30+ Irish Landmarks – Famous Landmarks In Ireland

Irish landmarks are becoming more popular abroad – thanks to the exposure that movies and Game of Thrones brought to Ireland. 

From some of the world’s most beautiful castles and castle hotels to ancient sites and rugged landscapes, there are definitely several landmarks to visit in Ireland.

Discover the most beautiful and famous landmarks in Ireland from our list below.

30+ Irish Landmarks – Famous Landmarks In Ireland

cliffs of moher

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Irish landmarks in Dublin

Ha’penny Bridge

Liffey Bridge

Before the beginning of the 1800s, there were no bridges to cross the Liffey River only ferryboats. Ha’penny Bridge, or officially named the Liffey Bridge, was built in May of 1816 and required people to pay a “halfpenny” in order to cross by putting it in a turnstile on either side of the bridge. By the early 1900s, the toll was dropped.

Now over 200 years old, it’s the most popular pedestrian bridge in Dublin, the site for many scenic selfies and even love locks, and the ideal place to stop after a long day to just watch the sunset or the moon rise.

Trinity College

trinity college dublin

If you enjoy walking down memory lane, give it a shot at Trinity College where you can find a collection of Ireland’s treasured past in its Long Room Library. This 200-foot-long room holds 200,000 books as old as you can possibly imagine.

The most popular treasure in this library is the Book of Kells which has a great role in the Irish identity. And this college is one of the popular Irish landmarks. 

Powerscourt House and Gardens

powerscourt estate and gardens

There are landmarks in Ireland that are especially beautiful during winter, and Powerscourt Estate is one of them.

Located in County Wicklow, the Powerhouse Estate and Gardens is one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, known for its magnificent main house, gorgeous themed gardens and it even has its own waterfall.

It’s lovely during other times of the year, but Powerscourt just looks magical during winter as most of it gets covered in snow. Make sure you visit, stroll through the grounds, and don’t forget to take photos!

St. Stephen’s Green

stephen's green parks in dublin

Stephen’s Green is a 22-acre park ornamented with colorful flower beds, rows of trees, rockeries, and shrubberies. The park also features a waterfall and a lake on top of its Victorian layout.

For children, a playground is also accessible and safe to use during operating hours. It is also one of the best parks in Dublin.

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum is an interactive learning experience where you’ll discover more about Irish culture and people, particularly during those periods of mass emigration in the country’s history. 

An estimated 9 to 10 million people emigrated since 1700, and the guided tours will take you through 20 themed galleries to find out the personal stories of many people who have emigrated and their journeys.

Temple Bar 

Temple Bar Dublin

Temple Bar in Dublin consistently ranks as the best pub in the city, and perhaps in all of Ireland. It is famous, alright, and a must-visit especially among tourists.

Pub life in Ireland might as well be synonymous with a gurgling pint after pint of either the dark stuff or craft beer, but what sets Temple Bar apart is that it is home to the largest collection of rare whiskey in the country.

This historic pub also houses the area’s only fully-licensed beer garden, which is just one of the many reasons why Temple Bar is often regarded as the best in Dublin and one of the Irish landmarks that you need to visit. 

Natural Irish Landmarks

Cliffs of Moher 

cliffs of moher tour and tips

The Cliffs of Moher are sea cliffs located in County Clare, Ireland.  It is one of Ireland’s most spectacular landmarks and one of the most visited attractions in Ireland with 1.5 million visitors annually. Any Ireland bucket list is not complete without the Cliffs of Moher. 

Standing 702ft above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, Cliffs of Moher boasts one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a good day, you can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.

Dark Hedges

dark hedges northern ireland

The Dark Hedges in County Antrim in Northern Ireland is probably among the most photographed natural attractions in recent times. It became even more popular when it was featured in the hit TV series ‘Game of Thrones’.

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Now one of the most visited landmarks in Ireland and in Northern Ireland, the Dark Hedges is also quite fascinating.  

This avenue of large mature beech trees are natural tunnels that are both enchanting and eerie. These trees are now almost 250 years old and have only become even more atmospheric over time. A number of these beech trees were lost through the passing years, mostly due to changing weather and seasons as well as storms.

From the original 160, only 90 are left. Steps are being taken to ensure that these remaining trees are protected. Tourists are also encouraged to help in its preservation. 

Skellig Michael 

Skellig Michael things to do in ireland
Skellig Michael – filming location for Star Wars films

Standing in the Atlantic Ocean at about 12 kilometers southwest of Valentia Island, County Kerry are the stunning Skellig Islands – Skellig Michael and Small Skellig. The islands are both world-famous, but Skellig Michael is more known throughout the world of archaeology as the site of a well-preserved monastic outpost of the Early Christian period.

