What to see in Ireland: cities, regions, attractions and recommended itineraries

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Ireland is an island with hilly landscapes, a place where beautiful towns and villages arise, where you can discover ancient traditions and visit the many medieval castles that cover the country.

The territory is politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (annexed to the United Kingdom).
Along the coasts you will come across magnificent cliffs, high and jagged looking towards the sea, while inland, mountains and national parks will make you fall in love with this Irish nature, pure and vivid. But Ireland is also made of more modern cities that aim for progress, where historical buildings meet contemporary style, like Dublin, and where you can visit many museums and gardens, pausing in some typical pub, where you will never miss the Guinness steins.

Find out with us what to see in Ireland: cities, regions, attractions and recommended itineraries!


  1. The main tourist regions
  2. Major cities of Ireland
  3. 10 things to see: Ireland's most important sights
  4. The main itineraries in Ireland
  5. Where it is
  6. Travel informed: useful information
  7. What to do in Ireland: activities, excursions and tours
  8. User questions and comments

The main tourist regions

Le main regions into which the Irish territory can be divided are: Ulster, which occupies the northern part of the country, Connacht which is located to the west, Leinster, the most populous region where the capital Dublin is located, and Munster, located in the southern part.

Leinster is the region suitable for who wants to visit major cities, like Dublin, without giving up a few excursions into nature, while the other regions, especially Munster, are more rural areas, where it is possible to get lost in the wildest and most uncontaminated nature.

1 - Ulster

The Ulster region of Ireland is located in northeastern part of the country and is divided into two sections: one belonging to the Republic of Ireland, where Donegal is located; and the other belonging to Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), where cities such as Belfast and Derry are located.

These are the areas where the green forests occupy immense spaces and where along the coasts it is possible to admire the slow movement of the sea.

  • Reference airports: Donegal Airport, Belfast Aldergrove Airport, Belfast City Airport, Derry Airport
  • Main towns: Belfast (capital of Northern Ireland), Donegal
  • Main attractions: Titanic Museum in Belfast, Belfast Castle, Glenveagh National Park in Donegal, Carrick-a-Rade Rope Bridge in County Antrim, the dark hedges Beech Forest in County Antrim, Ulster Musuem in Belfast, Glenveagh Castle in Donegal, Morne Mountains in the County of Down
  • Best time: from June to September the climate is warmer and favorable for long walks and outdoor excursions
  • Getting around: by car to get around the region far and wide; various means of transport such as buses, which connect large cities, and trains, certainly faster and more comfortable means, but whose railway network does not adequately cover all the counties

2 - Connacht

The Connacht region is located in west of the Irish island, where the five counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo are located.

In this part of the island it is possible to enjoy beautiful viewpoints, like the coast of Sligo, or get lost in national parks that preserve nature and history. Other landscapes to discover in Connacht are those visible from Croagh Patrick, that is the sacred hill and site of the pilgrimage of St. Patrick by the Irish, and those who offer the numerous lakes that extend in the region, such as the Lough Corrib, the largest in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Reference airports: Ireland West Airport to County Mayo and Sligo Airport.
  • Main towns: Galway (capital), Athenry, Sligo, Castlebar, Roscommon
  • Main attractions: Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, Westport House in County Mayo, Dúnguaire Castle near Galway, Galway Cathedral, Sligo coast, Ballycroy National Park in County Mayo, National Museum of Ireland - Country Life near of Castlebar, Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, Lough Corrib in Galway.
  • Best time: from May to October, the climate is more favorable, despite the possible rainfall. On the last weekend of September, the Galway International Oyster Festival is held, during which oysters are eaten and Guinness drunk
  • Getting around: by car it is possible to visit all the most hidden points of the region. Otherwise you can use the buses that connect the main cities or trains, comfortable and fast

3 - Leinster

Leinster is the region located in the eastern part of Ireland, where the capital Dublin is located. It is the most populous region in the country and the one that offers numerous tourist attractions.

In fact, in this region, alongside the more modern cities, it is always possible to do excursions to beautiful natural parks or travel through green and colorful countryside and hills. The capital Dublin is also the city ​​rich in art, culture and history, with beautiful medieval and gothic style buildings, centuries-old traditions and events and festivals practically every week.

  • Reference airports: Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport, Weston Airport, Carlton Dublin Airport.
  • Main towns: Dublin (capital), Swords, Drogheda, Dun Dealdang, An Uaimh.
  • Main attractions: Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Phoenix Park in Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow, Newgrange the prehistoric monument near Drogheda, Kilkenny Castle, Malahide Castle
  • Best time: from June to September, with several sunny days, while if you want to experience the most important Irish day you must go here on March 2, or St. Patrick's Day, with many events and manifestations
  • Getting around: in addition to the car, it is possible to move around the region by bus and train, as all the main cities are well connected to each other and to the most important points of interest

4 - Munster

Region mail to south of the Irish island, Munster is also the most rural and arguably the most scenic in the country.

