Shrouded in a veil of mystery, Ireland entices and surprises all who step foot within its mystical boundaries.
Fairy tales, stories, myths, and legends rule the land along with stunning landscapes, many of which can be found on the Wild Atlantic Way.
And when everything is said and done nothing quite beats a relaxing pint in a pub with the locals while listening to traditional Irish music.
This Ireland travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Fast Facts About Ireland
- Currency: is the EURO and is around 1 euro to 1.15 USD
- Power: voltage is 230 V 50 Hz; Power sockets G
- Visa: 90-day visa on arrival for most nationalities (click here for more info)
- Driving in Ireland is done on the left-hand side of the road!
- Value added tax (VAT) is charged on purchases, such as meals at restaurants, shopping expenses, and hotel accommodations. If you are resident of a non-European Union country, you can get a refund of this tax in certain participating shops. For more info on VAT refunds, click here.
- When to visit Ireland: Expect rain and clouds year round and it can get below zero in the winter. Best times to visit are March to May and then September to November when the temperatures are still good and the crowds are smaller.
- Best Way to get around: The best way to explore Ireland is by renting a car.
Things to See and Do in Ireland
- Skellig Michael –The setting for the latest Star Wars Film, The Force Awakens
- Take a Game of Thrones Tour – Much of the series was filmed in Northern Ireland, so why not relive those TV moments in person?
- Drive the Entire Wild Atlantic Way – The world’s longest coastal route
- Kayak at Nighttime – Let your eyes adjust to the dark as you paddle underneath the stars in Country Cork
- Horseback Ride in Dingle– There is no better way to experience the quiet Irish countryside than to ride a horse into the hills.
- Try Coasteering – With all the cliffs and caves on Ireland
- The Best Things to do in Northern Ireland – Don’t forget to go and see Northern Ireland too!
- Visit the Ancient East to see the ancient wonder of Newgrange
Ireland Travel Guides
Budget: These can run between $50-60 USD per night, have a private bathroom and often include a free breakfast. Note that prices increase in larger cities like Dublin and at busy times of the year by about $10-20 per night.
Mid Range: These usually run about $70-90 USD per night and usually come with free wifi and free breakfast. VRBO is a really popular option in Ireland with most accommodation, with a private room, going for about $65/night.
High End: If you want to be pampered on you visit Ireland it is possible in the larger cities like Dublin where high-end accommodations like the Fitzwilliam Hotel can start at $400/night. In the smaller cities, it might be best to check out an VRBO for more of a selection.
If you are doing the Wild Atlantic Way please check out our Accommodation Guide for that trip.
We found the best way to keep food costs down, especially for dinners, is to look for the “Early Bird” special. Most pubs and restaurants offer this at a certain time a day and you can get a meal for a fraction of the cost it would normally set you back.
Fast food will cost you around $5-6, a good hearty meal in a pub will run between $10-15 and dishes in high-end restaurants start at approx. $21.
Most importantly a pint of Guinness will set you back about $5!
The Best Ways to Get Around Ireland
Getting to Ireland: Dublin Airport is the main hub for travelers but you can also get to Ireland through various combinations of Air and rail and ferry from Britain. It will take longer but it’s often cheaper depending on where you are flying from.
You can check for the best flights to Ireland on Skyscanner.
Inter-city Transportation: With Ireland being a fairly small country getting around is fairly easy and cost-effective. If you are only traveling the main cities then bus or train is your best way.
Train cost varies by distance but to get from Dublin to say Cork will run you $60-75 and takes about 2.5 hours. Considering that is only about $12 more than the bus it is the preferred way to travel.
City Transportation: We thing Ireland has some of the best public transport around. It is fast, timely, inexpensive and all busses and trains have free WIFI.
In Dublin expect to pay 3 Euro for a single journey. For a cheaper option use their Bikeshare service.
Car Rental: By far the most flexible way to discover the country is by renting a car. It is fairly reasonable ($40/Day) and allows to reach those charming little towns you might not otherwise be able to discover.
Just remember they drive on the left-hand side of the road and almost all cars are a manual transmission. If you want an aoutomatic you will have to pay more.
When to Go to Ireland
June through September is the best time to visit Ireland
But the weather is unpredictable at anytime. We have been to Ireland in February, April, Mid Summer and Autumn and have had sunny days during them all. It can rain anytime.
The temperature is warmest from June – September (an average of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit), which makes it great for exploring the outdoors.
April to June is a good month to go if you want to avoid some of the crowds before the tourism peak occurs in July and August.
Where to Stay in Ireland
- Morrison Hotel – 5-minute walk to Temple Bar, close to everything but still quiet enough to relax
- The Westbury Hotel – Superb Location near Grafton Street. Contemporary rooms in a grand hotel
- Fitzwilliam Hotel – Superb Location in the city center near Grafton Street and St. Stephen’s Green. Contemporary rooms in a grand hotel
- Marker Hotel – Located in the business district on Grand Central Square. Rooftop lounge.
Ireland Accommodation Guides
What to Pack for Ireland
Ireland’s weather is mild throughout the year. In fact, the country’s weather can be summed up perfectly in three little words: mild, moist and changeable with lots of rainfall.
- Pack a raincoat – chances are that you will encounter rain no matter what month you travel. A light rain shell is highly recommended as it will combat the rain AND wind you will probably face in Ireland.
- Layers – When traveling to different climates remember that layering is the key to effortlessly transitioning from cold to hot climates or vice versa. For travel during winter months, make sure to bring a heavier coat as air frost can be common in certain areas.
- Footwear – Whether you are exploring Ireland’s rocky countryside or spending the day discovering the country’s cities by foot, expect to spend a lot of time on your feet. Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and/or a pair of light boots with lugged soles and ankle support if you plan on doing a lot of hiking
- Classic Basic items – You do not need to be a fashionista to blend in. The key is in embracing neutral-toned items that can be mixed and matched easily. Avoid logos, baseball caps, shorts, hoodies, flip-flops, and running shoes as these items scream tourist!
Ireland Travel Guide: Best Booking Resources
Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies. We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.
We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.
- Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It usually has the cheapest prices, especially in Europe and we love their interface. Not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
- Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. TripAdvisor is where we go when we want to compare prices with multiple accommodation providers.
- VRBO: is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It can sometimes be cheaper than hotels and it is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
- Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
- Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
- Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs.I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
- Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
- World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Italy you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.