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> Republic of Ireland, Guinness; stew & lots of culture too!
kathryn77
post May 21 2009, 03:57 PM
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REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Starter Kit
I have been living in Dublin for nearly a year, and as no one has written a ‘Republic of Ireland’ starter kit yet, I’ve decided to do so. I’m not Irish, I’m Scottish, but I love my adopted country, and if anyone wants to chip in with anything I’ve missed etc, please feel free. The information given regarding the Republic of Ireland has been sourced from various relevant websites & personal experience. It's intended as a brief rundown to get you started.

Getting Around
The main airports are Dublin; Cork & Shannon, with smaller regional airports in Donegal; Sligo; Knock; Galway & Kerry. Ryanair; Aer Lingus and Aer Arann are the key airlines to get around by internal flights. The skyscanner website is a good site to get the best deals for flights to get you here in the first place. Aer Lingus do offer good deals from/to the States, for example.

Once here, try to travel by road or rail as Ireland is small enough to do so, and you don’t want to miss the amazing scenery! For train travel planning, you can use www.irishrail.ie to check timetables and buy tickets in advance. The train service isn’t the best as the trains aren’t very frequent, so it is often better to travel by bus / hire a car. For bus travel, the main company is www.buseireann.ie offering frequent services covering the entire island of Ireland. For the backpackers among you, you could also try the Paddy Wagon

Visas
The Republic of Ireland is, as it says, a Republic. You will have to present your passport at the airport, even when travelling from a UK starting point. You will not pass through an official border control point when travelling into or out of Northern Ireland by car/bus, however random passport/visa checks between the two, do happen, and are conducted by gardai / police on either side of the border. For specific visa information by country, please refer to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs

Working in Ireland
You can’t legally work in the Republic of Ireland without a tax number, which is called a ‘PPS number’ here. You can’t apply for it in advance, you have to do in person, and you need to have an address first of all, because the office you apply to, has to be in the right area to where you live. You can find this out here: Welfare Office
They will also expect to see proof of your address which can be an employers referral letter. The website will also tell you anything additional you need to take with you to apply (e.g. your passport / birth certificate) Once you have your PPS number, you then need to fill in form 12A. You can also now open a bank account, as you will have your letter with your PPS number on it to use as a ‘proof of address’. And that’s it…!

Currency
The currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro (€), which is different to Northern Ireland where they have the Great British Pound (£). Credit cards are widely accepted, and exchange services also available.

Health
Healthcare in the Republic of Ireland is generally on a consultation fee basis, with some exceptions. You will pay around €60 to see a doctor, and then more for any additional treatment / prescriptions.

Tap water is safe to drink, and there is a large supply of this! You don’t need any immunisations to visit the Republic of Ireland, but if you have come from somewhere with a high rate of diseases like yellow fever, typhoid or polio, you may need to have proof that you have been vaccinated against them.

Accommodation , Internet & Weather
There are many forms of accommodation available. Types of accommodation range from Apartments, Hotels, Hostels, Bed & Breakfast, Tourist Parks and Caravans. You will be looking at, at least €10 for hostel accommodation.

Internet facilities are widely available in main cities throughout Ireland, in internet cafes

It can be common to experience four seasons in one day in Ireland, but generally the seasons are as follows:
Summer is June to August
Autumn is September to November
Winter - is December to February
Spring - is March to May

Time Zones
Ireland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This means we also put our clocks forward one hour in Spring, and back one hour in Autumn (“Spring Forward, Fall Back”) In the summer, the sun sets later and later each day, so it can still be a light sky at 10pm on occasion!

Communication
The country code is +353. Mobile (cell) phones are commonplace. The postal service is covered by Anpost and post boxes are green. Post offices are usually open 9am – 5:30pm (with a lunch-break), Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings. The electrical current here is 220-240 volts (50 cycles), and a standard three pin plug adapter may be required by visitors.

Language
Both Irish & English are spoken / understood throughout the Republic. You will notice immediately upon arrival that all signage is in two languages – Irish, and the English equivalent. The Irish language is a mandatory part of the schooling system in the Republic of Ireland, so many people at least understand this to a degree, or they can be fluent / have a good grasp. There are areas of Ireland (known as the ‘Gaeltacht’) where Irish is the first spoken language, and where tradition and culture thrives. To find out more about the Gaeltacht areas, I would recommend visiting this Irish website

Dublin

The Republic of Ireland’s capital city. O’Connell Street is the main street (and a prime area for buses from / to Dublin Airport). Grafton Street is the hub for shopping, and Temple Bar for the drinking. Key highlights include the obligatory Guinness Factory tour. Don’t shoot me down, but I do rate Kilmainham Gaol (jail) as a better tourist experience… ! The gaol is a guided tour experience, and takes you through the history of Ireland. The uprisings etc – really interesting! There is also the standard open top bus tour (which I haven’t done yet, but intend to!), however I have done the Dublin Rock ‘n’ Roll bus tour, which is in a very cool American style bus with blacked out windows, and introduces you to the music & literary culture that is the heart of Dublin. I also intend to do the ghost bus tours at some stage.

