By:Photos and Blog by:  Maggie Rohweder Today I get to talk about one of my favorite places on earth… Ireland! This magical little isle was my home for a few months in 2011, and it stole my heart. It tends to have that effect on people. Its charm and untouched beauty, the generosity and humor of its people, and its overcome-the-odds tenacity make it a lovely and unique honeymoon destination! Whether you love the scenery, the castles, the accents, the history, or the music, Ireland has so much to offer. Here are some of my favorite places and things to do!   Dublin dublin The largest city in Ireland, it is a cultural metropolis. You can walk down the brick-paved streets lined with Edwardian architecture while eating Italian gelato and sushi from the local Japanese restaurant. Known for its thriving nightlife (and as the birthplace of dub-step), Dublin has plenty of pubs, bars, and clubs to keep you and your partner up all night. Dublin is also home to historical sites like the Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Kilmainham Gaol, and the General Post Office. You can stop by to learn about Ireland’s turbulent past and to admire the gorgeous architecture. Or get a taste of Irish culture at a Gaelic Football of Hurling game at Croke Park! If you’re a literary sort, as I am, the Dublin Writers Museum is a must-see. Ireland is home to some of the world’s greatest writers, including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and WB Yeats to name a few. There are also numerous museums to visit, most of which are free! You can also visit Trinity College to see the famous Book of Kells. If you fancy a drink, check out the Guinness Storehouse to learn how to pour the perfect pint or the Jameson Distillery to try some Irish whiskey. For a nice break from the hustle of city life, try a stroll through St. Stephens Green (beware the swans) or Phoenix Park (the largest park urban park in all of Europe). If you’re lucky you might even come across a horse race or a duel! Having lived in Dublin for four months, there’s a lot more I can say about it. In short, it’s lovely and there’s so much to do and you will just love it!   Galway, the Aran Islands, & the Cliffs of Moher cliffs of mo The west coast of Ireland is much more wild and untouched than the Dublin area. Galway is a great home base if you plan on visiting this side of the island. A quaint little town with winding roads and some of the greatest live music, it’s a fun place to wander about. It also offers some pretty comfortable hotels and B&Bs to stay at! The Aran Islands are a quick ferry ride from Galway. You can’t get to them during the winter months, so plan accordingly. The islands are pretty much untouched by the modern world. Walking around the three Aran Islands is like stepping back into the 19th Century. The inhabitants are incredibly friendly and well-versed in the folklore and magic surrounding the islands’ history! You can even participate in a cultural workshop during the summer months to learn about the history, music, dance, craftsmanship, and lore of the islands. The Cliffs of Moher are absolutely stunning. They span five miles along the Atlantic Ocean, offering views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. Standing on the edge of the Cliffs, looking across the ocean, literally took my breath away. There’s even a small museum to teach you about the history and ecology of the Cliffs.   County Meath cemetary Have you ever heard of Newgrange? It is a tomb that was built 5,000 years ago, making it older than Stonehenge and the Giza pyramids! The only time light shines into the tomb is during the winter solstice, when the sun aligns with the entrance. It’s a magnificent sight. You can feel the history just by being there! County Meath, which is just north of Dublin, offers other ancient wonders. There are also tombs at Knowth and Dowth, just as old though not quite as famous as Newgrange. You can tour all three tombs via a walking tour, which provides you with the history and the legends surrounding these mysterious ancient sights. The Hill of Tara is also in County Meath. This is said to be ancient seat of the Irish High King. Here you can see the Stone of Destiny, which was said to sing when the High King touched it. Tara also offers lovely views of the surrounding countryside, which is the perfect idyllic setting to learn about the ancient lore of Ireland.   