Ireland holidays

Ireland holidays

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Holidays to Ireland promise beautiful natural scenery, magnificent architecture and buzzing towns. Also known as the Emerald Isle due to its lush green landscapes, Ireland is a real gem of a holiday location. 

As a country steeped in myth and legend, Ireland boasts a variety of fascinating places to explore. Take a trip to the Giant’s Causeway and learn about Finn McCool, an important figure in Irish mythology. Game of Thrones fans can also visit the locations where much of the series was filmed, such as the Cushendun Caves and Ballycastle.  

Or explore some of Ireland’s vibrant cities where you can relax with a pint of Guinness and witness some incredible historic monuments. Whether you’re visiting as a couple or a group of friends, Ireland holidays promise something for everyone.  

Irish Cities and Towns  

Ireland is home to many charming, charismatic cities and towns. From Dublin’s vibrant atmosphere to Cork’s unrivalled natural landscapes, each city offers something unique to enhance your holiday experience.  

Dublin is located in the eastern-central part of Ireland. This iconic hotspot is defined by idyllic cobblestone streets, interesting museums and a buzzing music scene. Home to the famous Temple Bar and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church, it boasts great culture and history.  

'Shopping fans can enjoy a spot of retail therapy at Brown Thomas and George's Street Arcade. A tour around the Guinness Storehouse is also a must. Discover more about the history of the famed Irish ‘Black Stuff’ and learn how to pour your own pint.  

Situated in the southwest of Ireland, Cork is one of the best places to enjoy Ireland’s beautiful natural scenery. Enjoy a picnic in Fitzgerald Park, perfect for a chilled-out afternoon in the sun. Or take a trip to Spike Island, a place with a fascinating and diverse history.  

Landscape and Nature  

Ireland is a total haven for nature lovers. This picturesque country offers endless photo opportunities, from its rolling hills to its staggering cliff walls that rise out of the ocean. Ireland also has some spectacular mountain ranges that will simply take your breath away, such as the MacGillycuddy's Reeks and the Wicklow Mountains.  

One of the country’s most photo-worthy spots is the Glendalough Valley, otherwise known as ‘the valley of two lakes’. Located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, it’s home to a fascinating Monastic City and a variety of wildlife, including deer and wild goats.  

And of course, holidays in Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast. These are magnificent areas of geological importance and have inspired legends of giants walking over the sea. Marvel at the 40, 000 enormous columns of basalt that form a pavement here – a dramatic sight not to be missed.  

Irish Food and Drink  

Traditional Irish cuisine is made up of family recipes passed down through the generations. The food is hearty and delicious, and there are plenty of different dishes to try.  

Right at the top of your list should be Irish stew, a warming one-pot concoction of mutton and vegetables (including potatoes, which Ireland is famous for). Colcannon is another popular dish consisting of a mashed combination of potatoes, butter and cabbage. Or sample a delicious Boxty, a popular pancake-like potato creation.  

When it comes to drinks, Ireland is well-known for its whiskey and beer. You can enjoy a pint of Jameson Irish Whiskey or Smithwick’s Irish Ale in just about any pub. Irish coffee is another popular beverage, made up of Irish whiskey, hot coffee, sugar and whipped cream.  

Map of Ireland

5°C - 20°C

Ireland experiences mild summers and reasonably mild winters too! Although it can be unpredictable at times with glorious sunshine one minute and a downpour the next. But the best weather is in June, July and August. 




1.5 hour

The main international airport in Ireland is Dublin Airport, approximately 10km north of Dublin City Centre.

Ireland is best for...

Nature lovers: Ireland is a paradise for nature lovers, featuring lush green landscapes, tranquil lakes and rolling hills. Hike up one of Ireland’s mountains, such as Carrauntoohil or Mount Brandon, and enjoy dramatic landscape views. Or visit Glendalough Valley, home to a variety of wildlife and a Monastic Site. 

Adventurers: Ireland is home to some wonderful cities and towns that are well worth exploring. Head to Dublin, the capital city, and enjoy live music at the famous Temple Bar. Here, you can also tour around the Guinness Storehouse and learn about the history of the famous ‘Black Stuff’ and how to pour your own pint.   

Foodies: Ireland is a fantastic destination for foodies, offering hearty and delicious dishes such as Irish stew and colcannon. It’s also renowned for its whiskey and beer, and you can sample tasty drinks such as Smithwick’s Irish Ale or Jameson Irish Whiskey.  

Fast facts for Ireland

Language: English and Irish are Ireland’s official languages.  

