My first trip further abroad than neighboring countries was to Ireland. It was
so much time ago - 2001, but I still remember how wonderful Ireland is. It was so green with higher hills than I would have thought, and of course lots of sheep - marked by the color of their owner.

Now it is time to return to this beautiful country, at first virtually but hopefully soon physically too. So it is good to know what a local - Rachael - would recommend to visit. In her list of top 10 places are some places I have been to, and lots of places that I had not even heard of. Write them all down to your travel journal (or just make a list, however you plan your trips), and let`s start exploring.

1. Galway

Small vibrant town on west coast with great nightlife and lots of cafes and restaurants. Lonely Planet included it in the list of Cities to visit in 2020 calling it “brilliantly bohemian”. Galway is the best place to enjoy Irish traditional music.

The Latin Quarter is the liveliest part of the city. If you are strolling around Rachael recommends not to miss out Quay Street for music. The River Corrib seems small, but it’s actually the fastest flowing river in all of Europe.

Galway´s history as a medieval walled city is reminded by parts of the old wall that remains and are in excellent condition. Galway Cathedral is one of Europe's youngest cathedrals (opened in 1965). It's large, green dome stands out in the Galway skyline.

In contrast, the largest medieval parish church of Ireland, the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, was founded in 1320. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the church and see medieval tombs as well as World War I memorials. 

Last, but not the least, while in Galway don't miss out on Salthill beach and the walk on its promenade. You should “kick the wall” at the end of the promenade for good luck. Get some fish and chips, sit on the beach and watch the light change over the Atlantic.

The Irish for Salthill is “Bóthar na Tra”, which literally means “the road by the sea”.

2. Giant's Causeway 

The most breathtaking stop of the Antrim coast is surely the Giant’s Causeway. It is made up of 40,000 black basalt stone columns placed at the water’s edge and is an incredible natural wonder.

It was created by volcanic activity, but the legend claims that it was built by an Irish giant named Fionn mac Cumhaill—better known as Finn McCool. He built the Giant's Causeway to meet and fight with a much larger Scottish giant named Benandonner, who lived on the Scottish isle of Staffa.

There are various walks that will loop visitors past some of the best-known formations and sights. You will find gorgeous views of the Giant’s Causeway at Port Noffer, a picturesque bay that wraps around the rock formations.

It is easiest to travel here by car but the most unique way to arrive is via train using the Giant's Causeway and Bushmills Railway Company. The small railroad was first built in the 1880s. The best time to visit the Giant’s Causeway is from April to October and the trails may not be accessible in very bad weather due to the risk of landslides.

That was an exciting start to our trip to Ireland. Don´t forget to come back for more!:)