There are no two ways of putting it – the last couple of days have been a bit, well… a bit crap.
Ireland is, like many places, on lockdown and many people due to visit have had to cancel their travel plans.
An unfortunate but extremely necessary action that had to be taken to ensure that we try and contain the virus.
However, many of those set to visit our little island had trips planned for months and, in many cases, years.
In an attempt to bring those of you that want to be here a little closer to Ireland, we’ve created a guide that’s packed with virtual tours (and 360 photos) for some of Ireland’s best-known attractions.
You’ll find everything from the Giants Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher to museums and more below. Stay strong folks (check out our guide to the best things to do in Ireland when you’re finished here!).
1. The Giants Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim is an area of immense natural beauty (it also has a nice bit of Irish mythology attached to it!), thanks to an ancient volcanic fissure eruption that took place many years ago.
It’s here that you’ll find 40,000 interlocking basalt columns along with a clatter of magnificent coastal scenery, a stone’s throw from the town of Bushmills.
You can head off on a virtual a tour of the mighty Giants Causeway on the National Trust website.
2. Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle was built nearly 600 years ago by one of the greatest chieftains to ever roam Ireland – Cormac MacCarthy.
For the first time in its history, the kissing of the Blarney Stone has been postponed until further notice.
If having a ramble here and planting your lips on the ‘magical’ stone was on your to-do list, you can still do so… virtually!
You can head off on a virtual a tour of Blarney Castle on their official website.
3. The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare is arguably one of Ireland’s most iconic visitor attractions. It’s definitely one of the most visited, anyway!
You’ll find the cliffs at the southwestern edge of the stunning Burren region where they stretch for around 14 kilometres.
You can head off on a virtual a tour of the Cliffs of Moher on their official website.
4. The National History Museum
The National History Museum of Ireland, often referred to as ‘the Dead Zoo’, is a branch of the National Museum of Ireland.
The virtual tour here offers access to two balconies that are currently closed to the public following a safety review.
On their website, you have the opportunity to browse the ground floor (full of Irish Fauna), the first floor (mammals of the world), the second floor (fishes, birds and reptiles) and the third floor (insects, shells corals and more).
5. The Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is another attraction that tends to make it onto many itineraries of those visiting Dublin.
You’ll find it at the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin where, since it opened in 2000, it has welcomed over twenty million visitors.
You can take a tour of the Guinness Storehouse right here.
6. Dunluce Castle
You’ll find the iconic ruins of Dunluce Castle perched on jagged cliffs along County Antrim’s magnificent coastline.
A source of wanderlust for travellers the world over, the unique appearance of Dunluce Castle and the quirky history behind it has seen it receive its fair share of attention online in recent years.
You can have a nosey around Dunluce Castle here.
7. Áras an Uachtaráin (where the president of Ireland lives)
Next up is the residence of the president of Ireland. Originally a Palladian lodge built in 1751, the building is officially known as Aras an Uachtaráin.
You’ll find it just off Chesterfield Avenue in the brilliant Phoenix Park in Dublin. The building was designed by Nathaniel Clements and officially completed in 1751.
8. The Medieval Museum in Waterford
At Waterford’s Medieval Museum, visitors can soak up the story of what life was like in the historic city of Waterford thousands of years ago.
The city was excavated between 1986 and 1992 and many of the unique discoveries made during this time are housed here.
The Medieval Museum exists to tell the story of life in Waterford city during the Medieval era and is home to several preserved medieval structures. Have a look around here.
9. Kylemore Abbey
The story of Kylemore Abbey is a tragic one that spans over 150 years since the foundation stone was laid by a woman of the name of Margaret Vaughan Henry.
Over the course of 150 years, the Abbey has seen it’s fair share of tragedy, romance, innovation, education and spirituality, which you can learn more about in our guide to the Abbey.
If you fancy taking a look around Kylemore, you can do so right here.
10. Hook Lighthouse
The historic Hook lighthouse is the OLDEST operational lighthouse in the world, which is pretty damn impressive!
The story of the Hook Head Lighthouse begins way back during the 5th century when a Welsh monk by the name of Dubhán founded a monastery around 1.6 km north of Hook Head.
11. The Ailwee Caves
You’ll find the Ailwee Caves in the heart of the Burren in County Clare. Those who visit the cave will be taken on a 20-minute expert-led tour through the cave’s spectacular caverns.
