Top 10 breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland

From neoclassical churches to modern parliament buildings, Ireland has its fair share of amazing architecture. Here are ten breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland.

Europe often gets a lot of credit for its beauty and architecture – think Italian Renaissance churches and Gaudi’s Modernist Barcelona. However, Ireland never seems to be a country that is mentioned in conversations about great design and beautiful buildings.

For a small country, Ireland has its fair share of beautiful buildings and we feel like they don’t get enough appreciation.

Here is a list of ten breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland that prove Ireland has just as much beautiful architecture to offer as other European countries.

10. The Custom House – one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings

Starting our list of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland is Dublin Custom House.

The Custom House is defintely one of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Dublin, if not the whole of Ireland.

This government building is located on the north bank of the River Liffey between Butt Bridge and Talbot Memorial Bridge.

Construction of the Custom House was completed in 1791 and, although most of the building still stands in all of its original neoclassical glory, the copper dome had to be rebuilt after it was set alight in 1921 during the Irish War of Independence.

Address: North Dock, Dublin 1, Ireland

9. Parliament Buildings, Belfast – an impressive sight on Stormont Estate

Parliament Buildings in Belfast are amazing.

Parliament Buildings, known colloquially as Stormont due to its location on Stormont Estate, is the seat of the Northern Irish Assembly, located on the outskirts of North Belfast.

The building you see today was officially opened in 1932 by the Prince of Wales and has since been called the biggest city council building in the world.

From the day it was unveiled, Stormont remains one of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland.

Address: Ballymiscaw Rd, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX

8. Kylemore Abbey, Galway – an impressive Benedictine monastery

Kylemore Abbey is definitely one of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland.

Kylemore Abbey, located in the heart of Connemara National Park in County Galway, is a well-known tourist attraction in Ireland.

The abbey castle was built in the mid-1800s by Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor. But, after losing both his wife and daughter, he fell into despair and sold the house.

In 1920, Kylemore Abbey was purchased and renovated for Benedictine nuns who were forced to flee Ypres during World War I.

Address: Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland

7. Dublin Castle – incredible architecture at the heart of Ireland’s capital city

Dublin Castle is a must-visit.

Dublin Castle is another well-known tourist attraction and is definitely one of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland.

The focal point of Dublin Castle is the central wardrobe tower, which received its name for being used to house the royal robes of King John of England.

Until the Irish War of Independence in 1922, Dublin Castle was the seat of the British government’s administration in Ireland.

Address: Dame St, Dublin 2, Ireland

6. Queen’s University Belfast – the Hogwarts of Belfast

Queens University almost makes the top five most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland.

Queen’s University is not only one of the biggest universities in Ireland but it is also one of the most beautiful buildings the country has to offer.

Situated in Belfast, Queen’s University was first opened in 1849 and currently has almost 25,000 students enrolled in approximately 300 different degree programmes.

The impressive Lanyon Building is often named as one of the most beautiful university buildings in the world and its easy to see why.

Address: University Rd, Belfast BT7 1NN

5. Trinity College Dublin – home to the most beautiful library in the world

Trinity College in Dublin is well worth a mention.

Queen’s University is not the only beautiful university building Ireland has to offer, Ireland’s capital is home to Trinity College, which has the most beautiful campus in the Republic of Ireland.

Trinity College was established in 1592 and is situated right in the heart of Dublin City Centre.

Along with being a world renowned university, Trinity College is also a popular tourist attraction in its own right, particularly its library, which is often listed as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Address: College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

4. St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork – one of Ireland’s most beautiful cathedrals

One of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland is St Fin Barres Cathedral in Cork.

When making a list of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland, it only makes sense to include a building from Cork, one of Ireland’s most beautiful counties.

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is located in the heart of Cork and has been a staple of the city since its completion in 1879. 

Address: Bishop St, The Lough, Cork, Ireland

3. Mussenden Temple, Derry – for incredible coastal views

Mussenden Temple has amazing views over the surrounding area.

Mussenden Temple is a small circular building on the cliffs of Castlerock in County Derry.

It might not be as big in size as some of the other buildings on this list, but it is definitely just as beautiful.

The views from inside of the temple are amazing and are only outdone by the view you get from the outside looking down on the temple from further up the cliff.

Address: Sea Coast Rd, Coleraine BT51 4RH

2. The Convention Centre Dublin – one of Ireland’s most recognisable buildings

The Convention Centre is not for everyone but we think it is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland.

Located in the Docklands area in Dublin City, the Convention Center is one of the most recognisable buildings in all of Ireland.

It is impossible to walk along the River Liffey at Spencer Dock and not take a minute to appreciate the beauty of this building that took almost 12 years to build.

Construction of the Convention Centre started in 1998 but it wasn’t until 2010 that it finally opened for business.

Although some people might not be a fan, we think the Convention Centre is definitely one of the most breathtakingly beautiful buildings in Ireland.

Address: Spencer Dock, N Wall Quay, North Wall, Dublin 1, D01 T1W6, Ireland

1. St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh – an impressive cathedral in the heart of Armagh

St Patricks Cathedral in Armagh takes the top spot.

Founded in 445 AD, St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh is certainly one of Ireland’s most breathtakingly beautiful buildings.

The church building has been destroyed and rebuilt an astonishing 17 times due to fires and damage over time. However, the building you see today is the restored remains of the medieval church built in the 16th century by Dean Eoghan McCawell.

Marvellous decoration covers the stone façade outside the church. These include impressive gargoyle carvings, while works by Francis Leggatt Chantrey, Louis-François Roubiliac, John Michael Rysbrack, and others, line the walls inside.

Address: 41 Cathedral Rd, Armagh BT61 7QX

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Ryan McCarthy is a writer and content creator from Laois. He loves exploring new places and documenting his journey. As much as he gets excited about travelling to new places, he gets equally as excited when he thinks about coming home to Ireland and exploring more of this beautiful country. He is most likely found behind a laptop, in the gym, or watching football.