The 10 Best Places to Visit in South East Ireland




South East Ireland


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If you’re looking for a unique experience, South East Ireland won’t disappoint. You can take a tour of the world-famous Smithwick’s Experience Brewery in Kilkenny, visit the most haunted place in Wexford Town at Loftus Hall, or take a 9,000-year journey through Ireland’s history at the Irish National Heritage Park.

And if you’re looking for a taste of the local culture, you can explore the vibrant cities and towns of South East Ireland, each with its own unique charm and character.

So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget!

Key Takeaways

  • South East Ireland offers a rich history, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant culture.
  • Visitors can explore ancient castles, picturesque seaside towns, and breathtaking landscapes.
  • South East Ireland offers unique experiences like brewery tours, haunted houses, and historical sites, as well as vibrant cities and towns.
  • Part of Ireland’s ancient east, there are lots of ancient monuments on the East Coast of Ireland

Quick Summary

  1. Kilkenny: A medieval city, home to Kilkenny Castle, one of the most impressive castles in Ireland. Wander its charming, narrow streets or visit the Kilkenny Design Centre for local crafts.
  2. Waterford: Known for the famous Waterford Crystal, it’s also Ireland’s oldest city, with a rich Viking history. Don’t miss the Bishop’s Palace and the Medieval Museum.
  3. Wexford: Explore the Irish National Heritage Park, which tells the story of Ireland’s past, and relax on the beautiful sandy beaches.
  4. Cobh: A charming port town, it was the last port of call for the Titanic. Visit the Titanic Experience Cobh or the stunning St Colman’s Cathedral.
  5. Kinsale: Known for its colorful streets and culinary prowess, it’s also home to the historical Charles Fort.
  6. Glendalough: Located in Wicklow Mountains National Park, it’s home to a monastic city with a beautiful round tower.
  7. Carlow: Visit the stunning Altamont Gardens, known as the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown, or explore the 13th-century Carlow Castle ruins.
  8. New Ross: Here you’ll find the Dunbrody Famine Ship, a replica of a 19th-century ship used during the Great Famine.
  9. Wicklow: Known as the ‘Garden of Ireland,’ Wicklow boasts beautiful landscapes, from mountains to coastline. Check out Powerscourt Gardens or take a walk around Glendalough.
  10. Cashel: Home to the iconic Rock of Cashel, an ancient royal site of the kings of Munster and one of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland.

Historical Sites

If you’re a history buff, you’ll be pleased to know that South East Ireland is full of fascinating historical sites. Here are some must-visit places that will transport you back in time.

Kilkenny Castle

Located in the heart of county Kilkenny, Kilkenny Castle is a magnificent building that dates back to the 12th century. It was built by Strongbow, the Norman conqueror of Ireland, and has been home to many influential families over the centuries. The castle is now open to the public and offers guided tours that will take you through its rich history. Make sure to explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the castle as well. Kilkenny City (or the Marble city) is also well worth a visit when doing a tour of Ireland’s southeast visitor attractions.

Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world, dating back to the 13th century. Located on the tip of Hook Head in County Wexford, it has been guiding ships safely to shore for over 800 years. You can take a guided tour of the lighthouse and learn about its fascinating history. The views from the top of the lighthouse are breathtaking, so make sure to bring your camera.

Loftus Hall

Loftus Hall is a grand mansion located on the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford. It is said to be one of the most haunted houses in Ireland and has a dark and mysterious history. The mansion has been the subject of many ghost stories over the years, and visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about its spooky past.

Dunbrody Famine Ship

The Dunbrody Famine Ship is a replica of a 19th-century ship that transported Irish immigrants to North America during the Great Famine. Located in New Ross, County Wexford, the ship offers a fascinating insight into the conditions that the immigrants had to endure during their journey. You can take a guided tour of the ship and learn about its history and the stories of the people who sailed on it.


The monastic city of Glendalough, located in County Wicklow in the eastern part of Ireland, is one of the country’s most important monastic sites and can easily be done on a day trip from Dublin. Founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century, this early Christian monastic settlement is nestled in a glacial valley renowned for its stunning natural beauty.

The monastic city is known for its iconic round tower, standing at 30 meters high, and used as a place of refuge in times of Viking raids. Other significant remains include the cathedral, several churches, and decorated crosses.

St. Kevin’s Cross, a distinctively shaped cross, is one of the most recognizable symbols of Glendalough. Legend has it that anyone who can wrap their arms around the entire width of the cross and touch fingertips will have their wishes granted.

Natural Attractions

From majestic mountains to tranquil waterfalls, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the top natural attractions in the region:

Wicklow Mountains National Park

If you’re a fan of hiking and breathtaking views, then Wicklow Mountains National Park is a must-visit destination. Located in County Wicklow, this park is home to some of the most stunning mountain landscapes in the country. The park covers an area of over 20,000 hectares and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Make sure to check out Glendalough, a picturesque valley with two beautiful lakes and a monastic site dating back to the 6th century.

