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10 Must-See Places in Ireland

10 Must-See Places in Ireland

Whether this is your first-time visiting Ireland, or your tenth, we have a list of places you’ll want to visit the next time you’re in the vicinity. From nature excursions to gift shopping, grabbing drinks, museums, and just plain beautiful sites along the way, we have you covered.

1. Newgrange

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If you love science and nature, then this site is for you! Newgrange is known as the world’s oldest solar observatory. It is 600 years older than the Giza Pyramids in Egypt! This is the most visited archaeological monument in Ireland. Here the Winter Solstice sun rays illuminate the ancient burial chamber perfectly. The site was built by 300 workers using 200,000 tons of material over 30 years. Newgrange is located 26 miles outside of Dublin in Meath, Ireland.

2. Clonmacnoise

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The next site we suggest will keep you outdoors. Clonmacnoise is a 2500-year-old outside, stone monastery known as the oldest pilgrimage site in Ireland! Clonmacnoise is rumored to have healing powers. It consists of a ruined cathedral, 2 round towers, 3 high crosses, 7 churches, and series of grave slabs. This area was attacked 8 times by Vikings and 27 times by Irish kings. You can view this powerful area in Offaly, Ireland.

3. Ashford Castle

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There are so many castles in Ireland, here is one you may like to visit. Ashford Castle is one of the “more famous” properties. It was once home to the Guinness family. It was founded in 1228, it’s 800 years old and was renovated in 2013. You may have even seen this castle featured on BBC! Find this castle in Mayo, Ireland.

4. Ring of Kerry

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If you have a full day to commit to an attraction, then this site is for you. The Ring of Kerry stretches 111 miles along the Wild Atlantic Way. Stops should be made along the trek. Features to pause for along the Ring of Kerry: Ross Castle, Torc Waterfall and Derrynane Beach. The drive without stopping will take about 3 and a half hours, which is why a full day’s commitment is suggested. You will find the Ring of Kerry in Kerry, Ireland.

5. Peace Bridge

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For those who love walking and cycling, this site is for you. The Peace Bridge is open only to foot and bike traffic. This bridge is referred to as an “architectural handshake” linking the two sides of the river. Two sloping pillars hoist up this uniquely shaped structure and each pillar represents two communities coming together. This 14-million-pound project is 771 feel long and 13 feet wide. You can enjoy this bridge in Derry, Ireland.

6. Claddagh Ring Museum

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If you’re looking for a keepsake or a gift for loved ones back home, then look no further! The Claddagh Ring Museum is referred to as “The smallest museum with the biggest gift shop.” Here you will learn the history of the most iconic jewelry from the experts. The Claddagh Ring consists of two hands clasping a heart that is crowned with friendship and royalty. This shop opened in the 1750’s in Galway where the ring was first created. Here you will visit the production line and view the smallest Claddagh Ring ever made! You may shop here in Galway, Ireland.

7. Cliffs of Moher

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An iconic landmark in Ireland is The Cliffs of Moher. It is almost like a trip to Ireland wouldn’t be the same without it. These stunning formations were created 300 million years ago! They rest 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, and it is home to over 20 species of birds. The Cliffs View Café also seats 120 guests, so feel free to grab a bite to eat while you enjoy the sites. The Cliffs of Moher are in Clare, Ireland.

8. Slieve League Cliffs

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If you want something even taller than the Cliffs of Moher, Slieve League Cliffs is it! These cliffs stand 2000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean and are 3 times taller than the Cliffs of Moher. Once you have reached the top you will savor views of Sligo, Mayo, and Donegal Bay. At the highest point travelers may enter the “One Man’s Pass,” which is the highest and narrowest part of Slieve League Cliffs. And if you’re hungry, enjoy a bite to eat at the family-owned Ti Linn Café. The Slieve League Cliffs are in Donegal, Ireland.

9. Temple Bar

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Now for the drinks! When you’re in the heart of Dublin this is one bar you will not want to miss! Temple bar boasts 450 varieties of Whiskey! You can find exactly what your heart desires here. Also, this bar is family-owned and offers daily live musical entertainment, all day every day! Visit Temple Bar in downtown Dublin.

10. Kilmainham Gaol Museum

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Lastly, for tourists looking for an edge, Kilmainham Gaol Museum is the answer. This old jail opened in 1796 and was in business for 100 years. It housed men, women, and youth prisoners, often relying on a single candle for light and warmth. Here prisoners sentenced to hard labor would break stones or do laundry as their sentence. Criminals sentenced for rape, murder and even begging were housed here. Visits must be escorted for tours here occurring daily in Dublin, Ireland.

Although you may not be able to visit all sites on this list in one trip, try and head to more than one of them! Stay tuned for future blogs on what to see in each city. If you would like to incorporate any of these attractions into your next Irish vacation, Celtic Tours can make that happen!