What are the safest cities in Ireland

Ireland: The 10 most beautiful cities on the Emerald Isle

From Galway in the west to Dublin in the east, from Belfast in the north to Cork in the south, Ireland is full of exciting cities that you should definitely visit while traveling here. And the best thing about it: Each of them comes with its own special features! In our article we take a look at the 10 most beautiful places on the island!

1. Dublin, Leinster Province

The first of the list is the capital of the Republic of Ireland: Dublin on the east coast of the country. Regardless of whether you visit the pubs in March for St. Patrick's Day and admire the city from its greenest, but also most exuberant side, or prefer to go sightseeing at quieter times of the year - Dublin is always worth a visit. Some of the attractions that you should definitely add to your must-see list here are Dublin Castle in the city center, Phoenix Park, which is also adjacent to the Dublin Zoo, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Also interesting, especially for the beer fans among you, is a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, and those who prefer good Irish whiskey should have a look at the Jameson Distillery in Smithfield.

If you want to take a closer look at the attractions of the Irish capital, the best thing to do is to click here: Holidays in Irish: Dublin's Top 10 Attractions

2. Galway, Connacht Province

At the same geographical height, but at the western end of the island, is the second most famous city in Ireland: the more rural Galway. There is also something exciting to discover here, from historic buildings such as Lynch’s Castle from the 16th century, which now serves as a bank, to the city’s beautiful cathedral and the Spanish Arch, which was once part of Galway’s city walls. The city is particularly known for its traditional way of life, which includes local culinary delights as well as the relaxed atmosphere in the pub with live Irish music. You can also go on some great excursions from Galway, for example to the Cliffs of Moher, about half an hour's drive south of the city.

Do you know what would make the unique view from the Cliffs of Moher even better? A rainbow in the background! And in Ireland that's not that unlikely. Read more here: The 10 best places to see a rainbow

3. Sligo, Connacht Province

We stay in the same province, but head a little further north to the beautiful port city of Sligo. Sligo is the most important city on the west coast of Ireland along with Connacht and is best known for its rich culture, which ranges from music to stage theater to literature. Every year in July, for example, the Sligo Jazz Festival takes place here, but festivals and shows with baroque or traditional Irish music are also regularly held here. Sligo is also known for its Yeats Summer School, named after the famous Irish poet W. B. Yeats and his brother, Jack Butler Yeats, which every year attracts visitors from all over the world and offers numerous readings, lectures on the subject of literature and other events. The cultural program is rounded off by great Sligos stage companies, for example the Blue Raincoat Theater Company or the Hawk’s Well Theater.

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4. Belfast, Northern Ireland

We continue to the northeast of the Emerald Isle and thus actually to a different country: Belfast in Northern Ireland is the next stop on our tour through the most beautiful cities in Ireland, but it is not part of the Republic of Ireland like all the places mentioned so far, but to Great Britain. Belfast experienced some difficult and often violent times during the unrest of the Northern Ireland conflict in the late years of the 20th century - but since the turn of the millennium at the latest, the city has undergone a brisk change and has now become another idyllic must-see destination Irish island. Some places that you should definitely put on your bucket list are, for example, Belfast Castle, the city's botanical gardens, Belfast City Hall and some museums that are interesting in terms of exhibitions and architecture, especially the Titanic Museum and the Ulster Museum . And then of course you would also be very quick at the famous Giant’s Causeway ...

The Giant’s Causeway is just one of many incredibly beautiful sites in Northern Ireland - you can get to know others here: Great Britain & Northern Ireland: Top 10 Most Beautiful Places

5. Londonderry (Derry), Northern Ireland

And one more city in Northern Ireland deserves its place in our Top 10 Most Beautiful Cities in Ireland: Londonderry. The city, which is often simply called Derry for short, is located on the River Foyle, near the border with the Republic of Ireland, and is especially interesting for all friends of historical architecture. For example, you can marvel at the chic Guildhall and the old city wall of Derry with its seven gates, the Derry Walls, pay a visit to the beautiful St. Columb’s Cathedral or learn more in the Tower Museum in an exciting way. In the Bogside district there is also impressive street art and just outside the city you can travel back to the time before Christ in the ring fortress Grianan of Aileach and be enchanted by Irish creation myths.

