What you need to know before you go to Ireland
Today I’m going to talk about what you need to know before you go to Ireland. Some interesting little things that will help you one hundred percent on the island.
How do I get to Ireland?
Unfortunately, there are no regular flights to Ireland from Russia. You can get to Ireland only with a connection, for example in Riga or Paris by Lufthansa or AirBaltic. The approximate cost of the flight is 18 thousand rubles (round trip).
To visit the country you’ll need an Irish visa. A long-stay UK multivisa is also suitable for entry into the country. When obtaining an Irish visa, priority will be given to those who have a Green Card. You can read more about the Irish visa here.
Ireland has just a huge selection of hotels of various levels and for all budgets. The average hotel price for a double room starts at 50 euros.
You can use Booking.com and hotelsireland.com to book a place.
Transportation in Ireland.
Although Ireland has Uber, it is used only by tourists. Locals use My Taxi. The cost of a trip differs by about 2 times.
In all buses in Dublin for payment only coins or tourist cards are accepted. Sometimes you can meet a driver who will change a bill or give you a ride for free or with a significant discount, but it happens only sometimes.
For details about transport in Ireland see here.
A surge in popularity in Irish cuisine came with vegetable stew (lamb stew with carrots and onions), coddle (sausages and bacon stewed with potatoes and onions) and boksti.
The Irish (English breakfast) remains a favorite of many tourists, which includes a huge plate of high-calorie foods that keep you full until dinner – fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, black or white pudding (nothing like dessert), hash browns. Toast and tea/coffee are in addition.
Alcohol in Ireland is an inseparable part of the culture. Whisky is treated like a sacred thing here, it’s studied, argued about and talked about for hours… There are even special techniques and ways of drinking this or that whisky. To come to Ireland and not touch this incredible part of Irish life is an unforgivable omission!
Be sure to try at least three varieties of whiskey. Generally speaking, the Irish say that if you don’t try the local whiskey, you can say you haven’t been to Ireland. Drinking whisky here is an art. They say that before you drink a bit of Irish beer so that the body takes the next 40-degree drink not from zero, but from 6 degrees.
They love whiskey here so much that they don’t forget to pour it in their breakfast cereal or in dessert for dinner.
One more thing.
Ireland is a rainy country, so don’t forget to bring an umbrella and rain gear. And a water-repellent bag wouldn’t hurt either.
Many homes in Ireland are heated only 2-3 hours a day in winter. In the rooms is a real pandemonium, and not everyone can afford the heaters – the prices for electricity are cosmic. So when you’re packing for a trip, make sure you have warm clothes – pajamas, thermal underwear and sweaters. Even despite the fact that the thermometer outside the window shows +7.
Remember that many Irish parks and gardens close at 4pm. Be sure to get out in time, or you may have to look for another exit or climb over a high fence.
Be prepared for the fact that buses in Ireland often either leave in advance or are delayed. Ireland is not Germany, where everything is second to second. And oh yes, you won’t find benches at the bus stops, nor will you find shelters against the rain. Get ready to stand for a long, hard time waiting for a bus that’s an hour late. And you’ll be lucky if you get that rare sunshine.
The good news: many of the parks and gardens are free. You only pay to enter the castle or manor house. Likewise, all national parks and many abbeys are free.
Almost every café or restaurant serves simply horse portions. Order no more than one dish. It is impossible to stay hungry here. Before the trip, I had heard that people in Ireland can’t cook. I wonder what those people ate here.
When you travel in Ireland, bring a British adapter. Even if you forget it, you can get it at any kiosk for a couple of euros.
Be prepared for left-hand traffic and the fact that deer and mountain goats will often cross the road.
You can drive to Belfast with an Irish visa, but be careful. I have not tried, but just in case there are some of the bravest people here. So, if anything, I didn’t tell you anything ))
Prices in Ireland.
Prices in Ireland are expensive, but you can survive if you don’t take a cab, don’t eat in restaurants and cafes, don’t live in five star hotels etc.
That’s about how things are with prices:
A full Irish breakfast is 10 euros.
Whiskey in the pub – 7 euros.
Guinness in the pub, 6 euros.
Guinness in the store – 2 euros.
Shamrock pendant – 15 euros.
Shampoo – 1,5 euro.
Toothpaste – 1 euro.
A night in a hostel – 25 euros.
Night in hotel – minimum 65-70 euros.
Bus fare in Dublin – 2,5 – 3 euros.
Bus fare Dublin – Cashel – 16 euros (one way).
You can always save a lot of money on accommodation, using couchsurfing or travel thanks to BlaBlaCar. And hitchhiking too no one canceled. Almost half of our way there was hitchhiking.
