With so many wonderful places to visit and see in Ireland, this destination continues to be one of our most popular for performance tours. If you are looking to take your ensemble to a unique country with rich history and beauty like nowhere else, Ireland is the perfect choice. Here is how the history, landscape, and culture make Ireland a unique performance destination.
Whether in Dublin, Belfast, or Galway, the architecture and scenery displays Ireland’s unique personality and history. One of the most visited sites is the Rock of Cashel, located 2 hours away from Dublin. This is Ireland’s medieval center, said to be where St. Patrick converted the King to Christianity. Featured buildings include a Gothic cathedral, The Hall of the Vicars Choral, and a Tower House. Cashel also has Ireland’s only surviving Romanesque fresco in the old chapel. To get to know the old Ireland, this is the place to do it.
Another historic site in Ireland is perfect for ensembles. Performing in Ireland offers incredibly access to venues like the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Like its name suggests, this cathedral is said to be the site where Saint Patrick baptized people to Christianity and is the oldest Christian site in Ireland. Not every ensemble gets to perform here, so it’s a special place.
In Belfast, there are the beautiful St. Anne’s Cathedral and the Belfast City Hall. In the center of the city, St. Anne’s Cathedral is a beautiful piece of Irish history that is still used today. Growing and changing with the city, this stunning cathedral has undergone renovations for most of the 20th century, but when you see the final product, a hundred years was worth it! Belfast City Hall is one of the cities most recognizable buildings. Built in 1906, this building is still the seat of government in Belfast, and visitors get to learn about the city’s history since 1613.
If you’re a history buff, then the Belfast interactive Titanic experience is a must see. Located where the Titanic was built and launched, you’ll learn not only about the ship, but the city and people that made it. You also can tour the SS Nomadic, the tender ship of the Titanic and the last White Star Line ship.
Natural Wonders of Ireland
Ireland has beautiful and unique natural sites. Sometimes called the Emerald Isle, Ireland truly looks like no place you’ve ever seen. For instance, as one of Ireland’s most popular sites, it’s no wonder the Cliffs of Moher are a must see. Connected by bridges and trails, this UNESCO Geopark site offers travelers a chance to explore this beautiful natural wonder. Reaching heights of 700 feet tall, these limestone cliffs have been a tourist destination since the 18th century and the site of many Irish myths. Look out over luscious green fields and hear the crash of the ocean below and discover why there is no place in the world quite like this.
Another natural wonder in Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway is a surreal spot to witness. Caused from a volcanic eruption over 60 million years ago, this UNESCO Heritage site looks like a huge road directly into the sea. Hexagonal shaped stones of basalt make this site look exactly like the cobblestone path of giant!
A little more inland is Wicklow County. Called the ‘Garden of Ireland,’ Wicklow County holds the best gardens in Ireland, including the Powerscout Garden, the third best garden in the world. This 47-acre destination features over 200 different trees, flowers, and shrubs. The central mansion features Irish food and crafts.
The Irish Culture
Since the Emerald Isle is so unique, cultural immersion opportunities are a must. Performing with an exchange choir or seeing live music and dance are a great way to meet and connect with the wonderful people of Ireland. Take an Irish Dance workshop to discover the fun of Riverdance and learn how dance has connected the Irish people for centuries, or have a meal with live music and learn traditional Irish folk songs like “Whiskey in a Jar,” “The Rose of Traulee,” and “Rocky Road to Dublin.”
One of the best ways to connect with people in Ireland is through the food. Whoever you meet, ask them what their recipe is for soda bread. Everyone has a different recipe and each bread has a different taste, whether sweet or salty, but it will always be topped with lots of butter. If you’re lucky, you’ll have your own new recipe to take back. On the seaside, try fresh smoked salmon, oysters, and shellfish in delicious seafood chowder. And of course, get ready for boxty, farl, champ, and Colcannon, the best potato dishes of Ireland.
No matter where you end up in Ireland, there is something for everyone. From the gorgeous landscape to the rich history, Ireland is truly like no other place in the world. So, when you find yourself in the realm of whimsy, be ready for an experience like no other. And don’t forget to try the shepherd’s pie!
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