Fáilte Ireland has today published its annual list of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions that enjoyed another bumper year in 2017.
The list ranks the top fee-charging and free attractions of the year, with three popular Donegal locations earning places on the lists.
Glenveagh Castle and Grounds was No. 20 in the fee-charging attractions list, with a total of 211,000 visitors last year.
Set in some 16,500 hectares of County Donegal mountains, lakes, glens and woods, with a large herd of red deer, Glenveagh Castle is a 19th Century, castellated mansion built between 1867 and 1873. Access to the castle is by guided tour only.
Visitors enjoy walking through the famous castle gardens, free of charge, and trekking along the many walking routes through the park.
The best ‘free to enter’ attractions in Donegal were Malin Head Viewing Point, at No 19 with 172,329 visitors and Sliabh Liag Cliffs at No. 21 and 164,546 visitors.
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.
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.”
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 21 ‘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
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