Hopping from one tourist attraction to the next, in the company of other visitors, is not a good way to experience any country. This list is not about famous places, just suggestions for some things to do in Ireland that will make for memorable experiences or that you can’t really do anywhere else.
None are specific to any location or region, you should manage to do most of them in any typical trip around Ireland. Enjoy!
1. Drink a Pint of Guinness
Well, maybe a half pint would do – it’s an acquired taste!
2. Attend to a Traditional Music Session
Not some fancy show put on for tourists – ask in any town where the best free sessions are and go someplace where musicians play for little more than the sheer joy of it.
3. Take a walk along the Banks of a Canal
There is something peaceful and beautiful about canals, with their locks and barges and still water. It’ll do your spirit good.
4. Eat Black Pudding for Breakfast
Yes, it’s made from blood. Yes, most visitors push it to the side of the breakfast plate and leave it there. But you gotta try it at least once. It is delicious, I promise you!
5. Climb a Round Tower
Follow the monks of old and climb to the top of a Round Tower. The climb may be a bit scary but the view from the top will be spectacular.
6. Buy Lunch at a Farmer’s Market
Buy enough locally grown fresh food, home baking and delicious homemade fudge and lemonade for a picnic lunch. Eat it somewhere beautiful.
7. Go Horseracing
The Irish are horse mad and race meetings are very much a family affair, fun, sociable and friendly. A lot of them are held in the evening in summer.
8. Visit a Bog
For generations peat bogs provided the turf that warmed Irish homes. They are flat, brown and at first glance a bit dull. Look closer.
9. Attend a Festival
There is pretty much non-stop partying at some festival or other all year round. Find one that is of interest to you, go along and join in.
10. Go Underground
Ireland’s limestone cave systems with their stalagmites and stalactites and subterranean rivers are a wonder and many are open to the public.
11. Catch a Ferry to an Island
There are Islands dotted all around the coast, each of them special in their own way. Go by ferry rather than plane to enjoy the marine wildlife on the way.
12. Bring a Bit of Ireland Home
You can buy all you like in stores – but find a beautiful pebble or a shell or a pinecone and you’ll be taking home a special reminder of a day in Ireland.