Ireland, the gorgeous Emerald Isle, is an absolutely stunning destination known for its lush green landscapes, interesting history, and world-famous hospitality. If you happen to be planning your first trip to Ireland, then you’re in for a real treat. This travel guide will help you get to grips with all the essentials… and make the most of your unforgettable journey.
Our Top Travel Tips
Before taking that first step into your Irish adventure, here are some of our top travel tips to bear in mind:
- Currency: Ireland uses the Euro – so make sure you have some local currency ready for small purchases – or a taxi ride – but credit and debit cards are accepted pretty much everywhere, so you should be fine.
- Weather: Ireland’s weather can be unpredictable – even in the middle of summer… so make sure you pack layers and always be prepared for rain! You should be sure to pack a good waterproof jacket and comfortable (also waterproof) walking shoes.
- Driving: If you are planning to rent a car and drive, remember that Ireland drives on the left side of the road. Remember to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road and make sure you get an International Driving Permit if you need it.
- Electrical Outlets: Ireland uses Type G electrical outlets, so if you need to, make sure you bring an adapter if your devices have a different plug.
Must See Places…
Unsurprisingly, Ireland offers all sorts of places to explore – in fact, almost too many. However, here are some of the must-visit places for first-timers:
We have to mention the capital city, of course. This is a vibrant city of culture, history and thigh-slapping entertainment. Feeling brainy? Then head over to Trinity College, home to the Book of Kells, then take a stroll along the River Liffey to relax. And in the evening, don’t miss the lively Temple Bar district where you’ll find the best music, food and pubs.
You can also check out the local casino scene while you’re there. Both land-based and online, the options are plentiful and you’re sure to find another new addition to Ireland’s gambling world – and maybe win some money to help you on your travels.
Ring of Kerry
This is a beautifully scenic drive that takes you through some of Ireland’s most breathtaking landscapes. Along the way, pop into charming little towns like Killarney and take some photos of those dramatic cliffs and coastal views.
Head up to Northern Ireland and take in this must-see UNESCO World Heritage site that features its own unique hexagonal basalt columns that were formed by volcanic activity. This is a true geological wonder and a photographer’s absolute dream.
Cliffs of Moher
These impressive towering cliffs can be found on the west coast – and offer awe-inspiring views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re feeling active, take a hike along the cliffside trails for an incredible experience.
Known for its vibing arts scene and traditional music (and Ed Sheeran’s Girl), Galway is a city with a really impressive cultural heritage. Take a walk through its historic streets, listen to the buskers and if you’re feeling peckish, try some fresh seafood in the Latin Quarter.
Kiss the Blarney Stone – and be blessed with the gift of the gab… then afterwards, check out the beautiful gardens that surround the castle. Just outside, the town of Blarney also offers some quiet little shops and atmospheric pubs.
Discover Irish Culture
Ireland is famous for its incredible culture… which is deeply rooted in history, folklore and traditions. Think leprechauns, pots of gold, Guinness… you name it! There is nothing quite like the legendary Irish culture. While you’re there, you should really immerse yourself in it – and here’s how…
If you’ve never been to an Irish pub, there’s nothing quite like it. While you’re there, you have to look for those traditional music sessions in local pubs – especially in towns such as Doolin and Ennis. You’ll get to experience the soulful sounds of fiddles, tin whistles and bodhráns… with locals singing along for good measure.
The Irish folk all love a bit of storytelling. If you get the chance, you should definitely go to a storytelling event or visit places such as the Leprechaun Museum in Dublin where you’ll hear fun and interesting tales from Irish folklore.
Although that famous Irish lilt is one of the most popular accents in the world – and English is the main language, Irish (Gaelic) is also widely spoken, and you’ll even see lots of bilingual road signs. It’s always fun to learn a few common Irish phrases that can make your experience even better.
Folklore and Mythology
If you do get the time, it’s a great idea to visit places such as the Hill of Tara, which is said to be the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland… which gives you a peek into the country’s mythical past.
Ireland is truly a country that captures the hearts of everyone who steps foot on the island – with its beautiful landscapes, unique culture, and warm people. Whether you’re taking in the historic cities, hiking along the dramatic coastlines, or simply getting your teeth stuck into the local cuisine, your first visit to Ireland will certainly be an unforgettable journey.