Get away to Ireland

There's a reason it's called The Emerald Isle, but the lush, vibrant landscape of Ireland isn't the only reason to visit this storied country.

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The stunning oceanside cliffs and verdant valleys of Ireland are legendary, and reason alone to make a visit. But sharing the spotlight these days are the cities, where thriving music, arts and culinary scenes are drawing participants and visitors from all over the globe. Numerous music and arts festivals are held throughout the year in Dublin, Galway and Belfast, and County Cork has become the country's culinary hub. Derry-Londonderry is 2013's City of Culture, with a year-long calendar of events proving the designation—including the prestigious Turner Prize, being held for the first time outside of Britain. And the entire country is hosting The Gathering 2013, with thousands of events celebrating Irish culture being held in all counties, making this an especially good year to make a pilgrimage. With direct flights from the U.S. to Dublin, Belfast and Shannon, it's easy to make a trip—it will give a whole new meaning to going green.

The Great Room at the Merchant Hotel

The Great Room at the Merchant Hotel

Belfast

This northern city has emerged in the 21st century as one of Europe’s most alluring spots, filled with culture, world-class food and drink and year-round festivals.

See tour of Belfast

Kinsale Harbour

Kinsale Harbour

Cork

Ireland’s south coast is a stellar destination for the adventurous traveler seeking innovative cuisine, contemporary art and a buzzing nightlife.

See tour of Cork

Trinity College Library

Trinity College Library

Dublin

Arguably the most-happening city in Ireland, Dublin has lively arts and music scenes, world-class restaurants and cherished historic sights. Take it all in—along with the best pint of Guinness you're likely to sample.

See tour of Dublin

Galway shopping

Galway shopping

Galway

Known for culture and nightlife, this buzzy boho city is a great spot to sample local seafood. After a night on the town, hit the road for unspoiled countryside.

See tour of Galway

Mourne Mountains

Mourne Mountains Photograph: Brian Morrison

Ireland's countryside and coast

Treks by foot, bike or car among stone age tombs, medieval monuments and ice-age valleys are the perfect foil to the buzzing nightlife and vibrant culture of Ireland's cities.

See tour of Ireland's countryside and coast

Ireland sights

Download our map of the top sights to see across Ireland.

Download map of Ireland

FOR MORE IRELAND TRAVEL IDEAS VISIT IRELAND.COM/GOODTIMES

Users say

3 comments
BC
BC

When I arrived in Dublin last year, for the first time. I was shocked at how plain and unattractive the city was. Grungy even like it needed a serious update. I admit, I was disappointed because all this PR made it seem so much more special. But then I walked around and talked with the locals and there is definitely a glow that surrounds Dublin and Ireland; perhaps the way the light hits, the constant rain and green everywhere. The people are wonderful so maybe that is what makes it so special. It is a rundown post industrial city, with smaller quaint towns between pastures and rolling hills.. But it iholds a specialness that you do not see elsewhere. It is unfortunate that in their desperation, the Irish government has given away so much incentives to get large US technology companies to come there and set up shop (who hire other EU people mainly). This new influx I feel will ruin this specialness forever.

isabella
isabella

The best food in the WORLD!! Everything is so fresh & flavorFUL.

Alicia
Alicia

I want to LIVE there!! Why is it so hard to get a work visa??

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