The oldest city in Ireland, Waterford will charm and intrigue you with its Viking legacy and medieval architecture. The lush countryside surrounding Waterford makes it a great base for some stunning Ireland sightseeing.
Things to do in Waterford, Ireland
No tour of Waterford would be complete without exploring the city’s most renowned export, Waterford Crystal, and the House of Waterford Crystal is a great place to start. Take a guided tour through the factory to see first hand how talented local craftsmen mould, mark and cut beautiful creations of the highest quality, then marvel at the more than 40,000 pieces of fine Waterford Crystal craftsmanship from across the ages on display in the showroom. This experience is truly a highlight of any Waterford Holiday.
The oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal in the world is a decanter made in the 1780s and you can see it as part of your Waterford tour at the newly renovated Bishop’s Palace museum. Housed in an austere Georgian building, the museum takes you through the history of Waterford in the 18th and 19th centuries, a boom-time for industry in the city. You’ll love the friendly guides dressed in traditional costume who offer a wealth of information and an air of authenticity.
For an insight into the more distant past of the oldest city in Ireland, the Waterford Museum of Treasures has a fantastic range of interactive and audio-visual displays that take you through more than 1,000 years of Waterford’s history, right back to the Vikings.
The Viking Triangle is the name given to the oldest parts of the city, first settled by the Vikings in 914 AD. The triangular walled enclosure contains some of the oldest landmarks in Ireland including beautiful medieval structures and the imposing Reginald’s Tower.
Visit Waterford’s most iconic attraction and the oldest civic urban building in Ireland, Reginald’s Tower, for an up close and personal look at the city’s Viking past. Built between the 11th and early 13th centuries, the tower was the major part of Waterford’s defences but was no match for invading Norman forces who eventually drove out the Vikings. Reginald’s Tower actually gets its name from the Viking ruler Ragnall MacGillemaire who was captured by the Normans and held prisoner there.
The Comeragh and Knockmealdown Mountains surrounding Waterford are popular Ireland holiday destination for lovers of hiking and golf because of the area’s temperate weather and stunning natural landscape. If time permits on your Watford holiday, be sure to get out and enjoy some crisp, clean Irish air with a stroll along dramatic coast or river trails.