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Country Facts

In the Emerald Isle, you can find more than 40 shades of green. Having emerged from civil unrest and crushing poverty, the Irish have retained their wit and community spirit. This is a nation of storytellers and legends of Celtic heroes are as ready on the tongue as the Irish are ready to burst into song. Whether you are in a pub stomping your feet to a jig, taking in the breathtaking view atop a limestone cliff, or paying your respects at an ancient burial chamber, look up at the sky and you are likely to spot a rainbow. Follow it and you may just get your hands on a pot of gold. To get under the Irish skin read 'McCarthy's Bar', listen to U2 or Sinead O' Connor and watch 'The Quiet Man'.

  • Capital: Dublin (Republic),
  • Belfast (Northern Ireland)
  • Official Languages: English, Irish
  • Government: Republic (Republic of Ireland), Constitutional monarchy (Northern Ireland)
  • Currency: Euro (Republic of Ireland), Pound (Northern Ireland)
  • Time Zone: +0:00 GMT (5 ½ hours behind India)
  • Telephone Calling Code: 00353 (Republic of Ireland), 0048 (Northern Ireland)

When To Go

Best time to visit: April to September (spring through summer). The average temperature in Ireland is 9.6 °C. The highest monthly average high is 19 °C in July and August and the lowest monthly average is 2 °C in January and February. The rains can be unpredictable throughout the year.

What To Do

Ireland is famous for its cheeses, milk and butter, thanks mostly to its climate. Ever since the great famine, potatoes have become a staple part of the Irish diet. Seafood is quite popular, with salmon, cod and shellfish are quite common.

What to eat and drink
  • Irish coffee: A cocktail of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, topped with thick cream
  • Champ: Mashed potato with chopped scallions.
  • Boxty: Potato pancake
  • Irish stew: Lamb, or mutton stew with potatoes, carrots, onions, and parsley
  • Coddle: Layers of sliced pork sausages and thinly sliced, fatty bacon with sliced potatoes, and onions
  • Potato bread and soda bread
  • Colcannon: A dish consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage
  • Dublin Lawyer: Lobster cooked in whiskey and cream
  • Guinness: Irish dry stout
  • Mead: Honey wine.

Guinness, Irish whiskey, Celtic memorabilia and music, the Claddagh ring, a tin whistle or elbow pipes, Aran sweaters, tacky leprechaun souviners, a piece of turf or shamrock seeds, Irish china, tweeds, cheese.


Cosmos Globus

Escorted Tours

The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.

A world leader in budget travel, Cosmos combines the benefit of escorted travel with a great price. Ideal for practical, value-minded travelers. Vacations include comfortable hotels, breakfast and some meals, sightseeing with local guides and the services of an expert Tour Director.

Unmatched selection, more included features, quality first class hotels, and vast experience make Globus the obvious choice for travelers who want more. The world leader in quality escorted travel, Globus delivers memorable vacation experiences with knowledgeable Tour Directors and local guides.


Travel Tips



By Air

Ireland is very well connected to the rest of the world. Some of the best connections are offered by Air France, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Swiss International and Turkish Airline and many more. By air you can reach Ireland from many European cities and regional airports, as well as direct flights from North America.

By Ferry

Check out your direct ferry or land bridge routes to the island of Ireland.


Public transport is certainly not the only way to travel around the island of Ireland - but it's definitely one of the best!

By Train

Ireland's rail services are a comfortable and convenient way to travel around the country.

By Bus

Relaxation is the name of the game on Ireland's coach tours and buses. Sit back and enjoy the sights of Ireland while someone else looks after the transport.

Getting around Ireland by coach is a pretty nifty way of experiencing the island. You have no worries about maps or directions, and can happily watch the countryside glide by in comfort.

By Car (Self Drive)

Car rental

Motability Ireland provides car rentals to reduced mobility customers for use all over the island of Ireland. Their vehicles come with fully comprehensive insurance and 24-hour AA roadside assistance. The staff can even organize airport / ferry collections and drop-offs for you.

Cars on the island of Ireland drive on the left-hand side of the road. Signposts in Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas are written in Irish (Gaelic). To drive, you will need either a full valid national driving license or an international driving permit. Northern Ireland uses miles per hour, while the Republic of Ireland uses kilometers.

  • You'll need to be adaptable. So go for layers that you can put on or take off as the temperature changes. Bring a sweater, even in summer; waterproofs to accompany all outdoor activities; sunglasses; comfortable walking shoes and an umbrella.
  • Don't be fooled into thinking you won't need sunscreen in the summer months - when the sun shines in Ireland it's quite strong, so wear a high factor sunscreen and bring a sunhat. Short-term forecasts are viewable at Met Éireann.
  • Okay, it does rain in Ireland, but long bouts of rain are pretty rare. So, you can either put on suitable clothes, or duck into a nice cosy pub to wait out the shower.

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