Ireland Things to Do Tips by globetrott Top 5 Page for this destination
Ireland Things to Do: 1,167 reviews and 1,795 photos
Powerscourt castle and its amazing park are a great halfday-trip from Dublin.
Unfortunately the castle had burned out some time ago and you will actually just see the fassade, but the garden is still a beautiful sight.
The famous mountain in the back of my 2nd photograph is called " Sugar Loaf " and it is one of the typical landmarks of the area south of Dublin. The best view on the "Sugar Loaf" is certainly from the terrace of Powerscourt castle.
When you arrive by car, there will be an entrance fee for the whole park, including the castle. You may drive inside the park , and park your car between large alley-trees. Then you may take a walk and spend the whole day in the lovely surroundings of Powerscourt castle.
About my 3rd photograph : The Earl of Powerscourt was a well known traveller himself, interested in gardens and travelling, and when he saw this wonderful entrance-gate in the german town of Bamberg, he simply bought it and shiped it to Ireland - that was certainly quite an adventure at that time !
Click on my picture and take a closer look at the wonderful fake perspective in the centre of the Bamberg-gate. The iron-work of the gate was made in Vienna in 1770 for the cathedral in Bamberg.
Not far from this gate you may see a cemetery, where the dogs and cats and even horses and cows of the castle-owners were buried !
Directions: Take N11 to the South from Dublin City Centre . At 12 miles take the exit for Bray South, Enniskerry, Powerscourt Gardens. Turn left at roundabout, over flyover. Rejoin N11 heading North to Dublin. Take next exit R117 to Enniskerry.
Trinity College in Dublin
Even when you are not very much interested in the rest of Dublin, this place is a Must for every tourist : Trinity College, the university of Dublin was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I at a place where an Augustinan monastery used to be before. The Campanile / belfry on my picture dates back to 1853 and is 30 meters high.Inside Trinity College you will see one of the most precious books of christianity :
It is a hand-written book with beautiful and ornate decorations and paintings. It dates back to the year 806 and contains the 4 gospel. The Book of kells is the main attraction in the library and it is shown behing a thick glass, and millions of people see it every year, so be prepared for long waiting-lines there !!
On my link below you can see lots of great pics of the book of Kells !
Directions: Trinity-College is in the centre of Dublin.
This is my favorite part of Dublin: Merrion Square, dating back to the 18th century with plenty of houses in the so-called Georgian style, and while all of the buildings looked exactely the same - beeing built of simple red bricks, without any decorations - someone had the great idea to have at least the doors painted in different colours.
In fact nobody cares today about the rather boring fassades anymore, but everyone is looking for the fancy doors and you can see them on plenty of postcards and you may even buy a large poster with almost 100 different such Georgian doors of Dublin !!
Address: Dublin - Merrion Square
Directions: You will find these doors on Merrion Square, in the centre of Dublin.
The Poulnabrone-Dolmen in the Burren
The Poulnabrone-Dolmen is without doubt the most famous megalith tomb of Ireland. It dates back to the times of 2500 B.C. and still today scientists dont know exactely, how it was technically possible to build such heavy structures by the primitive tools of that time.
The Poulnabrone-Dolmen might easily be overseen, because it is not directely next to the road, but in a distance of maybe 300 meters - it is always the best to search for other cars and buses and follow their passengers - you will have to climb over a fence of a farm, it includes a small & easy stair ! When walking over the rocks of the Burren, try to listen to the strange sound it makes, when walking on these vulcanic rocks !
Directions: You will find Poulnabrone-Dolmen on your way from Ballyvaughan to Leamaneagh Castle, when taking road R480 !! Shortly after a bend you find parkings for only a few cars at both sides of the road !
The Burren - a unique landscape in the West
The "Burren" is a unique landscape, that you will not find at any other place in the whole world : All of the ground is covered by vulcanic rocks, that seem to be artificially cut into giant cubes of different sizes. Inside the many gaps between these rocks you will find a giant variety of tropical, subtropical, alpine and mediterranean plants and flowers.
NO-where else in the whole world you may find these plants growing togeather in a natural environment !
Walking on this vulcanic rocks makes a strange sound and when you take one of the stones in your hand you will see, that it is less eavy that ordinary stones. It is the combination of the grey rocks and the colorfull flowers that makes the special atmosphere of the "Burren
Once in the Burren I was lucky to be able to watch a professional photographer taking pics of 2 vintage-cars there for the official Mercedes-calender.
Address: The Burren / County Clare
Directions: You will find the "Burren" between "Black Head" and Ballyvaughan in the north and between the Cliffs of Moher and Ennistymon in the south and also in the 3 Aran Islands : Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer.
Glendalough - St. Kevin's kitchen
Glendalough is an interesting place for a dayexcursion from Dublin with an old roundtower, the remains of an old monastery and church.
On my 1st photograph : St.Kevin's Kitchen is the name of this small stone-church founded by St.Kevin during the 6th century.It was of course never used as a kitchen, but with the small bell-tower on top of that little church, that was similar to a oven-chimney, people used to call it St.Kevin's kitchen.
Glendalough is also a place to see some celtic crosses, and the ruins of an old monastery at a scenic lake.
