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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 31 ESSENTIAL First Time IRELAND Travel Tips

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Ireland, the Emerald Isle is a stunning

country full of ancient history and some

of the most warm people that you'll ever meet.

Top of the morning to ya!

Have ye seen me pot of gold, mister?


How about me potatoes?

What? Are you a walking stereotype?

No, I just wanted to like

get us in the mood of things.

Nobody says top of the morning to you

except for your annoying co-worker on

St. Paddy's Day. True

Ireland is one of our all-time favorite destinations.

Friendly locals, rugged

beautiful scenery and an evolving

cuisine that's one of the most underrated in Europe.

Ireland holds one of the richest cultures in Europe with

over 7,000 years of history from ancient

burial grounds to Iron Age fortresses

and some of the most intact ruins on the continent.

Ireland is a product of

thousands of years of emigration and conquest,

from the Celts who gave the

island its language, music, and the arts,

to the Vikings who raided Ireland but

built some of its largest cities

including Dublin, to the British who

ruled Ireland as a colony for nearly eight hundred years.

During the Dark Ages

Irish monks played a crucial role in

preserving ancient knowledge, locking

themselves up in remote monasteries like

Skellig Michael now famous from Star Wars

the Last Jedi where they

transcribed old books into beautiful

manuscripts such as the Book of Kells

which is on display at Dublin's Trinity College.

Today, just over a hundred years after gaining

independence from Britain, Ireland is

really finding its stride as a travel destination.

Here are some of the highlights:

Dublin, Ireland's capital, is much more than just

a pub crawl.

It's also a UNESCO city of literature thanks

to authors such as James Joyce and Oscar Wilde,

as well as the capital of

Ireland's bustling design scene.

Galway is the offbeat live music capital of the west coast.

It's the best place to

discover traditional Irish music and

sample some of Ireland's world-famous oysters.

From Galway explore the Wild Atlantic Way,

the longest coastal scenic highway on earth

and one of the world's best road trips, period.

It's got everything from the Cliffs of Moher to

surf towns like Strandhill and fishing

villages like Kinsale in the south.

Down south the food scene of Cork is not to be missed,

not just in the city either,

the farms and fjords of West Cork are

the breadbasket of Ireland and we highly

suggest you get out there and explore.

Then there's Northern Ireland, which has

finally overcome the sectarian violence

of the last century to become a major

tourist draw in its own right.

With everything from the

iconic Giant's Causeway to the awards

winning Titanic experience in Belfast

and of course for all you Game of Thrones

fans the real-life Winterfell.

And yes, you can even visit the direwolves.

We've already covered all of

our favourite destinations in Ireland in

a separate video, so click on this card

to watch that next, but stay tuned for

all the practical information that

you're going to need to plan your trip

starting with when to visit.

The Emerald Isle is green because it rains.

The Romans called it Hibernia because it

seemed to be winter all year long.

So bring your rain jacket.

The safest bet is to avoid winter entirely and aim for

summer where temperatures range between

20 and 33 Celsius or 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

We always film in the shoulder seasons;

we love traveling during the shoulder seasons,

and here in Ireland the shoulder seasons

that we recommend you visit in

are May to June or September and October

when the weather is still pretty mild

but the crowds are a fraction of the summertime.

When it comes to packing,

expect wet weather all year round.

So always pack a rain jacket as well as

really good waterproof footwear,

especially if you're trying to do any

sort of hiking because just a little bit

of rain can turn the paths really really muddy.

It's common to see a couple of

seasons in a day so even if it's sunny

when you leave your hotel in the morning

always dress in layers so you can take

clothes on and off as the temperature changes,

and always pack that rain jacket or umbrella.

You'll be thankful if you do.

If you find yourself underprepared, don't worry.

There's plenty of shops in Ireland

to find that functional and stylish

outerwear that you need.

We recommend getting started in Dublin with the shops

Indigo and Cloth and Makers and Brothers.

Also do not forget to bring the proper power adapter.

It's the same one that

you use in the UK, and it's different

than the one that you use in Europe.

Sounds good, right? But how much does it cost?

Let's talk about money.

Ireland is technically split into two countries :

The Republic of Ireland, which is in the EU

and on the euro and Northern Ireland,

which is part of the UK and uses the British pound.

ATMs are widely available;

credit cards are accepted

pretty much everywhere, but some places

like pubs, especially, will only accept debit cards or cash.

Interesting side note: even though the Republic of Ireland uses euros,

they still use the slang term for pounds.

They still call 20 euros 20 quid.

If you hear Irish people saying 20 quid,

it still means 20 euros, even though

it's referring to British pounds.

