Waterford City, County Waterford and surrounding areas of the South East has numerous museums and historical sites and a variety of international cultural and social events, and some modern art galleries.
Coastal highlights south of Waterford include Dunmore East, a picturesque fishing village; Dungarvan, a major town with a fine harbour; Ardmore, an idyllic beach resort; and Passage East, a tiny seaport from which you can catch a ferry across the harbour. Of all the coastal towns in County Waterford, Ardmore stands out as the perfect getaway. It has a beautiful and important early Christian site, a pristine Blue Flag beach, a stunning cliff walk, a fine craft shop, an excellent restaurant, comfortable seaside accommodations, and a quaint town.
Image: Tourist attractions in Waterford, Custom House Quay
In northwest County Waterford, the Comeragh Mountains provide many opportunities for beautiful walks, including the short trek to Mahon Falls. These mountains also have highly scenic roads for biking. Farther west, there's great fishing and bird-watching on the Blackwater estuary.
Discover the Viking and Norman heritage of the city on one of the walking tours including a visit to the famous Reginald's Tower and the ancient city walls.
Waterford Crystal - is a famous export of this city. Glass is hand blown and hand cut in the new, though smaller, factory on the Cork Road. Waterford Crystal showrooms are situated just down from Reginalds Tower in The Mall. The factory tour is well worth it if you have an hour to spare. See the master craftsmen at work on one of the factory tours. Many famous designers have contributed to the collections ranging from glass tumblers to chandeliers. Tours of the factory run every 15-20 minutes.
Waterford Treasures - Three Museums in the Viking Triangle, the Medieval Museum , the Bishop's Palace and the Reginald's Tower:
Medieval Museum - Treasures of Medieval Waterford. Don’t miss the unique Cloth of Gold vestments which were lost for hundreds of years after they were hidden from Cromwell’s army, and the Great Charter Roll which was viewed by Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Ireland. Take the multimedia handheld guide or enjoy a family friendly tour with a costumed performer.
Bishop’s Palace - Treasures of Georgian Waterford. This magnificent Georgian residence is a must-see attraction. Experience authentic grand eighteenth century living in this beautiful Georgian building. Don’t miss the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal in the world dating back to 1789, and the Napoleon Mourning Cross; the only one to survive out of the original twelve that were made on his death.
Reginald's Tower - Named after the Viking leader who founded Waterford in 914, making Waterford Ireland’s oldest city. Don’t miss the 9th century sword and weapons from a Viking warrior’s grave and the magnificent 12th century gold kite brooch. Guided tours and multimedia handheld tours available.
Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre - on Barrack Street is dedicated to the memory of Brother Edmund Rice, founder of the Presentation and Christian Brothers.