Ireland’s Lucky Number Seven
Have you ever wanted to visit the “Emerald Isle?” How about following a rainbow to that pot of gold? Legend says that the luck of the Irish can bring fortune and fame according to Hollywood movies. Let’s take a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to the Northwestern part of Europe where we’ll find a beautiful island nestled on the continental shelf. Imagine infinite rolling hills covered with lush landscape draped with vibrant shades of green. Welcome to Ireland, land of the green Shamrock! Come explore with us as we uncover our top seven favorite places to see on your next Ireland vacation.
#7 – City of Dublin
The city of Dublin is abundant with rich Irish heritage, and happens to be the capital of Ireland. The international airport located in this vicinity will most likely be the arrival and departure point for your trip. In our experience, it was convenient to use this as a central location when navigating around our list of sights to see. Dublin is also home to one of the most famous dark beers ever created, the Guinness Stout. A massive factory resides in the heart of the city, which brings us to our next topic of conversation; the Guinness Storehouse!
#6 – Guinness Storehouse
In the year 2000, the Guinness Storehouse was created and quickly became one of Irelands top tourist attractions. The building consists of seven floors surrounding a glass atrium in the shape of a Guinness pint, and has received over an estimated four million visitors year to date. A rooftop bar is located at the very top of the structure where guests are invited for a free tasting of the world-renowned beverage. In our experience, we spent a total of about four hours touring the facility before making our way to the rooftop. The interesting history and entertainment is well worth the $30 USD admission, however, with a Dublin pass entry is complimentary. In any case, have fun and enjoy!
#5 – City of Cork
If a rental car is within your budget and adventure is what you crave, there is University City just three hours north of Dublin. The city of Cork boasts rustic buildings with new age fashion, and is the perfect place to spend a holiday. Aside the local Quinlans restaurant which serves outstanding fish and chips for a hearty meal, there are also creative dessert bakeries such as Sticky Fingers that can satisfy even the most intense sweet cravings at your disposal. In our experience, the neighborhood was extremely courteous to us, and we are forever grateful for their hospitality!
#4 – Blarney Castle & Gardens
Welcome to the Blarney Castle & Gardens located about fifteen minutes outside the beautiful city of Cork in the south of Ireland. This tourist attraction has captured audience’s hearts around the world with its grace and beauty. These grounds consist of a historical castle, a royal mansion, multiple magnificent rock and garden formations, and the famous Blarney Stone. The tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone became popular in the 1800’s, and although there are many legends surrounding this ritual one thing is for certain. The gift of eloquence will be bestowed on whoever kisses the bluestone stone wedged at the top of this medieval fortress.
In our experience, we recommend purchasing the delicious ice cream cones topped off with a chocolate treat at the front gate before making your way to the castle.
Once you have climbed the ancient stairs to the top of the castle there will be a designated person waiting for you to lay down on your back, grab the rusted metal with both hands, and lean down for a smooch on the magical stone. The price of this excursion is about $17 USD, and the hours of operating are from 9 am – 4 pm. This activity is family friendly and the perfect photo op moment.
#3 – Village of Doolin
Have you ever pictured yourself wanting to take a international vacation to a foreign land, and you wind up in a local pub where the drinks are flowing all night accompanied by singing Irish folk music? Now is your chance to experience a night just like the one mentioned above in a quaint little village known as Doolin. This delightful discovery is somewhat off the beaten path, and surprisingly close to the famous Cliffs of Moher. In our experience, we enjoyed a fantastic evening of laughter, meeting new friends, singing along to authentic Irish music, and enjoying life to its fullest as a married couple in this very location. We would recommend a visit if your itinerary allows a little bit of freedom.
#2 – Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher rise above the Atlantic Ocean at a maximum height of seven hundred feet and about eight miles across the coast of Ireland with majestic views and landscape that will take your breath away. This destination is a regular site for filming, and has hosted big blockbusters such as “The Princess Bride,” “Leap Year,” and the well-known series “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.” Admission is completely free to this magnificent tourist attraction; however, parking can be an extra cost. Tourists can typically spend an average of fifteen minutes to one hour when visiting. In our experience, the day we went was extremely windy with rain clouds, but we still recommend trekking the distance past the far off wooden gates to the left in order to capture the best footage of these spectacular cliffs. Have fun and enjoy the scenery!
#1 – Giants Causeway
Saved the best for last is a phrase that has been used across the world, and a perfect description for our number one Ireland attraction. Located at the northern end of Ireland lies an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns from a volcanic eruption known as the Giants Causeway. This marvelous design of nature has been ranked as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. Legend says the causeway was built by an Irish Giant, and destroyed by a Scottish Giant when he realized he did not want to fight.
In our experience, we arrived extra early around 6:45 am. The Causeway opens to the public at 9 am. This is the absolute best time to snap a few picturesque photos before the anxious audience arrives. Breakfast awaited us at the Causeway hotel on the cliff above this amazing site directly afterward, and we recommend this to everyone visiting the awesome country of Ireland.