Kind of confusing, but if you want to talk

like a local, say 20 quid.

Ireland is not really a budget destination.

It's not as expensive as the UK or Scandinavia, but

it's considerably more expensive than

eastern or southern Europe... about a

hundred euros a day should be a proper solid budget.

You could get by with about 75 euros a day,

but you're going to be pinching pennies.

If you want to live it up,

one hundred fifty euros a day should be plenty.

Your biggest cost is accommodation.

There's a lot of options in the mid to luxury

range, from charming Georgian town houses

or design hotels in Dublin, to palatial

country homes in the countryside but

there are not a lot of really cheap options.

Your basic hostel will cost you twenty five euros.

It's not bad, but it's not as

cheap as other parts of the world and

free camping is not allowed.

If you expect just to pitch your tent anywhere

you see a green pasture, you'll be surprised..

You might get in trouble with the police.

Alcohol is surprisingly expensive for a

country so closely associated with pints and pubs.

So if you are on a tight budget,

buy your booze at the supermarket.

Maybe get a bottle of local Irish whiskey, and

you know, bring a flask.

Be a little cheeky; be a little sneaky.

You can figure it out.

Long story short, you don't have to go out

and get blind drunk.

If you go to the pub,

have one or two pints and call it a night.

Meals and restaurants typically

cost around twenty euros for lunch, slightly

more for dinner. Of course there are the

fast food options like the rest of

Europe from kebabs and curries to the

old standby of fish and chips.

And like the UK, most hotels offer a full Irish breakfast.

It's a really, really filling breakfast,

and it usually comes with a

vegetarian option as well included in the hotel price.

Our tip is to load up

on a late breakfast, skip lunch then find

a reasonably priced pub for a quality

dinner and a pint. More tips on where and

what to eat a little later in this video.

The good news is you can save money

getting to Ireland on the cheap.

Let's move on to transportation.

I would say that Ireland is an easy country to get to

and a slow country to get around.

Let me explain.

Ireland is the home of budget airline Ryanair,

which has tons of cheap tickets

all across Europe, sometimes just a

couple of euros, but be aware of hidden

charges and make sure that you're

traveling carry-on only to really reap the benefits.

It's also the closest

European Union country to the United States,

which means transatlantic flights

are usually quite cheap, especially when

you're using Aer Lingus, Ireland's

national carrier or some of the budget

airlines like Wow Air, which offer

round-trip transatlantic flights via New York City

for around three hundred US dollars.

But if you're going to use these budget airlines,

be forewarned, they will get you

with checked baggage fees, food, even water.

So be prepared.

Getting between cities is very easy.

There are trains connecting all major cities and there

are also very cheap buses that you can

get for well under twenty euros from like Dublin to Galway.

And if you're feeling adventurous,

hitchhiking is relatively easy in Ireland.

I once did it in the dead of winter

to go visit the Cliffs of Moher

and then make it back to Galway.

It was a very cheap, very fun, and very easy.

The soul of Ireland is in the countryside..

rolling hills, small towns,

and peninsulas that stretch off into the

open ocean on the Wild Atlantic Way,

a beautiful stretch of coastal road that

spans nearly the entire west coast of the country.

You can get tons of ideas

for your road trip on the website

Wild Atlantic, but our best tip is to

find the roads that lead down the

finger-like fjords of West Cork.

It's truly a beautiful place.

Also if you haven't already seen our two different

vlog series from the Island of Ireland,

we did one in the Republic of Ireland

and one in Northern Ireland.

Make sure you check those out

before you book your flight.

There's also plenty of smaller airports along

the Wild Atlantic Way from Sligo to

Shannon to Cork and many more.

If you're doing the road trip along the

Wild Atlantic Way, this is a great money and

time saver because you can fly into one

airport, rent the car, drive up to

the next one, return it there and fly

home from a smaller airport all without

doing the gigantic loop back to Dublin.

One last thing... do not underestimate

road distances in Ireland.

It may say it's only a hundred miles or 100 kilometres,

but Irish roads, many of them, are very small,

one lane twisty curvy country roads,

and distances take a lot longer to

cover in real life than they do on Google Maps.

Also cars drive on the

left-hand side of the road and the vast

majority of them run on diesel so do not put

regular unleaded fuel in your diesel

rental car or you will be footing a very, very large bill.

Now that we've covered the basics,

let's dive in to the juicy stuff:

stereotypes, controversies, and the

do's and the don'ts of visiting Ireland.