Free stuff!

My friend Joerg writes a weekly newsletter called “Dublin Event Guide (for Free Events)” He sends this every Friday with listings of what’s going on in and around Dublin in the week ahead. This started as a hobby to a few friends, which has grown into a community of more than 4000 followers. If you would like to receive this guide, all you need to do is send an e-mail with “Subscribe” in the subject, and send it to dublineventguide@gmail.com

Rest of the Republic – Although I live here, I still class myself as a tourist, and act like one. I’ve created an Ireland blog containing info on places I’ve been since living here, and I’ll continue to add to that when relevant, so feel free to take a look

You’ve not visited Ireland unless you have….
• Been to a pub with live traditional Irish music.
• Kissed the Blarney Stone
• Visited the west coast
• Been to some castles – Trim; Kilkenny…
• Tried some Irish food/drink, for example
o Irish Stew
o Soda Bread
o Red lemonade – readily available in pubs too, and goes well with Southern Comfort!
o Guinness – what else?!?

Related Guide Books & Websites
I feel the need to add to this already, and will do so, now that the basics are here! If anyone has anything they’d like to see added, just let me know. I have suggested some websites below, and if you have any queries, please feel free to ask me.

Places I've been in Ireland since June 2008
Visit Ireland (for arranging your itinerary. Provides further internet links for all things Irish)
Skyscanner (to get you your cheap flight to Ireland in the first place!)
Trains
Buses


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sianeth
post May 22 2009, 04:34 AM
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Love it! I can't wait to visit biggrin.gif One of my Uni friends is from Dublin and has invited me over, so hopefully sometime soon!
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kathryn77
post May 22 2009, 02:22 PM
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QUOTE(sianeth @ May 22 2009, 10:34 AM) *

Love it! I can't wait to visit biggrin.gif One of my Uni friends is from Dublin and has invited me over, so hopefully sometime soon!



Cool smile.gif Let me know when you do!!


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nixsboys
post May 28 2009, 02:52 AM
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Good Guide!

I am planning on visiting Ireland properly soon - having travelled to Dublin for work over the past 4 years every month, it just never felt right going there on holiday. Now with a new job it might just feel like a proper break. smile.png


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kathryn77
post May 29 2009, 06:21 PM
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Cool, let me know if you do smile.gif
It is a great city - when you're working, you don't get the best out of places unless you can make your trip on a Friday or Monday to take advantage of the weekend


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kathryn77
post Jun 10 2009, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE(tiger_lily @ May 30 2009, 02:43 AM) *

Thanks for this Kathryn, I have always been interested in Ireland and all Irish things. Must be the part of my heritage I got from my nana.


Thanks Melanie!

Where was your nana from?


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paok
post Jun 12 2009, 08:05 AM
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Hi there!
Thanks for your useful guide,ive read so much for Ireland and finally me and 2 friends we will come in this magical country.
We booked tickets for the end of Octomber and i have some questions:
1)How is usually the weather that time(end of octomber).
2)what time the pubs and the bars close in Dublin(cause ive heard so much and im a little confused:P
3)Can anyone tell me any places to visit outside of Dublin?

Thanks in advance


P.S. I know that my english arent so good:P

Greetings from Greece!
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kathryn77
post Jun 12 2009, 02:28 PM
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Hi Paok,
Greetings from Ireland smile.gif

The weather in Ireland is quite unpredictable. We can get 4 seasons in one day at any time of the year. In October, it's Autumn, going into winter, so it is colder, and the evenings get darker quicker then. I'd bring warm clothes and an umbrella!

Bars are open until 2; 3; sometimes 4, and if you're lucky, until you're the last man standing wink.gif If you want some traditional Irish music, my favourite bar is Gogarty's in Temple Bar (but go upstairs to the first floor wink.gif )

Outside of Dublin - how long will you be in Ireland for, and how do you plan to get around? Are you hiring a car or using public transport? What sort of stuff are you interested in seeing / doing?

Kathryn

PS. Your English is 100% better than my Greek!!!


