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How to Plan a Trip to Ireland: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: September 21, 2022

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Dunluce Castle in  Bushmills, Northern Ireland

Bushmills, Northern Ireland

Rich in culture and tradition, and blending Victorian architecture and contemporary life, Ireland is a fascinating destination. Below are some answers to travelers’ many frequently asked questions.

Home to breathtaking scenery and captivating stories, a mosaic of Celtic traditions and surprising Viking heritage, Ireland offers immersive experiences set among greenery and timeless charm.

Below, find more information on how to experience your perfect Ireland trip.

  1. When is the best time to visit Ireland?
  2. How long should I spend in Ireland?
  3. Why is Ireland popular?
  4. What are the most popular places in Ireland?
  5. What should I do when visiting Ireland?
  6. What food should I try in Ireland?
  7. Where can I see traditional Irish music and dance in Ireland?
  8. What are some of the famous legends and traditions of Ireland?
  9. How should I get around Ireland?
  10. What voltage do they use in Ireland?
  11. Is Ireland a family destination?
  12. Is Ireland suitable for senior travelers?
  13. Is Ireland a good destination for couples or honeymooners?
  14. Is Ireland safe to visit?
  15. What language do they speak in Ireland?
  16. What vaccinations do I require to enter Ireland?
  17. What is the official currency of Ireland?
  18. Should I tip in Ireland?
  19. Which airports should I be looking at?
  20. How can Zicasso help me plan my trip to England?
  21. Where can I learn more about visiting Ireland?

When is the best time to visit Ireland?

The best time to visit Ireland is from May through September, the late spring and summer months providing the best weather.

As summer turns to fall, the crowds tend to dissipate, popular tourist sites see fewer lines and the early September weather remains favorable.

Summer days are warm, the rain stays away, and the lush countryside buzzes with life while the shoulder season months of April and October provide the space to explore just after and before the winter chill.

Learn more: Best Time to Visit Ireland

How long should I spend in Ireland?

Seven days in Ireland will give you the chance to discover Dublin’s charm and traditions, with a few days to travel to the southwest and explore a few key towns and villages that make up the Ring of Kerry.

Self-drive or enjoy a guided tour for 10 days that will take you around Killarney, Kenmare, and Killorglin, as well as popular cities such as Cork and Galway. Spend a few nights in Dublin before or after your adventure.

Give yourself a full two weeks if you wish to explore further. Start in Dublin, traveling to Cork in the south, then up the Wild Atlantic Way through Clare and Galway, arriving in County Donegal.

Learn more: 7 Day Ireland Itineraries8 Day Ireland Itineraries10 Day Ireland Itineraries

Why is Ireland popular?

Ireland is a popular tourist destination because of its rich culture and historic roots. When visiting, you can find a blend of tradition and charm in one of the world’s most scenic settings.

Ireland is small enough to explore in a limited amount of time and offers diverse experiences, from castle stays to breathtaking coastal drives. There is also adventure to be had in city rivers and forested parks. Deep traditions in music and dance, forerunners in whiskey distilling, hearty meals, and friendly people add to Ireland’s allure.

Learn more: 6 Best Castles to Visit in Ireland

What are the most popular places in Ireland?

Below is a list of the seven most popular places to visit in Ireland:

  • Dublin
  • Galway
  • Donegal
  • Cork
  • Kerry
  • Limerick
  • Dingle

There are a number of choices when it comes to where to visit during your trip. Discover roads and trails that take you from city hubs through village greens and to rocky cliffs with dramatic views of the ocean when visiting our recommendations for the 7 Best Places to Visit in Ireland.

What should I do when visiting Ireland?

