Things to know before visiting Ireland

The most important things to know before visiting Ireland for the first time.

Jonas Furstone



English and Irish (Gaeilge) are the official languages in the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is where you'll hear the soft strains of Ullans (Ulster-Scots). You'll find Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas predominantly along the west coast, where Irish is widely spoken. Everyone in Ireland speaks English so you can get around easily however if you are not used to the accent you might have struggles understanding people in the country side!


In Ireland, there are two currencies you'll need depending on where you travel. The euro is used in the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland, pound sterling is the official currency.


Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted throughout the island of Ireland; American Express is accepted in some places but not all. Ireland uses a “chip and pin” system for debit and credit card transactions. Retailers may still accept swipe cards but please note this is not always guaranteed. In my own experience you can pay 99% of the time with card and contactless payment is mostly used everywhere. Even a small coffee stalls in the countryside can be paid with contactless card payment. Only on some of the toll roads contactless is not possible just yet, so make sure you line up in the right queue.


Tipping in Ireland, for the most part (there are exceptions – see below!) is entirely at your discretion – don’t be fooled into believing that you need to tip for everything and anything.


The quality of water from the public mains is usually quite high, with, for example, 98.9% of public water supplies complying with the standards for E. I never buy bottled water!


The climate of Ireland can be summed up as being mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. The country receives generally warm summers and mild winters This is due to the fact that Ireland lies in the Atlantic Ocean, and as a result is warmed by the Gulf Stream all year.

Now one thing to note is the wind in Ireland which can in fact get really rough. I would recommend you the app to check for wind forecasts. This becomes especially important if you are planning to fly the drone. Always make sure you are checking wind direction and also checking the movement of the clouds. I had few situations where I almost lost the drone even as an experienced pilot due to underestimating the winds.


For Ireland the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. Ireland operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. Type G. - I recommend you to have an international travel adapter with several USB outlets to charge all your devices.


Ireland came in 44th place in a global ranking of internet speeds by UK-based broadband comparison website That being said while the internet is good at times especially in urban areas, personally I am having troubles with mobile internet connections in the more remote areas. Especially when driving to Northern Ireland I usually have issues with connecting properly. In these cases I recommend you to download offline maps before you had out because it can get quite remote in Ireland and sometimes you might not even be able to find a coffee shop that is open with internet connection.

If you cannot use European Data Roaming because you are visiting from overseas I recommend you to get a SIM card.

Purchase an Irish SIM card. This only works if your phone is unlocked (US phones under contract usually aren't- ask your service provider if yours is unlocked or can be). You can pick up a prepay SIM card at the WH Smith Shop or the Left Luggage store in Dublin airport, or at any Tesco, Three, eirMobile, or Vodafone retailers. Buy a cheap prepaid phone when you arrive.