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paok
post Jun 12 2009, 04:49 PM
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Thanks Kathryn! smile.gif

Well,we will stay from 21 to 27 of october,and we are planning to spend 3 days to visit places outside of Dublin.We will rent a car although im afraid a little cause u drive on the left tongue.gif .Im sure we will go the Cliffs of Moher and Galway (maybe we will stay a night somewhere there cause its a little far from dublin).Then we are thinking to go Cork and Waterford for one day and the third day to visit Belfast.I dont know if we have made good choices but not we can change them smile.gif .
We are interested to see all these amazing landscapes and the castles so if u know any places that we can see these tell me smile.gif
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kathryn77
post Jun 13 2009, 04:56 AM
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Hey there, it's at least 3 hours to drive to the Galway / Shannon area, and if you want to see the cliffs of Moher etc too, it is a good plan to stay the night. It's not a motorway drive either, so that's why it takes some time - plus you might want to stop and take in some scenery along the way.

The Cliffs of Moher are one of the entries in the 7 Natural wonders of the world competition!

I'd suggest if you want to go to Cork & Waterford too, and also Belfast in Northern Ireland, that you leave Dublin and go in a circle, and spend nights in the 3 places. I'd do Cork/Waterford first, as that is far south, then head across to Galway/cliffs of Moher, and then drive north-east to Belfast, before coming back to Dublin - I take it your flights are to and from Dublin? The drive from Belfast to Dublin is only 2 hours as it's all motorway.

There's castles everywhere. I've been to Kilkenny castle (south of Dublin, between Waterford and Cork), and Trim castle (west of Dublin, towards Galway). Trim castle is great as it's where they filmed part of the movie 'Braveheart'! (If you ask at the desk, they'll show you actual photos from filming) Down Cork way, you'll find the Blarney Stone - tradition says you have to kiss that!

For scenery, you don't have to go far! It's all around! However, on the drive down to Cork, I'd recommend the route over the Wicklow mountains if it's a nice day - it's stunning!

Also, in case you didn't know, Belfast (as is the whole of Northern Ireland) is part of the UK, so when you go there, the currency is GBP £'s, as opposed to €'s in the Republic. And if you're driving, then the road signs in the republic are in kilometers per hour - in Northern Ireland, they are in miles per hour, like the UK (don't worry, both parts of Ireland are still the left side drive - you won't have to switch that between the 2 tongue.gif )


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paok
post Jun 13 2009, 06:09 AM
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I have no words to thank u for these precious information!!!! smile.gif

Maybe when we will go to Galway we will stay for a night in Doolin,ive read that its a traditional village and its close to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher too.The next morning we will go south to Cork and Waterford and i hope to be in Dublin the afternoon,and the next day we will go to Belfast.

We will have pounds for Belfast cause we will spend one day in London too because we didnt find direct flight from Greece to Dublin for the date we wanted and we will change airplane in London.


One more question,can u tell me which places are <<must>> in Dublin except the guinness storehouse and the castle?

Thanks again and i repeat that i know that my English isnt so good tongue.gif
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kathryn77
post Jun 13 2009, 06:58 AM
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No worries - and your English is good! smile.gif

Doolin sounds great - never been there, but I've just read about it, and it does seem a good place to stay to get to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway - you can also get a boat to the Aran Islands which are a Gaeltacht region, and is supposed to be beautiful - I'll get there one day!

In Dublin...personally I don't like Dublin Castle. It's in the city centre, and you basically turn a corner and it's there - it's not on a hill or anything, and is surrounded by buildings - it's not very 'castley' at all...I love castles, but I don't like Dublin 'castle' - it's easy to get to if you're interested to go, but you'll see much better castles in Ireland.

The Guinness storehouse is 'alright'. It's a big museum, so loads of information throughout on the history of Guinness etc. The best bit was getting to the top and getting your 'free' (i.e. included in the entry fee) pint of Guinness in the observatory tower at the top - especially if it's a nice day, so you can see the Dublin skyline.

My favourite attractions are Kilmainham Gaol for a really interesting background to Ireland's history. It's only €6 entry and includes a guided tour.

Also, the Dublin Rock n Roll Tour which gives you the background to Irelands musical history, and tours you around places of interest, including U2's studios on Hanover Quay. It lasts 75 minutes, and is very good.

The Brazen Head pub is the oldest pub in Ireland, and a good place to eat a traditional Irish Stew - yum!

You can take the Dart from Dublin, south to Dun Laoghaire, or north to Howth - both beautiful and about 40 minutes to each.

