Ireland Travel Guide
Whether you’re a nature junkie, all about that #PubLife, or a diehard music fan—you won’t need the luck of the Irish to find a reason to love Ireland.
Awaken your sense of awe
If you look up “beautiful” in the dictionary and don’t see anything about Ireland, you might need a new dictionary. The appropriately nicknamed “Emerald Isle” is home to some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes that’ll make even the fussiest homebody eager to visit. From biking your way around the Dingle Peninsula, trekking along the Cliffs of Moher, and hiking up the famous Carrauntoohil, to gazing out into the rolling green pastures that dominate much of Ireland’s landscape—you’re guaranteed to find something that will leave you speechless.
Go on the lash with the lads and the lasses
That’s Irish slang for going out drinking with your friends. Irish vernacular is chock-full of unique expressions; and a few nights out at the pubs will have you talking like a bona fide Galway girl (or boy) in no time. Ireland’s famous pub culture represents the perfect juxtaposition of rich history and youthful energy. Our Irish Tour Directors often describe their pubs as “living museums,” so get there early before things get jammers (crowded) and explore a bit. Then, stick around to enjoy some live music and hang with the locals. Regardless of where you end up, an Irish pub crawl is always a great craic (good time). Just be sure to get a good bangers and mash dinner in you before you start hitting the Guinness, or you’ll probably wake up in tatters (hungover).
Music makes the Emerald go ‘round
Live music and Irish life are inextricably linked. Take an evening stroll down any main street in Dublin, Galway, Killarney—anywhere—and let your ears lead the way. You’ll end up finding a nearby pub or busker (street performer) who will have you singing along in no time. Break out your Ghillies (Irish dance shoes) and challenge your friends to an all-night dance-off, or simply enjoy a meal accompanied by some Irish trad. Either way, you might head home with a new favorite song.
Best St. Paddy’s Day ever
Does your annual countdown to St. Patrick’s Day (or Paddy’s Day as they call it in Ireland) start on March 18th? Consider giving your next celebration the ultimate upgrade by visiting the island that started it all. St Paddy’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival—a tidbit that might leave some wondering how such a small country has such an international cultural influence. Spend St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland just once, and you’ll have your answer. Whether the excitement of Dublin’s carnival-style parade outside Temple Bar is your scene, or the smaller, “local” feel of Galway’s festival is more up your cobblestone alley, you’re sure to find an experience that will leave your inner Irishman step dancing with joy.
Where hiking shoes turn into dancing-at-the-pub shoes turn into hiking shoes.
Crush your daily steps goal and say things like “these views are bang on.”
Experience the struggle of ocean against rock at the Cliffs of Moher
Castles. Lots of castles.
Tour the 600-year-old Blarney Castle & Gardens
Craic (good times)
Fact: Irish bliss starts with Guinness.
Pour the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse
Flights. Accommodations. Activities. Rockstar Tour Director that knows which pub has the coldest Guinness.
This is group travel with EF Ultimate Break. Expertly crafted itineraries, everything included. We keep your stress levels low and holy-s#!t-that-was-awesome levels high.
Color: Green. So much green.
Must See: Cliffs of Moher
Highest Mountain: Carrauntoohil
Cutest Encounter: Sheep
Dance to: Live Irish music
Drink to: Live Irish music
Hangover Cure: Live Irish music—kidding. Obviously it’s a full Irish breakfast.
Bang on: Meaning you’re right or accurate
Black stuff: Guinness
Brutal: Meaning awful or dreadful
Craic: Pronounced like crack; good times
Deadly or savage: Fantastic or great
Knackered or shattered: Exhausted
Wired to the moon: A little hungover and three cups of coffee before 9:00am? You’re wired to the moon.
Take the piss: To mock, tease, or poke fun
Eat like a local
Don’t get it twisted, bangers and mash are a must. But there’s a whole lot of Irish food you’ve got to try.
Ireland’s most famous dish of meat, potatoes, onions, parsley, carrots & more.
Best ways to visit Ireland
Every way’s a good way to see Ireland, but we’ve kind of perfected it.
We know a spot or two
Everybody knows Ireland is ridiculously good looking. But we know just the spots to experience the best of the Emerald Isle.
Beyond its world-class pub scene, Ireland’s capital city has majestic castles, fascinating museums, and stunning public hangouts like St. Stephens Green.
Come for the live music on Quay Street, stay for the charming villages and cobblestone alleyways.
Soak up 14th-century history on the “Medieval Mile” then wash it down with a cold pint at the famous Smithwick's brewery, churning out the good stuff (red ale) since 1710.
This Is where Ireland’s natural scenery and epic adventure combine with attractions like Killarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry, and Macgillycuddy’s Reeks.
Drive through Ireland’s vast green countryside on your way to the Cliffs of Moher, where the only thing more impressive than the cliffs will be your selfie skills.
The Aran Islands
Visiting these three rugged yet beautiful islands is like traveling back in time—the locals speak traditional Irish Gaelic and fisherman haul their catch in traditional wooden boats.
- Spuds get all the love, but make sure to enjoy Ireland’s incredibly fresh seafood, too.
- We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the weather changes in an instant. Expect the unexpected—bring a waterproof jacket and shoes!
- The locals in Ireland are known for being friendly. Spark up conversation in the pubs and you may even find a new BFF.
- Support Ireland’s long history of craftsmanship and delicacies by buying local—from sweaters and jewelry to cheese and chocolate and more.
- When at the pubs with a group, it’s common for each person to take turns “buying a round” for the rest of the group. Try it out with your new friends!
- It’s tempting to take pictures at every corner or of every pint you purchase, but remember that life in Ireland is all about living in the moment. Enjoy it!
These travelers went full Irish 👇 —will you?
5/5: the perfect pour!
Our travelers love visiting Ireland, and they aren’t afraid to tell us.
“My first solo trip ever. I was nervous but once I got to Dublin and met up with the group, I felt comfortable. The highlights for me were the city life in Dublin, the Kilkenny Castle and Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, and the Ring of Kerry. EF Ultimate Break does a great job of organizing the tours and making your mind feel at ease. Everything’s planned perfectly: you get a good amount of free time and tour time.”
Reina – EF Ultimate Break traveler
Our kick-a** Tour Directors
We ❤️ them—and you will too.
“Being from Ireland is something that I’m very proud of. No matter how far I travel or for how long, Ireland will always be my home. Ireland is the land of a thousand welcomes. Whoever you are, Ireland will welcome you with open arms and a hot mug of tea! Being a Tour Director allows me to dispense this welcome over and over again, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than meeting new people and showing off this little Emerald Island!”
“I was born in Ireland and live in a friendly little seaside village on the West Coast. Ireland is a magical place of music, dancing, and stories on a backdrop of rolling green hills, woodland, and cliffs standing over the Atlantic Ocean. Being a Tour Director is the perfect life for me, as it allows me to share with travelers what my amazing homeland has to offer!”
“I grew up between Sligo (West Coast of Ireland) and Florence (Italy). After graduating in Archeology, I traveled quite intensely around the world for 10 years, but no place feels like home more than sitting in a pub anywhere in Ireland—surrounded by strangers of every age and gender, chatting, downing a pint, listening to live music and having a great craic! My fiery passion for history and culture is something I love sharing with my groups, and for that I can thank EF Ultimate Break! Sláinte.”
Still undecided? We’ll help you find the perfect trip.
Our expert Trip Consultants are waiting to hear from you. Seriously. They freakin’ love helping travelers figure out their dream trips.