Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world that offers so much for you to see and explore. There are many famous and historic landmarks in Ireland that are a must- see when you are visiting.
Many of which are of natural beauty from ancient castles to stunning waterfalls to beautiful caves. You name it and you’ll probably find it in Ireland. Whether you’re travelling north or south you will be amazed at the great landmarks in Ireland.
Keep reading to find out all the unmissable landmarks you must see up close on a trip to Ireland. We promise it will be worth it.
Famous Landmarks in Ireland
Ring of Kerry
First on our list of famous Landmarks in Ireland is the impressive Ring of Kerry. It is a tourist trail around County Kerry that offers visitors a chance to see the beautiful unspoilt landscape of Ireland. There is no denying the beauty that it offers as it has attracted visitors for hundreds of years. It is one of those once in a lifetime experience’s that makes people want to return again and again.
The 179km route offers visitors the opportunity to see stunning beaches, medieval ruins, loughs, mountains and more. It provides classic views of the Irish countryside and has become one of the most popular destinations.
Taking the time to drive around the route is one that will not be quickly forgotten. A day well spent is exploring this scenic route of the ‘Ring of Kerry’. There are also sites that you can stop at and enjoy on the way such as Killarney National Park and Staigue Stone Fort.
Located in the north of Ireland you will discover another famous landmark in Ireland known as the ‘Giants Causeway’. On the north coast is the world-famous causeway built from Basalt columns as a result of a centuries-old volcano eruption. The Irish landmark has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1986. And it has also been named in a Radio Times poll in 2005 ‘the fourth greatest natural wonder in the UK’.
Today the attractions is owned and run by the National Trust and is possibly the biggest tourist attraction in the North of Ireland. The site offers an interesting history and amazing views.
There is also a visitor’s centre where people can further explore the stories and legends surrounding the Giant’s Causeway’. Enjoy the marked way trails and coastal scenery as well as the innovate audio – guides that are available in many different languages. This is a must-see, especially for tourist coming to the area. Incredible scenery that will leave you feeling inspired. Check the Giant’s Causeway out in the video below, if this doesn’t make you want to plan a trip I don’t know what else well!
This next Irish landmark isn’t far from the one we previously mentioned which is the Medieval Dunluce Castle. Located on the Antrim Coast, the iconic ruins offer a fascinating history worth exploring. The castle was built back in 1513 on the beautiful coastal cliffs of Antrim by the McQuillan family. In the late 1500’s it was taken over by the MacDonnell family who made sure that they left their mark on the castle.
The location of where the castle is situated offers the most stunning views and has inspired many works of art. Dunluce Castle was used as a filming location in the popular Television show Game of Thrones. Many fans of the show may be more interested now in visiting the site for their love of the show.
It is also thought to have inspired some of the landmarks in the brilliant C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Which is a popular children’s film series created by C. S Lewis, who is one of the most influential Irish writers of his time and continues to be.
Check out the footage we captured on a visit to Dunluce Castle:
Cliffs of Moher
You can’t come to Ireland without visiting Ireland’s most popular natural attraction, the magnificent Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The cliffs are always on top of every list of places that you can’t miss out on during a visit to the Emerald Isle. No image will ever do them justice, you need to be there and experience their unique beauty for yourself.
The best way to explore the cliffs is through the Cliffs of Moher Hiking Trails or check out the visitor centre. The visitor experience centre was created in 2007 due to the popularity of the cliffs. Located mid-way along the cliffs it offers a viewing area, pathways and the O’ Brien Tower a piece of 19th-century history once used as a viewing tower.
As well as an information centre to learn more about the Cliff of Moher and the history that surrounds them. This is probably one of the most famous Landmarks in Ireland that is bucket list worthy.
Next make your way to Antrim to explore the Glenariff Forest Park where you’ll be met with gorgeous landscapes, peaceful walks and three pretty spectacular waterfalls.
The Waterfall trails first opened at Glenariff over 80 years ago and leads you through a National Nature Reserve. The waterfalls provide the perfect backdrop for every photographer’s dream, as does the rest of the forest park.
The forest covers over 1,000 hectares for people to explore and check out it’s planted woodland, lakes and outdoor recreational spaces. Also, at this Irish landmark, you can also check out the visitor’s centre, exhibitions, interactive displays.
The Glens of Antrim
Another famous landmark in Ireland located in the region of Antrim is an area known as the ‘Glens of Antrim’. This attraction is very popular in the north of Ireland with many tourists making their way to the Glens.
Altogether there are nine Glens of Antrim that overlook 80km of stunning coastlines and glacier-gouged valleys.
