Ireland is famous for many things–Guinness, Celtic music and St Patrick’s day, to name a few–but did you know it’s also where some of Hollywood’s most famous blockbusters were filmed? With stunning views, luscious greenery and haunting legends, it’s no wonder that Ireland’s captured the hearts of movie makers and audiences around the world.
Below are some of the most popular movies filmed across the Emerald Isle. Check out these tourist attractions yourself to give your vacation the Hollywood touch.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi
Skellig Michael, County Kerry
Yes, you read that right. One of the most popular film franchises in history chose the stunning, ethereal landscape of Skellig Michael off the coast of County Kerry as a set location.
This awe-inspiring island is like something from another world, making it the perfect setting for a sci-fi blockbuster. It’s accessible by boat between May and September. The trail of beehive monasteries can otherwise be viewed from Bray Head or the Ring of Kerry.
Trim Castle, County Meath
You might expect a movie like Braveheart to be filmed entirely in Scotland but several scenes were filmed across the sea in Ireland, most notably Trim Castle, County Meath.
Ireland’s largest Norman castle was the perfect setting for some of the movie’s most iconic scenes. Although one of Ireland’s most cherished tour attractions now, this famous castle has been fiercely contested in many Irish battles and it’s an area steeped in rich history. You can visit Trim Castle year round when visiting Ireland. Tour information and admission fees are accessible here.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
The imposing Cliffs of Moher in the most enchanting area of County Clare are endearingly popular with tourists. They have become even more popular after Hollywood chose the site as a location for one of its biggest film franchises.
This towering natural fortress is the perfect setting for a fantasy series steeped in magic and legend. Tourists are encouraged to make use of the walking trails and spend time taking in the views. Allow at least a few hours for your visit. To make the most of your time in County Clare, spend the night in one of the local nearby villages.
Saving Private Ryan
Curracloe Beach, County Wexford
A movie widely recognized as one of the best war movies ever made, this Spielberg epic transformed this stunning stretch of Irish coastline into Omaha Beach, Normandy for the opening scenes.
Curracloe Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Ireland and it hosts a particularly active surfing community. It gets very busy around the summer months but its nearby forest is worth visiting in the autumn and winter months; the designated walking trail makes the forest easily accessible. If walking’s not your thing, the area’s also host to a large array of wildlife. Thriving pubs and cafes are only a short drive away.
Marley and Me
Ballynahinch Castle, County Galway
This incredibly popular family film about a couple and their lovable labrador was filmed across many locations–one of which is Ballynahinch Castle in County Galway, Ireland.
This stunning castle and the surrounding landscape is the location of the film’s honeymoon scenes. When the castle’s not hosting A-list celebrity guests, it’s a coveted luxury hotel that provides guests with a premium vacation experience. Guided tours of the sea, mountains, and trails are available. When you need a break, you can relax by the crackling log fires in the evening.
Whether you seek adventure or tranquil bliss when visiting Ireland, these unique Irish locations are the ultimate tourist attractions.