With visitors coming from worldwide to see Ireland, it’s no surprise is an enchanting land where legend and reality mingle in the written word of its famous authors. it’s now your turn to discover the mystique and charm of the Emerald Isle while discovering the literary attractions of the area. When you visit Ireland, you’ll discover its enchantment. You can experience the written word of its famous authors. Enjoy your time in the Emerald Isle while discovering the literary attractions it has to offer.
17. No Alibis
This is a great bookshop. You can have a coffee here and browse. Local authors love the place. You might happen upon a reading or musical performance. Glenn Patterson likes this location. It is built around a community of people who love books. What’s better than visiting a bookstore? Pretty much nothing. You might end up picking up something that you can read on the flight home.
16. Writer’s Square
In Writer’s Square in Belfast, you can read quotations from 27 local writers that are carved into the pavement. These include Sam Hanna Bell, C.S. Lewis, and Louis MacNeice. Take in the atmosphere of the square. You’ll soon find inspiration for your own writing when you visit here.
15. Verbal Arts Centre
This building has been beautifully refurbished. They celebrate everything having to do with the written and spoken word. Have a coffee and a snack and see everything from illustrated books to graphic novels. You can even find digital works from emerging writings from Ireland. This is a great place where the past meets the present.
14. Cave Hill
Cave Hill is distinguished by its “Napoleon Nose”. The silhouette is a gigantic profile. It is thought to have inspired Gulliver’s Travels. Swift lived in Carrickfergus and visited this area frequently. This is a great place to walk and let your imagination run wild with ideas. If you are a writer you’ll be sure to jot some things down in your little notebook you carry everywhere or a note app on your phone.
13. Dublin Writers Museum
There are eclectic ephemera, possessions, manuscripts, and letters here. It is a great museum in Dublin for lovers of Irish Lit. It also has a great bookshop, as well. Once again, is there anything better than a bookstore? Definitely not. You’ll want to make sure this is a stop on your travels.
12. Glasnevin Cemetery
This cemetery was part of the setting of Ulysses. Parents and other relatives of James Joyce’s rest here. You’ll also find Gerard Manley Hopkins, as well as Maud Gonne. It is said that Maud Gonne inspired one of Yeats’s plays. There is something that is charming about old cemeteries. You can pay your respects to some of the greats.
11. The Bronte Homeland
You can take a tour of the Bronte Homeland. It will start in County Down in Drumballyroney village. This is the school where their father taught. It is now a small museum. It is a doorway into the past.
10. Davy Byrnes
This pub is in Ulysses. Leopold Bloom, the hero, had burgundy and a Gorgonzola sandwich at the pub. The pub isn’t super touristy, which might ruin your visit and is instead an authentic experience. Maybe you’ll want to order lunch too and check this place out, yourself.
9. C.S. Lewis Experience
You can walk through the Mourne mountains, which was a huge inspiration for writing Narnia. You can go through East Belfast and go on the C.S. Lewis tour. In November you can go to the C.S. Lewis Festival. You can totally experience his muse, and perhaps write something mystical of your own. It is definitely an experience to behold.
8. The John Hewitt
This is a literary pub and a great place for live music, food, beer, and conversation. You can find it in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. You’ll find local writers, musicians, students, and artists here. It is named after the late poet. He was a socialist and mentor to Seamus Heaney. This is a great place to relax and take in the atmosphere and enjoy your time in Ireland.
7. St. Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin
Jonathan Swift shook up political establishments with his sarcasm. He also nauseated the world when he said that people should eat Irish babies. This all while he was the dean at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which sponsored and supported him. He is buried here with Stella Johnson. You may want to check it out, out of curiosity.
6. Frank McCourt Museum
Opened by Malachy McCourt, brother of the famed Frank McCourt whose Angela’s Ashes rocked the Irish literary world upon its release in 1996, the Frank McCourt Museum in Limerick offers visitors an immersive experience in the lives of the McCourt brothers in Limerick that Frank so vividly described in his debut memoir. See a recreation of the tiny bedroom he slept in, his school house, and other tributes to 1930s Limerick.
5. Armagh Public Library
You can visit the oldest library in Ireland. You’ll need to wear protective gloves to look at Irish history. You’ll get a feel for the culture and treasures that an Irish library has to offer. They have first additions such as early books printed before 1501 and illuminated manuscripts. There is the first edition of Gulliver’s Travels which is corrected in the handwriting of Jonathan Swift. You’ll get a window into the past that many don’t get to see. Maybe you’ll want to look into your own history as well.
4. James Joyce Museum Dublin
Joyce lived briefly in Martello tower located in Sandycove. He based a character on his host. In 1962 it became a museum. The interior has been restored to look as it did when Joyce was here. There is a bunch of memorabilia. You’ll find Joyce’s guitar and walking stick. This is a fantastic place to visit and take in.
3. Seamus Heaney Home Place
Seamus Heaney’s home place was Bellaghy. The famous poet was born, raised, and is buried there. His belongings and books are set up on two floors. You can see a recreation of his study, many family photos, and video recordings. You can also hear his voice reading his work. It is definitely a place to get inspired and possibly end up writing while on your stay in the area.
2. The Aran Islands
A playwright, John Millington Synge, was born in County Dublin. He became passionately interested in these islands off the Galway coast. It was the setting for his most famous play, The Playboy of the Western World. You can take them in as well when you visit here.
1. County Sligo
The area is connected to W. B. Yeats. Places here such as Bulben Mountain, Maeve’s tomb, Lough Gill, and Glencar Lake appear in his work. He is buried in Drumcliffe. There is something interesting about visiting a gravesite of someone you admire.
Did we leave any of your favorite Irish literary sites off this list? Let us know in the comments below!