Favorite Places in Ireland

This post comes to us from Jenna Gibson from Millsaps College who is currently studying abroad in Limerick, Ireland.

When I decided that I would do the API University of Limerick program, my initial reasons for choosing Ireland were the academics and the language. Since I’ve been here, though, I realized how great of a country Ireland really is. You can travel from the west side to the east side of the country in a matter of hours. Limerick is a central location that gives you the ability to travel anywhere around Ireland in a few short hours. So far, though, as I’ve made my rounds around Ireland, I’ve realized that a few cities—other than Limerick—shine brighter to me than the others.

My favorite city that I’ve been to by far is Galway, and that’s not at all (okay, maybe a little) influenced by a large number of songs called “Galway Girl.” It’s a rather small little place, but the city is so jam-packed with everything. There is so much history in the city, and you can see all of it in a short walk around the town. Galway is also filled with fantastic restaurants and shops, as well as some great gelato spots. A short bus ride will also lead you to the beautiful Salt Hill, which is a little beach worth stopping at.

Another one of my favorite spots in Ireland is Cork. The city is filled with a huge amount of shops (including some of my favorites, like H&M and Topshop), but it’s also just a really cool city in general. There are big, beautiful churches scattered around, all in walking distance of one another. A short bus ride also takes you up to Blarney Castle, which is a must for all tourists.

Although it takes a while to drive the whole way around and is more than one city, The Ring of Kerry is a must-see. Being able to ride around on a bus for three hours and see so much incredible nature, The Ring of Kerry was probably the prettiest part of Ireland I’ve seen as of yet. Every kilometer you drive you to see different landscapes, and it’s impressively beautiful. The city of Dingle is also an incredible place, and although the hike up to The Eask Tower is a hard one (only if it’s muddy), it’s still worth it.

Last but not least, Cobh is one of the hidden trinkets of Ireland. I only say hidden because it’s not that popular to the average tourist, but it was one of the cutest towns I’ve seen so far. We also were given the opportunity to tour the definitely haunted but extremely beautiful Spike Island, which is basically the Alcatraz of Ireland. Cobh was also one of the places the Titanic stopped before taking off, which makes it a popular destination.

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