Hi, this is Tasha. And I’m a photographer whose goal is to share with you the beauty of this world. My blog showcases the most fabulous destinations and hidden gems with inspiring guides and itineraries
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Welcome to my slightly dusty corner of the internet. I’m Tasha, a photographer and traveler who loves nature and the quiet life. And I’m here to share with you bits and pieces of inspiration that I draw from my everyday life
How to travel in Ireland for the rest of your life
Ireland is a country that you fall in love with from the photos even before your first trip. Green hills, blue ocean, winding roads. But there is much to be frightened of – an “incomprehensible” Irish accent, difficulties with visas and Atlantic downpours. Margarita Paimakova lived and worked for a year in the Catholic community in Belfast – now she tells how to prepare for the trip and what you should not forget about on the road.
When to go (or not to go)
In Ireland, you know right away that no weather forecasts work on this island. You can hide from a furious downpour under the roof of a Chinese diner and watch your iPhone stubbornly show “sunny day, no clouds, sunset at 8:30 p.m.” The weather is always discussed here, because every time it is a complete surprise. So there is no universal recommendation when to come to the island.
In summer, during the season of tourists, the temperature stays around 17-20 degrees. However, in June this year the thermometers were 27 degrees – the hottest month for the past half century. The rain may fall for a week (on average there are about 200 rainy days a year). But cheer up, the cloudy skies don’t detract from nature’s beauty. If you’re lucky you may see a “Celtic” fog, which lends a mystical touch to the surroundings.
Some out-of-town attractions are closed from November through Easter, and it may snow from December through March. Usually about three centimeters, and the next morning everything is already melting. For the Russian, it’s nothing, but for the Irish it’s more dangerous: there are simply no winter tires on the island. In the snow people buy products in the stores as if preparing for a nuclear strike, and lock themselves in their homes (because such bad weather – the official reason not to go to work!).
Flights are often delayed or canceled because of the snow. If you don’t want your trip to be unexpectedly shortened or stretched out, try to choose other months to travel. If the Irish town seems completely dead, all the stores, museums and pubs are closed and the streets are deserted, it’s Christmas.
Is it difficult to get a visa?
Many people for some reason think that you can enter Ireland on a Schengen visa, and don’t always know that the island of Ireland is two different states. There is the Irish Republic (Éire, capital – Dublin) and Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom (capital – Belfast). The border between them is sometimes not marked in any way. Occasionally only the motorway (main road) from Dublin to Belfast is controlled. They can stop the bus and check documents of passengers, but you never know.
Deciding which visa to apply for is very simple – by the first city of entry. If you want to go to London first, and then to Dublin, you can get the British tourist visa. But for a flight between Moscow and Dublin, you need an Irish visa.
It is important to remember: you can travel between the two countries only with a tourist or business visa (category C). Work, student, volunteer visa holders can cross the land border at their own risk: there are no serious controls. But to fly out of Dublin with a British visa is no longer possible.
The main and most simple advice: try to prepare all documents and fill out the form very carefully. On official websites a number of documents are written with a fraction. For example, financial guarantees are “certificate of account / certificate of salary / prepayment of accommodation / paid tickets. Don’t choose one! You will need all of them without exception. If you have a permanent job with a steady paycheck, the chance of rejection is extremely small. If not – ask for a sponsorship letter from relatives.
What to bring and what to leave at home
If you’ve ever been to St. Petersburg, you’ll have no problem going to Ireland. Dress in several layers, choose clothes made of breathable materials (the weather is changeable – it’s good if you can take something off and put it back on). If you’re not visiting in summer and like to take pictures, don’t forget the gloves: the wind from the Atlantic Ocean makes your hands freeze in a moment. You don’t have to take an umbrella: The wind will break it in a couple of minutes anyway. It’s better to find a water-proof jacket with a hood or a raincoat. And a water-repellent bag for your backpack, too.
Most of Ireland’s natural attractions are cliffs and rocky trails. So it’s best not to skimp on trekking boots that fix your ankle. Beautiful urban shoes, whether high-heeled shoes or good leather boots, is better to forget, even if you plan to walk only in the city. The cobblestones and the rains are merciless. The Irish themselves wear sneakers almost all year round.
And in general, you don’t have to bother with a lot of luggage. Firstly there is a budget chain Penney’s (in Northern Ireland – Primark), where you can buy trendy things starting from 5 euros. Second, in any city you’ll find a lot of Charity Shops, the local version of thrift stores. They sell things for mere pennies and all the proceeds go to charity. If you know your way around (like going to Charity Shops in wealthy neighborhoods like Holywood) you can find luxury brands of clothing for the price of dinner at a restaurant.
How to plan an itinerary
Public transportation is Ireland’s main disadvantage. Locals hardly ever use it, because every family has a car, or even several. Buses are almost always cheaper than trains, although the travel time is not that different. Google Maps knows the local routes very well – feel free to open it and see how to get there.
If you go to Ireland for the very atmosphere of small pubs and cozy streets, try to capture not only Dublin and Cork, but also several smaller towns: Galway, Ennis, Limerick. If you want to feel yourself in the past century – take a ferry to the Aran Islands (Republic) or to Rathlin Island (North). On the latter, by the way, you can see multicolored birds – tupiks – almost all year round.