Ireland is a wonderful country plagued

by ridiculous stereotypes, many of them

admittedly coming from our own country

of the United States of America where

ironically everyone claims to be Irish

on Saint Paddy's Day, but we're still

plagued by these misconceptions.

Many of our misconceptions about the Irish come

from the mid 1800s when millions of

Irish emigrated to the United States and

elsewhere to escape the Great Potato Famine,

which killed over two million Irish.

For instance, it's not true that the

Irish sit around drinking Guinness all day.

Alcohol consumption is more or less

on par with the rest of Europe.

The portrayal of Irish as drunkards

partially comes from American

anti-immigrant propaganda when nativist

wanted to portray Irish as too drunk to work.

What about St. Paddy's Day, you might say?

Well hate to break it to you,

but that is a holiday that is celebrated

much more in the United States than it

is in Ireland, so don't come to Dublin

expecting a giant celebration.

You're better off going to Boston or Chicago

Not all Irish have red hair.

In fact only about 9% of them do.

However, Irish do have Celtic roots so

their DNA is similar to people from

Scotland, Wales, and even the Basque Country

in northern Spain.

Nor do the Irish lived solely off potatoes.

Sure, the Irish were some of the first

Europeans to adopt this Peruvian tuber

after it was introduced by the Spanish to Europe,

but it was because it was a

great source of calories for poor Irish farmers.

But Irish food has evolved so much since then.

So on that note let's

discuss the essential foodie experiences

to have while you're in Ireland.

Ireland's food culture is so good because its

geography makes agriculture small-scale,

local, and family-owned by nature.

One of the best places to sample locavore

cuisine is Anair restaurant in Galway

where chef JP MacMahon uses only

ingredients sourced from the west of

Ireland to create incredible dishes that

will blow your tastebuds right out of your mouth.

To really get on the foodie trail though,

you need to head south to

County Cork, the larder of Ireland where

pretty much anywhere you eat will be

local, organic, and absolutely delicious.

Ireland has great cheese because there's

plenty of green pastures for cows to graze.

We visited the Grabeen farm in West Cork,

one of the best producers in the country.

Their cheeses are available in specially shops

and supermarkets all across Ireland.

Ireland has a thriving

fishing industry and some of the best

fresh seafood in the world ,including

their oysters just outside of Galway.

Go to Morans on the Weir just outside of

Galway for the full seafood experience.

A classic dish is Irish stew made with

lamb, potatoes, and stout, which is perfect

for warming you up after a cold day or a surf

in the Atlantic as we did in Strandhill at Shells Cafe,

a lovely restaurant with an amazing cookbook,

The Surf Cafe Cookbook.

I've made their Guinness and beef stew recipe many times.

It's always a hit with my friends,

and this is a great cookbook

Also try the morning pie. It's delicious.

Lastly, we recommend trying seaweed

formerly a staple of the Irish diet

until it became viewed as poor people's food.

These days adventurous foodies are

rediscovering the health benefits of

seaweed and using it in all different

styles of cooking. In West Cork we joined

a kayaking tour where we foraged for

fresh seaweed in an incredibly scenic

area then brought it back to shore and

ate it for lunch. Did we mention that

there's a place called Voya Spa where

you can book a seaweed bath?

Trust us, this is incredible and it needs to be

on your Irish bucket list.

Okay enough about food.

What about Guinness? Guinness is

popular worldwide but you really haven't

had a Guinness until you've had one in Ireland.

And although the Guinness Storehouse

is a great experience,

touristic yes but awesome, most locals

will tell you that the key to a good

Guinness is the tap at the pub,

specifically the lines that connect the keg to the tap.

Some pubs have cleaner

and better lines than others; every local

has their preference so ask around and

never drink Guinness from a can.

Then there's Irish whiskey, which uses

barley instead of corn, rye, or wheat like

American bourbon, which is triple

distilled making it a little bit more

approachable than scotch whisky.

Jameson and Bushmills are the two most famous

Irish whiskeys, but head to a proper

whiskey bar like Shellbournes in Cork

which have a much wider selection and

can line you up with a proper Irish whiskey tasting.

Speaking of drinking,

here are some important do's and don'ts in Ireland,

starting in the pub.

Do buy drinks in rounds when you're in a group.

Everybody takes turns; it will come back to you,

but if you buy just a drink for yourself,

it's seen as rude.

Don't take offense at Irish humor or salty language.

The Irish love a laugh,

sometimes at your expense.

It's all in good fun, so feel free to

give as much as you get and swearing is

pretty common, especially with the word feck.


It's kind of like saying

darn but with the F word.

Don't battle the crowds to see the Cliffs of Moher.

Yes, they are iconic; they are gorgeous;

they are truly a landmark of Ireland.

