Ireland: Top 10 Free Experiences On The Emerald Isle

Ireland is also known as the Emerald Isle and rightfully so when you see how incredibly green the grass is. Ireland occupies part of a shared island with Northern Ireland (part of the UK) on the westernmost edge of Europe. Famous for its pubs, Guinness, leprechauns, home-style meals featuring potatoes and of course folk music. It is one of those countries that should definitely feature on your bucket list. Ireland is the only country in the world where a musical instrument is the national symbol. That of course is the harp and it features on the Irish Passport. Well they do say the Irish travel all over the world so they must like showing off their passports.

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Ireland is full of historical sites that remain after years of fighting with the Vikings and the British. Originally a Pagan country, it is where Halloween gets its origins. Furthermore, Halloween began in Ireland as the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain.  Ireland is known for being a predominantly Catholic country however, their most famous saint, Saint Patrick was not even Irish. 

Beyond the historical sites and pubs, Ireland is a playground for the outdoor adventure fan. There are numerous trails, hikes and cliff walks to take in the stunning natural beauty of this island nation. Ireland is a great vacation destination choice for any adventure lover.

How To Get Around The Emerald Isle

In terms of getting around, it is fairly easy to get around on public transport in the major cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway. However, it is quite challenging in the countryside. The easiest and most affordable mode of transportation for the country as a whole would be by car. In addition, this would also allow you to experience the breath-taking drives like ‘The Wild Atlantic Way’ and ‘Ring of Kerry’ at your own pace. The months of June to September offer Ireland’s best weather, the rest of the year, it can be fairly damp and cold.

1. National Museum Of Ireland

National Museum of Ireland

Photo by @saraslifeness on IG

The National Museum of Ireland is one of the best museums in Europe and it is completely free to visit. It is home to over 2 million artifacts and Ireland’s complete collection of archeological finds. Furthermore, boasting some of the finest collections of prehistoric gold artifacts in Europe. Housing brilliant collections of metalwork from the Celtic Iron Age and medieval ecclesiastical objects and jewelry. This one should absolutely be added to your Tripio itinerary on the Tripio app.

2. Discover Croagh Patrick Trail of the Patron Saint

Ireland trail of Saint Patrick

Photo by @livingforthesunsets on IG

The Croagh Patrick trail is a 7.8 mile loop trail in County Mayo. Along this trail, you will find Saint Patrick’s statue and church. Early Irish inhabitants would have to make this pilgrimage as they converted from paganism to Catholicism. Henceforth, the tradition is symbolic as well as an act of penance and is usually done on the last Sunday of each July. Many Catholics from around the world travel here each year to complete this pilgrimage. This one is for the adventurers Top 10, add it to your Tripio itinerary on the Tripio App before you forget.

3. Explore Killarney National Park

Ireland Killarney national park

Photo by Guillaume Cochard on Unsplash

Killarney National Park earns it’s spot at number 4 in our Top 10. This gorgeous park spans more than 26,000 acres in county Kerry. What’s more, this impressive park is home to the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland.  This beautiful park bursts with life and offers a range of colours from bright green grass, blue lakes and auburn forests. It is great for a walk and offers easily accessible paved trails. Add this one to your custom itinerary on the Tripio App.

4. Surf some of the Best Waves in the World

Ireland Strandhill beach surfing Ireland

Photo by Surfing Croyde Bay on Unsplash

The western coast of Ireland offers some of the best surfing conditions in the world. Strandhill Beach is the best place to experience the wild Atlantic ocean. The waves off the coast of Strandhill in County Sligo are large and is where Ireland holds many of its annual surfing championships. This would be one to tick off any surfers bucket list. The best time to surf here is Autumn through to April. There is board rental and surf lessons offered.

5. Hill Of Tara

Perched on a hill, the Hill of Tara is an archaeological site which dates back to the Iron Age. What’s more, it is known as the seat of the High King of Ireland. There is a gift shop and café nearby for your convenience but the site itself is free to explore. The best time to visit is at sunset as you will catch the site in a luminous light. If you are really intrigued and interested in history and archaeological sites like this one. Make sure you rank art, history and culture high on the Tripio App to generate that perfect custom Top 10 on your custom itinerary.

6. Trinity College

Ireland Trinity college

Photo by Stephen Bergin on Unsplash

Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s most famous university. Trinity College was constructed in 1592. Take a stroll around on the 47-acres the college occupies. 

The college is home to The Book Of Kells which is one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.  However, to visit this library, a tour must be booked and purchased in advance. Otherwise, the rest of the grounds are free to explore. You might not have imagined going to a college on your vacation, but I promise you, this one is worth adding to your travel itinerary.

7. Slieve League Cliffs

Ireland Slieve league cliffs

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

The Slieve League Cliffs are the second-highest sea cliffs in Ireland after Croaghaun. They are located in County Donegal. Slieve League stands at 2,000 feet above sea level and offers magnificent views over Donegal and the Atlantic ocean. The trail up to the cliffs is a 5.5 mile out-and-back trail that takes you 1,761 feet of elevation. 

8. Glendalough

Ireland Glendalough

Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

Glendalough is home to stunning walks, the lough itself and one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. It was established in the 6th century by St Kevin, however, most of what remains today was built in the 10th and 12th century. Glendalough is so beautiful and you are sure to bring home some gorgeous photos of your travels here.

9. Kells Priory, One of the Largest Monastic sites

Ireland Kells Priory

Photo by Jacki Drexler on Unsplash

The Kells Priory is one of the largest Augustinian Priory’s in Ireland. It was built in the 12th century and is located along the King’s River south of the medieval town of Kilkenny. Unlike other sites, these ruins are fairly well-preserved and quiet.

10. Dance in the Streets of Galway

Ireland Galway

Photo by Justin Scocchio on Unsplash

The Latin Quarter in Galway is a historic cluster of streets that extend from the Spanish Arches to Middle Street. It is Galway’s best-known shopping district with lots of pubs and restaurants. The medieval buildings give it a unique atmosphere. At night, the streets here come alive with live-music and really gives you a feel for authentic Irish nightlife. You will often see people dancing and having the Craic (Irish term for good time) in these streets. The vibe in the Latin Quarter is bound to make your vacation. Create your ideal trip now to the Emerald Isle and generate your custom top 10 right here on Tripio.

Headed North? Check out: Game Of Thrones, Northern Ireland: Winter Is Coming!

And Northern Ireland’s Top 10 Must-See Places

– Gemma Winchester, Tripio Guru


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