Expect bridged chasms, weird formations, a thunderous waterfall and plenty more. You can take a virtual tour of the caves here.
12. Down County Museum
Often, when I recommend museums, people tend to react negatively, saying that they’d rather spend their trip to Ireland outdoors.
Which is fair enough. However, Ireland is home to some excellent museums, and Down County Museum is one of them.
It’s here that the rich heritage of County Down is brought to life via fascinating exhibitions, lively events, hands-on activities, and award-winning education programmes. Take a virtual tour here.
13. Carrickfergus Castle
We’re off to the 800-year-old Carrickfergus Castle in Northern Ireland, next. You’ll find it in the town of Carrickfergus in Antrim, on the shores of Belfast Lough.
The castle has witnessed its fair share of action. Over the years it was besieged by the Scots, the Irish, the English and the French.
Have a nosey around it on a virtual tour here.
14. Crumlin Road Gaol
The Crumlin Road Gaol, which dates back to 1845, closed it’s doors as a working prison in 1996 and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The physical tours of the gaol are led by qualified tour guides that’ll take you through the history of the gaol in riveting fashion.
The story begins at a time when women and children were held within its walls through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and ultimately to its closure.
Take a virtual tour of the Gaol here.
15. The Gobbins Cliff Path
The Gobbins Cliff Walk was originally aimed at Edwardian thrill-seekers that wanted to experience a chunk of Ireland’s most dramatic coastline up close.
It was the vision of Berkeley Deane Wise and the tour here is out of this world. You can learn more about its history and the very unique cliff-side tour in this guide.
If you fancy taking a virtual tour, hop into one here.
16. The Hunt Museum
Limerick’s Hunt Museum preserves and exhibits the countless original artefacts that were gathered by John and Gertrude Hunt, along with some of the museum’s own collections.
Expect to find everything from Irish Pre-historic archaeological material to art from Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.
Take a virtual tour of the museum here.
17. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The spectacular Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin was founded back in 1191 and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland.
Boasting a 43-metre spire, the cathedral is the tallest church in Ireland (it’s also the biggest).
The cathedral was built between 1220 and 1260 in honour of Ireland’s patron saint and it’s one of the most impressive buildings in the city, as you’ll see here.
18. The Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
You’ll find Northern Ireland’s much loved rope bridge on the North Antrim Coast road, nestled between Balintoy and Ballycastle.
For those afraid of heights – and for those seeking an adrenaline boost – the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge hangs over 25 foot above the chilly waters below and is a cosy one meter wide.
19. The Irish Museum of Modern Art
You’ll find the Irish Museum of Modern Art (AKA IMMA) nestled in 48 acres of land in the heart of Dublin 8.
If you’re visiting Dublin when normal order resumes, join one of the museums guided tours and get to known IMMA and the exhibitions in more detail.
20. The GPO Dublin
If you live in Dublin, or if you’ve visited in the past, it’s highly likely that you’ve spent a bit of time on O’Connell Street.
It is easy to saunter along this street and see nothing but the Spire or the GPO. The former is an enormous spike jutting up in the middle of the street, after all.
The GPO boasts a wealth of history. Have a wander around it right here.
21. Glasnevin Cemetery
Glasnevin Cemetery opened on the 21st of February, 1832. I can’t recommend the physical tour here enough – definitely pop it onto your to-visit-when-things-get-back-to-normal list.
The General History runs every day and there’s a re-enactment at 14:30 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Glasnevin contains the graves of a number of Ireland’s national figures, such as Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera and Constance Markievicz.
Take a virtual tour of Glasnevin here.
22. Titanic Experience Cobh
On the 11th April 1912, the Titanic called to the port of Queenstown (now known as Cobh) on her maiden voyage. What happened next has been the subject of countless films and books.
The Titanic Experience Cobh is a visitor centre situated in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh town in what was the departure point for the last passengers who boarded the ship.
Take a virtual tour of the Titanic Experience here.
23. The Marble Arch Caves
The Marble Arch Caves are a series of natural limestone caves found near the village of Florencecourt in Fermanagh.
It wasn’t until 1895 when two explorers disturbed the silence of the caves and the first beam of light pierced the darkness. Learn more about the discovery in our guide.
Take a virtual tour of the caves here.
24. House of Waterford Crystal
Take a virtual tour of the walls here.
Have any virtual tours of Ireland? Let me know in the comments section below!