As Europe's arguably most charming island country, Ireland is home to Guinness, endless green countryside, and the friendliest people I've ever met. It tends to be less expensive to fly to from the US compared to other European countries - and that extra money can be put to good use! Spending a few extra days to explore the countryside and castles, having some pints at the pub - whatever you feel like doing, you'll find it in Ireland. I've been to Ireland once so far. We had a four day weekend during my study abroad program, so me and a couple friends went to Cork, Limerick, and Dublin.
Eating at the pubs was a treat as well. I had been to a few Irish pubs around Italy, but being in a true Irish pub was a treat. I still remember my first meal in Ireland: peppered mackerel with soda bread, coleslaw, and a Guinness. So delicious.
Since we took a bus from each city, we drove through the countryside. Photos cannot truly express how absolutely gorgeous and green the country in Ireland is. Imagine the greenest scene you can imagine, then multiply it by 100.
Two of the main highlights from the weekend were visiting the Blarney Castle in Cork and going to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. While those are two "touristy" things to do, they were well worth it and I definitely recommend them to anyone who goes to Ireland!