Bantry Town - County Cork
The capital cities, Belfast and Dublin, are perhaps the most famous cities in all of Ireland. Belfast is well known throughout Europe as the home of incredible nightlife, outstanding restaurants, and some of the best shopping you will find anywhere. For an even more authentic Belfast experience, stay in one of the many lovely boutique hotels that offer incredible personalised service.
Dublin is an energetic city with a full array of history and culture as well. It is home to noteworthy architecture, lush and beautiful parks, and internationally recognized art galleries. You can choose to eat at one of Dublin's finest restaurants or opt for a more relaxed meal at one of its famous and friendly pubs. Be sure to allow time for soaking in the scenery of Dublin as it looks over the Irish Sea.
You can get a feeling for the traditional Ireland in cities such as Cork, Waterford, and Kilkenny. Cork is especially well known for a rich and interesting heritage of Irish culture as well as its fun and free-spirited atmosphere. Kilkenny hosts a popular comedy festival and is also home to many medieval remnants as well as plenty of terrific pubs. A trip to Waterford takes you back to the ancient days when the Vikings inhabited parts of Ireland while also offering the modern world its famous crystal wares.
The third largest city in Ireland is Limerick, home to the Hunt Museum, the Limerick Museum, and King John's Castle. Explore the medieval quarter to find some excellent historic buildings, charming shops, and of course, excellent pubs. Another terrific city you'll want to visit is Galway, a place known for its relaxed and laid back approach to life. The scenery is beautiful, the people are very hospitable, and there are plenty of festivals and community activities to give you a taste of Irish life.
In Northern Ireland you will find some amazing cities as well. Lisburn is the newest of Northern Ireland's urban locations, and it is home to many interesting Irish heritage and historical sites as well as the lush and productive Lagan Valley. Ireland is famous for St. Patrick, and the city of Armagh is known as the city of St. Patrick. There you will find historic sites that go as far back as 6,500 years or more. Newry is another historic city in Northern Ireland, with the distinction of being nestled right on the edge of some amazing outdoor recreational opportunities. You can go from the vibrant urban centre to the quiet countryside just by going a short ways beyond the city limits.
Regnald's Tower - Waterford City
Finally, no discussion of Irish cities would be complete without mentioning Londonderry. This is a fabled city, long a part of European history and stories. The city is completely surrounded by a wall, and in fact is the only city in Europe to be completely walled in. The River Foyle runs through Londonderry, offering plenty of lovely scenery and peaceful views. The Tower Museum is also located in Londonderry and is a must-see for any visitor to the area. And just as you'll find throughout Ireland, Londonderry offers visitors plenty of outstanding pubs and delicious food in a wide variety of restaurants.