Landmarks in Ireland you will love: famous Irish landmarks you need to know and tips for visiting them.
Ireland is full of interesting monuments both natural and man-made.
Irish landmarks are so beautiful and interesting, they are worth knowing, both if you are planning a trip to Ireland or want to learn a little more about the country, as part of a school project, your travel planning and good old curiosity.
In this article, we look at the most famous landmarks in Ireland, where they are, what makes them special and how you can visit them.
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Most famous landmarks in Ireland chart
|Irish Landmark||Type of Attraction||County|
|Cliffs of Moher||Natural landmark||Co Clare|
|Blarney Castle and Blarney Stone||Man Made Landmark||Co Cork|
|The Long Room at Trinity College Dublin||Historical Library||Co Dublin|
|Rock of Cashel||Historical Site||Co Tipperary|
|Glendalough Monastic Site||Historical Site||Co Wicklow|
|Slieve League Cliffs||Natural Site||Co Donegal|
|Giants Causeway||Natural Site||Co Antrim|
|Ireland Colorful Houses||Man made sight||Several counties|
|Guinness Storehouse||Factory and museum||Dublin|
|Celtic Crosses||Man made monuments||Several counties|
|Killarney National Park||Landscape||Co Kerry|
|Skellig Michael||Landscape/ Unesco monastic site||Co Kerry|
|Newgrange||Historical Site||Co Meath|
|Kilkenny Medieval Mile||Historical City Center||Co Kilkenny|
The most famous Irish landmarks you need to know
The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are stunning sea cfliffs in County Clare, in the West of Ireland, plunging into the Atlantic Ocean form a height of 702ft.
They are one of the most visited location in the country and a place so beautiful and evocative, it has starred in very many movies, both classic and recent.
The cliffs are indeed beautiful.
They stretch over 14km and they are so long, they offer sweeping views of both their rock face and the many birds that call it home and the Atlantic Ocean below, the result being a sight of incredible natural power.
Visiting the cliffs of Moher is easy.
The cliffs have a a large car park and an interesting and well-equipped visitors’ center and large paved road and tall fence make it possible to get close to the cliff edge in safety.
A path follows edge of the cliff and part of it manned and safe, while another part used to be accessible but is now closed to the public as too close to the edge and unstable.
The Cliffs of Moher are easy to reach from Galway however, there are also day trips to the cliffs from Dublin.
The distance between Dublin and the Cliffs of Moher is significant and a day trip is a full day option with long driving times however, if this is the only opportunity to see the Cliffs of Moher, it can be worth it!
Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone
Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone are another famous Irish landmark, this one located in Cork, in the South of the country.
The castle is one of the most beautiful in Ireland however, it is the Blarney Stone that tends to attract the attention of most visitors.
The Stone is perched at the top of the tall Blarney castle tower and it is said to have magical powers: those who kiss it, will receive the gift of the gab, aka the gift of eloquence!
Kissing the stone requires a bit of work, namely you have to lean on your back and bend over backwards over the vertical drop of the tower!
However, systems are in place for visitors to do this in safety.
Currently, the biggest issue in Blarney is not the safety of the stone but the crowds: on a normal day, this is a very popular monument and visitors abound, most of them lining up to the climb to the stone.
Blarney Castle however has more to it than just the stone.
The castle dates from the XIII century and it is one of the most beautiful and evocative you can see in Ireland, equipped with tall towers surrounded by beautiful nature, partially covering the castle itself, as if it was a natural part of the landscape.
The estate around is beautiful and evocative and there is also a wonderful poison garden that is really interesting to visit.
I highly recommend to add a visit to Blarney with visiting Ireland.
The Long Room at Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College is a historical university in Dublin city center famous, among other things, for being home to a stunning library, the so called ‘Long Room’.
The Long Room is a large historical library with something special.
It hosts one of the few copies of the original 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, read outside the General Post Office on 24 April 1916 by Patrick Pearse at the start of the Easter Rising, and it also has the harp that serves as the ode for the emblem of Ireland.
The harp is the oldest of its kind, ti is made of oak, willow and brass stings and probably dates from the XV century.
