IRELAND MAY be small, but unless you're going to be here for several months, you're not going to be able to explore every nook and cranny.
So, when the pandemic is over and we're all able to travel again, which places should you prioritise?
Where is the best place in Ireland to visit?
Unfortunately, the best place in Ireland to visit just can't be narrowed down in that way-- so many different counties have many different things to offer, so it really depends on what sort of experience in Ireland you're looking for.
Whether it's shopping, scenery, culture, nightlife or entertainment-- here are the best places in Ireland to visit.
Where is the best place in Ireland for shopping?
If it's retail therapy you're after, the best place in Ireland to visit is Dublin.
All the major cities-- Cork, Limerick and Galway, and even some smaller towns such as Kildare-- have great opportunities for shopping, but for sheer choice, Dublin is your best bet.
With dozens of shopping centres, the biggest Penneys/Primark in Ireland and the only IKEA in Ireland, as well as plenty of unique small businesses, you're guaranteed to find what you're looking for in the Capital city.
Where is the best place in Ireland for the scenery?
Ireland is world-famous for its incredible scenery, so no matter where in the country you go you'll be guaranteed to experience some breathtaking sights.
But as for the best place in Ireland to visit for the scenery-- that's got to be County Kerry.
From the National Park in Killarney to the Dingle Peninsula and Scellig Mhicíl, Conor Pass and Carrauntoohill, the highest mountain in Ireland, you'll find it hard to go even a couple of miles without stopping to take in the view or take photographs.
For a glimpse at what you can expect when you visit Kerry for the scenery, have a look here.
Where is the best place in Ireland for the history?
Ireland is a historian's dream-- and there's no better place to explore that than Ireland's Ancient East.
Ireland's Ancient East will bring bring you across 17 different counties to explore 5,000 years of Ireland's mysterious past; it is split into three unique areas, namely The Land of 5000 Dawns, the Celtic Coast and the Historic Heartlands.
You can find evidence of Ireland's ancient history dotted around every single county in Ireland, but if you're looking for the most historically important place, you should head to the Boyne Valley in County Meath.
The Boyne Valley is home to the world-famous neolithic site Newgrange, a 5,000-year-old passage tomb which is a testament to Ireland's ancient architects-- famously, on the winter solstice each year, the passage tomb becomes flooded with light from the sunrise on the shortest day of the year.
Newgrange still contains may hidden secrets, and if you want to visit Ireland to learn more about history, you should definitely visit the Boyne Valley.
Where is the best place in Ireland for surfing?
If you're heading to Ireland for an adventurous holiday and you want to hit the waves, there are plenty of opportunities here on the Emerald Isle.
Surfers from all over the world flock to counties such as Donegal, Cork and Waterford for the huge swells, but if you're looking for the best surfing experience you should head to Sligo and Clare.
Sligo has Easkey, Strandhill and Mullaghmore, world-renowned for being some of the best beaches to ride the waves.
Count Clare meanwhile has Lahinch and the aptly-named Aileen's Wave.
Of course, Clare also has the iconic Cliffs of Moher-- but we wouldn't recommend trying to surf there.
Where is the best place in Ireland for the beaches?
The Emerald Isle has hundreds of incredible beaches dotted along our coastline, and whether you head east or west, north our south, you'll easily find one to spend a rare day in the sun.
But as for the best place in Ireland to visit for the beaches, you should head to Donegal.
From soft, sandy strands to rugged cliff walks and everything in between, County Donegal has a myriad of beautiful beaches-- so many that it's likely you won't be able to cross all of them off your list during your visit.
Bundoran is one of the most famous beaches in County Donegal, and at the end of June each year (in normal times) a three-day summer festival is held there, aptly named Sea Sessions.
Where is the best place in Ireland for the culture?
If you're coming to Ireland and want to immerse yourself in the culture, look no further than County Galway.
The city is a vibrant, buzzing hub of culture both old and modern, with incredible nightlife and live traditional music almost every night in almost every pub. The St Patrick's Day festival draws thousands from across the country, and the annual Halloween festival Macnas showcases some of Ireland's myths, legends and superstitions with enormous puppets created locally.
Plus, there's the vast wilderness of Connemara, a huge, rugged landscape in some parts untouched for centuries.
Galway and Connemara have a thriving Gaeltacht community, too-- you can also find Gaeltachts in Kerry, Waterford, Meath, Cork, Mayo and Donegal.
Where is the best place in Ireland for hiking?
Ireland is chock-full of rugged mountains, hiking trails and cliff walks, making it the adventurous type's dream holiday.
County Mayo has Croagh Patrick, one of the most popular hiking spots in the country and with an unbelievably satisfying view once you reach the top.
County Kerry has Carrauntoohil, the highest mountain on the island of Ireland.
But the best place to visit in Ireland for hiking is probably County Wicklow, home of the famous Wicklow Mountains and National Park, with over 100 popular hiking trails to choose from.
From the Bray Head Loop to the Greystones Cliff Trail, the Glendalough Route to Lugnaquilla Ridge Trail, hiking in Wicklow will challenge and surprise even the most seasoned hiker-- but there are plenty of opportunities for those just starting out, too.
Where is the best place in Ireland for the nightlife?
Okay, this one is impossible to narrow down.
Basically, the best place to visit in Ireland for the nightlife is-- everywhere and anywhere.
Dublin has the iconic Temple Bar area, a favourite of tourists from all over the world, and Galway has traditional music every night and an exhaustive array of venues to choose from.
Cork has some of the best pubs and late bars in the country, and Limerick has some of the best nightclubs in the country-- and those are just the cities.
Even the smaller towns in Ireland are renowned for their nightlife, with Athlone, Kilkenny and Dingle drawing hen parties, stag dos and Christmas parties from across Ireland.
Almost every town you pass by, no matter how small, is almost guaranteed to have a comfortable pub, usually with an impressive beer garden, good food and great service.
So if you're visiting Ireland for the nightlife, you're in for a fantastic time no matter which county you end up.