You might feel like you’ve got a pretty good handle on what a trip to Ireland should involve. You’ll explore some great cities and old landmarks, get a taste for the famously beautiful countryside, tuck into traditional Irish cuisine and perhaps take in a few pints of Guinness and a history lesson along the way. Truth be told, that isn’t too far off the mark of what an ideal Irish vacation can be like! However, as with any popular destination, Ireland is about much more than the typical top-10 tourist attractions. Here are a few of the the more unusual attractions in Ireland to consider visiting on your holiday or vacation:
1. The Glen – Sligo
The Glen is a difficult place to describe but suffice to say, it’s one of the most enchanting outdoor destinations in Ireland, if not all of Europe. It’s essentially a tiny valley by the Knocknarea Mountain, and you walk through an old iron gate to enter it. In a way, it almost seems man-made, though it’s believed The Glen was probably formed by a glacier during the last Ice Age. It’s just one of the best places for a walk in Ireland, and if you want to broaden the experience, Knocknarea Mountain makes for a nice hike as well.
2. Kyteler’s Inn – Kilkenny
If you spend time in Ireland, you’ll likely wind up looking for some nice old pubs to check out, and none can really top Kyteler’s Inn for lore. That’s because it was supposedly first established by a convicted witch in the 1300s – a woman named Dame Alice Kyteler, whose story is very much part of the historical record, and not legend. It happens to be a pretty decent traditional pub as well, and it would be rude not to indulge in a drink at a place so rich in history, wouldn’t it?
3. Let’s Bingo – Dundalk
Some are surprised to learn that public bingo is making something of a comeback around the British Isles, and Let’s Bingo in Dundalk speaks to that development. Named one of the best places to play bingo in Ireland, it’s a bright, noticeable venue with space for around 500 players as well as its own bar and café. Basically, if you’re looking for something of an alternative night-out during your trip through Ireland, it’s a lively venue and this is certainly one of the more unusual attractions in Ireland.
4. Dog’s Bay – Roundstone
Dog’s Bay isn’t necessarily strange, so much as unexpected. Many don’t think Ireland has much to offer in the way of beaches (unless you count visually striking, rocky shorelines). However, situated just outside of Roundstone in County Galway, Dog’s Bay is a gorgeous little beach with white sand and a crescent shape. It’s certainly a good place to relax on warmer days, and those interested can also rent kayaks at adjacent Gurteen Beach. Both Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Beach are said to be among the finest beaches in Ireland.
5. Church Bar & Restaurant – Dublin
No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to Dublin, and somehow, this place seems to escape mention in articles about where to eat and drink in the famous city. It is more or less just what it sounds like: an old church that’s been converted into a bar and restaurant. It’s a 17th century, 320-year-old church with a gallery on the inside and a history connecting it to some of the greatest figures that Ireland has ever known, making it one of the most unusual attractions in Ireland. This also has to be one of the coolest places to grab a drink while on your travels!