July 31, 2019 2 min read
Visiting Ireland is a dream come true for many travelers. It's a land of stunning beauty, interesting culture and castles around every corner. Before making your journey to this majestic country, you'll want to discover these 6 tips for visiting Ireland.
The island of Ireland is split into two different countries - Ireland which is a sovereign nation and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is part of the European Union, therefore the currency used is the euro. If you travel across the border to Northern Ireland, the currency used is not the euro, but rather the pound sterling. Thankfully, international bank cards work in ATMs in both countries, but it's good to know so you can try to use up your euros before traveling North.
Although most sights in Ireland can be seen by tour bus or public transport, you should consider renting a car so you can get to all of the amazing places that are off the beaten path. Consider getting a smaller car – especially if you plan to visit rural areas where you will likely travel down the notoriously narrow country roads. Don't forget, in Ireland, people drive on the left hand side of the road. This can be tricky and feel weird at first if you are used to driving on the right, but you should get the hang of it pretty quickly!
Did you know that travelers from outside of the EU are actually entitled to tax-free shopping here? You can apply for a Fexco Horizon card before you get to Ireland so you can register it then use it to shop tax-free in any affiliated locations in Ireland, including the Dublin Zoo, Guinness Storehouse and Avoca Handweavers.
Tipping isn’t socially required for as many services in Ireland as it is in the US, but here is the run-down on some situations in which you may need to consider tipping. In restaurants that have table service, 10% is a standard tip. Sometimes restaurants add a service charge automatically, so be sure to check before tipping. Tips are generally not expected at bars or pubs. At hotels, a euro or two to someone taking your bags to your room is fairly standard, as is leaving one to two euro for housekeeping. For taxis, it's recommended you round the fair up to the nearest euro.
The weather in Ireland weather is not predictable. The temperate oceanic climate brings heaps of rainfall, especially out west along the coast, and the weather can change in the blink of an eye. Although there are not a lot of extreme weather changes, it is best to be prepared by bringing lots of light layers. Also pack waterproof shoes.
Trains are a nice option for exploring Ireland. They offer free wi-fi, electrical outlets, bathrooms and are generally more comfortable than a bus. The downside is that they can be expensive. However, if you book online and in advance, you can get significant discounts on Irish Rail tickets.
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