Top 5 essential travel experiences in Ireland

Connemara, photo by Arnold Unterholzner on Flickr

Visiting Ireland for the first time is terribly exciting, so exciting that some travelers might wonder where to start exploring this amazing country. Drinking Guinness and admiring the green scenery are probably on the mind of everyone who first steps off the plane on Irish soil, but there is so much more you can do on the Emerald Isles. Wherever you go in Ireland, and however long you stay, there will always be something to keep you busy, whether it’s just a walk in the countryside or down the street to the pub. However, if at the end of your holiday you don’t want to feel like you missed out on something, try the top 5 essential travel experiences in Ireland.

Listen to trad music

Traditional Irish music is famous enough around the world that you can hear it in almost every Irish pub in the furthest corners of the world. But nothing compares to spending the evening at the pub and listening to trad music performed live by bands made up of people who obviously love and cherish their musical heritage. Many pubs in Ireland will have a trad night at least once a week, and since there are few people who dislike Irish music, you can be sure that those evening will be crowded, noisy and very much fun.

Visit ancient Ireland

Newgrange, photo by raygunb on Flickr

Learning a bit about Irish history is unavoidable when you are traveling to Ireland, because there are too many historical monuments and sites to ignore the fact the history is still very important to the locals. But Irish history is a long and rich one, and it is worth seeking out some of the ancient historical sites of Ireland, some of which are so old that they are shrouded in legends. Visit the Hill of Tara, Newgrange and various megaliths and ancient hill forts.

Staying in a castle

If you can afford it, or if you stumble upon a deal, consider spending at night at a castle. Many of the most beautiful castles in Ireland have been turned into hotels that combine modern day luxury with the magic of old times. Ashford Castle, Dromoland Castle, Kinnitty Castle and various Irish and Anglo-Irish manor houses are great places to stay.

Aran Islands

photo by BlackburnPhoto on Flickr

The traditional culture of Ireland is still very much alive, and going through a revival, so it’s fairly easy to learn about the traditional way of life. But nowhere are these old customs more alive than on the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland. Time seems to have stood still in this scenic corner of the country, so exploring these islands and their Irish-speaking villages is one of the top 5 essential travel experiences in Ireland.

Hiking in Connemara

Exploring the urban and rural side of Ireland is a must, but you can’t leave the islands without a good hike in the countryside. Natural beauty is everywhere you look, but the most poignant and dramatic landscapes in the Emerald Isle can be found in Connemara, the fairy tale-like northwestern corner of County Galway.

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