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The places Taylor Swift needs to visit while she’s in Ireland

From Tropical Popical to Karma Nightclub in Athlone, we have combed the country for the sights and experiences Swift should have on her Irish bucket list

Taylor Swift will bring her eras tour to Dublin in June. Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/Getty Images

What kind of itinerary do you compile for a woman who has seen everything? Taylor Swift has been travelling the world as a pop star for all her adult life (and has the private jet and carbon footprint to show for it). Her current Eras Tour has already taken her to North and South America, Asia and Australia.

This week the tour comes to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium for three sold-out shows, and it will include multiple tracks from her newly released double album The Tortured Poets Department.

We want to show her a good time and have combed the country for the sights and experiences she should visit to make the most of her return to Ireland. (And don’t worry, Swift’s already done the Guinness Storehouse. She partied there with Calvin Harris after her 2015 gigs at the 3Arena.)

Barack Obama Plaza, Co Tipperary
Barack Obama Plaza is a cross between a petrol station and a museum. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien

There aren’t many places that can boast being a cross between a petrol station and a museum, but that’s just where the wonders of Barack Obama Plaza start. Swift could travel from Dublin down the N7, past sights like the Red Cow Hotel and the Naas Ball, before sailing past the majestic Junction 14 Mayfield Services towards her final destination just outside Obama’s ancestral home of Moneygal. None of us should be happy unless Swift is leaving Ireland with a Barack Obama Plaza keyring and a photo with the cardboard cut-out of himself and Michelle. Okay, fine, she’s probably met the actual Obamas in person, but did she get to have a Supermacs at the same time? Doubt it. Also, nothing offers a slice of Irish daily life like a fancy petrol station. The GAA jerseys. The harried parents. The carvery bain maries. Glorious.

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Brady’s Pub, Dunboyne, Co Meath

Ireland’s own pop princess CMAT – aka Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson from Dunboyne – was recently honoured by her favourite pub when her picture was added to the wall. She had hoped to make it into the GAA trophy cabinet with her Choice Music Prize, but the wall is better than nothing. Swift could do worse than a visit to Dunboyne to experience a pint, a packet of Tayto and a proper session. They might put a picture of her on the wall beside CMAT, and she could probably fit in a visit to Newgrange while she’s at it.

Limerick city, Co Limerick
Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift would get a fine welcome in Limerick. Photograph: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

We’re all hoping Swift will bring her big Golden Retriever of a boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce, with her to Ireland. The pair would get a fine welcome in Limerick seeing as its twinned with Kansas City. They could visit the Treaty Stone, King John’s Castle or Donkey Fords. They could even learn some Limerick slang to take back to the American midwest. “Aboy the kiiid”, “gomie idiot” and “gowl” would surely go down well there.

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Purr Café, North Brunswick Street, Dublin

Swift is a renowned cat lover, with three pets at home in New York – Meredith Grey, Olivia Benson and Benjamin Button. She even took a role in the movie version of the musical Cats because she is such a feline fan and Meredith, Olivia and Benjamin have appeared in music videos and at awards shows. If she swings by Purr Café on North Brunswick Street (part of the Phibsboro Cat Rescue Centre) she can meet some kittens available for adoption and might even take on a fourth pet. What could she call it? Ted Crilly? Miley Byrne?

The National Reptile Zoo, Co Kilkenny

Being a cat person, Swift will obviously feel very at home in Kilkenny, but it’s not just feline friends she’s associated with. The last time Swift played in Ireland she brought her snake-themed Reputation tour to Croke Park, so a trip to the country’s only reptile-specific zoo would surely be up her ssstreet (sssorry). Imagine the footage of her cosying up to Kenny the scorpion or Harold the iguana going viral around the world.

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Tropical Popical, South William Street, Dublin
Dublin nail salon Tropical Popical, which gained global recognition thanks to Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan

Swift loves a themed nail. Until recently her Eras Tour nails were painted to represent each of her 10 albums and eras. However, the April release of her 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department, means she has now run out of fingers and has been changing things up, manicure-wise. She could visit Tropical Popical, Ireland’s most famous nail salon (thanks to Saoirse Ronan bigging it up on The Ellen Show) to top up her BIAB or get a fresh coat of green, glittery shellac. Might as well get the hooves done while she’s there. It is sandal season after all.

