The westernmost of the British Isles, Ireland is an enchanting destination steeped in history and tradition. A rainy climate keeps its rolling hills eternally green, evoking a fairy-tale-like ambiance throughout the countryside that has inspired a proud history of literature, art and music — James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett are all Ireland natives.

But you’ll find far more than folklore on the Emerald Isle. Its vibrant capital, Dublin, is a city of pleasant contradictions with some of the newest landmarks, such as the stainless-steel Spire of Dublin, neighbored by some of the oldest, like Dublin Castle. Paying homage to the country’s rural roots, Dublin is also home to more green spaces than any other European capital city.

Beyond Dublin, you’ll find other growing urban centers, from Cork (Ireland’s second-largest city) in the southwest to Waterford, Wexford and Drogheda on the east coast, and Limerick and Galway in the west. While each destination boasts its own unique charms, the island’s cities, towns and villages are generally known for their festivals, food and genuine Irish hospitality.