There are many adventures you can enjoy and below we list a few options of what you could do on custom-tailored Ireland tour:

  • Uncover Irish traditions in Dublin’s Temple Street bars and learn to create well-loved dishes at the famous Dublin Cookery School
  • Discover Trinity College for a sense of Dublin’s time as the British Empire’s second city as you walk the halls and gardens of Ireland’s highest-ranked university and visit the Book of Kells
  • Experience the sweeping winds and breathtaking heights of the Cliffs of Moher
  • Take part in a private falconry lesson in Killarney
  • Drive the Wild Atlantic Way, a spectacular coastal route
  • Embrace the diversity of the Ring of Kerry as you discover castles and a unique landscape
  • Learn about Viking history in Limerick
  • Take in the crisp air and fresh surroundings as you walk the trails in Connemara National Park
  • Enjoy a cruise down the River Shannon
  • Learn the art of distilling whiskey with hands-on experiences, visit the Irish Whiskey Museum, and savor Guinness in Dublin

Our Top 8 Things to Do in Ireland unveils our recommendations of the things to do during your trip to help inspire more ideas or provide new perspectives for how to discover Ireland.

What food should I try in Ireland?

Tantalize your taste buds with traditional Irish fare. When we think of Irish cuisine, perhaps comfort food comes to mind, mostly associated with potatoes or possibly a creamy Irish butter to be spread on homemade bread. Here are some items you should try:

  • Irish stew, a traditional dish of meat, potatoes, and vegetable made in a single pot
  • Yeast-free soda bread, often served with Irish butter
  • Champ, a dish of mashed potatoes mixed with spring onions, butter, milk, and cabbage
  • Black pudding, made from pork meat, fat, oatmeal, and pig's blood.
  • Boxty, potato pancakes
  • Ulster Fry, an Irish breakfast
  • Irish Bannock cake, a scone-like pastry often served with tea or coffee

Where can I see traditional Irish music and dance in Ireland?

Ireland is famous for its traditional music and dance, and many travelers wish to experience this firsthand. If you walk into almost any pub in Dublin, you will be sure to hear the sweet sounds of Irish bands.

Discover the mastery of Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and other traditional dance shows in cities such as Dublin and Galway, and from Kilkenny to Cork, with options to try to step in time as you learn the craft at select venues across the country.

What are some of the famous legends and traditions of Ireland?

The most popular Irish tradition has to be St Patrick’s Day, a celebration of Ireland’s most famous patron saint. An air of mysticism hangs over the country as legends and folklore surrounding fairies and leprechauns exist in modern-day Ireland.

From the warning of a banshee cry to the connection to good luck of the shamrock and butterflies, Ireland is full of mythology and tradition. Noteworthy is its national symbol, the Irish or Celtic harp. King Brian Boru’s dates back centuries and depicts unity, joy, and national pride.

How should I get around Ireland?

Ring roads, outer roads, and coastal highways connect Ireland’s towns and villages, so the best way to get around is most definitely by car or coach. Irish Rail will connect you to small villages and towns, with Dublin as the hub.

Cycling in cities is popular and for those wanting to explore nearby islands such as the Aran Islands off Galway Bay, a ferry is the answer. While not hugely popular, one can fly between smaller cities.

Learn more: The Best Ways to Travel Around Ireland

What voltage do they use in Ireland?

Voltage in Ireland is 230v and the plug type used is Type G, which comprises three rectangular prongs.

On/off switches are used, so do be aware of this when plugging your 110v-240v devices in to ensure they charge.

Is Ireland a family destination?

Ireland is an adventure-filled destination perfect for family travel. Castles and palaces on wide-open landscapes invite young visitors to hike, bike, and walk, often stopping for added activities on river banks and along stone walls.

From archery in Killarney to rafting down the River Liffey through Dublin, there is so much to keep kids of all ages entertained on Ireland Family Vacations & Tours.

Self-drive options or small guided tours can see you explore one quaint village after another and visit popular sites such as the Blarney Stone, the Kildare Maze, and the Aran Islands at the mouth of Galway Bay.

Is Ireland suitable for senior travelers?

Ireland is definitely suitable for senior travelers, with coaches or comfortable cars connecting cities and towns across the length and breadth of the country.

Active seniors can discover the beauty of Ireland’s coastline by bicycles, trails, or leisurely strolls. Visit castles and estates at your own pace, and spend time relaxing in quaint villages in the countryside.

