7 things to do in Waterford – beach, biking, hiking, scenic drive, gardens, virtual reality, and more.

4 min read…

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From the beautiful Tramore beach and the Waterford greenway to eye-catching gardens, mountains and more, there are a variety of options for all the different kinds of visitors to Waterford – Ireland’s oldest city.

Below, you’ll find all the major attractions in Waterford. Feel free to choose the ones that pique your interest.

1. Gardens

If you want to feel tranquil and spend a couple of quiet hours amidst plants and flowers, choose between Mount Congreave or Lafcadio Hearn japanese gardens.

Lafcadio Hearn – €6 pp

These authentic Japanese gardens reflect the life and extensive wanderings of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo), who grew up in Ireland, and whose life journey embraced several parts of the world.

Follow Lafcadio Hearn’s life journey, first through the Victorian Garden, then to the American and Greek gardens, until you eventually arrive in the Japanese gardens which feature many Japanese plants and Japanese architectural features. The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens are a haven of beauty and tranquility for all who visit. Children are introduced to these magical gardens through a special children’s discovery trail, secret pathways, woodlands and Lafcadio Hearn’s fairytales and folklore.


Mount Congreave – €7 pp

It consists of over seventy acres of intensively planted woodland and it’s home to thousands of trees, shrubs, and flowers. We spent a good two hours walking around the place. The silence, colours, and the smell of flowers make this a spectacular garden.

2. Waterford Greenway

Are you a biking enthusiast? Don’t bother to look further than the Waterford greenway. This marvel is a route on a former railway track in County Waterford, Ireland, used for cycling and hiking. There are lots of bike hire options to choose from. Find a complete guide to the greenway here.

The picturesque Waterford Greenway hugs the coastline as it follows old railway lines from lively Waterford City, through the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains and onto the pretty harbour town of Dungarvan. You can walk part of the way, cycle in both directions or cycle one way and get the bus back to Waterford from Dungarvan. With plenty of pit-stops and trailside attractions along the way, exploring the 46km route really is a perfect short break.


3. Oh, the beaches!

How can you ever not mention a beach in Ireland? Summer, ice cream, waters – that’s nothing but heaven! Since Tramore is the most popular of all beaches, it’s always crowded. If you’re looking for something off-beat, here’s a list of all the beautiful beaches in Waterford.

4. Scenic drive

Choose to enjoy Waterford from the comforts of your car? Don’t worry. Explore the copper coast geo-park – a 40 km stretch between Waterford and Dungarvan. Find the complete guide here.

5. To the adventure seekers

If you’re outdoorsy like me, here are some places that you would love to check out –

  1. Dunmore East – a popular fishing village.
  2. Hike at the Comeragh mountains. Full guide here.
  3. The Coumshingaun lake walk

6. House of Waterford crystal – € 14.40 pp

Do you appreciate the art of craftsmanship? Just go on the guided factory tours of the high-end crystal makers with a large store selling their products. When you learn how the crystals are made, you begin to appreciate them more.

7. The ultimate VR Viking experience

Now, this is really unique. Said to be The World’s First Viking Virtual Reality 3D Adventure, this tour brings you up close and personal with the Viking warlords who founded Waterford.

An exciting and dynamic 3D Virtual Reality experience lasting 20 minutes, housed in a replica Viking house, makes for one of the most outstanding attractions in Ireland’s Ancient East. The visitor is met by a Viking comb-maker, regaled with stories about life in Viking Waterford and is invited to don a special magical helmet (3D Oculus Rift headsets)that will transport them back 1100 years and they come face to face with the great heroic and legendary Viking leader Reginald, founder of the city of Waterford and King of Waterford and York. The experience is available in English, French and German.”


It doesn’t matter if you visit Waterford with your friends, as a couple or with your children – there are lots of varieties to indulge in. Happy travelling!

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