Explore the Crystal City
Spend a day in Waterford City where you’ll delve into Ireland's Viking roots, try a local delicacy and explore the heritage of the world-famous Waterford Crystal.
The Viking Triangle
Waterford City's Viking Triangle is the heritage quarter of the city; its narrow streets filled with cultural experiences. Visit the Waterford Treasures of Bishop's Palace, the Medieval Museum and Reginald's Tower to learn all about Ireland’s oldest city. Then take a short stroll to the King of Vikings virtual reality experience, where you’ll come face to face with the Viking warlords who founded this great city in 914.
While you’re in the Viking Triangle visit The House of Waterford Crystal and watch as master blowers craft exquisite crystal before your eyes. Take a factory tour of the birthplace of this iconic Irish brand and learn about its historical and contemporary production techniques, direct from the makers themselves.
What to eat in Waterford City
You can’t visit Waterford without trying it’s famous local delicacy so make time to order a Waterford blaa at the Stage Door Bar at the Theatre Royal.
Beyond Waterford City
Just outside Waterford City are the stunning Mount Congreve Estate Gardens. Described as one of ‘the great gardens of the world’, spend a zen morning exploring the 30 hectares of colourful, plants and shrubs and stop for a coffee in the pretty café.
Only 20 minutes along the coast from Waterford city, visit the lively seaside town of Tramore. Walk the 5km stretch of picturesque golden sand or try a surf session on Ireland’s longest beach with Tramore Surf School. Afterwards, refuel with traditional fish and chips from Dooly’s on Main Street.
Five minutes from the beach in Tramore, pay a visit to the fascinating Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, built as a tribute to locally born writer Patrick Lafcadio Hearn.
Seaweed foraging with The Sea Gardener
While you’re in Tramore, book a seaweed experience with The Sea Gardener, Marie Power. At Marie’s foraging experiences and seaweed cookery workshops, you’ll take shore walks, learn all about the wonders of seaweed and even turn your foraged finds into dinner.
Uncover the Copper Coast
Next, take to the road and discover the Copper Coast, named after the ancient copper mines that once covered the area. The spectacular coastal driving route is now a UNESCO Global Geopark, featuring 25km of beautiful shoreline. Explore its length, stopping off to admire scenic coves, rugged cliffs and towering sea stacks along the way.
Journey along the Copper Coast to the seaside village of Ardmore, with its impressive Round Tower and Cathedral and some of the most awe-inspiring seascapes in the county. Explore the monastic settlement built by St Declan in the 5th century, before heading off on a bracing cliff walk. Afterwards, treat yourself to a soothing massage or dinner with stunning views at the Cliff House Hotel.
While you’re in Waterford
Time your trip to Waterford right and you might just catch one of the city’s famous festivals. Waterford Spraoi International Street Arts Festival takes place in August, Waterford Harvest Festival in September, and Winterval kicks off in late November, right up until Christmas.
If you have more time in Waterford
Visit Waterford’s Breweries
In the pretty harbour town of Dungarvan, book your gang in for a brewery and tasting tour at Dungarvan Brewing where you’ll learn about their traditional beer brewing methods. Another 30-minute spin will bring you to Blackwater Distillery in Ballyduff, home to Blackwater Gin. The micro-distillery is just ten minutes from the heritage town of Lismore on the banks of the beautiful Blackwater river.
With so much to squeeze in on your holiday in Waterford, you’ll soon be planning a return visit. If you want to spend more time in wonderful Waterford, our Waterford destination page is the ultimate travel guide to this beautifully scenic county.