Congrats, you want to go to Ireland?
You couldn’t have picked a better place. Since this summer I am in love with Ireland, this is why I decided to make this tiny list for you with the Top 10 Things to do in Ireland.
Hope it gives you a bit of an inspiration and then let’s meet again in a pub 😉
- Talking about pubs, Nr. 1 is pretty obvious 😉 There is just no Ireland Trip without a visit to a pub and some good ol’ music. Listen to the fiddles and pipes while sipping on a cool Guinness. Guinness ain’t your thing? (I don’t have to understand that, but can’t force you can I 😉 ?) Well how about a Cider? Or water. Don’t skip the Pub simply because you don’t like to drink. A good pub is like a living room, where people sit together after a long day at work to unwind a bit and listen to some good music. The locals are open and love to chat and the mood is generally awesome. Don’t worry if you are traveling alone, you won’t be sitting alone for long. Give it 5 min. till somebody invites you over to sit with them ^^
- Try a Guinness (if you drink alcohol). I know I am repeating myself here, but seriously a Guinness in Ireland tastes so much better than anywhere else in the world. I used to hate it, but figured if I am already in a pub I might as well give it a try and from that evening on I just ordered Guinness. Gosh I am literally craving it. Don’t know if it’s the surroundings, the weather or the food that goes with a good pint, but Guinness tastes like heaven in Ireland 😉
- Go to Donegal. If you are wondering were Donegal is, it’s all the way up in the north…Most people head to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and Galway, the touristy and famous places. Don’t make that mistake, Ireland has so much more to offer. Donegal is magic. It is much rougher then the rest of Ireland and better travel with a car, bus transfer is a bit a pain in the ass up there, but it has the highest Cliffs of Europe, the Slieve League, the cozist pubs and the nicest people. There are miles of just grass and sheep with tiny cottages scattered all over the place. It is an unpolished diamond waiting for you to be discovered.
Spent one day at a beach. From diamonds to pearls 😉 Did you know that Ireland hast some stunning beaches? Ok it is sometimes a bit cold there, even in the summer, but watersports are big in Ireland. There are some amazing surf spots there, even in Donegal by the way ;). Give it a try and chill at least one day at the ocean. Swim with a wild Dolphin at the Aran Islands. Maybe not, as it is quite dangerous, but at least dip your toe into the water or simply watch over the endless crushing waves. Ireland’s coast is a place to lose yourself in your thoughts. Here you realize how small and tiny you actually are. It is stunning^^
- Visit Cong. Great a place that sounds like a bell, what is so special about that? Well the locals will tell you all about how “The Quiet Man” was filmed in this tiny, absolute adorable village. If you are like me and not so very much into old movies, here is another reason to visit. They have amazing hikes out there. Ever wondered how an outlaw must have felt? Just hike into Cong’s woods. Discover caves and fairytale like trees. Everything is green, you nearly don’t see any brown of the trees. Go exploring Robin Hood, you won’t be disappointed. Tiny tip I had the best scones ever in the small cafe place close to the cathedral ruins and there are singing tours through the forest. But inform yourself when they are, I was unlucky it was raining, so the tour fell into the water =(
Learn Irish Dancing. Yep you heard me, I want you to get your groove on. It will be fun, trust me 😉 We already stated that Irish Music is awesome, so you might as well learn how to dance to it and how to impress an Irish Gal or Lad. In Cork (for more information about Cork) there is a class every Wednesday, just check Trip Advisor. You just have to show up and enjoy the next 2 hours. Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself, most people are beginner 😉 Just swirl around for a couple of hours and meet some new friends^^
- Try some Irish Pub Food. You will spent your fair share in Pubs, so might as well try some of the food. I know it is pricey, but know and then you can splurge and nothing is better than some yummy comfort food, like a meat pie or a nice hot and filling soup. Give it a try. It usually isn’t anything fancy, but sometimes the simple things are the best 😉
Visit one of the endless castles. Well there is now getting around this one. Castles belong to the Irish History, like Temples belong to China’s. There are just some things you have to see and I have to be honest I loved the Castles in Ireland. There were so many awesome ruins open for public or a small entry fee. Well and there is Blarney Castle obviously, which really surprised me positively. Jump over your shadow and check at least one out, who knows maybe you will find a ghost 😉
- Visit Cashel and the Rock the Devil spit out. Another tiny place in the middle of Ireland. Cashel is super easy to reach for once. It lies just in the middle of Cork and Dublin, which makes it super easy to just stop there for a couple of hours or a night. There is nothing much to see, just a hill with an old castle/cathedral on top. The hill stand on the middle of flat land, hence the story with the Devil. Entry is cheap, if you stay in a Hostel/Hotel or purchase anything in town you get in for free. Take the free tour, the guide knows a lot of great stories about the remarkable building. Want to know more? I have written a post about why Cashel is worth a visit, click here.
- Hitchhike. Stop right there, no I am not out of my mind. I usually never hitchhiked before and most countries I wouldn’t even dare too. Just in Ireland and we hitchhiked quite a bit and met some amazing people this way. Hitchhiking is a bit of the culture in Ireland, you will see sometimes even old people catching a lift to get into town, simply because the buses sometimes just drive once a day to certain areas. While it isn’t quite as easy to catch a lift anymore, we never had to wait longer then 30 miutes (saving us long hours on the bus). Just go to the outskirts of town and write a sign with your destination. Most Irish seemed to love to chat and where bored of driving alone. We got some awesome tips for the next destination and they had some company. I’d say Win/win. (BUT never go against your gut feeling, if somebody seems shady, just say no and wait for somebody else…remember your safety is the most important thing).
Anything else you would want to add to the list? What are your personal Top 10 things to do in Ireland? Leave a comment, looking forward to hearing from you =)