There are several sites you just have to see when you travel to Ireland - from the windswept Cliffs of Moher to the rain-soaked Aran Islands. If ancient history is your thing, Ireland has plenty of it: try Newgrange or the Hill of Tara in County Meath. For sheer unadulterated, natural, beauty try the Giant's Causeway or the entire county of Kerry. But there is more to Ireland than countryside and rocks, as any number of attractions in Dublin, such as Trinity College and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, make clear.
To narrow the list down to 10 is quite a challenge. But it nevertheless reflects an array of tourist attractions from all corners of Ireland, with something for everyone.
We compiled this list ourselves but we're open to change! What's your favorite place in Ireland?
Brú na Bóinne (the Boyne Palace) in County Meath contains some of the most important historic sites and monuments in Ireland, and is a designated World Heritage Site.
It features the massive megalithic ancient passage tombs - which are graves dating back to ancient times - of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. These tombs are older than both Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
Newgrange, which was built about 5,000 years ago, is Ireland's most famous prehistoric site.
It's especially famous for a spectacular event on Dec. 21, also known as the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. The tomb was built in such a way that on this day, it is illuminated by a narrow beam of sunlight which shines through a specially designed roof box. Those who have seen this say its an unforgettable experience.
Nobody knows why the tomb was built in the way it was, or indeed how the stones were even transported to the site. But it does seem fairly certain that Newgrange was built before the invention of the wheel.
The tomb itself was almost lost to history itself. It was sunk into the ground for over 4,000 years, only rediscovered in 1699 when workers carried away building stones for the landowner. As they removed the stones they discovered the entrance. But they left it undisturbed as they thought it was a cave. Then, in 1962, archaeologists began to investigate the sinking mound. Newgrange was then excavated and restored to its former glory.
Today, access to Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth begins at a visitor center, from where you can take a guided tour of the site.
The Hill of Tara is also in Co. Meath. An archeological complex, it consists of a number of ancient monuments, including the Stone of Destiny, the Fort of the Kings and the Mound of the Hostages. Located on the River Boyne, it is said to be the actual seat of the High Kings of Ireland.
Nearby is the site of the Battle of The Boyne, one of the key dates in Irish history, in which protestant William of Orange defeated Catholic James II in 1690.
For many people around the world, the Ring of Kerry drive encapsulates their image of Ireland: ancient monuments, romantic castles, spectacular gardens and colorful towns and villages. The stunning scenery, dramatic coastline, charming locales and ancient archaeological treasures have been featured in postcards, film, poetry and song.
Here, the idealized view of Ireland as a land of rural greenery and natural beauty springs to reality. Tourists come to Kerry to experience this rare dip into a lifestyle foreign in pace, philosophy and spirit. Each twist and turn on a drive around the Ring of Kerry reveals new sights - windswept cliffs, breathtaking scenery, spectacular lakes, rich flora and fauna, green and yellow checkered hills and unspoilt beaches.
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