Are you looking to plan the ultimate trip to the beautiful Emerald Isle? Whether you are backpacking Ireland or taking an epic Irish road trip, here is our Irish Bucket List with the top 20 things to do in Ireland before you die!
Ireland, a country known for its green fields, friendly people and mighty craic, is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From beaches to mountains, quaint towns, beautiful monuments and exquisite scenery, Ireland really does have it all.
Over ten million people flock to the Emerald Isle every year, to see what Ireland has to offer. With so much to see and do in Ireland, it can be difficult to decide where to begin, but we have narrowed it down to the 20 best things to do in Ireland before you die!
20. Cross the wobbly Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge – for a trek of coastal cliffs
Brave the elements as you cross this 20 metre (66ft) long rope bridge as the wild Atlantic Ocean crashes against the rocks beneath you. This spectacular site is one of Northern Ireland’s most loved attractions!
Address: 119a Whitepark Road Ballintoy, County, Antrim, Ballycastle BT54 6LS, United Kingdom
19. Go stargazing in Mayo – get lost in the dark skies
Mayo Dark Sky Park showcases some of the darkest and most pristine skies in the world. With thousands of stars, planets, and meteor showers all visible with the naked eye this is a must-do on your Irish Bucket List.
Address: Ballycroy, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland
18. Take a hike in Glendalough – the beauty of the Wicklow Mountains
Get lost in the beauty of the Irish countryside as you explore the beautiful Wicklow Mountains. This glacial valley region is home to a monastic settlement and one of the most photographed lakes in Ireland, the Guinness Lake.
Address: Co. Wicklow, Ireland
17. Pour a pint at the Guinness Storehouse – pour your own pint
Try your hand at pouring the perfect pint of Guinness at the home of the “black stuff” itself! Then enjoy your pint overlooking the city of Dublin.
Address: The Liberties, Dublin 8
16. Cycle the Great Western Greenway – marvel at the Mayo coast
The longest off-road cycling route in Ireland takes in some of the most beautiful sites and scenery that the coast of Mayo has to offer. With views of the 365 islands of Clew Bay, the Nephin Beg mountains and stunning bog land there is no cycle route quite like it and remains one of the best things to do in Mayo.
Starting Point: In Westport an official access point is located to the right just off the N59 traveling in the direction of Newport approximately 500m from Westport town centre.
15. See the last port-of-call for the Titanic – no place like Cobh
The final passengers boarded the ill-fated Titanic in the picturesque town of Cobh over a hundred years ago. Take a tour of the original White Star Line Ticket Office, which has since been converted into the Titanic Experience, before exploring the beauty of Cobh.
If you decide not to take the tour, just seeing the area is one of the best free things to do in Cork.
Address: 20 Casement Square, Kilgarvan, Cobh, Co. Cork, P24 DW63
14. Take a trip on Ireland’s only cable car – traverse the Atlantic Ocean
Connecting mainland Ireland to Dursey Island, this cable car is the only one that traverses open seawater in all of Europe. Marvel at the often-treacherous Atlantic Ocean as you travel overhead.
Address: Ballaghboy, Co. Cork
13. Learn some Irish in the Gaeltacht – immerse yourself in Gaelic culture
All along the West Coast are rural communities where Irish is still the spoken language. Try your hand at learning a “cúpla focail” (a few words) in this ancient language, or you can even join one of the many Irish language courses!
12. Visit the Blasket Islands – one for the Irish Bucket List
These now-uninhabited islands are renowned around the world for their rugged beauty and wilderness. Accessed by boat these remote islands are a haven for wildlife and artistic inspiration, and are definitely one for the Irish Bucket List.
11. Watch the winter solstice at Newgrange – Ireland’s Ancient East
Newgrange is a 5,000-year-old piece of Stone-Age architecture that is illuminated by the sun six days of the year. Access to this spectacular event is determined by a lottery but it is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Ireland to put on your Irish Bucket List!
Address: Newgrange, Donore, Co. Meath
10. Visit the Cliffs of Moher – Ireland’s premier tourist attraction
Stretching along the Atlantic coast of County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most visited attractions. These towering cliffs, accompanied by the Atlantic waves, make it a truly magical experience. A visit to this location is known to be one of the best things to do in Europe.
You can do this and way more on this Wild Atlantic Way itinerary: a 7-day itinerary of the best stops along the west Irish coast.
Address: Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, V95 KN9T
9. Watch cliff-diving on Inis Mór – force of the ocean
The Serpents Lair is a natural pool that has been carved out by the force of the ocean. This mesmerising site has been part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series and is frequented by some of the world’s best cliff divers. This is certainly one of the most unique activities in Galway.
Address: Kilmurvy, Co. Galway
8. Climb Skellig Michael – may the force be with you
As one of Ireland’s most unique destinations this remote and rocky island came to prominence after it appeared in Star Wars and is a must see on any road trip of Ireland. With only 180 people allowed per day to climb this UNESCO World Heritage Site, this needs to be booked well in advance!
Address: Na Scealaga, Ireland
7. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way – for the best of the West of Ireland
This 2,500 kilometre (1,553 miles) route takes you on a journey along the west of Ireland. Starting in Donegal this driving route takes you all the way the seaside town of Kinsale. Take in the many beaches, cliffs, islands and the wild Atlantic Ocean itself and experience one of the many unique things to do in Ireland. Check out these tips for driving in Ireland before you do this one!
6. Be mesmerised by Dunluce Castle – coastal castle ruins
Situated on the dramatic cliffs of Co. Antrim, these castle ruins remind you of something out of Game of Thrones. This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive castles in Ireland and is a must for your Irish Bucket List.
Address: 87 Dunluce Rd, Bushmills BT57 8UY
5. Watch some big wave surfing at Mullaghmore – legendary Sligo surfing spot
Unbeknownst to many, Ireland is home to one of the world’s best big-surf destinations. This legendary Sligo surf spot attracts some of the most experienced surfers in the world and it is an absolute thrill to witness!
Address: The Woods, Co. Sligo, Ireland
4. Test your nerves at Leap Castle – world’s most haunted castle
As Ireland’s most haunted castle, Leap Castle has more than its fair share of spirits. Steeped in a history of murder and betrayal this eerie site will certainly test your nerves. Enter one of the most haunted houses in the world if you dare.
Address: R421, Leap, Roscrea, Co. Offaly
3. Kayak the inland waterways – for a new perspective of the Emerald Isle
Discover the lakes and rivers of Ireland by kayak. With kayaking tours operating up and down the country, exploring by kayak gives you a whole new perspective of Ireland!
2. Feel the sand between your toes at Keem Bay – a photographer’s dream
Often quoted as being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Keem Bay is a photographer’s dream. These crystal-clear waters make it perfect for snorkelling and exploring the waters below.
Address: Keel West, Keem, Co. Mayo
1. Visit the Giants Causeway – steeped in Irish mythology
It is no surprise that the Giants Causeway is number one on our Irish Bucket List. These unique rock formations attract visitors from all over the globe and are known as one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland. This natural phenomenon is surrounded by myths and legends, but it is its beauty that supersedes these.
Address: Bushmills BT57 8SU, United Kingdom