Currency: The currency used in Ireland is the Euro (EUR).   

Local time: The local time in Ireland is the same as GMT/UK time.     

Fly to: The main international airport in Ireland is Dublin Airport, approximately 10km north of Dublin City Centre.  

Flight time from UK: 1.5 hours.  

Tourist information: Further tourist information for Ireland can be found at  

Visa / health: Before you travel, check the latest health advice at  

Getting around Ireland

By rental car: Ireland is a relatively small country, so hiring a rental car is an excellent way to explore as much of it as possible. There are plenty of hire car companies to choose from, including big names like Avis and Hertz.  

By bus: If you don’t fancy driving in Ireland, consider hopping on a bus instead. This is a cost-effective way to travel across the country while enjoying some magnificent views of Ireland. Bus Éireann and Translink provide detailed information about Ireland’s bus services and routes.  

By bicycle: Ireland boasts some spectacular scenery, making it a great cycle destination. Travelling by bicycle provides an element of flexibility and allows you to explore at your own pace. Across the country, you’ll find a number of Greenways that offer a pleasant, traffic-free cycle experience.  

Events in Ireland

St Patrick’s Day: St Patrick’s Day takes place on the 17th of March every year and marks the anniversary of the death of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. This event has been an official religious holiday for over 1,000 years and has since developed into a huge celebration of Irish culture. St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland involve festivals, parades, music and dancing.   

TradFest Temple Bar: Tradfest is Ireland’s biggest Folk music festival and takes place every January in Dublin’s famous Temple Bar. This incredible celebration began in 2006 and is a brilliant opportunity to enjoy traditional Irish music. 

Cork Jazz Festival: This is Ireland’s biggest jazz festival and has taken place every year in October since 1978. Held in Cork City, the festival attracts thousands of musicians and music fans across the country.  

Ireland weather

Temperature: Ireland has a mild but changeable climate. July is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 15°C. The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 5°C.  

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Ireland is during the peak season in summer when you can enjoy warmer days. If you plan on exploring the great outdoors and the best of Ireland’s landscape, the months are a good time to plan a trip. Low season is between November and February, where you can expect smaller crowds due to the colder weather.  

Best hotels in Ireland

What are the best places to visit in Ireland?

With its rolling hills, wild rugged coastlines, captivating mythology, and bustling nightlife, the Emerald Isle is a small island that leaves a big impression. From the bustling cities to the quiet countryside, here are some of our favourite places to visit in Ireland:

• Dublin: Ireland's capital city is famous for its cheery pub scene, friendly locals, quaint Georgian townhouses, and must-see cultural attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College. Dublin is also full of green spaces, being home to one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe.

• Giant’s Causeway: Located on the north coast of Northern Ireland, the Giant's Causeway is a unique rock formation, made up of thousands of hexagonal basalt columns jutting out from the sea. It’s an unmissable location for a photo-opp. It’s just a 1 and a half hour drive from Belfast.

• Cork: The second largest city in Ireland, Cork is known for its thriving culinary scene, spirited culture and natural beauty. Sample artisanal cheeses and craft beer, poke your nose around the 17th-century Cork City Gaol, or explore its scenic beaches, forests and mountains.

• Galway: The energetic city of Galway, located on the west coast of Ireland, is loved for its live music scene, welcoming pubs, colourful streets, and numerous festivals. Take a stroll along the idyllic Salthill Promenade, see the iconic stained-glass windows at Galway Cathedral, and grab a coffee on the narrow medieval streets of the historic centre.

• Cliffs of Moher: A popular day trip from Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher rise 120 metres above the Atlantic, offering spectacular views over the rugged coastline. An important part of Irish heritage, they are mentioned in many folk songs and stories. While here you can hike, kayak and surf.

Is Dublin easy to explore on foot?

Yes, Dublin is easy to explore on foot, with many of the must-see attractions near the centre, including:

• Trinity College: Located in the heart of the city, Trinity College is home to the famous Book of Kells and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Irish history and culture.

• St. Patrick's Cathedral: This historic cathedral is one of the largest in Ireland and is located just south of the city centre.

• Dublin Castle: Located on the south side of the River Liffey, Dublin Castle is a historic fortress that has served as a seat of power for centuries.

• Temple Bar: This lively neighbourhood, located on the south bank of the River Liffey, is known for its famous pubs, welcoming restaurants, and talented street performers. It’s home to the famous Temple Bar pub, a legendary venue, with live Irish music, 24/7, Ireland’s largest whiskey collection, delicious food and a great selection of Irish beers.

