25 Famous landmarks in Ireland

There are many things Ireland is famous for, but some of the most notable are the striking natural landmarks and the impressive manmade monuments. Called the Emerald Island due to the green hue that covers it, Ireland is covered with famous castles, beautiful natural settings, bustling cities, ancient and recent monuments. Here we will explore the 25 most famous Landmarks in Ireland!

We love Ireland and explored it thoroughly. However, to have this article as complete as possible we have asked a few fellow bloggers to pitch in with their favorite Irish landmarks!

As in every other article on our site, this post covers the island of Ireland, including both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Natural Landmarks in Ireland

Cliffs of Moher

The cliffs of Moher are one of the most famous postcards of Ireland. Located on the edge of the Burren region in County Clare, these sea cliffs are about 14 km long and rise 120 to 214 meters from the sea. The highest part is just north of O’brien’s tower.

From the cliffs, you can see Aran Islands, the Maumturks, and even the Loop Head to the south. With about 1.5M visitours, they are one of the most visited tourist sites in Ireland. In fact, any trip to Ireland isn’t complete without going to the cliffs of Moher.

We strongly recommend you stay in the area for a few days, as there are many interesting things to do relatively close. However, it’s also possible to visit as a day trip from Dublin, if you are short on time.

Natural Landmarks In Ireland
The cliffs of Moher

Giant’s Causeway

Located in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway is another UNESCO Heritage site in the Emerald Ireland and it’s very famous for its weird-looking hexagonal rock columns. There are roughly 40 000 of these interlocking basalt columns, resulting from an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. Most of these are hexagonal, but there are 4 to 8-side columns too. The tallest is 12 meters high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is up to 28 meters thick.

Giant’s Causeway is a truly unique place and a very enjoyable one to visit. The walk along the shore to the rocks is stunning, being able to simply hopping from one basalt column to the other, and contemplating this geological wonder is a remarkable experience.

It’s easy to understand why it is one of the most popular landmarks in Northern Ireland, receiving about 1 million visitors per year. Access to the landmark is free of charge – there’s a visitor center that charges a fee, but it’s not necessary to go through it to enter the landmark.

Beautiful Landmarks in Ireland
Giant’s Causeway

Ben Bulben, Sligo

By Tom Bartel from Travel Past 50

Ben Bulben, the mountain immortalized by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, is perhaps the most famous landmark of Ireland other than the Blarney Stone. Ben Bulben dominates the countryside of County Sligo, as well as Irish literary heritage. In his famous last poem Under Ben Bulben, Yeats decreed he wanted to be buried near the mountain, which he was.

The summit of Ben Bulben is a popular walking destination. From the south side, it is an easy walk up the gentle slope. From the summit, there are stunning views over the coastal plain of north County Sligo and the Atlantic Ocean.

Ben Bulben, one of the Dartry Mountain range, got its distinctive shape from the receding glaciers of the Ice Age.  The layers of the mountain formed approximately 320 million years ago under a shallow sea. Uppermost are limestone layers. Further down, the lower slopes consist of shaly mudstone known as the Ben Bulben Shale Formation. Seashell fossils exist throughout the layers of the mountain. The shale layer also holds some corals.

If the mountain piques your curiosity, be sure to check out Yeats’ grave in the churchyard of Saint Columba’s Church in the village of Drumcliff, about six kilometers away, in the shadow of the famous mountain.

Beautifull landmarks in Ireland
Ben Bulben, Sligo

Slieve League Cliffs

By Nicole Hunter from Go Far Grow Close

Slieve League Cliffs are some of the highest cliffs in Europe. They are three times the height of the Cliffs of Moher, and arguably 10 times more breathtaking. Though, probably not as famous!

Slieve League Cliffs are easy to get to in that there is a lovely two-lane country road that takes you from the highway to the Cliffs. However, they are located in Donegal, a remote part of Ireland, close to Northern Ireland. It is around 2 hours from Londonderry and over 3 ½ hours from Galway. Slieve League Cliffs offer spectacular viewing platforms that give you dramatic views of the North Atlantic Sea. However, it is the hike up to the peak and along the crescents that allow you to fully appreciate the height of the Cliffs and the awe-inspiring beauty of the region. If you prefer to look at the full wonder of the Cliffs from another perspective, boat tours below the Cliffs are offered. Those must be booked and boarded elsewhere. There is no access to the water from the Cliffs themselves. 

