Ireland is a beautiful country full of greenery, beautiful coasts and sheep! So much sheep. I prepped a quick guide for when YOU decide to go to Ireland.
I spent a few days in Ireland's capital, Dublin! There's so much history in this city and so much to see and do! Everything is within a 10-15 minute walk from each attraction below:
- Trinity College: There's a guided tour of the college as well as the Book of Kells for €14. This campus is BEAUTIFUL and a must see - even if you just plan to eat lunch on the grounds. The Book of Kells contains the four Gospels in Latin completed in 384AD. Its fame comes from the impact of its "lavish decoration, the extent and artistry of which is incomparable."
- Dublin Castle: It was originally the seat of the United Kingdom government's administration in Ireland, but is now a major Irish government complex. You're able to see the original defence walls underneath the now visible structure on the €10 tour!
- Saint Patrick's Cathedral: As the largest cathedral and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Ireland, Saint Patrick's is in the heart of Dublin and Ireland's history and culture for over 800 years. Admission for a self-guided tour €6.50.
- Guinness Storehouse: I LOVED this place. What everyone says is true, Guinness tastes so much better in Ireland! It's €20 for a self-guided tour. This includes a tour of how Guinness is made, its history, how to properly taste/drink a Guinness, how to pour the perfect pint (and you get a certificate which is fun 😅) and a 360° view of the city at their Gravity Bar.
The real treasures, in my opinion, were when we left the city centre and drove through the countryside. We rented a car (NOTE: the lanes are SO NARROW in the countryside, would definitely recommend renting a small car) and drove to Galway and Lachinch. Here are a few things we did below:
- Cliffs of Moher: I'm sure you've heard of this place and it's as beautiful as everyone says it is. These cliffs are over 317 million years old with its highest point at 214 metres. If possible, try to go on a sunny, clear day - it makes the experience that much more stunning.
- Connemara National Park: The drive TO Connemara was one of the highlights during my trip. Stunning bodies of water, jaw-dropping hills and valleys, and SHEEP - so. much. sheep. We hiked up Diamond Hill and it was TOUGH. Carve out around two hours for this hike - it's a tough one with a lot of uneven stairs and intense inclination.
- Surfing: You read that right - you can surf in Ireland! With a wetsuit on, of course. The water is freezing! We stayed the night in Lahinch which has a beautiful coast with some calm waves - there were a lot of rental shops nearby for all your surfing needs.
The last leg of my trip was in Belfast, Northern Ireland (NOTE: take out pounds before you go as this is the currency there!). We only visited for one day and we decided to take the Irish Rail (two and a half hour train ride). Here's what we did once we got to Belfast:
- Giant's Causeway: This attraction is made up of 40,000 massive, polygonal columns of basalt sticking out of the sea. It's inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland.
- Black Cab Tours: This £30 private tour picks you up and goes through the history of "The Troubles" in Belfast. You'll see political murals and The Peace Line with an informative and unbiased driver/tour guide! This tour is definitely worth it, you learn SO much.
And THAT was your (not-so) quick guide to Ireland. Do you have any travel plans coming up? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!