Ireland is known for its lush landscapes, historic ruins, traditional foods, and unique culture. Cobh, a little town in Cork County, is one of the most beautiful cities in Ireland.
For those looking for an unforgettable adventure, there are many cities to explore in Ireland that will provide endless entertainment and sightseeing opportunities.
From Dublin to Kilkenny, every city has a history that will surely make your trip worthwhile. Let's dig in!
Origin of Ireland
Ireland has a vibrant history. The origin of Ireland dates back to prehistoric times and has been shaped by various cultural influences. It is considered that the Celts were the first who came here around 500 B.C.
The Celtic culture heavily influenced the language and customs of the Irish, with many ancient references to their gods, rituals, and mythology still evident today.
From 700 AD onwards, Viking raids began to occur on the island, establishing settlements in various parts of Ireland.
A Journey Through the Best Cities To Visit in Ireland
1. Dublin – Points of Interest & Popular Activities
Dublin, located in Northern Ireland, is often considered the epicentre of Irish culture, and it's no wonder why. This vibrant city is full of points of interest and popular activities to explore.
From iconic landmarks such as the Guinness Storehouse and St. Patrick's Cathedral to Dublin Castle and Trinity College, there is something for everyone in the Irish capital.
If you're looking for a bit of entertainment, Dublin is full of spaces that offer a lively atmosphere, as well as incredible life.
2. Galway – Architecture & Entertainment
Galway is a city located on the west coast of Ireland, and it's considered to be one of the most cultural hotspots in the country.
In addition to its historical significance, Galway Bay is home to several popular shopping spots, including Eyre Square Shopping Centre and Shop Street. Here, you can explore popular attractions such as:
- Galway City Museum
- St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church
- Banks of the River Corrib.
3. Cork – Natural Beauty & Art Scene
Cork is an Irish city that boasts natural beauty and an ever-evolving art scene. Home to the University of Cork, the city is a hive of creativity, with many galleries and studios exhibiting works by local and international artists alike.
A visit to Cork’s iconic Cobh Cathedral is sure to leave visitors in awe at its intricate architecture, while nearby Lough Hyne boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
4. Kilkenny: Medieval Castles and Cathedrals
Kilkenny is a city in southeast Ireland, home to some incredible medieval castles and cathedrals. The Kilkenny Castle is particularly impressive, with its sprawling grounds, sweeping staircases, and grandeur architecture.
Additionally, visitors can explore the 13th-century St. Canice’s Cathedral, which boasts an impressive Gothic-style facade.
5. Killarney – Forests and Killarney National Park
Killarney is a town in County Kerry, Ireland, known for its beautiful landscapes and the outdoor activities it offers.
Killarney National Park is an absolute must-visit place while in Ireland. The park is home to over 26,000 hectares of lush forests, crystal clear lakes, and impressive mountain ranges.
Popular activities here include fishing, boating, and hiking the trails that lead to some of Ireland's most spectacular views. After exploring the park, you can relax in one of Killarney's cosy cafes.
6. Limerick – The Temple Quarter
Limerick is a city situated on the banks of the River Shannon in Ireland's mid-west. It is known for its vibrant culture and welcoming people, making it an ideal destination for travellers exploring the best Irish culture.
This pedestrian area is home to many cafes and shops, as well as the impressive King John’s Castle.
7. Sligo – Poetic Landscapes and Seascapes
Sligo is an Irish city on the west coast of Ireland, known for its poetic landscapes and seascapes. Here, visitors can explore some of Ireland's most stunning coastal views and the beautiful Benbulbin mountain range.
The city also hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including the Sligo International Jazz Festival and the Sligo International Choral Festival.
8. Donegal – Heavenly Haven of Natural Wonders
Donegal is a county located in the northwest corner of Ireland, and it is known for its stunning scenery and natural wonders.
Its coastline stretches from the Mountains of Donegal to the wild Atlantic Ocean, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The area also boasts numerous beaches, such as Rossnowlagh Beach, near the charming village of Ballyshannon.
9. Belfast – Famous Famed Giants Causeway
Belfast, situated on the east coast of Ireland, is renowned for its iconic Giant's Causeway. This National Trust-protected site features an interlocking pattern of basalt columns that have been created over thousands of years by volcanic eruptions.
You can explore the area, learn about its formation, and admire the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
10. Dingle – Breathtaking Beaches
Dingle is a small town on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. It is famous for its stunning beaches and unspoiled natural beauty.
Tourists can explore a variety of attractions, such as the Blasket Islands and Slea Head Drive, which offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast.
11. Waterford – Historic Gem
Situated on the banks of the River Suir, Waterford is a city steeped in history. It is home to one of Ireland's oldest settlements, as well as a variety of historical sites such as Reginald's Tower and the Waterford Treasures Museum.
Additionally, visitors can explore the stunning grounds of Mount Congreve Estate and Gardens, which feature a variety of exotic plants and flowers.
12. Derry – Historic Walls and Enchanting Beauty
Derry is a city in Northern Ireland, situated on the banks of the River Foyle. It is known for its historical walls (which date back to the 17th century) and enchanting beauty.
Visitors can explore some of the most famous sites, such as The Guildhall and St. Columb’s Cathedral, or participate in the annual Derry – Londonderry International Music Festival.
In conclusion, Ireland's stunning beauty is not limited to the Emerald Isle's natural landscapes. Cities like Dublin and Belfast, especially in Northern Ireland, offer a glimpse of Ireland's rich history, culture, and architecture.
Trinity College is a must-visit for anyone interested in Ireland's literary heritage, while County Kerry in Ireland's Ancient East is a destination for those seeking a quieter, more peaceful getaway.
Ireland is a country of contrasts, and its cities showcase this contrast in every way possible. Whether you're a nature lover or a culture enthusiast, there's always something to see, do, and visit in Ireland.
What Is The Best Season To Go To Belfast?
Visiting Belfast during the summer months of June through August is highly recommended. It's the perfect time for visitors to indulge in numerous outdoor activities, including strolling along the iconic Giant's Causeway and discovering the city's various parks and gardens.
How Easy Is It To Travel Between Cities In Ireland?
Travelling between cities in Ireland is relatively easy, thanks to the country's efficient transportation system. Visitors can take advantage of a range of options, including buses, trains, and even ferries.
The InterCity train service connects the major cities across the island, while bus companies offer convenient services that cover both rural and urban areas.
Is Ireland safe to visit?
Ireland is generally considered a safe country for visitors to explore. Tourists are welcome in most areas and can enjoy a variety of attractions without worry. However, it is always wise to take the same precautions as you would in other parts of the world.
And in order to make the most of your visit, we highly recommend reading our articles on the top attractions throughout the country here:
- What Is Ireland Famous For | Discover Iconic Attractions - April 13, 2023
- 11 Best Beaches in Ireland You’ll Love - April 13, 2023
- Exploring the Best Places to Stay in Ireland! (A Complete Guide) - April 13, 2023