Press the Green Button
We all have a green button inside of us. It activates that innate desire to visit Ireland, the Emerald Isle, and explore its amazing coastal cliffs, storm its ancient castles, hike through its rugged mountains, watch the wind race over its sweeping green hills, and raise a pint in its fire-warmed pubs. So, what can you expect when you succumb to the wanderlust and press that green button? Read on to discover a few of our favorite options, but please note that this is an abbreviated list. The country has hundreds of attractions that you will love.
Photo: County Galway, Ireland
The Blarney Stone
Legend has it that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you’ll be rewarded with the gift of eloquence and great persuasiveness. To kiss the stone, you must do what millions of others have done before you — head to 600-year-old Blarney Castle. The famous stone is not, however, in the easiest place to kiss. In the past, guests had to be held by their ankles and lowered over the battlements of this castle so that they could reach the stone. But for safety reasons, guests now hold onto iron railings and then lean backward to give the Blarney Stone a smooch. Once you’ve accomplished your mission of kissing this famous stone, you’ll want to explore the grounds of this castle, which includes over 60 acres of diverse flora. You’ll even find one garden filled with poisonous plants from around the world — don’t touch!
Photo: Blarney Castle, Monacnapa, Blarney, County Cork, Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher
Words cannot adequately describe the wild beauty of the magnificent Cliffs of Moher. These sheer cliffs — some as tall as 700 feet — plunge into the rolling sea, creating vistas that feel like a scene from Harry Potter. Once you experience the Cliffs of Moher, you’ll understand why they’re Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. These cliffs are also a big draw for birdwatchers, as they’re home to 29 different bird species, including adorable puffins.
Photo: Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The result of a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking Giant’s Causeway is the work of something paranormal or supernatural. Legend has it that the site was built by a giant looking to skip over to Scotland to battle another giant, while others claim the site dates back to a volcanic age almost 60 million years ago. However, it was made, the result is a can’t-miss site of Ireland: roughly 40,000 massive, black hexagonal basalt columns rise out of the sea in an interlocking order bordering on otherworldly.
Photo: Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Dublin’s Prime Attractions
The capital city of Dublin offers much more than these two attractions, but these are the two that every visitor should not miss. You don’t have to be an academic to appreciate the magnificence of the Trinity College Library. Serving as a legal deposit for the publishers of Ireland, it houses copies of all their publications. As such, it’s a literary palace home to Ireland’s most iconic literature — and a nearly 200-foot-long room filled floor-to-ceiling with books. Standing in its historic hall, it’s impossible not to be overwhelmed by its grandiosity.
For those less inclined to be overwhelmed by books, maybe beer is more your speed. And you’re not alone — Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse is Europe’s top tourist attraction according to the prestigious World Travel Awards. At this relatively new attraction, you’ll learn about how this famous beer is brewed as well as its history with plenty of interactive exhibits. Finish things off by heading upstairs to the Storehouse’s 7th-floor Gravity Bar to savor a pint while enjoying beautiful 360-degree views of Dublin’s pretty skyline.
Photo: The Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland
Experience the Best with CIE Tours
The expert guides at CIE Tours will immerse you in the culture of Ireland, showing you iconic sights and local haunts while giving you the backstories that make history come to life. Discover ancient landmarks, enchanting castles, and colourful towns and villages. See the magnificence of scenic drives along the rugged Atlantic coast. Along the way, you’ll get the warmest of welcomes and experience their tour directors’ talents for fostering friendship on the road.