From the Irish weather and the difficulties in knowing what to pack, to the struggles with visas and cell phones, we have the perfect traveling to Ireland tips as well as some advice on traveling to Ireland on a budget.
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.
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.
We don’t all speak in Irish ...
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.
... But we phrase things differently
‘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 have a guide to Irish sayings and phrases to help you along!
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.
We drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road
And by wrong, I mean the left-hand side. Just in case you were planning on renting a car!
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.
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.
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Don't order a 'black and tan' or 'Irish car bombs' anywhere in Ireland
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.
Tipping not compulsory
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.
If you're planning to rent a car, don't forget to book an automatic!
The majority of cars in Ireland use a manual gearstick so if you're planning to rent when you're here don't forget to book an automatic in advance.
Booking a taxi is not always necessary
Depending on where in Ireland you're visiting, you won't need to always pre-book a taxi - you can usually flag one down by stretching out the hand or just head to a taxi rank. But if you're heading on an early morning flight home, best order one just to be sure. Taxi too expensive? Save a bit of money and take the bus instead!
Buses won't stop unless you put your hand out
If you are taking the bus this is vitally important. But be warned, some days even putting your hand out and waving it around won't be enough to make them stop. So don't be surprised if you see people at the bus stop jumping up and down in desperation when the bus is in view.
Prepare to be late, the buses are never on time
No point in looking up the timetable, sometimes they don't even bother turning up. This is particularly true for Dublin Bus whose buses randomly disappear off the timetable. You're almost better off relying on these transport parody Twitter accounts.
We tend to curse a lot
Mind your ears, we do it without realizing! But we don't mean it to be offensive; it just sort of slips out. Best be warned if you have impressionable kids around, however.
We almost take pride in the state of our potholes
Ireland's country roads are notorious for having the regular pothole. You might as well take a crash course in rally driving before you tackle our roads. If you are driving, make sure you have a great baby seat to keep the little ones safe.
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.
But it might be sunny
There’s also a chance that the sun might actually make an appearance so don’t forget the sunglasses! There's no place better than Ireland when the sun is shining.
Anything over 17 degrees is considered warm
17 degrees Celsius is about 65 Fahrenheit. We'll head out in t-shirts when it's this warm!
If you don't want to stick out as a tourist, abandon your Aran jumper
Seriously. We don't really wear them very often and if we do it's probably in the comfort of our homes where we can't be seen.
Off-licenses close at 10 pm
If you're planning to head out or want a good night in, don't forget that Irish off-licenses, err, liquor stores, close at 10 pm. If you don't get there in time, you could end up paying the extortionate Temple Bar prices.
The perfect night out ends with a 4 in 1
What's a 4 in 1, I hear you say? Why it's the most delicious thing to eat after a night on the town. Usually contains chips (fries), curry, rice and some form of chicken to nom on and most importantly, it's cheap as chips (sorry!).
Never say no to a cup of tea
You'd be mad to say 'no!' We're known for our expert tea-making abilities so grab the opportunity to have a cuppa and sure, who would say no to a nice free hot drink.
* Originally published in July 2017.