Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland. Situated in the province of Leinster on Ireland’s east coast, it sits at the mouth of the River Liffey. The name Dublin comes from the Gaelic word of Dublind, which means “black, dark”, and “pool”. This references a dark-coloured tidal pool behind Dublin Castle where the River Poddle joined the River Liffey. The city is home to plentiful attractions, as well as many homes and businesses. It attracts many tourists with its overwhelming culture and history that seems to pop up around every corner that you turn!
This beautiful city is home to many of Ireland’s top attractions, from historical landscapes to food. However, there are also fantastic places in other parts of the country that will make getting away from the city to explore well worthwhile. So sit back and take a look at these guided tours that are sure to transform you into a good ol’ Irish lover!
1. Blarney Castle and Cork City (from USD 95.0)
Blarney Castle is a former stronghold from the medieval era. Close to Cork, the imposing castle was originally built in 1200 and later rebuilt. Besieged several times during the Irish Confederate Wars, it was captured by Parliamentarian forces in the 1640s. With a long history, the castle is one Ireland’s top attractions today.
Take time to explore the ruins and grounds, including some interesting gardens. Of course, one of the castle’s most well-known features is the Blarney Stone, located high up in the battlement walls. The stone is believed to give the gift of eloquence to anyone who kisses it. And, that’s no mean feat! Hang upside-down over a sheer drop to kiss the famous stone. You can also visit The Blarney House, a Scottish baronial-style mansion that dates back to the 1870s.
Cork is a city in Ireland’s South-West Region. It is in the province of Munster and is the nation’s third most-populated city. The city was proudly awarded the honour of being European Capital of Culture in 2005.
Originally a monastic settlement in the 16th century, Cork was founded as a trading port by the Vikings. At one time fully walled, Some gates and sections of wall still remain today.
Viator offers a full day tour for guests to explore Cork and Blarney Castle, as well as the Rock of Cashel Cathedral and the huge St Finn Bar’s Cathedral with its triple spire. Hop on the comfortable air-conditioned coach and explore!
Blarney Castle Day Trip from Dublin
Duration: 12 hours
2. Kilkenny and Glendalough (from USD 48.0)
How about taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and heading out of Dublin to explore the medieval Irish architecture and folklore of southeast Ireland? Visit Kilkenny and Glendalough aboad a luxury coach and discover more of Ireland’s delights.
Kilkenny can be found in the south-east of Ireland. The county town of County Kilkenny, it sits at the edge of the River Nore in the province of Leinster. The city celebrated its 400th birthday in 2009. With a long history and a rich heritage, it is a popular tourist destination. Some of the city’s main sights include Kilkenny Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Canice’s Cathedral and round tower, Grace’s Castle, St. Francis Abbey, Rothe House, Shee Alms House, St. John’s Priory, the Black Abbey.
Glendalough means the “Valley of Two Lakes” in Irish. It is a picturesque glacial valley in County Wicklow. It is known for its ancient monastic settlement, which was founded in the 6th century. Established by St Kevin, a holy man from a prominent local family, the area drew many devotees and followers. An area with a long and interesting history and many stunning views, Glendalough is well-worth a visit.
Viator has a day tour to these excellent places, including a visit to Kilkenny Castle and Wicklow Mountain National Park. A coach tour, it also consists of walking tours of Kilkenny Medieval City and Glendalough Monastic Site.
Kilkenny City, Wicklow Park, and Glendalough Tour from Dublin
Duration: 10 hours
3. Ring of Kerry (from USD 166.0)
The spectacular Ring of Kerry is a circular 179-kilometre-long (111-mile-long) tourist route in County Kerry. Following the N71 to Kenmare, it then joins the N70 around the Iveragh Peninsula to Killorglin, passing through Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen, and Glenbeigh, before finally returning to Killarney. The roads along the Ring of Kerry are narrow and sometimes difficult to pass. Top attractions along the Ring of Kerry include Bog Village, the Gap of Dunloe, Kerry Woollen Mills, Staigue Fort, Rossbeigh Beach, Cahersiveen Heritage Centre, the Skellig Experience … and many more!
Join a full day trip to the Ring of Kerry with Viator and travel by rail and road. You can look forward to splendidly scenic views of the Lakes of Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula along the way, as well as seeing the picturesque scenes of Irish daily life.
Ring of Kerry Rail Trip from Dublin
Duration: 15 hours 30 minutes
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4. Boyne Valley, Hill of Tara, and Loughcrew Celtic Tombs (from USD 72.0)
The River Boyne is a river in Leinster. It runs for 112 kilometres (70 miles) and it flows through many places en route to the Irish Sea. In spite of its relatively short length, the river has much history attached to it, as well as having archaeological and mythical significance. For example, the Battle of the Boyne, a major battle in Irish history, took place in 1690 along the River Boyne, near Drogheda.
The Hill of Tara lies near to the River Boyne. It is an interesting archaeological complex between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath. It is believed to have been the former seat of the High King of Ireland. Today, the area boasts several ancient monuments. A highlight is the Lia Fáil, Stone of Destiny, which is a standing stone located in the middle of Forradh. It is said to be the site where the High Kings were crowned. Legend says that the stone would emit a piercing scream if the future king could pass a set of challenges. The scream could supposedly be heard all across the country! There is also a pretty church located on the eastern side of the hilltop, St Patrick’s Church.
