I travelled to the beautiful country of Ireland a couple of years ago. It’s an incredible country, rich with culture, history, attractions, interesting (and quite happy) people.
As with any international travel, it is ideal to plan ahead, from flights to destinations to attractions, you don’t want to miss out simply because you weren’t aware.
Since then, I did a couple of other shorter trips. Due to already going to Ireland and my travelling experience, I thought it would be a good idea to share a tip or two if you plan to travel to Ireland any time soon. Here it goes.
Getting to Ireland
So, before you start researching all the places you want to go, the first step is buying your airplane tickets, and at least the first night’s accommodation.
That way, once you get there, you can rest, so you’re ready for the adventures to start. I’ll share some quick tips and then move on to Ireland specifics.
Since it’s an island, you can be sure you’ll be taking an airplane to get there. Well, there’s also a boat option from France, but if you want to get to Ireland as fast and with zero back pain, the airplane is the best bet.
When you start checking out the possibilities, you’ll quickly find out that there are two main airports: Dublin, Cork, and Shannon.
I believe most of us have enough ticket-buying experience to at least not get robbed, so I’ll skip the general airplane ticket shopping tips and move on to Ireland specifics.
Similar to other European countries, such as France, Turkey, and Germany, your preferred airport depends on where you’re going. The obvious move is to go to Dublin since it’s the capital and the heart of Ireland.
But like Orly airport in Paris and SabihaGokcen in Istanbul, going for Cork or Shannon has its benefits.
Yes, Dublin is amazing. Nobody can argue with that. But I found Cork, for example, to be also fantastic. It’s like a more relaxed version of Dublin.
My point is this. If you’re aiming for a relaxing vacation in Ireland, you might want to consider Cork first. Plus, I found out that you’ll save around 21% on transport and around 27% on housing in Cork.
Similar goes for Shannon, another beautiful city. I’m not saying to ignore Dublin; I’m just saying to give it a minute before you decide. But in the end, it’s still your choice one way or the other.
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What to do & Where to Go
Now that you have the beginning of the trip’s logistics down (give it a week or two), its time to get into the fun part of researching where you want to travel while you are there, and how you want to get around.
For that, I have one simple and obvious advice: apps. Besides the obvious utility when searching for transport and a place to stay, apps usually make my entire trip easier.
Today, almost every country has its own custom app that helps visitors get all the crucial info in a blink of an eye, but you can go further.
I can count how many times some random app helped me with any of my trips. In Berlin, I couldn’t figure out how to get from the Brandenburg Gate to the famous Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Bam, one app, and I was already in public transport to check the historical attraction.
In Paris, I had absolutely no idea where to start besides stand aimlessly under the Eiffel Tower. Again, a bit of research, and I found an app that created a nice starting route to explore the absolutely gigantic city.
The same goes for Ireland.
I think no trip to Ireland would be complete with going to some castles and seeing the Blarney Stone in person. But that’s me. For you, you might want to enjoy the pubs and jolly streets.
So I don’t spend a whole page listing apps, I found a quick list of apps useful for a trip to Ireland I’ll share below.
Some of the apps you’ll find here are more general, and you can use them on any travel, but some are specific to Ireland. Either way, feel free to check out and pick what you need.
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Why Stop There? More to See
Here’s a crazy idea. If you’ve spent time and money to fly over to Ireland, why not broaden your vacation area to venture out into the rest of Europe? With apps, you can easily find varying transportation options to get to Scotland, the UK, or even a cheap flight to another European destination. Luckily, getting around Europe is pretty easy and doesn’t have to be too time-consuming.
But if we stick to Ireland, the fact it’s isolated on an island with a couple of other countries is the same reason why it’s super easy to make an extra trip to one of the neighbouring countries.
Finally, if you’ve never been to any European city, you’ll likely be surprised by how easy it is to connect with other travellers. Sometimes, all it takes is to visit a museum or just sit down in a cafe and order coffee.
You can meet other travellers and get advice on what to do or how to get somewhere based on their past experiences. I can’t stress enough how many times I found an amazing place thanks to random people I met. I’d miss so many unforgettable gems otherwise.
Also, it’s possible you can meet a new friend to travel with a bit, or a local that enjoys taking people around their city as a friendly tour guide.
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Going to Ireland can be a trip of a lifetime, with memories to treasure always. So, before you start on your journey, just do a bit of planning and maybe create an itinerary. You don’t need much for Ireland, because once you get there, you’ll feel like at home. Only, it will be a completely new place to explore. It doesn’t get better than that.