When you think of Ireland, you’re probably picturing rain, green rolling hills, leprechauns, and pubs on every corner. While all of these things exist (except maybe the leprechauns, but who knows?), Ireland is much more than the stereotypes that many people associate with it.
Ireland Travel Guide
Ireland, despite its small size and location in Western Europe, has a diverse landscape and terrain, as well as a rich cultural heritage.
The Atlantic Ocean has carved out dramatic coastlines, leaving endless unspoiled beaches and rocky peninsulas. Meanwhile, the inland offers rolling green pastures, peat bogs, and quiet lakes. All over the country, you’ll find forts, megalithic tombs, castles, and stone villages.
All of these bear witness to Ireland’s long history, diverse culture, and rich tradition. Pubs and traditional music add to the experience, and many visitors say it’s also the Irish people’s friendliness that makes them want to return.
What Makes Ireland a Great Place to Visit?
Ireland, also known as the Emerald Isle due to its lush green landscape, has attracted visitors for centuries.
With its friendly people, rugged coastlines, and troubled but fascinating history, this tiny island has something for everyone.
Here are some of the reasons why so many people want to go to Ireland or have it on their bucket list.
- Ireland has many beautiful landscapes to explore and amazing places to see.
- Ireland offers many opportunities for outdoor adventures.- In Ireland, you can rent a castle (without breaking the bank)
- Ireland has a turbulent yet fascinating history.
- Some of the best road trips and most scenic drives in the world are in Ireland.
- Some of the oldest pubs in the world can be found in Ireland.
Know Before You Go
It’s understandable why Ireland is on so many people’s bucket lists. The country has some of the world’s most beautiful natural scenery, friendly people, and charming towns and villages.
However, there are a few things you should know before visiting the Emerald Isle if you are planning a trip there. Before you travel to Ireland, it’s best to brush up on your knowledge about the country.
- Interesting Facts About Ireland
- What Is the Difference Between Belfast (Northern Ireland) and Dublin (Ireland)?
- Irish Stereotypes
- Read Books About Ireland
- Watch Movies Set in Ireland
- Learn Some Irish Jokes
Some Essential Details to Take Note Of
English and Irish are the official languages.
It is uncommon to hear Irish spoken outside of Gaeltacht areas on Ireland’s west coast, where it is spoken. You will see signs in both English and Irish as you travel, though. In Northern Ireland, English is also spoken.
Learn a few words in Irish Gaelic:
The Euro is the Irish currency (EUR). $1.14USD 1.14qual to 1 EUR. The Pound is the currency in Northern Ireland. One US dollar is worth 0.79 pounds in the pound exchange rate.
Card machines and ATMs
Credit cards are widely accepted in Ireland. Euros are useful for small purchases, tips, and dealing with small businesses. In Ireland, finding an ATM is pretty easy. They are referred to as “Cashpoints” and can be found on the main streets of any town or city.
Power Plugs and Standard Voltage
The standard voltage in Ireland is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Power plugs and sockets are type G. For hair dryers and other hot tools, investing in a universal adapter with surge protection and using a converter is recommended.
Millions of tourists visit Ireland each year, with few reports of crime and violence. Overall, the crime rate is low, so you won’t have to be concerned if you go. Take the usual precautions and you’ll be fine.
Organizing Your Trip To Ireland
So you’ve decided it’s time to travel to Ireland, which means you’re probably eager to get started planning your trip!
Ireland is a breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating country with something spectacular to see no matter where you go.
This Ireland travel guide aims to make your trip as stress-free as possible, so you can concentrate entirely on the seemingly endless green landscapes.
Keep the following in mind when planning your trip to Ireland:
- Know the requirements for your visa.
- Take a look at the travel restrictions.
- Create a detailed itinerary of your trip to Ireland. Check out this sample itinerary for a weeklong visit to Ireland.
- Make a final decision on your budget for your trip to Ireland.
- Look for the best airfare and hotel room deals.
- Make a packing list.
- Invest in travel insurance.
- Read Ireland travel tips.
Best Time To Visit
Ireland is a country that can be enjoyed year-round. There are numerous fantastic activities and sights to see throughout the year. Since your visit may be dictated by your interests or available time, we’ve prepared this handy guide for you.
The best time to visit Ireland in terms of weather and crowds is between March and May, and September to November. These months are not as crowded as summer and not as cold as winter.
Having said that, Ireland has a mild, temperate climate, and you can visit any time of year, though it can be rainy at times. In most cases, weather changes are not drastic.
Summer (June, July, and August) is the hottest season in Ireland. This is also the time when the landscapes are most vibrant and the days are the longest. It is, however, crowded, and travel costs are high.
Although some sites close in late October and temperatures drop, it remains above freezing throughout the winter. This is a wonderful time to visit Ireland because it is at its most peaceful.
Here’s our monthly Ireland travel guide to help you plan your trip to the Emerald Isle. For each month you’ll learn about the weather, the best things to do, and some helpful tips.