The Glens also include grasslands, forests, mountain peaks and castles that make it even more amazing. The nine glens are known as Glentaisie, Glenshesk, Glendun, Glencorp, Glenaan, Glenariff, Glencloy, and Glenarm.
The Glens of Antrim offer some of the most scenic views in Ireland and greater Europe. The best way to experience the Glens is to jump in a car and immerse yourself in their surroundings. As you make your way around the tourist attraction, you’ll notice the colours of the landscape is constantly changing, it really is beautiful.
Check out our trip to the beautiful Glens of Antrim below, as we mentioned it is the perfect road trip:
Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark
Do you want to uncover one of the finest show caves found in Ireland and Europe? Then a trip to Marble Arch Caves in County Fermanagh is not to be missed. A lively tour guide will take you through the caves fascinating underworld of rivers, passages and chambers
Learn all about how the caves came to life and its incredible history. The caves actual lay untouched for thousands of years. A French explorer named Edouard Alfred Martel was the first person to uncover the caves. At the visitor’s centre, you can find out more about his discovery.
There are designated walkways that allow you to get up close and personal with the cave’s undeniable beauty. As well as a boat ride that takes you along the cave’s subterranean river. The Tours of the Marble Arch Caves last around 75 minutes and is suitable for everyone: young and old.
Once you have completed the tour you can visit the information exhibition centre where you can view beautiful footage of the Geopark. This is located in the visitor’s centre that also offers a gift shop with a range of items on display. If you’re not quite done exploring yet, then take a lovely walk around the Marble Arch National Nature Reserve.
Next on our list of famous landmarks in Ireland is another World Heritage site, the Pre-historic monument known as Newgrange. Located in Dromore in County Meath Ireland, the circular Stone Age Tomb was built by stone age farmers and covers one acre. It is one of the oldest passage tombs found in Ireland.
It is also surrounded by 97 kerbstones at its base. One of the most impressive stones is the ‘Entrance Stone’ that is recognised as one of the greatest examples of European Neolithic Art.
Inside the tomb, there are long passages and a cross-shaped chamber with three alcoves. Newgrange is a place of astrological and religious importance. Access to the historic landmark is only available through guided tours.
One of the main things that Newgrange is known for is the gorgeous illuminations within the passages and chambers caused by the winter solstice sun. Above the Newgrange entrance, there is a roof box opening that helps to create these beautiful sun illuminations into the tomb. Every year lots of people gather at the attraction just to see the Winter Solstice Sun.
Blarney Castle and Gardens
Ireland is known for its great and stunning castles and the Blarney Castle is one of best medieval castle found here. That’s why it is considered one of the famous landmarks in Ireland. It is mostly known for being the location of the ‘Blarney Stone’.
The Legend of Blarney Stone
The famous stone is built in the walls of the battlement of Blarney Castle. It has become a popular attraction in its own right. There are many fascinating legends that surround the stone. Legends say that those who kiss the stone will obtain the gift of eloquence. You’ll have to find out if this legend is true with a visit to the stone.
But the famous stone is only one part of the attractions found at Blarney Castle. The Blarney Castle grounds have many attractions from its ancient trees and beautiful parkland with one of the best gardens in Ireland.
There is a lot to see when it comes to the gardens from the Poison Garden where you will discover some of the most toxic plants in the world. Or the Herbaceous border that features a range of colours and herbaceous. It is beautiful to walk through.
As well as that you can check out the native wildlife in the area. Blarney Castle was the first estate in Ireland to be known as ‘Wildlife Estate’ a recognised award from European Landowners’ organisation.
There is so much to see and appreciate at Blarney Castle and Gardens. Make your way to the top of the castle for the best views of the parkland and gardens.
A trip to Blarney Castle is one that won’t be quickly forgotten. There’s something about ancient Irish castles that just take you to another world and Blarney Castle does just that. So make sure it’s on your list of landmarks in Ireland to visit.
Next is the magnificent site of Skellig Island that is found on the coast of Portmagee in County Kerry, Ireland. They are two small rocky islands which are the third Natural Heritage Site that we have mentioned on our list of Famous landmarks in Ireland.
Skellig Michael is one of the two islands that rises 714ft above sea level and offers impressive coastal views. The island has been renown as an important site for breeding seabirds in Ireland for hundreds of years.
There are two tours you can take to visit the Skellig Island a landing tour and Eco tour that go around both of the islands. The tours are always very popular and its best to book in advance.
Skellig Island is also known for being used as a filming location in the Star Wars film and through this, it has gained more tourist visiting the area. Our Irish landscapes make for the perfect filming backdrops and it great to show it off to the rest of the world.
It is worthwhile to visit the largest freshwater lake found in the North of Ireland. Also, the largest in the British Isles. This unique lake is a place where you can immerse yourself into the history and heritage surrounding the lake. It covers an impressive 153 square miles.
