The Guiness Storehouse wins again

By | Category: Travel destinations

In the annual survey by Fáilte Ireland’s of which were the most popular visitor attractions in 2018, it will surprise few that the Guinness Storehouse was Ireland’s most popular fee charging attraction.

The Guiness Stroehouse is to be found behind ahard-to-miss gate

About 1.7 million visitors went to the site and, despite the fact that you have to pay, it was still the most popular attraction of all attracting more than twice the number of people to the most popular free site – Kilkenny Castle Parklands.

I find it surprising that free sites should attract so few visitors. In particular, three attractions in Dublin, the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Botanical Gardens and the Museum of Ireland (Archaeology)– all of which are free – you would have thought would do better than they do. Compare them to free museums and galleries in other major cities like London and Paris and they would be towards the top of the list.

Combining the list of free and paid for attractions, the National Gallery would be at number five, the gardens would be at nine and the museum would be at number seventeen. Visit the Book of Kells where you have to pay to see it and it attracts over a million people a year and is the fourth most popular attraction in Ireland beating the National Gallery and seeing over twice as many visitors as go to the National Museum (Archaeology.) The other three sites of the National Museum – Decorative Arts, Folk & Country Life, & Natural History don’t make the lists at all.

The second and third most popular attractions, Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience and Dublin Zoo both charge an entrance fee as does Bunratty Castle.

But Bunratty Castle  doesn’t appear on Fáilte Ireland’s list at all. Yet the castle claims that in 2016 it saw 905,000 visitors. That would make it the fifth most visited pay site in Ireland. That it doesn’t appear may indicate that the number of visitors has halved in the last two years or that the list isn’t as accurate as it could be.

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