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Exploring Historical Sights while Studying Abroad in Ireland

April 04, 2024
by Julianna Bruemmer

Exploring Historical Sights while Studying Abroad in Dublin, Ireland 

Dublin is a beautiful city but Ireland is such a beautiful country and there’s so much to see outside of the capital city. Cities like Galway and Cork are rich with their own history and every city has its own story. Two of the best destinations in Ireland are Blarney Castle and Gardens and the Cliffs of Moher, both of which I had the pleasure of visiting while studying abroad in Dublin.  

A study abroad student sitting on a tree

You can find the weirdest trees sometimes and the best thing to do is climb them and enjoy. 

Blarney Castle

Visiting the Blarney Stone is a long-held tradition in Irish culture, and it became one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. However, just like the country it hails from, there's a lot more to Blarney than just the Blarney Stone.

A grass field with trees and a building in the background

Blarney Castle lit from behind is a sight I'll never forget. 

Blarney Castle and Gardens are filled with beautiful scenery you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Surrounding the beautiful 600-year-old castle are multiple gardens and hiking trails (read my hiking and biking abroad adventures) that are accessible for the entire day after you buy your ticket.

A person standing in a forest

If you love hikes, you’ll love all the trails that Blarney Castle and Gardens offer. 

These beautiful gardens offer a wonderful getaway from the city, and I only needed a day to really appreciate them, but I’d go back again in a heartbeat.

A path with bushes and a stone building in the background

Blarney Castle may be a highlight of the journey, but the gardens are a must-see for any nature lover! 

Not only did I kiss the Blarney Stone (giving me good luck for my upcoming semester abroad) but I explored caves beneath the castle and visited the wondrous Blarney Estate, which is located just a quick walk away from the castle. Blarney was a wonderful day trip, and it was perfect for anyone looking to get out of the city for a day and just breathe the fresh air. 

A group of rocks in a park

The Seven Sisters are a rock formation at Blarney Castle and Gardens that form a beautiful circle. It felt like walking into a fairy garden. 

Cliffs of Moher

The other tour I experienced outside of Dublin was the Cliffs of Moher. These natural beauties are a cornerstone of the Irish experience.

A cliff with a body of water in the background

The Cliffs of Moher are a must-see sight if you’re in Ireland! 

Situated in the quaint city of Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher were a wonderful experience and allowed me to see what the West Coast of Ireland was like. The cliffs have a perfect view of the Aran Islands, a cluster of islands off the coast of Ireland, and the area is surrounded by rolling green hills and small villages.

A cliff edge with a body of water and grass with Cliffs of Moher in the background

How far can these cliffs go? Sounds like a question that can only be answered through experience. 

This experience really opened my eyes and gave me a sense of what rural Ireland was like as opposed to its urban settings.

A study abroad student standing on a ledge with a thumbs up

These cliffs are definitely worth a double thumbs up! These views can’t be beat! 

Overall, both Blarney and the Cliffs of Moher were great introductions to Irish culture and taught me a lot about what to expect in my host country! 

A study abroad student taking a selfie with a cliff and water

If you don’t mind a little wind, the Cliffs of Moher are the perfect spot for a picturesque hike. And you never have to wait for the view! 

Julianna Bruemmer is the Content Creator - Photographer in Dublin, Ireland, and is currently studying at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
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