General Industry

Top Irish Tourist Attractions Revealed

By Publications Checkout
Top Irish Tourist Attractions Revealed

Fáilte Ireland yesterday published their definitive list of Ireland’s top visitor attractions last year, with the Guinness Storehouse once more topping the charts.

The Storehouse welcomed 1,157,000 visitors in 2013, an increase of 70,000 visitors on 2012. Amongst the nation’s fee-paying attractions, the iconic Dublin attraction was followed closely by Dublin Zoo, with just over a million visitors and the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, which had a 10 per cent boost in visitor numbers thanks to 960,000 paying visitors.

While the National Gallery of Ireland continued to lead the ‘free attractions’ listing, there was a significant new entry to the top ten in that category, with the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons entering the top ten listing at number five, thanks to the interest of 350,000 visitors during 2013.

It is interesting to note that the majority of attractions on both lists are based in Dublin.

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar said the growth is, "further proof that Irish tourism is going from strength to strength." He added, "Visitors like to have a wide range of things to see and do, and Ireland has some fantastic free and paid attractions. That’s why the Government continues to invest in new attractions and in refreshing established ones.”


Overall, the combined top ten fee-paying attractions in 2013 recorded a 5 per cent increase in visitors on the previous year’s top ten performance. The combined top ten free attractions experienced a 7 per cent jump in visitors compared to the top ten performers in 2012.

Commenting on the figures, Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland said, "our visitor attractions are quite clearly experiencing the same growth that we are seeing right across the tourism sector.

“Attractions such as these are an integral part of what Ireland has to offer visitors. Recognising the importance of having a good variety of things to do and see, Fáilte Ireland has directed significant investment into the tourism sector over the last five years – with a total of €120 million invested in almost 60 significant capital projects throughout the country.

“Tourism is in a good place compared to five years ago but we can’t become complacent. In order to draw more visitors to our shores we need to ensure we are providing the right type of holiday experiences.”

Tourism numbers in general have increased again this year, with around 72 per cent of hotels saying they have seen a increase in bookings. This should spell good news for these tourist attractions this year.                   Top 10 Fee-Charging Attractions 2013


Name of Attraction                             County       2013 visitors

1. Guinness Storehouse                   Dublin        1,157,090 2. Dublin Zoo                                    Dublin        1,026,611 3. Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience  Clare            960,134 4. National Aquatic Centre                Dublin            858,031 5. Book of Kells                                 Dublin            588,723 6. Tayto Park                                    Meath            435,000 7. St Patrick’s Cathedral                   Dublin            410,000 8. Fota Wildlife Park                          Cork              365,396 9. Blarney Castle                              Cork              365,000 10. Kilmainham Gaol                         Dublin            326,207

                          Top 10 Free Attractions 2013 Name of Attraction                            County        2013 Visitors

1. The National Gallery of Ireland      Dublin         641,572

2. National Botanic Gardens             Dublin         550,000


3. Farmleigh                                      Dublin          435,476

4. National Museum of Ireland -        Dublin         404,230    Archaeology, Kildare St 

5. Newbridge Silverware                   Kildare        350,000

6. Science Gallery                             Dublin         339,264    at Trinity College Dublin 

7. National Museum of Ireland -        Dublin          284,323    Natural History, Merrion St


8. The National Library of Ireland      Dublin          260,152

9. National Museum of Ireland -        Dublin          251,226    Decorative Arts & History,     Collins Barracks

10. Chester Beatty Library                Dublin          250,659