The earliest reference in history to the Skellig Islands dates back to 1400 BC. Between the 6th and 8th century, a Christian monastery was founded on the island and was continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century. The remains of this monastery, along with most of the island itself, became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1996. 

A jagged, difficult-to-access island off the Kerry shoreline, Skellig Michael towers at 714 feet  (218 meters) above sea level. It’s rather a steep climb up, but the sight of the remarkably well-preserved sixth-century monastic settlement and the magnificent views of the nearby islands and the Atlantic are well worth it and makes for one of the best things to do in Ireland.

These days, Skellig Michael isn’t just known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also for its role in two recent Star Wars movies. 

Torc Waterfall 

Torc Waterfall

Torc Waterfall is a stunning 80 feet high waterfall nestled at the base of Torc Mountain and near N71 Killarney Kenmare road. It is around 7km from the town center of Killarney.

It is also one of the best natural landmarks along the Kerry Way and among the best waterfalls to visit in Ireland

Killarney National Park 

killarney national park

Killarney National Park in County Kerry is one of the 6 national parks in Ireland and the first national park to be declared in 1932.

It is located near the town of Killarney and it covers 25,425 acres of protected land.

The park is of high ecological value because of the quality, diversity, and extensiveness of many of its habitats. 

There are also a wide variety of species in the parks including Red and Sika deer, and few of them are rare.

The park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981.

Nature conservation is the main objective of the park protecting the various and rare species in the area and the ecosystem.

Wicklow National Park 

Wicklow Mountains national park

Wicklow Mountains National Park is the largest national park in Ireland with an area covering more than 129,500 square kilometers.  It is also the only one located in the east of the country.

It extends from County Wicklow and a small area of Dublin which makes it one of the best day trips from Dublin.

The park contains a variety of attractions that include lush forests, fields, and mountains, and the historical Glendalough Valley.

Slieve League

Slieve League

Sliabh Liag Cliffs, or simply Slieve League, is situated on  County Donegal’s southwest coast. Teelin is the closest town and it’s about 1.5 hours from Donegal town, 2 hours from Londonderry, 3 hours from Galway and Belfast and it’s around 4 hours away from Dublin.

These cliffs are said to be the highest in Europe, with a three hundred meter drop straight into the wild, Atlantic below.

The Slieve League or Grey Mountain cliffs seem quite intimidating.

However, once you get over the fact that it’s even more massive than the Cliffs of Moher, you’ll begin to appreciate its spectacular rugged beauty and enjoy your visit. 

More than the dramatic drop into the vast Atlantic, Slieve League is also known for the many wonderful discoveries along the way. The two to three kilometer walk from the car park to the cliffs offers stunning sceneries.

The journey rewards visitors with unparalleled views of the Atlantic to the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay. There’s also a small lake on the way to the highest part of the Slieve League. 

Giant’s Causeway

Giants Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.

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According to legend, the Giants Causeway was built because of two giants – Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill of Gaelic Mythology and Scottish giant Benandonner.

Benandonner challenged Fionn in a fight and the Irish giant accepted so he built the causeway across North Channel so the two giants could meet.

It is the reason why, according to legends, that there’s an area on the island of Staffa in Scotland with similar basalt columns.

When Fionn crossed the sea through the causeway, he realized that Benandonner was larger than he thought so he fleed in fear and destroyed the causeway behind him so the Scottish giant won’t be able to follow him.

Benbulben

Benbulben
Benbulben

Benbulben is the Table Mountain of Ireland. This large rock formation was formed by moving glaciers during Ice Age.

The mountain is part of the Dartry Mountains in an area known as Yeats Country – a name after the famous writer and poet W.B. Yeats.

The Benbulben offers the best view of Sligo town and it’s an easy trail to hike.

It is only 15-20 minutes away from the town center and although one of the most popular attractions in Sligo town, it is not touristy.

Along the trail are rolling hills and beautiful landscapes of forest, bogs, and plants.

Historical Irish landmarks 

Boyne Valley Tombs

bru na boinne

Bru na Boinne contains one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in the world dating back to the Neolithic period. It is famous for its Megalithic passage tombs called Knowth, Newgrange, and Dowth.

Aside from these three spectacular ancient sites, there are over 90 Neolithic monuments dotted across Brú na Bóinne.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993, this famous River Boyne Valley is considered one of the best historic landmarks in Ireland.

Glasnevin Cemetery

Glasnevin Cemetery

More than a final resting place for the people of Dublin, Glasnevin has become a unique attraction. It holds the graves and memorials of several notable figures in Ireland and was opened to the public for the first time in 1832.

Despite being an unusual place to do sightseeing, this cemetery is considered one of the top landmarks in Ireland due to its rich history.

A cemetery tour in Glasnevin will take you back to the history of Ireland through the people buried there. You can learn the stories of Ireland’s political and notable figures such as Eamon De Valera, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Countess Marckievicz, and Brendan Behan just to name a few.

