Why Visit Ireland? 10 Essential Experiences on the Emerald Isle

Ireland is beloved worldwide as an enchanting land where legend and reality mingle. At one point voted by Frommers Guide readers as their favourite holiday destination in the world, it’s now your turn to discover the mystique and charm of the Emerald Isle.

1. Tour the Castles of Ireland

1. Visit Ireland for its Castles

Haunted, gothic, stately, or imposing, Irish castles radiate the romantic feel of this beautiful country. Cahir, Kilkenny and Dunguaire Castles all evoke magical visions of fair maidens, brave kings and frightful dungeons. Blarney Castle in County Cork (shown here) is one of the most visited castles in Ireland. Famous for the Blarney Stone—legend states that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you’ll receive the gift of eternal eloquence—visitors literally bend over backwards to plant a smooch on this fabled rock set into the castle’s wall. Amorous acrobatics aside, this 15th century castle offers battlement views, vibrant gardens and mysterious underground caves.

Venturing beyond the Emerald Isle? Don’t miss these beautiful—and wildly underrated—cities in Europe.

2. Tour the Guinness Storehouse

2. Tour the Guinness Storehouse

You can’t visit Ireland without raising a pint (or two) to its people’s favourite tipple. The Guinness Storehouse and its St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin welcomes over 1-million visitors each year to their on-site stout producing plant. Brewing more than 3-million pints daily, the Guinness Storehouse gives a behind-the-scenes look into their thirst-quenching enterprise. Witness the brewing process, get hands-on experience pulling pints, and sample the final product. The hospitality extends to light refreshments and traditional Irish meals in four eating establishments. Or satisfy your cravings with a well-earned pint while taking in the stunning 360-degree views of Dublin from the relaxing environs of their Gravity bar.

Pairing your trip to Ireland with a visit to the UK? Here are 50 London attractions you can’t miss!

3. Have an Irish Adventure

3. Have an Irish Adventure

Visit Ireland and exercise your inner thrill-seeker! Experience the rugged countryside and gorgeous vistas through adventurous, heart-pounding pursuits. Get up close and personal with nature through surfing, sea kayaking, paragliding, rock climbing, caving, mountain biking and walking. Hiking along Ireland’s evergreen hills and atop its windswept cliffs comes very highly recommended—National Geographic voted Ireland’s walks as the best in the world.

Check out the world’s best hiking destinations.

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