• Grafton Street: One of Dublin's main shopping streets, Grafton Street is located in the heart of the city centre and is the place to be for shopping, grabbing a coffee and watching the many talented street performers.

What is the best time of year to visit Ireland?

Ireland is a popular destination all year round, but the peak season generally runs from June to August when the weather is warmer. Here’s a run down of what to expect:

• Spring: If you’re outdoorsy and love a good hike, you’ll enjoy spring in Ireland. The weather begins to warm up from March to May and the lush green countryside bursts with wildflowers. While there may still be some rainy days, it’s also the ideal time to make the most of the cultural offerings, including, St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and the Galway Food Fesso. Plus, you can avoid high-season prices!

• Summer: If you want to enjoy outdoor activities in warmer weather, summer is the best time of year to visit Ireland. The months of June to August are generally the warmest and driest, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C. However, even in the summer, it’s advisable to bring waterproof clothing and layers, as the weather can be unpredictable. Enjoy cultural events and festivals too, such as the Cork Jazz Festival, the Galway International Arts Festival, and the Rose of Tralee Festival in County Kerry.

• Autumn: September to November is a lovely time to visit Ireland, as the landscapes turn to soft shades of gold and brown. This season also sees fewer crowds, lower prices, and comfortable weather.

• Winter: From December to February is the off-season, and while it can be cold and rainy, it’s a great time to experience the festive Christmas markets, new years celebrations or simply take advantage of cheaper deals.

What are the best cities to visit in Ireland?

Visit Dublin for its cultural attractions, exuberant nightlife and historic landmarks. Cork for its food and drink scene. Galway for its live music and colourful streets. And Limerick for its medieval architecture and festivals.

Where’s the best place to stay in Ireland?

Dublin gives you a great base to explore the main attractions, with good transport links to the rest of the country. Here are some of our favourite places to stay in Dublin:

• Jurys Inn Parnell Street: A popular hotel in the centre of Dublin, Jurys Inn Parnell Street is just steps away from the city’s main boulevard. Enjoy their mouth-watering full Irish breakfast before exploring the local attractions.

• Cassidy’s Hotel: Located opposite Dublin’s famous Gate Theatre on Upper O-Connell Street, Cassidy’s Hotel is within walking distance of Trinity College, Dublin Castle and Jameson Whiskey Distillery.

• The Spencer Hotel: Think designer rooms and luxurious facilities, from rainforest power showers to the 18 metre heated pool and whirlpool. The Spencer Hotel is a lavish 4 star pad, located on the banks of the River Liffey.

• Temple Bar Hotel: Situated in the bustling cultural quarter, Temple Bar Hotel is the perfect springboard for soaking up traditional Irish dance shows and live music.

What are the top cultural events and festivals in Ireland?

Ireland is known for its dynamic cultural scene, with numerous festivals and events taking place throughout the year. Here are some of the top events in Ireland:

• St. Patrick's Day: Held annually on March 17th, this festival celebrates the patron saint of Ireland with parades, concerts, and merriment.

• Dublin Fringe Festival: Held in September, you can catch a diverse range of contemporary theatre, dance, music, and comedy performances.

• Galway International Arts Festival: Taking place in July, Galway showcases the best in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts from around the world.

• Cork Midsummer Festival: Held in Ireland’s second-largest city, Cork becomes a spectacular backdrop for arts every October, attracting emerging artists in music, dance and theatre.

What is public transportation like in Ireland?

Ireland’s public transport is very accessible, with good connections, especially in urban areas. To find discounts on bus, train and tram fares, buy a Leap card. Here’s a brief look at how to get around Ireland:

• Bus: Bus Éireann operates a nationwide service, with regular connections to all major cities and towns. Dublin also has an extensive bus network operated by Dublin Bus, which serves the city and surrounding areas.

• Train: Ireland has a rail network operated by Irish Rail, with services connecting Dublin to major cities and towns across the country. If you want to explore the seaside suburbs, the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) will take you to Dublin’s surrounding areas and Cork.

• Luas: The Luas is a tram that serves Dublin, with two lines connecting the city centre to the suburbs. The Green Line will get you from the north to the south, and the Red Line from the east to the west.

• The Cork Tram: The Cork Tram is a light rail system serving the city of Cork.

• Taxi: Taxis are widely available in urban areas, and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance.

• Bicycle: Hiring a bike for the day is a great way to explore the cities and towns. You can buy a 1-day or 3-day ticket for Dublin from Dublin Bikes, or purchase a 3-day pass in Cork or Galway from TFI Bikes.

