Are you planning a visit to Ireland in 2019? Then here are 10 things you have to do, according to a local.
Ok so we know you're going to visit the Cliffs of Moher, the Book of Kells and the Ring of Kerry; but what else are you going to do during your vacation? Write a checklist and mark down these ten must-sees.
Experience Temple Bar
Locals will always say the prices in Temple Bar are too expensive, but for those looking for a sense of Dublin nightlife we say head for the area and decide if it's for you when you get there. From traditional pubs to modern restaurants and boutique shops to chi chi cocktail bars, Temple Bar has something for everyone. And has to be seen to be believed. And yes, there is a pub called The Temple Bar.
Kiss the Blarney Stone
Legend has it that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will be granted the gift of the gab for the rest of their life, whether you believe it or not is another story! Not for the faint-hearted, kissing the Blarney Stone is an experience best celebrated with a pint of the black stuff.
Drink a pint of the black stuff
No trip to Ireland would be complete without a pint of Guinness, or a glass for those still acquiring the taste. Our top tip? Try it with blackcurrant if you find the taste a little too overpowering.
Enjoy a trad session
Best enjoyed with a pint in front of you, a trad session is one of the cultural highlights of any trip to Ireland. Essentially a session involves live music in a local pub with a rotating army of musicians, depending on who's out that night. While you can go to see organized shows, we say ask any local where they recommend and prepare to get a list as long as your arm.
Book: An evening of craic
Visit the Aran Islands
Three little islands located off the west coast of Ireland, the Aran Islands are accessible by boat or plant and hark back to the Ireland of a different era. Whether you visit for a day or decided to stay overnight, let the landscape and absolute sense of calm wash over you.
Book a tour
So little time and so much to see, which is why we say book a tour. There are dozens of tour operators running tours all around the country, so much so that IrishCentral can help you plan your trip. Yup, our sister company Irish Studio Travel is on hand to suggest the best tours for your budget and interests. Check out our offerings here or email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us plan your dream trip.
Tour the Wild Atlantic Way
Explore 9 counties along this unforgettable coastal touring route to enjoy breathtaking scenery and exceptional experiences. The Wild Atlantic Way runs along the west coast of Ireland and is the ideal place to start if you want to travel but have seen the main attractions before. Start in Donegal and move south until you hit Killarney.
Go on a Dublin coastal cruise
The beauty of Dublin is its compact size, so if time allows get out of the city and book a coastal cruise around Dublin Bay. Start at one end of Dublin and cruise to the other, exploring two different sides of the city and seeing what life is like outside the city.
Book: A Dublin coastal cruise
Visit your favorite movie set
From Game of Thrones to Stars Wars and The Quiet Man to Ryan's Daughter, Ireland has provided the landscape for dozens of movies, and most of the sets are still available to visit. However, Skellig Michael, which was the setting for Star Wars, is a UNESCO site so weather and footfall dependent may not be always accessible.
Book: A Game of Thrones tour
The City of the Tribes is one of Ireland's hidden gems, full of charm and character and with a pub on every corner, Galway is the perfect antidote to bustling Dublin. Plus it's set to be the European City of Culture for 2020, so we say go now before the crowds arrive.