Bunratty Castle, Shannon
Hmmm... so what does this title mean? Well, in my humble opinion, this should not be considered at "Tourist Trap". But since it is already on the list, I want to add my thoughts. To me, a "Tourist Trap" is something where you feel you did not get equitable value for the money you spend. Quite the contrary, I felt the visit to Bunratty was enjoyable and reasonably priced. Please visit my "Things to do" page for more detail.
Unique Suggestions: Enjoy it for what it is! I'm no historian so I have no idea how authentic Bunratty is, nor frankly do I care! It is very convenient (almost on top of N18 near Shannon airport), reasonably priced, fun to explore, self-paced (we did not join a tour), includes a "village" of interesting (although somewhat similar) buildings, and a delightful tea shop for a bit of a rest after climbing the castle steps and walking the village. I was pleasantly surprised at how many rooms were accessible and how unobtrusive the staff were.
I really wasn't anxious to tour Bunratty - it seemed too pre-packaged and touristy...but it was a really great experience. The castle is a re-creation of medieval times, and the Folk Park represents more modern times - the last couple centuries! It was well worth exploring!