If you don’t know Ireland well, you should find some of the information below useful… particularly relative to traveling around Ireland to visit our Top Attractions.
Ireland is approximately 486 km long (302 miles) from North to South and 275 km wide (171 miles) from East to West. However, while the island is compact and easy to get around, driving times can vary greatly depending on the types of roads you travel, whether Motorway, Primary or Secondary Roads. Advice: We recommend that for driving advice you visit the Automobile Association website at www.TheAA.ie and for route planning you visit www.TheAA.ie/routes.
The main influence on Ireland's climate is the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, Ireland has a temperate climate and does not suffer from the extremes of temperature experienced by many other countries at similar latitude. The warm North Atlantic Drift has a marked influence on sea temperatures, particularly near the Atlantic coasts. Winters tend to be cool and windy and our Summers are mild.
Seasons are regarded as: December to February - Winter; March to May – Spring; June to August - Summer and September to November - Autumn. The change from Winter to Spring or from Summer to Autumn is gradual. The coldest months are January and February, when daily temperatures range from 4° to 8°C. In summer, temperatures rise to a comfortable 15° to 20°C. A hot summer’s day is typically 22° to 24°C, but can rise to 30°C. There are about 18 hours of daylight daily during July and August and it only gets dark close to 23.00hrs. Advice: As weather can vary from sunshine to rain within any given day, bring layered clothing including wet weather cloths. Bring comfortable shoes for walking.
It really depends on your travel preferences. The Summer months are considered high season for visitors. The weather is warmer, the evenings are longer, there are more activity options, lots of festivals and almost all Top Attractions are open.
Autumn and Spring are both fringe-seasons for travellers. The weather is mild and nature presents Ireland in all its colours from blossoming flowers in Spring to bronze-burnished leaves in Autumn. There is always lots to do. Most visitor attractions are open; there are some great festivals and plenty of activities to experience.
Winters are cooler and it is the low season for visitors (but to savvy travellers it is also known as the ‘best-value’ season). You get to see nature at its most impressive. Walk a beach or through a national park or watch the waves crash against the cliffs along the Wild Atlantic Way. Exhilarating. Enjoy cosy restaurants and warm luxury accommodation. Most top attractions are open, there are plenty of activity options and our cities are buzzing by day and night!
It is difficult to answer concisely! For a small country, there is so much diversity. We have buzzing cities in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny and Derry (make sure and visit one or two). We have a dramatic coastline, particularly along the Wild Atlantic Way which is the longest coastal driving route in the world. It stretches from Malin Head in Donegal to the Old Head of Kinsale taking in over 500 visitor attractions, as well as over 50 Blue Flag beaches, 120 golf courses and 50 loop walks. We have great lakes and rivers with nearby towns and villages. We have 6 National Parks. And, we have hundreds of top attractions throughout all of Ireland – and you can buy tickets to most of the better ones on this website.
Most of Ireland’s Top Attractions are open year round. Smaller attractions, and some weather-dependent outdoor attractions, are seasonal and may close during Winter. On this website we always indicate the opening dates of attractions within their profiles.
Driving in Ireland is on the left hand side of the road and it is required that all passengers wear seat belts at all times in both the front and back of the vehicle. For those riding motorcycles, both motorcyclists and their passengers must wear helmets. Make sure and observe the speed limits indicated on the roadsigns as you travel. Ireland’s laws on drink driving are very strict. Those drivers found to be contravening the laws will be heavily penalised.
Ireland's rail services are a comfortable and convenient way to travel around the country. All Irish Cities and most large towns are served by rail.
Getting around Ireland by bus is a good way to experience the countryside. You can get to all major cities and towns by bus and to most top tourist attractions. The two major bus companies are Bus Eireann in the Republic of Ireland and Translink in Northern Ireland. Their websites are www.BusEireann.ie and www.Translink.co.uk
The Luas (the Irish for speed) is Dublin’s light-rail transit service. It is a swift tram system crossing the city on two lines. Tickets for the Luas can be purchased at streetside vending machines. They are available for single/return journeys or as flexi-tickets covering travel for seven or 30 days. Check the destination on the front of the tram before boarding.
The Luas Red Line (32 stops) runs from Tallaght through the city centre to the Point Village or Saggart/Connolly Station in Dublin’s docklands. Highlights along the Red Line include the National Museum of Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks and the historic Kilmainham Gaol.
The Luas Green Line (22 stops) runs from Stephen’s Green out through Ranelagh and Dundrum to Brides’ Glen in the south. Highlights along the Green Line include the shopping Mecca of Dundrum Town Centre and Leopardstown racecourse.
The two lines are not yet connected, but work is underway. The Dublin wit comes into play in naming the Luas (pronounced ‘Lewis’). Some call it the ‘Daniel Day’, the ‘Jerry Lee’ or the ‘Huey’!! Whatever you call it, it’s a great way to get around Dublin. The Luas website is at www.Luas.ie
The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a fast and frequent electric rail system which services Dublin City and its surrounds. The DART hugs the Irish Sea coast for much of its journey, making for one of the most scenic suburban rail routes in Europe. It follows the eastern coastline from Malahide and/or Howth in north Dublin, right through the city centre to southern suburbs like Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey and onwards to the coastal towns of Bray and Greystones in County Wicklow. Trains run regularly both on and off-peak, are kitted out with free Wi-Fi and provide one of the speediest ways to transport you around the city, not to mention the hidden beaches, seaside villages and harbour restaurants along Dublin’s surprising coastline. See their website at www.dublin.ie/transport/dart.htm
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