Make the Most of a Waterford Short Stay

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From the historic, winding streets of The Crystal City’s Viking district to spectacular beaches along the Copper Coast, County Waterford is steeped in thrilling history and brimming with stunning seascapes.

It's finally time to pack your bags and make new discoveries on an escape to the sunny southeast!

Examining glasses at Waterford Crystal
The famous Waterford Blaa with bacon
Left: Looking at champagne glasses at Waterford Crystal | Right: The famous Waterford Blaa with bacon

Whether it’s outdoor adventure you’re after, or culturally rich experiences, Waterford has lots in store for every kind of explorer seeking an exciting escape. Get back out there and discover what awaits in Waterford on a short break. 
 

Explore the Crystal City

Spend a day in Waterford City where you’ll delve into Ireland's Viking roots, try a local delicacy and explore the heritage of the world-famous Waterford Crystal.
 

The Viking Triangle

Waterford City's Viking Triangle is the heritage quarter of the city; its narrow streets filled with cultural experiences. Visit the Waterford Treasures of Bishop's Palace, the Medieval Museum and Reginald's Tower to learn all about Ireland’s oldest city. Then take a short stroll to the King of Vikings virtual reality experience, where you’ll come face to face with the Viking warlords who founded this great city in 914. This attraction is temporarily closed, so check their website or contact them directly for opening information.


Waterford Crystal

While you’re in the Viking Triangle visit The House of Waterford Crystal and watch as master blowers craft exquisite crystal before your eyes. Take a factory tour of the birthplace of this iconic Irish brand and learn about its historical and contemporary production techniques, direct from the makers themselves.


What to Eat in Waterford City

You can’t visit Waterford without trying it’s famous local delicacy so make time to order a Waterford blaa at the Stage Door Bar at the Theatre Royal. Unfortunately as the theatre is closed at the moment, you may have to seek this delicious treat out elsewhere — but fear not, there are many places to indulge in blaas all over the city.


Beyond Waterford City

Just outside Waterford City you’ll find the the stunning Mount Congreve Gardens. Described as one of ‘the great gardens of the world’, spend a zen morning exploring the 30 hectares of colourful, plants and shrubs and stop for a coffee in the pretty café. 

Watersports on Tramore Beach
Go seaweed foraging with the Sea Gardener
Left: Watersports on Tramore Beach | Right: Go seaweed foraging with the Sea Gardener

Explore Tramore

Just 20 minutes along the coast from Waterford city, visit the lively seaside town of Tramore. Walk the 5km stretch of picturesque golden sand or try a surf session on Ireland’s longest beach with Tramore Surf School. Afterwards, refuel with traditional fish and chips from Dooly’s on Main Street.  
 
Five minutes from the beach in Tramore, pay a visit to the fascinating Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, built as a tribute to locally born writer Patrick Lafcadio Hearn.


Seaweed foraging with The Sea Gardener

While you’re in Tramore, book a seaweed experience with The Sea Gardener, Marie Power. At Marie’s foraging experiences and seaweed cookery workshops, you’ll take shore walks, learn all about the wonders of seaweed and even turn your foraged finds into dinner.
 

Uncover the Copper Coast

Next, take to the road and discover the Copper Coast, named after the ancient copper mines that once covered the area. The spectacular coastal driving route is now a UNESCO Global Geopark, featuring 25km of beautiful shoreline. Explore its length, stopping off to admire scenic coves, rugged cliffs and towering sea stacks along the way.


Ardmore

Journey along the Copper Coast to the seaside village of Ardmore, with its impressive Round Tower and Cathedral and some of the most awe-inspiring seascapes in the county. Explore the monastic settlement built by St Declan in the 5th century, before heading off on a bracing cliff walk. Afterwards, treat yourself to a soothing massage or dinner with stunning views at the Cliff House Hotel.

Waterford's Copper Coast
The round tower at Ardmore Monastic site
Left: Waterford's Copper Coast | Right: The round tower at Ardmore monastic site

While you’re in Waterford

Time your trip to Waterford right and you might just catch one of the city’s famous festivals. Waterford Spraoi International Street Arts Festival and Waterford Harvest Festival both happening in September, this year and Winterval kicks off in late November, right up until Christmas.
 

If you have more time in Waterford

 

Visit Waterford’s Breweries

If you’re in Waterford City on a Friday, take a tour at Metalman Brewing and watch the team create and can their seasonal beers with unexpected ingredients like ginger, chilli and raspberry. 45 minutes away in the pretty harbour town of Dungarvan, book your gang in for a brewery and tasting tour at Dungarvan Brewing where you’ll learn about their traditional beer brewing methods. Another 30-minute spin will bring you to Blackwater Distillery in Ballyduff, home to Blackwater Gin. It is still closed at the moment due to COVID-19, but check out its website for updates.The micro-distillery is just ten minutes from the heritage town of Lismore on the banks of the beautiful Blackwater river.
 
With so much to squeeze in during your trip to The Déise, you’ll soon be planning a return visit.

As you plan your escape, be sure to contact individual attractions and businesses in advance to confirm they're ready to welcome visitors again. Because our changed world means a new focus on public protection, social distancing and safe travel measures will be essential everywhere — as explained in the new nationwide COVID-19 Safety Charter.

While you're mapping out your getaway, there are many more ways to find something for everyone in Ireland's Ancient East. Ready to go further afield? Find out more about how to Make a Break for It in other regions of our amazing island...
 

More Wonders of Waterford

While In Waterford




Enjoy your escape in Ireland’s Ancient East!

For more ideas, check out the Highlights section