Most popular Attractions, Ireland. Are They Really Worth Visiting?

In the following article, we are going to have a look at the top 5 most popular visitor attractions in Ireland as of 2021. This is just based on the number of visitors and does not necessarily mean they should be on the top of your list. So, what are the most popular visitor attractions in Ireland, and are they worth visiting?

Let’s look at the top 5.

Photo: Pexels

What is it?

The Guinness Storehouse is a visitor centre which showcases the world famous Guinness stout. The beverage itself is also produced in the same location at St. James’s Gate Brewery, which covers over 60 acres.

The Storehouse visitor centre is spread over 7 floors with the climax being the Gravity Bar, located on the top floor, with fantastic views over the whole of Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains and the Irish Sea.


You may do a self-guided tour or a tour with a guide, where you will learn how the ‘Black Stuff’ is produced. You may also pull your own pint of Guinness. There is a fascinating and sometimes incredibly funny exhibition of advertising campaigns that the company has used down through the years, which includes the well known ‘Guinness for Strength’ campaign. This was aimed at promoting the drink as an almost vital part of one’s nutrition in times gone by!

Where is it?/When is it open?

The exact address is St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, D08 VF8H. The Guinness Storehouse is open from 10am – 5pm Monday to Thursday, 9.30am – 6pm Friday and Saturday and 9.30am – 5pm Sunday.

Why should I visit?

If you are interested in the whole process of brewing, especially at an enormous industrial level, then this will be a good way to spend a few hours. If you have wondered about the unique way in which a pint of Guinness is poured, then you will get a chance to pull your own.

Also, if you have memories of some of the old Guinness commercials or posters from years ago, some of these memories may come flooding back to you and make you smile.

Photo: CNN

On the 5th floor, there is a wonderful restaurant/bar area (1837 Bar & Brasserie) which offers some delicious Irish food and of course the best pint of Guinness you will ever have. Very often there is live music and/or Irish dancing here too, which makes for a memorable experience and some great craic!

Is it worth visiting?

Many people may have visited a brewery in their lives and are already aware of the whole process behind brewing. I think the fact that this attraction offers so much more than just that makes it a great way to spend a few hours.

The brewery is almost always busy, especially during the weekends and holiday periods. The Gravity Bar can get really crowded sometimes, but the bar on the 5th floor offers more comfort.

If the weather is particularly inclement, a visit to the Guinness storehouse is a good call. Overall, I would say this attraction is one you should visit. If crowds are not your thing, then try a more personal experience such as the Jameson or Teeling whiskey distilleries.

This combination ticket enables you to skip the long queues for Guinness and Jameson.

Photos: sweetisleofmine

What is it?

The world famous Cliffs of Moher are an 8km stretch of some of the finest coastal scenery you are likely to see anywhere in the world. These cliffs reach a height of 214 metres and plunge vertically into the wild waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They are one of the most iconic images of Ireland and have been used as a backdrop to many Hollywood movies, including an installment of the Harry Potter series.

Although they are not the highest cliffs in Ireland, they are easily the most visited and during the summer months can get very crowded. It is possible to traverse the whole length of the cliffs from Doolin to Hag’s Head and makes for a memorable hike, should you have the time to do so.

Where are they?/When are they open?

The Cliffs of Moher are located in the county of Clare, south of Galway, on the western Irish seaboard.

They are open:

November – February: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March – April: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

May – August: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m

September – October: 8 a.m to 7 p.m

Why should I visit?

The sheer scale of these cliffs will knock your socks off! The cliff face almost seems to act as a giant wall, protecting Ireland from the might of the Atlantic Ocean, while the 30,000 strong bird colony of 30 different species adds another fascinating dimension to the whole experience. Puffins are common here and can be photographed from late May to mid July.

The perfectly placed O’Brien’s tower is a photographer’s dream, offereing countless angles and backgrounds to take the perfect shot. The Aran Islands can be seen clearly from the cliffs and the sheer expanse of the Atlantic Ocean will leave you breathless.

