Ireland has a magical reputation that many of you will already know about, but have you experienced it for yourself? You might think you already know what Ireland is all about, but you might be surprised. With so many hidden gems and breath-taking sights, your first trip to Ireland will be an unforgettable one. Forget your stereotypical view of Ireland and follow our tips to really uncover the Irish charm.

Skip the bus tours

While the sightseeing buses can be a great idea for first time visitors, you might find that you see much more from aimlessly wandering and making your own memories. There’s nothing better than being somewhere new and exploring hidden streets, without relying on a tour guide or a map for guidance. You never know what fascinating sights you might stumble upon!

With so many attractions across Ireland, you want to set out on your own adventure, not a pre-organised one by a professional tour guide.

Be at one with nature

Ireland’s cities are hubs of excitement, full of things to see and do, including traditional Irish music and of course that all-important Guinness. But you mustn’t forget that there are also countless spots of natural beauty across Ireland! Travelling to Ireland will reveal the explorer in you.

Killarney National Park is a stunning area that’s full of mountains, lakes and even rare wildlife. Surround yourself with the outdoors and enjoy Ireland’s spectacular landscape away from the hustle and bustle of the towns.

Likewise, the Cliffs of Moher along the Wild Atlantic Way are a mesmerising spot. The 2500km coastal drive offers incredible views over Galway Bay, showing off Ireland at its best. The vertical cliffs rise to an impressive height of over 200 metres, offering a truly unique experience.

Get lost in history

Ireland has a rich history, alongside countless tales of folklore. While you may associate Ireland with the likes of fairies and leprechauns, there’s so much more to this magical country.

Brú na Bóinne, predating both Stonehenge and even Egypt’s Pyramids, is an area of the River Boyne containing 3 passage tombs. Built around 5000 years ago, it is one of the most significant archaeological sites. An area used no doubt for rituals and ceremonies has become one of the most interesting sites in Western Europe.

Likewise, the legendary Rock of Cashel is home to a group of Medieval buildings dating back to the 12th century. Complete with a round tower and a Gothic cathedral, the Rock of Cashel was a symbol of power for hundreds of years.

Explore the hidden gems

Located at the mouth of Galway Bay lies 3 of Ireland’s most preserved examples of traditional Irish culture and heritage. The Aran Islands is home to over a thousand people who still live in very traditional communities, and still primarily speak Irish. A true insight into the real Ireland, the islands offer a number of beautiful sights including Celtic monuments and cliffs.

If you’re looking for the real Irish experience as a first-timer, the Aran Islands should be at the top of your list! It is of course also the home of the renowned Aran sweater, which is now recognised and loved around the world.