Also known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is predominantly covered in pastures of lush flora. Historically, the peoples of Ireland have relied on agriculture and farming. The Early Irish peoples were some of the first in the world to develop field systems, and have extensive farming dating back at least 4000 years. The striking beauty of Irelands North Coast and iconic Cliffs of Moher to the west are incredible.
Gaelic Ireland emerged and the Celtic language and culture developed, as influenced by migrants from the European continent. Tribes arrived in the 4th century, and further invasions by Normans and English all contributed to shaping Irish culture. Ireland joined the UK in 1800, then saw years of terrible famine in the mid-1800s.
The following hundreds of years saw a major British debate as to Irish home rule, which finally passed yet was postponed through WWI and eventually resulting in civil war and decades of political unrest.
Stability returned in the latter half of the 20th century and Ireland later joined the European Union and gained prosperity in the 1990s and 2000s before the economic crash.
Modern Ireland has forward-thinking ideas, increased efforts to maintain the Irish language and a strong, stable economy that has welcomed several significant companies to its capital.
Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway are some of the most popular urban destinations in Ireland. Dublin is easily accessible by airplane, and has many attractions that display Ireland’s connection to Britain. Learn about James Joyce’s life, see the Book of Kells at Trinity College, see incredible museums, and experience the nightlife in the famous cultural hotspot Temple Bar.
Dublin is an exciting, modern city with a vibrant historic and living culture and many attractions. Cork, on the south coast, has fascinating historic buildings, cathedrals, markets, and a popular wildlife park. Just outside of Cork is the Blarney Castle, a medieval castle with a Blarney Stone, legend to bestow the gift of eloquence to those who can kiss it.
Limerick is a significant gateway city and cultural archive center, with the Hunt Museum, one of the best in the world, as well as important cathedrals, heritage and archaeological sites that display the rich history of the island.
Galway is known for being quintessentially Irish, and you are likely to hear Irish spoken within the city.
Though it does not boast the attractions of some other Irish cities, Galway has an incredible entertainment scene and a fun, energetic atmosphere and a high population of students. There are many natural attractions proximate to Galway, including the Aran Islands and Lough Corrib.
In addition to Ireland’s cities, many travelers visit geological sites like the Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, and Irish mountains. Ireland celebrates many festivals annually, from those celebrating Irish culture and language, like the St. Patrick’s Festival, annual finals for hurling and football, as well as several music and arts festivals.
There is even a matchmaking festival held every September in Lisdoonvarna, which has become the biggest in Europe. There are many famous breweries and whiskey distilleries throughout Ireland. Ireland is a top destination for tourism, and is noted to be one of the friendliest countries with festivals, geology and other destinations attracting millions of visitors each year.