Located to the west of Great Britain in the North Atlantic, Ireland is an island with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Most of it is taken up by the Republic of Ireland, which declared independence from the United Kingdom in the early twentieth century, while the rest is claimed by Northern Ireland, which remains under the Crown. Despite political division and a tense history, however, both countries demonstrate a beauty in their countryside and culture that is quintessentially Irish, although of course with some regional variations. In Ireland, you’ll find a different manner of speaking, eating, and even thinking from the rest of the British Isles.
Known for its rolling hills, green landscapes, and picturesque waters, Ireland is a great place for a drive, a hike, or even a bike ride through the countryside. Its long history of habitation has also resulted in some impressive prehistoric and medieval ruins, as well as churches and cathedrals dating back to the early years of Christianity. Much of the best architecture and tourist attractions will be found in the respective capitals of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Dublin and Belfast, but there’s much to see, do, and eat throughout the island. To discover a strong Gaelic culture and some of Europe’s most charming historic sites, check out these 50 magical spots in Ireland.