Regardless of how beautiful backpacking Ireland can be, it’s important that you remember to prepare yourself for the trip as you will be a substantial distance away from home.
There’s nothing more adventurous than strapping a bag to your back and navigating through some of the most beautiful areas in the world, one of which is Ireland. Many backpackers flock to this country as it offers some of the most phenomenal spanning landscapes and great opportunities for learning about other cultures in the world.
Using an International Student ID Card
If you’re a student that is interested in exploring the world during your time off from your studies, one of the best things that you can bring with you is an international student ID card. This is because the majority of backpacking hotspots will give you a discount on attraction admissions, food, and even lodging. In Ireland, travelers can expect to save up to 10% (or more) off of prices at clothing stores, restaurants, and public transportation. This is a huge advantage for people that are planning on traveling under a tight budget.
Visiting the Museums
Museums are one of the best ways to get an idea of the culture and heritage of the country that you are visiting and Ireland is packed with different entertaining museums that you can visit. The best part is that the majority of them are entirely free so you won’t have to worry about spending $50 on admission to learn about the livelihood of Irish residents. It’s also a phenomenal way to meet new people in the area or other backpackers that came to the country with the same purpose as you.
Be Prepared for Buses and Trains
The majority of places that you’ll want to visit in Ireland are difficult to walk to, unless you intend on spending hours on the road. This is why the country has an extensive rail system and a variety of buses to help travelers and locals get from one place to another. You should prepare yourself by buying both train and bus passes as they allow you to take unlimited rides (for a certain period of time) so you’ll never have to worry about being stranded in one part of the country. The majority of the trains take you to major city centers and for attractions that are a little off the beaten path you’ll have to rely on buses. As mentioned, your international student ID card should help to get you discounts off of the price of your pass.
Choosing Your Accommodations while backpacking Ireland
When you decide that backpacking Ireland is the right trip for you, you’ll want to find the perfect accommodations for your traveling party. Youth hostels are by far the most popular place for foreign visitors to stay simply because they’re inexpensive and you can find them absolutely anywhere on the island. You can choose to have a dorm room that you share with other travelers (least expensive) or you can choose to have a private room. The main thing to remember is that you will be using shared bathrooms so be sure to pack bathroom sandals!
It’s essential that you book your hostel early enough in the year because during the summer it can be relatively impossible to find a place to stay. There’s also the opportunity to rent rooms at the local universities such as Queen’s University in Belfast and Dublin’s Trinity College.
When traveling to foreign locations one of the main things to remember is that you might be required to get a visa to visit different areas. As a part of the European Union, Ireland generally does not require visitors to get a visa. If you’re from the United States you will receive an automatic 3-month visa but other residents of Europe will be able to travel freely for as long as they wish. If you need more information, visit the website for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
Preparing for the Weather
If you’ve ever watched a movie that takes place in Ireland, the island is exactly what you would expect it to be. With an ample amount of rain that falls throughout the year and little to no snow, it’s a relatively comfortable environment to visit though you should prepare to get wet. There aren’t any major weather changes, with warm summers and mild winters so it’s a great place to visit throughout the year. Make sure that you pack enough waterproof gear to stay dry while you’re out visiting some of the most popular attractions in the country.
Visiting the Blarney Stone
If you’re the type of traveler that wants to take part in local traditions, you should take the time to visit the Blarney Stone. According to local legends it’s supposed to grant you good luck if you kiss the stone. Even if you’re not interested in superstitions, take the time to visit Blarney Castle.
Going to Pubs and Local Eateries
One of the most interesting aspects of backpacking Ireland is the food that they have available to visitors. You will be able to enjoy some of the most succulent meals or you can opt for more traditional foods. Finding a pub is one of the easiest tasks that you’ll have in your life as there are hundreds of them throughout the country, particularly if you’re spending your time in Dublin. Most of the pubs also offer live entertainment such as comedy shows or musical performances. The Temple Bar and the Brazen Head are two of the most popular pubs in Dublin that have an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and food for you to enjoy.
Taking a Tour of Guinness
Beer enthusiasts will love this attraction as you can take a full tour of the Guinness brewery. As one of the most quintessential parts of Irish culture, it can be a great experience for everyone – even if you don’t particularly enjoy beer. At the end of the tour you’ll get a free pint from the 360 bar.