Ireland is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations for a reason. And while the Emerald Isle is a relatively easy place to visit, there are still a few tips for traveling to Ireland that you should know in order to make the most of your visit to this enchanted land.
So be sure to read through these quick things to know before traveling to Ireland, because hopefully these tips for visiting Ireland will help you to make the most out of your Irish trip!
And another thing to know about traveling to Ireland is that you should definitely be sure to also check out my guide on what to see in Ireland in 7 days. Whether you’re visiting Ireland for a week, or plan to stay on the island for longer, this guide is packed with even more tips on what to see and what to do in Ireland.
Ireland is famous for its damp but unpredictable climate. It can be bright and sunny one minute, and windy and rainy the next. So be sure to wear layers and to always keep a raincoat or an umbrella nearby. Most importantly, keep a good attitude through it all: the shifting weather is all part of the fun of traveling to Ireland, and all the rain is why Ireland is so green and lush!
Look, Dublin is a popular tourist city for a reason. It’s got an incredible pub culture, charming architecture, and enough to keep you busy for a few days. Dublin is so charming, in fact, that it can be tempting to spend your entire trip there.
But even most Dubliners will privately admit, if asked for tips for traveling to Ireland, that the best parts of Ireland are outside of the city. And while the island is small and it is perfectly possible to sample Ireland’s green landscapes on day trips from Dublin, to really immerse yourself in Ireland you should plan to stay in any one of Ireland’s other awesome cities, towns, villages, or hamlets. Plus, Dublin is more expensive than the rest of the country, so if you are trying to travel cheaply in Europe, you’ll find better deals in the countryside. If you need some inspiration, check out our guide on what to see in Ireland in 7 days.
You won’t be in Ireland long before you hear the word “craic” bandied about somewhere. So what does it mean exactly? Well, I’ve heard a number of different translations depending on context, but it usually means something like “good times,” “party,” or “entertainment,” though it can also mean “gossip” or “chatter.” See here for a primer on the various levels of craic – it’s definitely one of the things you should know before traveling to Ireland!
In any event, craic epitomizes Ireland’s sociable culture. So saddle up on that pub stool, put away your smartphone, and prepare to actually — you know — talk to the people around you. You never know what kind of craic you might get into!
I don’t think there is a brand that is more intertwined with a single culture than Guinness is with Ireland. And Guinness, for all its mass-marketing, is still definitely something you’ll want to partake in while in Ireland. But did you know that there is another stout that rivals Guinness in Ireland?
Murphy’s Irish Stout maintains a loyal following throughout much of the country, and especially in its hometown of Cork. You can find it next to the Guinness in most Irish pubs and you’ll find that it has its own unique dark flavor. People tend to have a strong preference between the two stouts, so try both early on and be prepared to choose a side in the great Irish stout war!
Sure, it’s entirely possible to travel around Ireland by bus and train. In fact, the trains are really nice and, even where they don’t run, the buses are pretty plentiful. Plus, there are plenty of tour companies willing to shuttle you around to the country’s many sites. So, you definitely don’t need a car and not everyone would include it on a list of tips for traveling to Ireland.
But the best parts of your trip to Ireland are probably going to be things like finding your new favorite pub in some random country village or stumbling upon an under-touristed castle set against green rolling hills. These sort of spontaneous adventures are much easier to have if you have your own wheels. Plus, Ireland’s roads are of good quality and are incredibly scenic. There is nothing quite as exciting as driving through Ireland’s green countryside!
Oh, and one last critical tip for traveling to Ireland with a car: remember they drive on the left!
Let me know your best tips for traveling to Ireland in the comments. And be sure to let me know if you have any questions about visiting Ireland, things to know when traveling to Ireland, or just general tips for traveling to Ireland. It’s an incredible, gorgeous country, and I hope you have as much fun there as I did.
Lastly, before you go to Ireland, my final tip is to be sure to read my Guide to Ireland in 7 Days on a Budget! It’s packed with detailed itineraries, plus loads of more things to know about traveling to Ireland.
Nate Hake has traveled to 65+ countries across six continents around the world and blogs about his travels at TravelLemming.com. He is from Denver, Colorado, and recently concluded a six month stint living in Mexico.