Our Guide To Ireland's Most Visited Free Attractions in 2018


Failte Ireland has recently released the visitor numbers for Ireland's top 10 most visited paid and free attractions in 2018.

Here are the top 10 most visited free attractions in 2018 (and their visitor numbers), 4 of which feature on Scratchable Map Ireland.

1. Kilkenny Castle Parklands – 799,032
2. The National Gallery of Ireland – 775,491
3. Glendalough Site – 732,824
4. National Botanic Gardens – 655,609
5. Castletown House Parklands – 642,278
6. Irish Museum of Modern Art – 505,891
7. Doneraile Park – 490,000
8. National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, 466,038
9. Farmleigh House Estate – 389,932
10. Battle of the Boyne / Oldbridge Est – 355,608

Here is some info about visiting the top free attractions on Scratchable Map Ireland.

Kilkenny Castle Parklands 

1st - 799,000 visitors

Kilkenny Castle

Before we begin it's important to point out that Kilkenny Castle is not free! The castle and parklands are separate. The good news is that the parklands are absolutely free. It also has nice opening hours during the summer months, so you can make use of the long evenings. 

Kilkenny Castle Parklands Kilkenny Castle Parklands

Kilkenny Parklands is over 50 acres in size. It is popular with runners and walkers and hosts a Park Run every Saturday morning.  

Check out our Guide To Visiting Kilkenny Castle here.

Kilkenny Castle

Glendalough

3rd place - 733,000 visitors

Glendalough, County Wicklow

Glendalough, 'the valley of the two lakes', is part of Wicklow Mountains National Park. See the churches, the cathedral, St. Kevin's Cross and Kitchen as well as the famous 1,000 year old, 33 metre high Round Tower. 

Glendalough has 9 marked routes ranging from a few km to 11 km in length. If you're looking for longer hikes, Wicklow Mountains National Park is 20,000 hectares to explore. You could follow the 30 km St Kevin's Way or the 130 km Wicklow Way. Needless to say you'll need to be an experienced hiker or need a guide to take these ones on!

Castletown House Parklands 

5th place - 642,000 visitors

Castletown House, County Kildare

Just like Kilkenny Castle, bear in mind that entering Castletown House is not free of charge. The 18th century house offers guided and self guided tours all year round.

The Parkland opens 365 days a year and stays open until after 10 pm during summer nights. Allow about an hour for the looped walk. See Mrs Siddon's Temple, Betty Langley Gate Lodge and The Wonderful Barn among other points of interest around the grounds.

Doneraile Park 

7th place - 490,000 visitors

Doneraile Wildlife Park, County Cork

The 166 hectare Doneraile Wildlife Park also opens the year around. It stays open until 8 pm in the summer and 5 pm in the winter. Take in the trees, deer and River Awbeg as you explore these stunning grounds. Allow 1 -2 hours to walk the grounds.

You can also visit the recent refurbishing Doneraile Court. Access is by guided tour only and it takes around 45 minutes.

Doneraile Court, County Cork Deer at Doneraile Wildlife Park

Have you read our guide to visiting Doneraile Wildlife Park yet?

Have you visited any of the Kilkenny Castle Parklands, Glendalough, Castletown House Parklands or Doneraile Park? Which ones would you recommend or which one was your favourite?

When you have visited all of these, don't forget Scratchable Map Ireland has 58 more top attractions for you to visit and scratch off!

Scratchable Map Ireland - fully scratched off


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