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  • Beer

    Beer should always be #1. I need more beer.

    • simon

      Well I sort of assume everyone will be drunk at all these places. Why wouldn’t you be? : P

  • Andy Romain

    Hi Simon, and great list! I’ve been fortunate to visit Ireland many times over the last few years, mainly Dublin and the surrounding area, and one of my best and closest friends lives in Swords.
    I’ve always found the people to be nothing short of friendly and accomodating, the history fascinating (Kilmainham Gaol is an amazing, and eye opening visit), and the coastline from Howth to Bray (the extent of my journeys on the DART) nothing short of stunning.
    And who can argue with a country that gave us Dolores O’ Riordan!

    • simon

      Thanks! Hopefully you’ll do something from here next time you visit 😛

  • Mr-Mobius

    Glad to see at least one entry from Northern Ireland.

    • simon

      I did want to put more in, but I’ve only been to the North once myself, so wasn’t really too sure what to put down. Was thinking Queens University, but it’d be unfair to include Queens and not trinity I was thinking

  • James

    You have to tell me where you came up with the figure that one quarter of the population is fluent in Irish. I’m Irish, studied the language (I had to as it is mandatory in our education system), and can tell you that the amount of people who speak the language well or with any level of fluency is very low. The only people that speak the language on a day to day basis would be those living in the Gaeltacht areas, academics, students and those involved in the Irish speaking radio and television services.
    Also, it should be pointed out that the Irish language is not a homogeneous language as those who speak it in the south-west areas – Cork/Kerry – would uses verbs very different to those in the north-west – Donegal/Leitrim. This is only one minor difference but it should be noted that the Irish is spoken in more than one tongue.

    • Barry Brien

      Agreed. While most of us have a few words of Irish and could probably hold a very rudimentary conversation, very few of us are fluent in it.

      • simon

        I had heard a few weeks ago that 25% were fluent, and found something online to back that up, but upon looking it up now, apparently 25% is the “aspirational” statistic, and the amount of people that can speak it reasonably well, but the most representative is 10.4%. I would’ve expected a lil higher myself, if you combine all the Gaeltachts, Irish teachers, Gaelscoils, a lot of Gardaí and then just general fluent speakers. I have a fair amount of friends that don’t come from Irish speaking backgrounds, but are completely fluent in it. As for the dialects, I don’t think foreign people will really care if you say sinn or muid etc 😛 I just wanted them to know it’s a language, it’s not like english, and it’s not called Gaelic

  • Anne Iredale

    Enjoyed your list – I’ve had two holidays in Ireland. Been to Dublin, saw the Book of Kells and been to Newgrange and the Cliffs of Moher. The guide at Newgrange was really funny and had all us tourists in fits of laughter. We stay with a friend when we go. She lives in a village called Glin in County Limerick. Love Ireland and love the Irish.

    • simon

      Glad you liked it 😀

    • FMH

      Fun fact: The Book of Kells they show to the public is a replica. I asked a guard there, whether it was the original, and he outright said no. Maybe he made fun of me, but I worked in museums some time and would say that it’s completely possible.

  • BryanJ

    Great article. I have always wanted to visit Ireland. I just read about Newgrange and it looks marvelous. Do you know if tourists can go inside Newgrange or do you need special permission? I was curious.

    • Anne Iredale

      You can’t go in on your own. A guide takes parties in.

    • Barry Brien

      No you can’t just wander in on your own.

      • simon

        And you can’t go in on the day of the winter solstice without special invitation. That’s why they simulate it

    • FMH

      You have to buy a ticket and wait for the guided tour. It’s not cheap, but worth it. But I wonder why the author wrote that it was used for storage but added “disputet” to religious ceremonies.

  • Eanor

    Looking forward to my fist visit to Ireland fall of 2013– Dublin, then Co. Wexford. We made an Irish waiter in Emmet’s Pub in Boston write down for us what are the most important things to do/see.

    • Barry Brien

      Don’t mind Wexford. Dublin is ok I suppose, but you really should pay a visit to the real capital, Cork!

      • simon

        Yeah, agree with Barry, don’t plan to spend too long in Wexford 😛 It’s nice, but if you’re coming all the way over, there’s a lot of nicer places to see. Cork is also a beautiful city, haven’t been to it;s countryside

  • What? No one gives Toptenz props for posting a list not focusing on the United States? Well now I’m insulted and appalled. All lists will forever be USA focused only. Long Live America!

    Just kidding.

    • Barry Brien

      Thanks Toptenz Master, you’re very good!

  • Barry Brien

    Nice to see a list about my homeland. Thanks Toptenzmaster. One slight quibble – Oxegen is a s**tfest. When it began years ago it had a bit of credibility but now its mainly pop nonsense. There is a far better festival called The Electric Picnic. It puts on consistently better music and has a far better reputation among music fans over here.

    • simon

      I was going to include electric picnic, but my list was already running long, so I went for Oxegen because it’s much bigger and won best line up. It’s really just a matter of music taste, though electric picnic does have other activities

      • shane

        Just seeing this list now…. And oxegen are you for real?
        Yeah lets get people over here to be stabbed left right and centre by a pack of scobies, brilliant inclusion on your list there.

  • Casey

    Went to Ireland with my wife in 2009, the 250th anniversary of Guinness, still have my commemorative mug. We were there a bit over a week and managed to do half the things on this list, and I really want to go back to see what I missed. Connemara is beautiful, some of the best hiking I’ve ever done, Glendalough was unbelievably beautiful. To anyone visiting, you have to go to the West coast, though Dublin was very cool, the county side in the West was my favorite memories of Ireland. Can’t wait to go back. Great list.

    • simon

      Thanks. Good to hear that you did a lot of the stuff on here. Means you took advantage of the trip, and that I wrote a list about things tourists actually do find interesting : P surprised to hear you actually went to Connemara! I’m assuming it was recommended to you, since there are so many places with great nature in Ireland, big coincidence you went to the one on the west coast that I included

  • StevenW

    I’m surprised you did not mention Dun Angus and/or the Aran Islands.

    • simon

      I thought about it, especially the Aran Islands, but I only had room for ten and I figured Connemara and the Skelligs covered enough of that kinda thing. I wanted to have a wide enough variety of things to appeal to all ages and demographics

  • PatW

    This list is ok but should really mention more of Kerry and Wicklow plus nowhere near a quarter of Irish people are fluent. Also why isnt COPPERS on this list

    • simon

      Like I said to Stephen up there, only didn’t because I wanted a variety and to appeal to all kinds of people. I’ve spent the past 16 or so summers in brittas, but I put down Connemara because it’s more unspoilt and vast. As for coppers, if you include any one pub on the list, you’re gonna have people complaining that you don’t have everything from The Brazen Head (which definitely should be on before coppers), the George to their local pub. In the end it’s just somewhere to drink

  • FMH

    Hmm, I remember the Cliffs of Moher mainly as windy. Nice rock formations, but well… Ok, it’s one of the few things they don’t charge for, so it deserves the first place.

  • tassie devil

    I would definitely visit Craggy Island first and see Fathers Ted, Dougal and Jack are getting on.

  • LiamjJackson

    Number one reason for not visiting Ireland …. It has no money

  • Pam

    What about Cahir or Cashel?