Ireland is a totally beautiful country to explore! It’s got a heap of the best places and stunning little villages that are honestly too good to miss. That being said, there’s a load of the best things to do in Ireland that are totally essential.
This is exactly why I wanted to share some of the best things to do in Ireland. After all, it’s a relatively large country to explore; especially if you’re driving around.
Honestly, it’s an absolutely beautiful part of the world and some of the sights here are nothing short of magical! Yeah, sounds cheesy in saying but it’s the truth.
Now, you might not be able to (always) count on sunny days, but those rolling hills aren’t green for nothing! I say, embrace that unpredictable weather in Ireland and totally lean into it.
Oh, obviously, don’t forget all the iconic castles in Ireland, too. There are some total gems that are really easy to explore; especially on a road trip around the island itself.
Anyway, I’m totally rambling now! Take a look at some of the best things to do in Ireland on your next trip. Have the best time!
If you start your trip to Ireland around the Antrim Coast Road then one of the first sights you will come to is the glorious Ballycastle. Visiting here is easily one of the best things to do in Ireland if you love a good Irish castle.
This small town has a charming beach as well as views that stretch to neighbouring Rathlin Island and also sit at the limit of the Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Afterwards, take a drive a little further down the coast to spots like; Carrick-a-Rede with its massive road bridge and follow the Causeway Coastal Route, too. This will lead you to places like the Giant’s Causeway which is totally iconic. Oh, and if you’re heading further west (along the coast), check out Dunseverick Castle, too.
It’s a total gem.
2.) Giant’s Causeway
Causeway Coast is now famous as the setting of Game of Thrones and is also home to the Giant’s Causeway. Here you will find over 40,000 basalt columns that were formed after a volcanic eruption in the area.
Now, it can be relatively busy in Giant’s Causeway, especially in peak times. So, if you want to avoid the crowds, head across earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon.
It’s totally stunning and one of the best things to do in Ireland.
Once a popular destination in the Victorian era, this town is known for its sandy beach and some totally epic surf, too. It’s one of those places that’s great to catch a few waves, though, as with all surfing, follow local safety advice and precautions.
Now, if the swells seem too much to handle, pop over to the promenade named Portstewart Strand that’s totally lovely.
Oh, and for a tasty lunch, pop into Harry’s Shack that serves up fresh seafood and the most amazing artichoke risotto.
4.) Derry or Londonderry
The second-largest city in Ireland, the city of Derry or Londonderry (there’s still a dispute as to which name to use) is encircled with some totally historic city walls that date way back from 17th century.
If you have time, head for a stroll on then Peace Bridge or take a stroll through some of the little streets.
Oh, also, if you find yourself in Derry or Londonderry, you should definitely explore the wider areas as County Derry or County Londonderry (same name dispute) is pretty well-known for its dramatic cliffs, atop of which sits Mussenden Temple.
Finally, make sure to explore the haunting ruins of Downhill Palace and Benone Strand, a seven-mile strip of coastal promenade. For a tasty bite, head over to Browns Bonds Hill; their venison is delicious. This alone makes exploring Derry one of the best things to do in Ireland for sure!
Nestled on the western fringes, exploring Galway is one of the best things to do in Ireland when in the region. Now, the city is lovely and totally charming but it’s also a great stepping stone for all the incredible places that are just a stone’s throw from the city itself.
After arriving, take a wander over to the Spanish Arch and see the stunning Galway Cathedral, too. Oh, and for some tasty food, check out Le Petit Pois. Their salmon and hake are so fresh and tasty.
Afterwards, if you’re continuing your road trip from here, make sure to explore towards the Cliffs Of Moher or a visit to the Aran Islands (from the docks about 30-minutes away).
6.) Inishowen Peninsula
Inishowen in Donegal is the largest peninsula in Ireland and people flock here for the Lagg sand dunes, some of the tallest dunes in the whole of Europe.
It is also home to Malin Head, the northernmost point and one of the best things to do Ireland if you want to head on some trails.
7.) Glenveagh National Park
Ireland is known for its gorgeous heathlands and no more so than in Glenveagh National Park.
The area spans thousands of acres and also has picturesque formal gardens amidst the wilder terrain. Just make sure to take some waterproof boots, this area gets pretty boggy in areas and no one likes hiking with wet feet!
8.) Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark
Make sure not to miss the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark which sits between the borders of Ireland and Northern Ireland and is a world-class site for nature lovers.
There is said to be evidence of human activity in the area from as far back as 7,000 years and easily one of the best things to do in Ireland if you want to explore the history of the island itself.
Sitting between Upper and Lower Lough Erne, the vibrant town of Enniskillen is well worth a stop and is filled with some rather fascinating historical gems.
When you’re here, take some time to pop into ‘The Diamond’ (which is the nickname of the bustling town square). Oh, and make sure to check out Franco’s Restaurant which has some of the tastiest roasted lamb.
Of course, you kinda can’t go to Ireland and not visit Dublin.
Well, you can, but it’s certainly one of the best things to do in Ireland if you want a little city break. Once here, make sure to explore Trinity College Library, it’s totally stunning and so iconic.
Afterwards, take a wander around Temple Bar (and see some live traditional music). Finally, pop over to the Guinness Storehouse if ya fancying one of Ireland’s most famous tipples. Oh, and make sure to grab some fresh seafood at Klaw. It’s a totally informal little place that have some of the tastiest oysters.
Perched just shy of the city centre of Cork, Cobh is a totally stunning place that’s so colourful.
Once here, make sure to explore Cobh Cathederal and pop in for a pint or two in one of the local Irish pubs. Afterwards, make sure to spot the Annie Moore Statue and the Cobh Heritage Centre, too.
It’s one of the best things to do in Ireland, especially if you’ve arrived in Cork by ship.