- Ireland in January
- Ireland in February
- Ireland in March
- Ireland in April
- Ireland in May
- Ireland in June
- Ireland in July
- Ireland in August
- Ireland in September
- Ireland in October
- Ireland in November
- Ireland in December
National Holidays in Ireland
There are many interesting festivals and holidays in Ireland that one must experience.
Dublin is the main point of arrival in the Republic of Ireland, Belfast is the main point of arrival in Northern Ireland, and Shannon, near Limerick city in County Clare, is the major airport providing direct access to the west coast. No matter where you are in the UK, Europe, Asia, or the rest of the world, there is a way to get to Ireland.
Have you started making plans for your trip to Ireland? Here’s how to get to the lovely Emerald Isle in a jiffy.
- By bus from the UK – the main bus services to Ireland are operated by National Express and Bus Éireann under the brand name Eurolines, crossing the Irish Sea via Stranraer, Holyhead, and Pembroke.
- By ferry from the UK – Ireland is accessible via many ferry routes. High-speed catamarans serve some of these routes (which can also transport cars). One of the largest operators is Stena Line.
- By train from the UK – Travelers from the United Kingdom usually take one of three routes across the Irish Sea: Stranraer to Belfast, Holyhead to Dublin/Dn Laoghaire, or Fishguard to Rosslare. Travel times are generally shorter than by coach: for example, London to Dublin takes about eight hours, while Glasgow to Belfast takes only four and a half hours.
- From the United Kingdom and Europe, by plane – There are dozens of routes to choose from, and new destinations are added frequently (and unsuccessful routes sometimes being phased out). Since there is so much competition, prices can be ridiculously low, especially if you book online. The key is to make a reservation as soon as possible.
- From the United States and Canada, by plane – Ireland is easily accessible from the United States, with nonstop flights available from several American airlines: Delta flies nonstop from Atlanta and New York (JFK) to Dublin (summer only); American flies nonstop from Chicago to Dublin; Continental flies nonstop from Newark to Belfast, Dublin, and Shannon; and US Airways flies nonstop from Philadelphia to Dublin. The Republic’s national airline, Aer Lingus, operates the most routes.
- From Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the globe, by plane – Flights from these areas typically pass through London or another European or Gulf city with nonstop flights to Ireland, such as Frankfurt or Abu Dhabi.
Learn more about the major airports in Ireland
Flying to Ireland soon? Here are guides to getting from Dublin or Belfast airports to their respective city centers.
- Dublin Airport to City Center
- Shannon Airport to Major Cities in Ireland
- Belfast Airport to City Center
Getting Around In Ireland
You won’t need a car if you stay in the capital cities of Dublin and Belfast. Both cities are small enough to walk around and have excellent public transportation systems.
Although private coach buses connect the major towns, renting a car and driving is a good idea if you want to see rural Ireland or have more flexibility in your schedule.
If you want to take a road trip around Ireland, keep in mind that the country drives on the left, and automatic cars are uncommon, so plan ahead of time.
The following guides will help you how to get around Ireland’s cities, covering everything from navigating the largest metro areas to traveling from one city to another.
Places To Visit In Ireland
Some may believe that on such a small island, there isn’t much to see or do. Those who do go to Ireland, on the other hand, will find a plethora of hidden gems – from stunning sceneries to historic places.
You might even meet some animals that are native to Ireland! Whether you’re a nature lover or an adrenaline junkie, a history buff, a literature buff, or a fan of Irish bands, there’s something for you here.
To show what Ireland has to offer, the following locations have been divided into three categories.
Regardless of your interests, you can rest assured that these are the best places to visit in Ireland. You can’t go wrong with any of them if all you want to do is have a good time!
- Ireland Counties
- Best Towns and Cities in Ireland
- Dublin, the Capital City
- Dublin Itinerary
- Gardens and Parks in Dublin
Natural Wonders of Ireland
- National Parks in Ireland
- Lakes in Ireland
- Beaches in Ireland
- Waterfalls in Ireland
- Best Places to see the Northern Lights in Ireland
Day Trips in Ireland
- Day Trips from Dublin
- Day Trips from Belfast
- Day Trips from Galway
- Day Trips from Cork
- Day Trips from Killarney
- Day Trips from Limerick
Best Attractions in Ireland
Northern Ireland Attractions
There are many places to visit in Northern Ireland, below are some of the best places to visit.
Things To Do In Ireland
From its rich Celtic culture to the breathtaking beauty of its diverse landscapes, Ireland is a travel destination that lives up to its almost mythic reputation.
The Emerald Isle is truly green, the scenery is breathtaking, and the people are warm and friendly. Despite its small size, crowded cities, and sprawling suburbs, Ireland has stretches of roads and trails where visitors can feel as if they have the entire island to themselves.
