Ireland is located in north-western Europe and comprises the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland) and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom . The capital of the Republic of Ireland is Dublin which is located on the island’s eastern side.
Ireland has two official languages: Irish and English. While everyone speaks English, Irish is also spoken by many (approximately 41% of the population) including those living in Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas which are predominantly located along the west coast.
Ireland is a compact island and most locations around the country are easily accessible from Dublin by public transport or by car. There are some things to keep in mind if driving in Ireland:
- Cars on the island of Ireland drive on the left-hand side of the road
- Most road signs are written in both Irish and English
- Northern Ireland uses mile per hour, while the Republic of Ireland uses kilometers to measure speed.
Ireland has a mild, temperate, oceanic climate. The IRC will take place during the summer , and the weather tends to be mild at this time of year. The days are long, with about 17 hours of daylight. The average temperature for June range from 9°C to 18°C. The weather can be changeable, and a typical June day in Ireland would be comprised of a mix of warm sunshine, cloud, and the possibility of short rain showers. The average rainfall for this time of year is 70mm (2.7 inches) per month. Evenings can be cool, so it is advisable to pack warm layers.
Whether you need a visa to enter Ireland depends on your citizenship. More information on visa requirements for entering Ireland is available from Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ireland uses Irish Standard Time (UTC+1) from late March to late October.
The local currency is the Euro. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted throughout Ireland; American Express is accepted in some places but not all. Credit cards can be used for purchases, and to withdraw cash from ATMs (although this usually is accompanied by a fee). You can also withdraw cash from ATMs with your Mastercard or Visa debit card. Fees may still be charged but at a lower rate than credit cards. Ireland uses a “chip and pin” system for debit and credit card transactions. Retailers may still accept swipe cards, but this is not always guaranteed. Contactless payment is increasingly popular. You can "tap" your debit card to pay for purchases of up to €50.
Currency exchange facilities are available at Dublin airport.
Ireland uses type G sockets and plugs (i.e., three-pronged), and the electricity supply is 230v/50hz. It is advisable to bring an adapter if required.
- Bus – Dublin Bus is the main bus company operating throughout the Greater Dublin Area. Services run from 05.00am until midnight and the Nitelink services run from midnight until 04.00am on Friday and Saturday nights. Go Ahead Ireland operates various bus routes in the Outer Dublin Metropolitan Area.
- Train – DART is a rail line that runs regularly along the coast from Malahide or Howth in North County Dublin southward through the city center as far as Greystones in County Wicklow.
- Tram – Luas is Dublin’s tram service, operating two lines, the Red line and the Green line. Most trams run from 05.30am to midnight on weekdays.
For more information on how to reach the IRC Venue, click here.
Dublin Bus fares can be paid in cash to the driver (as drivers cannot give change or accept Euro notes the exact fare must be given). DART and Luas tickets can be purchased from ticket machines at stations. Alternatively, the TFI Leap Card is a re-usable, pre-paid card that can be used on Dublin Bus, Go-Ahead Ireland, DART and Luas services. A 90-minute fare (TFI 90 minute) applies to most journeys made on Dublin Bus, Luas and DART services and is €2.00 for adults, €1.00 for young adults (19-23) and students, and €0.65 for children (up to and including 18 years).
Bus Éireann is the national bus service and most major towns and cities around Ireland are accessible by their Expressway service. The main bus station in Dublin city for intercity and regional bus services is Busáras.
Irish Rail operates the national rail service. Trains run to most major towns and cities around Ireland from two stations in Dublin: Heuston Station to the west of the city and Connolly station in the northeast of the city.
- The Old Library Building at Trinity College
- The Phoenix park, the largest enclosed city park in Europe
- A cruise of Dublin bay
- EPIC the Irish emigration museum
- Kilmainham Gaol
More suggestions on things to do in Dublin can be found in this quick guide to Dublin.
- Galway – Named the 2020 European Capital of Culture, the vibrant and bohemian city of Galway is one of Ireland’s most picturesque cities. Galway is famed for its friendly pubs and lively music scene. It is also on the doorstep of some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery, including the Connemara National Park and the remote Aran islands.
- Brú na Bóinne – about 40 km north of Dublin is Bru na Boinne, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is home to Ireland’s ancient passage tombs. The three passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth were built around 3200BC making them older than Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The Brú na Bóinne tombs, in particular Knowth, contains the largest assemblage of megalithic art in Western Europe. Also nearby is the Hill of Tara, the ancient ceremonial and burial site and the seat of the high kings of Ireland.
- The Wild Atlantic Way – there are many places to visit along the 2,500km of stunning coastline that stretches from Donegal in the north, along the west coast to Cork in the south. Along the Wild Atlantic Way, you can find Sliabh Liag in County Donegal, the highest accessible sea cliffs in Europe, as well as the Burren National Park in County Clare, a rocky, moon-like landscape which is approximately 1500 hectares in size and is close to the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. To the south, there is the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Skelligs which is made up of two sandstone rocks 11 km off the County Kerry coast and is home to the best-preserved Celtic Monastic Settlement of ancient times.