It's no secret that I absolutely fell in love with Ireland on my trip at Christmas and there are so many secret and not so secret gems I've discovered. From walking the Royal Canal Way at Boxing Day to learning all about the Titanic in Belfast.
I also enjoyed all the food we got to eat in Dublin but I don't have to tell you that the pub culture is big in Ireland, right?!
Instead I'd like to present 5 places that I think should absolutely be on your itinerary when you visit Ireland!
Belfast still has a negative reputation because of the Northern Ireland Conflict and I myself was being told that it's not safe to go there. That usually doesn't really stop me from places I want to see so I went and oh wonder, I am still alive.
Sarcasm aside, Belfast has a violent history, no doubt. But if anything, a visit to the Peace Wall and the Irish and British murals in town is a very humbling experience that should remind us that violence never is the answer.
Of course, there still are underlying issues in Northern Ireland and you should visit the Peace Wall and the memorials with that in mind.
Away from Falls and Shankill Roads though, Belfast is a hip city which has more to offer than its violent past. The already mentioned Titanic Experience is definitely a museum that should be on your itinerary. You can easily spend more than 3 hours there as it's a very interactive museum which I always love.
The city centre is also full of shops and pubs and that's of course where you could find this girl at the end of our day trip!
Howth is a lovely sea side town just outside of Dublin and although I've heard people speak of it as being overrated, I personally loved it a lot!
It offers a beautiful beach, a breath-taking cliffside walk and a quaint little harbour with a view on "Ireland's Eye". All in all, it's the perfect place if you're up for some hiking and/or beach time on a sunny day if you're staying in Dublin.
3. The West Coast
AH, the highlight of our trip! Granted, we were incredibly lucky with the weather but County Clare is absolutely beautiful anyway. Okay, I can imagine that it's not the best place to be during a winter storm but even then, I could imagine that sitting in front of a fireplace looking outside, could be very appealing.
Weather aside, County Clare is probably best known for its landscapes - rocky hills and breath-taking cliffs. We went there on a daytrip from Dublin with Paddywaggon and after a pit stop at "Bothar nA hAillite" or "The Baby Cliffs", we made our way to the famous Cliffs of Moher, bathing in golden sunlight.
We will certainly never forget these views!
We stayed in Dublin for the entire duration of our trip (9 days) and took daytrips to all places mentioned.
Dublin itself is a rather small city but there's still plenty to see: the Irish Whiskey Museum, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle, Trinity College, St. Stephen's Green, the Royal Canal Way, Temple Bar, countless of shops and of course, countless of pubs!
You probably would be fine with a 2-3 day stay in the city but I'm glad that we stayed for longer as we could just take it easy and enjoy the city so much more!
Malahide is another great daytrip from Dublin. This seaside town, just half an hour from Dublin, is famous for its castle and parks, and of course its beach and harbour. We skipped the beach but stayed at the Castle grounds for quite a while, taking a tour of the castle and enjoying the sunshine outside.
Now Ireland is full of castles of course and I'm sure that you might find equally beautiful ones elsewere but I personally loved Malahide so much because of its proximity to Dublin and the fact that the castle is haunted.
Well, at least that's what we were being told but then again, is there any castle in Ireland that isn't haunted?!
If you're interested in history and castles and staying in Dublin, Malahide is definitely worth the visit!
Any places to add? Where would you like to go most?
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