On my last photo : The round tower of Glendalough is one of the few round towers left over in Ireland and science still has problems to find out about the purpose of these towers.
In the hight of about 5 meters above the ground there is a door that could be blocked in case of enemies approaching.
Address: County Wicklow
Directions: Once that you had payed a small entrance-fee at the parking you are free to walk around all of the sights of Glendalough freely and without restrictions. During the night they are totally open.
Halfpennybrigde is an easy way to get across the river Liffey in the centre of Dublin and while it is free of charge today it once used to be a toll-brigde and the toll to cross it was 1/2 penny...
...THAT time is over, but I read on another VT-page ( by Greebo ) - that it is a great way to learn lots of local Irish expressions, when you try to cross that bridge with a lot of luggage ;-)
The river Liffey is quite a dirty river and it devides the rich southern part of Dublin from the poor northern part.
And in fact you should get across the bridge and walk the sidestreets of the northern part - some of these streets are really intimidating with strange people walking around, almost empty streets and barbed-wires on top of several fences...
You will be glad to be back in the southern part again !!
Directions: The river Liffey and Halfpennybridge are in the north of the city of Dublin.
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher are a bit over-rated by the tourists in my personal opinion, but when you are on the West-coast anyway, why not going there as well. I simply mean it does not make sense to go there as a single destination on a daytour from Dublin, when you dont have the time to explore anything else of the beautiful Westcoast of Ireland. The walk along the Cliffs of Moher is the main attraction for the tourists, BUT only at a very few places you are able to look down the dangerous cliffs, that have a hight of 200 meters at some places.
No matter how far you walk along the cliffs of Moher, you will NEVER have a chance to find a path going down to the shore!
The best place to look down the cliffs and maybe see some birds is next to the parking, where you may lay on the floor and look down !!
O'Brien's Tower was built already in the 19th century by a clever local farmer for the many tourists, who came to see the famous Cliffs of Moher. You will have to pay a small fee and then you are allowed to climb up the steps in order to have a better view of the landscape around, but I am not sure, wether I should recommend it or not, as the cliffs are even further away than at places, where you may walk directely along the cliffs - free of charge !
To step up O'Briens Tower might make sense on a clear day, when you want to have a better view of the Aran-island !
Address: Cliffs of Moher / County Clare
Directions: The Cliffs of Moher are close to these villages: Doolin, Lahinch and Ennistymon.
Bunratty castle is one of the places in Ireland, where obviously all of the tourbuses will take a stop, so be prepared of a lot of hassle and stress at certain times. In many ways it makes sense to go there anyway. The medieval castle of Bunratty dates back to the 9th century but the way it looks today it was rebuilt during the 15th century.
Bunratty really offers a lot for the hasty tourists, who want to "absorbe the Irish way of life" within the shortest time possible :
In Bunratty castle they may attend a "Medieval Irish Banquet" with servants in historic costumes, live music , food and drinks, all is included in the price. And in Bunratty Folk-park they will see lots of traditional farmhouses, a pub, shops and even a church that was rebuilt here in an openair-museum.
the hall offers 141 seats and 2 sittings : at 05.30p.m. + 08.46 p.m.
There is also a "Traditional Irish Night" in Bunratty
From April till October daily at 7.00p.
Bunratty Folk Park is open for visitors :
june till august : 09.30a.m. - 06.00p.m.
september till may : 09.00a.m. - 05.30p.m.
last admission 45 minutes before closing-time !
Address: Bunratty Folk Park / Co.Clare
Directions: Bunratty castle is not far from Shannon Airport, just about 12km from Limerick city - 21km from Ennis - 75km from Galway - 100 km from Killarney (or Cork) - 200 km from Dublin
Other Contact: %B%CB%S4Fax: +353 61 361020
Phone: +353 61 360788
Blarney Castle is an interesting castle north of the city of Cork and while it is great for the old architecture and the park most of the tourists just get there because of an old ledgend and in order to kiss the " Blarney Stone " , a piece of stone on the very top of the tower .The old ledgend says that kissing that stone will give you the " gift of eloquence " !
You just have to lay on your back, bend back your head in a crazy way into a hole of the top-fence and while you are held by a strong man you kiss that stone, thats all you have to do...
I admitt, I watched other tourists doing so, But refrained to do it myself...
....Hmmm, maybe I should have done it, but now it is too late anyway ;-((
May: 09.00 a.m. to 06.30 p.m. Jun-Aug: untill 7 p.m.
Sept: 09.oo a.m. to 06.30 p.m.
Oct-Apr: 9 a.m. to sundown (or 6 p.m.)
and on Sundays:
During Summer: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
In Winter: 9.30 a.m. to sundown
Last Admissions is 30 minutes before closing-time !!
Admission is 7 Euros / 5 Euros for senor-citizens
16 Euros for parents and 2 children !
The Castle is open for the entire year, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Address: Blarney castle / An Bhlarna, Co Cork
Directions: Blarney castle is just a few miles north of the city of Cork - at first you have to take N20 and finally R617 in order to get there. plenty of sign-posts will lead you there, finally it is one of the most famous tourist-traps of that area !!
Other Contact: %B%CB%S4Fax+353 21 4381518
Phone: 021 385252
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