Ireland is a hotbed of activity. The small island in Europe is bountiful with an ancient past and a contemporary culture that is endlessly expanding.
Whether you’re looking to delve into the density of Ireland’s prehistoric past (think castle ruins, burial sites, or medieval fortresses), gaze in awe at natural wonders (for example, dramatic cliffs or subterranean settings), or learn a little more in an interactive setting (think tours and museums), the Emerald Isle has it all.
Recently, Fáilte Ireland announced Ireland’s 20 most popular attractions that charge a fee, along with the top 20 that are free. Check out the list below.
Top 20 fee-charging attractions in Ireland
These top fee-charging attractions in Ireland vary from ancient relics and ruins to wildlife destinations and amusement parks.
First place on the list is awarded to, unsurprisingly, the Guinness Storehouse in the capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin.
20. Glenveagh Castle and Grounds, Co. Donegal
19. Christ Church Cathedral, Co. Dublin
18. Brú na Boinne Newgrange, Co. Meath
17. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Co. Clare
16. Dublin Castle, Co. Dublin
15. Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary
14. Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny
13. Kilmainham Gaol, Co. Dublin
12. Blarney Castle & Gardens, Co. Cork
11. Fota Wildlife Park, Co. Cork
10. Powerscourt Gardens & Waterfall, Co. Wicklow
9. Muckross House Gardens and Traditional Farm, Co. Kerry
8. Kylemore Abbey & Gardens, Co. Galway
7. St Patrick’s Cathedral, Co. Dublin
6. Tayto Park, Co. Meath
5. Book of Kells, Co. Dublin
4. National Aquatic Centre, Co. Dublin
3. Dublin Zoo, Co. Dublin
2. Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Co. Clare
1. Guinness Storehouse, Co. Dublin
Top 20 free attractions in Ireland
While the fee-charging attractions are magnificent, you don’t have to pay a penny to see amazing places on the Emerald Isle. The results from Fáilte Ireland go on to list Ireland’s 20 most popular attractions that are free, ranging from natural sights to galleries.
First place on this list goes to the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin city. Having completed refurbishments recently, it offers a state-of-the-art visitor experience.
20. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Co. Dublin
19. Malin Head Viewing Point, Co. Donegal
18. Crawford Art Gallery, Co. Cork
17. The National Library of Ireland, Co. Dublin
16. Connemara National Park, Co. Kerry
15. National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Co. Dublin
14. Chester Beatty Library, Co. Dublin
13. National Museum of Ireland – Natural History, Merrion Street, Co. Dublin
12. Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons, Co. Kildare
11. Kilkenny Castle Parklands, Co. Kilkenny
10. Farmleigh House, Co. Dublin
9. Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, Co. Dublin
8. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare St, Co. Dublin
7. Doneraile Wildlife Park, Co. Cork
6. Irish Museum of Modern Art, Co. Dublin
5. DLR LexIcon, Co. Dublin
4. National Botanic Gardens, Co. Dublin
3. Glendalough Site, Co. Wicklow
2. Castletown House Parklands, Co. Kildare
1. The National Gallery of Ireland, Co. Dublin
There you have it—the full list of Ireland’s 20 most popular attractions, both free and fee-charging. How many have you been to? If the number is low, we suggest you start planning your next trip!