The Irish bucket list: things to do and places to see in Ireland before you die

We've all seen or heard about the movie where Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play two old codgers who decide on a bucket list of things to do before they die. Here is our best shot at an Irish bucket list of places you might want to see before heading into the wild blue yonder.

Slea Head drive, Dingle, County Kerry

Watch the majestic Atlantic sweep in and see the sun's rays glance off the towering mountains and witness scenes unchanged for centuries. Watch as the little fishing boats make their way to sea and the early morning stillness is broken only by the seagulls' cries. In the distance see the starkly beautiful Blasket Islands

Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry. Source: iStock.

Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry. Source: iStock.



Stroll down Dublin's Grafton Street on a Saturday morning near Christmas 

All of Dublin comes alive with buskers, street artists, bustling crowds. School kids sing Christmas hymns, festive fare is everywhere and all is well with the world.

Grafton Street at night. Photo by Miguel Mendez. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Grafton Street at night. Photo by Miguel Mendez. Source: Wikimedia Commons.



Visit WB Yeats's grave

William Butler Yeats, the greatest poet arguably in all of literature, is buried in a quiet grave "under Ben Bulben's head" in Sligo. See the little church where his family worshiped and feel the presence of the great master.

His epitaph has inspired for decades: "Cast a cold eye on life, on death – Horseman pass by."

The Great Master's grave. Photo by John Armagh. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Great Master's grave. Photo by John Armagh. Source: Wikimedia Commons.



Visit Kilmainham Jail in Dublin

Here you will find the stories of the last moments of many of the men who led the Easter Rising 1916 and the incredible bravery they showed in the face of death. Stand in the actual cells they waited in before their execution. A sacred place. 

Hallways and metal bars of Kilmainham Gaol. Source: iStock.

Hallways and metal bars of Kilmainham Gaol. Source: iStock.



The Ulster American Folk museum in Omagh

Witness how the great migration of the Scots-Irish began from this very area in the 18th century. See the uncanny reproduction of the era from schoolhouse to little town to forge. 

Old farmstead in the Ulster American Folk Park. Photo by Caroline Johnston. Source: Flickr.

Old farmstead in the Ulster American Folk Park. Photo by Caroline Johnston. Source: Flickr.



Spend an afternoon in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin

Home to over 2 million artifacts, dating from the Stone Age. Learn about the incredible culture from earliest Celtic days to the dawn of Christianity and beyond. Marvel at the genius and creativity instilled deep in the Celtic soul. 

Kildare Street Exterior - National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology. Source: National Museum of Ireland.

Kildare Street Exterior - National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology. Source: National Museum of Ireland.



Witness Newgrange at the winter solstice

Just twenty or so miles from Dublin, where the ancients built their equivalent of the Egyptian pyramids, which they predate, the winter sun passes through the burial chamber at the winter solstice.

Newgrange Winter Solstice. Source: Tourism Ireland.

Newgrange Winter Solstice. Source: Tourism Ireland.

 

Visit Hill of Tara, County Meath

Where the high kings of Ireland were crowned and where the great assemblies of the Irish race took place. A lonely windswept hill where you easily step back in time and imagine what the ancients felt. 

Sunset at the Hill of Tara. Source: Tourism Ireland.

Sunset at the Hill of Tara. Source: Tourism Ireland.



Take the Doolough Famine walk, County Mayo

Every year a tragic walk is recreated when hundreds of starving Irish peasants in Mayo had to walk 12 miles in desperate conditions to seek relief. Many women and children died along the way and a Famine cross remembers their sacrifice. 

Doolough - National Famine Commemoration. Source: Tourism Ireland.

Doolough - National Famine Commemoration. Source: Tourism Ireland.



Go to the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

After all the history time to enjoy a pint and where better than at the home of the Black Stuff. A fun tour well worth taking to finish up your bucket list trip! 

Guinness Storehouse. Source: iStock.

Guinness Storehouse. Source: iStock.



Got some ideas? Compile your own bucket list in the comment section below.

* Originally published in 2013.

Dingle Peninsula, Blasket Islands, County KerryiStock