Phoenix park is huge and home to Europe's second largest zoo if you like animals

There's also usually markets on at weekends in the city centre - nice food etc.

Hope that helps!


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paok
post Jun 13 2009, 08:13 AM
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Of corse that helps!!! smile.gif

I dont think i could had found better iformation and review for Dublin and Ireland.

Once again thanks for your time for these precious information.

I havent more questions for the present,if ill have in the future ill post here.

Bye smile.gif
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kathryn77
post Jun 13 2009, 05:02 PM
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speak_cool.gif Thanks smile.gif

Sure, let me know if you have any more questions - plus I'm sure I'll have visited more places in Ireland before your trip in October - which I'll post in my Ireland blog if/when I do.

I was randomnly speaking to a Danish guy tonight actually, who's been to the Cliffs of Moher twice. I asked him about Doolin, and he said it's a great little town! It thrives on tourism, so that's what most people work in there - he said there's about 40 B&B's! (And it's quite a small town!) Good spot! I'll be keeping it in mind myself now, for when I get over there!


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kathryn77
post Jul 15 2009, 03:49 PM
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speak_cool.gif Thanks Fincha, great tips smile.gif There's a brilliant Irish literary culture, so great to add that in.

Are you from Ireland? Where are you now? And do you speak Irish?....I noticed your Galway suggestion there!


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pjkelly52
post Jul 15 2009, 06:47 PM
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Loved your post, giving ideas for the travelers heading to Ireland. I was there from June 13th to 29th this year and had a great time. Some of my favorite places are as follows (I will say though that I love the wild beauty of these areas):

Wicklow Mountain areas - taking M11 south from Dublin, head west & south on R755 (near Kilmacanoge). When you get to R759, head north-west. Great scenery in here. Also coming back south-east on R756 from Hollywood to Laragh. Glendalough is also near here, and should not be missed.

Beara Peninsula - I could easily spend a week exploring this peninsula, though if you are on a limited time budget, you can do the peninsula in a day. Very beautiful, and if you have an opportunity, go over the Healy Pass (from south to north). As you crest the summit of Healy Pass, and head into County Kerry again - there are several viewpoints that are worth stopping at.

Connemara (County Galway) & County Mayo - My favorite areas are R344 (past Lough Inagh), R336 (the road from Maam Cross to Maum), R336-R345 (from Leenaun to Cong) & R335 (from Leenaun to Louisburgh - past Doo Lough).

Peg Kelly
irishrosephotography.com
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kathryn77
post Jul 16 2009, 04:38 PM
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Hi Peg,
Thanks for your additions smile.gif Have you any tips for Co. Clare as well? I'm going there weekend after this one, staying in Ennis and have a hire car. Was planning on going down to Loop Head, then up the coast to the Cliffs of Moher and then up to The Burren. I only have 2 days, so not planning on venturing out of Clare, but if there is a particular spot that I should stop at, please let me know - I like the inside knowledge wink.gif I had a look at your photos, and they're lovely smile.gif
Kathryn


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pjkelly52
post Jul 30 2009, 03:47 PM
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Hi Kathryn
Not sure that I have too many additional pics online at the moment, other than what's already on irishrosephotography.com (under 2007). I need to get my 2009 pics uploaded soon.
I think you'd do well anywhere in Clare, but especially along the coast. I think you'll enjoy the Loophead Peninsula, and the Burren is a very unique area that I love as well.
I hope you have a great trip.

Peg flowers.png
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kathryn77
post Jul 30 2009, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE(pjkelly52 @ Jul 30 2009, 09:47 PM) *

Hi Kathryn
Not sure that I have too many additional pics online at the moment, other than what's already on irishrosephotography.com (under 2007). I need to get my 2009 pics uploaded soon.
I think you'd do well anywhere in Clare, but especially along the coast. I think you'll enjoy the Loophead Peninsula, and the Burren is a very unique area that I love as well.
I hope you have a great trip.

Peg flowers.png



Hiya Peg,

Yeah, it was this past weekend that I was there. I've actually just updated my Rep. of Ireland blog just now (link below). I loved, loved, LOVED Loop Head, and the coast road from Kilkee down to it! Just stunning!!!!

Cheers,
Kathryn


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kathryn77
post Sep 25 2009, 03:45 PM
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Hi Mary smile.gif

Thanks so much for your additions, really useful. Of course, yes, about the libraries and free internet access, good point!

The links look good too. Good work smile.gif

How long have you been in Galway for? I haven't made it there yet, but it's on my list for sure!! I've been to Co.Clare, but saving Galway for another weekend smile.gif


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