Every country has its own unique quirks - including Ireland!

First-time travelers to Ireland may be apprehensive towards blending in with Irish culture, but fear not, as the Irish are very similar to Americans.

Read More: IrishCentral wants to bring you on vacation to Ireland this May

eDiplomat, a site for traveling US diplomats, has provided a breakdown of the most notable cultural differences to be aware of before heading for Ireland. Here, we’ve picked our top ten from that list.

The site describes the Irish as, “interested in people, and place great value on the individual. They are naturally courteous, quick-witted and will go out of their way to welcome visitors to their country.”

It continues, “Don't rush the Irish. Although they work very hard, the Irish are dedicated to a less stressful lifestyle that allows time for friends and family, a visit to the pub, a cup of tea, or just a bit of a chat on the corner. Families are closely-knit and very important to the Irish.”

Read: Visiting Ireland this year? Let us help you

Handshakes are important

Martin McGuinness shakes the Queen's hand.

Martin McGuinness shakes the Queen's hand.


Handshakes are an important factor upon meeting new people - be it business people, family or friends. A firm handshake with eye contact is expected.

‘Irish Time’

Image: Getty images.

Image: Getty images.


The Irish tend to not be very time-conscious and may not be punctual for business and social meetings. They have a relaxed sense of time and may be a little late for meetings. However, a foreigner should be on time for business meetings.

Drinks etiquette

Whose round is it?

Whose round is it?


One of the most touchy subjects in Irish culture is the notion of “rounds” while out at a pub or bar drinking. Everyone is expected to buy a round of drinks for everyone else, and turning down a drink can sometimes be understood as insulting.

Your best behavior

Be polite and you'll get on grand.

Be polite and you'll get on grand.


The Irish respect, and expect, polite and reserved behavior, and find pretentious behavior to be very off-putting.

Leave the lovey-dovey at home

Image: Getty images.

Image: Getty images.


The Irish aren’t too comfortable with public displays of affection and aren’t too physically demonstrative.

Read More: The unbreakable rules of Irish hospitality

Dress the part

Image: Getty images.

Image: Getty images.


Traditional Irish garb isn’t flashy and gravitates toward tweed and wool. And - surprise! - it rains a lot in Ireland, so bring a raincoat.

Gift-giving

Don't show up empty-handed! (Getty Images)

Don't show up empty-handed! (Getty Images)


If invited to someone’s home for a meal, bring a small gift as a token of your appreciation. Flowers, a bottle of wine, or chocolates usually do the trick.

If on business in Ireland...

Where the best business deals are completed.

Where the best business deals are completed.


Planning and strategy usually come in the short term for the Irish, who aren’t keen on long-term planning. Socially, the Irish may be perceived as easy going and amiable, but in business, they are astute and tenacious. Business propositions are often worked out in social settings, such as restaurants or golf courses.

In the event of trouble...

Always keep a level head.

Always keep a level head.


Irish people tend to remain calm and get creative in the face of crises.

Read More: 15 things to do in Ireland that you've never heard of 

* Originally published in 2014.

Traveling to Ireland in 2019: Are you hoping or planning to travel to Ireland this year? Join with other travelers, adventurers and lovers of Ireland in our dedicated travel group, where you can find top tips, great recommendations, and air out any of your concerns and questions.

Do you think these tips are correct? Is there anything else you'd advise? Let us know in the comment section. 

Guinness-march2019

Check out these tips before you visit IrelandIreland's Content Pool