Since starting this readathon I’ve noticed a lot of people taking part are very interested in visiting Ireland for the first time. Coming here isn’t much of a culture shock for Westerners (anymore anyway) but there may be some things that might surprise you.
🇮🇪 Tip 1: Bring an Adapter
In Ireland we use three pin plugs in our outlets so you will most likely need to pack an adapter. USB charging ports are rare in hotels but you can find them on some buses and trains.
🇮🇪 Tip 2: Plan Your Travel Around Ireland
Roads in Ireland are small and often quite narrow with hedges growing almost into the road in some places so if you’re not confidant about driving around here (especially since we drive on the left side of the road) make sure you research buses and trains. Trains here are pretty good but they can be extremely expensive. If you want to travel by train I’d recommend taking advantage of online deals with Irish Rail. And keep in mind you may need to flag down your bus even when you’re at it’s designated stop.
You can also book tours with Paddy Wagon to visit some of the more remote places of interest.
🇮🇪 Tip 3: You Don’t Have to Tip
Except in restaurants, tipping isn’t a big deal here. You can tip if you want in other places but it’s not common and not really done by Irish people. The only time I tip is in a restaurant for dinner and depending on the restaurant I probably wouldn’t tip for lunch and never in a pub.
🇮🇪 Tip 4: The Weather is Changeable
The weather is a constant topic of conversation for Irish people but it’s generally pretty mild. My advice would be to wear layers and keep in mind that rain is likely most months.
🇮🇪 Tip 5: It’s a Sleepy Country on Sundays
Technically Sundays are a day of rest. A lot of shops and some cafes/restaurants will be closed on Sundays or open around 12 or 2 pm. The same goes for Bank Holiday Mondays when most businesses will be closed. Just give the place you’re planning to visit a quick Google before heading out.
🇮🇪 Tip 6: Get Out of Dublin
Dublin is great, there’s so much to see and do there but it’s not the only place to visit here. To really see the beauty of Ireland you need to get out of Dublin and visit places like Galway, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, and Waterford.
🇮🇪 Tip 7: There’s More Than One Currency on the Island
In the Republic we use to Euro but if you plan on vising Northern Ireland (Belfast, Giant’s Causeway) you will need to use Pounds Sterling.
🇮🇪 Tip 8: It Can Be Expensive Here
It can be pretty expensive to stay here in comparison to some other holiday destinations in Europe. The Irish Times reported that the average cost of a hotel is approx €150 per night and dining out could cost on average €55 per person for a two course meal. Alcohol and cigarettes (which we call fags by the way) are very expensive here because they are heavily taxed. You can only purchase packets of 20 cigarettes and they cost approx. €12 so if you’re a smoker make sure you bring those with you.
🇮🇪 Tip 9: We Use A Lot of Slang
We use a lot of slang when we speak and the words we use can vary between regions but some common ones are grand meaning ok or fine, deadly meaning great, yoke meaning a thing, the jacks or bog or loo all mean toilet and craic (pronounced crack) meaning fun. There are so many other ones I could mention but it would take an entire post so here’s a list from Irish Central.
🇮🇪 Tip 10: We Swear Casually
This one didn’t occur to me until I watched a video from Wolter’s World called The Don’ts of Ireland. He pointed out that the Irish swear all the time and I realised that yes, we do! We swear quite casually in general conversation but it’s mostly swear words that have gotten a bit of an Irish treatment like feck and shite. So, please don’t be offended if someone swears around you…