Slieve League Cliffs are only just being discovered by tourists and for now, it is still relatively untouched and easy to visit and enjoy without jostling for space.

Famous landmark's of Ireland
Slieve League Cliffs

The Aran Islands and Dun Aengus

Located on the west coast of Ireland is the hidden gem – The Aran Islands. The three islands are located at the mouth of Galway Bay and are home to breathtaking views and even historic sites. Taking a day trip to the Aran Islands is one of the best things to do in Galway. It’s about a forty-minute ferry ride to the islands from Galway. 

The three islands, from largest to smallest, are Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer. Inishmore is the most visited of these three due to its size and the historic ruins that dot the landscape. There are a total of seven prehistoric stone forts still on the island. One of the most well-known and most beautiful of these is Dún Aengus (or Dún Aonghasa in Gaelic).

Dún Aengus was built during the Bronze Age at the edge of a 100-meter (300 feet) high cliff. It’s believed that the original shape was an oval or D-shaped, but that some of the fort collapsed into the sea. The outermost wall of the fort encloses 14 acres of land! While the fort was used for defensive means, it is believed that it was primarily used for religious and ceremonial actions. 

If you’re on the western coast of Ireland, then making the trip to the Aran Islands won’t disappoint. Get captivated by the rolling hills, sharp cliffs, and walk your way through history at Dún Aengus.

Interesting landmarks in Ireland
Dún Aengus in the Aran Islands

Historical Landmarks in Ireland

Newgrange – Brú na Bóine

Located only 40 km north of Dublin in County Meath Newgrange is a prehistoric monument part of the UNESCO Heritage site Brú na Bóine – Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne. Newgrange is a huge circular mound with an inner stone passage and rooms. During the archaeological excavations, there were found grave goods, human bones, and offerings.

This site was built around 3200 BC making it older than the pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England. Many of the main rocks in Newgrange are covered with megalithic art making it an even more interesting attraction.

Skellig Michael Monastery

By Carol from Is this even a road

The ancient Skellig Michael Monastery is a must-see for for any Ireland itinerary. The beehive huts sit perched on top of the jagged island cliffs 218 meters above sea level. 

This UNESCO heritage site is located 8 miles off the coast of Portmagee in Southwest Kerry county. It can only be accessed by ferrying across the wild Atlantic. Several boat companies take visitors on the one hour journey to the island daily. (May to October – reservations only.)

After docking at Skellig Michael, visitors hike up the 614 harrowing stone steps without handrails to the top. Six original beehive huts can be explored as well as an ancient cemetery, chapel, and Oratory.

The St Fionan monks built the monastery and steps in the 6th century to live and worship. The watertight structures were built without concrete or mortar centuries ago and still stand. The corbelling technique was used; dry stacking the rocks inward to repel water and wind.

In the summer months, Skellig Michael is home to tens of thousands of sea birds including gannets and the adorable puffin.

Skellig Michael was more recently featured in two popular Star Wars movies, making it an even more famous irish landmark.

Whether arriving via ferry or by using The Force, no trip to Ireland is complete without a Skellig Michael adventure

Must go landmarks in Ireland
Skellig Michael Monastery

Trinity College Library, Dublin

The Trinity College Library is considered one of the most beautiful in the world and one of the most famous landmarks in Dublin. The long room in the old library of the Trinity College, built between 1712 and 1732, contains over 200 000 books and it’s 65 meters long. The whole library contains more than 4.5 million books and it’s the legal depository of all books published in Ireland.

Among these books, it’s the “Book of Kells”, written in the 9th-century and considered the oldest book in the world. The book of Kells is an illuminated gospel manuscript written more than 1200 years ago by Irish monks. Every day two pages of the Book of Kells are available to be seen by visitors, one showing a major illustration and the other showing typical text pages. It’s a holy relic of Ireland and the world!

Historical Landmarks In Ireland
The Trinity College Library

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Located in Northern Ireland, relatively close to Giant’s Causeway, there’s a quite different landmark, a rope bridge that links Ireland with a small islet. It’s visited by almost half a million tourists every year, probably because it’s a popular stop in one of the best road trips in the UK. It’s not the most impressive landmark in Ireland, but it’s trendy and loved due to its astonishing setting.

The rope bridge links the mainland with the Carrickarede island, spanning about 20 meters long and 30 meters above the rocks/sea below. There have been numerous versions of this bridge since at least the 17th century, but the current one is very recent – it was built in 2008. Crossing the rope bridge is extremely fun, as one would expect, but there’s nothing to do on the other side of the bridge, so that it may feel a bit pointless for some people. Nevertheless, it’s a worthy destination as the Causeway Coastal Route is a beauty, and Carrickarede is one of the highlights.

