Everyone has heard that Ireland is the place to go for a bit of ‘craic’ — aka fun, defined by hitting up a few pubs, drinking some Guinness, chatting to locals and listening to some 'trad' music. But Ireland has so much more to offer, and it's a challenge to choose the few attractions you should check out during your stay. Fortunately we've got you covered with the top five sights according to a local:
The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin City
As stereotypical as it is, the Guinness Storehouse is a unique gem. The home of Ireland's Greatest Beer is in the heart of Dublin city at St. James Gate, and is famous for giving its employees a weekly allowance of it’s boozy brown product. While the Storehouse is a relatively recent addition to the location, it is extremely popular for allowing visitor to view the process and history of making Guinness, as well as tasting a fresh pint at the rooftop bar with panoramic views of the entire city.
The Cliffs Of Moher, Co. Clare
One of the country's most spectacular sights is at the Cliffs Of Moher in Co. Clare. Situated near the picturesque surfing village of Lahinch, the icon is a must-see along Ireland's famed Wild Atlantic Way route. With rough seas and the waves battling the sheer mass of cliff, it's needless to say that photos are obligatory. Head to Lahinch afterwards to check out the beach and go surfing, or just for some good old food or drink. There's no better place to be, especially on a sunny summer's day.
Titanic Belfast, Belfast City
Belfast’s Titanic Experience, built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the iconic ship's sinking, is a sight to behold. Constructed on the original site where the Titanic was built, the visitors center has an entire shipyard to explore, interactive galleries, replicas of the interior, historic artifacts, as well as the only remaining intact White Star Line vessel. While in Belfast, take an authentic Black Cab tour to learn about Northern Ireland's The Troubles conflict, and all the recent progress towards peace and reconciliation. Bonus: many scenes from the show Game of Thrones were also filmed nearby, so you are essentially standing in the heart of Winterfell.
Giants Causeway, Co. Antrim
Closely linked to the legend of Fionn Mac Chumhaill (or Finn MacCool) and a war with neighboring giant Benandonner in Scotland, the Giants Causeway is a series of 40,000 interlinked basalt rock columns in the northern side of the country. Legend states this is what remains of a causeway from Ireland to Scotland, destroyed when the giant fled from Fionn. What remains is an interesting display of nearly-uniform prisms of rock by the sea. While in the area, the nearby Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is also worth a stop, and provides some spectacular views of the sea. If you keep going past the Causeway ad you will eventually reach Derry, an amazing walled city with a rich history.
The Blarney Stone, Co. Cork.
Somewhat of a strange attraction, the Blarney Stone is literally a large stone that visitors kiss for good luck; to do so is said to grant you “the gift of the gab”,or the skill of eloquence.But first, you are required to climb a castle. A massively popular tourist attraction, especially among North Americans, the castle itself dates back to the 1400’s and is now a partial ruin. This part of Ireland is the beautiful green heaven that the country is known for.
Looking for more worthwhile attractions? Check out Spain's Sagrada Familia.