Ireland is a country rich with culture, history and natural beauty. It’s hard to believe that there are so many things to do in one small country.
In fact, there’s no shortage of things to do when you first arrive in Ireland—that’s why we’ve selected some epic experiences that will make your trip truly memorable!
1. Meet the Irish people
Since you’ll be surrounded by people from all over the world, it’s important to know what makes the Irish unique. The Irish are proud of their culture and they’re not afraid to let you know that. They love talking about their history and heritage, which is why we love them so much.
They’re also very proud of their language—they use Gaelic in everyday conversation, even though most people also speak English fluently (and some speak other languages as well). You may notice a few phrases here or there that don’t quite translate into English properly—don’t worry! The Irish will be more than happy to explain them.
2. Explore the island’s epic landscapes
Ireland’s landscape is varied, from the rugged coastline to the rolling hills. The country is also home to many picturesque and breathtaking landscapes that you should definitely explore when you’re new in town.
This vast, rugged landscape offers an array of options for exploring nature—and it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for something simple or more adventurous! You can take a scenic drive, hike along mountain trails and valleys, go on horseback riding tours or even kayak along lakes and rivers if that’s what inspires you most.
3. Take a hike
When you’re first traveling to Ireland, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of exploring new places and seeing all that you can. But as with any trip, it’s important to take time out and slow down.
Consider doing some hiking while you’re here. The Irish countryside has plenty of beautiful hikes that are perfect for beginners or those who want something more challenging—the choice is yours!
4. Venture off the beaten track
The landscape of Ireland is as stunning as it is varied. From the rugged coastlines and rolling hills of Connemara to the lakeside villages and rugged mountain ranges of Kerry, there’s no shortage of breathtaking views to enjoy around every corner.
However, if you really want to see Ireland at its best, head off the beaten track—literally! Head out on a hike or bike ride through an Irish national park; stop by a small village that has retained its old-world charm; or set up camp for the night in one of our many gorgeous wilderness areas. You never know what kind of adventure might be waiting for you just around the bend!
5. Search for Ireland’s best beaches and seaside towns
Search for Ireland’s best beaches and seaside towns.
Whether you’re looking for surfing, sunbathing or good old-fashioned Irish fun, the Emerald Isle has it all. From Dublin to Donegal and Galway to Kerry, Ireland has hundreds of miles of spectacular coastline that shine with sea life and beauty.
6. Take a trip across the sea to the Aran Islands
The Aran Islands are located off the west coast of Ireland, and they’re home to some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll find here. There are three islands: Inis Mor (the largest), Inis Beag (the smallest), and Inis Meáin (which is uninhabited).
The islands have a long history as a major center for Celtic culture and arts, but they’re also considered one of the best places in Europe to see prehistoric traces of human settlement.
You can take an organized tour or rent your own boat to visit these remote islands yourself if you have time—but either way, you’ll want at least two days so that you can spend enough time exploring them all!
7. Explore Dublin, Ireland’s vibrant capital city
Dublin is the capital city of Ireland and a vibrant hub of culture, history, music and theater. It’s also home to some of the best food and drink anywhere on Earth.
It’s easy to get around Dublin—the city is small enough that you can walk most places or hop on one of the many buses that run through it. If you’re looking for something specific, though, there are convenient hop-on/hop-off buses that will take you around all day so that you can see all that Dublin has to offer!
8. Follow your own path along Ireland’s Ancient East trail
The Ancient East trail is a great way to explore Ireland. As you travel from Dublin through the countryside, you’ll find yourself taking in the sights and sounds of this ancient land.
The Ancient East is not just about history — it’s also about experiencing what makes Ireland unique today. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn about how people lived before modern times and how they interact with one another today, but at its core this trail is all about getting outside and seeing more than just cities!
We hope that these ideas will help you get started on your journey to Ireland! We wish you a safe and adventurous time exploring this beautiful country.
Don’t forget your camera—there are some amazing sights that aren’t always obvious but can be captured with a keen eye, like the clouds in the sky or even just a patch of wildflowers!