As in any country visited there are some things that you should and shouldn’t do when you visit Ireland. While on my Contiki tour to Ireland, our Tour Manager gave us some very helpful tips to maximize our experience for the culturally curious, food & beverage fanatics, currency, and how to speak with locals. Here are 5 things you should know about Ireland before you go.
How to drink a proper Guinness. A guinness needs to be poured properly and drunk at the right time or else it doesn’t taste to its fullest potential. Here’s how you get the best out of your guinness. The bartender will pour the beer until about 75% of your glass is filled, then they will wait for a minute or so to pour the rest until reaching the top. Once your glass is completely full wait until the bubbles have risen to the top and the foam looks very creamy and has thickened. Enjoy!
Currency. In Ireland they accept the Euro. In Northern Ireland they accept the British Pound. Most places take credit card however in smaller and or rural areas they may require a minimum payment to be spent before they will allow you to use your credit card for purchase.
Irish Pubs. As imitated among many countries, Irish pubs are not the same anywhere else in the world as they are in Ireland. Every one of them will have live music with an Irish band and locals singing at the top of their lungs along with the music. Locals pretty much know the words to every song. Don’t be shy to elbow your way through to the bar for a drink, especially in Dublin they can be crowded as the locals like to sit at the bar and enjoy the tunes.
Locals. If you want to interact a lot with locals, Ireland is a fantastic place to do it. Locals may say hello as you pass with a big smile on their face especially in smaller villages. If you happen to get lost and need to find your way, don’t be afraid to ask a local for directions. A simple hello with a smile will do just fine to start a conversion.
Talking about politics, religion, and history. Many guides will suggest in Ireland that you do not bring up politics and religion with locals unless you know they are comfortable with talking about these subjects and sharing their views. In Northern Ireland especially, the topics of politics, religion, and history are more sensitive. If you’ve got any questions about these topics ask your local guide who can touch on the subjects you wish to engage yourself in.