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What are the Best Cities to Visit in Ireland?

For many Ireland is a place of rolling emerald green fields, rugged coastlines and lush forest and countryside.

Whilst all of that is true there is also so much beauty, life and history packed into her cities dotted around the country. 

What they lack in size they make up in warmth, character and culture so whether you’re a poorly travelled local or just set to arrive, these are the best cities to visit in Ireland. 

Dublin

Ah the Fair City. 

If you haven’t heard of Dublin then where exactly have you been?!

The capital city is famous the world over, not least for being the birthplace of notable exports including Guinness, U2, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Sinead O’Connor and many, many more.

Take a wander around the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, explore north and south side, see Trinity College and St Stephen’s Green, Phoenix Park and Croke Park and so much more beyond!

This is a city with centuries of history, stories and culture…so take your time and enjoy. 

Belfast

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Just two hours north of Dublin you’ll find Belfast city. 

Beautiful old Belfast might have had its troubles in the past but now you’ll find a city brimming with new life and culture whilst still celebrating its industrial roots by the sea.

Whilst here you could climb Cave Hill, enjoy the craic in Cathedral Quarter or a lazy morning in St George’s Market (voted one of Europe’s best!), visit the incredible Titanic Centre and plenty more.

Belfast is Ireland’s gateway to the north so don’t be surprised if you get sucked in!  

Galway

If Belfast is Ireland’s gateway to the north then Galway is most certainly its hub of the west. 

This beautiful harbour city is famed for its food, live music and craic and you can enjoy a number of annual festivals, including the famed Oyster festival every September, as well as classic sites including the Latin Quarter, Eyre Square and the Spanish Arch.

It also helps that Salthill, one of Ireland’s favourite seaside resorts, and the world famous Cliffs of Moher, are just around the corner. 

Cork

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Nestled in the rebel county, Cork, Ireland’s second city (although they would say first), is an Irish delight of old and new. 

The city mixes a liberal, youthful, 21st century atmosphere with all things classically Irish including incredible local produce, plenty of traditional pubs and more trad sessions than you could shake a stick at!

Some of the most notable sites include the English Market, currently standing since 1786, St Anne’s Shandon, the Cork City Gaol, St Patrick’s Street and Grand Parade.

You can also hop over to nearby Cobh for a history of Irish immigration or kiss the Blarney Stone, which isn’t too far away either! 

Derry

The beautiful walled city of Derry can be found in the north west and represents a destination on its own as well as the perfect stop-off before exploring nearby Donegal.

The famous walls of Derry, built between 1613 and 1619, have remained standing since day one and form a 1 mile circuit that can be explored within the inner city.

The city itself now spans the River Foyle and attractions include Guildhall, the Peace Bridge, the Bogside and plenty of nightlife. 

Waterford

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Waterford, found in the south east of the country and part of Ireland’s Ancient East, is the Emerald Isle’s oldest city!

People have been gathering here since 914 and Waterford is famous for its Viking heritage.

Today you can enjoy the Waterford Crystal visitor centre, Viking Triangle, with Reginald Tower, The Quay, John Robert’s Square and plenty of craic when you come to visit. 

On top of that, you could check out T&H Doolan’s pub which has been operating for at least 300 years with some estimations saying it could be closer to 500 years! 

Limerick

Limerick, found in the mid west of the country, might not be the biggest or most famous city in Ireland but it boasts a historic past which is still reflected to this day.

Whilst here you can see the sights including the Limerick City Museum, King John’s Castle, St Mary’s Cathedral and St John’s Cathedral. You can also try to spot any differences between the old English and Irish towns!

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So there you have it!

Enjoy each at your leisure whilst covering the length and breadth of Ireland to really immerse yourself in our wonderful country.  

Have you visited any of those listed above? Tell us your stories!

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