Ireland: 6 Cool Things to Do in Ireland

Rainbow over the Antrim Coast. Photo by TS Drown (flickr)
Rainbow over the Antrim Coast. Photo by TS Drown (flickr)

Ireland: The magical land

Ireland is a magical land. A green jewel of an island, where myths, songs and laughter seem to grow as naturally as the thick grass. Ireland’s beauty is legendary, its history is epic, and its modern approach to life is joyous and welcoming. So, what are you waiting for?

Here are six cool things to do on your next trip to Ireland:

1. Hike the Antrim Coast from Giant’s Causeway

Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway is one of the most unique and beautiful landscapes you will ever see. Its strange interlocking polygonal-shaped columns rise and fall like steps into the sea, and legend has it, the rocks were put there by the giant Finn MacCool when he built a bridge to fight a rival giant in Scotland. Start out by climbing the unique rocks for some breathtaking views and photos, and then hike the stunning coastal path over to Carrick-a-Rede, and cross the exhilarating rope bridge out onto the cliffs.

Titanic at thedocks (wikimedia)
Titanic at thedocks (wikimedia)

2. Remember the Titanic

While you’re in Northern Ireland, head to Belfast and explore the city’s strong connection to the ill-fated Titanic. See the slipway where the Titanic was built.  Visit the Titanic memorial on the grounds of the historic Belfast City Hall, listing the names of people who lost their lives when the ship sank.  The Ulster Folk & Transport Museum has a permanent exhibition highlighting the construction, loss and the legends of what it calls “the most famous ship in history.” Finally, you can visit the SS Nomadic, the only remaining boat in the White Star Line, which once served as a tender ship to Titanic.

3. Gain the Gift of Gab

Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland. Photo by jmenard48 (flickr)
Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland. Photo by jmenard48 (flickr)

Sure it’s touristy, but what the heck! Visit the famous Blarney Castle near Cork, for a look back at Ireland’s fascinating past. The castle was built nearly 600 years ago for the great chieftain, Cormac MacCarthy, who demanded the castle walls be built 18 feet thick. The main attraction is the Blarney Stone, or the legendary Stone of Eloquence. It’s said that if you kiss the stone, you’ll never again be at a loss for words.

Oscar Wilde Memorial. Dublin, Ireland. Photo by tiseb (flickr)
Oscar Wilde Memorial. Dublin, Ireland. Photo by tiseb (flickr)

4. Go on a Literary Pub Crawl in Dublin

What better way to experience two of Ireland’s best-known cultural contributions – poetry and pubs – than by experiencing them together? Take a 2-1/2 hour walking tour of Dublin’s famous pubs, featuring actors performing the works of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw, among many, many others.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Photo by ccharmon (flickr)
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Photo by ccharmon (flickr)

5. Gaze from the Cliffs of Moher

Ireland’s Atlantic coast is home to Ireland’s other top dramatic landscape, the wondrous Cliffs of Moher.   Jutting more than 700 feet straight up out of the ocean, the Cliffs are one of Ireland’s most visited attractions.  From the top, you can see out to Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. The Cliffs are also home to one of the largest colonies of seabirds in Ireland.

Explore Ireland

show route and directions
A markerGiants, Ireland -
Giants Leap, Co. Cavan, Ireland
[get directions]

B markerBelfast, Ireland -
Ulster Museum, Queen's University of Belfast, Stranmillis Rd, Belfast BT9 5, UK
[get directions]

C markerBlarney Castle, Ireland -
Blarney Castle Hotel, Blarney Castle Estate, The Village Green, Cork, Co. Cork, Ireland
[get directions]

D markerDublin, Ireland -
Dublin Airport (DUB), 000, Ireland
[get directions]

E markerCliffs of Moher, Ireland -
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
[get directions]

6. Go Golfing

With all that lush green grass, it seems only fitting to go golfing in Ireland.  With more than 300 courses in Ireland itself, and another 80 in smaller Northern Ireland, you’ll have plenty of choice.  The golf courses are world class, but golfers say it’s the informal, friendly approach to the game that makes playing in Ireland truly wonderful.

More about Ireland

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Comments? 11 comments

Sterling Carter profile image

Sterling Carter 6 years ago from Indian Mound, Tennessee

I always wanted to go to Ireland. These sites are on my list to visit when I go.

Thanks for the article.

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Thanks for the virtual trip to Ireland, happyexplorer. I'd love to visit Ireland, but I fear I'll never get there. I wish I could kiss the Blarney Stone and play all 380 golf courses. But mostly I'd love to visit Ballinacourty/Dungarvan, the home of my maternal relatives, the Hogans, and especially my grandfather, Michael J. Hogan AKA Shamus O'Brien, an oldtime prize fighter. The Cliffs of Moher look fascinating, too.

Chris 6 years ago

What great things to do. Makes me want to learn more history!

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi Sterling Carter- Thanks for dropping by. I hope you could visit Ireland one of these days. It's really gorgeous:-)

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi William F. Torpey - You're very much welcome! Ireland indeed is fascinating. I hope you could make it there.:-)

Percy 5 years ago

Awesome cliff photo... one of this days I'll have a photo of this with me in it!

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi Percy -

Gorgeous cliff isn't it? Yes, it would be really nice to have a photo taken there. Let us know when you have one - I just might use it for my next hub for Ireland. ;-)

freecampingaussie profile image

freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

Hi, I enjoyed your hub, I have been to Dublin but planning to explore more next year with my new husband !

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi freecampingaussie!

Dublin has lots to offer and I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip. Thanks for dropping by!

Web Cottages profile image

Web Cottages 5 years ago from Chester, UK

There is so much great information here! I've been to some of the places you list, but the literary tour of Dublin is a great tip! Thanks--Amanda

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi Amanda!

I'm glad you like the literary tip - Dublin is such a fascinating place! Thanks for dropping by!

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