Ireland is one of those countries that is perfect for seeing from the open road. From north to south, there are several must-see places to visit, all with great stop-offs on the way in quaint villages with welcoming locals and great food.
The capital of the Emerald Isle, Dublin has to be top of the list for those who love the Irish craic, a good pint of Guinness and a friendly welcome. Visit Temple Bar for a wide variety of restaurants and pubs where you’re likely to find traditional Irish music aplenty. Around Dublin, some of the best places to visit include St. Stephen’s Green and the Post Office on O’Connell Street where the leaders of the Easter Uprising of 1916 had their headquarters.
From Dublin head south to Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. In 2014 Waterford celebrated its 1100th anniversary and boasts a history which dates back to the days of the Vikings. Waterford’s name comes from the Old Norse vedrarfjord which can be translated as windy harbour or winter haven. It is located along the River Suir and is home to the famous Waterford Crystal. Waterford’s riverfront has been redeveloped but there are still traces of the city’s Viking and Norman ancestry on show within the town’s walls and narrow streets. There are three brilliant museums within what is known as the Viking Triangle which tell the story of the Middle Ages in Ireland. If you want to see how the stunning crystal that takes its name from the city is made, you can visit the Waterford Crystal factory and see the crystal glass making process undertaken by skilled craftsmen.
When you’ve been dazzled by the crystal of Waterford, head even further south to Cork, the second largest city in Ireland. Cork is an island town, located in the River Lee. There are plenty of waterfront places to enjoy a pint of Ireland’s finest beers with lots of live entertainment to boot. Live music and a great food and drink scene are among the things that Cork does best. St. Patrick’s cathedral is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and so should be top of your places to visit list if you stop off in Cork. An important pilgrimage site, it has been an essential part of Ireland’s history for over 800 years. Cork’s most famous shopping street, St. Patrick’s Street is named after the cathedral, and runs from the northern St. Patrick’s Bridge to the Georgian Grand Parade on the South Channel of the River Lee.
Checklist for visiting Ireland:
Insurance: Whether as a short holiday or as part of a long term travel trip, travel insurance is very important in case you run into trouble, whether its breaking an arm or losing your gadgets a good insurance policy will ensure you are financially protected in case something bad should happen to you. Be sure to pick a policy which suits your specific trip, like backpacking insurance.
Travel: If you are travelling straight to Ireland from far away the main airport you are likely to fly into is Dublin Airport.
Alternatively if you are travelling from the UK or Scotland you may choose to get a ferry. Irish ferries offers many sails per day.
Guide: Both Lonely planet and rough guides offer great guides to Ireland. Alternatively there is lots of info on the Ireland tourism website.