Are they worth visiting?


There is a clear reason why this place is visited so frequently. I have been there approximately 20 times and each time was memorable, for various different reasons. Weather plays a big role here and I would not recommend visiting in wild, windy weather.

In fact, I would prioritise these cliffs and organise my trip that I would have the best day possible to view them. Also, if you have the luxury of having your own car, then take an afternoon to walk as much of the cliffs as you can. The crowds get noticeably less the further south along the cliffs you go.

Photo: Planetd

Insider Tips for the Cliffs of Moher:

  1. Visit the cliffs either very early of later in the day to avoid the crowds
  2. When you arrive, go firstly up the steps to the right towards O’Brien’s Tower. Here is the highest point of the cliffs. Then make your way back down again and turn right to follow this path along the cliffs in a southerly direction, as far as you can go. The photo opportunities of the cliffs from this persepective are often overlooked and in my opinion, make for the best shots. Notice Branan Mor sea stack, the iconic rock seen in many Hollywood productions such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  3. The sun will come around and shine on the cliffs from mid afternoon onwards (on average, depending on the time of year). This makes for the best photo opportunities and makes visiting the cliffs later in the day the best option.
  4. A wonderfully unique way to visit the cliffs is by parking in Doolin and taking the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk.
  5. The further south you walk, the less crowded it gets and the photo opportunities here are immense.
  6. Do not go off the designated walking paths, accidents have happened in the past.
  7. If you arrive at the cliffs by car, you must park at the cliffs and pay for this.
  8. Go to the visitor centre first, have a quick trip to the toilet here if you plan on spending the next hours on the cliffs.

Access the Cliffs of Moher without a car

If you do not have access to a car, there is a wonderful day trip from Galway which also takes in the unique limestone landscape of the Burren and the 5000 year old megalithic tombstone – The Poulnabrone Dolmen.

To check prices click here.


What is it?

It is Ireland’s largest zoo and Ireland’s most visited family attraction. It is home to over 70 different types of animals from tigers to elephants, penguins to seals. It certainly is a substantial size, covering over 28 hectares and offers a truely adventerous day out for the whole family.

It was opened in 1831 on a mere 4 acres of land and has grown steadily since, providing a huge variety of habitats from forests to lagoons. Almost an institution in Ireland for years and not many kids have not visited the zoo at least once in their lifetimes.


Where is it?/When is it open?

It is located in Saint James’ (part of Phoenix Park), Dublin 8, Ireland. Phoenix Park is Dublin’s largest public park and alos one of the largest city parks in the world.

It is open from 9.30 -6 pm all year round, with Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day being the only exceptions!

Why should I visit?

For those animal lovers out there, there is a huge variety to be found in Dublin zoo. The animals have a vast area to roam around. The habitats provided are certainly planned with the welfare of the animals in mind and you can see that they are well taken care of. The team working here are very well trained and you get the impression they are living their dream! Be prepared to do plenty of walking and for the smaller children a pram is an absolute must!

Photo: Irishmirror

Is it worth visiting?

This is a tricky one! A visit to the zoo is a wonderful day out but if you come from another country you may have already visited a zoo in your lifetime. Don’t get me wrong, Dublin zoo is excellent, but it provides the same experience you would get in any other large-scale zoo around the world. If you or your kids are thoroughly interested in animals, then I would definitely recommend Dublin Zoo!

Photo: mymodernmet

What is it?

First of all, your entry ticket will take in 2 attractions – namely the Book of Kells itself and the Long Room.

The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells is an illustrated manuscript of the 4 Gospels of the New Testament dating back to approximately 800 AD – a time known as the dark ages. The book was believed to have been written by monks on the island of Iona, off the coast of present-day Scotland.

Where does the name come from?

