The list of fun things to do in Ireland is pretty much endless. The combination of interesting sights, breathtaking landscapes, friendly people, and a unique culture makes Ireland a popular destination with an abundance of fun and exciting things to experience.
Here are our picks of some of the most enjoyable activities we’ve experienced in Ireland. We hope you enjoy these fun things to do in Ireland, too!
1. Sample the Irish Humor
The Irish are known not just for their friendliness, but also for their great sense of humor. An evening at a local bar, listening to the banter and craic of the locals, will provide you with a good sample of this Irish trait. But if you really want to sample the Irish humor, why not attend a comedy night with local Irish entertainers? You can look up shows of famous Irish comedians or go to an open mic night, such as Battle of the Axe, where you will get to experience a few Irish stand-up comedians battle it out for the audience’s laughs.
2. Kiss the Blarney Stone
If you wish to acquire the gift of the gab, legend has it you can do so by kissing the Blarney Stone. The Blarney Stone, located at the Blarney castle in County Cork, has been kissed by tourists and admirers countless times, so the thought of pressing your lips to the so-called magical stone might not seem that hygienic or appealing at first. But after the buildup of climbing the castle’s steps and waiting in line, you’ll probably find yourself lying down backward and letting the man of the stone pull you in over the gap for that special kiss. What’s more, you’ll probably find it great fun!
If you are heading for a kiss of the Blarney Stone, make sure you also explore the beautiful grounds and gardens surrounding the castle, as well as the caves of the Blarney estate.
3. Explore an Irish Island
One of the most unique and fun ways you can spend a day in Ireland is by sailing to one of its remote western islands. Ireland has some great islands — some you’ll have to admire from afar, but others, with regular ferries coming in and out, can be great for a day trip or even an extended stay. The Aran Islands off Galway Bay are probably the most famous, but other islands such as Clare Island off Clew Bay and Inishbofin off the Connemara Coast are also great fun to explore.
4. Immerse Yourself in Gardens
We all know that Ireland isn’t called the Emerald Isle without reason, but while most of us will focus solely on its glorious green landscapes, another wonderfully green patch are Irish gardens. If you are lucky enough to be in Ireland while the garden design festival, Bloom, is on, count your blessings! Otherwise, a beautifully green day can be spent at the National Botanic Gardens in north Dublin, and a spectacular splendid view awaits you at the Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry. In one word: magnificent.
5. Travel along the Dingle Peninsula
The Dingle Peninsula harbors some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenic views. Walk along the sandy beaches, examine the curious stone temples and beehive structures, admire the breathtaking coastline views with the Blasket Islands in the distance, and stop for a visit in the lively Dingle town. This is one of the most beautiful and fun explorations Ireland has to offer. Make sure you give it a go!
6. Visit the Guinness Storehouse and Learn How Guinness Is Made
Guinness, one of the most recognized and celebrated stouts in the world, originates in Dublin. There is no better place to learn about Guinness and its manufacturing process than the Guinness Storehouse and brewery. The visitor experience takes place in a seven-floor building that contains interactive exhibitions, information about the stout and the Guinness brand, a gift store, and the highlight of the tour: a visit to The Gravity Bar, overlooking Dublin’s skyline. However, at this point, vegans beware!
Currently, only Guinness processed in the United States and Australia is considered suitable for vegans. Guinness made in Ireland is still processed using isinglass (fishes’ swim bladders). The good news, though, is that Guinness is on it, and is currently in the process of transferring to a vegan friendly filtering process, which will soon make Guinness in Ireland suitable for vegans as well. So if you’re going for a visit, be sure to ask if the new system is already in place.
7. Spend a Lazy Noon at Dublin or Galway’s Famous Pedestrian Roads
Both Dublin and Galway have famous pedestrian roads filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, street artists, and a downright fun and lively vibe! In Dublin, it is Grafton Street, with one end at St. Stephen’s Green Park and Shopping Center and the other end at Trinity College. In Galway, it is Quay Street, which meanders down to the Corrib River. Both streets are colorful and wonderful spots to idle around. Take your time, and go in and out of shops, bookstores, and special interest boutiques. Visit the adjacent parks and sights, have a coffee, a beer, or lunch, and do some people watching as the day goes by.
8. Listen to Live Traditional Music
Ireland has its own unique sound. Traditional Irish music can be heard in many local bars, and is widely celebrated around the nation with live performances, concerts, and festivals. One of the most fun ways to listen to traditional Irish music is by visiting local bars, where the elders actively participate in the musical celebration. This is where you will get to experience traditional playing methods such as spoons and other makeshift instruments. Check out notice boards in bars for traditional music nights, or look up a traditional music festival and book your tickets ahead of time.
9. Admire Natural and Manmade Wonders
At County Antrim in Northern Ireland, there are two close spots where you can admire great wonders. The Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Sight and nature reserve, is a spectacular rocky coastline made up of volcanic columns and stepping stones, mostly in hexagonal shapes. Walking along the columns and stepping stones is quite a remarkable experience, and the wonder of the place is truly exceptional.
About 20 minutes’ drive from the Giant’s Causeway lies the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, a breathtaking link between the mainland and Carrickarede Island. Crossing the bridge is a super exciting and thrilling experience, but if it gets too much – don’t look down!
10. Indulge in Local Vegan Food
Last, but not least, is hearty, go-happy vegan food! Ireland doesn’t have many exclusively vegan restaurants, but there are quite a few places that will warm your heart. A vegan restaurant in Ennis, a vegan café in Limerick, and quite a few remarkable vegan friendly restaurants in Dublin are some of the lot. Have yourself some fun eating at one of the vegan Irish establishments or, better yet, come join us on our Vegan Dublin Food Tastings and Cocktail Tour to sample some of the best vegan food Dublin has to offer.