The library is beautiful and is open to visitors as an important Irish landmark.
The room has tall ceilings and dark wooden shelves clad its large interiors.
The busts of poets and philosophers dot the main walkaway and tall staircases allow access to book all the way to the top of the room.
Access to the library also includes access to the Book of Kells exhibition.
The Book of Kells is an important medieval manuscript found in the town of Kells, from where it takes its name and is a unique example of medieval miniature code and a wonderful artifacts that attracts visitors from all over the world.
The book is considered the most famous of the medieval illuminated manuscripts for the intricacy, detail, and mastery of the illustrations.
This is one of the best landmarks in Ireland for history and book lovers.
The rock of Cashel, Co Tipperary
The Rock of Cashel is a medieval rock perched on the top of a hill in County Tipperary, in the South West of Ireland.
It is an ancient royal site of the Kings of Munster and it is also called ‘the Rock of St Patrick’ as it is said to be the place where the patron Saint of Ireland, in the V century AD, converted King Aengus to Christianity, making him the first Christian ruler in the country.
The rock is one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland.
As you arrive, the rock towers above you will tall walls, a stunning tower and imposing church, surrounded by beautiful green lawns.
The rock is open to visitors and it is one of the best places in Ireland if you love legends and want to feel like you are walking into history.
You can learn how to include it in your Ireland road trip itinerary here.
The round tower of Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains National Park, Co Wicklow
Round towers are a very special type of Irish landmarks and can be found in several locations around the country, often attached to other religious buildings such as churches and monastic settlements.
As the name suggests, they are tall towers with a round shaped base: they are usually made of stone and they often have a pointy roof and a remarkably low number of windows, usually small in size.
There are many theories on the original use of the towers: many believe they were a hiding spot for Viking incursions however, it is more likely that their original purpose was that of a belfry and that they were devoted to different uses such as protection and even storage when needed.
A beautiful example of round tower is in Glendalough.
Glendalough is a stunning medieval monastic site in County Wicklow associated with the presence of St Kevin, who is said to have settled here in the VII century AD.
The monastic city is in a beautiful valley with two lakes nested between beautiful mountains and it is one one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland, characterized but ancient grey stone buildings against the backdrop of the beautiful landscapes of the Wicklow National Park.
The Slieve League Cliffs, Co Donegal
The Slieve League Cliffs are the tallest accessible sea cliffs in Europe and a famous and stunning Irish landmark.
Located in the North West of the country, in County Donegal, they are maybe less famous that the Cliffs of Moher however but those who get to see them often agree they are at least as impressive!
The Cliffs are 596mt (1955ft) high, much higher than the Cliffs of Moher, and they are shorter in length.
This means the visual impact of their sheer drop into the Ocean is exceptionally powerful and one of the most scenic locations along the visually stunning Wild Atlantic Way.
Despite their height and the wild nature of their appearance, they are easy to reach.
A car part at their base leads to a large paved path that slowly brings you to an outlook form where you can catch a view of the rockface.
I believe these are one of the most beautiful and underrates landmarks in Ireland yet one very worth seeing.
The Giant Causeway, Co Antrim
The Giant Causeway is one of the most famous and photographed Irish larndmarks in the island of irland and easily one of the most beautiful places you can visit in this part of the world.
Perched on the northern coast of Northern Ireland,the causeway is a peculiar geological formation that comprises exagonal basalt columns stretching into the sea, as if to form a natural pier of bridge on the water.
The causeway is peculiar and scenic: the basalt columns are accessible and from them you can catch a view of the sea but also of the incredible green mountain behind.
The causeway is equipped with a well laid out and interesting visitors center and it is also close three more Irish landmarks, which you can visit on the same day: Carrick a rede suspended rope bridge, Dunluce castle and the Dark Hedged of Game of Thrones fame.
You can read how to include these Irish landmarks in your trip following this recommended Northern Ireland itinerary.
The colorful houses of Ireland
Ireland has several pretty villages with colorful homes, their vivid colors bringing light and joy to landscapes otherwise often dominated by beautigul and melancholic tones of green and grey.
Some of the prettiest colorful towns in Ireland are Kilkenny, Dingle Peninsula, Cobh and Killarney.
