With beautiful beaches, fascinating historical sites, and a truly unique culture, travelling Ireland should be on everyone’s bucket list.
The island of Ireland is regarded as one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world, ranking high on the bucket lists of global travellers.
Thanks to its compact size, you can see the highlights of the island within a relatively short period of time, making it the perfect place for a road trip or backpacking holiday.
The island really does have something for everyone; history buffs will marvel at the abundance of historical sites, beach lovers will enjoy Ireland’s breathtaking coastline, and those who enjoy a good time can indulge in the country’s famed nightlife culture.
Still, if you’re planning to visit Ireland, there are a few things to consider before you head off on your adventure. So, here are our top five tips for travelling Ireland.
5. Get out of the cities ‒ discover the coasts and countryside
While spending all of your time in Dublin may seem like an attractive idea, one of our biggest tips for travelling Ireland is to get out of the main cities.
While places like Dublin, Belfast, Galway, and Cork offer plenty of amazing things to see and do, some of the very best parts of Ireland can be found in its more rural and coastal areas.
Make sure to check out the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, the majestic Achill Island in County Mayo, and the rugged coastline of County Donegal.
4. Be prepared for all seasons ‒ unreliable Irish weather
The weather in Ireland is notoriously unpredictable. You could wake up in the morning to a bright, sunny clear day; then, by mid-afternoon, it could be thunderstorms and rain by the bucket loads.
It is often said that Ireland sees ‘four seasons in one day’, and this really couldn’t be further from the truth. So, if you’re planning to backpack or road trip Ireland, no matter the time of year, you should pack for all eventualities.
A rule of thumb is to pack layers that you can put on and strip off should you need them. Some musts include a light raincoat, a warm jumper or jacket, waterproof shoes, and all your basics.
3. Be aware of the differences between the Republic and Northern Ireland ‒ don’t get caught out
While both are located on the same island, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are, in fact, two separate countries governed by two separate governments.
The six counties in Northern Ireland are Fermanagh, Derry, Antrim, Armagh, Down, and Tyrone. The remaining 32 counties are in the Republic of Ireland.
When travelling between the two, a few changes to be aware of are from Sterling (Northern Ireland) to Euros (Republic of Ireland), miles (Northern Ireland) to kilometres (Republic of Ireland), and the change in road signs and markings.
2. Plan your adventure ‒ have an idea of where you’re going
If you’re planning on travelling around different places in Ireland, we would recommend having a rough plan of everything you want to see and do while you’re here.
While many of the most amazing experiences will be encountered unexpectedly, you also don’t want to miss out on things due to poor planning.
It’s not necessary to have a full, extensive route with strict time constraints. As we mentioned, some of the best experiences can happen unexpectedly, and it’s always fun to go with the flow.
However, knowing roughly where you want to be by a certain date and marking out the attractions you want to see in each location before you go will save you plenty of time and money when you’re travelling around.
1. Check for deals and discounts ‒ save some money on your trip to Ireland
Topping our list of tips for travelling Ireland is to check for deals and discounts, especially if you’re planning to visit popular tourist attractions.
Sites operated by the Office of Public Works offer free admission on the first Wednesday of every month, giving you the opportunity to save money when visiting iconic historic attractions.
There are also plenty of deals and discount cards that offer you the chance to see various attractions for a bargain price.
Some of the most popular are the Dublin Pass, which includes popular attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, and OPW Heritage Passes that give annual access to OPW-operated sites.