As spring is showing us its real colors, it is the best season to visit the beautiful country of Ireland. The small, but proud Emerald Isle has it all: stunning scenery, ancient castles, deep forests, delectable cuisine, and, of course, the renowned Guinness. If this country has been on your bucket list for ages and you now finally plan on coming here, there are a few things that you should take into consideration in order to have a trouble-free and memorable vacation.
Go outside of Dublin
When visiting Ireland, many tourists, especially the ones that haven’t planned their trip beforehand, make the mistake of only staying in the capital city instead of going outside to see all the beauties that this country has. And although Dublin is obviously a wonderful city, it is a must to go outside of its borders in order to fully understand the incredible Irish history, customs, and scenery. To make the visit more comfortable, you can rent a car to see the country’s natural wonders, such as the Ring of Gullion, the Moher Cliffs, and the Ring of Kerry, but if you’re traveling on a budget, there are plenty of one-day bus tours available at an affordable price.
Prepare for the unpredictable weather
As we say here in Ireland, this country has 4 seasons in a day, so even if the forecast programs show a clear sky and no sign of rain or wind, some warm clothes, as well as an umbrella or a raincoat shouldn’t miss from your luggage. The rumors of Ireland being a country that is always covered in rain and mist are not entirely false, so you should definitely prepare for this before arriving here. However, it’s spring, after all, so aside from packing sweaters, jackets, and raincoats, don’t forget a few dresses, skirts, and shirts for when the sun decides to show its face.
Just like any other trip, it is a must to bring back from Ireland a few souvenirs both for yourself and for your friends and family. Luckily Ireland has a ton of these things, so finding the right gift would be a breeze. You can choose the souvenir based on your budget: some milk chocolate, cheese, or tea if you’re only backpacking and don’t have too much money to spend; pottery, a vinyl, or an Irish book if you can splurge a bit more, and finally some jewelry with precious stones or a bottle of exquisite alcohol if you have a higher budget. If you’re lucky enough to visit the Aran Islands, it’s a must to buy an Aran sweater from there, as it is one of the most traditional and practical souvenirs that one can buy. But if you’re not sure the Arans would be in your visiting plan, Tara Irish Clothing sells authentic Irish wool sweaters that will remind you of this wonderful place for many years.
Try the national dishes
We all know how great the Irish beverage industry is and how everyone is fond of Guinness, Jameson, and Bushmills, but not too many consider giving a try to the traditional food that we have here. Although in the past Ireland’s cuisine wasn’t appreciated to its full extinct, these days more and more foodies gather here to try the national dishes. The most popular ones are the Irish stew, soda bread, and colcannon, but there are also many options for those who enjoy seafood and fish more such as smoked salmon and shellfish. For those with a sweet tooth, the Irish apple cake and Guinness Chocolate Layer Cake are a must-try.
Learn some Irish slang
Lastly, although English is the most spoken language in the country, there are some Irish phrases that might take you by surprise and that you’d be better to know before the trip. Here are some of the sayings that will help you have a better understanding of the locals:
Top of the morning to you is a wish for a good morning;
Sláinte, which is pronounced “slaan-sha”, literally translates to health and is used when drinking glasses of Guinness;
And when someone tells you What’s the craic? they actually mean to ask how are you.