The Republic of Ireland is a fantastic holiday destination, dubbed as the ‘Emerald Isle’ due to its gorgeous, green landscapes of rolling hills. This mesmerising island boasts an array of fantastic activities and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. An explorer’s paradise, the Republic of Ireland is home to an exciting diversity of historic buildings, stunning architecture and mysterious, untouched lands. What are you waiting for?
From Limerick’s St John’s Cathedral, boasting the tallest spire in Ireland, to Dublin Zoo, the biggest zoo in the country, a break here is sure to tick every box! Check out our top five sights to see on a holiday to the Republic of Ireland…
1. Galway’s Spanish Arch
The 16th century Spanish Arch is a renowned piece of architecture in Galway, standing on the left bank of the River Corrib, where the harbour city’s river meets the sea. The arch is widely thought to be an extension of Galway’s medieval city walls and features a wooden sculpture, called the Madonna of the Quays.
Visitors can also explore the Galway City Museum here, located beside the arch, dedicated to the exploration of the rich history and archaeology of the city.
2. Dublin Castle
Dublin, the Republic of Ireland’s largest and capital city, is a brilliant and vibrant area to visit, located on the eastern part of the island. A visit to Dublin Castle here is a must here, located in the heart of the thriving city, off Dame Street.
The 13th century castle, now a major Irish government complex, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, offering a glimpse into the fascinating history of the beautiful building through its many rooms. The site of the castle covers around 11 acres in total, including picturesque gardens, a treasury building and the historic Bedford Tower. A guided tour around the castle is a fantastic experience on an Irish getaway.
3. Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park, located near the town of Killarney, was the first national park in Ireland and today, a brilliant attraction to visit on your Irish holiday. The park offers fantastic walking, hiking and cycling opportunities – not to mention an idyllic and scenic picnic location! Here you can find beautiful waterfalls, islands and even Ross Castle, a 15th century tower house. The park is also home to Ireland’s tallest mountain range, the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, with its peak standing at over 3,280 feet!
4. The Irish National War Memorial Gardens
The Irish National War Memorial Gardens, located in Islandbridge, are a beautiful and moving sight to see. As one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe, it is dedicated to the nearly 50,000 Irish soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the The Great War.
The site consists of well-kept lawns, rose garden, stunning avenues and terraces, offering a picturesque setting to remember those who sadly passed during the war. Guided tours around the memorial gardens are also available here.
5. Spike Island
Spike Island attracts thousands of tourists a year, located in Cork Harbour, around 24 kilometres from Cork city. The island is the second largest natural harbour in the world and today offers fantastic guided tours across its 104 acres – a brilliant, developed heritage tourist attraction. Once a religious sanctuary, then a prison, the Spike Island offers a great way of learning about the country’s heritage.
The island can accessed by ferry from the seaport town of Cobh, on the south coast of Country Cork.
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