Most known landmarks in Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Rock of Cashel

Located in County Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is a historic landmark set on a limestone hill. It’s an imposing iconic monument with historical significance. It has several medieval buildings (or ruins) like a round tower, a high cross, a chapel, a gothic cathedral, an abbey, and a tower house. Together they form one of Ireland’s most spectacular human-made monuments!

The oldest and highest building is the round tower dating from about 1100, but Cormac’s chapel (it has the only surviving Romanesque frescoes in Ireland) was consecrated in 1134, and the cathedral was built between 1235 and 1270. So we are talking about really ancient and remarkable buildings and ruins.

Cashel is fairly close to Dublin (1h30-2h) and Cork (about 1 hour), making it perfect for both a day trip from either city or a stop between them. Even if you don’t want to enter, it’s an imposing site, with the prominent landmark built on dramatic limestone dramatic outcrop of limestone.

cool landmarks in Ireland
The Rock of Cashe

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold, built more than 600 years ago by Comarc MacCarthy, one of the most important Irish chieftains. Now in partial ruins, it is still possible to visit some of its rooms and battlements. The castle is impressive, and the surrounding extensive gardens are lovely, but the main reason it’s one of Ireland’s most popular landmarks is the Stone of Eloquence.

This stone, better known as the Blarney stone, is located on top of the castle’s main tower in one of the machicolations. People who want to receive the gift of eloquence have to hand upside-down over the drop and kiss the Blarney stone. It’s really an experience!

The surrounding gardens are also pretty interesting, and one can lose a few hours roaming through them. There are several paths taking to some interesting rock formations. It includes a poison garden with several poisonous plants that you can’t find in other places like mandrake, opium, cannabis, ricin, etc.

famous historic landmarks in Ireland
Blarney Castle

Derry city walls

The Derry/Londonderry city walls are a unique landmark in Ireland. They are the last walled city to be built in Europe and the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. Considered one of the finest examples in Europe, they were built between 1613 – 1618 by The Honourable Irish Society to protect the 17th-century Protestant settlers that arrived from England and Scotland.

With roughly 1.5km in diameter, the Derry/Londonderry city walls work as a walkway around the city center. It has 4 main/original gates: Butcher Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Bishop’s Gate, and Shipquay Gate. A short hike here reveals a wonderful city with a long history and heritage, including other Derry’s monuments like the Apprentice Boy’s Hall and St. Columb’s Cathedral (the first-ever purpose build Protestant Cathedral).

Interesting landmarks in Ireland
Derry City Center

Kilkenny Castle

Initially built in 1195, soon after the Norman invasion, Kilkenny Castle is an impressive sight. Over the next 800 years, the castle has been rebuilt, extended, refurnished, abandoned, and adapted several times. The castle was the main residence of the once-powerful Butler family for 600 years, but after decades of abandonment in the 20th century, the property was transferred to the people.

It is possible to visit the interior of the castle with a self or guided tour. During this tour, you’ll get to see many of its now restored rooms and enjoy the long history of the building. Most of the interior reflects the Victorian age’s exuberant spirit, capturing the splendor of the 1830s. The three reception rooms, the Ante Room, the library, and the drawing-room are particularly remarkable.

Kilkenny is more a less halfway between Cork and Dublin, relatively close to the Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle. It’s a great place to have a day trip from Dublin or Cork or an even better place to stop and rest for a bit.

best landmarks of Ireland
Kilkenny Castle

Powerscourt House and Gardens

By Faith Coates from XYUandBEYOND

Powerscourt House and Gardens are located in Wicklow a short journey from Dublin. Originally a 13th-century medieval castle it was transformed into a Palladian mansion by the 1600s.

Powerscourt was voted One of the Top Ten Houses and Mansions Worldwide by the Lonely Planet Guide and the Gardens are third in the World’s Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic.

By the 1970s the house was rundown and was handed over to the State to be transformed into a tourist attraction but in 1974 a fire broke out. The house was finally restored and opened by 1996.

There isn’t much to see within the house but you can take a break in the Avoca café with some stunning views over the gardens. Or pick up some authentic Irish gifts to take home from the shops.