Ring of Kerry ringofkerryringkerry This is what most people think of when they think Ireland: rolling hills, castles, lots of sheep. My roommate and I took a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry, and the scenery was unparalleled. We made stops at stunning cliffs, peaceful lakes, untouched farmland, and spotless beaches. This short driving loop provides such a variety of scenery and culture! If driving isn’t your style, there are plenty of walking and biking trails through the Ring as well. Kenmare, a town in County Kerry, is also known for its cuisine. Cheeses, lamb, seafood, and homemade pastries are some of the local fare you’ll find here. The area is also a hotspot for artists of all sorts. Ireland has a thriving craftsman industry, so if you’re looking for a quality souvenir you won’t have to look far. If you want to go a bit off the beaten track, stop by the Atlantic fishing village of Dingle. Too quaint for words, Dingle is famous for their local dolphin named Fungi. Take a boat out into the harbor and you’re likely to see this friendly guy swimming alongside you!   Wicklow Mountains wicklawwickmountglen This was my favorite place to go in all of Ireland. This rambling mountain range is a short jaunt from Dublin, making it a great escape. You can hike through numerous trails to experience the rolling hills, the sheep (who are sometimes a bit too friendly), and the heather (which blooms in early fall!). Numerous movies have been filmed here because of the scenery… Braveheart, King Arthur, The Tudors, and Excalibur, to name a few, take advantage of what is sometimes called “The Hollywood of Europe”. You can hike by the Guinness estate, stop by a local pub for a quick pint, and visit Glendalough, an ancient monastic settlement tucked into a glacial valley with absolutely amazing views.   Blarney blarn Fancy the gift of gab? Blarney Castle is a must-see stop. Unlike in America, you can wander through the castle with very few rules and regulations. You can explore to your hearts content! And don’t forget to kiss the Blarney Stone at the very top, which is fabled to give you the gift of eloquence. Just beware the poison garden on the grounds! Blarney the town is also quite a site. There are lots of local craft stores and tiny pubs to experience the local culture and maybe make a few new friends.   Northern Ireland ireland1 Belfast is a fascinating city. A cultural wonder in its own right, it is a very important historical location. The birthplace of the Titanic as well as the battleground during the Irish Troubles, it has a completely different flair than Dublin. Still very British in its ways, Belfast is a wonderful spot to spend a few days taking in the culture and history of the area. If you travel farther north, you will reach the Giant’s Causeway. An improbable basalt landform, it provides some incredible scenery. You can walk out on the Causeway to the ocean… but be careful, it can get pretty windy! If you’re feeling a little more daring, visit the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Originally built by salmon fisherman, the rope bridge hangs 98 feet above the water below and connects the mainland with the island of Carrickarede. It takes a fair deal of courage to cross, but once you do the view is worth it. dance sign Ireland is an established tourist site. The currency is the Euro, and everyone speaks English, making it pretty accessible for American tourism. You can take trains and busses to pretty much every sight you’d like to visit. Roads tend to be less of a highway and more of a curving lane, so if you plan on driving yourself remember to add lots of travel time to your plans! I’d recommend taking bus tours, as it saves you the trouble of finding your own transportation and you get to hear history and facts you wouldn’t learn otherwise. Ireland is home to countless Bed and Breakfasts, which are perfect for the honeymoon couple. There are also chain hotels, which are cheaper options. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even honeymoon in an authentic castle!   Ireland is much less touristy than many other European countries. It still retains a lot of its rustic charm. Sometimes they try too hard to compete with the bigger European cities, but when you can find the real authentic Irish experience it is truly incredible. I loved driving places just to see how untouched everything still is. It sometimes seems like you’re in a completely different world, which can be incredibly romantic though maybe less convenient than we are used to in the U.S.   Ireland is just magical. I can’t say enough about it. If you’re considering an Irish honeymoon I would highly recommend it!   Maggie has been Irish Dancing since she was ten. When her Irish roommates went out to clubs at night, she went to the local ceili dance (think square dance with Irish music). And she is completely unashamed of that fact. She is slightly obsessed with all things Irish and probably could’ve written a book about it instead of just a blog post.    Thinking about proposing soon? Check us out! We are Ring Cam the only engagement ring box with a camera in it that records proposals! Capture the special moment and relive it with your love forever. 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