Ireland - The Emerald IsleThe world is ready for you to explore and Ireland is waiting for you!  

Ireland is a top destination for European travel. Our recent travels took us over a good portion of Ireland including Northern Ireland. It is highly recommended to use a tour guide to maximize your time, especially if you are wanting to visit multiple areas. For this trip we used Celtic Tours which is a trusted Ireland tour specialist. By using one of these guided tours you will hit highlights of many areas around the country and learn about history and local culture with an amazing guide. Your local tour guide is full of knowledge about the area and will gladly share tidbits to entertain you during the drive. 

There is something for everyone!   

Museums and History

EPIC Irish Emigration Museum (Dublin): For those interested in knowing their Irish heritage. An immersive and interactive experience takes you through the how and why Irish left and the backstory of many Irish historical figures. You are also able to schedule a time to meet with a researcher to delve deeper into your personal history.

Titanic Museum (Belfast): Great for history buffs or anyone who loves learning. You walk through the museum on the journey of the Titanic from construction to dive exhibition to discover more about where she sits presently. It takes you through the entire history of the Titanic from idea to recovery.  

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

The City of Derry: The only city with still intact city walls dividing the two parts, Londonderry and “Free” Derry. Our amazing city guide Ronan recounted the troubled religious history of the city. Colorful murals decorate Free Derry in remembrance of Bloody Sunday (January 1972). We had the opportunity to meet with the Mayor and he put the photo on his Twitter! 

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin): Mass and services are still performed here. Jonathan Swift author is buried here. No reservation needed, and the cost is 8 euros for a self guided tour. 

Castles: Ireland has a lot of castles that you can visit, see while passing through and some you can even stay in! On our trip we got to stay in two different castles! Stay tuned for a blog on castles. 

Natural Beauty

Slieve League in Northern Ireland:  Majestic Beauty! Large cliffs on the coastline of Northern Ireland. The water in the cove did not look like it was even moving. Shuttle provided up to the cliffs and back down.

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

Giant’s Causeway: Unique hexagonal rock and cliff formations in Northern Ireland. Guide provided. You can walk or use a shuttle. During our visit the guest building and shuttle service were unavailable.

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

Cliffs of Moher: Cliffs on the western side (or Wild Atlantic Way).  Super interesting feature is that part of the cave system was used in the filming of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Farmland and Sheep!: Farms are divided by hedgerows or hawthorne bushes or rocks. Homes all have a shorter fence in the front. Sheep are everywhere you look!  

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

Cultural and Entertainment

Game of Thrones Studio Tour: A must do for any fan of Game of Thrones. This unique experience has many interactive stations, props and sets from the original series. Since most of the filming was done in Northern Ireland these items were brought to a central location. Some of the filming was actually done where it stands! As a GoT super fan I was over the moon to be able to visit this just opened studio.  

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

Guinness Storehouse: Tours daily. Reservations required and must be made online. See how this famous drink is made and even have a pint of your own.

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

Pubs: No visit to Ireland is complete without a visit to a local pub. Most pubs offer food for those who may not wish to drink.  

Irish National Stud Farm: A leader in thoroughbred horse breeding and training.  Being from Kentucky this was a treat! We even got to see some foals that had just been born hours before. The gardens here are gorgeous and they have several areas for families to walk and play. While here, make sure to do the Irish Racehorse Experience.  It is a digital interactive tour where you purchase, train and race your own horse. This experience does cost extra, appx 5 euros, but it is worth every penny! Ask Karen for the video 🙂 She got to play jockey. LOL!! 

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival: One of Europe’s largest singles/matchmaking festivals takes place each September, in this small Irish town. Yes! A whole month dedicated to matchmaking, dancing, music and love. If you are lucky, you may get a meeting with Ireland’s traditional matchmaker in the famous Matchmaker Pub. 

Ireland - The Emerald Isle

Contact your journey planner today to begin planning your Ireland escape!

Thanks to Embrace the Journey Travel Planner, Mary K Allen, for writing this blog post for us. You can learn more about Mary K here.