Glendalough Monastic Site

Travel Guide: Why Ireland is a Remarkable Place to Visit

When the pandemic ends and you are just bursting to go on an adventurous holiday that can take your breath away, but not sure where to go. Why not visit The Emerald Isle? Why not visit Ireland? A small island with amazing sceneries. A nation with a huge and fascinating history. A land where the culture is astonishing and the people are friendly. A place that has it all. Thrilling activities for the adventure lovers. Beautiful seaside for the beach lovers. Staggering historical sites for lovers of history and culture. And delicious food for the foodies. Ireland is a remarkable place that has something for everybody.

Visit Ireland’s the natural wonders 

Ireland has a lot of natural wonders. For those who love nature Ireland can be a paradise. One of my favorite spots in Ireland is Glendalough, “ The Valley of the Two Lakes”, in Wicklow. A place filled with  lakes, mountains, trees, waterfalls and a monastic site. Glendalough is perfect for hiking and adventuring through the nature.

The Ring of Kerry, home of the Torc Waterfalls, is another attractive spot in Ireland. This is a circular scenic drive around the Iveragh peninsula in County Kerry. The route is 179 kilometers long, and you will find several magnificent sights like waterfalls, monastic ruins, mountains and rivers. You will truly feel one with nature on this trip.

Clew Bay in Co. Mayo is another natural wonder of Ireland that must be visited.  There is a famous saying about the place which says that there are 365 islands in Clew Bay – one island for each day of the year. Near Clew Bay, you will find There are many more attractions for nature lovers in Ireland including the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.

Irish Myths and Legends

The Irish culture is filled with many folklore tales and myths from all the way back to the Celts. Some stories are associated with the landscape and wilderness of the country. Some are about brave warriors who accomplish extraordinary feats. Other stories from Christianity. I think one of the most famous and well known myths from Ireland is about leprechauns. The name leprechauns comes from the Irish word “Leath Bhrógan” meaning shoemakers. They were fairies who have been in Ireland before humans and hid their pot of gold under a rainbow. Other celtic folklore characters include Fionn Mac Cumhaill or Cu Chulainn. Fionn Mac Cumhaill was a giant who lived in the North of  Ireland  and Cu Chulainn was a warrior with superhuman strengths. There are several stories about these characters. 

There are also stories from Christian Ireland about saints such as St.Patrick and St. Brigid. St.Patrick is a famous saint from Ireland. According to the legends, St. Patrick stood on top of a hill and drove out all the snakes from Ireland. St.Patrick’s day is celebrated on March 17 and huge parades and festivals are held in Irish cities. St.Brigid is another popular saint in Ireland. 


Painting of Daghda playing the harp

See the Prehistoric ruins from Ireland

There are many important historical sites in Ireland which dates back 7000 years ago, when the first human settlers came to Ireland. Although very little is known about the first early settlers, they have left behind few traces of their existence allowing historians and archaeologists to have a slight view on how they lived. One of these Mesolithic settlements can be found at Mount Sandel in County Derry. There are also several megalithic tombs and other architectures dating from the Neolithic ages. Newgrange is a famous site in County Meath that is older than the Pyramids in Egypt and the Stonehenge in England. Newgrange is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Ireland. Other prehistoric sites include the Dowth passage tomb in a County Meath.

There many Celtic ruins in Ireland. The Celts were considered to be one of the most powerful groups of people to exist in the ancient world. Many features of Ireland reflects the Celtic tribes. When the Celts first came to Ireland, they brought a whole new set of culture, art and beliefs with them. Many of the art and decorations from the Celtic era can be found in several places in Ireland. In Dingle, you can visit the Celtic Prehistoric museum where you can find many discovered  artefacts from the Celtic age of Ireland. Through these remains, you can discover how people from prehistoric times lived.

A drone photo of Newgrange, a prehistoric structure.

Viking Ireland

In Ireland, there are lots of Viking towns like Dublin or Waterford. One of the first Viking raids on the British Isles was around 700 AD.  Vikings who attacked Ireland were mainly from Norway. They raided several villages. But soon, the Vikings changed their methods from just raiding to conquering and settling in Ireland. The vikings settled in Dublin during 841 AD and made Dublin one of the most important towns in Ireland. Soon after 941 AD, Vikings expanded their area of settlements in Ireland. Dublinia, a historical museum in Dublin, provides one of the best Viking Dublin experience. 

A picture taken from Dublinia, a historical museum focusing on Viking and medieval Dublin


The castles and forts

There are more than 30000 castles in Ireland. There were castles before the Normans came to Ireland, however, nobody knows what  they looked like. One of the first forts built by the Normans was built around 1169.  They were wooden towers surrounded by earthen mottes. Later, as settlements became more permanent, the Normans built stone castles. In Dublin there are so many castles, which you can visit.  At the heart of Dublin City, you will find Dublin Castle, which was built in the late 17th century and used as the seat of British government until 1922. Other castles near the city also include Drimnagh Castle, Howth Castle and Castle Anne.  In the north of Dublin,  you will find Ardgillan Castle, which is actually an 18th century Country House with beautiful gardens located on the eastern coast of Ireland. Castles in Ireland are definitely a sight to see.

In Antrim, you will find Dunluce Castle which is considered to be C.S. Lewis’s inspiration for his fantasy novel series, The Chronicles of Narnia. There is also the Blarney Castle in County Cork, home of the Blarney Stone. Queen Elizabeth 1, after hearing Lord Blarney talk endlessly to avoid her demands, remarked that anyone who kisses the stone will earn the “Gift of Gab”. There are many more famous castles in Ireland with interesting backgrounds and stories, which tourists will find when they visit.

