Ireland is a magical place and one that everyone needs to visit at least once! It was very high on my bucketlist, and I was able to spend a few weeks exploring the Emerald Isle which was absolute perfection. After my first visit I crafted 5 tips for your first trip to Ireland to make it a success!
Let’s dive on in shall we!
One of the biggest tips to know before you visit is that Ireland is split into two. You have the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Republic is most of the island and is a part of the EU meaning it’s on the euro. Northern Ireland is a part of the UK which means it’s on the pound sterling.
Knowing this is important when planning your trip. You can’t drive a car from Belfast to Dublin with certain car companies. You technically would be crossing over into a new country. Most of the Irish don’t agree with the separation of their country and its best to avoid the topic. They can be very passionate, and you want to avoid offending people on something you may be undereducated on.
Ireland is a wet country they only get around 1500 hours of light per year. The weather is also known to go through four seasons in a day. It could be a torrential down pour and then sunny in the span of thirty minutes.
By dressing in layers, you can navigate the changing weather patterns and stay comfortable. This is most important when you spend time exploring the countryside.
While I love Dublin, Belfast, and Cork the countryside is such a highlight of the trip! If you feel comfortable then rent a car and spend some time just driving. You will stumble across so many amazing sights.
The landscape is so diverse and if you want to go slow and at your own pace driving through is the best way to do it.
I love a good fish and chip, but it can get old. When you are in smaller cities the food may not be very adventurous. I would recommend going grocery shopping even to get snacks. That way you are not forced to eat only pub food or spend an arm and a leg at a nice restaurant.
I didn’t know this until I was there, but you have to flag the buses down. They don’t automatically stop which was so odd to me! I won’t lie I missed a bus or five before I figured this out. If you have ever hailed a cab in NY, it’s the same idea – arm out and frantically wave.
Ireland is one of my favorite countries and a great starting country for new or solo travelers. They speak English and there is a diverse amount of activities to do! If you have ever been or are planning to visit soon make sure to drop a comment below!