The small screen serves as a visual portal to Ireland for thousands of people around the world. For many, television provides a first look at the Emerald Isle’s rocky cliffs, green hills and wild coastline. Not only is this country filled with adventure, culture and excitement, it also acts as a beautiful backdrop for some great shows.
Before you travel to Ireland, here are a few of our highly recommended TV shows, with locations that you can visit.
1. Game of Thrones
See the filming locations of the seven kingdoms in beautiful Northern Ireland after binge watching this HBO favorite. From coasts to castles,
Northern Ireland is the perfect location to host the nine noble families all fighting for control of this mythical land. Here is a list of a few sights that are worth checking out:
- The Mourne Mountains: Where Sansa and Littlefinger made their way to Eyrie and also the inspiration for Narnia
- Tollymore Forest Park: The Haunted Forest
- Castle Ward (Home of House Stark)
- Titanic Quarter: The location of the Game of Thrones studio and a great historical destination where the R.M.S. Titanic was built.
Where to Watch: You must have an HBO account or access through your current television provider.
2. Normal People
A TV series adaption of Sally Rooney’s acclaimed novel Normal People was filmed almost entirely in Ireland in 2020. The storyline follows two Irish teenagers, Connell and Marianne, with very different backgrounds and social standings. They attempt to navigate a romantic relationship under the pressures of young adulthood, social class, financial struggles and family troubles. Viewers fell in love with the characters and their achingly accurate depiction of young adulthood in Ireland- particularly the shyness and poor communication.
Normal People was filmed in the tiny town of Tubbercurry in County Sligo, and on the campus of Trinity College in Dublin. If you are a fan of the show, you can tour these areas and walk in the same footsteps they did.
Where to Watch: Hulu
Even though it is set in medieval Scandinavia, Ireland is home to all the filming for The History Channel’s series, Vikings. Most of the filming took place at Lough Tay, the setting for the mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior. Some great Vikings locations to see in Ireland:
- Valley of Glendalough
- Lough Dan
- Blessington Lake
- Wicklow Way
Where to Watch: The History Channel or Hulu
4. Bad Sisters
This incredible series was created and directed by Irish women. The storyline follows the Garvey family, wherein five sisters- all different ages and at different life stages- conspire to get rid of one sisters dreadful husband. Though it is thrilling and drama filled, the show is hilarious and heartwarming.
It was primarily filmed in Dublin, and many of the scenes take place in Sandycove, Howth and Malahide. All three coastal towns are the perfect escape from Dublin City, for the curious traveler.
Where to Watch: Apple TV
4. The Young Offenders
This comedy series follows two best friends, Conor and Jock, as they navigate their awkward teenage years, trying to distract from their difficult home lives and their knack for getting into trouble at school.
The recurring mischief brings the boys into conflict with their headmaster, and to make matters worse, the lads strike up dangerously close friendships with the headmaster’s daughters.
show is very popular among young Irish people and though the language and humor can be lost on those who didn’t grow up there, the show has found success abroad too. The show is filmed for the most part in County Cork, and various locations from the show can be seen all around Cork city.
Where to watch: Currently only streaming on Roku, but the series is also available on Aerlingus flights.
5. Father Ted
This classic comedy is a treasured part of Irish media that has been watched and rewatched for decades, despite ending in 1998. It involves 3 priests and their housekeeper who live on “Craggy Island”. Though the filming locations aren’t actually on an island, there is plenty of opportunity to visit the sites of many key locations from the show, most of them in County Clare.
What you can visit:
- The Very Dark Caves: Ailwee Cave
- Ireland’s Biggest Lingerie Department: Dunnes Store in Ennis
- The Site of the Holy Stone of Clonrichert : The Cliffs of Moher
- Campsite from Hell: Fanore Caravan Park
- The Scenery in the Opening Titles: the Aran Islands
- Mrs. O’Reilly’s House
- The Chinese Pub
Where to Watch: Hulu