Photo of Blarney Castle

Visit Ireland’s Pubs and Céilí

Ireland is well known for their pubs. The pubs are a basic way of socializing in Ireland and an important part of Irish Culture, especially in rural Ireland. They are lively, friendly and worth visiting. Some very popular pubs in Ireland includes, Tigh  Neachtain’s in Galway or the Stag’s Head in Dublin. The Irish pub culture has a very long history. Alcohol drinks produced in Ireland are one of the best in the world. Some famous Irish alcohol producers includes Jameson or Blackbush. Many considered that Irish pubs  inspires famous writers like Oscar Wilde. Irish pubs are a great place to visit when going on a vacation in Ireland and looking for a lively and entertaining environment.

The céilí is a traditional Irish dancing that traces back to the 16th century. The ceili is a form of set dancing and the people who attend the céilí dance in pairs to traditional Irish music. During the early 20th Century the Catholic Church opposed the Céilí. However now there are 30 céilí dances in the official handbook from the Irish Dancing commission, which established in 1929. The Céilí teachers have to memorise all of these dances and teach them in order to pass their exams. However you can go beyond what is in the book. Some of the best céilí dances come from your own way of interpreting the choreography from the handbook and those who loves experiencing traditional Irish music and dancing can attend the céilí in the Celt, an traditional Irish pub located in North City, Dublin. 

Image of some popular Irish drinks

The Vibrant Irish Cities and The Lovely People

One of the best parts about Ireland is the energetic vibe you feel when you walk through the cities of Ireland. The cities in Ireland are very beautiful and interesting to visit. The environment is always energetic, filled with music from street performers that blends in with the voice of crowds and traffic. You can visit the public parks like St. Stephen’s Green or sit near the River Liffey in Dublin. In the west of Ireland, you can visit Galway city, the festival capital of Ireland. Galway is famous for its festivals and events. One well known festival is the Galway International Art Festival which takes place every year. Waterford City is famous for its exceptional crystals. The Waterford Crystal’s factory allows tourists to see how they create their products. It is definitely worth visiting. 

An image that gives a glimpse into the Dublin’s night life


I am not sure whether it is part of their culture or that they are just generally like that, but Irish people have a reputation for being friendly and generous. Nearly every tourist who visited Ireland said that Irish people are one of the friendliest people in the world. Most Irish people have an easy going and friendly attitude. If you ever feel lost or need directions, don’t be shy to ask the locals for help. Even the airport security guards are polite most of the time. Most Irish people really enjoy having a good conversation and don’t mind taking the time to enjoy it. If you make a visit to Ireland, you would definitely feel welcome.  

Ireland’s Delicious Food

Most people around the world knows very little about Irish food. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. Irish food has a rich diet with seafood, vegetables, roasted meat and bread. Cork city, known as the culinary capital of Ireland, is famous for inspiring its visitors to eat all they can. In Cork you can taste the Toonsbridge Mozzarella or the Irish made Franciscan Well Ale. Ireland also has a reputation for its salmon and the large number of fishing spots. Along with the great seafood, Irish stew is really worth trying. You must taste the mix of vegetables and the flavourful lamb covered in the delicious stock. The Wicklow Heather Bar, a traditional restaurant in Glendalough, serves one of the best Irish stews and other mouth-watering dishes.Irish food is totally worth tasting.

Popular Irish food include the full Irish breakfast, boxty and coddle. Full Irish breakfast include eggs, bacon, fried vegetable, black pudding, fried vegetables and hashed potatoes. This is definitely dish worth trying in the morning. A boxty is basically potato pancakes  made from mashed potatoes and grated raw potatoes. Coddle is a dish that dates back to the first Irish famine. It was a dish usually made using leftovers on the weekend which was cooked gently and slowly in liquid below the boiling point.

A photo showing the delicious and popular Irish stew

The Writers From Ireland

Ireland is a land that produces many amazing writers who create fascinating literature work. There already have been four Nobel prize winning Irish writers. The Dublin Writers Museum lies on Parnell Square in Dublin, which opened in 1991. The Museum exhibits literature works and as well as artefacts that give us a glimpse of how certain writers lived. One of the writers presented in the museum is William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), a famous poet and a prose writer, who won the 1923 Nobel prize for literature. W.B. Yeats comes from a reputational family of famous artists. His brother J.B. Yeats was a famous painter and an Olympic medalist.

Other famous writers from Ireland include Oscar Wilde(1854-1900) and Seamus Heaney (1939-2013). Oscar Wilde has a reputation for his famous novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Oscar Wilde House, which was the writer’s childhood home, now serves as a university for creative writing and arts. Seamus Heaney is famous for his poetry works. Many of Seamus Heaney’s works reflect the Irish Culture, History and landscape. You can visit his home place in Bellaghy, Northern Ireland, where some of his works are exhibited and where you can experience how Seamus Heaney lived his early life. Ireland has many well renowned writers. Irish literature is a significant part of Irish culture and history, and there are several places in Ireland that proudly exhibit their literature works.


A picture of W.B. Yeats, one of Ireland’s most significant writers.


Irish landscape and culture is definitely something to experience. The nation has several beautiful natural wonders, historical sites and fascinating cities. The country has so much for a small nation. Ireland will take you away with its wonderful sceneries, simple but creative and delicious food, and the literature works by the nation’s most well known writers. If you will like to read more about Ireland, you can read Lauren Murphy’s Blog on about Irish History and Culture. If you are planning on a long holiday after the pandemic, Ireland is definitely a place to visit.



Leave a Reply