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    Ireland’s Top Visitor Attractions Revealed

    Ireland’s Top Visitor Attractions Revealed

    Another record year for Irish visitor attractions

    Fáilte Ireland has today published its annual list of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, which shows that almost all our key attractions - many of which have received Fáilte Ireland funding and support in the past – enjoyed another bumper year for visitors in 2017.

    Topping the list of ‘free to enter’ attractions, the National Gallery of Ireland surpassed the 1m visitor mark for the first time, experiencing an impressive 41% growth. This was particularly helped by the reopening of its permanent collection halfway through the year, as well as hosting two major exhibitions of Caravaggio and Vermeer.

    The most popular fee-charging attraction remains the Guinness Storehouse, with a total of 1,711,281 visitors through its doors, up 64,000 on the previous year. The Cliffs of Moher and Dublin Zoo came in second and third place in the same category.

    Overall, the top five fee-charging attractions during 2017 were:

    1. Guinness Storehouse - 1,711,281 (+4%)
    2. Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience – 1,527,000 (+7%)
    3. Dublin Zoo – 1,264,300 (+10%)
    4. National Aquatic Centre – 1,099,756 (+6%)
    5. Book of Kells - 983,410 (+10%)

    Amongst Ireland’s ‘free to enter’ attractions, the National Gallery of Ireland had a total of 1,065,929 visitors through its doors, followed by the Castletown House Parklands, Celbridge, Co Kildare in second place and Glendalough Site, Wicklow, in third.

    Ireland’s top ‘free to enter’ attractions for 2017 were:

    1. The National Gallery of Ireland – 1,065,929 (+41%)
    2. Castletown House Parklands – 666,541 
    3. Glendalough Site – 639,826 
    4. National Botanic Gardens – 569,652 (-2%)
    5. DLR LexIcon (Dun Laoighaire Rathdown) – 525,708 (+12%)

    Fáilte Ireland works with attractions across the country, helping to grow their visitor numbers and improve visitor experiences through a range of funding schemes and training programmes.

    Welcoming another record year for visitors, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Product Development, Orla Carroll emphasised:

    “Fáilte Ireland invests in new and compelling attractions throughout the country because we know that they bring visitors from around the world to our shores. Over the course of 2017 alone, Fáilte Ireland provided capital funding of over €22m for a variety of tourism projects, helping to drive growth in every part of Ireland for the coming years. With continued investment like this, and through our work with partners across the country, we look forward to ongoing growth for tourism and to seeing new sites feature on the top attractions list.”

    Fáilte Ireland publishes an annual list of top visitor attractions to give attractions insight into how they are performing alongside their counterparts. It complements ‘What makes a Great Visitor Attraction’, which allows attractions to look to each other’s successes in order to find ways to improve their own visitor experience. Fáilte Ireland recently hosted the ‘WOW Visitors: Win Business, Customer Experience Summit’ in the Guinness Storehouse to share best practice and insights with tourism attractions and businesses from across the country.


    Full list of top 20 fee-charging attractions during 2017:

    Guinness Storehouse  1,711,281
    Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience 1,527,000
    Dublin Zoo 1,264,300
    National Aquatic Centre  1,099,756
    Book of Kells 983,410
    Tayto Park 735,000
    St Patrick’s Cathedral 603,000
    Kylemore Abbey & Gardens 558,000
    Muckross House Gardens and Traditional Farm  552,923
    Powerscourt Gardens & Waterfall 501,601
    Fota Wildlife Park 455,559
    Blarney Castle & Gardens 450,000
    Kilmainham Gaol 425,000
    Kilkenny Castle 418,685
    Rock of Cashel 376,488
    Dublin Castle 371,000
    Bunratty Castle & Folk Park 369,275
    Brú na Boinne Newgrange 281,103
    Christ Church Cathedral 238,285
    Glenveagh Castle and Grounds  211,000


    Full list of top 20 ‘free to enter’ attractions during 2017:

    National Gallery of Ireland 1,065,929
    Castletown House Parklands  666,541
    Glendalough Site  639,826
    National Botanic Gardens  569,652
    DLR Lexicon, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown 525,708
    Irish Museum of Modern Art 489,295
    Doneraile Wildlife Park 480,000
    National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare St  474,564
    Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin  407,529
    Farmleigh 359,432
    Kilkenny Castle Parklands  336,315
    Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons 350,000
    National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion St 336,412
    Chester Beatty Library 335,875
    National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks  234,336
    Connemara National Park 221,713
    The National Library of Ireland  197,245
    Crawford Art  Gallery  188,814
    Malin Head Viewing Point 172,329
    Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane  167,410
    Sliabh Liag Cliffs 164,546



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