2. Blarney Castle
County Cork, Republic of Ireland, est 1446
The biggest draw here, obviously, is the allure of kissing the Blarney Stone. There are many different legends as to how the stone made its way to the castle, like the one about the goddess Clíodhna, queen of the banshees, advising the builder of the castle, Cormac Laidir McCarthey, to kiss the stone on his way to court for the gift of eloquence, after which he subsequently incorporated it into the battlements for on-demand good luck. No matter what the legend, everyone’s in agreement that kissing the stone is said to confer Morgan Freeman levels of eloquence.
What It’s like today: You can visit the grounds and the castle and kiss the Blarney Stone yourself, if you’re okay with hanging upside down over a 10-story drop to lay one on the rock. If that sounds horrifying to you and you can afford to skip the gift of smooth-talk, check out the castle’s extensive grounds, which include a garden of toxic plants like opium, wolfsbane, mandrake, and ricin, to name a few. These plants were used for medicinal purposes in the Middle Ages, a time when "it will either kill you or cure you" was a risk worth taking.