The island of Ireland is renowned for its rolling green landscapes, charming rural towns and historic city centres. It’s safe to say that it is one of the most stunning places you can visit as well as live and study in.
But where exactly are the best places to go to make the most of your time here? In this blog, we’ll show you our top five most beautiful places in Ireland that are definitely worth the journey, wherever you’re based.
Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland. As such, the centre is certainly not short of things to see and do.
With mesmerising architecture, rich history, fascinating attractions and friendly locals – you’ll never tire of wandering around Belfast and being part of its bustling atmosphere.
There are several noteworthy places to visit in Belfast that are firm favourites of residents and tourists alike. There’s Linen Hall Library, founded in 1788, it is the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland. It offers events and artworks, and houses a huge collection of Irish writing, including the works of CS Lewis, the author of ‘Chronicles of Narnia’. The Linen Hall Cafe interior décor is inspired by Irish mythology and folklore, where visitors can also enjoy panoramic views overlooking Donegall Square.
At weekends, St. George’s Market offers handicrafts, flowers and food. It is the last surviving Victorian covered market in Belfast, and is a beautiful place to go to on a bustling Saturday morning to get a sense and taste of Northern Irish culture.
Pubs on the ‘Golden Mile’ include the Victorian-era Crown Liquor Saloon. One of the most famous pubs in Belfast, the now-named Crown Bar was originally a Victorian gin palace. Restored by the National Trust, it remains an icon of Belfast city. This visual gem is a must-see masterpiece of bar architecture. A myriad of mosaic tiles and stained glass, its period gas lighting still illuminate the cosy snugs which feature original gun metal plates for striking matches and an antique bell system.
The North Coast
The North Coast region is known for its spectacular scenery. But off the beaten track there are also many equally spectacular hidden gems to discover.
Even the journey towards the North Coast from Belfast is a marvel in itself. The Causeway Coastal Route offers a stunning 130 mile stretch of coastline, making it a worthwhile adventure to embark on simply for the views.
Up at the North Coast, you can enjoy a wide range of famous attractions. From the Giant’s Causeway to Game of Thrones filming locations, it makes the perfect place to go if you love the outdoors and wish to unwind from the world.
The first and probably most popular place to mention is the Giant’s Causeway, a historic and geological wonder. Owned by the National Trust, it is surrounded by the wild Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs. For centuries, the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it.
Located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North County Antrim coast, Dunluce is one of the most picturesque and romantic of Irish castles. The roofless ruins are breathtaking – especially at dusk – or in the sunshine with the white chalk cliffs of Portrush close by.
Galway is in a prime location on Ireland’s west coast, close to the Aran Islands and Connemara region. But the town itself is what makes this little corner of the world so famous. With its charming buildings, cobblestoned streets and ancient architecture lining the main streets, it makes the perfect spot to snap some Instagram-worthy photos. Nearby is also Galway Bay, where you’ll find rows upon rows of colourful buildings and swans floating by.
The county of Donegal sits in the northwest of the country and is a beautiful, naturally rugged part of the world. Edged by endless waters and filled with unique cultural experiences, it is a much-loved getaway for travellers and staycationers alike. This very special place offers everything that a nature lover could possibly want: from gorgeous green hills, hidden coves, tranquil beaches, enchanting forests and so much more.
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a city that seamlessly blends history with cosmopolitan life.
Whether you want a shopping trip down the world-famous Grafton Street, or wish to immerse yourself in the beautiful buildings like Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland, or Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland – there’s something for everyone in this ‘bucket list’ city.
To add to its beauty, Dublin’s Templebar area has captured the attention of visitors from all over the world. Stacked with charming pubs, restaurants and locally-owned shops, you can be sure to spend a couple of hours traipsing down this much-loved part of Dublin.
All of these beautiful places in Ireland are conveniently scattered across one island, making it easy to plan day trips or weekend breaks in your spare time.
Studying in Ireland
Studying in Ireland is a wonderful, transforming experience. Voted LonelyPlanet’s best place to visit, Belfast has been quietly evolving into one of the UK’s most exciting cities to explore.
International House Belfast is Northern Ireland’s leading English language and teacher training organisation. We offer part-time, full and intensive courses to help our students maximise their English skills in their own time, with a social life that will make your learning experience even more worthwhile.
If you wish to find out more about where else you can explore beautiful places in Ireland, or want to enquire about learning English in Belfast – simply get in touch with us today.
No matter where you are in the UK and Ireland, the International House family can also help facilitate your language learning process through its other partner organisations in Galway, Manchester, Portsmouth and Bristol.