Emerald Isle Escapes: Top 10 Must-Visit Places in Ireland

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Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.

Ireland is well-known as one of the most beautiful places in the world, with rolling green hills, stunning cliffs, and medieval castles ready to be explored.

Follow along to find the best places in Ireland. From the Guinness factory to the most stunning castles and jewel-green meadows, there’s a place for everyone to explore in the Emerald Isles.


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Donegal is frequently on visitors’ must-see list. With charming castles, rocky cliffs, and rugged landscapes, this small area on the northwest coast of Ireland is home to some of the best views in the country.

Most people choose to drive past the Slieve League Cliffs to see a dramatic view of the ocean. The cliffs here are more than three times as tall as the Cliffs of Moher, another incredibly popular spot in Ireland to visit.


Dublin Ireland
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It might seem cliché to visit the capital city of a country, but Dublin is one of the most underrated major cities in the Western world. The city is a hub for politics, music, art, and culture.

Along with plenty of stunning metropolitan amenities, you can also visit the 13th-century Dublin Castle for a magical experience of learning more about medieval royalty.

Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula Ireland
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Known as the “Wild Atlantic Way,” this stunning natural destination is one of the most visited spots in Ireland. When driving through the coastline, going through the Slea Head Drive will take you through all of the best spots.

Be sure to bring your camera to snap a few photos of the trails, islands, and cliffs that populate this area. You can also take a ferry to Blasket Island to explore an island filled with sheep, green fields, and Atlantic dolphins swimming in the shoreline.


Killarney Ireland
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The town of Killarney is one of the most magical places to stop by in Ireland. Visit the Killarney Castle to take a walking tour of the 15th-century tower.

The rolling green hills create a quintessential experience of Ireland’s views. The town is also surrounded by the Killarney National Park, with the highest mountain range in the country.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher Ireland
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Probably the most popular place to visit in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are a stunning display of natural formations and geological processes.

More than 100 miles from the closest city, day trips are organized for tourists to take buses, or a car can be rented to visit the area.

The cliffs measure more than 8 miles long and 700 feet tall. Be sure to bring a windbreaker, though the cliffs are famous for being an incredibly windy spot.


Sligo Castle Ireland
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Rocky, looming cliffs surround the rocky beaches on the coast of Sligo, creating a picture-perfect countryside. Visit the always beautiful Sligo Abbey to see centuries-old architecture. 

Known as the home of the famous poet William Butler Yeats, the area is a popular destination for literary lovers to see the home of the renowned writer.


Cork Ireland
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Next to Dublin, Cork is the largest city in Ireland. Tourists often visit to see the colorful houses that line the roads of the canals.

Cork is famous for being home to the Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone, which you can still visit and give a kiss. The legend states that anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone will be gifted eloquence, which, for 19th and 19th-century writers, was well worth it.


Cobh Ireland
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Just after visiting the colorful city of Cork, be sure to take a stop in the neighboring town of Cobh. The charming town sits on an island in Cork Harbor and is well-known for the stunning cathedral in the center of town.

The town has plenty of historic museums, such as the Cobh Heritage Centre and the Titanic Experience, as Cobh was one of the harbors that picked up Titanic passengers.

Lismore Castle

Lismore Castle Ireland
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Although this castle is a bit smaller and lesser known than the more popular tourist attractions, its beauty is simply unmatched. 

Initially contracted in 1185, Lismore Castle sits on 7 lush acres of Irish greenery with extensive gardens on the riverfront.

The castle can be toured most days of the week, however, they offer an unusual service. Unlike most of the other castles in Ireland, this castle can be completely rented out for private events. 

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle Ireland
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Although Dunluce Castle sits mostly in disrepair as walls and rubble, the grounds of the castle are still a lovely place to visit.

Sitting above the rocky cliffs and rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the castle was once home to powerful families and wealthy royals. It’s easy to see how this looming castle was an impressive force protecting the countryside.

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