From ancient abbeys and historical monuments to fine art galleries and brewery tours, Ireland is rich in a diverse array of cultural sites. Add to that a stunning landscape, a host of charming folklore traditions and a nation of incredibly friendly people, and it’s clear that there’s much more to Ireland than shamrocks and leprechauns.

Dublin

Temple Bar by Night

Photo by Barnacles Hostel

Like many European cities, Dublin is the perfect blend of both the modern and the historical. Explore the cobblestone streets of Dublin and visit the cultural area of Temple Bar that truly comes alive at night. After a day of touring the city, who wouldn’t love a pint of Guinness? The best place to enjoy one is the 360 Bar which boasts fantastic views of the city after touring the Guinness factory and learning all about Ireland’s best-loved beer.

Waterford

Waterford Crystal Factory

Photo by Kellinahandbasket

Waterford is the oldest city in the country and one of its most popular attractions has got to be the Waterford Crystal Factory. Touring the factory goes to show how their incredible precision and attention to detail has helped transform the Waterford brand into a household name synonymous with quality the world over?

Kilkenny

Klikenny Castle

Photo by Nico Kaiser

Just 40 minutes from Waterford lies the charming city of Kilkenny. Kilkenny Castle, which was completed in 1213, is nestled in the heart of the city next to River Nore. Kilkenny is home to Smithwick’s which has been brewed there since the early 18th century and has gone on to become one of Ireland’s most popular beers. The city also has a rich music scene, with its bi-annual concerts highlights of Kilkenny’s events calendar. If you can’t make it to one, you will be sure to find live music at one of its many local pubs.

Cork

Cork View from St Patrick's Hill

Photo by Martin Duggan

Blarney Castle is the most visited attraction near the city of Cork, home to the famous Blarney Stone. People come from far and wide to kiss it, and allegedly to get the gift of eloquence. This essentially entails laying down on your back and leaning your head backwards above a small gap in the brick floor – there’s someone on stand-by, no need to panic! If kissing a rock that millions of others have kissed before you isn’t really your thing, you can still enjoy incredible views of the countryside from atop the castle.

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Cliffs of Moher

Photo by Jennifer Boyer

The Cliffs of Moher are both rugged and immense. Located on Ireland’s west coast, they rise 702 feet above the ocean and extend a staggering 5 miles. Everything beside the cliffs appears completely dwarfed, and pictures don’t even come close to demonstrating quite how huge they really are.

Limerick

Limerick

Limerick is located on the River Shannon and has plenty of great sights and activities on offer.  Besides taking a tour of King John’s Castle, there are also a plethora of festivals, shows, museums, art galleries, nightclubs and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. After a jam-packed day, relax in the park besides the river and take in the stunning surroundings.

Michelle Grabuski

Michelle Grabuski, aka The Travel Wench, has travelled all across Canada and Mexico, and the Galapagos Islands are at the top of her bucket list. You can find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to keep track of her travels.

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