Six Irish attractions listed on Lonely Planet’s world top 500 must-see sights

Six Irish attractions have made it onto a 2015 list of the world’s top 500 must-see sights of all time, compiled by guidebook publisher Lonely Planet.

The listings, which also included Grand Canyon National Park and Machu Picchu (see top 20 below), are from the publisher’s new book “Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist.” It was compiled by the company’s travel experts and authors on the ground who rated the world’s best mega-sights and hidden gems.

The Irish sites included in the listing include:

Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim (#103)

The Giant’s Causeway is 40,000 interlocking basalt columns stretching out into the sea. They are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 meters (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 meters (92 ft) thick in places.


Bru na Bóinne, County Meath (#224)

Brú na Bóinne is the largest and one of the most important complex of Megalithic sites in Europe, dating to the Neolithic period. The complex is situated around a wide bend in the River Boyne.

It’s most well-known large passage tombs are Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, built some 5,000 years ago in the Neolithic or Late Stone Age. There are about 90 additional monuments recorded in the area.

Read more: Travel through the mysteries of the ancient Boyne Valley (PHOTOS)


The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare (#378)

The Cliffs of Moher, located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, rise to their highest point of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower.

From the cliffs visitors can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north in County Galway, and Loop Head to the south. The cliffs rank amongst the top visited tourist sites in Ireland, and receive almost one million visitors a year.


Titanic Belfast (#424)

The Titanic Belfast is a visitor attraction and monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built.

The museum tells the stories of the ill-fated Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank during her maiden voyage in 1912, and her sister ships RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic. The building contains more than 12,000 square meters (130,000 sq ft) of floor space, most of which is occupied by a series of galleries, private function rooms and community facilities.

Titanic Belfast

Trinity College, Dublin city (#468)

Trinity College Dublin,is a research university right in the heart of the city center. It was founded in 1592 as the “mother” of a new university, modeled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland’s oldest university.


The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary (#497)

A spectacular group of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale including the 12th century round tower, high cross and Romanesque chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral.

Rock of Cashel

Speaking about the Lonely Planet listings, Fáilte Ireland Head of Communications, Alex Connolly said “The Irish sights which made it onto the list reflect the range of attractions Ireland has to offer and demonstrate that for a small country, Ireland is certainly punching above its weight internationally.

“The Lonely Planet is one of the premier sources of information for people all across the world when researching a holiday and lists like these quite literally put Ireland on the map and in the mind’s eye of thousands of potential visitors.”

Ireland was listed among some seriously impressive tourist attractions around the world.

Here’s the top 20 from the Lonely Planet travel list:

1. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia

2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

3. Machu Picchu, Peru

4. Great Wall of China, China

5. Taj Mahal, India

6. Grand Canyon National Park, USA

7. Colosseum, Italy

8. Iguazu Falls, Brazil-Argentina

9. Alhambra, Spain

10. Aya Sofya, Turkey

11. Fez Medina, Morocco

12. Twelve Apostles, Australia

13. Petra, Jordan

14. Tikal, Guatemala

15. British Museum, England

16. Sagrada Familia, Spain

17. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

18. Santorini, Greece

19. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

20. Museum of Old & New Art, Australia.


Six Irish destinations make Lonely Planet’s top 500 must-see sights of all time

Six destinations on the island of Ireland have been named on a global must-see list for tourists.

Alongside some of the world’s most prestigious heritage sites, Lonely Planet has ranked a handful of destinations in the Republic and Northern Ireland as part of its guide to 500 places to go.

Giant's Causeway

The highest ranking destination was the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim which came in at 103.

Others on the list were Bru na Boinne, the prehistoric monument and passage tombs at Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, Co Meath, at number 224 and the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare at 378.

NewgrangeTitanic Belfast, the visitor centre which has only been open for three years, also made it on to the list of must-dos at number 424.

Titanic Belfast

The final two on the guide were Trinity College Dublin, home to the Book of Kells, and the Rock of Cashel in Tipperary.

Lonely Planet’s travel experts and writers drew up a list of the top rated sites in the world in an effort to name the best 500 places to visit.

Four came from the Republic, two from Northern Ireland and 32 from the UK, including the British Museum in London, the Lake District, Snowdonia in Wales and Edinburgh Castle.

The number one spot in the list was taken by Cambodia’s Temples of Angkor which is regarded as one of the world’s most important archaeological sites.

Much of the list was dominated by places on Unesco’s World Heritage Sites.