Ireland is a land of history, culture and the friendliest people on the planet, and there’s no better introduction to the island than it’s three top cities: Dublin, Belfast and Galway.

Authentic and immersive experiences that straddle both the old and new worlds await in Dublin, Belfast and Galway. These cities perfectly encapsulate the modern Irish experience, with great doses of mystery and charm to make a visit totally memorable.

Easily accessible from Australia and continental Europe due to excellent air access, these cities – and Ireland in general – are also the perfect start/end point for a European holiday.

So forget what you think you know about Ireland. Visit these three cities and find out for yourself.

Here’s what you can expect in…

 

1. Historic Dublin

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Compact and easily explored, Dublin is the kind of city that makes an impact. A historic city with Viking roots, this vibrant metropolis is quirky and cool, and was recently voted as one of the world’s top 10 cities to visit in 2016 by Lonely Planet.

Dublin is the largest city on the island of Ireland, yet its friendly inhabitants make it feel more like a small town. It’s diverse population also makes it a foodie’s paradise, with every corner of the globe deliciously reflected in its restaurants and cafes.

Once you’ve explored the city’s historic sites, such as Dublin Castle which dates back to the 13th century and St Patrick’s Cathedral founded in 1191, it’s only a short drive away to quaint coastal towns and villages and rolling Irish mountains.

 

2. Buzzing Belfast

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So much great music comes out of this vibrant city that there must be something in the water. But buzzing Belfast is more than just its tunes. An equally vibrant foodie scene is currently sweeping through this Northern Ireland city too, which focuses on fresh local produce and innovative cuisine.

And recently the uber-popular TV series Game of Thrones has chosen locations just outside the city for its backdrop. Indeed, travellers can tour the filming locations and see the mountains, forests, castles and coastline that bring the Seven Kingdoms to life onscreen, such as The Kings Road and Winterfell.

Historically, the ill-fated Titanic was designed, built and berthed in Belfast, leaving a lasting legacy on the city. The history and stories of this epic ship are brought to life through nine interactive galleries in the must visit Titanic Belfast, located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter.

But beyond the hip and happening music, food and art scene, Belfast can also be used as a base to explore the Causeway Coastal Route and visit sites such as The Gobbins (a cliffpath walk along the Northern coastline), The Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Distillery.

 

3. Charming Galway

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A charming city with a bohemian spirit, Galway sits on Ireland’s west coast and is renowned for its fabled medieval history, charming cobbled streets, and lively traditional music scene. You’ll find the city colonised with quirky cafes, cool bars, and charming characters too.

Its prime position on the coast also makes Galway an excellent launch pad to explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way – the world’s longest defined Coastal Touring Route. Some of the highlights along the Wild Atlantic Way include the famous the Cliffs of Moher and the remote Connemara region. You may even spot some familiar scenes from Star Wars Episode VII along the way!

Learn more about these three Irish cities and more at ireland.com.

Have you ever visited one of these great cities? Share your experience below in the comments.

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