This is a list of my favorite places to visit in Ireland. Some of the places are entire counties while others are towns. The list is my own personal opinion, and I know I’ll step on a few toes by placing some towns in the order I have. But, this is my opinion and I am entitled to it.
I lived in Dublin, so it automatically is number one. My attachment to this town cannot be understated. I’m in love with the noisiness of the streets and the local pubs. Dublin has countless tourist attractions and a rich history. No trip to Ireland is complete without spending a few days in the capital.
2. Co. Donegal
Ryan and I spent three days of our road trip on Donegal, and it stole my heart. Never before have I seen so much beauty in one place. If I ever have the chance to move back to Ireland, I’ll leave the city life behind and move to Co. Donegal.
I visited Belfast the first time in 2012 while taking a weekend trip during my study abroad. It was that trip that caused me to fall in love with Belfast and decide to write my senior thesis on its rich history. True Belfast might not be the first place a person thinks of when visiting Ireland, but you will not be left unsatisfied. Queen’s University, Titanic Museum, and Black Taxi Tours are just some of the amazing things Belfast has to offer.
Just a quick Dart ride south of Dublin is the beach front town of Bray. It’s pebble beach and distant peaks are the perfect escape from busy Dublin. I’ve wasted away many an afternoon on its beach.
5. Co. Kerry
I was only able to spend one day in Kerry but loved every minute. Colorful Killarney and Inch Beach were just a few of the wonderful things I had the privilege of doing. The only down side to Kerry is that it is jam packed with tourists. But, when something is as good as Kerry is, can you really be shocked that so many people want to come look at it? Nope.
Howth is a fishing village on the north side of Dublin. Just a 30 minute Dart ride along the coast, and you’ll be submersed in some of the best fish food and boats you’ll ever have. Hop on a boat in the pier and ride out to Ireland’s Eye or hike Howth Head. So many options!
Derry or Londonderry is a town in the North of Ireland close to the border. It’s known for its rich history as well its old city wall. Derry’s walls are some of the greatest examples of a walled city in all of Europe! Definitely worth checking out!
8. Co. Sligo
Sligo is rich with beaches and mountains. It’s perfect for surfers and hikers. Plus, when you’ve had a long day, what’s better than sitting by the water, listening to the waves, watching the sun set, and eating ice cream?
9. Co. Galway
Co. Galway has so much more to offer than the city itself. Connemara is some of the most breathtaking scenery in Ireland, but if you like the city life, Galway City offers some of the best night life in all of Ireland. Traditional music rings proudly from almost every pub. It’s a great place to enjoy a pint or two or three.
Limerick is another college town that sits on a beautiful river. My family and I spent their extra day in Ireland in Limerick. We took the day to wander around King John’s Castle and take in the beauty of the town.
11. Adare Village
If you’re looking for a quaint village to spend an afternoon in, check out Adare. It’s in Co. Limerick and offers an elegant castle, a ruined castle, and thatch roofs. By the way, some of the best Irish Stew I have ever eaten came from this village.
A trip to Ireland is completed by going to Cork. Traditional music, Murphys, and the not so far off Blarney Stone make the trip to Cork worth while. From some of the Irish I’ve met in my time here agree that Cork is the best city in all of Ireland.