Hi everyone. Well vacation season is well and truly upon us. There’s a wealth of tourist attractions to visit so I thought I’d share my top 10. As always this is by no means definitive. I’ve included some absolute must -sees as well as some great indoor attractions. Great for ducking out of that famous and frequent Irish rain. So let’s get on the road!
Lulu’s top 10 fee-paying Irish tourist attractions
1. Guinness Storehouse, Dublin
The Guinness Storehouse is by far the most popular attraction in Ireland. Time to embrace Ireland’s most famous export! The tour itself shows the remarkable level of detail that goes into ensuring the taste is consistent in every keg produced. You can even pull your own pint of Guinness which is a skill in itself and you can enjoy a pint of the Black Stuff high above Dublin city in the Gravity Bar.
2. Cliffs of Moher Visitors Experience, Clare
Next on our list is Ireland’s most popular natural tourist attraction. Prepare to be bowled over! The cliffs rise from the south western edge of the Burren and rise over 8 km along the edge of the Atlantic to their highest point at 214 meters at their midpoint at O’Briens’s tower. On a clear day you can see the Aran Islands, home to Ireland’s favourite sweater.
3. Dublin Zoo
So next up it’s Dublin Zoo. The third oldest Zoo in the world. Dublin Zoo is very well maintained and focuses heavily on conservation projects to protect its many species. A day trip to the Zoo is certainly exciting and definitely educational. A great choice for a family outing.
4. National Aquatic Centre, Dublin
The National Aquatic Centre is one of the world’s largest indoor water centres and is divided in to two parts. On one side is the 50m full sized competition poor and the other an incredible leisure zone appropriately named aqua zone. Aqua zone is fitted with numerous water slides and lazy pools. The perfect destination for a rainy day with the kids!
The Book of Kells is located on the Old Library at Trinity College. Step right into 18th century Ireland. The Book of Kells is an ancient gospel manuscript dating back to the 9th Century. On your visit you will proceed to the Long room of the Old Library which houses over 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books in its historic oak bookcases.
6. St. Patricks Cathedral, Dublin
St. Patrick’s is Ireland’s national cathedral and the tallest in the country. It stands at 43 meters. The site stands adjacent to the well where it is said Saint Patrick frequently baptised converts on his trips to Dublin. The Cathedral is famous for its excellent choir so make sure you get to hear them perform!
7. Tayto Park, Meath
Another one for all the family! Tayto Park first opened its gates in 2011 and its theme is based around the famous Irish crisp brand. Having grown extensively in the past few years Tayto Park is broken in to a few different areas. You’ll find an outdoor adventure park, a zoo and a fantastic tour of their factory where you can see how the crisps are made! Tayto Park have very recently opened their first ever wooden roller-coaster!
8. Fota Wildlife Park, Cork
Fota Wildlife Park is situated on Fota Island in Cork. Specifically created to home wildlife from all across the world. Fota Island is the perfect location and is continuously growing in popularity. Nearby is Fota Island Resort, a 5 star luxury resort and home to a championship- standard gold course. Another great destination for visitors of all ages!
9. Blarney Castle, Cork
No list of tourist attractions would be complete without kissing the Blarney stone so it’s time to head north of the city and a visit to Blarney Castle. There’s much climbing of steep spiral staircases to reach the the famous Blarney Stone. Once you’ve kissed it, enjoy the stunning views below and then come back down to earth and stroll around the gorgeous grounds of this 16th century castle. There’s the amazing Fern Garden and arboretum as well as my personal favorite-the creepy but fascinating Poison Garden.
10. Rock of Cashel, Tipperary
Last on our list of Irish tourist attractions is the truly awe-inspiring Rock of Cashel in Couonty Tipperary. It rises out of the rolling landscape like something out of a fairy tale.
Also known as St. Patrick’s Rock (Carraig Phádraig), legend has it that the rock landed here when St.Patrick banished Satan from a cave at Devil’s Bit mountain. The story goes that the devil took a bite out of the mountain and spat the rock to it’s current location!
The Rock of Cashel is also the place where it is claimed St Patrick converted the King of Munster. Indeed it was the seat of the of high kings of Munster for centuries until the Norman invasion.The buildings that survive today include the round tower and Cormac’s chapel and date back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
Well that’s all from me for this week.
Slán go fóill!