Ireland has always been a country on my travel list. This past May I got the chance to finally visit and I was ecstatic. To me, Ireland sounded like it was filled with the most lighthearted and fun people. Not only did I discover that to be true, but Ireland also had one of the most gorgeous countryside in all of Europe (that I’ve seen, of course). Since this was my first time visiting Ireland, I did, despite my usual hatred for tourist attractions, visit some of the top attractions the country had to offer.
Although I’ve eased up on completely discounting the top rated attractions for when I visit new places, I tried to compile a list of alternate spots that I could recommend to those who still prefer to steer clear of the heavy crowds and over-photographed locations. Here are 5 of my top recommendations from Dublin and Galway so you have something to see no matter where you end up.
Pygmalion / 59 William St S, Dublin
A fun atmosphere with a lovely patio isn’t the only thing PYG has to offer. With 2 for 1 ‘pygtails’ and great food, you can’t go wrong with starting your night here. I tried a few of the drinks here (as one should in Ireland!), and I would heavily recommend the Tropicala if you’re into something fruity, or the Lilac if you’re a gin lover (or just love blue drinks in general)!
National Trust Carrick-a-Rede / Ballintoy, Northern Ireland
Nothing impressed me more than the natural beauty that Ireland had to offer. On our trip to see Giant’s Causeway, we stopped in the little town of Ballycastle to walk across the rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede. Despite our rainy weather, this site took my breath away. From the greenery to the crystal blue waters, this spot will leave you feeling nothing short of amazed.
Monroe’s Tavern / 14 Dominick Street Upper, Galway
On the same day we trekked to Menlo castle, we ended our night at Monroe’s Tavern. With an energetic crowd and live music playing, you’re sure in for a treat here. You’ll feel just like a local if you know some of the lyrics and of course, have a Guinness in your hand.
Menlo Castle / Menlo, County Galway
One of my favourite days in Ireland had to be the day we visited Menlo Castle. Located beside a river, the 16th century castle is a small treasure that takes a while to get to. Most GPS devices will bring you to the other side of the river which does give you a lovely view, however, if you’re as curious as me, you’ll want to take the long route to get here. You’ll want to start at the N6 and Dyke Road and continue north onto Coolough Road. The rest of the journey I’ll leave up to you.
Howth Head Peak / Howth, Dublin
Howth is another beautiful little town. If you’re a water sign (like me) and feel at ease when you’re near the sea, Howth is the spot for you. A moderate hike will bring you to Howth Head Peak, a great spot for a picnic or just some lovely pictures. I would highly recommend checking out the Howth Market and the Lighthouse while you’re in the town. If you’re in the mood for some good Fish and Chips, definitely check out Leo Burdock’s!
Ireland Museum of Modern Art - Interesting Exhibits / Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Nine Crows - Vintage Store / 22 Temple Lane South, Temple Bar, Dublin
Hogan’s Bar - Laidback Drinks and Alternative Music / South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
Glendalough - Scenic Valley / County Wicklow
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