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gushing praise

Lonely Planet says these are the top 21 things to do and see in Ireland

Three cities make the top 10.

THE DONEGAL COAST, Ring of Kerry and Brú na Bóinne are among the destinations recommended in a new Lonely Planet guide to Ireland.

The list gives a peek at 21 things to see and do across the island, ranging from coastlines and golf courses, to pubs and city sightseeing.

Dublin tops the list, with Lonely Planet lauding the capital as having “all the baubles of a major international metropolis”.

shutterstock_133880780 Shutterstock / littleny Shutterstock / littleny / littleny

The second spot goes out west to the wilds of Connemara, Co Galway, with its rugged hills and lakes.

shutterstock_376825213 Shutterstock / Ocskay Bence Shutterstock / Ocskay Bence / Ocskay Bence

In third position is the pub. Any pub. Lonely Planet notes: “Every town and hamlet has at least one: no matter where you go, you’ll find that the social heart of the country” there.

Traditional music takes the fourth place. Again, readers are advised to find a pub to enjoy “western Europe’s most vibrant folk” scene.

shutterstock_283365410 Shutterstock / littleny Shutterstock / littleny / littleny

Galway City - ”Ireland’s liveliest city” – comes in in fifth position. “Join the locals as they bounce from place to place” at night, “never knowing what fun lies ahead”, Lonely Planet says.

shutterstock_53390995 Shutterstock / Rihardzz Shutterstock / Rihardzz / Rihardzz

In sixth place is Dingle, Co Kerry, both the “picturesque peninsula strewn with ancient ruins” and its “delightful” main town.

shutterstock_193918361 Shutterstock / Iuliia Laitinen Shutterstock / Iuliia Laitinen / Iuliia Laitinen

Lonely Planet says Glendalough in Co Wicklow, in seventh spot, is “one of the country’s most beautiful sites”, an “unforgettable” sight.

shutterstock_165113417 Shutterstock / nevio Shutterstock / nevio / nevio

Coming in at number eight is the Rock of Cashel fortress in Co Tipperary, the old seat of kings who ruled over Munster before the Norman invasion.

shutterstock_245788852 Shutterstock / yykkaa Shutterstock / yykkaa / yykkaa

Links golf is listed at number nine. Lonely City says: “Some of the world’s best-known courses share spectacular scenery with lesser-known gems.”

shutterstock_229922959 Shutterstock / morrison Shutterstock / morrison / morrison

In 10th spot is Cork City, with the English Market getting a special shout-out.

shutterstock_146800613 Shutterstock / Peter O'Toole Shutterstock / Peter O'Toole / Peter O'Toole

Also recommended, in the following order, are:

  • Walking and hiking
  • Brú na Bóinne, Co Meath
  • Ring of Kerry
  • Causeway Coast
  • Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Co Sligo
  • Kilkenny City
  • Titanic Belfast
  • Donegal coastline
  • GAA or hurling
  • Derry
  • Clare coast

The guide – which includes travel advice, profiles of must-see attractions and a new section on craft beers – is out in shops on Friday.

Read: These are the 20 places the real travel experts think you should visit this year

More: Northern lights and running with the bulls – It’s the best travel photos of 2015 

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