While you’re wandering around Ireland, finding the mystical places and friendly faces that the country offers, there are a number of attractions that should not be missed out on. There are plenty of natural, historical, and culturally famous landmarks in Ireland, and this list has just a few of the best.
Whether you’re a local looking to know better your country’s history, or a traveler wanting to delve deeper into what makes Ireland unique and fascinating, there is so much to explore. From the famed Blarney Stone to the picturesque Ring of Kerry, Ireland has so many significant sites and landmarks.
Take a look at this list of these landmarks, and you’ll have a much better idea of what to visit in Ireland. However long you plan on visiting the Emerald Isle, at least one of these Ireland landmarks should be on your to-do list. You can easily add them to any Ireland bucket list as you’re planning your trip.
15 Famous Landmarks in Ireland to Visit at Least Once
Whether you’re taking a 10 day road trip around Ireland or only in town for a short visit, there’s a long list of essential places to visit while you’re here. This list offers just some of the most popular and important landmarks in Ireland that you’ll find around the country.
1. Cliffs of Moher
Location: Find it at the Southwestern edge of the Burren region in Co. Clare
Cost: Cliffs are free, but you’ll pay from €5.00 for anyone over 12 to gain access to the visitor center, etc.
Hours to visit: 9 AM to 5 PM (closing time depends on sunset)
As one of the top visitor attractions in Ireland, visiting the Cliffs of Moher should be on every Irish itinerary. Take a trip to this magnificent spot and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. This landmark is a short drive from most major cities and works well as a day trip from Dublin.
The cliffs are made of Munarian shale and sandstone and stand at 700 feet tall, with dramatic vertical drops that end in the cold Atlantic Ocean. You can visit them from the top, stopping off at the visitor center and walking down to one of the viewpoints.
If you need a place to stay after visiting and are continuing north on your vacation, you’ll love the bed and breakfasts in Galway to stay at.
This area is also beautiful to visit during Ireland in October with the changing fall foliage.
2. Giant’s Causeway
Location: 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim
Cost: €15 for adults and €8 for children
Hours to visit: From dawn to dusk
Speaking of spectacular landmarks set against the ocean’s backdrop, Giant’s Causeway is another amazing sight. This natural wonder is somewhere between 50 and 60 million years old and yet continues to amaze visitors.
The rock formations were caused by successive lava flows that would cool down once they reached the sea. When it cooled, it broke up into the fascinating shapes that we can see today. The 40,000+ columns are the main attraction here, but you can also see the Giant’s Boot, Wishing Chair, and a camel made of stone. There is also a visitor center and walking trails.
Make sure you read about tourist mistakes to avoid in Ireland before you go.
3. Blarney Stone (and Castle)
Location: Monacnapa, Blarney, Co. Cork
Cost: €18 for adults and €8 for children. Lower prices for seniors, students, and family tickets. Book online for a further discount
Hours to visit: 9 AM to 4 PM
Blarney Castle is where you’ll find Blarney Stone, and both of these are must-sees in Ireland. The stone is a significant attraction, and many people visit it to give it a kiss. This stone apparently will provide you with (the kisser) the ‘gift of the gab,’ enabling you to speak with eloquence and charm.
Even if you’re not interested in puckering up for the fabled rock, visiting the castle grounds will provide you with amazing sights and scenery. Stroll through the gardens and explore the various spaces, viewing diverse surroundings and points of interest. There’s even the Poison Garden which contains a collection of toxic plants.
Make sure to find where to stay in Cork in advance for this part of your trip.
Location: Donore, Co. Meath
Cost: Depending on whether you want to do a tour, access online, and/or exhibition – budget for anything between €6 and €18 per adult.
Hours to visit: Between 9 AM and 5 PM, depending on the season.
If you’re visiting Ireland in winter, put Newgrange on the top of your excursion wishlist. This site is not only an educational and cultural experience, but it’s known to offer stunning scenes during the winter solstice sun.
The Irish tomb passage dates back to 3,200BC, and it covers a single tomb. It’s a large mound that sits in a field. The mound is around 80m in diameter and has a 97-stone curb at its base.
5. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Location: Near Ballintoy in Co. Antrim
Cost: €6.50 per person to cross, but viewing the bridge is free
Hours to visit: 9:30 AM to 5 PM
This rope bridge was built way back in the 70s by fishermen who needed to cross the 20-meter gap between Carrick Island and the Country Atrium. Since then, the bridge was constructed using a few wooden planks, with an abundance of gaps in between and one handrail.
