Ireland is an amazing country, rich in history, original culture and natural beauty. It is known for its beautiful scenery, green hills, Celtic traditions, Guinness beer, Jameson whisky and friendly people. Ireland has many attractions that draw visitors from all over the world, including ancient castles, museums, pubs and many beautiful parks.
Ireland on the map
Geographical location of the country
The island of Ireland is the westernmost and third largest in Europe. It is separated from the island of Britain by the Irish Sea and the North and St George’s Seas. The Atlantic Ocean washes over Ireland from the west.
There are many rocky islands scattered around its shores and the coastline is rugged.
Safety for tourists
Ireland has a very low crime rate, and you can walk around almost every corner of Irish cities at night without fear. Not only that, but the Irish are very kind and helpful people who will always come to the rescue when they see your difficulties.
There are no dangerous predators in the wilderness, the climate is temperate, and there are no impenetrable forests to get lost in, or scary bogs to drown in. There are no snakes, flies or mosquitoes in Ireland.
Just follow the usual rules of safe behaviour in the city, outdoors and on the ocean, and your comfort, health and life in Ireland will be safe.
The Irish have a reputation for being great lovers of a good time with friends. There are several celebrated holidays, including New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day, St Patrick’s Day and Halloween. Traditional Celtic holidays such as Imbolc, Beltane, Samhain and others are also popular.
Read this article to find out how the Irish celebrate and which festivals are most popular here.
Things to do in Ireland
At first glance, it might seem that Ireland has few attractions, and indeed it doesn’t. The country is different – the history, the myths, the nature. Nevertheless, you’ll find plenty of ways to have fun here too.
- Attractions to see. There are many castles, old churches and wonderful natural attractions, as described in this article.
- Beaches. The beach season in Ireland lasts for 2–3 months. There are many sandy and pebbly beaches.
- Surfing, yachting and other water activities are very popular with tourists coming to Ireland, details of the most popular spots are given in this article.
- Pubs. Traditionally, tourists are required to visit several pubs to experience Ireland’s wonderful atmosphere, traditions and customs.
- The fun holidays already described above. The most popular of these is St Patrick’s Day.
- Film and TV series locations. Several iconic films and TV series have been filmed in Ireland, and the locations are popular with tourists.
Information on Ireland
If you are planning to visit Ireland, here are some of the most important things to know:
Ireland has two official languages, Irish and English. Most people speak both languages fluently.
There are currently just over 5 million people living in Ireland. Of these, about 83% are Irish. The rest are represented by diasporas of British, other Europeans, Asians and people from Africa.
This whole conglomerate is united into one nation, which is very friendly and cheerful. More facts about the Irish, their character and local colour can be found in this article.
Ireland used the local pound until 1999, but since then the country has switched to the Euro. The Euro is used both in Ireland and elsewhere in the European Union. The Irish Euro has its own distinctive features and is easily recognisable by the Celtic harp on its coins.
In Northern Ireland you can pay in British pounds sterling, but in the Republic it is accepted only by a limited number of shopping centres at a very unfavourable rate.
Ireland is a secular state where freedom of religion is proclaimed. The majority of Irish people belong to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants, Muslims, Orthodox Christians and many other believers are represented in the country.
Ireland has a mild, temperate maritime climate. The Atlantic Ocean and the warm Gulf Stream have a major influence on the weather. Average temperatures range around +17°C in summer and +6°C in winter.
Summer is the best time to visit Ireland. The piercing ocean winds make the country unappealing come autumn.
For a full description of Ireland’s climate, see this article.
Ireland has a low score on the scale of probability of natural disasters. Hurricanes are the most common natural disaster. Fires are also very damaging to the environment. Earthquakes are rare, the strongest recorded being of magnitude 5.4. Devastating floods and tsunamis are still possible.
Read about the most devastating disasters in Irish history here.
The Republic of Ireland is a European Union state. It occupies most of the area of the island of the same name. To the north-east is Northern Ireland, the administrative and political part of Great Britain. There is no border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and despite Britain’s exit from the European Union, people and goods can travel freely through the island.
Ireland is a parliamentary republic. The highest executive power is the president, elected for 7 years, and the highest legislative power is a bicameral parliament.
The country is divided into four provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster, which are in turn divided into 32 counties. The six counties of Ulster belong to Northern Ireland.
The capital is Dublin, also the largest city in the country, and home to 1.1 million people.
Cork – population 125,000. An industrial centre of the country, located 250 kilometres southwest of Dublin. Attracts tourists with ancient castles, beautiful churches, modern art galleries and picturesque surroundings.
Limerick – population 95,000. Founded by the Vikings in 812. A major trade and railway centre. Renowned for a number of cathedrals, museums and the castle of King John the Barefoot.
Galway – population 80,000. A major port on the West Coast and a commercial and tourist centre. Annually about 2 million tourists come here. Renowned for its many churches and picturesque surroundings.
Waterford – population 53 thousand people. Founded by the Vikings in 914, Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city. A major port and agricultural centre. Famous for its Cathedral, Treasure Museum, Art Gallery and Theatre Royal.
Symbols of Ireland
Some of the most recognisable symbols of the country include:
- The shamrock, associated with St Patrick, who used it to explain the Holy Trinity.
- Leprechauns are Irish dwarf wizards who grant wishes.
- The Claddagh – symbol of love, represented by a ring of two hands holding a heart.
- The harp is symbolic of the Celtic goddess of beauty Cleodna.
You can read more about the symbols of this country, its myths and legends in this article by clicking the link.
How to get to Ireland
There are 5 international airports in Ireland, the largest of which are Channon and Dublin. Air travel links Ireland to countries all over the world.
Another popular way to reach Ireland is by sea. Most tourists arrive in the country via the ports of Dublin and Cork.
You can also get to Ireland by ferry from neighbouring Great Britain or from France.
Prices in the country
- Car rental from 17 Euros per day
- Yacht charter – from 800 Euros per day
- Hotel room rate from 120 Euros per night
- Renting a flat – from 1500 Euros per month
- Average cost of a meal in a café – from 30 Euros per person without alcohol
- Sitting in a pub – 0.5 Euros for a beer from 6.5 Euros
- Visiting a tour – from 25 euros
- Museum visit – from 15 euros
How much money to take to Ireland
The amount you need for a comfortable holiday in Ireland varies and depends on a number of factors, primarily the number of people and the length of stay. Hotel accommodation, transfers and a number of other expenses travel companies already include in the cost of the trip, so they should be taken into account only if you are vacationing on your own.
For a comfortable stay in Ireland for a family of three people is enough 5 thousand euros for 10 days. This amount includes: meals, visits to excursions and museums, restaurants and pubs, transport, trips around the country.
If you have already visited the country, please share your experiences in the comments section. Please write your thoughts on what you like best, what things you can remember most about the country, and what you would recommend to other tourists. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!