Things to do in Ireland

Travelling helps people explore new places and, most important of all - new culture and vistas. Travelling to any place outside one's country requires dedicated planning, a considerable amount of capital, and international travel insurance to cope up with any fiscal emergency. Although the latter part depends on the fiscal resources, for the former planning part, you require some prior knowledge about the places to visit and experiences to be had in the country. Here are some things that you can engage yourself in while travelling to Ireland.

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    Fun Things to do in Ireland

    Ireland has plenty of awe-inspiring sceneries, thrilling recreational activities, and a blend of modern and medieval European architecture. So if you are wondering about what places to visit in Ireland, then you should consider the following:

    • Visit Moher Cliffs - There are almost vertical 200+ foot high cliffs are located on the edges of Ireland, overseeing the vast Atlantic Ocean. These cliffs are more than 8 kilometers wide and thus offer several viewpoints from where one could stare into the vast expanse of ocean below. Although most of such viewpoints are quite accessible by a vehicle, some points can only be reached through hiking the cliffs, which provides more thrill to the adventure. Since the cliffs are considerably steep and rocky, be sure to opt for international travel insurance to safeguard against any injury sustained during hiking.
    • Boat Cruises of River Shannon - Shannon is the longest and the most beautiful lake in Ireland. It meanders through the most densely populated as well as the most sparsely populated parts of Ireland. Several boat cruises are available to explore this ancient waterway. These boat cruises can easily be of over 500+ Km and encompass 2-3 days in total. However, tourists can also take cruises as short as just 20-50km if they want. The most mesmerizing cruise to venture out for is in between Portumna to Carrick.  The boat cruise on the River Shannon isn't short.

     

    • Visit Medieval Irish Castles - British Isles was the epicenter of Medieval Castle architecture in Europe after Italy. Ireland has multiple Irish castles open for tourists to visit. King John's is the most easily accessible castle if one has opted for the Shannon River Boat Cruise. An abode to the King John of England, the castle is very beautifully constructed with lush gardens surrounding it and large, even by the standards of the medieval castles.

    Another castle to earmark for visit is the Dublin Castle. Dublin castle is where the Presidential inaugurations take place. One of the most ancient castles of Ireland, built in the 1200s, the castle is a work of fine masonry and fine décor, especially in the Chapel Royal.

    If you desire to spend a night or two living in a castle rather than just visiting it during the daytime, they should head to the County Cong and book a suite at the Ashford castle. This castle was built during the 1200s, 1220 to be precise, and offers reasonable rates for booking a suit.

    For those seeking a foray into the Irish Legends and Folklores, head for Blarney Castle, where the legendary Blarney Stone is kept, which is famous for granting wishes. Similarly, one can also head to the Rock of Cashel, a medieval castle that is said to be associated with the Devil itself.

    Best Activities in Ireland for Foodies

    Ireland has a significantly distinct cuisine from the rest of Europe. Ireland is well famous for a number of dishes and liquors, a few of which are:

    • Guinness Draught Beer - You definitely have to try the world-famous Guinness Beer on visiting Ireland even if he dislikes beers. Regarded as one of the best beers in the world and the best Irish dry Stout, Guinness offers a taste unparalleled by any other similar beer. The best part is that they are available in every bar across Ireland. So no need to visit a specific part of Ireland and no need to visit a brewery for supplies; locate a nice bar nearby and enjoy a pint of Guinness.

    The beer has a bitter-sweet taste and dense texture than other Barley or Wheat-based beers, which can be a handful for some tourists. Hence, one should always subscribe to international travel insurance before drinking copious amounts of it.

    • Hop Murphy’s Irish Red Beer - Playing second fiddle to the Guinness Draught Beer is Hop Murphy's Irish Red Beer. This beer is only locally available in Ireland and nowhere else, so it makes sense to try it out while visiting Ireland.
    • Soda bread- Although nowadays Soda Bread can be found across several countries in Europe. Irish Soda Bread is a dish native to Ireland, and the fact reflects in the hundreds of different varieties of Soda Bread available in the Irish Bakeries.
    • Irish stew - This pot-filled dish consists of mutton/lamb meat, potatoes, and onions. The ingredients are simple enough, but the result is a tastydish to keep oneself warm and energetic in the cold Irish weather.
    • Coddle - This traditional meal for the working class of Ireland is slowly gaining roots in Britain and the rest of Europe. What makes Coddle special is the sheer variety of the dishes that can be made, which is the core part of coddle as the dish itself has traditionally been made from leftover meats, vegetables, and sauces.

    Best Beautiful Irish Attractions

    Ireland is a hub of scenic places and natural beauty. Each year thousands of 'nature lovers,' 'environment enthusiasts' or simple tourists visit the country to explore the natural and made attractions of Ireland. The most famous of which are given below.