The great attraction at Powerscourt are the gardens that provide stunning views of Sugarloaf Mountain and stretch over 47 acres. There is a range of formal gardens, lakes, fountains, a Japanese garden, Pepperpot Tower, a walled garden, the Italian Garden and a Pet Cemetery. You could spend hours just wandering the paths around the estate taking photos and enjoying the sublime views.

You can also visit the Powerscourt Waterfall which at 121 meters is Ireland’s highest. The waterfall is a 6km walk or drive from the main house and they were used as a scenic backdrop in HBO’s epic drama The Vikings.

Famous Landmarks In Ireland
Powerscourt Waterfall

Guinness Storehouse – Dublin, Ireland  

By Claire Bee from ClairPins

As one of the most popular attractions in Ireland, the Guinness Storehouse offers 7 floors of immersive and interactive experiences covering the beer-making process and the history and production of Guinness beers. You can even try pouring your own pint of the famous Guinness Draught and experience 360-degree views of Dublin in the rooftop Gravity Bar. 

The Guinness Storehouse is located in St. James’s Gate, slightly west of the center of Dublin. If you stay in the city center, you can reach the Guinness Storehouse by walking, taking a taxi, a bus, or the Luas tram to St James’s Hospital stop. While this is not a UNESCO site, it is an important historic building that dates to 1904 and incorporates design elements from the Chicago School of Architecture. The Guinness Storehouse is a great destination for those interested in history, beer, or both!

Interesting landmarks in Ireland
Guinness Storehouse

Dunluce Castle

By Kevin Mercier from Kevmrc

Dunluce Castle is an unmissable landmark of Northern Ireland. It’s located on the north coast of Northern Ireland, in County Antrim. It’s just minutes away from 2 other great landmarks of Ireland, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway.

The castle is built on the edge of the cliffs, overlooking the sea. It was built in 1500 by the MacQuillan family and later became the Earl of Antrim’s seat until 1690. Since then, the medieval castle has been abandoned and slowly turned to ruins; but even in ruins, it remains an absolutely wonderful sight to behold!

Dunluce Castle is still open to the public but is now protected as a Scheduled Historic Monument. You can see the castle from the outside for free, or you can actually go inside for a small fee (£5.50 for adults), which helps maintain the site over the years. Below the castle is a massive cave, the Mermaid’s Cave; you can go inside the cave once you get in the castle enclosure.

The easiest way to reach the castle is by car; it’s a 10mn drive from the Giant’s Causeway, 18mn from the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and 1h from Derry/Londonderry or Belfast. If you don’t have a car, don’t worry: you can get to the castle from Belfast or Derry/Londonderry in around 2h.
Bonus: if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you’ll enjoy seeing the castle as it was used as Pyke Castle, House of Greyjoy in the series, just like many other Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland.

Must visit landmark's in Ireland
Dunluce Castle

Kilmainham Gaol

By Bridget from The Flashpacker

Visit Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol – Europe’s largest unoccupied prison – for a generous helping of Irish Republican history, and to better understand Ireland’s past and present. This historic Ireland landmark started life as the county jail for Dublin in 1796. It finally closed its door to prisoners in 1924.

However, Kilmainham Gaol is closely related to the fight for Irish independence and is considered the birthplace of modern Ireland. From Henry Joy McCracken to Éamon de Valera, the key figures in every rebellion against British rule since 1798 were incarcerated here, most famously those involved in the 1916 Easter Rising.

Journey through Ireland’s social and political history, from the bleak cells housing those early criminals to its striking East Wing. This landmark has been used extensively as a filming location, with The Italian Job and Paddington 2 among the many films that have been shot there.

When the Kilmainham Gaol tour is over, visit the excellent museum which is adjacent to the gaol.

Kilmainham Gaol is located on Inchicore Rd, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. From Dublin Heuston Station, this is a 15 – 20 minute walk. Alternatively, hop on bus 13, 40, 69, or 79.

Well-known landmarks in Ireland
Kilmainham Gaol stonebreakers yard

Cahir Castle

By Cath from Passports and Adventures

Sitting on the banks of the River Suir in County Tipperary is one of the best-preserved castles in Ireland. Located in the town with the same name, Cahir Castle is a 2-hour drive from Dublin and is just 20-minutes from another Irish landmark, the Rock of Cashel, making these two historical sites ideal for visiting together in one day.

Cahir Castle dates from the 12th century, having been built by the O’Brien family, and is a notable landmark of Ireland. In the 14th century, it was given to the powerful Butler family and it remained in use until it began to fall into ruin in the 19th century. It was partly restored and was eventually handed to the Irish state after the last Lord Cahir died in 1961.