Today, however, visitors to this spot can cross an updated, sturdier version of the bridge, although it is still 100 feet in the air. The visit to the bridge includes a 20-minute walk with breathtaking views over the beautiful sea waters. Tickets to cross the bridge are timed, so it’s best to book online if you’re hoping to cross it during your visit.
6. Dunquin Pier
Location: Slea Head Drive
Cost: Free to access the pier
Hours to visit: If you want photos, go during the daylight hours
Also known as Dun Chaoin in Irish, Dunquin Pier is a fantastic place to stop off on Slea Head Drive and one of the most popular famous landmarks in Ireland. The pier has a very narrow winding path down to the bottom, and the path is known as Sheep Highway. It’s only for pedestrians, as many drivers have figured out over the years.
Even if you’re not catching a ferry at the bottom, this pier is one of the most photogenic places in Ireland. So take your camera, a cup of coffee, and maybe a snack, and spend some time exploring the area and its views.
From time to time, you’ll see the ferries coming into the bay below, and perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to catch sight of a herd of sheep ambling up the path. It’s one of the most scenic drives around Ireland, so enjoy it.
7. Guinness Storehouse
Location: St. James’s Gate, Dublin 8, Co. Dublin
Cost: Prices vary; you can visit on your own or book a tour
Hours to visit: Wednesday to Sunday from 2 PM to 9 PM
Ireland’s most iconic beer, the chocolatey stout named Guinness, has its origins in Dublin City and the Storehouse has quickly become one of the most famous landmarks in Dublin. You can take a guided tour at the storehouse and discover the history of this beer, how it came to be, and how it continues to be such a favorite.
This site is one of the top Dublin landmarks you’ll find. The average tour lasts about 1.5 hours, and then the fun happens. After you’ve gone through the process of beer-making and learned about the ingredients and heritage of Guinness, you can sit down and enjoy a pint just as the Irish would.
This is a great stop to make while you’re visiting Dublin for the day, and you’re bound to make some local friends before you leave the brewery.
Need to burn off some energy and all that beer? Head out on an easy walk near Dublin.
8. Skellig Islands
Location: Just off the Iveragh Peninsula in Co. Kerry
Cost: Prices of tours to the islands vary
Hours to visit: You have to book tickets, so times will be dictated accordingly
Being the place where ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Last Jedi’ scenes were filmed, the Skellig Islands will be a highlight for any fans of the films. Even if you’ve never seen ‘Star Wars’, the islands’ natural beauty and groups of Atlantic puffins in the summer will amaze you.
Of the Skellig Islands, there are two major islands that you can visit. These are Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Tour boats venture out to the islands, where you can experience the historical significance of the isles. A trip up the 1000-year-old stone stairway to reach the ancient monastic site on Skellig Michael is highly recommended.
Only a certain number of people are allowed each day, so booking in advance is best. If you can’t make it out to the islands, though, you can view them from vantage points on the Ring of Kerry. Or visit the Skellig Experience Centre, found on the waterfront near Valentia Island bridge.
9. Slieve League Cliffs
Location: Atlantic Coast, Co. Donegal
Hours to visit: Open year-round, but it’s probably best to visit during the daytime
Not as well-known as the Cliffs of Moher, but just as majestic, Slieve League Cliffs are another must-see spot in Ireland. These cliffs are much higher than Moher, with their highest point standing at an impressive 601 m (close to three times the height of their more famous counterpart). Thanks to the view, these are one of the best things to do in Donegal.
Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, you can drive up to the viewpoints on the cliffs, hike up one of the trails, or cycle to this landmark in Ireland. Whichever way you choose to go, you’re sure to be stunned and amazed once you reach one of the spots and look over at the picturesque views at one of the most beautiful famous landmarks in Ireland.
10. The Dark Hedges
Location: Bregagh Road, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Cost: Free to drive yourself through
Hours to visit: Open 24 hours
This ‘tunnel’ of beech trees is located all along Bregagh Road and was used for some of the filmings of the popular TV show Game of Thrones, making it one of the most recognizable Northern Ireland Game of Throne filming locations. The Stuart family planted it in the 18th century as a unique pathway leading to their house.
This area has become a popular place to photograph, and tourists tend to flock to the site. Farmlands surround the attraction, but it’s a common stop on many tour buses and can get crowded. If you’re going to seek out the hedges, be sure to have a camera so you can get your own stunning photograph.
I also recommend going early if possible, as it’s now a popular Northern Ireland road trip stop.
Note – You can’t park on this road, as it’s only for pedestrians, so you’ll have to find a parking spot further down the road.
