The Irish have a saying and it goes a little something like this, “May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.”
Ireland is known to the rest of the world for a few things. Extremely friendly people, lush emerald scenery, a lot of rain, pubs galore and of course, that Guinness beer!
Politically speaking, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers the majority of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom within the northeast part of the island.
Here is a list of the cities we visited during our travels to the Green Isle.
Dublin is not only the capital of Ireland, but also the largest city in the country. With its cobblestone streets and classic pubs, you will never be bored in Dublin. There are many landmarks, buildings and monuments dating back hundreds of years within this bustling city. While visiting Dublin, you can stroll though St Stephen’s Green, visit the Temple Bar area for some live music, or take a walk along Grafton Street and window shop the afternoon away.
Even though Cork has a small town vibe to it, don’t let that fool you. This city, most commonly referred to as the “Second city of Ireland”, is full of bustling pubs and tiny little shops on every corner. The city is built upon water, and the city centre is built on an island in the River Lee, just upstream from Cork Harbour. With a growing hipster vibe to it, with fancy coffee shops and social beer gardens, there is something for everyone, including the younger student crowds that seem to gather at the local drinking holes to gossip about their days. Make sure to take a stroll down Oliver Plunkett Street for some of the best pub grub in town.
Killarney is a modern day mecca for tourism. Tours such as the Ring of Kerry just dominate the “Top 5 things to do” lists of every tourist’s itinerary. As soon as we took to the roads, all I wanted was my motorcycle. The roads along the Ring of Kerry are a motorcyclist’s dream come true. Filled with winding roads and epic scenery, it’s definitely a sight to see. Killarney’s quaint shops sell things from postcards and trinkets, to high priced doilies and blankets. Their pubs have a flair and old time feel to them, and the locals are true gems! Take a stroll a few minutes from the city centre and you’ll find yourself at the gate of Killarney National Park. As soon as you pass the gates, it doesn’t even feel as though there is a city around you. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the country’s red deer.
This colourful city is just bustling with street performers of all ages, creeds and genders. You’ll never have a moment where you won’t see someone performing. With a quarter of the city’s population being students, there is definitely a young, contemporary influence and vibe here. A ton of shops sell cozy, traditional Aran sweaters and others selling handcrafted Claddagh rings, which originated in Galway. Make sure to sit back and relax with a gelato in hand within Eyre Square in the city centre. It’s a welcome open green space with sculptures, pathways and just a place to chill out after a big pub lunch.
Have you guys been to Ireland? If so, which were your favourite cities, or areas to visit? Let me know in the comments below! xo