Since the outbreak of Covid-19, traveling abroad has not been easy due to the travel restrictions put in place. However, with the vaccine rollout, things are gradually going back to normal. The majority of countries within the EU are allowing fully vaccinated tourists to travel without having to go into quarantine, so countries like Ireland are back open for business.
People from all around the globe know about Ireland, and many have dreamed about visiting the Emerald Isle at some stage in their lifetime. Although you can expect bad weather conditions (even during the summer), the beauty of the countryside and the friendly locals make up for the wind and the rain. There are plenty of reasons you should consider visiting Ireland, and here are a few of them.
1. The People
The Irish are known to be laid back people. Most of them like to learn about different cultures, so you can expect them to ask you a lot of questions about your origins and what it is like to live in your country.
They are very proud of Ireland, especially the area they live in. They are more than happy to give you information about the local area, so don’t be afraid to ask them for advice. However, Irish people get embarrassed if they don’t know where a certain area is. So if you are looking for directions, make sure you use a GPS system on your phone instead of asking a local. There is a good chance that they will point you in the wrong direction, because they will be too embarrassed to tell a foreigner they don’t know the way around their own country.
Irish love having what is known as ‘the craic’ (the Irish word for fun), so don’t forget to smile and don’t be afraid to join in. Many tourists feel that it’s the locals throughout Ireland that make the country memorable, so socialize with them as much as you can.
2. It’s a Sporting Nation
The Irish people are very competitive, and they have produced some of the best sportspeople on the planet. Golfer Rory Mcilroy, world champion boxer Katie Taylor, and former professional soccer player, Roy Keane, who captained both Manchester United and the Republic of Ireland all come from Ireland. However, the main sports in Ireland are Gaelic Football and Hurling. These nonprofessional sports are played by lots of the locals, and you can find games played during the season almost every weekend. They take these sports very seriously, and the players and the coaching staff dedicate their lives to the national sports.
If you get a chance, ask the locals if there is a live game going on in the area. Although the rules take a small while getting used to, they are great sports to watch. You will be amazed by the passionate supporters and players at each game.
Ireland has a very relaxed view of gambling, so you should have no issue gaining access to a live casino if you are looking to place a bet during your stay in Ireland. However, there are plenty of dog and horse racing tracks throughout the country, and they frequently host events. These race tracks are a great way to interact with the locals, and the atmosphere in the grandstands is often electric. Irish horse breeders and trainers are some of the best in the world, so don’t miss out on watching some of their horses in action.
3. County Kerry
County Kerry is one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland. It has spectacular beaches, the highest mountain in Ireland, some fantastic golf courses, and lots of lakes and waterfalls. It is known as ‘The Kingdom’, and if you visit it, you will understand that the nickname is justified. In recent years, the local councils have spent a large sum of money on infrastructure in County Kerry, so you should have no issue driving around the countryside if you decide to rent a car.
There is a common route that most tourists take known as ‘The Ring of Kerry’. This unbelievable scenic route is to die for, and locals and tourists take the long ride on a regular basis. The most popular destinations on the route is a town called Killarney and a small town called Dingle. However, there are other spots along the way that are not filled with tourists, such as Killorglin and Glenbeigh. Don’t hesitate to go off the beaten track to discover the beautiful county for yourself.
If you are into hiking, you should put County Kerry at the top of your list. There are lots of hikes around the county, which are ideal for novices. However, if you are looking for a challenge, Ireland’s biggest mountain, Carrauntoohil, is just under 3,500 feet. However, before you set out, examine the weather forecast to make sure it’s safe.
4. Great place to go for a Drink
It is known around the globe that the Irish are fond of a drink. Famous drinks like Guinness and Jameson originated from Ireland, along with lots more. The Guinness factory, which is located in Dublin is a very popular destination for those visiting Ireland’s capital. The entrance fee into the factory is €25 per adult, and you get a free pint of Guinness in the Sky Bar which is located at the top of the factory. The Sky Bar is all made of glass, so you can get a panoramic view of the entire city while drinking a smooth pint of Guinness.
The Irish pub is famous all over the world, and there is nothing better than sitting down in a country pub enjoying a nice drink. Before you hit the town, find out if there is any bar with traditional live music. A lot of bars, even in areas that don’t get a lot of tourists, host live traditional bands regularly. If you don’t have any Irish dancing experience, don’t worry, as the locals are more than happy to show tourists what to do.