There are plenty of well-known attractions in Ireland that captivate tourists year after year. However, if you prefer to venture off the beaten path, here are five lesser-known locations in Ireland that will blow you away.
Ireland is full of stunning natural attractions, fascinating distillery tours, historical sights, and ancient castles – all of which you have no doubt added to your bucket list if you’re planning a trip to Ireland. But did you know about some of the lesser-known locations in Ireland?
What you may not know, however, is that Ireland is home to hundreds of quirky attractions that you may not already know about.
From meeting with leprechauns to gazing at the stars, here are five lesser-known locations in Ireland that will blow you away.
5. Irish Sky Garden – like something straight out of a fairytale
This floating garden in the sky in Skibbereen, County Cork, is one of those unusual attractions that has to be seen to be believed.
This whimsical garden suspended in the air was designed by American artist James Turrell who is famed for his experiments with light and space, which challenge viewers to engage with and question human perception.
The bowl-shaped floating garden features a central stone plinth similar to those of ancient Celtic and Egyptian altars. It is a must-visit if you’re in County Cork.
Address: Russagh, Co. Cork, Ireland
4. OM Dark Sky Park – for admirers of the night sky
Davagh in Omagh boasts one of the ‘darkest skies in Ireland’, so it is only natural that the area is a haven for stargazers.
The lack of light pollution provides clear views of star constellations and the Milky Way, and OM Dark Sky Park provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to take in the sights of the night sky.
Combining holographic installations with virtual reality headsets and bespoke audio-visual shows, OM Dark Sky Park is a must-visit and definitely one of the lesser-known locations in Ireland that will blow you away.
Address: 155 Davagh Rd, Omagh BT79 8JQ
3. The Butter Museum – an unusual attraction
Yes, you read that right; there really is an entire museum in Cork dedicated to butter, and we promise it’s worth visiting.
Located in the Shandon area of Cork City Centre, the Butter Museum is dedicated to what is one of Ireland’s most important food exports: butter.
The dairy and cattle industries have been important domestic industries in Ireland, and as far back as the 1700s, the export market for Irish butter began to flourish.
By the mid-1800s, the market in Cork, where the Butter Museum now resides, had the largest butter exchange globally, and Irish butter could be found on tables as far away as North America, the Caribbean, and India.
The museum provides a fascinating insight into the history of Ireland’s butter industry from the 1700s right up to the present day, explaining how famous brands such as Kerrygold came to prominence.
So, you’d visit the Guinness Storehouse to find out all about one of Ireland’s most famous drinks, so why not check out the Butter Museum to discover all you need to know about one of its foods?
Address: O’Connell Square, Shandon, Cork, Ireland
2. The Sporting Emporium – a night out with a difference
Dublin is known for its lively nightlife scene with popular locations like the Temple Bar, O’Donoghue’s, and the Brazen Head.
However, if you’re looking for a lesser-known location with a more local feel, then you need to check out the Sporting Emporium, a premier casino with a buzzing atmosphere.
A great alternative to a traditional night out in Dublin, you can try your luck in their various luxurious gaming rooms and try your hand at blackjack, roulette, poker, and more.
While casinos are closed, or if you’d just rather play from the comfort of your hotel room, Live Casino is always an alternative.
Address: 5 Anne’s Ln, Anne St S, Dublin 2, D02 AK30, Ireland
1. The Last Leprechauns of Ireland – meet the little people
You may have heard claims that leprechauns don’t, in fact, exist and that they’re just a myth from Irish folklore and tales. However, Kevin Woods, known locally as ‘McCoillte’, would dispute that claim.
Woods became Ireland’s last Leprechaun Whisperer after discovering gold coins in a stone wall in 2002, which allowed him to communicate with the elder of Ireland’s 236 surviving leprechauns.
By 2009, the leprechauns were even afforded protection by the E.U.under the European Habitats Directive!
Number one on our list of lesser-known locations in Ireland that will blow you away, a visit to the Leprechaun Cavern in Carlingford in County Louth includes 15 minutes of storytelling and a trip below the ground to where leprechauns and fairies converge at sunrise and sunset.
Address: 1A Ghan Rd, Liberties of Carlingford, Carlingford, Co. Louth, Ireland