Things to Do in Ireland

Get our recommendations for the best places to see when visiting the Emerald Isle, including lead Ghost Adventures investigator Zak Bagans' favorite haunts.

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Coppinger Row

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Design Pics/The Irish Image Collection/Getty Images

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Gerardo Borbolla/iStock/ Thinkstock

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Photo By: William Murphy

Photo By: Tourism Ireland

Powerscourt House and Gardens

Located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, Powerscourt Estate includes a house remodeled by German architect Richard Cassels, a 47-acre garden, 2 championship golf courses, a restaurant, shops and a 5-star hotel. Kids will enjoy Tara’s Palace, a 22-room dollhouse and a children's museum. Don’t miss a chance to see the 398-foot Powerscourt Waterfall, the tallest in Ireland.

Coppinger Row

Head to Coppinger Row for some of the best Mediterranean food in Dublin. Try the grilled octopus salad or go for an Irish meal such as crispy pork belly with mustard potato, black pudding and apple jus. Pair your entree with a signature cocktail such as a Rob Roy, Kates Ukulele or Frisky Tart.

Cahir Castle

The last Lord Cahir died in 1961, but visitors to the small island in the Suir River can take a guided tour of Cahir Castle. Built in 1142, this castle is one of the largest, best-preserved castles in Ireland.

Guinness Storehouse

Experience the ultimate tasting session at the Guinness Storehouse. Step into the storehouse’s private bar to sample the Draught, Original, Foreign Extra Stout and Black Lager. Experts are on hand to provide visitors with the history of the popular beer. In addition to the Guinness Connoisseur Experience, guests can see how the beer is brewed and how it’s used to prepare tasty dishes and treats such as mussels in Guinness cream sauce and Guinness chocolate truffles. We’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend a trip to the Gravity Bar for amazing views of Dublin.

Trinity College, Dublin

Don’t leave Dublin without a stop at the library of Trinity College, home to the largest research library in Ireland. This library receives a copy of every book published in Britain and Ireland. Five million books, collections of manuscripts, maps and more are stored here.

Kinnitty Castle Hotel

While filming the Ghost Adventures investigation in Ireland, lead investigator Zak Bagans stayed at the Kinnitty Castle Hotel (pictured) and the Dunbrody Country House Hotel, where he recommends chef Kevin Dundon’s fish and chips. Go hunting for Celtic spirits!  

St. Michan's Church

Do spirits still lurk around the famous crypts at St. Michan’s Church in Dublin? We don’t know, but Zak Bagans visited the holy site where mummified remains date back centuries. Add this tourist attraction to your list if you’re searching for supernatural sightings.

Giant's Causeway

Head to Northern Ireland along the Atlantic Ocean to hike the 40,000 interlocking basalt columns known as Giant’s Causeway. Take an audio tour and learn about the legend of Finn McCool and the giant Benandonner. Myths surround this popular tourist destination, and movies including the vampire flick Dracula Untold were filmed at this World Heritage Site.

The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 111-mile route in southwestern Ireland that is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy fishing, golfing and water sports. Killarney National Park, Rossbeigh Beach, Torc Waterfall, Ross Castle, Staigue Fort and Ladies View are places to see along this circular route. Visitors can bike, walk or ride in a horse-drawn buggy. Bus tours are also offered to tourists.

The Cliffs of Moher

You won’t believe the amazing, awe-inspiring views visitors witness from the Cliffs of Moher, located in County Clare, Ireland. O’Brien’s Tower -- on the cliffs’ highest point -- allows visitors to gaze far into the distance to see more of the Emerald Isle, including the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the Dingle Peninsula. It’s no wonder why the cliffs receive almost 1 million visitors each year.

Hore Abbey

Originally built by the Benedictine Order in 1266, Hore Abbey was given to the Cistercian monks just six years later by the archbishop in nearby Cashel, home of the famous Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. The chapel's simple, functional design reflects the Cistercian ethic of eschewing modernity for a life focused on agriculture and manual labor. It's the only Cistercian monastery with the cloister positioned north, likely because the Rock of Cashel lies just north of the site. 

Aran Islands

Located near the mouth of the Galway Bay are the 3 Aran Islands: Inis Mór Island (Big Island), Inis Meáin Island (Middle Island) and Inis Oírr Island (East Island). This area is rich in Irish folklore and traditions, and yes, the residents still speak Gaelic here. Tourists will have to catch a ferry to see these hidden gems, but it’s well worth the trip.

