Find out what to do when on the Emerald Island in Part II!
“Gas, the guards now searching the boot since half four. Mustn’t they feel knackered…what eejit who make them work so loung”, says an Irish man while talking to one at a pub. Translated it means ” Funny, the police is now searching the trunk of the car since half past four. Mustn’t they feel tired…what an idiot who makes them work so long”. It may be a little bit exaggerated, but the accent is just one of the many things that make Irish such heartwarming and lovely people.
Ireland is a beautiful country with a scenery nowhere alike: rolling green hills, castles, sheer cliffs. The extremely friendly locals make it a desirable place to travel to. Not to mention the Guinness beer 😉 This magical land is the embodiment of wonder, tales and luck. The leprechauns basically represent the charm of the country and the spell it puts on you – you would not be surprised to see a rainbow arise right in front of you. The rain makes the Emerald Isle even more magical.
Dublin is a city full of live and history – and pubs – which make it vivid and interesting. The country consists of beautiful landscapes and Irish castles, just waiting to be seen. Ireland is pretty small – with a size of 84.421 square kilometers. But on the other hand, that makes it super easy to explore, no matter if you are only staying there for 2 weeks or 2 months.
That brings us directly to the next point: transportation. Public transport is a gift of God in Ireland! No matter if you are traveling by bus or train, the drivers are super friendly, they leave on time, they mostly offer free WiFi. It is a very decent experience. The prices are of European standard. Longer bus journeys e.g. Dublin to Belfast cost you around 17€. Trains are more expensive. Expect to pay about 40 – 60€ for a 3 hour train ride, the price depends wether or not you have booked in advance. So all in all, buses will save you quite some money. You should try to avoid using taxis in the cities if you do not want to hit your wallet hard. Yet, you would be missing out on the possibly best part of your trip. Due to the fact that the Irish are so open, they tell you their life stories on cab rides. Some people get into a taxi knowing nothing about a topic and get out having the basic knowledge of politics in Ireland, the city life in Dublin, the way rural and urban areas have changed in the eyes of locals,… You could not learn more about the island than on a taxi ride.
You can stay at a hostel in Ireland for an average of 15€ a night. Normal hotels cost about 35 – 65€. Make sure that the place you are staying at offers breakfast, because you do not want to spend extra money on something you could get for free. When staying in bigger cities, such as Dublin, expect to pay more for a night at a hotel. Airbnb is a great alternative in this country.
You cannot leave the Country of Good Ol’ Luck without having eaten scones etc.! I must admit that I was not the biggest fan if their traditional breakfast, but I tried it, which actually was an unforgettable funny experience. I was 8 years old when I stayed with friends for 2 weeks outside of Dublin. I think it was the second or third day I was there when they put scones on the kitchen table for breakfast. Everybody took one and ate them while I was utterly confused. So I took one as well and took a bite as carefully as I could – while probably making the most disgusted face ever 😀 – If you are reading this guys: I’m sorry that you had to witness that! Well, I just was not too fond of it.
Anyway, eating out is not too expensive in Ireland. A simple pub meal is priced at around 10 – 15€. Be sure to drink a truly Irish Guinness beer with it. A lot of restaurants offer ‘early bird’ deals, where you can get a meal cheaper if you come earlier. They are actually pretty good deals! I would still suggest for you to eat at a pub – local food with local people at local prices. Could you wish for more?
Ireland is frankly the safest place I have yet been to. I never had to worry about pickpockets once nor was I concerned that somebody would follow me to somewhere. Everybody, and I actually mean every. single. person is so unbelievably friendly and open and nice. No Irish is afraid to start conversation and after a short “Where are you from?”, you will soon be exchanging numbers and posting pics with each other to show what a great time you are having. The hospitality is very high. In a nutshell, the Irish were the friendliest and funniest people I got to know.
- Restaurants: 10%
- Taxi: None
- Guides/Staff: 2-3€
- Greet others with a firm handshake and establish eye contact
- Irish are glad to teach you a few words of their Irish Gaelic…try to learn it 🙂
- Do not mix up Ireland with Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK
- In general, don’t leave to Ireland without informing yourself about which country belongs where etc.
- DO NOT show a reverse peace sign – it is considered a very rude gesture.
- Don’t make fun of the Irish accent – it is their culture after all.