Ireland Travel Guide: Do's & Don'ts

Ireland Travel Guide: Do's & Don'ts

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In our previous post, we've shown you what a marvelous destination Ireland can be, but planning a vacation is never easy. There are way too many questions to keep in mind.

Do you need a visa? What clothes should you pack? Will your credit card work overseas? Of course, it's always better to let an experienced travel agent who knows about all possible pitfalls to take care of your trip. But as we all know, forewarned is forearmed, so in this post, we gathered some useful information that might help you to set off on your Ireland getaway.

Best Time to Go to Ireland

Of course, there is no such thing as the perfect time to visit this scenic country but here are some suggestions which might help you to plan your Irish itinerary. Undoubtedly, one of the most popular months among travelers is March as this is when the most famous of all Ireland holidays, St. Patrick's Day, is held. The festival is a huge 5-day event with concerts and parades all over the country when everyone wears shamrocks and green clothes in honor of Irish culture (and no, you don't have to be Irish to join the celebration).

What is more, Christmas is the biggest celebration of the year with the Christmas Early Morning Swim being among its highlights. August is also one of the months tourists favor due to great weather conditions, fun festivals such as the Pluck Fair (during which a goat is crowned as a king) or the unique Redhead Convention (where you can take part in competitions like "the most freckles per square inch" or "best red eyebrows").

Dublin street corner

Nevertheless, unless attending the festive events in Ireland during the mentioned above months isn't your main aim, we advise thinking about planning your Ireland travel somewhere from April to June as well as in September and October. Why? This way you'll avoid tourist crowds, long queues, inflated prices, overbooked hotels, and still will be able to enjoy the nice weather, perfect to marvel at what Ireland has to offer. Also you can check out post about 5 best places to visit in Ireland.

What's Ireland Weather Like?

Ireland's year-round weather is relatively mild, late fall and winter are the coldest and the wettest seasons with the average temperature around 5-7°C (41-44.5°F). Early summer and fall are among the best seasons to consider for your getaway.

Irish weather

Ireland's weather in May and September works great for exploring beautiful Ireland and promises the average temperature between 13-15°C (55.5-59°F).

Although Ireland's June weather can brag the temperature of 16-20°C (61-68°F), the tourist crowds and inflated prices might overshadow your impressions of the trip.

Going to Ireland: Who Needs a Visa?

The passport holders of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand as well those of most European countries are not obliged to have an Ireland visa and are allowed to enter the country visa-free for travel purposes.

However, it's best to check the official website of the Irish consulate regarding the requirements for your specific country prior to the trip. The common rule to be followed is that your passport must be valid for at least six more months after your planned date of departure from Ireland. Also, make sure to have valid medical insurance, covering the full time of your stay, plus you can take your ID and/or driver's license just in case.

What to Pack for Ireland Trips?

First of all, remember that the Irish weather is unpredictable and often windy, it's always good to have some extra layers that can be easily put on and taken off. It doesn't matter when you are planning to visit the beautiful island, an umbrella and a set of warm sweaters are the first things you should pack. Also, put a pair of comfortable walking shoes in your suitcase as a "must".

Luggage for Ireland travel

To make sure that you can always stay in touch with your loved ones, keep in mind that standard Ireland power plugs have three rectangular blades in a triangular pattern and provide a voltage of 230 V, so you might need a European plug adapter to charge your devices. Some travelers also take portable chargers and power banks with them for additional convenience.

Of course, a wallet with your ID, travel documents (such as insurance and a passport and visa), and medication (in case you need them) go without saying.

What's Ireland's Currency?

Officially, the Euro is the Ireland money which has been in use since 2002. ATMs accept cards from many countries but it's best to check with your bank before the trip.

Irish currency

Though debit/credit cards are widely accepted on the island, some small hotels and shops may only accept cash. You can convert your cheques or exchange money of your country in any bank during your Ireland travel.

Useful Ireland Language Tips

In the late 18th-century, English displaced Irish and became the most commonly used language in Ireland, so if you are an English speaker, you are unlikely to have any communication problems during your trip.

Talkin in Ireland

But if you want to get a bit more native, here are some common phrases you might surprise your Irish friends with:

• Hello - dia dhuit (pronounced Dee-a Gwit)
• Goodbye - slán (pronounced Slawn in Leinster Irish or Slen in Ulster Irish)
• Thank you - go raibh maith agat (pronounced Go riv mah agut)

Did you know?
Irish doesn't have words meaning "yes" and "no". The Irish speakers express agreement and disagreement by repeating the verb in its affirmative or negative form. So, if you ask an Irish speaker "Do you speak Irish?", he/she won't simply answer "yes" or "no", the answer will be the Irish equivalent of either "I do" or "I don't".

Ireland Must-tastes

Apart from Guinness and Jameson, associated with the Irish must-tastes the most, Irish cuisine is very diverse, and anyone can find something to taste. An Irish stew, for example, a one-pot meal made out of the meat of choice and some vegetables, cooked on a slow fire until the meat is so tender it's basically falling apart. Or maybe you'd fancy a boxty, crusty potato pancakes served with fresh greens and some sour cream.

Irish must-tastes

In the mood for something sweet? What about a barmbrack, an Irish cake made with raisins, fruits, and some spices, usually soaked in tea and whiskey to make it even more delicious. And who hasn't heard of Irish coffee? In case you haven't, it's a mix of black coffee, high-quality whiskey, some sugar with cream on top.

Best Souvenirs From Ireland

Of course, bringing home something, reminding you about the wonderful time you had on vacation, is a "must" for any journey.

Apart from getting the common fridge magnets and lucky charms when going home from your Ireland vacation, you might want to save some space in your suitcase for a bar of traditional Irish chocolate. Due to the mild climate and the abundance of grass, Irish cow's milk is super creamy, giving the chocolate such a saturated taste.

Irish souvenir

A traditional Claddagh Ring (like on the picture) is another unique Irish souvenir, it represents love, loyalty, and friendship. Plus, traditional Irish pottery or wool knits are a good idea as well.

Interesting Facts About Ireland

For last, we've prepared a small Irish Q&A, answering some of the most commonly asked questions about this enchanting island.

What is Ireland known for?

The things associated with Ireland the most are the castles, Guinness, whiskey, St. Patrick's Day, and Irish Dancing.

What are Ireland's symbols?

Apart from the world-famous shamrock, the list of Ireland's symbols includes the Irish harp, the Claddagh Ring, and the Celtic Cross.

What's Ireland's national animal?

The Irish national animal is a tricky subject. Originally, the Irish Elk was considered the national animal of Ireland. But since this unique mammal became extinct, there are quite a few candidates for this vacant spot. Some citizens treat the Irish Hare as the next national animal, some believe that the Red Deer is a more suitable candidate, and some think that the best animal for the job is the Irish Wolfhound.

What's Ireland's national flower?

Not surprisingly, the shamrock is Ireland's national flower.

What's Ireland's flag?

It's a vertical tricolor flag of green, white and orange.

What's Ireland's population?

According to the 2019 UN projections, Ireland's population is just over 5 million people.

We hope that this little Irish travel guide will help you to plan the Irish vacation of your dreams. If all of it seems a little bit overwhelming or you still have some questions left, don't hesitate to contact our travel specialists, they will be happy to lend you a hand.