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Essential Things To Know Before Going To Ireland

People outside a pub in Dublin

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Ireland has a special place in our hearts. I fondly remember our time living in Dublin back in 2003 on a working holiday visa, and we’ve returned many times since on short vacations and to catch up with old friends.

Having experienced the country from both a traveler and local perspective, what we’ve learned is that Ireland will surprise you. Although being in the EU and very well developed, you should never assume a trip there will be a breeze – there are many things to know before going to Ireland if you don’t want to blow your budget, or get yourself lost.

There are also a few things to know to ensure you get the most authentic experience possible. Sure, you can do tours of Ireland and learn about its history and culture from a coach seat – or you can get off the beaten path, mingle with the locals, and discover the true essence of Ireland.

Here’s how you do just that…

Things To Know Before Going To Ireland

1. Don’t Skip Dublin

The temple Bar in Dublin

Most visitors arrive and exit out of Dublin to explore the Irish countryside. While you should absolutely go out and explore the rolling hills and amazing coastal areas, we recommend you spend a few days walking around and getting to know this city FIRST.

It’s not a big city by world standards, but it’s big on energy, history, and atmosphere. It’s the perfect introduction to life in Ireland.

Walk around the cobbled streets and admire the architecture of its medieval buildings, sit in a tavern and enjoy the sounds of local Irish folk music played by a band in the corner, or step back in time and learn about Ireland’s history and heroes at Trinity College or Dublin Castle.

There’s much to discover in Dublin, and it sets the bar pretty high for what you’ll experience on the rest of your trip.

Some of our favorite attractions in Dublin you should check out are:

  • The Guinness Storehouse
  • St Stephens Green
  • Trinity College
  • Dublin Castle
  • Phoenix Park
  • Guinness Lake and Wicklow Mountains
  • Endless great pubs!
  • Temple Bar District

Here are our favorite things to do in Dublin, and our favorite Dublin pubs.

Dublin is also a very walkable city, which is another good reason to make it your first stop. As from here on out, you’re going to need to…

Top tip: Before you have the pint at the Guinness Factory, make sure you buy the dark Guinness Chocolate…

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