Not long from now summer will be here, so days will become longer and temperatures higher. Shorts will replace heavy jeans, flip-flops will rule the pavements and we’ll finally be able to enjoy some summer nights outside – in the company of great friends, tasty drinks and smell of freedom. Thinking about holidays yet? If you’re fed up with traditional destinations, palms and sandy beaches, and you’re ready for something different, Ireland is a great idea. Besides, summer is an ideal time for visiting it.
Weather in Ireland
From May to June, average monthly temperatures vary from 17 to 20 °C, and from July to August it’s even warmer, practically ideal. But still, Irish weather can be a bit like a box of chocolates; You never know what you’re gonna get :) So our friendly advice would be: don’t forget to pack waterproof hiking shoes and a windproof/waterproof jacket, along with sunglasses and sunscreen. You just never know.
But you shouldn’t worry about the weather. Focus on other things – the historical sights, amazing nature, grandiose cliffs, and the vibrant social pub life. Remember that summer in Ireland is known for its celebration and festivals. Irish people know how to celebrate everything – from flowers to art, music and literature.
Dublin is the capital city and also the largest city in Ireland. It has a rich history, great museums, and many galleries. A perfect way to explore Dublin is by bike. There are many bikes available for public use and you can also go on tourist guided tours (Dublin City Bike Tours).
They say that Guinness tastes better in Dublin than anywhere else in the world. 10 million pints of Guinness are produced in Dublin every day. So it is obvious you can’t get across Dublin without passing a pub. The oldest Pub is reported to be located in Dublin and is called Brazen Head.
The interesting fact is that Dublin has the youngest population in all of Europe. Approximately 50-percent of the population is less than 25-years of age. So if you like to hang out and be around young people, Dublin is the place for you.
Don’t let Dublin take all the fame
Even though Dublin is a superb city and you should definitely check it out, don’t judge Ireland by its capital city … Rent a car, make an itinerary and let the magic happen.
If you are a music lover, history lover, nature admirer or architecture lover, Ireland has something for you. Here are some cool places you just have to see when in Ireland. Just one little tip before you continue reading ... Public transportation can be a bit expensive and doesn’t get you everywhere you want. You will have the most freedom and the best experience if you rent a car.
Sights for architecture lovers
During your trip you will see tons of architectural masterpieces that will blow your mind and take you back in time. Here are just a few of them you definitely don’t want to miss.
- Visit Trinity College in Dublin, which is a masterpiece of landscaping and architecture. The college was founded in 1592, most buildings date from 18th and 19th centuries. It has some memorable graduates including Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula.
- Galway city is a lovely city in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht, which is known as the city of music and culture, where you can spend all day wandering around and listening to the locals perform. The buildings are unique and colorful, and the music, which surrounds you on every step of the way is intoxicating.
- Castletown House, located in Celbridge, 23 km west of Dublin, is the largest and earliest Palladian style house in Ireland. It was built in 1792 and is one of the most important houses in Ireland with significant architectural heritage.
- Dun Aengus (Dun Aongasa) is a popular tourist attraction in the West of Ireland in County Galway and an important archaeological site. It is a semicircular stone fort, which lies on the edge of a 100 meters high cliff and has a sheer drop to the ocean. You can sit with your feet dangling over the edge and watch the surroundings. An unforgettable experience!
Sights for nature admirers
There are many natural parks and forests in Ireland, we made a list of just a few of nature's gems.
- Cliffs of Moher, standing 215m at their highest point and stretch for 8 km along the Atlantic coast in County Clare, West of Ireland. It is one of the busiest attraction points, so make sure you plan your visit ahead.
- Killarney National Park, located in Count Kerry, South- West of Ireland, dates back at least 4,000 year ago. It provides a wide range of services for tour groups, such as guided walks, slide shows, treasure hunts and more. You can also rent a bike and observe wonderful views of Killanery's spectacular scenery.
- Glendalough is a valley in Count Wicklow, also known as “the valley of the two lakes”. Here you can admire some spectacular scenery while hiking or just relaxing by the lake, meditate and inspire your heart and soul.
Sights for horror fans
If you are a horror fan, you should definitely stay in the Ballygally Castle Hotel, situated on the scenic Antrim Coast Road, 26 miles north of Belfast. People say that this hotel is the most haunted of its kind. The castle is said to be haunted by ghosts of the previous owners – Lord James Shaw and his wife Lady Isobella Shaw. Current owners are proud of its resident ghost and are dedicating a room to them in one of the towers in the older part of the castle.
If you are just a little bit more on the safe side and don't want to actually sleep with ghosts, you can visit the most photographed spot in Ireland – The Dark Hedges. It’s an old avenue of beech trees that line the Bregagh road near the town of Ballymoney in Count Antrim. A spectral Grey Lady who appears among trees haunts the old road.
What and where to eat and drink?
Some people like Irish cuisine and some don’t. We will let you try and then decide. Here are some places you don’t want to miss when traveling in Ireland.
It’s all about the cheese
When in Ireland, trying different kinds of cheese is a must. Cheese making dates back to the monasteries, so the Irish people really perfected their recipes. For the best cheese experience, head to Dromland Castle (8 miles from Shannon Airport). Here you can enjoy an Irish cheeseboard at breakfast. The second spot you have to visit is the Temple Bar in Dublin. Try their traditional potato dumplings with delicious Cashel blue cheese sauce.
They say that Ireland has the best see food in the world. So if you love seafood, you are in the perfect place. Ever tried salmon with eggs? At Liberty Grill in Corck, you can have a lick-your-fingers breakfast; smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with hollandaise sauce. If traveling through Galway, you should stop at The Front Door Sonny’s Bar and Restaurant. Pamper yourself with fresh fish buried under salad and smothered in chorizo butter.
Irish sheep farming is an important industry in Ireland, so no wonder their premium product has a reputation for quality. For the best lamb, head to Galway and find The Malt House Restaurant. It’s a cozy restaurant, perfect for a romantic dinner. They have fresh ingredients and a creative menu, so you won’t get disappointed.
Beer, whiskey and music. What more can you ask for?
There are so many pubs in Ireland, it’s almost ridiculous. But you surely don’t want to miss these two pearls. First is The Stag’s Head, located on the corner of Dame Court and Dame Lane in Dublin. If we say that this has been a popular drinking place for famous people like James Joyce and Quentin Tarantino, we say enough. You have it all here; enormous amounts of bottles of beer, traditional live music, comedy shows and beer events.
The second place you don’t want to miss is Henry Downes Bar, a great and genuine pub in Waterford City. They have been blending their own No9 Irish whiskey for more than two centuries. It consists of a series of bars, each with their own character. This place is not the easiest to find but definitely worth the effort.