famous landmarks in Ireland, cliffs of moher, ireland, landscape

5 Famous Landmarks In Ireland: A Complete Guide!

Ireland is the land of saints, scholars, legends, magic, and culture. With tales of leprechauns and hidden pots of gold, folklore is abundant here. Ireland’s history dates back to the prehistoric era, it is no wonder there are many famous landmarks in Ireland.

You have landed on the right page If you are looking to know more about Ireland, its national food, and the five famous landmarks of Ireland.

In this post, the questions which we will answer are:- 

  1. Where is Ireland?
  2. What is the national language of Ireland?
  3. What is the national food of Ireland?
  4. Where are Ireland’s five landmarks?
  5. Is Ireland a good place to visit?

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Where is Ireland?

Ireland or the Republic of Ireland is an island on the North Atlantic Ocean. The North Channel separates Ireland and Great Britain which is on its East. 


Is Ireland a safe country?

Vision of Humanity 2020 ranked Ireland the 12th most “peaceful” nation in the world. The measurements are based on a Global Peace Index that captures the absence of fear across three main areas which are safety and security, ongoing conflict, and militarization. 

Origins of Name

Ireland or Éire is from Ériu. She was an Old Irish goddess. Another name for the island is Erin which is from Éireann. William Drennan in his poem, When Erin First Rose described the island as “the Emerald Isle”.

An antiquated name for Ireland is Hibernia. Interestingly, Ptolemy drew a map of Ireland in 100 AD. In his map, he gives the names of 15 rivers, six promontories, and 10 cities. 

History of Ireland

The earliest inhabitants of Ireland were from the Mount Sandel Mesolithic Site. This site was home to an extended family of hunter-gatherers. The people here caught salmon in summer, gathered hazelnuts in autumn, and hunted wild boar in winter.

However, a bear bone found in 1903 at the Alice and Gwendoline Cave pushed back human inhabitants to 12,500 years ago. These findings were remarkable as the brown bear knee bone was dated towards the end of the Ice Age in Ireland.

Check out the Brief History of Ireland and the Top 10 Most Epic Ancient Sites in Ireland to know more.

What are the Irish famous for?

Ireland is a nation with a rich history. Here, we explore the 5 things that the Irish are famous for.

  1. Riverdance. Bill Whelan created this dance form. He created a dance that combined Spanish Flamenco with Irish Folk Dance. A special film version of this dance was made in conjunction with their 25th anniversary. 
  2. Drinks. Guinness, Kilkenny, Irish Whiskey, and Baileys trace their roots to Ireland. Check the 9 Most Popular Irish Alcoholic Beverages
  3. Musicians. Do Enya, Sinead O’Connor, The Cranberries, and U2 sound familiar? Yes, these chart-toppers are Irish. Check the Top 10 Irish Musicians of All Time by Billboard’s Hot 100. 
  4. Guinness Storehouse. Arthur Guinness began brewing ales in Dublin in 1759. Ten years later, he exported his first shipment to Great Britain. Check out the Guinness Storehouse, the ticket prices are Welcome Back Experience which is €15 ($17), Upgrade Experience at €24 ($28), and Ambassador Experience at €30 ($35). 
  5. Blarney Stone. This is a limestone block built into Blarney Castle. Legends say that kissing the stone gives the kisser a “gift of gab”.

The above are just some of the things the Irish are known for. Check out the 11 Awesome Things Ireland Gave The World.

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Visa Requirements

The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Services (INIS) is responsible for the issuing of visas and dealing with immigration matters. There are several types of visas available but for this post, we will focus on short-stay visas and long-stay visas.

A short-stay ‘C’ visa is for stays of less than 90 days. The requirements of this visa are on the Department of Justice’s Short Stay Visas page.

A long-stay ‘D’ visa is for stays of more than 90 days. The requirements for this visa are the Department of Justice’s Long Stay Visas page.

You can check if you need an Irish visa here and apply through the official AVATS Online Application Facility. The visa application form is available in 7 languages. However, forms completed in English are accepted for processing.

What is the national language of Ireland?

Irish Gaelic

Article 8 of the Constitution of Ireland states that Irish Gaelic is the first and official language of the nation. In a Central Statistics Office Population Survey, 39.8% of the population could speak Irish with Galway County recording the highest percentage of speakers at 49%. The primary speakers are, of course, primary and nursery teachers.

To further strengthen the usage of the Irish language, the Official Languages (Amendment Bill) 2019 seeks to amend and extend the use of the Irish language for all official state, parliamentary and public use as per the Official Languages Act 2003.