Cahir Castle is a great historical site to visit and is also a family-friendly castle in Ireland. There are many nooks and crannies to explore including several Towers, Keeps, Wards, and gardens. The castle has an interactive model of the castle which will go down a treat if you are visiting with kids. And if it is a nice day there are lovely views from the castle across the River Suir. If you are looking for a great Irish castle to visit, put Cahir on your list.

Best landmarks in Ireland
Cahir castle, Tipperary

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

By Michelle from That Texas Couple 

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is definitely one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland and one of the free things to do in Dublin.  Located in the heart of Dublin, this cathedral has been an iconic landmark of Ireland for over 800 years. While the cathedral itself originated between 1220 and 1260, the site itself has been significant in Christianity for over 1500 years when St. Patrick baptized people here.

Today, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and welcomes visitors to enjoy the house of worship.  Once inside the Gothic cathedral, visitors are treated to beautiful stained glass and historic architecture. 

There are several reasons to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  The best-known of which is the tomb of Johnathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels. The St. Patrick’s Cathedral choir, which was established in 1432, still performs daily and is a huge draw for visitors to the cathedral also. Be sure to check the schedule if you want to listen to a performance. There are also other points of interest within the cathedral, including a door with a hole. This door is the door where Lord Kildare risked his arm to shake hands with his enemy Lord Ormonde. This is where the saying “to chance your arm” comes from.

Landmarks in Ireland
Inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Glendalough monastic site

By Andy from Avrex Travel

Glendalough is well known for its monastic ruins set between the valley’s two lakes.

St. Kevin came to this peaceful valley in the late 6th century AD. He established a monastery soon after arriving. It flourished becoming a large city. Glendalough Monastery survived several attacks over the centuries until the English destroyed much of it in the late 14th century. It continued as a site of pilgrimage into the 19th century.

Today visitors explore the ruins of 7 churches and St. Kevin’s original settlement on the cliff of Upper Lake. The signature structure is the Glendalough Round Tower. Built between the 10th and 12th century, the Tower is fully intact and stands out on the horizon. Other structures such as the Priests’ House and Reefert Church have been extensively rebuilt over the centuries.

The monastery’s historical significance and the number of ruins led to it being included on Ireland’s list of National Monuments in State Care.

Like St. Kevin, visitors still come here to picnic and enjoy the lakes.  Glendalough is the start of many walks in the surrounding mountains of Wicklow Mountains National Park.

The valley and monastery ruins are an easy 1 hour (50 km) drive south of Dublin, making Glendalough a perfect day trip.

Cool landmarks in Ireland
Glendalough Round Tower

Monasterboice

Bret Love & Mary Gabbett of Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

Though it may not be as well-known as the Cliffs of Moher or the Blarney Stone, the historic ruins of Monasterboice are a must-visit for anyone with an interest in Irish history, art, or religion. 

Known as Mainistir Bhuithe in the Gaelic tongue, the ruins are part of an early Christian settlement in County Louth. The monastery was founded by Saint Buithe in the late 5th century and remained an important place for education and religion until the Mellifont Abbey was founded in 1142.

This historic site is home to an old graveyard, two churches built sometime around the 14th century, a sundial, and a fairly well-preserved stone round tower that measures some 30+ meters tall. But the most spectacular attractions at Monasterboice are the high crosses, each of which features ornate Biblical carvings drawn from both the Old and New Testaments. 

The North and West crosses (which is the tallest in Ireland) have suffered a bit of deterioration from time and weather. But the 5.5-meter Muiredach’s High Cross (named after abbot Muiredach mac Domhnaill, who died in 923) is widely considered the most impressive high cross in the country.

To get to this part of “Ireland’s ancient east” from Dublin, head north on the M1 highway approximately 49 kilometers, then take the N51 exit to Drogheda/North. At the third roundabout, take the 1st exit left onto R132, and follow it for 5.5 kilometers. Then take a left and follow the signs to Monasterboice.  

Historic landmarks in Ireland
Monasterboice

Titanic Quarter

On the banks of the River Lagan and a short walk from the main tourist attractions in Belfast City centre, Titanic Quarter is a bit like an open-air museum commemorating the shipbuilding culture of Belfast and the origins of the world-famous Titanic cruise liner.

