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Top Tourism Hotspots to Visit in Ireland

Top Tourism Hotspots to Visit in Ireland

Visiting Ireland this summer and wanting to discover the top tourist hotspots? Ireland’s tourism industry has boomed over the last decade, and with COVID restrictions ending, visitors to the country have almost tripled. Ireland is famous for its wide range of landmarks, beaches, scenery and historical buildings, and figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. Here are our 5 favourite tourism hotspots in Ireland for this summer.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland.
The Cliffs are located at the south-western edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. They rise to 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head and reach their maximum height of 702 feet just north of O’Brien’s Tower.
It is believed that the Cliffs of Moher formed 320 million years ago.

The cliffs of Moher were originally used as a lookout post, a place for quarrying, fishing, and collecting birds’ eggs and feathers, with evidence dating back to the 1st century BC.
It was during the 16th century that the cliffs started to gage an attraction in tourism. Ireland wasn’t seen as a must-visit travel spot within Europe at the time, so the attraction to the cliffs was massive for the country.

O’Brien’s Tower was built in 1835 by the local landowner, Cornelius O’Brien. His entrepreneurial mind built the tower in response to a visibly growing tourism market. He thought it might benefit the local economy and help to release people from poverty.

Today, the cliffs are visited by thousands of tourists and admired for their beautiful scenery worldwide. To find out more about visiting the Cliffs of Moher, click here.

Dun Aengus

If you’re looking for scenic views, a walk up to Dun Aengus is the perfect day out. An old stone fort built on the edge of a breathtaking cliff in Inis Mór, this ancient landmark dates back to 1100 BC.

Dun Aengus has a fascinating history, as it was built to keep invaders out of the island. Due to its location, people would be able to use the fort to peer out onto the coast and keep the lookout for advancing enemies. Built on religious grounds, locals see Dun Aengus as a landmark representative of protection and stability.

A trip to Dun Aengus provides exceptional scenery, opportunities for wildlife spotting and historical education, and it is definitely worth the visit if you find yourself near Inis Mór. Because of its location, crowds tend to be kept relatively small, so if you’re looking for a quieter day out it’s ideal.

The Guinness Storehouse

Perhaps not as scenic or historic, but famously one of Ireland's most visited sites, the Guinness Storehouse is a tourist attraction at St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.

Since opening in 2000, the Guinness Storehouse has received over twenty million visitors. The Storehouse covers seven floors surrounding a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness, making it a popular tourist destination for photos and an immersive experience.

The ground floor introduces the beer's four ingredients, and the brewery's founder, Arthur Guinness. Other floors feature the history of Guinness advertising and include an interactive exhibit on responsible drinking. The seventh floor houses the Gravity Bar with views of Dublin and where visitors may drink a pint of Guinness within the famous brewery itself.
To learn more about visiting the Guinness storehouse, click here.

The Ring of Kerry

Named “one of Ireland’s most scenic drives” the Ring of Kerry is a bucket list activity for many visiting the country. Similar to Scotland’s North Coast 500 or America’s route 66, this drive will take you along some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery, with ancient landmarks along the way. The 179km-long drive brings you along famous rural villages and seaside towns along the Iveragh Peninsula in southwest Ireland.

You can do the whole drive in around 4 hours if you fancy making it a day trip, but many recommend stopping off and staying in various villages so you have time to get the whole experience. There are several different ways of doing the Ring of Kerry, some choose to cycle it, others do it as part of a coach tour and others prefer just to drive and visit landmarks in their order. Whichever way is best for you, the Ring of Kerry is an absolute must-visit essential.

Croagh Patrick

 Known as one arguably the most famous mountain in Ireland, Croagh Patrick has located a short drive from Westport in County Mayo.

This mountain has huge religious significance in Ireland, and on the last Sunday of July, thousands of Catholic pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick in honour of Ireland's patron saint, Saint Patrick.

It takes roughly 4 hours to climb the mountain and the walk can be quite severe, so we would only recommend this if you are a confident climber who’s well prepared with walking boots and waterproof clothes. Once at the top, the views are incredible and many report the walk to be well worth it.