Kilmainham Gaol 

Kilmainham Gaol

A trip to the Kilmainham Gaol is probably one of the more sobering experiences should you decide to visit. It is located off the Dublin city center and accessible via public transport.

This place is far from being a fun or relaxing tourist attraction, but it is an important part of Ireland’s history. In particular, the Gaol played a significant role in the country’s independence. 

This place is no fortress, not a pretty castle or museum. Kilmainham Gaol was a  working prison that housed men, women, and children.

It was in operation from 1787 until 1924. Records say that the youngest child sent here was only seven years old. The prison housed felons of all ages, sexes, and offenses. Those who had more serious charges were not kept in jail cells but hanged outside.

Thousands of prisoners were also kept here while they await transport to British penal colonies in Australia. 

During the time of the Great Potato Famine (1845 – 1852), it was said that many people intentionally broke the law so they’d be sent to the Gaol.

Irish people back then did this hoping they’d be fed while incarcerated. This situation eventually led to the overcrowding of the prison. Women and children had to sleep on the floor or hallways without blankets or covering. Men had to squeeze themselves in 28-square meter cells that are usually good for only five people. 

From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Kilmainham Gaol was infamously tied to its rebel prisoners. A great number of Irish Nationalists were sent here. Meanwhile,  every Irish Republican leader stayed here for various offenses at one time or another.

Irish Castle Landmarks in Ireland 

Dublin Castle 

dublin castle tower

From Medieval to Georgian, the styles you’ll find in the Dublin Castle betrays its fascinating history. 

In the early 13th century, it was the seat of English than British rule in Ireland. The castle’s main purpose was as the residence of the monarch’s representative  — the Viceroy Of Ireland. It was also an administrative and ceremonial center back then.

Originally, it was built as a fortress by King John of England. It had huge towers connected by high curtain walls,  set around a central enclosure.

The castle was built on the elevated ground that used to be a Viking settlement. This castle stood strong until it was ravaged by fire in April 1684.

Most parts of the building were severely damaged but some of the Medieval and Viking structures survived. These areas can remain unharmed for centuries that visitors can still explore them up to this day. 

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle and gardens

One of Ireland’s most popular landmarks is Blarney Castle. It was built nearly six hundred years ago by Cormac MacCarthy, one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains. Surrounding the castle are extensive gardens.

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Aside from the castle itself, the place is also popular because of Blarney Stone. In order to get the gift of eloquence, for over 200 years many famous people from around the world visit Blarney to kiss the famous Blarney Stone.

Kylemore Abbey 

kylemore abbey castle
Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Castle was built by Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor from England, as a gift to his wife Margaret in 1871. It was sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1903 and was then purchased by the Irish Benedictine nuns in 1920.

Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery was then founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara. Since the 1970s, the estate has been opened to the public.

Nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain and along the shore of Lough Pollacappul in Connemara, the Abbey is one of the most iconic Irish landmarks. It is also one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. And no visit to Ireland’s famous landmarks is complete without spending a half-day to the castle ground.

Rock of Cashel 

Church and Tower at Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is a historic landmark located at Cashel in County Tipperary. It is one of the famous landmarks in Ireland and also one of the most visited castles in Ireland.

This iconic landmark was the seat of the High Kings of Munster and was built between the 12th to the 13th century.

Malahide Castle 

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle is one of the oldest castles and best castles in Ireland which dates back as far as 1175. This is also one of the few castles in Dublin County and it’s located in the remaining parklands of Malahide Demesne Regional Park.

The Malahide Castle was home to Talbot Family for almost 800 years and survived many wars and also the deaths of its previous owners inside the palace.

For 11 years, the castle was given by Oliver Cromwell to Miles Corbet after the English Parliament conquered Ireland. He hanged himself following the death of Cromwell.

The Talbot family took the castle back but it was followed by the death of 14 members where they didn’t make it back after the Battle of Boyne near Drogheda.

Now, this Irish castle is owned by the State as the last member of the Talbot family sold it.

Kilkenny Castle 

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195 to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several routeways. It was a symbol of Norman’s occupation and it is an important site to the history of Kilkenny. In 1967, the Castle was transferred to the people of Kilkenny for £50.

The Kilkenny Castle is now one of the very few castles in Ireland that offer tours to the public. The garden and park in the castle complex are also open to the public.

King John’s Castle 

King John's Castle

King John’s Castle is one of the best-preserved Norman castles in Europe. This 13th-century fortress is located in the heart of the medieval city of Limerick. It stands on a hill by the majestic River Shannon, and from the castle itself, one can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

King John’s Castle is quite an imposing figure, built by King John of England and an enduring testament to Ireland’s long history. 


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