A trip to Europe is not complete without a visit to the land of legends and leprechauns. If your trip is backpacking through Europe, places to visit in Ireland are numerous, and every stop along the way has a nearby city or countryside to spend the night in the comforts of home or underneath the stars. Visiting Ireland covers four distinct areas: East coast, west coast, south coast, and Northern Ireland. Wonderful places to visit in Ireland range in choices from castles to the history of the Titanic. Every distinct area has its unique treasures and stories.
The east coast is home to Dublin, which is synonymous with everything Irish. The area is home to the oldest and most historic castle in Ireland, the Malahide Castle. The castle was home to the Talbot family for over 700 years, and the castle is rich in history and legends including serving as a home to five ghosts. On the east coast are the megalithic mounds, The Mounds of Hostages, which date back to 2,500 B.C.
Near the west coast nestled along a river close to the Atlantic Ocean is the city of Limerick. Limerick is another legendary stop along the tour of Ireland’s history. Limerick began as a Viking colony around 900 A.D., and this walled, medieval city was built as a base for Viking efforts situated on an island in the River Shannon. On the island is King John’s Castle, which was built for defense against ever-increasing attacks. The area is famous for Viking wars, sieges and victories, and during the construction of the castle visitor’s center, an ancient Viking settlement was unearthed.
At the southern coast is the city of Kilkenny, and like other Irish cities, a walled castle is situated on the river. Built in the thirteenth century, Kilkenny Castle was occupied by the Butler family from 1391 to 1935. Another landmark is the Black Abbey. A frightening story surrounds the Black Abbey and its community. A group of Dominicans known as the Black Friars operated the abbey, and many scholars believe that the term black was coined to describe the Black Friars role in the many deaths and cruelties during the inquisition. What turns out to be seemingly bad karma, the community inside the Black Abbey was severely affected by the bubonic plaque in 1349, which is the pandemic known as the Black Death.
In keeping with Ireland’s history is Titanic storytelling and how this unsinkable ship left its final port of call to meet its untimely fate in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. While exploring the Titanic Trail, visitors to Cobh (Queensland) learn about the ship’s destiny and its maiden voyage that ended tragically with the deaths of over 1,000 people.
Places to visit in Ireland are too numerous to mention in this short article, and a backpacking tour throughout the country is a magnificent way to see all the wonderful sites. Ireland is filled with legends and history. Learn what the phrase luck of the Irish really means by planning a visit to Ireland today.