Guinness Storehouse named Ireland's most popular tourist attraction

The home of the black stuff drew huge crowds in 2015...

Guinness Storehouse named Ireland's most popular tourist attraction

The Guinness Storehouse gates in the St James's Gate in Dublin | Image: Julien Behal / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Guinness Storehouse was Ireland's busiest tourist attraction last year, with almost 1.5 million visitors taking in the brewery experience at St James's Gate, Dublin 8.

This represented an increase of 18% – close to 230,000 people – over 2014.

It topped the fee-paying list from Fáilte Ireland, fending off competition from the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in Shannon, which had 1.25 million visitors.

Dublin Zoo, the National Aquatic Centre, the Book of Kells, Tayto Park, Kylemore Abbey & Garden, St Patrick's Cathedral, Fota Wildlife Park and Doneraile Wildlife Park completed the top 10 of attractions that charge a fee.

When it came to free tourist spots, the National Gallery of Ireland was named most popular. The art collection on Dublin's Merrion Square welcomed 718,000 visitors last year, enjoying a substantial 21% boost.

The National Botanic Gardens and Irish Museum of Modern Art were two other extremely popular destinations that don't cost a cent for the year.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan said:

"The wealth of the variety of our visitor attractions, whether free or fee-paying, plays a significant part in adding to the positive experiences enjoyed by tourists when in Ireland."

Fáilte Ireland’s director of business development Paul Keeley said:

“We would expect to see similar rises across many attractions this year also as we enjoy another year of growth. Indeed, the top performing attraction – the Guinness Storehouse – welcomed 10,000 visitors on March 18th of this year which was a one day record for the attraction.”

The Storehouse was named Europe's leading tourist attraction last September.

It beat competition from the likes of the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum and Buckingham Palace at the World Travel Awards.