What is a typical Irish greeting?

A handshake is a common form of greeting in Ireland. A hug and a kiss on the cheek is an acceptable greeting among close family and friends. Cultural Atlas has an excellent article on everything you need to know about Irish culture, etiquette, and communication.

What is the Irish Hello?

Are you curious to know how to say some common words in Irish? Here you go!

Hello is “Dia duit” which means “May God be With You”, Goodbye is “Slán leat”, and Thank you is “Go raibh maith agat”. Check out Useful Irish Phrases and Words You Might Need and 15 Irish Sayings That Everyone in America Should Know

Duolingo is another useful tool to learn Irish.

Do you know what an Irish Goodbye or Irish Exit is? 



According to Article 8 of the Constitution of Ireland, English is recognized as the second official language of the nation. The English language spoken in Ireland is known as Hiberno-English and is natively unique when compared to British English. 

English was brought to Ireland by the Norman Invasion in the 12th century. The second wave of English language speakers came during the Tudor Conquest

How many different languages are spoken in Ireland?

There are 72 different languages spoken in Ireland. Each of these languages has about 500 speakers. This means that three children in a classroom in Ireland speak another language other than English or Irish at home.

Polish is the most spoken foreign language followed by French and Romanian. Interestingly, Shona which is the main language of Zimbabwe is spoken by about 1000 people in Ireland.

The Irish Times states that there are 182 languages in Ireland. The United States has the largest number of Irish speakers with at least 20,000 people conversing the language. 

Do you know that the term “by hook or by crook” traces its origins to Ireland?


According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, the definition of the term “by hook or by crook” means any possible method. The story is that the term was a vow made by Oliver Cromwell during the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland.

He was referring to the capture of Waterford and said that he would take Waterford either by Hook on the Eastern side of Waterford Estuary or by Crook that was on the Western side of the Estuary. Hence, the term “by hook or by crook“. He was believed to have relied on Hook Lighthouse which is the oldest operational lighthouse in the world.

What is the national food of Ireland?

Irish cuisine is based on the crops and animals of Ireland. Meals in Ireland include staples such as potatoes, fish, and meat. 

Irish Stew

famous landmarks in Ireland, Irish stew, potato, carrots, lamb, parsley, Ireland's national dish
Image Credit: Jeffreyw (Wikipedia Commons)

Irish stew is considered a national dish in Ireland. This dish has four basic ingredients which are lamb, potatoes, onions, and parsley. The modern variation includes carrot or mutton. This dish is known as “stobhach gaelach” in Gaelic Irish.

When the Irish Potato Famine struck in 1845, immigrants to the United States took this recipe with them. The recipe evolved to include Guinness Stout as an ingredient in this dish.

Chicago Tribune has an excellent recipe of Irish stew adapted from the traditional recipe served at Ireland’s oldest pub.

What are typical Irish foods?

Soda bread

famous landmarks in Ireland, soda bread, quick bread
Image Credit: O’Dea (Wikipedia Commons)

Soda bread is bread where the leavening agent is baking soda instead of yeast. This is a quick bread as it can be prepared quickly and is less time-consuming. It doesn’t require skilled labor and controlled temperature.

The basic ingredients are whole wheat or plain flour, buttermilk, honey, and eggs or olive oil. These loaves of bread are popular in Australia, Serbia, and Scotland. 

BBC UK has an excellent recipe which you can try and easily serves six persons. Darina Allen who is the “Julia Child of Emerald Isle” has her version of soda bread on Forbes.


famous landmarks in Ireland, Colcannon, white headed cabbage
Image Credit: Vegateam (Wikipedia Commons)

Cál ceannann means “white-headed cabbage”. This is another traditional Irish dish and is made from cabbage, kale, and mashed potatoes. This four-ingredient dish includes potatoes, butter, milk, and cabbage.

Smoked Salmon

famous landmarks in Ireland, smoked salmon
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

In this dish, salmon is cured in either hot or cold smoke and served. Irish smoked salmon uses Atlantic Salmon smoked with oak from Irish whiskey casks. The recipe for this dish is on the Food Network.  


famous landmarks in Ireland, boxty, traditional Irish pancakes made from potatoes
Image Credit: David Bailey (Wikipedia Commons)

Bacstaí or Boxty is traditional Irish pancakes made from potatoes. An Irish rhyme associated with this dish is “Boxty on the griddle; boxty on the pan. If you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man!”.

Boxty is traditionally served on St Brigid’s Day to mark the beginning of spring. Forbes has an excellent recipe for this dish. 