Its peculiarity lies in the geological variety, for which one region it is possible to find beautiful cliffs, such as high mountains, green hills and still national parks and breathtaking viewpoints, not to mention the many castles and abbeys scattered throughout the territory. Furthermore, the capital Cork, the city crossed by the River Lee, is a very active cultural center, where it is possible to find places of entertainment as well as ancient history (to visit in the surrounding area is the Blarney Castle, the imposing Irish stronghold of 1200).

  • Reference airports: Cork Airport, Kerry Airport, Waterford Airport
  • Main towns: Cork (chief town), Limerick, Waterford, Cashel, Kinsale
  • Main attractions: Cliffs of Moher near Doolin Village, Blarney Castle in County Cork, Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, Dingle Peninsula, Killarney National Park in County Kerry, Bunratty Castle in County Clare, Torc Castle, the lunar landscape of the Burren
  • Best time: from June to October, as the climate is more favorable, especially in July and August, when it is warmer
  • Getting around: in addition to the car, it is possible to travel in the region by bus and train

Major cities of Ireland

  1. Dublin: capital of Ireland, here is one of the most important airports in the country, as well as a large number of attractions to visit
  2. Galway: among the most important Irish cities, it is defined as the cultural capital, as the reference to the Gaelic tradition is very strong here
  3. Cork: among the most populous cities, located south of the island is also an important seaport
  4. Kilkenny: city full of historic buildings from the medieval era, is known to tourists, including locals, for its lively nightlife
  5. Limerick: from an ancient Viking settlement in the south of Ireland, today the city is most famous for rugby
  6. Killarney: very important tourist center, it is the ideal city to move to nearby lakes and parks
  7. Sligo: strategic city for excursions both to the ocean, such as Sligo Bay, and to Mount Benbulben. Sligo is also close to the famous Lough Gill lake
  8. Cashel: famous in particular for the Rock Cashel, dating back to the th century, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Ireland
  9. Drogheda: port and industrial city, famous above all because it is close to the Newgrange, one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world
  10. Doolin: despite being a small village, it is very popular with tourists due to its strategic location, Doolin is close to the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.

10 things to see: Ireland's most important sights

  1. Dublin: capital of Ireland, only a weekend at least as it is full of attractions, including the Castle, Phoeniz Park, the Nationa Museum of Ireland and the Guinnes Storeshore
  2. Galway and Dúnguaire Castle: cultural capital of Ireland, full of things to do you know in the center and in the surrounding area, such as Dunguaire Castle, an imposing stone castle a few kilometers from Galway
  3. Cliffs of Moher: striking high cliffs overlooking the sea, located on the west coast of County Clare
  4. Rock of Cashel: magnificent Celtic fortress located in the fields of Tipperary County
  5. Hill of Tara: place revered during the earliest era in Irish history, located 155 meters above sea level, in the Meath area
  6. Burren National Park: 1673 hectares wide protected natural space, here it is possible to admire expanses of limestone, but also human settlements relating to 3500 BC It is located in County Clare
  7. Powerscourt Waterfall: Ireland's highest waterfall, 121 meters, which flows year-round on the River Dargle in County Wicklow
  8. Aran Islands: three rocky islands off Galway, known for their ancient sites. In the largest is the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa
  9. County Kerry: one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland, also nicknamed "the kingdom", as it has always had a strong independence tradition
  10. Slieve League: in County Donegal, a wonderful rocky promontory along the coast, it offers numerous vantage points to enjoy a view over the whole area

The main itineraries in Ireland

The itineraries to follow in Ireland will lead you towards unique natural landscapes, without forgetting a few stops in characteristic villages and villages, where discover the most ancient and Celtic traditions of this country.

From the capital Dublin, full of attractions and points of interest, it is then possible move to explore more pristine and rural areas, like immense national parks and cliffs overlooking the sea.

  1. Ring of kerry: this is the famous road to travel on the Iveragh Peninsula, amidst magnificent natural landscapes, on the west coast of Ireland. The 170 km route is feasible by car, it starts from Killarne and then crosses Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen up to Killorglin
  2. Travel to the east coast: 5 days itinerary, we start in Dublin and continue towards Swords, Drogheda up to Dun Dealgan
  3. Tour in the Irish heart: on this tour you can depart and return to Dublin, after visiting Waterford and Cork to the south, and Limerick and Galway to the north. Duration one week
  4. Journey into nature: for nature lovers a beautiful 6-day itinerary starting from the cliffs of Siglo, then descending towards Ballycroy National Park in County Mayo, Connemara National Park and Merlin Park Woods in Galway, up to the National Park of Burren

Where it is

Ireland is located inWestern Europe, and is bordered to the north-east by Northern Ireland, to the south by the Celtic Sea, to the east by the Irish Sea and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 4,904 million
  • Capital: Dublin
  • Languages: Irish and English
  • Local currency: euro (€)
  • Weather: oceanic, cool and humid all year round, average winter temperature 5 °, summer around 18 ° - find out more
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    What to do in Ireland: activities, excursions and tours

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