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10 Spectacular must-sees in Ireland

From the dramatic Cliffs of Moher to medieval castles, here are 10 sights or activities not to be missed when you visit Ireland:

Clonmacnoise

The monastery of Clonmacnoise includes the largest collection of early Christian gravestones in Western Europe. Situated in County Offaly on the River Shannon, the site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches, two round towers, and three high crosses.

 

Giant's Causeway

Northern Ireland's natural world wonder, made up of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, sits at the foot of the basalt cliffs. The dramatic landscape is the result of ancient volcanic activity some 50–60 million years ago. Of course, if you believe the Irish folktale, the spectacular formation is actually the result of a fight between the heroic Irish giant, Finn McCool, and a Scottish giant who was threatening Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are simply breathtaking. There are multiple viewing platforms, including O’Brien’s Tower, built in 1835, which provides magnificent views south towards Hags Head and north towards Doolin. On a clear day, you can see across to the Aran Islands and will have beautiful views of Galway Bay.

Blarney Castle

Picture Ireland in your head and chances are, it will look something like Blarney Castle, home to the Blarney Stone. The 600-year-old world landmark attracts millions of visitors every year, not only to explore the castle, but to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone ... Kiss it, and you'll never be lost for words again!

Waterford

Waterford, Ireland's oldest city, was founded in 914 by the Vikings. It is rich in history and home to the world-renowned Waterford Crystal company. Take the House of Waterford Crystal factory tour and watch experienced craftsmen create beautiful works of art right before your eyes!

Neighborhood Pubs

If you want to hang with the locals, visit a countryside neighborhood pub. These tiny watering holes are often nestled within quaint village squares, and may even display "no mobile use" signs upon entering! Eat some smoked mackerel on toast with a proper Guinness and soak in the local atmosphere.

Sheep Herding Demonstration

Want to experience a taste of true Irish heritage? Attend a sheep herding demonstration! These remarkable sheepdogs respond to the shepherd's distinct, whistle-like commands, and can corral a field of sheep in just minutes.

Guinness Storehouse

It would be hard to pass up a tour of the Guinness Storehouse while in Dublin. Explore seven floors filled with interactive experiences and learn about the brewer's rich history and what goes into making the perfect Guinness. And when you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with a pint at the rooftop Gravity Bar. Open all year apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Stephen's Day.

The Ring of Kerry

This is the perfect day trip, and one of Ireland's most popular drives. Stretching 111 miles, this circular route in County Kerry takes you through dramatic mountain passes and rugged islands to charming villages and bustling towns.

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

In the mood for a medieval experience, Irish style? Bunratty Castle, built in 1425, is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. The Bunratty Collection features over 450 items of medieval furniture and artifacts. Wander the castle grounds during the day, but be sure to stay for an incredible medieval banquet in the evening.

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Within the grounds of Bunratty Castle is Bunratty Folk Park. Experience the heritage and lifestyles of bygone Ireland, where 19th-century life is vividly recreated. This enchanting 26-acre "living" village is complete with all the sights, tastes, sounds and scents to transport you back in time.

 
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