Visiting Ireland is both beautiful and overwhelming. Ireland is a country with so much history, culture and untouched beauty that invites and offers you the chance to become an endless explorer. From the bright lights to the green fields – Ireland has a way of captivating everyone, young and old. If you’re thinking of heading off to explore Ireland, here are some top tips for you.
Top tips for exploring Ireland
1. See the city, experience the landscape
There is no doubt that cities like Belfast, Derry, Dublin and Cork offer it’s visitor something unique and everyone should explore these – especially if you love the hustle and bustle of city life. But whatever you do, don’t forget the beauty of rural Ireland. There is so much variation in Ireland’s rural landscapes, the Atlantic Ocean, the theatrical Cliffs of Moher, Wicklow’s flourishing mountains, rivers and lakes and amazing UNESCO sites like The Giants Causeway, Belfast (pictured below). City life is always appealing but Ireland’s nature is spectacular and not to be missed. The Wild Atlantic Way is one such trek that is sure to attract thousands of visitors to Ireland in 2014 and beyond.
2. Sample the local food
Whilst potato bread or soda farls may not look like or even sound like the most amazing food in the world, be assured, it is in fact the most amazing food in the world. The Irish love home made goods and you’ll find plenty of this in both local shops and big supermarkets. For lovers of meat and vegetables, Ireland is a foodie’s heaven so don’t just be tempted by the beer, try the food too.
Food festivals are a plenty in Ireland, so if you’re planning a holiday in Ireland, be sure to consider the following food festivals.
A Taste of West Cork Food Festival
3. Go where the music is
The Irish are known around the world for their talent with music but there is nothing quite like a traditional Irish session. This mainly consists of older men and women, and some young, sitting in a corner in a pub playing many of Ireland’s traditional instruments. There’ll be singing, dancing and beautiful music that will get your feet tapping, and heart racing. If you walk past a bar and think this is a private event, that is very unlikely – all sessions are open to everyone and usually free too.
4. Don’t be afraid!
Irish people are notoriously friendly. Don’t be astounded or put off if someone simply starts talking to you in a bar and asks 20 questions about where you’re from and what you’re doing. In any other country, this may seem strange…even scary, but in Ireland, this is the norm. Irish people love to chat and if you respond to their conversation, you’ll be likely to get some great insider tips about the local area and what’s going on. The friendly locals will even be likely to buy you a drink to toast a new friendship!
5. Take time to breath in the fresh clean air
Despite not enjoying a particularly warm climate, Ireland’s damp temperatures help generate some of the cleanest air in Europe. There are countless scenic drives and walking routes to explore where you will be exposed to some of the most outstanding natural beauty in the world, so take time to breathe in and relax.
Whatever your plans are for Ireland, be sure to enjoy it with the locals. Enjoy the food and the drink, the landscape and the beauty of all Ireland has to offer. Embrace yourself in the Irish culture and enjoy the friendly atmosphere that is quickly making the cities, towns and villages of Ireland, a popular holiday hangout for many.