Powerscourt Waterfall

Powerscourt Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Ireland and is located in County Wicklow. This stunning natural wonder is surrounded by beautiful woodland and is a popular spot for picnics and family outings. Take a walk along the trails and enjoy the peaceful sound of the waterfall. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as the views are truly breathtaking. There is a car park where you can leave the car and get your hiking boots on!

Comeragh Mountains

The Comeragh Mountains are located in County Waterford and are a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The mountains offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside and are home to a variety of wildlife, including red deer and peregrine falcons. Take a hike to the summit and enjoy the panoramic views of the region.

Heritage and Cultural Sites

If you’re interested in the history and culture of South-East Ireland, you’ll find plenty to explore. Here are three must-visit heritage and cultural sites:

Irish National Heritage Park

The Irish National Heritage Park is an outdoor museum that takes you on a journey through 9,000 years of Irish history. You’ll see reconstructions of ancient dwellings, from the Stone Age to the Viking era, and learn about the daily lives of the people who lived in them. There are also exhibits on early Christianity in Ireland, as well as displays of traditional crafts like weaving and pottery. The park is located in Co. Wexford and is open year-round.

Viking Triangle

Kilkenny’s Viking Triangle is a compact area that’s packed with history. The name comes from the fact that it was once the center of the Viking settlement in the city. Today, you can explore the narrow streets and alleys that date back to the Middle Ages, as well as visit some of the city’s top attractions. These include Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral, and the Medieval Mile Museum.

Rothe House

Rothe House is a unique and fascinating museum in the heart of Kilkenny City. The house was built in the 17th century by a wealthy merchant family, and it has been preserved as a museum since the 1960s. The museum showcases the daily life of the Rothe family, as well as the history of Kilkenny City. You can explore the house’s many rooms, including the grand dining room, the family chapel, and the beautiful walled garden.

Unique Experiences

From touring the Waterford Crystal Factory to exploring the Hook Peninsula, there’s something for everyone.

Waterford Crystal Factory Tour

A visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory is a must for anyone interested in glass-making. You’ll get to see skilled craftsmen at work, creating stunning pieces of world renowned waterford crystal that are exported all over the world. The tour takes you through each stage of the production process, from the initial design to the final polishing. You’ll also get a chance to browse the showroom and pick up a souvenir or two.

Exploring the Hook Peninsula

The Hook Peninsula is a hidden gem of South East Ireland, offering breathtaking coastal views and endless opportunities for adventure. You can explore the historic Hook Lighthouse, which dates back to the 13th century and is one of the oldest working lighthouses in the world. Take a stroll along the stunning sandy beaches of Duncannon and Baginbun, or hike the scenic trails of Tintern Abbey and Ballyhack Castle.

For the more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports, including surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. You can also go fishing or take a boat tour to spot seals and dolphins. Whatever your interests, the Hook Peninsula is sure to provide a memorable experience.

Cities and Towns

Here are a few of the mcities and towns of South East Ireland:

Dublin City

Dublin City is the capital of Ireland and is known for its lively atmosphere, rich history, and bustling streets. Some of the top attractions in Dublin City include the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, you can even venture out to Dublin bay. If you’re looking for a taste of Irish culture, be sure to check out one of the many traditional pubs in the city. From Dublin airport, you can take a bus to Dublin city centre and start your tour there.


Wexford is a charming coastal town that is known for its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and friendly locals. Some of the top things to do in Wexford include visiting the Irish National Heritage Park, exploring the town’s medieval streets, and taking a stroll along the scenic Wexford Harbour.


Waterford city is steeped in history and culture. It is home to the famous Waterford Crystal factory, as well as a number of historic landmarks such as Reginald’s Tower and the Bishop’s Palace. If you’re looking for a taste of the local cuisine, be sure to try some of the fresh seafood that is caught in the nearby waters.


Cobh is a picturesque town that is located on the south coast of Ireland in Cork Harbour. It is known for its colorful houses, charming streets, and stunning views of the sea. Some of the top things to do in Cobh include visiting the Cobh Heritage Visitor Centre, taking a boat tour of the harbor, and exploring the town’s many historic landmarks.

FAQS on Ireland East Coast Trips

Which city is located on the east coast of Ireland?

Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is located on the east coast. It’s the most populous city in the country and is on the banks of the River Liffey, near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast.

What to visit in East Ireland?

East Ireland, particularly the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, and Meath, is home to several attractions. In Dublin, visit Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse, and St. Stephen’s Green. In Wicklow, enjoy the natural beauty of the Wicklow Mountains National Park and the historic site of Glendalough. Newgrange, a UNESCO World Heritage site older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, is a must-see in the Boyne Valley in Meath. Kildare is known for the Irish National Stud, a horse breeding facility, and its beautiful Japanese Gardens. You also have such monumental attractions as the Hill of Tara and

Is Dublin on the East coast?

Yes, Dublin is situated on the east coast of Ireland. It’s positioned near the midpoint of the country’s coastline and overlooks the Irish Sea.

What counties are in east of Ireland?

The east of Ireland comprises several counties, including Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Kildare, Meath, Louth, and parts of Offaly and Kilkenny. These counties fall within the province of Leinster.

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