In Irish legends, it is suggested that Lough Neagh was created by Finn MacCool who took out the lough basin and hurled it towards his Scottish rival. The piece of land fell into the Irish channel and is believed to have formed the Isle of Man.
It is a great place for birdwatching with people coming far and wide to check out the variety of birds flying over its shores during the summer and winter months. The Whooper Swan which is considered one of the most majestic birds comes in during the winter time.
This is one of the most beautiful places you might visit located on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. You definitely don’t want to forget your camera on a trip to the Dingle Peninsula. It is where land meets the ocean. Dingle Peninsula is a 30-minute drive that runs from Tralee to Slea Head. It offers you a maze of country lanes that are brought together with ancient landscapes, mountains and unforgettable ocean views.
Points of interest are the Inch Beach which is a great spot for surfing, fishing and swimming. It is also known as a great place to enjoy some stargazing. There is another hidden gem here ‘Beal Ban beach ‘mainly known by the locals. When you take a trip there and see the views, you’ll understand why locals didn’t want anyone to know about this area.
Dingle Peninsula is one of the most picturesque places in Ireland with photo opportunity as every corner of the drive. There is also a famous bottled- nose dolphin that you might even catch a glimpse of.
Continuing our list of famous landmarks in Ireland is the highest waterfall found in Ireland. Powerscourt Waterfall is an impressive 396ft high and it is set in one of the most gorgeous parklands in the country. Located in the foot of the Wicklow Mountains and just 5km from the Powerscourt Estate and gardens.
On your drive up to the waterfall, you will be greeted with a variety of trees including Pine, Beech and Oak. Some of these trees were planted over 200 years ago and are very beautiful. The waterfall isn’t short of impressive and visitors are welcome during the summer time to enjoy picnics and BBQ’s.
There is also plenty of wildlife located at the waterfall for you to appreciate including a variety of birds such as Cuckoos, Ravens and the Willow Warbler. If you are travelling with a family there is a children’s playground to keep the young ones entertained on a trip to this attraction.
Next, on our guide to famous landmarks in Ireland is ‘Benbulben’ located in County Sligo. It is one of the most incredible rock formations you’ll ever come across in Ireland. This landmark is part of the Darty Mountains, giving Sligo Town the most stunning backdrop.
The captivating rock formation was created during the Ice Age when huge parts of the earth were under glaciers. It was once just a large ridge, but when the moving glaciers cut into the earth leaving a unique formation known now as Benbulben.
Benbublen is often considered one of Ireland’s most distinctive mountains. Although people aren’t allowed to climb Benbulben as there is no official trail, you can enjoy the loop walk around Benbulben which also offers lovely views.
The Aran Islands
More famous landmarks in Ireland is the Aran Island that is made up of three unique Islands located on the west coast of Ireland. The Aran Islands offer a true Irish experience where all the locals speak Irish in a beautiful Celtic setting with historic churches and dramatic cliff edges.
The three islands found here are called ‘Inis Mor Island’, ‘Inis Meain Island’, Inis Oirr Island’. The island of Inis Mor is the biggest out of the three and very popular destination in Ireland. It is home to over 50 Christian Monuments and Celtic mythological heritage sites.
All the islands are remarkable landmarks in Ireland that offer their own unique character and charm full of interest things to be discovered.
Ring of Gullion
You’ve made it to the last famous landmark in Ireland for you to put on your Irish bucket list, the Ring of Gullion. It is another Area of Outstanding Beauty because of its unique geological landform that you won’t find anywhere else. It is home to the worlds first ring dyke to be geologically mapped. The Irish Landmark has also been voted into the Top 100 Geosites in the UK and Ireland.
The Ring of Gullion is filled with history, culture and beauty that has attracted geologist from all around the world. The unique ring dyke formation has puzzled and inspired many people over its time. It is one of those sites that you need to experience for yourself and immerse yourself into its surroundings.
This list doesn’t even scrape the barrel of famous landmarks in Ireland. There are so many more worthy sites worth exploring including The Burren, Ailwee Caves, The Sperrin Mountains to name a few. Ireland is like no other place in the world, the scenery and landscape with hopefully leave you feeling inspired.
Have you ever been to any of these famous Landmarks in Ireland? We would love to hear about your experience
Worthy reads about places and attractions in Ireland:
Mesmerising Beauty of County Sligo| The Beauty of County Limerick| Waterford Ireland’s Oldest City| The Unendowed and Rich History of County Down| County Leitrim: The Most Brimming Gem of Ireland| Clare and the Irish Wonder of the Atlantic| Fun Things to do in Northern Ireland