Where are Ireland’s five landmarks?

The five famous landmarks in Ireland that we will be focusing on are the Cliffs of Moher, Dublin Castle, the Rock of Cashel, Leap Castle, and the Newgrange Tomb.

Cliffs of Moher

cliffs of moher, scenic seacliff in Ireland, famous landmarks in Ireland
Photo by Sarah Donisi on Unsplash

The first of our famous landmarks in Ireland is the Cliffs of Moher. This scenic seacliff is on the southwestern edge of Clare County. It is about 165 miles from Dublin city which is an approximate 4-hour drive.

The O’Brien’s Tower is the highest viewpoint and was built by Sir Cornellius O’Brien in 1835. From the top of the tower, visitors can view Aran Islands in Galway Bay and the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges. The name Cliffs of Moher is from the ancient Moher Tower which was built as a watchtower during the Napoleonic Wars. 

These cliffs were featured in the sixth installment of the Harry Potter series which was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 

Do you have to pay to see the Cliffs of Moher?

No, there isn’t any fee to see the cliffs. An admission ticket of €5.00 ($6) is for adults, senior citizens who are above 65 years, and students above 13 years of age. This ticket price covers family-friendly pathways, secure parking, and free WiFi.

These cliffs are on 8 Scenic Spots Not To Miss in Ireland, the 32 of the Most Beautiful Places in Ireland, and Lonely Planet.

Dublin Castle

famous landmarks in Ireland, Dublin Castle
Photo by Lisa Fecker on Unsplash

The second of our famous landmarks in Ireland is Dublin Castle. This iconic castle is in the heart of Dublin. The name Dublin is from the dark pool or “Dub Linn”. The pool is at the confluence of Liffey and Poddle Rivers.

Historically, this castle is one of the most important buildings in Ireland. The castle was a residence of the Irish Representative to the British Monarch from 1204 to 1922 and was eventually used as an administrative center.

Is Dublin Castle free?

The castle now houses the Office of Public Works (OPW). However, only the public gardens are free and accessible to the public. There are several tickets available:-

  1. Guided Tours. The costs are €12 ($14) for adults, €10 ($11) for seniors above 60 years and students with a valid student ID, €6 ($7) for children between 12 to 17 years. A Family Ticket is €30 ($35).
  2. Self-guided Tours. The costs are €8 ($9) for adults, €6 ($7) for seniors and students with a valid student ID, €4 ($5) for children between 12 to 17 years. A Family Ticket is €20 ($24).
  3. Heritage Card. This card gives access to all OPW Heritage Sites for one year. The costs are €40 ($47) for adults, €30 ($35) for seniors above 60 years and students with a valid student ID. Children between 12 to 17 are €10 ($11). A Family Ticket is €90 ($107). For more information on this card, click The Heritage Card page.
  4. Dublin Pass. This card has access to the self-guided tours which are €3 ($4). For more information on this card, click on the Dublin Pass page.  

This landmark is on Forbes, Lonely Planet, and CNN Travel and is a must-visit when in Dublin.

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel, famous landmarks in Ireland
Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

The third of our famous landmarks in Ireland is the Rock of Cashel. Rock of Cashel is located 103 miles from Dublin. 

Local legends mention that this rock was originally at Devil’s Bit. The story goes that St Patrick was chasing the Devil across Ireland, the Devil bit a chunk of rock and spat it out. The rock which he spat out is now Rock of Cashel.

Another legend has it that St Patrick converted King Aenghus to Christianity. Brian Boru who united Ireland was crowned here. 

How much does it cost to visit Rock of Cashel?

The admission costs are €8 ($9) for adults, €6 ($7) for senior citizens, €4 ($5) for children and students, and €20 ($24) for family.

Leap Castle

famous landmarks in Ireland, Leap castle, world's most haunted castle
Image Credit: Mike Searle (Wikipedia Commons)

The fourth of our famous landmarks in Ireland is Leap Castle. Leap Castle describes itself as “the world’s most haunted castle”. The castle’s reputation is from a curse.

The story goes that a chieftain once wagered a bet on a poor peasant. The bet was that he would exempt the peasant from paying rent if he could jump between two rocks. The peasant tried and failed.

Another story states that the castle sits on an ancient ceremonial site, hence the hauntings. The castle is now a private residence with the current owners continuing the restoration works.

Some of the hauntings are The Bloody Chapel, the Priest’s House, the Murder Hole Room, the Red Lady, Emily & Charlotte, the Murdered Woman, and the Governess & the Old Man. This castle was featured on the Irish Post, Irish Central, The Mirror, and Conde Nast Traveler.

