The Most Beautiful Places in Ireland
Ireland might be famous for its pubs, but take a drive around the Emerald Isle and you’ll discover it has a whole lot more to offer than a pint of Guinness.
With 32 counties in the Republic of Ireland, the best way to explore is by hopping in a car and tackling the left.
From Dublin, head west to the legendary Wild Atlantic Way, famous for its coastal beauty and Atlantic air. Donegal in the North was named the ‘coolest place on earth’ while Dingle in the south is famous for its live music.
In Ireland’s Ancient East, Vikings developed the first towns and eventually gave way to the High Kings of Tara. Here, you’ll find modern cities with roots in the medieval ages, incredible food and beautiful castles.
Travelers have long been drawn to Southern Ireland. Queen Victoria famously made the journey to the Lakes of Killarney, impressed by the beautiful mountains, streams and stately mansions in County Kerry.
And the trendiest part of Ireland to visit today? That would be Northern Ireland, home to ancient redwood forests, the Dark Hedges and dramatic Mourne Mountains. Most famous, the north is where much of Game of Thrones was filmed!
Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland.
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Best Places to Visit in Ireland
There's no shortage of beautiful places to visit in Ireland. Here are some of our favorites!
Rolling green hills, serene lakes and quaint towns are just some of the beautiful things you'll find in Kerry. Locals call it 'God's Own Country'. Here's our quick guide to exploring Killarney, Ireland
Ireland has some of the most romantic castles in the world, and the best part is, you can stay in them! Here are some epic Irish castle hotels.
This tiny fishing hamlet is home to a friendly harbor dolphin, great seafood and one of Ireland's most scenic coastal driving routes. Explore Dingle with our travel guide!
This medieval town is famous for its Norman built castle. Come to explore its famous cathedrals, crafts and castles!
Galway is located on Ireland's west coast, near the famous Aran Islands and Connemara region. The colorful University town offers great food, shopping and bars, all prettily packaged on quaint cobblestone streets. Plan a trip to Galway with our travel guide.
This beautiful castle was built in the hills of Connemara, set among streams, lakes and valleys. Today it's inhabited by an order of Benedictine nuns and open for visitors.
Wexford, in southeast Ireland, is known for its medieval heritage and 1798 Rebellion against British rule. Whether you're a history buff or simply enjoy idyllic beaches, here's all the reasons to visit Waterford.
Famous for its crystal, Waterford has much more to offer. Located in Ireland's Ancient East, the county has a rich history dating back to the Vikings. Here are the best things to do in Waterford.
Wild and rugged, Connemara is one of the few remaining Gaeltacht regions of Ireland, where Irish is spoken as the main language. Visit this desolate region for its traditional Irish music and culture. Don't skip the National Park either, with its bogs, lakes and herd of Connemara ponies!
County Clare may be famous for the Cliffs of Moher, but it's also home to The Burren, a karst landscape of bedrock dating back to prehistoric times.
The Perfect Ireland Itinerary
Planning a trip to Ireland and not sure where to visit first? Use our Ireland itinerary to make the most of your trip!
Essential Tips for Visiting Ireland
Getting In | Aer Lingus, the national Irish airline, offers non-stop flights from select US cities. Two reasons to recommend Aer Lingus: low nonstop fares from many US cities and their pre-clearance facilities. We found cheap flights to Ireland in October – you can check for flight deals and routes here.
When returning to the U.S., take advantage of the U.S. pre-clearance facilities at Dublin and Shannon airports, where you complete U.S. immigration, customs and agriculture controls before departure so that when you land in the U.S., you can just collect your bags.
Getting Around | If there's one thing I can recommend, it's to rent a car and drive around Ireland. Not only is the Wild Atlantic Way coastal route one of the world's most scenic drives, transportation in Ireland is a bit difficult without your own vehicle. We were nervous about driving on the left but ultimately renting a car was the best decision! Check car rental prices for your dates here.
Where to Stay | I highly recommend staying at an Irish country house during your trip. Irish hospitality is truly something else. For unique luxury accommodation check out out Ireland's Blue Book. Or, take advantage of Airbnb for a local experience!
Protect | Lastly, be sure to visit Ireland with travel insurance. Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, your phone gets stolen, or a flight delay leaves you with nothing but the clothes on your back, travel insurance will help when you need it most. Hurricane Ophelia hit the country smack in the middle of our road trip! Get a quote for your trip here.
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The Most Beautiful Places in Ireland
How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Itinerary
Where to Stay: 10 Enchanting Irish Castle Hotels
Packing Checklist: What to Wear in Ireland
For Foodies: All the Best Food We Ate in Ireland
Ireland Road Trips
The Best Stops on the Wild Atlantic Way (with map!)
7 Useful Tips for Renting a Car in Ireland
How to Master Driving in Ireland (as a tourist!)
Irish Sights, Activities & Tours We Especially Enjoyed:
Co Galway: Visiting Kylemore Abbey, Ireland's Most Beautiful Castle?
Co Kerry: Can't Miss Sights in Killarney & Dingle
Co Waterford: Waterford, Ireland's Oldest City, the House of Waterford Crystal & Mount Congreve Gardens
Co Wexford: Don't Skip Wexford - Here's Why!
Co Kilkenny: Exploring Kilkenny Castle, in photos
Restaurant & Hotels We Loved:
County Clare: Gregans Castle Hotel
County Galway: Rosleague Manor Hotel, Where to Stay in Galway
County Wexford: The Strand Inn
County Waterford: The Cliff House Hotel, The Reg Pub
Travel Guide: Belfast
Where to Stay in Belfast as a First Time Visitor
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