To delve into history, make a list of castles (Malahide, Blarney, Clifden, Ashford, Bunratty, Glenway, Rock of Cashel) and dilapidated abbeys (Mellifont, Corcombe, Macross and others). If that’s your main interest, it’s better to choose places where the concentration of castles is off the charts – Dublin, Galway, Clare or Tipperary.
But the best thing about Ireland is its nature. The most popular and longest route is the Wild Atlantic Way. It passes through nine counties on the coast of the ocean. Includes the cliffs Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Killary Fjord and Loop Head, that is, almost all the iconic locations of the Republic. However, to pass all this way in one trip is not so simple even for experienced motorists.
The so-called “rings” (looped routes) deserve attention. For example, the Ring of Beara on the scenic Bera Peninsula. Or the Ring of Kerry through the Iveragh Peninsula, culminating in the magnificent Killarney National Park. In Northern Ireland, the most notable locations are within the Causeway Trail, Carrick-a-Ride rope bridge, Dunlus and Kinbane castles, Ballintoy Bay, and Massenden Temple.
In recent years, it has been called the “filming location of Game of Thrones” because it is here that the most popular series of our time was created.
The optimal solution is hitchhiking. There’s no problem with hitchhiking in Ireland – you only have to wait 10 to 15 minutes for a car. Most hitchhikers are elderly locals. In their youth, about thirty years ago, all of Ireland hitchhiked and for many it was not an adventure, but a daily way to get to work. Irish people are tactful and compassionate, and on the way you can get a lot of valuable advice and listen to a lot of interesting stories.
What words and expressions are worth knowing
The Irish often joke that there can be five houses on one street and each one will have a different accent. Pronunciation here varies not only from county to county: the occupation, social class, the place where a person spent his childhood, the origin of the family also leave their mark.
The most incomprehensible for the Russian ear accent is in those areas where Irish Gaelic is still actively used (for example, in Connacht, Aran Islands) and in County Cork (the Irish from other regions call it “yawning English”).
In some ways Irish English is more intelligible to the Russian ear than British English. For example, the Irish do not lower the [r] sound. This is almost the only difference between the well-educated Irish and the British in terms of pronunciation.
But, for example, instead of the word what the average Irishman will say a long “waa”, and instead of Tuesday – “chuzzday. No here sounds more like a lazy “naaah. From Gaelic to the local accent came the so-called “hidden vowels”. Even the name Northern Ireland has been jokingly changed to Norn Iron to imitate the local accent. There’s lots of other local words too – here are some that may come in handy:
Bog, loo – toilet Well horse – friendly greeting What’s a crayce? – What’s up? What’s going on here? The craic’s ninety – an answer to the previous question in the vein of “It’s okay.” Craic – a party, a “hangout,” a treat Bout ya? – also “How are you?” (from “How about you?”) Cheerio – a combined friendly “Goodbye” and “Thank you” Stickin out! – Great! Mucker – friend Dead on, deadly – something very good, excellent Bob – money Hold yer horses! – Hold yer horses! Ges a feg! – Got a cigarette? Thingy – What’s his name? Time for a few scoops? Are you going for a swalley? Wee pint? – Arthurs – A pint of Guinness (after the founder of Arthur Guinness) Haven’t a bad idea! – Not a clue! Mon in – Let’s go to… Back of beyond – obscure where, same as “in the middle of nowhere” Mile – a thousand, many
Also the Irish have an uncanny fondness for the word wee, using it not only in the sense of “small” but also just for no reason at all. If you do not understand the speech of your interlocutor you can always ask him to slow down or “explain in other words. This is normal.
How to behave
The Irish seem to be very close in mentality to the Russian people – they are open, hospitable, like to spend time with new people and, of course, drink with them in the pub. But without the initiative of the Irishman himself, it is better not to bring up such topics as religion and politics.
The point is that two decades ago the period of the so-called Troubles – the struggle between Catholics and Protestants and political differences – ended in Ireland. It lasted almost forty years. Therefore, among European countries, Ireland is the leader in the number of people with post-traumatic syndrome and depression. Sharp topics can become painful for your interlocutor.
Despite the fact that the Irish are very hearty, when asked about your affairs, you should not be frank for a long time, especially if you have just met. It’s better to limit yourself to a polite “all is well.” If you are drinking in a pub and one of you decides to buy drinks for everybody, the refusal can be regarded as a personal insult. By the way, the regulars in the old pubs have their own seats. As a rule, behind the bar and close to the bartender.
The bartender here is a priest, a friend and a psychotherapist in one person.
The Irish are very fond of inviting their new acquaintances to visit them. If you accept the invitation, it is good manners to bring something to the table. The best thing to bring is a cake that you baked with your own hands. Also the Irish love cards and give them for every occasion, whether it’s a birthday or getting a driver’s license. In general, the Irish are the very people who will become your friends for life.