Ireland is a legendary destination, and we'll take our chances by saying probably unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. This “Emerald Isle” is a pretty accurate representation of all that is beautiful (and green) in the world. For such a small country this place sure packs a punch.
Here are some truly authentic experiences in Ireland that are guaranteed to blow your mind.
#1 – Explore the vibrant city of Dublin.
Dublin is described as “as friendly as a village and as intimate as a pub” and has been voted the friendliest city in the world, twice, by Trip Advisor. A strip of iconic pubs lies just off Wexford Street and Whelan’s is one of them, a pub that has hosted over 25 years of live music and played a huge role for the beginning of Ed Sheeran’s career.
The most exciting time to experience Dublin is of course, St Patrick's Day, although you can celebrate worldwide. Cities and people around the globe call on their Irish heritage, decking themselves out in their favourite shades of green and shamrocks. As the Irish saying goes, “there are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were.”
#2 – Check out the live music scene in Belfast.
If live gigs and intimate settings are your jam, Belfast packs a punch. The Garrick is one of the oldest pubs in Belfast with plenty of events on during the week, and an acoustic session with local artists on Saturdays at 9 pm in the front bar, while DJ’s spin tracks out in the back. It also offers an impressive range of over 60 local and international beers, ciders and pints of Guinness to boot.
#3 – Hit up a traditional pub.
One great way to soak up that Irish culture is by finding an old school pub that's over a hundred years old fitted out with ornate decor, mirrors and marble. Step back in time at the Brazen head, Ireland’s oldest pub in Dublin which dates back to 1198!
#4 – See natural landscapes that’ll make you feel like you’re on the edge of the Earth.
Stand tall at the Cliffs of Moher, towering approximately 214 metres above sea level, and take a scenic drive along the rugged Causeway Coastal route. The untamed terrain of Ireland will leave you feeling alive and is a totally unmissable natural attraction.
#5 – Get the Game Of Thrones fix your soul deserves.
And discover a part of Northern Ireland a.k.a. the Seven Kingdoms. Whether it’s the dark hedges that date back to the 16th century, or the Giant’s causeway with its 40,000 basalt columns supposedly created by giants, there’s unparalleled beauty to be found in this part of Ireland you can’t get anywhere else in the world.
#6 – Delve deep into Irish ancestry.
Ireland is full of burial mounds, stone circles surrounded by hungry cows and scattered ‘passage tombs. Newgrange is one of Ireland’s greatest and oldest burial sites, and is now listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. This site is a large circular mound complete with stone passageways and chambers inside, whilst outside 97 massive kerbstones lay silently, adding to the historical weight of the area. Most impressive of all is the fact that this site was constructed 5,000 years ago!
#7 – Fill up in mouthwatering Irish cuisine.
Fancy hearty potato dishes, artisan cheese, craft beer on tap or pulled candy for that sweet tooth of yours? Ireland’s got your foody jam down to a T.
If you are a die hard spud fan and love one-of-a-kind festivals, why not check out the comber potato festival in July, which showcases local, fresh and seasonal potatoes. This foodie festival draws crowds of up to 7,000 and is free to all.
#8 – Pour yourself a Guinness at a local distillery.
No Irish trip would be complete if you didn’t learn about the fascinating history of the legendary pint of Guinness. Don’t miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to find out more about this world-class and iconic brand that is a part of Irish culture and traditions.
Content courtesy of Contiki