In Dublin, trace traditional steps through cobbled streets, pedestrian walkways, and grand institutions such as Trinity College. Take some time out in one of the city’s green spaces.

From walking along the Cliffs of Moher to finding the right Irish castle, explore Ireland on custom-tailored Ireland Tours for Seniors.

Learn more: Top 12 Things to Do in Ireland for Seniors

Is Ireland a good destination for couples or honeymooners?

With vistas straight out of a storybook and picturesque coastal roads, Ireland is a stunning destination for romantic travel.

Spend a night in a castle or at a humble inn deep in the countryside where you can sample true Irish hospitality. Romantic adventures await couples in city parks and down winding rivers, through fairytale forests and seaside havens.

Discover the secrets of Dublin’s Temple Bar, stargaze at the International Dark Sky Reserve in Kerry, and enjoy a romantic meal with spectacular views from the Cliff House in Waterford. These are just a few of the romantic options awaiting you on our Ireland Honeymoon Packages.

Learn more: 10 Most Romantic Places in Ireland for Couples

Is Ireland safe to visit?

Ireland is very safe for travelers. You should always keep an eagle eye on your belongings when in crowded destinations, but your overall safety is never a concern. Ireland does have a reputation for rowdy football matches within major cities, but otherwise, locals keep a safe, welcoming environment.

What language do they speak in Ireland?

English is the most commonly spoken language in Ireland.

Irish Gaelic (or simply ‘Irish’) is the first official language of Ireland. You may see signs written in Gaelic and hear a few words spoken during your travels around the country. However, you will mostly hear English and should not have any language barriers.

What vaccinations do I require to enter Ireland?

You can find the complete list of vaccination recommendations through the CDC Ireland Vaccination Information site, though they are not mandatory.

You should always consult your doctor or a travel nurse to obtain the best medical advice before taking your trip.

What is the official currency of Ireland?

The official currency of the Republic of Ireland is the euro (€).

The euro replaced the Irish pound in 2002. Restaurants and stores throughout the country accept major credit cards such as Visa, American Express, and MasterCard, making it easy to pay for accommodations, tours, food, or other goods not purchased before your trip. ATMs are ideally located in all major centers and towns.

Should I tip in Ireland?

Tipping is at your discretion, with no set rules.

Ten percent would be a good gesture for great service in restaurants, while a couple of euros for porters and taxi drivers would be appreciated.

Which airports should I be looking at?

For most travelers, the most convenient airport is Dublin (DUB), followed by Shannon (SNN). The busiest airports in Ireland include:

  • Dublin Airport (DUB), Dublin
  • Cork Airport (ORK), Cork
  • Shannon Airport (SNN), Clare

How can Zicasso help me plan my trip to England?

Our Ireland Tours & Vacations are a collection of curated trips where you can get a better idea of what your itinerary may look like.

You can select a sample trip that aligns with your ideal vacation, be it a family tour, couples’ getaway, heritage trip, or more. These sample trips are often a stepping stone from which our travelers create unique itineraries.

When you are ready, you can complete a Trip Request to begin planning your vacation. We ask for more information on where you would like to go, how long you would like to spend in Ireland, the size of your party, and ages of your travelers to help streamline the planning process.

You can also provide additional ideas or preferences, as well as set a travel budget, after which our Travel Care team will contact you to match you with a top Ireland travel specialist. Our Ireland travel specialists will use their expertise and understanding of your preferences to curate your dream vacation.

Learn more: How to Plan Your Zicasso Trip in 4 Easy StepsHow to Plan Your Zicasso Trip Budget in 3 Easy Steps

Where can I learn more about visiting Ireland?

Sunlight shines inside the St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

From the Guinness museum in Dublin to the legendary Newgrange passage tomb, fascinating Blarney Castle and the tradition of falconry, Ireland is a destination where charm, history, and contemporary culture combine.

Ireland Tours & Vacation has sample itineraries that can inspire your trip before you customize the details.

Discover the secrets of this enchanting country with Zicasso’s Ireland Travel Guide, where you can find more information and tips to help you start planning.

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