10 Aug 2022

REVEALED: Ireland’s Most Popular Visitor Attractions

Fáilte Ireland REVEALED: Ireland’s Most Popular Visitor Attractions

Ireland’s Most Popular Visitor Attractions have been revealed

Fáilte Ireland has has published its annual survey of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions for 2018.

Once again the Guinness Storehouse tops the list with over 1.7 million visitors last year. The Cliffs of Moher closely follows in second place with 1.5 million, an increase of over 3% on the previous year, and Dublin Zoo holds the 3rd spot with over 1.2 million visitors in the same category.

The survey also collates visitor numbers on free-to-enter attractions with a new entry to the list, Kilkenny Castle Parklands, claiming top place with the National Gallery of Ireland closely following.

Overall, the top ten fee-charging attractions during 2018 were:

Guinness Storehouse - 1,736,156 (visitors)
Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience – 1,580,000
Dublin Zoo – 1,230,145
Book of Kells – 1,057,642
Tayto Park – 700,000
St Patrick’s Cathedral – 627,199
Kylemore Abbey and Garden – 561,657
Muckrose House – 550,649
Powerscourt House Gardens and Waterfall – 472,523
Blarney Castle and Gardens – 460,000

Ireland’s top ten free to enter attractions for 2018 were:

Kilkenny Castle Parklands – 799,032
The National Gallery of Ireland3 – 775,491
Glendalough Site – 732,824
National Botanic Gardens – 655,609
Castletown House Parklands – 642,278
Irish Museum of Modern Art – 505,891
Doneraile Park – 490,000
National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, 466,038
Farmleigh House Estate – 389,932
Battle of the Boyne/Oldbridge Est – 355,608

Fáilte Ireland publishes an annual list of top visitor attractions to give attractions insight into how they are performing. It complements Fáilte Ireland’s research on 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.

Speaking about the results of the Fáilte Ireland Visitor Attractions Survey, Fáilte Ireland’s director of product development Orla Carroll said: “While 2018 was a positive year for most of Ireland’s top attractions, there are many challenges ahead for the tourism industry. As the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland’s role is to support the development of a world-class tourism sector. Our work with attractions in helping them grow their visitor numbers through training and funding is a significant part of what we do across the country. Over the course of 2018 alone, Fáilte Ireland approved grant funding of more than €31 million for 46 projects.

“In May this year, we announced funding of up to a total €150 million through our new Platforms for Growth initiative. The first platform is Iconic Immersive Attractions with individual grants available for large-scale visitor attractions of €2.5 million upwards. This is Fáilte Ireland’s largest programme of investment yet and with continued investment like this, and through our work with partners across the country, we look forward to seeing new locations feature on the top attractions survey list.”

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