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Cliffs of Moher Pic: Ilaria

Cliffs are Ireland’s second most popular tourist attraction

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The Cliffs of Moher is the second most popular tourist attraction in the country.

It saw a seven percent increase in the amount of visitors last year and the world renown Clare attraction continues to be one of the most visited locations in all of Ireland with more than 1 million people arriving to the Cliffs.

Fáilte Ireland has today (Thursday) published its annual list of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, which shows that almost all of them enjoyed another bumper year. 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. 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.

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park was named as the seventeenth most popular tourist attraction. It welcomed 369,275 guests in 2017. Two years ago it recorded less visitors but was named in twelfth position.

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.

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

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

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

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

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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