Hurling at Croke Park has been listed among 10 of the world’s ultimate sporting destinations by travel bible Lonely Planet.
Watching the fast-paced sport in the capital’s GAA grounds is name-checked alongside catching a New York Knicks Garden game in Madison Square or getting tickets to see the Boston Red Sox at their home grounds in Fenway Park.
Sumo wrestling in Tokyo and watching a game of football at Diego Maradona’s home stadium in Buenos Aires are also included in the list which catalogues the most hallowed grounds on the planet.
But Ireland is the only European country to be listed among 10 sporting destinations around the globe where you should watch sport like a local.
Lonely Planet’s website, which has 11 million visitors every month, said hurling at the GAA headquarters in Croke Park is “steeped in Irish tradition”.
“Hurling — a fast-moving, physically demanding game — is best watched in the national stadium, with the semi-finals and final of the All-Ireland hurling championships played here in August and September.
“Make sure you fit in by learning the local terminology: hurley for the wooden stick the players use to hit the sliotar, the baseball-like ball which is thwacked towards the opponents’ goal,” it explained.
The prestigious travel site also advised tourists to watch the game with a couple of pints of Guinness but cautioned them not to turn up in a football or rugby top.
National Geographic have previously dubbed the spectacle of an All-Ireland final as the experience of a lifetime, while CNN famously listed an All-Ireland hurling final in second place in its “Ten Sporting Events You Have To See Live” after the Olympics Games and ahead of the FIFA World Cup and the European Football Championships.
Lonely Planet’s list of Where and How To Watch Sport Like A Local ranked La Bombonera, home of Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, as the world’s best match day experience.
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