Ireland is a land of history, culture and the friendliest people on the planet, and there’s no better introduction to the island than it’s three top cities: Dublin, Belfast and Galway.
Authentic and immersive experiences that straddle both the old and new worlds await in Dublin, Belfast and Galway. These cities perfectly encapsulate the modern Irish experience, with great doses of mystery and charm to make a visit totally memorable.
Easily accessible from Australia and continental Europe due to excellent air access, these cities – and Ireland in general – are also the perfect start/end point for a European holiday.
So forget what you think you know about Ireland. Visit these three cities and find out for yourself.
Here’s what you can expect in…
1. HISTORIC DUBLIN
Compact and easily explored, Dublin is the kind of city that makes an impact. A historic city with Viking roots, this vibrant metropolis is quirky and cool, and loaded with culture.
Dublin is the largest city on the island of Ireland, yet its friendly inhabitants make it feel more like a small town. Its diversity also makes it a foodie’s paradise, with every corner of the globe deliciously reflected in its restaurants and cafes.
Explore the city’s historic sites, such as Dublin Castle which dates back to the 13th century and St Patrick’s Cathedral founded in 1191. After your history lesson, it’s only a short drive away to quaint coastal towns and villages and rolling Irish mountains.
2. BUZZING BELFAST
So much great music comes out of this vibrant city that there must be something in the water. But buzzing Belfast is more than just its tunes. An equally vibrant foodie scene is currently sweeping through this Northern Ireland city too. It focuses on fresh local produce and innovative cuisine to tantalise your taste buds.
And recently the uber-popular TV series Game of Thrones has chosen locations just outside the city for its backdrop. Travellers can tour the filming locations and see the mountains, castles and coastlines that bring the Seven Kingdoms to life onscreen.
Historically, the ill-fated Titanic was designed, built and berthed in Belfast, leaving a lasting legacy on the city. The history and stories of this epic ship are brought to life through nine interactive galleries in Titanic Belfast. This must see is located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter.
But beyond the hip and happening music, food and art scene, Belfast is also a great base to explore Irelands natural beauty. Along The Causeway Coastal Route you can visit sites such as The Gobbins (a cliffpath walk along the Northern coastline), and The Giant’s Causeway.
3. CHARMING GALWAY
A charming city with a bohemian spirit, Galway sits on Ireland’s west coast. It’s renowned for its fabled medieval history, charming cobbled streets, and lively traditional music scene. You’ll find the city colonised with quirky cafes, cool bars, and charming characters too.
Its prime position on the coast also makes Galway an excellent launch pad to explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way – the world’s longest defined Coastal Touring Route. Some of the highlights along the Wild Atlantic Way include the famous the Cliffs of Moher and the remote Connemara region. You may even spot some familiar scenes from Star Wars Episode VII along the way!
Learn more about these three Irish cities and more at ireland.com.