24 top tips on travel to Ireland: from handling the weather to the locals (PHOTOS)

American tourists snapped at the Guinness Storehouse...really taking on the culture!

Heading to Ireland in 2013/2014?

There may be a few things you need to know about before you head over.

Here are 24 practical things to take into account if you're coming to Ireland.

1. Check the baggage restrictions on flights

They can catch you out, especially if you're flying within Europe with Ryanair and you get charged a gazillion euros for carry-on luggage. Don't forget to Google beforehand and check out the weight and size restrictions.

2. You’re going to need an adapter

We’ve wonky looking plug sockets here in Ireland so if you’re making your way over you’d better stock up on the adapters. This is especially true for Americans.

3. It’s going to rain

It will. You might as well pack your wellies now if you’re planning to head over because in Ireland when it rains – it pours.

4. But it might be sunny

There’s also a  chance that the sun might actually make an appearance so don’t forget the sunglasses!

5. We don’t all speak in Irish

Learning Irish in New York City

Thankfully it’s not necessary to be fluent in Irish before you arrive – English is our main language. Not many people regularly speak in Irish in Ireland unless you’re wandering around in the Gaeltacht areas.

6. But we phrase things differently

A sure would ye 'mere to me and ask me arse! Throw some of these Irish phrases into your everyday parlance

‘What’s the story?’, ‘do you want a lift?’ and ‘get the shift’, are phrases used on a regular basis here but may not mean what you think they might mean. Never fear though, we’ve a guide to Irish sayings and phrases to help you along!

7. We complain a lot

Usually about the weather, the banks or the government but don't be afraid to join in - we love a good moan about the state of Ireland.

8. We drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road

Donegal woman faces charges for running a getaway car service

And by wrong, I mean the left hand side. Just in case you were planning on renting a car!

9. Look to your right when crossing

Following on from that, don’t forget to look to your right when you’re crossing a road. Thankfully there are now handy signs on the ground if you need a few pointers.

10. We were born to jaywalk


Listen, we just can’t help it. If there’s even the smallest gap in traffic we’re going to go for it.

11. Blasphemy is illegal

Yep, it’s true and written in Irish law – whether people actually abide by it however is another story altogether.

12. Don't order a 'black and tan' or 'Irish car bombs' in the local

Irish Car Bomb t-shirt - Top ten offensive Irish t-shirts that should have never been made

Just don’t. The barman probably won’t have any idea what you’re ordering and others may find it a bit offensive – don’t bother to risk it, safer to order a pint.

13. Tipping not compulsory

The Sunday Independent Rich List 2013 - Ireland's 300 wealthiest people have a combined net worth of more than €66bn, or nearly $86bn

We're not big tippers here in Ireland except in restaurant situations where the 10% to the waiter is almost a given. But no need to tip taxi drivers unless they've shown good service.

14. If you're planning to rent a car, don't forget to book an automatic!