Newgrange Tomb

famous landmarks in Ireland, Newgrange Tomb, prehistoric monument
Image Credit: Tjp Finn (Wikipedia Commons)

The fifth of our famous landmarks in Ireland is Newgrange Tomb. This prehistoric monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site are 37 miles from Dublin. This site is a large circular mound with large inner passageways that predates Stonehenge by 500 years.

This structure built entirely of stone is 600 years older than the Great Pyramids of Giza. To know more, check out the 101 Facts About Newgrange

Do you know that a single drop of water has not penetrated the interiors of the tomb in 40 centuries?

Newgrange is a Stone Age engineering marvel and is on CNN Travel, National Geographic, and Lonely Planet.

Is Ireland worth visiting?

Yes! With breathtaking landscapes, stunning coastlines, and many historical sites, Ireland is a must-visit. We will explore the four reasons why you should make that trip to Ireland.


Dunguaire Castle, most phographed castle in Ireland
Photo by Matteo Paonessa on Unsplash

Our famous landmarks in Ireland wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the castles of Ireland. With castles all over Ireland, it would be hard to choose which one to visit. There is Blarney Castle, Bunratty Castle, Trim Castle, and Cahir Castle just to name a few.

Dunguaire Castle is the most photographed castle in Ireland. Check out Travel Channel’s Best Castle in Ireland to know more. Ashford Castle is now a hotel. This castle is about 155 miles from Dublin and sits on the Mayo-Galway border. This castle was was once home to the Guinness family. Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith held their reception here in 2001.

Another castle that is gaining local support is the Old Court Castle in Bray. Vandals have removed stones creating a gaping hole in the castle’s structure. 

How many castles are there in Ireland?

There are more than 30,000 castles. We know it’s impossible to visit all of them, so check out the Must-See Castles of Ireland and the 11 Best Castles to Visit in Ireland

Where are the best castles in Ireland?

Whether it’s best castles or beautiful castles, Ireland has it all. Check out the Best Castles to Stay in Ireland and the Beautiful Castles in Ireland You Can’t Miss

Coasts and Countryside

coasts and countryside of Ireland, sea, islands, green hills
Photo by Anukrati Omar on Unsplash

The coasts and countrysides are other famous landmarks in Ireland. Check out the Best Coastal Destinations in Ireland to know more.

How many miles is the coast of Ireland?

The Ordnance Survey of Ireland states that the total length around Ireland at 1,970 miles. Ireland’s coastal road is The Wild Atlantic Way. This is similar to the Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, Australia. The route starts at Inishowen Peninsula in the north and ends in Kinsale in the south. 

Along the route, you can check out the 10 Best Beaches in Ireland or you can explore the 10 Best Road Trips in Ireland.


Pubs in Ireland, in here its always Friday, neon lighting
Photo by Edouard Percevault on Unsplash

Irish pubs have a casual and friendly atmosphere. Here, we will check out the highest pub and oldest pub in Ireland.

What is the highest pub in Ireland?

Top of Coom is Ireland’s highest pub at over 1,045 feet above sea level. Check the 7 Most Remote Irish Pubs In The World and the 5 Pubs in Ireland That Hold Epic Records. After all, your trip to  Ireland isn’t complete without a visit to an Irish pub.

What is the oldest pub in Ireland?

The oldest pub in Ireland is Sean’s Bar which dates back to 900 AD. A “wattle and wicker” wall was discovered and it was dated between the 9th to 13th centuries. This bar is also certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest bar in Ireland and Europe. A certificate confirming the status is also on display.


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Irish legends and mythologies are based on three main manuscripts which are The Book of Dun Cow, the Book of Leinster, and the Bodleian Library. The manuscripts in these books are from the Ulster Cycle of Mythology.

Mythological Cycles are stories of people who were once Gods. The cycle also looks at the origins of the Irish people. Ulster Cycles are stories of heroic tales of mortal characters.

What are some Irish myths?

Leprechauns, fairies, Finn McCool, shamrock, and St Patrick Ireland’s myths. Check out the Best Stories from Irish Mythologies, the Top Irish Legends and Myths to Tell Your Kids at Bedtime, and Where to Find Ireland’s Myths and Legends Today

With these beautiful stories, castles, and coastlines, it is no wonder that Ireland is a must-visit destination when in Europe.

Check out the 17 Best Places to Visit in Ireland, 16 Reasons Why You Should Visit Ireland At Least Once In Your Lifetime, and 10 Essential Experiences on Emerald Isle You Must Have and make your way there.


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