There is also a lot to explore along ‘The Maritime Mile’ but the main focus for most is around the newly developed Titanic Belfast (aka the Titanic Museum) building which shares the history of the shipyards through “sights, sounds, smells and stories”. Just next to this now-iconic building is the original drawing rooms where the Titanic, along with its sister ships the Olympic and Britannic, were first imagined. These buildings have now been restored and renovated into a cafe as well as a hotel (Titanic Hotel) but are still free to roam for the general public and to explore the original rooms along with historical tidbits. There is a lot to explore in the area, but some of the more important attractions include the Olympic Slipway where these cruise liners had originally been built then launched, and a tour of the SS Nomadic aka “Mini Titanic” which was used to shuttle passengers to board the Titanic before setting sail. 

Well-known Ireland's landmarks
Titanic Quarter

King John’s Castle Limerick

by Jane and Duncan from To Travel Too

King John’s Castle Limerick is located at Nicholas Street in Limerick, near Thomond Bridge Kings Island on the River Shannon.

The Castle is a popular tourist destination when staying in Limerick being just a short walk from the city centre.

King John’s Castle construction started in 1200 and finished 12 years later in 1212.  King John was the brother of Richard the Lionheart who was known for the legends of the Knights of the Round Table and the famous Robin Hood.

The construction of the Castle in its location on Kings Island was strategic to protect Limerick from attacking forces from the east, south and west. King John minted his own coins from the Castle Mint. The Castle’s construction was unique for its time with its corner towers, battlements and gatehouse.  Over the centuries it has been extended and repaired various times.

Visiting King John’s Castle in Limerick is a fun activity for all ages.  Visitors can enjoy:

  • Historical exhibitions
  • Courtyard displays of traditional trades
  • Costumed guides regale stories of the secrets of the castle
  • Interactive displays of siege and warfare

Allow at least a couple of hours to enjoy Limerick’s popular tourist attraction.

famous landmarks in Irealnd
King John’s Castle Limerick

Bunratty Castle

By Cath from Travel Around Ireland

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is located in County Clare in the west of Ireland just a 20-minutes drive from Limerick City and is one of the best places to visit in Ireland.

Bunratty Castle dates from the 15th century and is a tower house. The castle is said to stand on the site of a Viking settlement from the 10th century although there is no evidence to support this claim. The castle that remains today is the fourth known structure for Bunratty Castle after previous castles were destroyed. The current castle was built by the MacNamara family before being taken over by the O’Brien’s, a powerful clan in Munster.

Within the castle, visitors can see furniture and tapestries from the 17th century and each evening a Medieval Banquet is held in the Great Hall. This is a must-do if you are staying close to Bunratty.

Beside the castle is the Folk Park in which visitors can get a taste of life in a 19th-century Irish village with various buildings and actors dressed in costume going about daily village life. There is also a small farm and a fairy trail for those visiting with kids. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park are a landmark in Ireland worth visiting.

Historic landmarks in Ireland
Bunratty Castle

Kylemore Abbey

By Isabelle Hoyne from Issy’s-Escapades

Many tourists visiting Ireland are already familiar with the deeply romantic image of Kylemore Abbey, set on the shoreline of Pollacapull Lough, located deep in the heart of Connemara. In possession of somewhat of a confusing name, Kylemore Abbey began its life as a castle, built by British politician Mitchell Henry in 1868 as a gift for his wife Margaret after they had traveled to the area in the 1840s on their honeymoon. 

Sadly, Margaret did not get much time to enjoy the splendid property, dying in 1875 from a fever that she contracted in Egypt. In her memory, Henry constructed a beautiful memorial church a little further along the shoreline. The church is a gothic cathedral in miniature and inside, houses colored marbles from each of the four provinces in Ireland.

The castle became an abbey in 1920 when it was purchased by Irish Benedictine nuns, who were forced to flee Ypres in World War 1. They operated a boarding school at Kylemore Abbey until 2010 when they were forced to close. 

Kylemore Abbey is open today to visitors and is one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions. Allow several hours to visit, as parts of the house have been opened up to visitors, offering a visitor experience that walks you through the stories of some of the people who have lived, worked, and studied at the abbey. Kylemore Abbey is also home to a superbly maintained walled Victorian garden, that offers 6 acres of beautiful gardens in which to lose yourself. When you are finished, too, there is also a cafe on-site should you be feeling peckish.

Located close to the town of Letterfrack in County Galway, Kylemore Abbey is also easily reached from Galway city within an hour and 30 minutes drive, through the stunning landscape of the Connemara region.

Landmarks in Ireland you must visit
Kylemore Abbey

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