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How to Plan a Trip to Ireland: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: February 15, 2024

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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, and here we answer our travelers’ most 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, you can find more information on how to experience your perfect Ireland trip, with answers to questions you may be considering as you begin to plan your journey.

  1. When is the best time to visit Ireland?
  2. How many days should I spend in Ireland?
  3. What is Ireland famous for?
  4. What are the most popular destinations in Ireland?
  5. What should I do on my trip to Ireland?
  6. What food should I try in Ireland?
  7. Where can I see traditional Irish music and dance?
  8. What are the famous legends and traditions of Ireland?
  9. How do I travel around Ireland?
  10. Is Ireland a good destination for families?
  11. Is Ireland suitable for senior travelers?
  12. Is Ireland suitable for couples or honeymooners?
  13. Is Ireland safe to visit?
  14. What language do they speak in Ireland?
  15. What vaccinations do I require to enter Ireland?
  16. What is the official currency of Ireland?
  17. Should I tip in Ireland?
  18. Which airports should I be looking at?
  19. How can Zicasso help me plan my trip to Ireland?
  20. Where can I find recommended itineraries for my trip?

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. 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 many days should I spend in Ireland?

Seven days in Ireland will allow you to discover Dublin’s charm and traditions, with a few days to travel to the southwest to explore some 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

What is Ireland famous for?

Ireland is famous for 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, hearty meals, and friendly locals add to the whiskey-distilling forerunner’s allure.

Learn more: Best Castles to Visit in Ireland

What are the most popular destinations 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 several choices regarding 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 ocean views when visiting our recommendations for the best places to visit in Ireland.

What should I do on my trip to Ireland?

There are many adventures you can enjoy, and below we list a few options of what you could do on a 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 things to do in Ireland unveil our recommendations of the things to do during your trip to help inspire more ideas or provide new perspectives on 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 vegetables 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?

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 surely 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 step in time as you learn the craft at venues across the country.

What are the famous legends and traditions of Ireland?

The most popular 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 cry of a banshee 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 do I travel 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.

Is Ireland a good destination for families?

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 and 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 on 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 Things to Do in Ireland for Seniors

Is Ireland suitable 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 to 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 some romantic options awaiting you on our Ireland honeymoon packages.

Learn more: 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 for 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 nationwide 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 Ireland?

Our Ireland tours and vacations are a collection of curated trips from which 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 the 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 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 find recommended itineraries for my trip?

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 that combines charm, history, and contemporary culture. Our Ireland tours and vacations are featured itineraries that can inspire your trip before you customize the details.

Discover the secrets of this enchanting country with our Ireland travel guide, where you can find more information and tips to help you start planning.

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