• Car hire: If you want to explore the winding roads of Ireland’s rural landscapes, hiring a car will take you to some spectacular locations.

What are the best outdoor activities to do in Ireland?

Ireland is a great destination for lovers of the outdoors, from hiking and cycling, to surfing and kayaking. Here are some of our favourite outdoor activities you can do in Ireland:

• Hiking: Famed for its emerald landscapes, why not explore the countryside with a hike across the Wicklow Mountains, Connemara, or the Cliffs of Moher.

• Cycling: With its quiet country roads and scenic routes, Ireland is a great destination for cycling. The Great Western Greenway, a 42-kilometre cycling route in County Mayo, runs along the beautiful coast of Clew Bay. Beginning in Westport and ending in Achill, it passes through the towns of Newport and Mulranny.

• Surfing: Ireland's Atlantic coast is home to some of the best surf spots in Europe, such as Lahinch, Bundoran, and Rossnowlagh.

• Kayaking: Kayaking is a great way to explore Ireland's waterways, from the rivers of the Shannon-Erne Waterway in County Clare to the sea caves and cliffs of the Wild Atlantic Way.

What is the food like in Ireland?

Traditional Irish food is hearty, with Irish stew, colcannon, and bangers and mash being the most famous. Then of course there’s Guinness, Ireland’s most famous export. And while Ireland has a thriving contemporary food scene, it’d be a shame not to try some of these classics:

• Irish stew: A classic Irish dish made with lamb or mutton, potatoes, carrots, and onions, cooked slowly in a broth until everything is tender. Delish!

• Boxty: This is a type of potato pancake that’s usually served at breakfast or with a main meal.

• Colcannon: Proper comfort food with a delicious buttery mashed potato, mixed with kale or cabbage, and onions.

• Irish soda bread: A dense, tangy bread made with flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.

What are the best scenic drives in Ireland?

Ireland has so many stunning drives, from rugged coastlines to rolling green hills. Here are some of the best:

• The Wild Atlantic Way: Arguable Ireland’s most stunning coastal route, stretching 2,500-kilometres from the Inishowen Peninsula in the north to the charming town of Kinsale, County Cork, in the south. You’ll pass through some of Ireland's most picturesque coastal spots, including both the Moher and Slieve League cliffs.

• The Ring of Kerry: This 175-kilometre circular route around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry takes you along breathtaking coastal scenery, mountains, lakes, and waterfalls.

• The Causeway Coastal Route: A 212-kilometre waymarked drive that winds its way along the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland, between Belfast and Londonderry, with views of the stunning Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

• The Boyne Valley Drive: Covering picturesque areas of Co. Meath and Co. Louth  this 220-kilometre route takes in some of Ireland's most important historical and cultural sites, including the Hill of Tara and the Battle of the Boyne site.

What are the best pubs in Ireland?

• The Brazen Head, Dublin: One of the oldest pubs in Ireland, dating back to 1198. The Brazen Head has welcomed many famous figures over the years, including writers Jonathan Swift and James Joyce, and renowned 19th-century activist and politician Daniel O'Connell.

• John Kavanagh (The Gravediggers), Dublin: This traditional Irish pub is located next to the famous Glasnevin Cemetery and has been serving locals and visitors for over 180 years. It is known for its friendly atmosphere and excellent Guinness.

• Tigh Neachtain, Galway: This pub in the heart of Galway's Latin Quarter is over 100 years old and is known for its traditional Irish music, warm hospitality and delicious selection of craft beers and Irish whiskeys.

What are the best beaches in Ireland?

From soft sandy stretches to rugged, rocky shores, Ireland is home to wild and wonderful beaches. You could easily plan a day trip from Dublin to see a few of these beauty spots:

• Portmarnock Beach: Just 20 minutes from Dublin, this golden stretch is the perfect spot for lounging on the sand or taking a scenic stroll along the dunes. The calm waters also make it ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

• Killiney Beach: Just a 30-minute drive from Dublin, this secluded beach is a hidden gem on the outskirts of the city. It’s surrounded by lush greenery, with breathtaking views of the sea and boundless hills. It's perfect for a quiet picnic or a romantic stroll along the shore.

• Skerries Beach: Located 40 minutes from Dublin, this vibrant beach is a favourite for families and water sports enthusiasts. The town of Skerries itself is also worth exploring, with its historic windmills, pretty gardens, and quaint harbour.