marvelous to stroll around.
The expert guide will open your eyes to the history of the castle and the surrounding region, and you’re sure to come away having learned a lot about Ireland and Malahide Castle itself.
The tour culminates with a visit to some picturesque fishing villages along the coast and the view out over Dublin Bay is absolutely breathtaking.
10. Day Tour of Wicklow Mountains National Park from Dublin
The wonderful Wicklow Mountains are magical to visit and this tour offers you the opportunity to hike, bike or horseback ride through the landscapes and scenery.
The valleys, glens, and mountains look incredible and wandering amidst nature is a delightful way to spend the day.
With stops at the ancient monastery of Glendalough and ‘the valley of the two lakes’ also included, this tour will never fail to delight.
11. Dublin Gravedigger 2-Hour Ghost Bus Tour
This fantastic tour will take you on a unique journey around Dublin. On the way, you’ll learn all about the city’s dark past, its haunted graveyards, body snatchers, and more.
Your actor guide will bring the events to life and you can’t help but come away from a little spooked at the creepy places you visit.
Entertaining and informative, this fun tour stops off at Trinity College, Bully’s Acre and Kilmainham Jail, among others.
12. From Doolin: Inis Oirr Island and Cliffs of Moher Ferry
Starting off from Doolin, this tour takes you to the lovely Inis Oirr – one of the Aran Islands. A charming place, you can either walk, cycle, or take a minibus around many of the island’s sights.
With medieval ruins on offer as well as seal colonies, a shipwreck, and more, there is loads to see and do and the scenery on the show is delightful.
After you complete your tour of the island, it’s time to take the ferry back and pass by the impressive Cliffs of Moher.
13. Glendalough and Wicklow Half-Day Tour from Dublin
Driving through the pristine Irish countryside takes you past sweeping valleys, picturesque glens, and towering mountains on your way to County Wicklow.
Called ‘the Garden of Ireland’ by many, it is a beautiful place; your guide will tell you all that there is to know about the region.
After having passed through the Wicklow Mountains, the tour heads to the Valley of Two Lakes, where you can walk around the fantastic ruins of St Kevin’s Monastery.
14. Boyne Valley: Full-Day Celts and Castles Guided Tour
Ideal for history lovers looking to learn more about the country’s rich cultural heritage, this brilliant tour takes you to a number of historical sights. You’re sure to come away having learned loads about the region.
The Boyne Valley is beautiful; it is here that the story of the Irish begins, and some of the monuments on show date back to over 5000 years ago.
Your guide for the day will tell you all there is to know about the myths, legends and hard facts about the places you visit. The many highlights include Slane Castle, the Hill of Tara, and the Monasterboice Monastery.
15. Dublin: Moher, Galway Bay, and Burren Coastal Drive
If you’ve had enough of exploring the nation’s capital, then this tour will take you to some of the sights bordering Dublin. The scenery alone makes this excursion well worth checking out.
The towering Cliffs of Moher are the highest in Europe and are very impressive, while your visit to Galway will introduce you to the delights of this medieval city.
Driving through the Burren is a memorable experience with the lunar-like landscapes passing by. The professional guides will definitely make your trip a day to remember.