11. King John’s Castle
Location: Nicholas St, Kings Island, Co. Limerick
Cost: €10 per adult and €5.25 per child
Hours to visit: 9:30 AM to 6 PM
Located on the River Shannon in Limerick, King John’s Castle is one of the most historical landmarks in Ireland with an impressive 13th-century fortress that shows off Ireland’s medieval heritage. It was built in the early 1200s for the ruthless King John. Today, it holds a rich collection of over 800 years of history.
This is a great stop-off if you’re traveling with kids in Limerick, as the visitor center has fun and interactive displays where you can experience historical and educational exhibitions. There’s also the chance to try on costumes and pretend you’re medieval royalty for the day.
Staying overnight? You’ll have a variety of choices for where to stay in Limerick for your trip.
12. Malin Head
Location: Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal
Cost: No admission fee
Hours to visit: Open 24 hours, but best to visit between 9 AM and 10 PM
Head to Ireland’s most northern tip and prepare to view some of the country’s most dramatic landscapes at one of the most famous Irish landmarks. Malin Head is known for its beaches and views and is home to Europe’s biggest sand dunes. Take a walk along the coast, go in search of the lighthouse, and check out Banba’s Crown.
There’s plenty to do here, including hiking, fishing, and swimming, and the sights to see are seemingly endless. If you really want to maximize your time and not miss out on anything, consider booking a night or two at a B&B in the area.
13. Trinity College Campus and Library
Location: College Green, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin
Cost: €11 per adult and €9 per child
Hours to visit: May – September: Monday to Saturday 8:30 to 17:00, Sunday 9:30 to 17:00; October – April: Monday to Saturday 9:30 to 17:00, Sunday 12:00 to 16:30
As Ireland’s highest-ranked university, Trinity College is an obvious addition to this list of the top attractions in Ireland. This ‘Little Ivy’ has seen 18,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students walk through its halls, with majors ranging from business and law to arts and health sciences. September in Ireland is a beautiful time to visit as students resume classes again.
The library on campus is a must-see as well and one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland. It’s home to The Book of Kells, and there are many exhibition displays put on for visitors.
It’s a good idea to buy your ticket to enter the library and include a guided tour. This will allow you to explore the campus’s cobblestone streets while learning about the building’s history.
14. Titanic Quarter
Location: Titanic House, 6 Queens Rd, Belfast, Co. Antrim
Cost: €22 – children under 5 are free
Hours to visit: 10 AM to 4:30 PM
Way back in 1912, citizens of Belfast were able to watch the massive, ‘indestructible’ Titanic set sail after being built in the harbor. The ship would later stop in Southampton to pick up passengers and then embark on its journey – to its tragic end. However, the Titanic legend lives on in Belfast, and this is seen in the Titanic Quarter, one of the famous monuments in Ireland.
The Titanic Quarter is an extensive waterfront regeneration in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It’s home to a collection of apartments, film production studios, and offices, but the main attractions are the historical and educational spots.
There are historic maritime landmarks for visitors to explore, educational facilities to take advantage of, and fun entertainment for the whole family. It’s no wonder why this is one of the most famous landmarks in Northern Ireland.
There’s also the world’s largest Titanic-themed attraction, Titanic Belfast. This can be found at the harbor, right at the head of the slipways that once saw the mighty ship off. The space is impressive and is filled with exciting galleries and exhibitions. Visitors can interact with these and learn more about the Titanic and the role Belfast played in the legend.
15. The Ring of Kerry
Location: Iveragh Peninsula, Co. Kerry
Cost: Depends on the stops you choose to make
Hours to visit: Open 24 hours
We’ve possibly left the best for last, as the Ring of Kerry is one of the most stunning Irish famous landmarks that you’ll come across in Ireland. The road is in a ring and located in County Kerry – hence the name. It’s a popular choice for road trips and offers unimaginable coastal views and beautiful stop-offs.
Some tours go through the Ring of Kerry for those who aren’t fans of driving or don’t have a car. Going with a local will help ensure that you don’t miss any important landmarks along the way.
Besides the Irish landmarks we’ve already listed here, this 120-mile stretch of ringed coastal road has its list of unmissable stops. Some of these include:
- Killarney National Park
- Ladies View
- Torc Waterfall
- Rossbeigh Beach
- Ross Castle
Famous Irish Landmarks Tips
However long you plan on visiting the Emerald Isle, at least one of these Ireland landmarks should be on your to-do list.
Remember to take a camera; you’re going to want to take home memories of the scenes you encounter. Check out the weather before you head out in search of these ancient landmarks and structures. You won’t see much of the Cliffs of Moher in the misty cold, but you can enjoy discovering Trinity College.
So plan accordingly and see how many famous landmarks in Ireland you can fit into your trip!