Explore the historic River Boyne and the Hill of Tara with Viator, and also visit the ancient Loughcrew Celtic Tombs. You will see 6,000-year-old artwork carved in the passage tombs at Loughcrew. A local guide accompanies guests on the full day trip, and there will be opportunities to enjoy the scenic views of primeval sites across Meath and Louth counties and the Celtic high cross at Muiredach.
Celtic Tour from Dublin: Boyne Valley Tombs, Hill of Tara
Duration: 10 hours
5. Cliffs of Moher, King John's Castle, and the Burren (from USD 144.0)
Be captivated by three of Ireland’s top natural attractions with this 1-day Viator guided tour from Dublin. Explore Ireland’s western coastline and visit the Cliffs of Moher, King John’s Castle, and the Burren. The small-group tour offers great service for participants.
Feast your eyes on the towering 120-metre-tall (390-foot-tall) Cliffs of Moher, situated at the south-western edge of County Clare’s Burren region. The spectacular Cliffs of Moher are among the most popular attractions in Ireland, and for good reason! The cliff’s name comes from an old fort called Moher, which once stood nearby on Hag’s Head. The fort was destroyed in the early 1800s in order to get material to build a new telegraph tower. The current nearby tower, close to the site of the old Moher Uí Ruidhin, was built during the Napoleonic wars as a lookout tower.
An abundance of birds call the cliffs home, and the area has river channels that are around 300 million years old!
Dating back to the 13th century, King John’s Castle is located on Limerick’s King’s Island, next to the River Shannon. Built in 1200 on the command of King John, it is one of the finest examples of a grand Norman castle in all of Europe. The walls, towers, and fortifications are still relatively intact, letting you peer into the past.
Located in County Clare, the Burren is a huge expanse of rugged and scenic landscape. Surrounded by several quaint villages, including Ballyvaughan, Corofin, Kinvara, and LisdoonvarnaIt, the area covers around 250 square kilometres (96.5 square miles). The Burren is the smallest of the country’s six national parks. The area has many cultural and historical sites, including nearly 100 megalithic tombs and portal dolmens. There is an interesting Celtic high cross in Kilfenora. Corcomroe Abbey is a main attraction, and you’ll see a number of old ring forts too.
Cliffs of Moher, King John's Castle on Coast Tour from Dublin
Duration: 13 hours
6. Irish Food Walking Tour (from USD 95.0)
Calling all foodies! Would you love to taste an array of tasty traditional Irish cuisine? Join this 3-hour tasting food tour and fill up on delicious authentic dishes from Dublin.
The local guide will take you on a walking tour around the city’s most popular restaurants and pubs, and you’ll stop at three different secret food locations to enjoy a variety of tastes. Why not wash it all down with some local craft beers? The tour will have a maximum 18 people for a personalised experience. The guide will also give you the inside scoop of what’s happening in the city, as well as telling you where to go and the best places to see. Learn about the ‘Hidden side of Dublin’ to head off the beaten track. You’ll be able to explore various aspects of the Irish culture, not just through food. Restaurants can accommodate those with food allergies, special dietary requirements, and requests.
Irish Food Trail - Walking Tour of Dublin
Duration: 3 hours
7. Guinness Storehouse (from USD 80.0)
The famous and popular Guinness Storehouse is located at the old St. James’s Gate Brewery. Originally constructed in 1902 as a fermentation plant for the brewery, it was designed in the style of the Chicago School of Architecture. It was Ireland’s first multi-storey steel-framed building. Serving as a fermentation plant up until 1988, it became the brewery’s visitor centre in 1997, in place of the Guinness Hop Store.
The Guinness Storehouse has 7 interesting levels, all surrounding a bright glass atrium that is shaped like a pint of Guinness. On the ground floor you can learn the ingredients of the famous drink: water, barley, hops and yeast. Marvel at the history of Guinness’s advertising and enjoy a number of fun interactive displays. Head to the top and you will find the Gravity Bar, where you can sup a pint of the black gold while soaking up the sweeping views.
Viator offers a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, letting you skip the line! The 75-minute tour includes a guided tasting session with samples of several blends, including Guinness Draft, Guinness Extra Stout, Guinness Foreign Extra, and Guinness Black Lager. Two pints of Guinness are included in the package, as opposed to the one pint offered with the normal admission ticket. You can also take home a small Guinness Storehouse souvenir. When the tour is over, you can explore the whole storehouse at your leisure and learn about the history of one of Ireland’s favourite beers.
Guinness Storehouse Skip the Line with Guided Tasting Session
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
There's so much to do around Dublin
From food, sightseeing, and beers, there’s just so much to do in and around this historic and beautiful city. Although a fair number of Ireland’s attractions are located in the very heart of Dublin, is it recommended that you take a break from the hustle and the bustle of the city and explore what the rest of Ireland has to offer. Also, these trips are most likely to sell out really quickly so make sure to book early to avoid disappointment!
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