EUROPE

Discover the Hidden Quirks of Ireland

Ireland

About

Ireland, an island in Europe, is made up of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It’s is known for its interesting history, stunning greenery and lively atmospheres.

Ireland’s capital, Dublin, attracts thousands of tourists every year for the many things to do there. Grab a pint of Guinness in one of the over 1000 pubs, or shop along Grafton Street while stopping to watch buskers and street performers perform for the crowds. Enjoy Ireland’s wildlife and spot wild deer in Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in Europe. This park is only 2km away from the city centre and is accessible by foot or public transport. This park is enormous, so bike rental is available at the entrance to the park.

On your visit to Ireland, make sure to venture outside of Dublin too, as there is much more to experience on this Emerald Isle. Kiss the Blarney Stone in County Cork and get the gift of the gab. Step inside Wicklow’s Historic Gaol and experience the prison life of the men, women and children jailed here. Visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland’s most-visited natural attraction. Or, watch the winter solstice in Newgrange, County Meath, a passage tomb over 5,000 years old, meaning that it’s older than both Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids! This passage tomb aligns with the rising sun and lights it up annually around the Winter Solstice, it is truly a magical experience.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Although Irish is the native language of Ireland, English is the most commonly spoken language here.
  • The Republic of Ireland’s currency is the Euro (abbreviated €/ EUR), and Northern Ireland uses the British Pound Sterling (£).
  • ATMs are common in most towns.
  • Major airports in Ireland: Dublin Airport (DUB), Cork Airport (ORK) and Shannon Airport (SNN).
  • The Irish weather is unpredictable, make sure to pack for all types of weather. The hottest month for Ireland is July with average daily highs of 19°C/66°F and lows of 12°C/54°F. The coldest month is January with average daily highs of 7°C/45°F and lows of 5°C/41°F.
  • If using public transport, save money with a Leap Card. Purchase and top-up from most supermarkets (just ask at the checkout) and tap it to pay for public transport (bus, Luas, Dart). Make sure to tap off, so you’re not paying for the full fare.
  • Buses can arrive late sometimes, or not even show up at all. So, make sure to always plan alternatives.
  • Ireland drives on the left side of the road.
  • The drinking age in Ireland is 18 years old.
  • Irish power plugs are of type G. Voltage is 240 V and frequency is 50 Hz (same as in the United Kingdom).
  • Bike rental is common around Dublin city centre. At each bike station, there is a terminal that accepts Leap Cards, and some have a credit card facility that allows you to pay for your bike.
  • The Irish have a good reputation for being friendly, so if you’re ever lost, just ask for help!

The Quirky and Unusual

St. Michan’s Church

Hidden away underneath St. Michan’s Church in Dublin are five burial vaults that contain mummified remains of many of Dublin’s significant families, dating back to the 17th century.

The walls in the burial vaults are made with limestone, which has kept the air dry, making perfect conditions for preservation. The most visible mummies in the vaults are ‘the big four’, four corpses with no lids on the coffin and all displayed together. Set away from ‘the big four’ is an 800-year-old mummy, called ‘the Crusader. The Crusader was six and a half feet tall, and his legs were broken to fit into the coffin. His hand stretches out from the coffin and visitors are allowed to lightly touch his finger.

It is said that the young Bram Stoker, creator of the ‘Dracula’, once visited the vaults with his family. Possibly these vaults had sparked an idea for his stories.

Address: Saint Michan’s Church, Church Street, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland

Coordinates: 53.347427, -6.275352

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Welcome! I'm Grace, a travel enthusiast who loves everything about visiting new destinations & finding unusual things to do.

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