One of the country’s greatest treasures is its people. The Irish are genuinely interested in others’ stories and are quick to tell theirs. That’s probably why some of the best experiences are often had inside a local pub. But there’s also a fabulous world beyond the brew that’s worth exploring. Glorious castles and storybook villages dot pastoral countrysides and dramatic coastlines you’ve seen only in the movies.
What to Do
Dublin Although Dublin is a big city, its distinct neighborhoods wrap you in their embrace and create a small-town experience. That said, you can see quite a bit of the city on foot in a couple of days. Obviously a pub stop is in order, Other famed Chester Beatty Library, Christ Church and St. Patrick’s cathedrals, Dublin Castle, and the Guinness Storehouse (there’s a killer view of the city from the Gravity Bar).
Galway, Killarney and Beyond Since Ireland is a country of manageable size, it’s easy to take off by rental car and see many fantastic spots in a few days. The southern curve of the country from Dublin to Galway is scattered with some of the island’s best offerings. the Rock of Cashel, a cluster of formidable ruins with a stately history. Blarney Castle; here’s where you take a break from kissing each other and plant one on the famed stone. Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney, is your next must-see. This narrow mountain pass formed by volcanic activity gives you one stunning photo op after another. And in terms of spectacular scenery, the Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s pot of gold. These dramatic bluffs will convince you that the earth is flat and you’ve reached the end of the world.
Dingle Couples looking to disappear for a while should make a beeline for picturesque Dingle, on the west coast. This seaside escape isn’t overrun with tourists and has plenty of options for shopping, eating and drinking — at a leisurely pace.