The Emerald Isle is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet with its dramatic landscape, long history and festivals providing the perfect setting for an unforgettable holiday. There’s an endless list of things to do in Ireland that showcase its culture and let you enjoy its vibrant city life.
From sampling the famous Black Stuff to joining in a global celebration, kayaking under bridges and getting to know Celtic heritage, Ireland offers visitors both old and new an incredibly immersive experience.
Take a look at what to do in Ireland whether you’re traveling with a partner or your family
1. Visit the Guinness Storehouse
Start your holiday with one of the top attractions in the country, the Guinness Storehouse. Seven floors of interactive experiences, tasting rooms and a bar take you through an unforgettable experience of the famous Irish stout – often called the Black Stuff – Guinness. The establishment is open seven days of the week and all-year round except on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and St. Stephen’s Day.
2. Attend the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by the Irish diaspora in numerous countries but it’s at its biggest in Ireland. Parades, festivals and traditional music sessions are just some of the events that take place. The next parade is from 15th to 18th March 2019. Try to plan your holiday around it as joining in the celebrations is one of the best things to do in Dublin Ireland and other cities.
3. Explore Trinity College
The prestigious Trinity College has its home in the capital and strolling around the peaceful campus is a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon. We’re including this in our list of top 10 things to do in Ireland as it’s the country’s premier university with over 400 years of history. Guided tours are organized that introduce you to the four major squares, the buildings and the traditions of the institution.
4. Shop at the English Market
If you love markets, the English Market in Cork is the perfect place for you. The bustling hub is known for its organic products and artisan foods including chocolates and cakes, herbs and spices, cheese, meats and fruits and vegetables. Shopping here ranks among the best things to do in Ireland as the market has been in existence since 1788. It’s also a great place to chat with locals and sample delicious foods.
5. Kayak under the bridges at night
You don’t need to go far to enjoy kayaking in Ireland. Head to Cork and you can go on a tour of the city by exploring the waterways. The urban adventure is one of the best things to do in Cork Ireland with your partner as it gives you a unique look at the history of the city. You’ll be guided under stunning bridges along the River Lee and on towards centuries-old castles such as Blackrock Castle.
6. Explore Brigit’s Garden
Spending time at Brigit’s Garden in Galway is a top thing to do in Ireland. The fairytale-like setting takes you on a journey of Celtic heritage through nature trails, fairy forts and crannogs. There’s a separate kids’ discovery trail and a natural playground that connects them with peers and nature. Summer camps are also held for different age groups where kids engage in arts and crafts, learn tracking skills, and learn to identify plants and insects.
7. Check out The Ark
The Ark offers some of the best things to do in Ireland with kids. The purpose-built cultural center in Temple Bar, Dublin, organizes workshops, exhibitions and shows to keep young ones entertained throughout their time here. Summer camps are also held where children are taught different things like putting together plays, stop-motion animation and other creative skills. You can enroll them as part of their vacation so they have more to occupy their time.
8. Have fun at Temple Bar area
Ireland is known for its fantastic pubs and one of the most fun things to do in Ireland for couples is to go pub-hopping. The Temple Bar area in Dublin is the perfect place with its selection of galleries, restaurants, boutiques, cafes and pubs. Just strolling through the streets is exciting in itself as buskers and open-air markets add to the buzzing ambience. Try to visit on a Saturday when a large food market is set up selling different types of cheese and fresh fruits.
9. Attend the Irish Maritime Festival
Make your way to Drogheda Port to experience one of the most exciting things to do in Ireland in June: attending the Irish Maritime Festival. The banks of the Boyne come alive as swimmers attempt the Boyne Swim and Tall Ships are open for exploration. You’ll also get to sample local culinary dishes at A Taste of Ireland’s Ancient East food and craft beer festival. If you want to stay longer in Drogheda, there are B&Bs and hotels that you can put up at.
10. Catch the Galway International Arts Festival
This annual arts festival is one of Europe’s biggest with visual arts, theater, music and literature the highlights. It celebrates its 41st anniversary this year from July 16th to 29th. If you’re in the city at this time, attending the festival is one of the best things to do in Galway, Ireland. There are shows you can attend for free and if you want to catch anything specific, you can book tickets at the official website.