Ireland Holidays Guide
Irish cities are famous for their social scene, while the rural Ireland is famous for it's scenery and country-house hotels. Holding it all together is traditional Irish culture, which manages to be both dynamic and living history. Many pubs hold frequent folk music session; organised or impromptu, Irish music is always hugely enjoyable. Religion is important in Ireland; while it's impossible to miss the ornate roadside shrines, be sure to visit at least one historic church or cathedral during your stay. Irish cities are year-round destinations, but sailing, hillwalking and other outdoors activities are best experienced in the summer. Many young people visit Ireland as it is a safe and easy introduction to travelling, but couples and families also holiday there, attracted by the laid-back atmosphere and hospitality. Ireland is also a very popular destination for (mostly!) well behaved stag and hen parties.
Ireland Holidays Planner
Dublin is where many people begin their travels. The Guinness Brewery takes marketing to a whole new level – by the end of the tour, you'll be dying for a pint of the black stuff. The National Museum is well worth checking out, particularly for its displays on 20th century history. Grafton Street and O'Connell Street are the best places to shop, with Temple Bar boasts some of the best nightlife in Ireland. Those from Cork may dispute this, however; an absolutely charming city with excellent restaurants and coffee shops, Cork claims to be the 'real capital' and is well worth a visit, both to enjoy the capital of the Rebel County and to visit nearby attractions. These include the Blarney Stone – legend has it that kissing the stone will bestow a silver tongue. Finally, the medieval town of Kilkenny is one of Ireland's top tourist spots, and boasts an impressive castle. If you want to find out more about traditional pastimes you may also want to seek out a hurling game or even watch some road bowling, which is an ancient cross between shot-putt and golf.
Don't confine your trip to the two main cities, however. Cobh, in the South, boasts a museum detailing the experiences of Irish émigrés to the New World – if you are visiting Ireland to trace your heritage, then you'd do well to stop off here for an insight into how your ancestors experienced living wakes and coffin ships. Galway is famous for seafood and, even in Ireland, for a quirky, laid back take on life. Galway is also the stating point for trips to the remote Aran Islands – devotees of the Father Ted TV show may be particularly interested in taking the ferry over in February, to attend the annual and anarchic Tedfest.