Popular Questions asked before traveling to Ireland!

Posted by Niamh Allabyrne on the 5th of September 2013 at 12:57:40

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Ireland has long been a popular vacation and touring destination due to her rolling green hills, spectacular coastal vistas, history, music, storytelling and of course the famous craic! Ireland’s is also becoming known for her culinary prowess, fantastic golfing greens, surfing spots and people have always come from all over the world to trace their Irish roots. Ireland is just stuffed with things to do and you literally trip over ancient sites, stumble upon amazing views and fall in love with her people, traditions and pace of life.

So with lots of people coming to our shores we get asked lots of questions before their first trip to Ireland. I have picked some of the top questions we get asked by our clients which I hope will help you when planning your dream Irish vacation with Tourireland.com!

What is the weather like?

Usually one of the first questions we get asked! And honestly - it doesn’t rain that much! Ireland’s weather is usually a mix of everything in one day from a heavy downpour to an unrelenting sun with sometimes both happening simultaneously! Ireland literally has every weather type in any single day, but in general the climate is mild with no extremes either way. Best advice is to layer up for your vacation to Ireland and of course bring your rain gear!

wellington boots

What is the food like?

Ireland’s culinary skills are becoming recognized worldwide and there is so much more than just bacon and cabbage! Being an island our sea-food is spectacular and our beef and lamb should not be missed either and as for our cheeses? Yummy! Sure we have the traditional Irish Stew (which is delicious) but we have so much more than that and our passionate chefs are equally at ease serving traditional meat and vegetables as they are with contemporary Irish cuisine using the best of Irish ingredients with influences from around the world!

Can we trace our Family Tree?

With some 60 million people claiming Irish ancestry worldwide this is a very a popular pursuit when people come to our shores. However, as someone who has researched their own family tree, you are best to get as much information as you can from online resources and indeed from your own family first before you decide to start researching in Ireland. Libraries and Heritage Centers can often be busy with people doing research, and scrolling through any database is laborious, especially if you haven’t got too much to go on. Be open to different spellings – my own last name (at last count) was spelled over 22 different ways, be flexible with dates as well and most of all be patient! Have a look at my blog on Family Tree Research for more tips!

image of tree

Can I drive in Ireland?

Once you have a valid driving license you are essentially good to go! However, you must be 21 for car rental, (25 for any other vehicle type) and hold a full license for at least 24 months. Younger drivers will also have to be prepared for a higher insurance premium. Maximum age is 75 and again higher insurance premiums may apply. Once to get used to the driving on the left, sporadic road signage which appears in both Irish and English – it’s a breeze! Be prepared for narrow roads and big buses though! And take your time! I would also recommend a GPS – you can always turn it off if you wish “to get lost” and discover some out of the way surprises, and turn it on again when you really are lost and need your bed!

What to see?

Blarney Castle, Giant’s Causeway, Kylemore Abbey, Beara Peninsula, Clonmacnoise, Dublin City - the list is endless!! But although Ireland is a small country - covering only 84,431 square kilometers – roughly the size of Indiana, people do try and pack a lot in and think that they can see all the highlights (north, south, east and west) in a week! My best advice is to pick a route depending on your entry point into Ireland and take your time – yes you want to see everything – but you have to pick. People often say they wish they had given themselves more time – Ireland is stunning and green, with some terrific coastal drives and you want to savor it all without lots of driving and feeling under pressure. Our expert team can advise you on routes and timings and of course a little web research with advice from fellow travelers is always good too!

map and compass

Questions about currency and credit cards?

The Republic of Ireland uses the euro (€) in common with most other European Union members. Britain and Northern Ireland use the pound sterling (£) and the two currencies are not interchangeable.
In Ireland there are seven euro notes in denominations of €5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. There are eight euro coins in values of 1 cent, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and €1 and €2. 100 cents = €1.
In Britain sterling pound notes are issued in denominations of £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 with coins of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. 100 pence = £1.

Major credit cards are widely accepted and we recommend you use them for large purchases to avoid
carrying excess cash. ATMs are widely available and will accept the appropriate card and dispense cash in local currency.

Can I use my hairdryer/phone charger etc?

You will need an adapter to convert to the right plug size plus a transformer to convert appliances to the correct voltage (except for dual-voltage equipment which needs only an adapter). Electricity in Ireland is supplied at 220 Volts (50 cycles). Plugs are flat with three pins. Make sure not to buy a European adapter but rather one that is suitable for Ireland/UK or a Universal Adapter.

image of Irish electrical plug

Of course, for every person touring Ireland, there are different questions and concerns, but these are just some of the main questions we have been asked. In general, Ireland is a safe country, very green (thanks to our rain) with an epic history and staggering scenery. Visit Ireland with us Tourireland.com and let us be the creators of your dream vacation and memories that will last a lifetime! Contact us today!

And if you are looking for some travel tips on what to pack during the Fall or winter months for your Ireland vacation - help is here!


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