Did you know that parts of Westeros are also in Northern Ireland? Find out more here: The Ultimate GoT Travel Guide: The Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Northern Ireland

6. Kilkenny, Leinster Province

The next town worth seeing in Ireland finally leads us to the southeast, to the province of Leinster. Kilkenny is shaped by one thing above all: its wonderful medieval buildings. The most famous of these is Kilkenny Castle from the 12th century AD, which lies directly on the River Nore, is surrounded by an idyllic park and looks straight out of a fairy tale. You should also have a look at some atmospheric places of worship here, especially the Cathedral Church of St Canice, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Black Abbey or Black Abbey, which got its name from the Dominican order of the Blackfriars or "black monks". Finally, there are still some interesting museums to see in Kilkenny; Particularly recommended are the St. Mary’s Medieval Mile Museum and the Rothe House with gardens from the late 16th and early 17th centuries, which show you archaeological finds and more from local history.

Why only stay in one place during your Ireland vacation? Here you can find the 5 most scenic road trips across Ireland and Northern Ireland!

7. Tralee, Munster Province

Anyone who has been involved with Ireland and its customs for a long time has heard of the Rose of Tralee Festival - which is exactly where it originated. Going back to a ballad from the 19th century, the Rose of Tralee Festival is basically a huge beauty, or rather personality contest, because instead of the appearance, the character of the participants is evaluated. The festival is celebrated around the world every August, but the main venue is still Tralee itself, and a glass wall in the city park immortalizes the names of all the “Roses of Tralee”.

Just like the Rose of Tralee Festival, St. Patrick’s Day is also celebrated around the world. Here you can find the 10 best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

8. Limerick, Munster Province

The next city on our list has also shaped a globally known phenomenon: the famous Limerick rhyme. But poetry is not the main reason why you should visit this fantastic place in the province of Munster - instead it inspires primarily with its beautiful buildings, above all King John's Castle on the small city island of King’s Island. Also on King’s Island is the beautiful St. Mary’s Cathedral with its memorable tower and the Widows Alms Houses - restored historic houses from the late 16th century. Via the Thomond Bridge in the west of King’s Island or via Bridge Street in the south you can also get to the other interesting districts of Limerick, where further historical, culturally and architecturally exciting sights await.

Are early bookers really always cheaper? Aren't last-minute deals better? We'll tell you here: When is the best time to book flights? We have the answer!

9. Cork, Munster Province

Cork in the south of the province of Munster is the penultimate point on our list of the most beautiful cities in Ireland. Cork lies directly on the River Lee, which divides the city in two and forms the small lake Lough Mahon in the middle. Nowadays the city is best known as a university city, but it has a long and, above all, rich history. The founding of Cork goes back to the 6th century, in the 10th century the place was expanded by the Vikings and subsequently served as an Old English stronghold and an important hub in the War of the Roses, until it was finally completely burned down in the Irish War of Independence. Today many sights, some of which have been restored, can be visited in Cork, such as the Cork City Gaol or the Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral. You should also take a trip to the nearby Blarney Castle with its famous Blarney Rock when visiting here.

Ireland is truly magical! You don't believe us? Then look here: Pack your suitcase and off you go to the 13 top locations in the Harry Potter world

10. Waterford, Munster Province

Finally, let's go to a place that is particularly important for Ireland: The oldest city in the country, Waterford, founded in 914. The oldest city? Didn't you just say that Cork dates back to the 6th century? Correct, but like many other settlements at the time, city rights were only granted later, in the 12th century. Waterford is thus the oldest official city on the Emerald Isle, and as such offers a lot of exciting museums, including the Waterford Museum of Treasures, the city's Medieval Museum or the Bishop’s Palace. Waterford is also known for its glass and crystal production, which you can take a closer look at, for example, in the House of Waterford Crystal.

Now we have called Ireland the "green island" so often in our article that we do not want to withhold other country second names from you. See here: Countries & their nicknames: 40 nicknames of countries

Here are the most beautiful cities in Ireland at a glance:

And here you will find even more tips for your next trip to the beautiful British Isles:

The list of the most beautiful cities in Ireland is purely a list without a qualitative ranking.