I went to Ireland a few years ago with my sister and it is an unforgettable place. Some of the best places to visit in Ireland include ancient history to natural beauty with adventure.
Ireland also has a magical feel to it and is a perfect country for a family vacation. The places to visit in Ireland with kids can have you exploring castles and dungeons; biking along with beautiful scenery, or getting immersed in the country’s myths and legends.
Blarney Castle (Blarney Stone)
If you are visiting the Irish countryside be sure to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone, where legend has it that one kiss will grant you the gift of gab. This isn’t easily achieved as you have to climb to the castle’s peak and then lean over backward on the parapet’s edge. But don’t worry, this is usually done with the help of an assistant and while holding on to guild rails.
The Blarney Castle is the main attraction of the grounds though, which includes gardens and Blarney Lake. Don’t rush your time here, there is much to see and do. Visit the Wishing Steps, the Estate where you can stop for a picnic, the Witch Stone and explore the dungeon if you feel adventurous.
Places to visit in Ireland with kids
The Cliffs of Moher, located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, are a very popular tourist attraction, with people coming here to take in incredible views. They rise 120 meters (390 ft.) above the Atlantic Ocean with a maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft.) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, which provides the best viewing point.
Built-in 1835, the tower provides views of five Irish counties on clear days. Unfortunately, when I was there it was not the best weather, but you can still experience the wonder that is the Cliffs of Moher.
Within Phoenix Park in Dublin, you will find the Dublin Zoo, the largest zoo in Ireland. The zoo has been in operation since 1831 and still features some original buildings that have been in operation since it opened. It covers 28 hectares and is divided into areas such as the Asian Forests, Sea Lion Cove, and African Plains, among others. You can spend the day viewing tigers, giraffes, red pandas, penguins, Arctic fox, and snowy owls just to name a few.
I was very excited to go to the Giant’s causeway when we were in Ireland. The Causeway is known for its polygonal columns of layered basalt resulting from a volcanic eruption about 60 million years ago. Or, you may choose to believe the myth behind the Causeway, which says it was formed by the Irish giant Finn McCool who accepted a challenge by a Scottish giant and built the causeway so the two could meet.
There are four trails at the Giant’s Causeway that is suited for every ability, including a stroller-friendly path, a challenging coastal hike, and a new clifftop walk that families will enjoy. Kids will also enjoy walking on and exploring the causeways columns.
In southwest Ireland, you will come to the town of Killarney, which is a stop on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive. There are many activities to do in this town and you can easily spend hours exploring it all. Visit Killarney National Park where there are miles of walking and cycling trails, the Victorian mansion Muckross House and traditional farms.
Aran Islands are a group of three islands located on the west coast of Ireland, at the mouth of Galway Bay. This was my favorite place to visit while on our trip. The island is beautiful and looks like what you would picture Ireland to look like, a very authentic and magical feeling. You access the island by ferry, which I didn’t enjoy because I got seasick, but it was worth it.
Explore the island by renting a bike and cycling on the gentle, small roads which people of all fitness levels can enjoy. Biking was my favorite part as it is easy to find complete isolation as well as being able to visit historical sites.
Ride your bike up to Dun Aonghasa, a famous hill fort that lies at the edge of a 100-meter high cliff and offers spectacular views. Spend time exploring the fort and take a peek over the edge! I can’t describe the Aran Islands well enough to do it any justice, it is just one of those places you have to see to believe!
National Wax Museum Plus, Dublin
This museum has so much more to offer than just wax figures. It is full of characters and exhibits and is fun for the entire family. You can get a mold of your hand done in wax, check out the Chamber of Horrors located in the basement, get hands-on in the Science and Discovery section, or hang out in the Grand Hall which offers music and entertainment. Don’t miss the Children’s Fantasy World where kids will feel like they have walked into a dream world, with plenty of colors, cartoon wax figures and pillars painted like cakes and sweets.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Bunratty Castle is a large tower house in County Clare and the center of a folk park. This park is filled with reconstructions of historical cottages and buildings, recreating the feel of the 19th century. There is a small, period style village where you can find an old home bakery, shops, and a pub. While exploring the grounds you can discover plenty of animals and a play area for children with a wooden castle.