Ireland is known throughout the world for its rich, diverse culture - and East Ireland is very much at the centre of that. Visitors to Dublin and the surrounding counties will be spoilt for choice when looking for convert venues, art galleries and literary points of interest.
The East of Ireland, and especially Dublin, has long been held in high regard when it comes to its literary heritage. Amazingly, for such a relatively small population (compared with other cities of the world), Dublin has produced three Nobel Prize for Literature winners; W.B. Yeats in 1923, George Bernard Shaw in 1925 and Samuel Beckett in 1969. Bram Stoker (Dracula-1897), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels-1726) and James Joyce (Ulysses-1922) are just three others in a large list of global icons to have been born in Dublin.
Today, Dublin is a treat for anyone looking to trace Ireland's literary past or wander through some of the most comprehensive libraries and independent bookshops anywhere in the world. Dublin's jewel in its literary crown is The Book of Kells, an internationally celebrated 9th century manuscript housed in Trinity College, weaving intricate symbolism with ornate Latin text. The other regions of the East are also well covered with bookshops and libraries, especially the larger towns. Below you can find a list of the best spots in Ireland's East to get your literary fix.
The art scene in Dublin is Ireland's most vibrant and is also home to Ireland's premier art gallery, the National Gallery of Ireland. Housing European art from between the 14th and 20th centuries, the National Gallery of Ireland welcomed 1,006,846 visitors in 2017. Dublin is also home to numerous art galleries of varying sizes, from smaller coffee shop settings to larger galleries where you could easily spend a few hours wandering around. Across the rest of the East of Ireland, in the larger towns, you will also find some small to medium-sized art galleries.
The 3 Arena, in Dublin city's North Dock, is Ireland's premier music venue, with a capacity of 13,000 people and holding a major international concert every 3 to 4 nights, on average. Dublin City is also home to some of Ireland's more well known, albeit smaller venues such as Whelan's and Vicar Street. Outside of Dublin, the main hub for live music in the East is County Kildare, where the towns of Greystones and Newbridge both have vibrant live music scenes.
Adare is a small town in Co. Limerick, known for its quaint and colourful thatched cottages. Adare is considered to be one of Ireland's most beautiful towns so stop and take in the view. Don't forget your camera today - the perfect chance to capture the essence of old Ireland.
Explore Adare Village along the Wild Atlantic Way
Take a journey through this once troubled city. See the murals of the Loyalist Shankill Road & Nationalist Falls Road. The Troubles took their toll on the economic life of Belfast, but the past ten years of peace have returned much prosperity while the genuine friendliness of the city never left.
Originally built in 1823, Blarney Woollen Mills was mainly used for the spinning and weaving of wool. After it closed in 1973, it reopened in 1975 — as an Irish heritage shop.
The Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre commemorates the last pitched battle fought on British soil, in April 1746. Learn more about the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and return the House of Stuart to the British throne.
Located within Glenveagh National Park, Glenveagh Castle was built by Captain John George Adair between 1870 and 1873. Having made his fortune through land speculation in America, Adair return to Ireland and began large amounts of land in County Donegal. The castle was built in the Scottish Baronial style and is surrounded by a garden and commands stunning views of the nearby mountains, lakes, woodlands and valleys.
About Highland Folk Museum is a museum and open-air attraction located in the Scottish Highlands. It is designed to showcase the domestic and working lives of the early highland people.
Located alongside the River Shannon in County Limerick, on King's Island. Dating back to 922, to a time when Vikings were the inhabitants of the island (Thormodr Helgason, the Viking sea-king, built the first settlement here. The castle itself was built in 1200, under the instruction of King John of England.
Located close to the Killarney National Park, Moriarty's is an Authentic Irish Gift Store and Restaurant. Hand crafted Irish jewellery, Waterford Crystal and classic and modern tweed fashions and furnishings are all on offer at the gift store. The restaurant is an 85 seater offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Mount Congreve Gardens. Located in Kilmeaden, County Waterford, Mount Congreve Gardens is an 18th century Georgian estate and mansion. It was designed by the same architect that created both of Waterford's cathedrals, John Roberts.
Recently recognised as being one of the top 10 gardens in the world, Mount Stewart is a rich tapestry of planting plant life and stunning walking trails. The house dates back to the 19th century, and was the Irish seat of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family.
Located on the grounds of the expansive and idylic Killarney National Park. Muckross House, and its 11,000-acre grounds, was donated to the Irish state in 1932.
Located on the grounds of the picturesque Muckross House and its impeccable gardens. Take a step back in time and see the Irish farming lifestyle of the 1930s and '40s. A time when the horse was responsible for much of the labour and the weather was the be all and end all in terms of production.
The Quiet Man Museum. A reproduction of the quaint thatched cottage from the John Wayne starring, John Ford directed movie of the same name. all costumes, artifacts and furnishings have been recreated in precise detail, to reflect the setting of the 1952 classic. Located in the picturesque village of Cong, County Mayo.