The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin
Guinness is one of most famous names in Ireland, usually associated with their most successful drink, the black pint of Guinness Stout.
Guinness is so famous in Ireland it has become almost a symbol of the country and the factory building where Guinness is made in Dublin has become a popular Irish landmark.
Indeed, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse is interesting and worth it.
Aside from learning about Guinness and tasting the real thing, the tour of the house allows to see a beautiful examples of industrial architecture, now fully adapted to current needs, and it is a way to see a part of Dublin many first time visitors tend to miss.
Celtic Crosses are one of the most evocative ancient symbols of Ireland.
They are a special type of Christian cross that seems to have emerged in the early Middle Ages, and they are characterized by a cross structure and an elaborate decoration around the meeting point of the cross arms, usually of circular shape.
There is debate about the exact origin and symbolism of the Celtic crosses, some associating them with Saint Patrick, others with different Saints, however they were very successful in Ireland and can be seen in several locations.
One of the best places to see them is the Medieval Museum of Kilkenny and the cemetery surrounding St Canice’s Cathedral, also in Kilkenny, as well as the monastic site of Clonmacnoise and the already mentioned Glendalough.
Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile, Co Kilkenny
Medieval Ireland is not just found in historical sites but lives in breaths in one of the prettiest and liveliest cities in Ireland: Kilkenny.
The city’ Medieval Mile is the historical center of Kilkenny and it is where you can see Kilkenny Castle, the incredible St Canice’s cathedral, cemetery and round tower and pretty medieval streets and houses now hosting hotels, cafes, museums and private homes.
You can learn how to see the crosses following this Kilkenny City Itinerary
The wild landscapes of Killarney National Park
The Ring of Kerry and the Killarney National Park are among the most visited places in the whole of Ireland and, as a whole, they can be considered an Irish landmark even if they are an area, rather than a specific monument, or natural attraction.
There is plenty to see in Killarney area. Among the many monumetns and plces to seek out, we recommend: Killarney town, Muckross Abbey, driving the ring of Kerry, Ross’ castle in Killarney, the small pretty town of Kenmare and a drive up to Lady’s View in the inland part of the Ring drive.
You can read our recommended itinerary for Killarney here.
Skellig Michael, Co Kerry
Skelling Michale is the most famous of the Skelling isalnds, wild islands perched in the middle of the Atlantic off the wester coast of Ireland.
The notoriety of the Skelligs is nowadays mostly associated with their appearance in Star Wars but their beauty and significance go well beyond their role in movies.
The Skelligs are one of the only two Unesco World heritage sites in Ireland and they are a unique examples of insulat monastic settlement from the VI century AD.
Skellig Michael is a place like no other.
The island has a natural pyramidal shape with a pointy top and steep slopes.
Access is hard due to the often unfavorable weather conditions and once on the island accessibility is also challenging.
The monks who settled here created long and steep paths with steps leading to the tallest part of the island where they then created shelters usuing local stone and rocks.
The result is a place like no other, one of the most incredible examples of monastic living in the early Middle Ages and one of the most distinctive and unique landmarks in Ireland.
Newgrange, Co Meath – one of the two landmarks in Ireland that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Newgrange is one of the two Unesco Sites in Ireland and an irish landmark of great visual impact and significance.
Newgrange is a passage tomb dating from 3200 BC centuries BC and it is part of a series of incredible landmarks from Neolithic times including the monuments of Dowth and Knowth, in the Boyne Valley.
From the outside, the tomb looks like a round madn made hill supported but a circual base and with a small entrance leading info the heart of the mount.
Inside, you find a chamber and a window which is perfectly positioned to allow the entrance of sunlight only on a specific day every year: that of the winter solstice.
Because of the the peculiarity, ancient nature and uniqueness of this structure, Newgrange entered the list of Unesco world heritage sites in 1997 and stays as one of the most visited locations in the country.
You can read how to plan a day in the Boyne Valley and its monuments here.
I hope you enjoyed this overview of the most famous landmarks in Ireland and it helped you with your school project or maybe even planning a trip to Ireland to see them in person!