I moved in Ireland in 2006 and fell in love with this country, the people, the magic atmosphere in the pubs, and the amazing landscapes. I came back few times there, and visited almost all the island, from Dublin to Northern Ireland, from the Donegal to the Connemara, from Killarney to Cork.
Dublin, or Baile Atha Cliath
I really feel like home in this city. You must pass between 2 days and one week to visit all you need to see: walk along the Liffey, do shopping in Grafton and Henry streets, enjoy St Stephen’s Green mall (and parc) or visit the Dublin zoo in Phoenix parc.
You will take pictures of the Wellington Monument, Molly Malone and Oscar Wilde statues, listen to the silent of Trinity College (in the heart of the city center), visit Christchurchand St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Jameson’s Distillery, the museum of Modern Art, of Natural history, or more original: the national museum of Leprechaun!
Don’t forget to take a look inside of the post office on O’Connel street, and to try the best pubs of the World in Temple bar area, after passing behind the legendary Ha’penny Bridge! And if you want to drink the more typical irish beer with the best view of the city: visit the Guiness Factory!
If you’ve got enough time you can also visit Kilmainham Goaland Van Gogh museum, or take the Luas (local train) to visit Malahide and its castle, or do a little trek on the cliffs of Howth (30min from the Connolly train Station). And if you’re lucky you can get a ticket to see a rugby game in the Aviva Stadium, or a hurling game in Croke Park!
Best pubs in Dublin:
Porterhouse for his burgers, The Church(yes in a real old church), Temple Bar, the real one, unmissable, The Oliver St John Gogarty and its lives, Arlington to see irish dance, The Mezz for a rock’n’roll night, The Johnny Fox pub (outside of Dublin, the highest of Ireland).
Here is my top 5 places:
From Dublin to Belfast
If you go one hour north to Dublin you will make a great time travel…
You can start this trip visiting the Castle of Trim and the Hill of Tara, known as the seat of the High King of Ireland.
You can follow the road to discover Slane Castle (where the best concerts took place, like the one of U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers!), and go back time with the prehistoric monument Newgrange, and finish by Monasterboice, an important old religious center.
Visiting those sites you will travel in the history of a country from prehistory to catholicism and celtic history this country has been built on.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Belfast, it’s too far from the warm ambience of Dublin, but the landscapes are still gorgeous and the most impressive coast I’ve ever seen: Giant’s Causeway!
Capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is full of history and activities. You can visit the Titanic museum (where it has been built), and one of the oldest pub of the country: the White’s Tavern!
Only 30min from Belfast, the castle and the particular round tower worth a tour!
I’ve never took time to walk on this bridge, only opened with good weather conditions, but it looks nice.
A very romantic medieval ruins on top of the cliff.
A huge volcanic formation, with a nice legend which says it would have been made by a scottich giant who build a bridge through the irish sea to kill an irish…
One of the best irish whisky, and the oldest working distillery in Ireland!
The Donegal and the great Connemara
After a stop to Londonderry (made famous with the song “Sunday Bloody Sunday”), you will be amazed by the landscape of the Donegal, especially during the automne where the colors are red and shinny). Going south from there you will meet the Connemara, one of my favorite irish region. From Wesport to Galway you will drive on green roads, crossing huge lakes, and arrive to the magic Kylemore abbey, lost on the Pollacapall lough.
You may finish your day in Galway, for me the second best city in Ireland! I heard that “Gal” meant “Foreigners”, and it was one of the main irish port, the way taken by the foreigners to enter in the country. There’s not a lot to see there, but the cathedral and the Spanish arch, but you will enjoy the life of Quay street, with a lot of shops and pubs.