Ireland's cultural must-sees: where to visit on holiday

Aimee Spicer / 20 December 2016

Ireland is a country of charming people, magical landscapes and mesmerising monuments.



Along with a very famous beverage, the Irish have exported their culture all over the world – but to really get a sense of this charismatic nation you have to pay a visit to its shores. 

With Saga you can stay and relax at an Irish hotel or take a carefully planned group tour – like our travel expert Mike Gerrard did. 

While you won’t need to worry about maps when you travel to Ireland with us, we’ve provided a quick map of Ireland’s cultural highlights for good measure.

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Dublin – east coast

From its elegant Georgian architecture to its lively pubs and bars, Dublin has something to suit both culture vultures and more lively travellers. 

Stroll the grounds of Trinity College Dublin where the ancient Book of Kells is on show to the public – or take it easy on the lawns of Stephen’s Green.

One of the most popular attractions in Dublin is the Guinness Storehouse, a multimedia tribute to the iconic drink. Take some time to sit in a local pub and soak up the warm atmosphere and Irish banter.

Giant’s Causeway – north coast

If you’re visiting the Emerald Isle for the first time, this legendary natural phenomenon is a wonderful sight. 

To get there you will make an excursion to the very tip of Northern Ireland, where the sea has been sculpting the coast for millennia. 

The geometric rock formations on show are roughly 60 million years old and were formed by a volcanic eruption. 

There is much myth and legend surrounding the site, and some believe it was carved by the mighty giant Finn McCool.

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Ennis – southwest

In a country full of song and music, this 12th century town is celebrated for its musical heritage.

Ennis is the capital of County Clare and home to the Fleadh Nua festival, where traditional Irish music and customs are honoured every year. 

Make sure you pay a visit to the impressive Bunratty Castle, an atmospheric medieval fortress built in 1425. A heritage park around the castle recreates a 19th century Irish village.

Cliffs of Moher – southwest

Rising up dramatically above the Atlantic, the 700ft tall Cliffs of Moher are located at the southwestern edge of County Clare. 

Like the Giant’s Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher have taken on mythic proportions over the centuries. Tales of mermaids, lost cities and peculiar creatures abound. 

The cliffs are also home to many different bird species, including puffins, razorbills and guillemots.

Blarney Castle and Gardens – southeast

This castle is one of Ireland’s greatest architectural treasures. Built 600 years ago by the legendary Irish chieftain Cormac McCarthy, it is home to the fascinating Blarney Stone.

Rumour has it that once you kiss this stone you’ll never be lost for words again. The tranquil gardens at Blarney are the perfect place to chill out and enjoy some fresh air.

Whether it’s Ireland that takes your fancy for a group tour or somewhere further afield, click on our destination pages and you could be exploring somewhere exciting in the next few weeks. 

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.