From the wild Atlantic coast and towering cliffs of Donegal and the remote beauty of Galway, to the cosmopolitan buzz of Dublin and the gentle landscape of Cork, Ireland really does live up to its reputation as the ‘Emerald Isle’. One of the most popular destinations in Europe, Ireland is filled with music, myth and stories that stretch back thousands of years.
Fly to Ireland with Qatar Airways and you’ll discover a vibrant, welcoming destination where ‘the craic’ –the commonly used Irish word for fun – is at the heart of everything, and impromptu live music can be heard around every street corner.
Dublin is Ireland’s capital. This city, originally built on the remains of Viking long ships, has developed into a glittering international centre for finance, business, and the arts. The River Liffey runs through its centre, and along the banks you’ll find high-end luxury shops sitting next to independent boutiques and well-known brands. Dublin’s restaurants are renowned for their innovation and excellence, with some of the best chefs in Europe working here. Gastronomy is a passion with the Irish, and you’ll find everything from traditional Irish fare to international fusion cuisine. Parnell Street is particularly good for Asian and Chinese food, while you’ll find the best Indian restaurants in and around South William Street.
Ireland’s second largest city is Cork, a laid-back, relaxed city that is packed with historical interest. Its two rivers are crossed by 30 bridges, interspersed with medieval architecture and sympathetic modern developments that complement rather than overwhelm the older structures.
The real attraction, though, is Ireland’s truly stunning countryside. From County Wexford and County Waterford in the southeast to the country’s ‘cultural capital’ of Galway in the west, Ireland is lush, green, and filled with tiny idyllic villages. No matter where you go, though, there is one thing you can guarantee and that’s the hospitality. The Irish are famous for their friendly nature, and have a saying that ‘strangers are merely friends you haven’t met yet’. Expect to be welcomed with open arms, and made to feel like one of the family from the moment you arrive.