Ireland

When we imagine Ireland we think of beautiful seascapes, green countryside, quaint villages, friendly pubs, Guinness, Irish folk music, the landscapes in Irish literature and country characters. Yes, all that is really there and you can\\\\\\\'t miss it no matter which part of Ireland you visit, but there are a number of locations every visitor to Ireland should see.

Ireland

When we imagine Ireland we think of beautiful seascapes, green countryside, quaint villages, friendly pubs, Guinness, Irish folk music, the landscapes in Irish literature and country characters. Yes, all that is really there and you can't miss it no matter which part of Ireland you visit, but there are a number of locations every visitor to Ireland should see.

Lets start with Dublin, one of Europe's oldest cities. Located on the eastern edge of Ireland at the mouth of the Liffey River, Dublin is just a short hop (70 miles) across the Irish Sea from the coast of Wales. Among best places to visit in Dublin are:

  • St. Michan's Church: Rebuilt in 1686 but originally dating from the 11th century, St. Michan's church hides an unusual secret - it's vaults contain preserved bodies.
  • Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath)was until 1922 the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. Dublin Castle hosts the Heineken Green Energy festival each May bank holiday weekend.
  • The Doors of Dublin. See some of Dublin's famous Georgian Doors. Dublin is famous for it's many architectural wonders, and many visitors are amazed by the great squares. Dubliners painted their doors various colors to set their homes apart in long rows of adjoined brick buildings. Ornate fan lights and door knockers accomplished the same function.
  • Dublin extends its thriving city down the river, where heady mix of old meets new at what is called Dublin's waterfront quarter, Docklands. One sight along the Docklands which we found particularly poignant were the Famine Memorial Statues - sinewy, emaciated statues stare out in desperation along the waterside in memoriam of those who suffered in The Great Potato Famine. Haunting but a vision to be seen.
  • The Guinness Storehouse. Noted as the highest point of any visit to Dublin, a trip to The Guinness Storehouse is a must and is officially Ireland's number one visitor attraction!
  • Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets. It is promoted as "Dublin's cultural quarter" and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists.
  • The Book of Kells created by Celtic monks ca. 800, is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, with complex, extravagant illustrations and ornamentation. Just go and see The Secret of Kells, a 2009 animated feature film that gives a fictionalized origin for the book, and you will be obsessed with it!
  • Temple Spa in Westmeath. If you are visiting Ireland and you seek rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation, this is a must stop. Declan and Bernadette Fagan have created a gem of a property in Horsleap Moate which is only about one hour from Dublin. Every room is beautifully appointed, the beds are comfy and the bathrooms large, modern, and elegant. The views are of the pastures, which is soothing. The all window spa includes a bubbling jacuzzi and steam room with wonderfully comfortable lounge chairs overlooking the bucolic countryside.

If you have relaxed, now it's time to continue your journey through beautiful country of Ireland. There are three World Heritage Sites on the island: the Brú na Boinne, Skellig Michael and the Giant's Causeway. You won't mistake visiting any of this.

The Cliffs of Moher are a must-see if you are visiting the West of Ireland. The sheer drop of around 700 feet making these some of the highest cliffs in Europe. Stunning views of the Atlantic and the coastal cliffs.

The Hill of Tara (County Meath). The excellent audio-visual representation in the Visitor Center, a disused church, will help to come to grasp with the history and mythology of Tara.

Glendalough is a fascinating monastic settlement in a spectacular natural setting just an hour south of Dublin. This glacial valley, located in County Wicklow, is spread beside two tranquil lakes known as the Lower Lake and Upper Lake. Here you will find one of the most important early Christian sights. Lovers of history and/or architecture can indulge in two round towers, St Kevin's Kitchen (actually a church) and a cathedral (ruin). Lovers of nature can simply enjoy the walks along the lakes.

 

Yes, there are interesting landscapes and well-known attractions, but we think you will find that the beauty of Ireland lies in its people and culture. That's what makes Ireland so memorable. Many of Ireland's inhabitants are accomplished story tellers and the best tellers of tales can be found in pubs. So, make time to meet people and talk to them, it will be your best impression about Ireland, I promise you!


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tags: europe europe travel best place to travel ireland brú na boinne docklands dublin dublin castle emerald isle georgian doors giant’s causeway glendalough heineken green energy festival ireland river liffey skellig michael st. michan’s church

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