Ireland Travel Tips

Nov 08

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

I travelled to Ireland several years ago and toured the whole emerald isle (Ireland and Northern Ireland). It is a VERY lovely island. I loved the beautiful countryside and most importantly, the people are the friendliest and funniest lot I have ever met. The men have the sexiest accent is another incentive for the single ladies to visit. Most of my pictures do not have filters; it is that gorgeous there plus I was lucky with weather. So here are my Ireland travel tips!

Ireland Travel Tips!

1. I usually do not advocate taking guided tours but the Irish island has very skinny roads. If you are not a great driver or want a more relaxing vacation, book a tour.  I took a two week tour of the island which of course made me nervous being on a tour bus driving on those roads. I just sat at the back and enjoyed the scenery out the window.

2. This will contradict my above tip but if you are able to rent a car and don’t mind driving the island, go for it. I did not want to do that. I was hesitant about driving in a foreign country (yes on the left side of the road) nor did I want to be stressed out with maps and routes. I rented a car in France for my trip last year and it wasn’t that bad. So buck up and do it. Next time I go to Ireland, I will rent a car.

3. Bring an umbrella plus a rain coat/boots. The weather can change rather quickly plus how do you think those beautiful green landscapes stay so green? Lots of rain. The rain usually doesn’t stick around long.

Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Castle, Ireland

4. I went in July and had almost perfect weather. It is also high season so the big travel sites have long lines. Another good reason for a tour: you get to skip lines. I would suggest going slightly off-season or off-peak. You will save money travelling in the off-season for almost everywhere!

5. Embrace the Guinness! Yes, have a pint for lunch. Maybe skip it at breakfast time but try the beer. If you make it to Dublin, visit the factory. It is a fun tour. Also if you can tour a distillery such as Bushmills near the Giant’s Causeway or Jameson in Dublin, that is fun as well. The best part is the tasting at the end of the tour. Mmmm!

6. Don’t ignore Northern Ireland. I was lucky enough to travel the entire island and it is a MUST!! Northern Ireland has the Giant’s Causeway, Queen’s University, Bushmills, Belfast and the northern coast is spectacular.

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

7. Overnights – You should stay at least two nights at each location. I say this for most trips in Europe. You may even want to pick a base and travel to and front that place for three or four days. One night is not enough as you’re packing up almost after arriving.

8. Stop at the Waterford Crystal factory for a tour. You get to see moulding, blowing, hand marking and cutting. It is amazing!

9. Enjoy the pub food – from Irish stews to bangers and mash to fish and chips, nothing beats the original!  Ooooh the homemade bread – heaven!!!

10. The music is the other highlight of Ireland. Go see live Irish music as much as you can. We would ask the hotel concierge each night on where is the best local music? We ended up in tiny taverns with locals playing beautiful Irish music.

11. Pick up the Heritage Card. It will save you lots of money since it covers many places throughout the country such as Dublin Castle, Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle, Glendalough etc..

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland – no filter at all

 So there you have it – a few of my Ireland travel tips! Has anyone else been to Ireland? What are your tips?

7 comments

  1. Hello fellow blogger!
    I’d like to mention a few additions:
    – I wouldn’t recommend the buses on the infamous skinny Irish roads. I got sick several times because of the sway of the high buses and the tight turns.
    – I highly recommend the Guinness if only BECAUSE it tastes completely different in Ireland than anywhere else. If you’ve had it outside Ireland, you haven’t really tasted it. And find some place that pulls Guinness regularly — their pipes will be clean and they’ll have a fresh keg on tap.
    – there are lots of festivals in Ireland, notably the Film and Oyster festivals in Galway and the music festival in Miltown Malbay in the summer. Ireland is also known for it’s horse-racing. I lost a few quid learning how to place a bet and pick a horse.
    – I found Irish food much more appealing than British food (except for the curries). Ireland has become known for its chefs and cuisine.
    – Hands down the best way to know Ireland is walk into a pub, buy a pint, and start talking to whoever’s there. Ireland is like a small town; everyone knows everyone else and you’d be amazed at where a pint and chat will lead!
    Yvonne recently posted…Surrey International Writers’ Conference 2013My Profile

    • Great tips Yvonne. I never did get sick on the bus but I can see how you can – very twisty roads! Interesting point about the Guinness as I enjoyed it over there but not so much when I returned to Canada. And yes, stop in and have a pint – I had so much fun every night. Lovely people: I would return to Ireland for the people alone! 🙂

  2. I did not travel to the southern parts of Ireland, where I believe most travelers focus on because of Cork and the Blarney Stone. I enjoyed my trip even though it was rushed.

    Loved your tips for visiting Ireland. The roads are narrow and longer estimated travel time should definitely be considered!

    Cheers!
    Angela recently posted…Glenveagh CastleMy Profile

  3. Great tips! Ireland is one of my dream destinations and I hope to visit it…your tips will be helpful. Thanks. 🙂
    Renuka recently posted…Sydney Ferries – In PicturesMy Profile

  4. James wright /

    When travelling to Ireland, you must go to Killarney. It’s a wonderful and very beautiful town. Instead of cab and public transit it would be in budget to rent a car. There are many car renting companies which provide cars at a very cheap price. In my case it was car rentals by Dan dooley. They have very great service.

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