A quick heads up: this post may contain a few affiliate links. This just means that (at no additional cost to you) when you click them, I will be able to continue to create more content to help you travel naturally! For more info about it, see my Affiliate Disclaimer. Thanks for your support!
Ah, Ireland. There is so much to say about this magnificent place, but I will simplify it by saying this: The culture, the people, the music, the beer, the views, the adventure, the history and the overall feeling of Ireland very quickly stole a piece of my heart, but I am thrilled to have left it. I have never been anywhere with such a fun evening atmosphere and glowing, green countryside. I highly recommend a trip to Ireland to everyone! With this complete Ireland guide, you will be ready to hop on a flight in no time.
Note: This article covers southern Ireland. I have yet to visit the Northern part of the beautiful country, but when I do, you will be the first to know about it. Until then, if you get the chance to visit Northern Ireland, do your research & let me know how your trip goes!
Ireland Guide Overview:
Language: English & Irish Everyone you encounter will speak English, but some road signs may be in the Irish language.
Conversion rate: 1USD=0.93 Euros (as of May 2022)
Tipping: A 10%-15% tip is common to leave in restaurants and guided services.
Outlets: 230V type G socket. If you are coming from the USA, you will need both a converter and adapter.
People: Irish people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. Most will offer to help show you the way, or invite you into their local pub.
Safety: I felt very safe in this country! Like everywhere, you should always be aware of your surroundings, but we didn’t have any moments where we felt uncomfortable.
Water: The tap water is safe to drink.
Emergency #: 112
Seasons of Ireland
Welllllll, it’s Ireland so every season is rainy season. ? Just kidding…kind of.
The seasons of Ireland are similar to those of North America. More specifically, the weather is very similar to that of the Pacific Northwest, USA and BC, Canada. A few months of sun with most of the year overcast or drizzly rain. This leads to a TON of beautiful green landscape to enjoy, just remember to pack a good quality rain jacket. (I recommend Fjalraven, Colombia, or The North Face)
Spring-February, March, April
Summer-May, June, July
Autumn-August, September, October
Winter-November, December, January
My recommended time to visit: I was there in early June. This is just before the height of the tourist season, so it wasn’t too crowded, but we had a few days of rain and overcast weather. If you don’t mind the potential for a little drizzle, this is probably the best time to be there. If you prefer more sunshine and are okay with full tour busses, try mid-July. Keep in mind that there is no real guarantee that every day will be sunny anytime you visit Ireland.
Things to do:
Go into a local pub. If it looks like no one is inside-there will always be a bartender to talk to, if it looks “too full,” you will get an unforgettable, live music experience.
Cliffs of Moher: They are as astounding as people say. Take a few deep breaths while you are there, overlooking the vast ocean and embrace the smallness. You will pay a little more for a tour than you would if driving on your own, but it’s worth it! The guides are very knowledgeable and educate you along the entire drive.
Irish Whiskey Museum– (Guiness factory and Jameson distillery are great too, but this museum is a little less known, so it’s less busy, smaller and more local. For less than 30Euros, your tour will include an interactive history of Irish Whiskey, a tasting flight, and a souvenir glass.
See a castle.The history of Ireland is beautiful and the Castles reflect that. You have to visit at least one while you are in the country, and in my opinion, it’s worth it to spend a few afternoons of your trip exploring multiple.
Get outside of the city. Even though Dublin is beautiful and quaint for an international city, the countryside is breathtaking and there are so many adorable towns to explore. Find yourself a bed & breakfast & spend some time away from the crowds.
Food: Grocery shopping & cooking for yourself is the cheapest option here. If you are traveling with someone, sharing meals is a great way to keep the budget low.
Accomodation: Couchsurfing is free, hostels run about 27 USD per night, per person.
Transportation: Walking is free and a great way to see the town you are in!
Activities: Parks are free, a pint of Guinness is around 6 Euros, and entrance fees to Cathedrals runs about 7 Euros. Castles are around 10.
Food: A plate at most family restaurants is between 10 & 18 Euros.
Accomodation: Airbnbs run 80+ USD per night. Bed & Breakfasts are everywhere & vary greatly in price.
Transportation: Cross-country busses are reliable and start around 12 Euros per ride. Uber is available, prices vary depending on the ride.
Activities: Day trips like Cliffs of Moher cost around 45 Euros, Entrance fees to touristic factories, like Guinness & Jameson are around 25 Euros per person.
Food: Fine dining restaurants are few and far between, but typically have plates starting around 25 Euros.
Accomodation: Hotel chains can be found in Dublin starting around 150 Euros per night.
Transportation: Renting a car can start at about $70usd perday. But can be the best option if you are touring much of the country.
Activities: Pre packaged tours can run in the thousands, but most individual tours aren’t too high priced.
1 There is a Blue Bus that runs to & from the airport into downtown Dublin for 8 Euros one-way or 10 Euros round trip.
2 Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a local. Irish people are very friendly and strangers quickly and easily become friends here!
3 Pack walking shoes. Towns and cities in Ireland are small and most are easily walkable. This will save you money and is a great way to experience the new place.
4 Try a Guinness! Even if you’re not a beer drinker, ya know, when in Rome….or Dublin. They are lighter and smoother than the same product outside of Ireland & you will get a real taste of the culture.
All this sound like too much planning?
Rather than planning it all out yourself, leave it to the experts & kick back and relax during a 12 day escourted tour of The Emerald Ireland! Transportation, accommodation, some meals, tour guides and more included. Click the button below for more info!