Those seeking a more social travel experience need only enter a local pub to feel at ease. Ireland enchants every visitor, whether they stay in an ancient castle, cycle along a coastal headland, or visit a world-class museum to see Celtic artifacts.
The island of Ireland is divided into two parts: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. This guide on the best things to do in Ireland is a comprehensive list that includes both Irelands.
Road Trips in Ireland
Hiking in Ireland
Visiting Castles in Ireland
- Best Castles in Ireland
- Best Castles in Galway
- Best Castles in Dublin
- Best Castles in Northern Ireland
- Haunted Castles in Ireland
Museums in Ireland
Ireland Bucket List
What To See and Do in Each County
Planning to explore the rest of Ireland after spending time in Dublin? Here’s what to expect when it comes to attractions and destinations in other counties in Ireland.
- Things To Do In Antrim
- Things To Do In Clare
- Things To Do In Cork
- Things To Do In Donegal
- Things To Do In Down
- Things To Do In Dublin
- Things To Do In Galway
- Things To Do In Kerry
- Things To Do In Kilkenny
- Things To Do In Laois
- Things To Do In Limerick
- Things To Do In Louth
- Things To Do In Mayo
- Things To Do In Meath
- Things To Do In Shannon
- Things To Do In Sligo
- Things To Do In Tipperary
- Things To Do In Westmeath
- Things To Do In Wicklow
Where To Stay
The majority of flights into and out of Ireland pass through Dublin, which is an excellent place to spend a few days. If you want to see the city on foot, stay in the city center.
You may be ready to explore the rest of Ireland after a couple of nights in Dublin. Many visitors travel south to Cork or Limerick, using these cities as a base for exploring the surrounding small towns and villages.
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is also a thriving city that serves as a gateway to the stunning Antrim coast. Alternatively, you could fly from Dublin to Galway and spend your days exploring the towns along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Whether you prefer the sea, the city, or the wilderness, or are looking for something for history buffs, romance seekers, families, or groups, our selection has something for you.
Where to Stay in Ireland
- Where To Stay In Athenry
- Where To Stay In Castlebar
- Where To Stay In Cobh
- Where To Stay In Cork City
- Where To Stay In Dingle
- Where To Stay In Doolin
- Where To Stay In Dublin
- Where To Stay In Galway
- Where To Stay In Howth
- Where To Stay In Killarney
- Where To Stay In Kinsale
- Where To Stay In Lahinch
- Where To Stay In Limerick City
- Where To Stay In Londonderry
- Where To Stay In Portlaoise
- Where To Stay In Shannon
- Where To Stay In Sligo
- Where To Stay In Tuam
- Where To Stay In Wexford
- Best Castle Hotels in Ireland
Glamping in Ireland
- Glamping in Cork
- Glamping in Donegal
- Glamping in Galway
- Glamping in Kerry
- Glamping in Wicklow
- Glamping in Northern Ireland
Eating in Ireland
Travelers do not typically visit Ireland because of its excellent cuisine. Just, like traditional British cuisine, Ireland does not have the same reputation for great food as France or Italy.
Traditional Irish cuisine, however, has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, thanks to a renewed interest in fresh, local ingredients.
There is a huge opportunity for locally grown produce as well as some of the best beef, pork, and lamb in the world, thanks to the verdant green hills and pastures.
There’s also some excellent seafood available, and it’s not just fish and chips. There’s also more to Irish cuisine than meat, potatoes, and cabbage.
So, what are the best Irish foods to try and where can you find them? Here are some helpful guides and suggestions for eating in Ireland.
Foods to Try in Ireland
- Affordable Restaurants In Dublin
- Best Restaurants In Belfast
- Best Restaurants In Cork
- Best Restaurants In Galway
Drinking in Ireland
Guinness and whiskey are well-known throughout the world, and Ireland has a well-deserved reputation as a place to enjoy a drink or ten. Every town and city has at least one, if not several, pubs, and visiting one or more of them is the best way to learn about the country and its people.
Are you planning on going on pub crawls or taking in the Irish nightlife while you’re in Ireland? Here are some pointers and suggestions to make this a more pleasurable experience.
Drinks To Try in Ireland
Best Bars and Pubs in Ireland
- Best Pubs In Dublin
- Temple Bar
- Best Pubs In Belfast
- Best Pubs In Dingle
- Best Pubs In Galway
- Best Pubs In Killarney
- Best Pubs In Kinsale
- Best Pubs In Kilkenny
- Drinking Age and Laws in Ireland
As you plan your visit to Ireland, here are more things to consider:
- Tipping in Ireland is at the discretion of the customer and is usually around 10% in restaurants and 10% for table service in pubs.
- Traveling in Ireland is generally safe, but be wary of pickpockets and car thefts, particularly in urban areas. The police are known as the Garda, and the number for emergency services is 999.
- As previously stated, always be prepared for a sudden change in weather—even in the summer, a raincoat and sweater will come in handy.