Connemara National Park

Connemara National Parkspreads over more than 7,300 acres, which include mountains, grasslands and forests. Hit one of the 4 hiking trails located on Diamond Hill, or go biking on the 10-mile-long Derroura Trail. What else is popular at this park? Check out the herd of purebred Connemara ponies or go bird watching to see an array of feathered friends, including skylarks, sparrow hawks, peregrine falcons, woodcocks and redwings.

Cooley Peninsula

The Cooley Peninsula includes the Irish towns of Omeath, Carlingford and Greenore. Taaffe’s Castle, King John’s Castle, Carlingford Adventure Centre, Holy Trinity Church and the Cooley Bird-Watching Trail are just a couple attractions to see when you’re visiting this popular tourist destination. Mingle with the locals at the Carlingford Oyster Festival, which includes an oyster treasure hunt, fishing competition, music and food.

Blarney Stone

Kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork, Ireland, and acquire the gift of flattery and clever wit. Well, we’re not sure if that’s really true. Hundreds of visitors who tour the castle and its gardens pucker up to test out the myth, but this is no easy feat. Eager myth busters must climb the castle’s peak and lean over backward on the edge to touch the stone with their lips.

The Burren

Looking for adventure? Head to the Burren for fun outdoor activities. Rock climbers will enjoy scaling the limestone Ailladie sea cliffs, whereas cavers can go spelunking in a number of different caves in Pollnagollum. Doolin is usually base camp for cavers. A few local companies offer guided walking tours, hikes and even surfing lessons at nearby beaches. The smallest of Ireland’s 6 national parks, Burren National Park is located on the southeastern corner of the Burren. After a long day of adventure, you can relax by taking a dip in 2 spa wells -- one high in sulfur and the other high in iron.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint. The cathedral is located near the area where St. Patrick baptized converts when he visited the city. Today, visitors can explore the historical site by paying an entrance fee of about $7 for adults or $19 for a family (2 adults and 2 children).

Croke Park

Score big and catch a rugby game at Croke Park, named in honor of Archbishop Thomas Croke. This stadium usually hosts the Gaelic Athletic Association, which includes traditional Irish sports such as soccer, hurling and handball. In addition to sports events, the stadium has concerts and cultural events. Croke Park is the third-largest stadium in Europe.

Glendalough

Step back in time and visit the early medieval settlement of Glendalough, located in County Wicklow, Ireland. Explore town landmarks such as the Gateway, the Round Tower, St. Kieran’s Church and St. Kevin’s Cell. Glendalough is a rock climber’s delight, offering the adventurous more than 100 different routes to climb on granite cliffs in the northwestern end of the valley.

Newgrange

This man-made structure is older than England’s Stonehenge and Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza. Constructed more than 5,000 years ago, Newgrange stands on a bend of Ireland’s Boyne River. The ancient burial place was strategically built to capture the sunlight during the winter solstice, so historians believe it might have also functioned as a place for rituals and community gatherings to honor the dead.

Wild Atlantic Way

Take a road trip on the 1553-mile Wild Atlantic Way to see Ireland’s beautiful Atlantic coastline and visit several attractions along the way. Although this touristy route stretches from Donegal to Cork, it can be separated into 5 manageable trips: County Donegal, Donegal to Mayo, Mayo to Clare, Clare to Kerry, and Kerry to Cork.

Royal Portrush Golf Club

It’s no surprise that the Emerald Isle’s lush green landscape makes it a great destination for golf. Why not go to one of its best courses when you’re visiting? Head to Royal Portrush Golf Club, the only club to host the Open Championship outside of the main island of Great Britain. The 36-hole club in Northern Ireland has 2 links courses: the Dunluce Links and the Valley Links. Alternate options for golfers in Ireland include Ballybunion Golf Club, Waterville Golf Links and County Louth Golf Club.

English Market

Go shopping for food at Cork’s historic English Market. This covered food market has been open since 1788, making it one of the world’s oldest city markets. Sundays and bank holidays are the only days it closes. Stroll through dozens of vendors to taste food and shop for almost anything, including spices, sauces, vegetables, meats, chocolates, cheeses and much more.

Dublin Literary Pub Crawl

Grab a pint or 2 on the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, starting at the Duke Pub. Actors dressed as famous Irish writers, such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, guide tourists to some of the best watering holes in the city.

The National Gallery of Ireland

Don’t miss visiting the National Gallery of Ireland, located on Merrion Square West in Dublin. The gallery is home to 15,000 works of art that date from the 13th century to the 20th century, including a comprehensive collection of Irish art. And don’t forget to stop by the National Museum of Ireland to see the world’s largest collection of Irish artifacts, culture and natural history.