The 10 most UNDERRATED TOWNS in Ireland

For a small country, Ireland has plenty of hidden gems, and these are some of Ireland’s most underrated towns you need to visit.

The 10 most UNDERRATED TOWNS in Ireland.

Ireland is home to world-famous towns like Killarney, Cong, Kinsale, and Bundoran. But what about those hidden gems that are well worth visiting? 

Yes, Ireland features plenty of diverse towns for a small country, each boasting a unique character, attractions and landscape. 

In this article, we shall reveal some of Ireland’s most unjustly overlooked towns that deserve your attention.

From stunning Innistioge in County Kilkenny to Ennistymon in County Clare – home of the country’s best cheese toasty, here is our rundown of Ireland’s best-kept secrets. 

10. Kilfinane, County Limerick – for history and outdoor activities

A stunning view of St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, showcasing its majestic architecture and historical significance. Located in one of the most underrated towns in Ireland, this cathedral stands as a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Credit: Photo by Dahlia E. Akhaine on Unsplash

Kilfinane is the highest town in County Limerick and one of Ireland’s most underrated towns for a few reasons.

Since the Ballyhoura mountains surround it, this is an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts. Plus, history enthusiasts will find the town’s heritage fascinating, with plenty of historical landmarks to visit. 

9. Glengarriff, County Cork – for picture-perfect scenery

Scenic view of Gougane Barra, a tranquil location in County Cork, Ireland, surrounded by lush greenery and a serene lake.
Credit: Photo by Mark de Jong on Unsplash

Glengarriff may technically be a village, but we can make an exception for this list. 

Don’t miss out on this amazing destination, even though West Cork towns like Kinsale or Bantry often overshadow it. It is definitely worth spending a night or two there.

Boasting a prime location along the Beara Peninsula, nestled between mountains and sea, we cannot deny this is a picture-perfect destination.

8. Trim, County Meath – an underrated Hollywood film location

Majestic Trim Castle, a historical gem in one of the most underrated towns in Ireland, stands tall against the sky, its ancient stone walls and turrets evoking a sense of grandeur and history.
Credit: Flickr / John5199

Did you know Braveheart was filmed in Trim, County Meath in 1995? Yes, Hollywood chose Trim for its iconic castle, beautiful surroundings, and iconic Irish atmosphere. 

Trim Castle is the largest Norman castle in Ireland, and the town is located along the River Boyne, making it a beautiful town to visit for history, nature, and views. 

7. Dunmore East, County Waterford – a must-visit seaside resort

A picturesque coastal view of Dunmore East, County Waterford, showcasing the serene beauty of one of the most underrated towns in Ireland, with colorful buildings lining the waterfront.
Credit: Photo by Kerry Nicholson on Unsplash

Dunmore East, located in Ireland’s sunny southeast, is a fantastic addition to our list of the most underrated towns in Ireland. 

This stunning seaside resort sits on the west side of Waterford Harbour, and apart from being an idyllic holiday destination with a gorgeous coastline, the area has fascinating Viking roots, making it an excellent place for history buffs. 

6. Greystones, County Wicklow – for health, wellbeing, and good vibes

Greystones is a beautiful seaside resort in County Wicklow, serviced by the DART line from Dublin. 

It boasts fantastic cafes and restaurants – one being The Happy Pear – and enjoys a prime location ideal for wellness and healthy living. 

In addition, visitors can enjoy excellent shopping and hiking opportunities, so there is something for everyone. 

5. Waterville, County Kerry – located along the Ring of Kerry

A breathtaking view of Waterville, County Kerry, showcasing its picturesque landscape and charming village ambiance.
Credit: Photo by Nils Nedel on Unsplash

The Ring of Kerry is one of the most visited landmarks in Ireland, and while many opt to spend the night in places like Killarney or Kenmare, towns like Waterville are being overlooked. 

Charlie Chaplin used to visit Waterville as his holiday destination, attracted by the stunning coastal views and the genuine local atmosphere that the place exudes.

4. Leenaun, County Galway – a must-visit fjord side destination

Leenaun in County Galway is a must-see destination for many reasons. Located on the southern shore of Killary Fjord, this idyllic location gives the town a magical feel and is a great place to enter nature. 

From here, you can explore Connemara, take a scenic boat ride through the fjord, visit Aasleagh Falls, and enjoy soaking up the view from town. 

3. Innistioge, County Kilkenny – a hidden gem of Kilkenny

A picturesque stone bridge spanning over tranquil waters in the charming village of Innistioge, County Kilkenny, Ireland. The bridge is flanked by lush greenery and historic buildings, offering a scenic glimpse into the idyllic countryside of Ireland.
Credit: Wikimedia / Edward

One of Ireland’s best-kept secrets is the historic village of Innistiogoe in County Kilkenny, and while it may not be a town per se, we couldn’t help but add it to our list. 

If you are a fan of fantastic woodland and river walks, fairytale scenery, and great pubs to enjoy, do not miss a visit to this fabulous spot close to Kilkenny City. 

2. Dunfanahy, County Donegal – mountains and stunning beaches

A breathtaking coastal landscape in Dunfanahy, County Donegal, Ireland, featuring rugged cliffs, epitomizing the natural beauty and tranquility of Ireland's northwest coast.
Credit: Wikimedia

Unsurprisingly, a Donegal town is featured on our list of the most underrated towns in Ireland since the county is packed full of hidden gems. 

What makes this town so spectacular is its location overlooking Sheephaven Bay with the backdrop of the glorious Derryveagh Mountains; plus, it is a stone’s throw from several Blue Flag beaches. 

1. Ennistymon, County Clare – a gorgeous market town

A scenic view of Ennistymon Cascades in County Clare, Ireland, with water cascading down rocky ledges surrounded by lush green vegetation, showcasing the natural beauty and tranquility of this picturesque waterfall.
Credit: Photo by Mark Lawson on Unsplash

One of the most underrated towns in Ireland is Ennistymon, also located in beautiful County Clare, with stunning waterfalls in the heart of the town.

It is also home to fantastic cafes like The Cheese Press (home to Ireland’s best cheese toasty) and is a stone’s throw from the Cliffs of Moher and Lahinch. 

So, if you find yourself seeking an off-the-beaten-path town to visit, then add these underrated towns in Ireland to your list. You will be pleasantly surprised!

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