Ireland is one of the easiest countries in the world to travel independently in. Whether you are an older backpacker or just someone who prefers to travel independently – then Ireland is a great place to begin. Why do I say that? Quite simply travel in Ireland is easy because:

  • for English speakers – English is the language of Ireland (though sometimes you will wonder…);
  • Ireland is relatively small and compact;
  • Ireland has awesome international connections with the main international airports at Dublin, Cork and Shannon. There also many ferry ports for connections to France and the UK;
  • Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world;
  • Ireland has an awesome culture both living and history.

So would you spend money on a tour or travel Ireland independently? At the end of the day – Ireland is not a cheap place to travel in. Even though recently its been going through difficult financial times the Euro is still quite strong. Taking a tour is almost always more expensive – after all the people running the tour have to make a profit. The difference is if you are getting shared accommodation that you can’t find for yourself if you are traveling solo. The sad fact is – world over – that if you are travelling with someone else you are going to pay less per a person.The only other alternatives are  camping or dorms in hostels.

Some FAQs About Independent Travel in Ireland

When is the best time of the year to travel in Ireland?

Ireland is wet – that’s where all those picture postcard green views comes from – but its not an extreme climate – snow is quite rare for example.  July and August are the most popular times to travel in Ireland – but that’s not to say that that is the best time to travel – unless you enjoy crowds. I’ve had excellent weather in May -and pretty good weather in April – and not another tourist in sight!  November/December/January will get you the worst weather and some hostels and camping grounds will close over winter – but if you want to enjoy the crack in a Pub –  it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is.

Which is the cheapest way to get to Ireland?

Well most people will fly. Airlines to check include Ryan Air and Air Lingus – note carefully the actual price not – the seat price – especially if you are planning on bringing in luggage with you you will be paying a lot more than the headline rate. Other options are ferries which run regularly from Scotland, Wales, England, France and even Spain.

What’s the best way to travel around Ireland?

Ireland has a train service between the major towns but if you are planning on exploring the beautiful west coast of Ireland then you will be relying on local buses or you will need your own transport. Cars and petrol (gas) are both expensive – but the distances aren’t huge – in fact most of the charm of Ireland is the quaint country roads – smaller is definitely better as far as vehicles are concerned. In the warmer months you will see plenty of cyclists out as well.

Is a week long enough to see Ireland?

Nope – you’d need closer to a month really to have a good look around the entire island – and it would be silly to miss Northern Ireland while you were here. That said you can still have a great Irish holiday if you only have a few days – but you will have to prioritize and maybe focus on part of the country.