Who wouldn’t want to go to Ireland? You can sample the best Guinness in the world, eagerly engage in conversations with friendly locals with charming accents and explore a green countryside with villages straight out of Hobbiton. There’s loads of great cities too. The capital Dublin combines modern European living with cultural heritage like no other, Waterford is the country’s oldest city while Cork is the Venice of Ireland. If you fancy all of this and more, then check out this guide to visiting Ireland.
Like any capital city, Dublin is full of life, energy and excitement. During the day, you can pay a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, where you’ll learn about the origins of the dark red drink, how it’s made and even pour yourself your own perfect pint. Another unmissable tour is that of old Kilmainham Gaol, which takes you through the prison used to harbour many famous heroes of the Irish War of Independence. It’s a sombre journey which really makes you reflect on the conditions these men had to withstand.
At night, you can get on the lash in Dublin as good as in any city. If you want to be a proper tourist then head to Temple Bar, the most well-known area of the city, lined with quality bars. A more local experience would be to hit Camden Street, which has some great, traditional pubs and is only a short walk from two of the city’s better clubs, Copper Face Jacks and Dicey’s.
In recent years Cork has rose to become one of the most visited places in Ireland, with the southern city even being named European Capital of Culture in 2005. Cork is a traditional Irish city, with lots of bars with great Irish music and many old churches and Victorian style buildings. The predominantly student city’s main attractions include Blarney Castle, English Market, Church of St Anne and a walk down the River Lee is something not to be missed.
The Vikings founded Waterford all the way back in 914, making it the oldest city in Ireland. Right now, it’s the 5th biggest city in the country and is known for its crystals, hill walks, beaches and clear water. The main tourist attractions here include the Waterford Museum of Treasures, which invites you to learn about the history of the city, Reginald’s Tower, the Christ Church Cathedral and of course the House of Waterford Crystal.
It’s a shame that the Ed Sheeran song is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Galway, because the city is a truly beautiful part of Ireland. Connemara National Park spans thousands of hectares of mountains and forests, Dunguaire Castle and The Spanish Arch let you reflect on the history of the city while the Aran Islands give you a chance to explore some ancient sites and look out over high cliff edges.
This beautiful country is only a bus journey away, and National Express provides great value coach trips to all of the cities listed here. Get yourself a national express promo code with Groupon to make some savings on a trip of a lifetime to Ireland and other destinations throughout the UK and Europe.