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10 Tips for Your First Trip to Ireland

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While I had been to Dublin many moons ago, I recently took a road trip around Ireland, and let me tell you, it’s as green as they all say! Talk about craggy coastlines and lush meadows as far as the eye can see! Oh, and my jaw definitely dropped when I got to see Mizen Head and the Cliffs of Moher!

I certainly got lucky with all the warm weather I experienced there…though I know that’s not very common! Ireland actually measures their sunshine by the number of hours they get per year—which is typically between 1,100 and 1,500.

Before you head to the land of Guinness and gorgeous views of greenery, here are my 10 tips!

Did you know that Ireland is split in two? I don’t mean physically with one land mass here and the other across the ocean, but rather the divide of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland!

The Republic of Ireland is an independent nation that takes up most of the land while Northern Ireland (comprised of six counties) is still a part of the United Kingdom. Now ya know!

There is a reason it’s nicknamed the Emerald Isle after all! Luckily, you’ll likely experience a mist rather than a torrential downpour. At least, I hope that’s the case!

Regardless of when you visit, you’ll want to layer up so you can adapt to the quickly changing weather. I highly recommend a raincoat and waterproof shoes.

Don’t stress out about learning another language on your flight over. Almost everyone speaks English, though sometimes it might sound quite a bit different because of heavy accents.

And, to top it off, speed limit signs and distances are measured in kilometers per hour rather than miles per hour. Most of the major Irish sites can be visited using public transportation—though renting a car is worth considering, especially if you’re looking to get off the beaten track a bit.

This name especially applies to Guinness. And if you just ask for a pint, you’re going to get served Guinness so if you want something else, you’re going to have to specify.

Tipping in Ireland is not a given the way that it is in the States. A 10% tip is appropriate in sit-down restaurants, but it’s not necessary to tip bartenders or taxi drivers unless you feel the service has gone above and beyond your expectations.

Ireland is a very laid-back country and should be enjoyed in the same manner. Buses tend to be late and if you’re meeting up with a local, don’t count on them showing up on time. Ireland will teach you to slow down and enjoy things that you might have overlooked.

Ireland is home to quaint towns, the friendliest people you will ever meet, breathtaking scenery, and endless amounts of beer and once you experience it, leaving is going to seem nearly impossible. With any luck, you’ll be back in no time.

I’d love to hear about your time in Ireland—what were your favorite places to visit and experience? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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