Magic Road, Comeragh Mountains, Co Waterford

With Folklore being the title of one of Swift’s albums/eras, it feels only right that she steeps herself in some of our tangible links to myth and legend. She might be inspired to write a whole new album after magically travelling backwards from the bottom of the hill to the top of this supernatural phenomenon near Waterford’s Mahon Falls. Nearby is a rag-adorned fairy tree should she wish to leave a token. Hopefully during her time in Ireland Swift won’t step through one of the 32,000 fairy forts, the last thing she needs is a curse on the remainder of the Eras Tour.

St Valentine’s relics, Aungier Street, Dublin

Swift has said that she considers herself a Christian, so popping in for a prayer while she’s in Dublin might be right up her street/aisle. She could also pay homage to her Lover album by visiting St Valentine’s remains and a vial tinged with his blood at Whitefriar Street Church on Aungier Street. Might as well pop over to St Michan’s on Church Street while she’s there, to see the infamous mummies in the vaults. And sure she could also swing by the “archaeology Lidl” on Aungier Street on the way and peer through the glass floor at some Viking Ruins.

The Butter Museum, Cork city

Truly more enthralling than the name suggests, The Butter Museum would be the perfect focal point of a trip to Cork for Swift. Sure aren’t Americans falling over each other to get to the Kerrygold in their supermarkets? While in the “real capital” Swift could also visit the childhood home of actor pal Alison Oliver, a real life Swiftie who got to meet her idol while filming Conversations with Friends with Swift’s now ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn. Speaking of celebrity friends, Swift is known for populating the VIP box at her shows with A-listers. Who can we expect at the Aviva? A few of the Bono clan? Cillian Murphy? Pal Barry Keoghan? Michael D, doing the TikTok dance to Down Bad?

Museum of Literature Ireland, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
MoLI Readers’ Garden
Museum of Literature Ireland Readers’ Garden, Dublin

If it’s tortured poets Swift is after, then she’s sure to find a few at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI), which is running an exhibition called Is This a Poem? until mid-July. MOLI also houses the first copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses. In fairness, “yes I said yes I will Yes” does sound like it could be the refrain of one of Swift’s bangers. While there, let’s make sure she’s gifted a copy of Soundings, the very cornerstone of Irish literature and Leaving Certificate terror.

Avondale Forest, Co Wicklow

Even though her six-year relationship with actor Joe Alwyn is now over, Wicklow will always hold a special place in Swift’s heart after the pair took a romantic holiday there in July 2021. She spent lots of time in Ireland when Alwyn was here filming Conversations with Friends. She even references Wicklow on the track Sweet Nothing on her 2022 album Midnights. Surely a go on the big slide at Beyond the Trees in Avondale will surpass anything else she’s ever experienced though? It’s Ireland’s highest slide! Swift also spent part of her childhood growing up on a Christmas tree farm, so she’ll feel right at home in The Garden of Ireland.

Hacienda Bar, Smithfield, Dublin

If any pop star can claim the title of heir to Taylor Swift’s crown, it might just be Olivia Rodrigo. She recently played two sold-out shows at the 3Arena and was photographed enjoying an after party at one of Dublin’s most curious bars, The Hacienda. Located beside the old Smithfield fruit markets, The Hacienda looks permanently closed and admittance can only be gained if Shay, the owner, answers the buzzer to let you in. Rodrigo posed for a photo with Shay, and surely there’s room on the wall for a portrait with Swift too. She’d be in good company with the likes of Kings of Leon, The Strokes and good pal Ed Sheeran.

Karma Nightclub, Athlone, Co Westmeath

Swift’s track Karma is the closing anthem at her Eras Tour shows (she changes the lyrics when boyfriend Travis Kelce is in the crowd). It’s such an important song to her that belting it out at the hallowed halls of Karma Nightclub in Athlone has to be on her bucket list. On top of that, she’ll be rubbing Kim Kardashian’s nose in it. The pair are long-time enemies. When Kardashian visited Ireland on her honeymoon in 2014, she went to the cinema in Portlaoise and Tullamore. Sorry Kim, and no offence to the Odeon in Portlaoise, but nothing beats the glamour of Karma Athlone.