However, they're almost always swamped

with tourists and often covered in fog.

Instead head up to County Donegal to see

the Cliffs of Slieve League.

They're higher and far less crowded.

Do take time to get to know the locals,

especially in the smaller villages.

Locals are usually quite friendly and more than willing to

discuss the hot topics of the day in a

friendly and cordial manner no matter

how controversial the subject may be.

Don't, and I can't believe I actually

have to say this, do not dress up like a

leprechaun and expect people to react

well to it and yes I'm talking to you

sitting in your college dorm room or

your frat house sitting there going oh

going to Dublin let me just dress like

a leprechaun no no do not do this.

The same goes for poor attempts at Irish

accents or just asking everybody about

your last name and where you come from

because nobody knows ok there's a lot of

people the same last names and your

ancestry is just not that important to

the average guy at the pub right here.

On a more serious note definitely do

familiarize yourself with the

controversial history of Northern Ireland

and Ireland's struggle for

independence from Great Britain.

Everyone should do their homework and their

research before visiting Ireland or

Northern Ireland just to be aware.

But, the short version of the history is this:

Ireland was Britain's first colony and

its longest held, nearly eight hundred years in total.

The Republic of Ireland gained

independence from Great Britain only one hundred

years ago and the mostly Protestant enclave

of Northern Ireland remained part of

Great Britain and still does to this day.

The last century was full of political

turmoil, civil unrest, and innocent

bloodshed as the Irish Republican Army

battled the British security forces in

Northern Ireland.

The tit-for-tat bloodshed claimed many innocent civilian lives

and turned Belfast into a war zone

divided along Protestant and Catholic

lines until the Good Friday Agreement of

the 1990s finally brought peace.

There is currently no violence and no border

separating the two nations as both are

part of the European Union.

However, because Northern Ireland is part

of the UK and the UK just voted to leave

the European Union with Brexit,

the future of this border remains uncertain.

As a visitor you have nothing to worry

about in terms of safety.

Just be aware that the conflict has touched every

corner of Irish society and evokes

strong emotions still to this day.

Do be respectful when discussing the issue,

and to state the obvious, don't walk into

a bar in Belfast and order an Irish car bomb.

Instead do consider taking a street art tour of Belfast.

It shows how Belfast murals, which once

divided the city along ethnic lines, are

now being used to heal the wounds of the

past with creativity.

Lastly, do take some time to learn a little bit of

Irish Gaelic, a language that predates English

and is still spoken widely in many rural

areas and the islands off the coast of Ireland.

It's not essential for

communication but the language is

closely tied to Irish identity and most

locals appreciate the effort.

Here are some useful phrases. Basic Gaelic....

starting with please and thank you.

If you're local and you can pronounce

better than me, which you probably can,

please add your pronunciation tips in the comment section.

Please is "Le do thoil"

Thank you is a bit more a mouthful

It's "Go raibn maith agat."

But the most practical and commonly used

as a tourist phrase is probably "Cheers."

"Slainte." That one's easy.

That one's very useful, and you know it's

a good little start towards your Gaelic learning process.

lf all of that seems a bit daunting,

here is a very useful local

phrase that you can easily wrap your head around:

"Craic," which loosely translates to "fun."

Ask a local, "Where's the craic?"

and they'll most likely point you in the direction of the most

fun pub in town.

Finally, if you want to learn more about Irish culture,

here are a few more resources starting with books:

Oscar Wilde is one of the greatest

English language writers. His book the

Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorites.

Of course there's also James Joyce.

He's famous for writing Ulysses,

which is a stream-of-consciousness novel

that is incredibly difficult to read.

Good luck if you want to attempt it.

You can also go on the pub tour that takes

you to a lot of places he featured in that book,

but I would personally recommend Dubliners.

It's a collection of

his short stories that all take place in Ireland

and are much more accessible and a good

way to get insight into Ireland in that time period.

For films that show a lot

about life in Ireland, I'd recommend you watch

Once, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and the

Netflix series Can't Cope Won't Cope.

Okay. That's everything we think you need

to know before you visit Ireland.

If we missed anything or if you've got anything

to add, please add your comments down in

the comment section below.

Last but not least, please remember if

you enjoyed this video give it a big

thumbs- up, share it with your travel

buddies, and make sure you're subscribed

to the Vagabrothers channel so you don't

miss any upcoming adventures or travel tips videos.

Okay so in the meantime stay curious,

keep exploring and we'll see you on the road.....

maybe the Wild Atlantic Way

The Description of 31 ESSENTIAL First Time IRELAND Travel Tips