If you thought that Waterford only offered world-famous crystal, then you are in for a big surprise. Located off the southeast coast of Ireland, this charming city also offers waterfront hotel accommodations, medieval attractions, outdoor activities and appealing arts and culture. Read on to learn more about what makes Waterford an excellent travel destination.
Most of Waterford’s main attractions are all within walking distance of each other as they are all contained within the cultural quarter known as the Viking Triangle. Here, you can explore many of the city’s historic ruins and landmarks that date back to the site of a 10th century Viking settlement.
One of the most striking of these structures is Reginald’s Tower, one of Ireland’s oldest mortar buildings. You can climb the spiral staircase to learn the history of the tower and to see an assortment of Viking artifacts. Also nearby is the Waterford Treasures Museum, which houses thousands of medieval relics and artifacts like jewelry, clothing, weapons and drinking vessels. Other landmarks in the area include the Bishop’s Palace, Christchurch Cathedral and the ruins of a 13th century monastery.
A visit to Waterford could not be complete without a tour of its most famous attraction, the House of Waterford Crystal. Although some of the factory’s operations have shutdown now, you can still walk through and watch the various steps of the crystal-making process from molding to hand-blowing, cutting and engraving. After the tour, you can browse the exquisite crystal pieces in the gift shop and enjoy scones and Irish tea in the cafe.
Another must-do is a stroll along the city’s colorful waterfront known as The Quay. On one side, you can walk along the River Suir and imagine how the Viking ships must have looked as they approached centuries ago. On the opposite side, you can admire the strip of multi-colored buildings where you can hunt for a bargain in the charming boutiques and see a portion of the city’s 800-year old wall in Waterford’s oldest pub, T&H Doolans.
Arts and Culture
Waterford offers a vibrant arts and culture scene. If you enjoy visual arts, you can spend the afternoon viewing more than 200 paintings by international and Irish artists at the Waterford Municipal Art Gallery. If you want to catch a live performance, the beautiful Theater Royal is a must-do. Additionally, Waterford hosts a number of cultural festivals each summer such as the Music Fest, Spraoi Festival and the Tall Ships Festival.
Sports and Outdoor Activities
You won’t have a difficult time finding fun outdoor activities in Waterford. With the city’s many rivers and nearby ocean, you can enjoy water sports like fishing, kayaking, swimming and surfing. At Walsh Park, you can watch hurling and Gaelic football matches. Horse riding enthusiasts will find equestrian centers here, and golf lovers will be spoiled for choice with the numerous golf courses in Waterford. What’s more, the People’s Park is a large public park that offers paths for walking and cycling as well as a children’s playground and a skateboarding area.
Whether it be winter or summer, you will probably not experience any extreme weather in Waterford. The city’s climate offers moderate temperatures all year. However, you may want to bring a jacket for the chilly evenings and a rain coat for the frequent showers.
If you want to experience the wonders of Waterford, don’t let any great hotel deals slip past you. With just a few clicks, you can reserve a room that is perfect for your budget and preferences.