Ireland’s 10 most popular tourist attractions are compiled each year by the country’s national tourism body, Fáilte Ireland, in what many see as a definitive list of what tourists like to do and see on their down-time while on a vacation in Ireland.
Following on from its strong performance in 2012, the Guinness Storehouse topped the poll after welcoming as much as 1,157,000 visitors on their trips to Ireland during 2013, representing an increase of approximately 70,000 visitors on the previous year.
The Guinness Storehouse was followed closely by its near neighbour, Dublin Zoo, with just over one million visitors, and the iconic Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience which saw an increase of up to 10% compared to the previous year, thanks in the main to 960,000 paying visitors.
Top 10 Fee-Charging Attractions 2013:
- Guinness Storehouse, Dublin: 1,157,090
- Dublin Zoo: 1,026,611
- Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, County Clare: 960,134
- National Aquatic Centre, Dublin: 858,031
- Book of Kells, Dublin: 588, 723
- Tayto Park, County Meath: 435,000
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin: 410.000
- Fota Wildlife Park, Cork: 365,396
- Blarney Castle, Cork: 365,000
- Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin: 326,207
The National Gallery of Ireland topped the lists of the best ‘free attractions’ for 2013. The list also saw a brand new entry with the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons entering at position 5 with as much as 350,000 visitors passing through its doors in 2013.
Top 10 Free Attractions 2013:
- National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin: 641,572
- National Botanic Gardens, Dublin: 550,000
- Farmleigh, Dublin: 435,476
- National Museum, Archaeology, Dublin: 404,230
- Newbridge Silverware, Kildare: 350,000
- Science Gallery, Dublin: 339,264
- National Museum, Natural History, Dublin: 284,323
- National Library of Ireland, Dublin: 260,323
- National Museum, Collins Barracks, Dublin: 251,226
- Chester Beatty Library: 250,659
Overall, the combined top ten fee-paying attractions in 2013 recorded a 5% increase in visitors. The combined top ten free attractions rose 7& on the figures from 2012.