Ireland's top 10 tourist attractions revealed...
Fáilte Ireland has released its list of Ireland's top visitor attractions in 2013, with the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo and Cliffs of Moher topping the bill.
The country's 10 most popular attractions are compiled annually by the national tourism body, in what's seen as a definitive list of what tourists do and see on their down-time in Ireland.
The Guinness Storehouse once more tops the bill, welcoming 1,157,000 visitors in 2013 - an increase of 70,000 visitors on its 2012 performance.
The iconic Dublin attraction was followed closely by Dublin Zoo, with just over a million visitors, and the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience - which saw a 10% boost over last year thanks to 960,000 paying visitors passing through.
Top 10 Fee-Charging Attractions 2013
1) Guinness Storehouse, Dublin: 1,157,090
2) Dublin Zoo: 1,026,611
3) Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Co. Clare: 960,134
4) National Aquatic Centre, Dublin: 858,031
5) Book of Kells, Dublin: 588, 723
6) Tayto Park, Co. 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
The ‘free attractions’ listing was topped by the National Gallery, as per last year, but there was a significant new entry - with the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons entering the top ten at No.5 with 350,000 visitors during 2013.
Top 10 Free Attractions 2013
1) National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin: 641,572
2) National Botanic Gardens, Dublin: 550,000
3) Farmleigh, Dublin: 435,476
4) National Museum, Archaeology, Dublin: 404,230
5) Newbridge Silverware, Kildare: 350,000
6) Science Gallery, Dublin: 339,264
7) National Museum, Natural History, Dublin: 284,323
8) National Library of Ireland, Dublin: 260,323
9) National Museum, Collins Barracks, Dublin: 251,226
10) 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& over 2012.
Speaking today, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar said:
“It’s good to see visitor numbers growing at so many of our key attractions, and it’s further proof that Irish tourism is going from strength to strength.”
The list will be seen as further good news for Irish tourism, after recent CSO figures revealed overseas visitors were up 9% from January to May of this year.
Both lists also confirm the dominance of Dublin in Irish tourism... with six of the 10 top paid-for attractions and a whopping nine of the top 10 free attractions all located within the capital.
Interestingly, Kerry does not feature on either list.