    • The Dark Hedges- Hard Hedges is basically a forested area in Antrim that offers several ''forested tunnels' for tourists to explore. These forested tunneled pathways have been a backdrop of many films and TV series - 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail,' 'Braveheart,' 'Resurrect us rapidly,' and so on. Recently these were featured in the HBO series - Game of Thrones.
    • Carrauntoohil - Famously called therooftop of Ireland, Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland at 1,100 m from sea The mountain has the famous Eagle’s Nest point from where almost half of the Average Peninsula can be seen. The mountain is as thrilling as it is dangerous since it contains several narrow gullies, sharp edges, and loose stones prone to land sliding. Therefore one must apply to travel insurance in Ireland before hiking this mountain.
    • Dingle Peninsula - Arguably the westernmost point of Europe and certainly the westernmost point of Ireland, Dingle Peninsula is located in County Kerry. Like Moher Cliffs, the region is mostly a large wall overseeing the vast Atlantic Ocean. Unlike Moher Cliffs, the region also hosts remains of ancient human settlements such as Dry Stone huts of the Glanfathan and the ancient stone fort of Ballywiheen.
    • Aran Islands - Aran Islands are a group of small islands located on the west coast of Ireland. These islands hostseveral Bronze Age and Iron Age forts, but that alone isn't the main attraction of the place. The main attraction of the place is its medieval villages which are still inhabited by people who follow the same medieval customs but with modern amenities. It is one of the few places in Ireland where you can experience 'old Irish culture' but with modern comfort.

    Planning Your Ireland Itinerary

    The first and foremost document needed to visit Ireland is the Ireland visa. Ireland issues Tourist Visa or Holiday Visa to the people wishing to visit the country for pleasure trips, meet friends and family, or explore Irish culture. An Irish visa is valid for a period of 90 days only, which is more than enough for a visiting tourist. The important aspects related to the Irish visa are as follows.

    Eligibility Criteria for Ireland Tourist Visa

    • The applicant should have a valid passport of his native country with at least six months of validity left on the passport when visiting Ireland.
    • You must justify his visit by either carrying a letter of reference or a receipt of a hotel booking which can give the duration of his stay in Ireland.
    • You must provide his employment details, permanent address proof, and familydetails in his native country as proof that he is visiting Ireland temporarily.
    • Records of Bank statements, cash funds, or credit cards ensure that the tourist has enough funds to support himself during his stay in Ireland. The records should be at least six months old from the date of his visit to Ireland. In case the tourist is visiting family or friends, the host should submit his undertaking to financially support the tourist during his visit if the tourist lacks enough funds.
    • The tourist should have an insurance cover - it can be student travel insurance online, on arrival offline insurance from a company in Ireland, or any other type or kind of international travel insurance.

    Steps to Obtain Ireland Travel Visa

    1. Fill the online tourist application form available on the Visa website of Ireland and submit it.
    2. Upon the successful submission of the tourist application, an online declaration would be available. The candidate is required to generate a print of the declaration, read it carefully, and, if he consents to the terms, sign it.
    3. The signed declaration, along with the requested documents in it - Passport copy, photos, bank statements, proof of citizenship, etc.-must be submitted at the nearest Irish Consulate/ Visa office/ Embassy. The candidate has to pay an application feeincurred at the respective Irish authority. The candidate can track the status of his Visa application number online by the Visa Application Number provided to him on registration.
    4. If the candidate passes the screening of the Irish Tourism Authorities, he would be granted his Irish Tourism Visa. The candidate would be requested to collect it from the Irish Authorities where he had submitted his application.

    Ireland Travel Tips

    Visiting a foreign land and culture is never easy. Here are few tips that you should be mindful of while visiting Ireland:

    • Always Hire a Tour Guide:Exploring the Irish landscape without the help of a guide is confusing and lackluster. In order to experience a location in its full Irish context, you should always hire tourist guides wherever possible. Hiring tourist guides serve another purpose too. They can inform one of the common swindling practices in the area to be aware of, the best places to visit during your stay, and provide references to make the trip easier.
    • Choose goodtravel insurance: Travel insurance is one of the requirements for the Irish Travel Visa. You should make sure that you buy international travel insurance that suits you needs and covers most of the emergencies or contingencies. There are several different types of travel insurance of the market for a different types of tourists, some of which are listed below:
    • Single Trip Insurance:Insurance that covers a single trip, not for frequent international fliers.
    • Family Travel Insurances:Provide cover to the whole family, and thus, the need to get spate insurance for each member is eliminated
    • Student travel insurance online: Insurance made specifically for students. It is basic, it is cheap, but in most cases, it is enough.

    The benefits provided by travel insurance are:

    • Trip Cancellation -An insurance refunds some amount of the non-refundable ticket or payments for the trip that the insured is unable to carry out due to some emergency
    • Medical Evacuation: Insurance foots the bill for transport the person to his home country in case of a medical emergency
    • Personal Item loss or Baggage lost: You can file a claim if your baggage or any personal item that was insured is lost.

    Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich culture worth experiencing. If you are inclined to experience Ireland yourself, just keep in mind the above useful tips for trip planning and choose appropriate travel insurance while at it. So, go ahead and plan the 'Irish Vacation.'