It was found in the monastery of Kells, in County Meath as it is believed it was brought there following a Viking attack on the monastery of Iona. The book is 680 pages in length, while 2 pages have been left vacant for unknown reasons.

Why is it so famous?

The incredible detail and intricate colours, the linear, spiral and beautifully crafted geometric shapes makes this a sight to behold. The fact that this was illustrated completely by hand makes it even more unbelievable. It makes you ponder how dediated and passionate these monks must have been, and how these highly skilled artisits must have spent countless hours dedicating their lives to their craft.

The Long Room

The Long Room is certainly one of the most impressive libraries in the world. It was built in the early 1700s and took almost 20 years to complete. It contains 200,000 books and the main chamber is a length of 65 metres. The room is lined with 14 marble busts from Plato to Sir Francis Bacon and the library also contains one of the last surviving copies of the 1916 Declaration of Independence.

Photo: Wikipedia

The oldest Irish Harp is also on display here, dating back to the 1400s. The national symbol of Ireland is the Irish Harp and more specifically the emblem is based on this exact model on display in the Long Room.

Where is It?

The Book of Kells and The Long Room are located in The University of Dublin Trinity College, College Green, Dublin.

Why should I visit?

For the reason outlined above and especially if you are fascinated by art and the story behind such a creation as the Book of Kells, then it will be very interesting to see the book in the flesh.

For those of you Harry Potter fans out there, the Long Room provided the inspiration for the Hogwarts Library. Although the movies were not filmed here, they similarities are clear to be seen.

The Long Room is a trip back in time. The dark woods coupled with the almost endless rows of thickly-bound books will give you a sense of how life must have been in this architecturally magnificent building 300 years ago.

Photo: Reddit

Is it worth it?

Absolutely! But it gets a lot of tourists, for obvious reasons. If would like to get fast-track access to the attraction, along with a guided tour, you can check out this link. This ticket will ensure you avoid the crowds and get early access to both attractions! A great time saver if you have only limited time in the city. It also includes a guided tour of the grounds of Dublin Castle.

Photo: wikipedia

What is it?

Tayto Park is a very large theme park located in the county of Meath, approximately 40 minutes north-west of Dublin. The name Tayto is well known in Ireland as it is the largest crisp manufacturer in the country. You will find these snack in practically every shop in Ireland, with the cheese & onion flavour being the go-to snack for many Irish people-both young and old.

The park consists of over 100 attractions, including a zoo and Europe’s largest wooden rollercoaster. Other brilliant attractions include a 5D cinema, zipline, arts and crafts and a stell rollercoaster.

Overall, there are numerouns fun activities for young and old and makes for a great day out for the family. Please note that there are height restrictions on many of the rides. Also, this place gets very busy in the summer months so booking in advance is key. Click here to book.

Photo: DiscoverIreland

Where is it?

It is located in Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland.

Why visit?

You’ll have an action-packed day! There is a bit of everything, from a zoo to adrenaline-packed activities. But not only this, there are a host of activities for smallers kids in the Junior Zone. There’s also a substantial playground! The list is endless.

If you are looking for a daytrip from Dublin City, especially for the kids, this could be a great option.

Is it worth visiting?

Is it an authentic Irish experience? No. There are many activities with an Irish theme, such as the Cu Chulainn rollercoaster, but if you are used to visiting these kind of attractions in the USA of the UK, this will be more or less in the same vein.

But… this does not mean you should avoid it! It was built in 2010 and therefore is very modern with the 5D cinema, the largest wooden rollercoaster and many more state-of-the-art attractions. The fact that there is an onsite zoo and bird of prey show adds a great deal more to an already well-developed park.

If you are in Ireland for longer than 2 weeks, this could make for a fantastic day out and the kids will love you for it!



So, there you have the top 5 most popular visitor attractions in all of Ireland.

Have you decided on which ones you feel could enrich your trip to the Emerald Isle?

I would be delighted to answer any questions relating to the 5 attractions listed above or indeed any general questions or comments you would like to share!

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