Non Touristy Things To Do In Ireland – It’s hot in Ireland right now! It is a country that is on most people’s travel wish list. If you are one of the many people, congratulations, you have chosen a fantastic country to visit. With stunning scenery, charming towns, friendly people and more greenery than you could ever imagine, Ireland is a wonderful destination.

Ireland may seem like a small country, but the list of attractions is long. So long, in fact, that it would take weeks to see them all. Here is a list of our favorite experiences in Ireland, a good starting point for the best vacation here.

Non Touristy Things To Do In Ireland

Non Touristy Things To Do In Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most iconic sights. This dramatic stretch of coastline attracts thousands of visitors each year, making it one of Ireland’s most visited destinations. A quick visit can see the rocks from the visitor center. For a more memorable experience, walk part (or all) of the 14km section of the Cliff Trail.

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This is a must do in Ireland. Many pubs play live Irish music at night. There is no better Irish experience than joining the locals in a small pub and listening to live music while enjoying a pint of beer or a dram of Irish whiskey.

Ireland is fantastic to explore by car. One of our favorite places is the Dingle Peninsula. Not as famous as the Ring of Kerry, but the sights are just as good… maybe even better. In addition, it provides a better experience with fewer visitors.

Explore the cute town of Dingle, drive the scenic Slea Head Loop, visit Inch Beach (you can even surf here!), learn some Irish history and take in the beautiful sights and scenery along the way.

Overlooking the Tipperary Plains, the Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most historic landmarks. It was the seat of the ancient kings of Ireland. Saint Patrick baptized King Aengus here in 450 AD. From now on, visitors arrive every day to tour this historic complex.

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Just down the hill from the Rock of Cashel is Hore Abbey, an ancient monastery dating back to the 13th century. While the Rock of Cashel sees thousands of visitors a day in peak season, very few know about Hore Abbey. Exploring these ancient ruins, even alone, is a fantastic experience. We actually found it much more interesting than the Rock of Cashel.

For children, exploring Hore Abbey can be one of the highlights of a trip to Ireland. If there aren’t many people around and they don’t get stuck in a tourist group, children can feel like real explorers here.

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 1,600 mile road that winds along the west coast of Ireland. Driving the Wild Atlantic Way is an ambitious journey. If you stopped at every viewpoint and explored every nook and cranny of the Wild Atlantic Way, it would take you over a month. With less time, you can focus on a small part of the driving or just touch on the main points.

Non Touristy Things To Do In Ireland

The Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and the Cliffs of Moher are all attractions on the Wild Atlantic Way. But there are plenty of lesser-known but equally dramatic vantage points to visit. In fact, there are 157 discovery points worth visiting along the way.

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You can’t come to Ireland without ordering fish ‘n chips with a pint of Guinness at least once.

No one does a small town better than Ireland. Rows of colorful buildings, lively street pubs and names like Limerick, Cork and Kilkenny, what’s not to love?

We loved Galway with its great walking area, Limerick with its castle in the center of the city and Kilkenny with its medieval architecture. But our favorite was the cute, quirky, colorful Dingle.

Skellig Michael is a rocky island off the coast of the Ring of Kerry. Visit an ancient monastery, see the nesting site of Puffins and see where

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It takes an hour’s boat ride across the somewhat rough Atlantic Ocean. There are only a few boats available per day, so tickets must be booked well in advance (3-6 months in advance!). If you’re lucky enough to score a spot, a trip to Skellig Michael can be the highlight of your time in Ireland.

Dublin is the capital of Ireland. Most people visiting Ireland arrive and/or depart from here. There is so much history and great nightlife here that Dublin is worth at least 24 hours.

While in Dublin, don’t miss the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a work of art from the Dark Ages, written in 800 AD. It contains the four Gospels of the New Testament, supplemented with illustrations. Two of the books are open, behind a thick sheet of glass. The level of detail in the creation of these four books is truly amazing.

Non Touristy Things To Do In Ireland

The tour concludes with a walk through the Long Room, the main chamber of Trinity College Old Library.

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Kinsale is one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns. With colorful winding roads, fabulous restaurants and a nearby golf course, Kinsale attracts many visitors during the summer months. It’s also the starting point (or end point, depending on where you’re going) of the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Ring of Kerry is the most popular scenic drive in Ireland. This journey takes a full day. During the loop you’ll see the dramatic coastline, Killarney National Park, views of Skellig Michael and of course more cute Irish towns. Due to its popularity, it is very crowded in the high season.

If your time is limited, skip the Ring of Kerry. The Dingle Peninsula is just as dramatic, with far fewer people.

The Giant’s Causeway is located in Northern Ireland, technically a different country than Ireland. We include it because many people now include Northern Ireland in their itinerary when visiting Ireland.

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The Giant’s Causeway is spectacular. It has such a unique look that it’s hard to believe it’s real. A stretch of beach with perfectly formed hexagonal columns that meet at the water’s edge…a wonderful sight.

If you have any questions about the best things to do in Ireland, let us know in the comment section below.

IRELAND ROAD: In 10 days you can go on a road trip through Ireland and Northern Ireland, visiting the main attractions. You can find the details in our 10-day Ireland itinerary.

Non Touristy Things To Do In Ireland

DRIVING IN EUROPE: If you are planning to rent a car in Europe, read our What to know before renting a car in Europe article, where you will find lots of useful tips.

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EUROPEAN TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more travel ideas, check out our 10 Days in Europe Itinerary article, which includes 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you’re short on time, we also have an article listing 25 different ways to spend a week in Europe.

TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Here are 15 fairytale destinations from around the world. For more great travel destinations, check out our article: 10 cool travel destinations to add to your bucket list.

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Our website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the website, you consent to the use of cookies. I acceptMore info I was lucky enough to grow up in Dublin, spent 22 years there before moving to Charleston, and although Dublin has changed a lot since then, I go back at least three times a year and see as much of the city as I can when I’m home.

I get asked all the time “what to do in Ireland/Dublin” so I finally sat down and wrote some recommendations.

Here are my recommendations for things to do in Dublin during the day. I purposely recommend places that are off the typical tourist trail, I want you to see the real Dublin, the Dublin that Dubliners live in every day.

Non Touristy Things To Do In Ireland

You will see that many of the typical tourist spots are not on my list. I’m not interested in 9th century manuscripts (Book of Kells) or drinking in other bars full of tourists (Temple Bar), so you won’t see them on my list. You’ll learn a lot more about Ireland by chatting with a local character over a pint of Guinness in one of Dublin’s real pubs than by touring the Guinness Storehouse exhibit (where you won’t see any brewing).

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My suggestions take you all over the city center, up to the mountains, the beach, a market and of course some pubs.

For information about the rest of Ireland, check out, a community group I started, and lots of other suggestions.


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