Ireland is a country I recommend anyone to visit. Some countries can be a hard transition considering language barriers and cultural differences. Since Ireland is very similar to the USA in both aspects, it is a great country to leisurely visit. This is a stunning country filled with green, rolling hills, crazy landscapes, and rich history.
I spent a few days here with my husband and two friends in the summer of 2017. We flew into Belfast, Northern Ireland, from Spain for just $100! Tickets directly from the USA to Ireland average around $700 out of a large airport. The prices in this country are very similar to the United States. The currency in Northern Ireland is pounds- 1 pound equals 1.3 US dollars as of October, 2018. This fluctuates frequently; be sure to check before traveling!
-Side note; when looking up tickets use Google Flights, and make sure to be in ‘incognito mode’ so the cookies will not be tracked. When cookies are tracked, flight prices will rise the more you look at them.
We arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and explored the town! We stayed at a Hostel. A Hostel is basically a dorm for travelers. The rooms are usually made up of 6-12 bunk beds. Hostels are significantly cheaper than hotels and most air b-n-bs. The ultimate perk of staying at a Hostel is to meet people! Most people staying there are solo travelers who are looking to make friends abroad as well. Hostels also offer tours and deals with tourist destinations. If you are headed to a country with little knowledge about it, stay at a Hostel and speak with the front desk worker to get hooked up with all the best deals on attractions! Download the app ‘Hostelworld’ to find the cheapest and highest rated in the town.
To read more on Hostelworld check out their website: https://www.hostelworld.com/mobile-app
The Titanic Museum is located next to the River Lagan, and is a great experience. The museum gives a full history lesson on the Titanic, and even shows a giant projector show on underwater footage of a scuba diver exploring the sunken ship. We spent hours in this cool building, along with exploring the S.S. Nomadic located outside. If you are trying to be a low spender while backpacking here, I recommend bringing snacks as the food is very expensive inside! Also, bring a student ID with you for admission. The price is significantly lower to get in!
We left Belfast and headed to Dublin, Ireland a couple days later by bus. The bus was about 60 pounds, offering phone chargers in every row, and a hilarious driver. As we discovered, almost every taxi and bus driver had an amazing sense of humor and totally accepted us as tourists. The Irish are amazing people.
Side Note: Northern Ireland and Ireland are separate countries. They share an open border and both are part of the Common Travel Area, but Northern Ireland is a part of the UK.
Side Note: Ireland’s currency is the Euro, different from the Pound. 1 Euro is equal to 1.16 USD. There are many ATM’s that will convert currency upon request.
In Dublin, we stayed at a Hostel once again! This Hostel offered a $30 bus ride across the country to the Cliffs of Moher. Along the way, we stopped at a beautiful, authentic town called Galway, I recognized this name from Ed Sheeran’s song, “Galway Girl.” This historic town is located just north of the Atlantic Ocean. We were given time to explore the streets and loved every second. There was music everywhere! The streets are lined with the coolest stores and flags in the air. This was my favorite part of our Ireland adventure.
We continued on to the Cliffs of Moher, passing abandoned castles and flocks of sheep. When we arrived, the fog was setting in on the Cliffs and we acted fast! Sprinting to a lookout – I attempted to capture the little view we had of the Cliffs.
Once the fog set in, and I gave up on photos, we hiked along the edge for a couple miles. Although no cliffs could be seen past the one we were on, it was absolutely incredible. Be sure to bring a rain jacket to Ireland, without it, we would have been soaked for a majority of the trip.
After our couple hours were up, we hopped back on the bus and headed to the ‘Baby Cliffs.’ Our bus driver felt bad the fog covered our view, so decided to let us stop at these other cliffs! As I said, the Irish are the BEST!
We spent the rest of our time in Dublin exploring castles and the streets. Be sure to see the famous Temple Bar, and definitely pay for a tour at the Guinness Storehouse! The tour even includes a free pour of Guinness at the top of the tower – providing an awesome view of Dublin. I also suggest seeing the Dublin Castle and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. These two historic buildings secured my imagination of what Ireland would look like.
There are so many things to do in Ireland, but here are just a few ideas to get your trip in gear! We absolutely loved our stay, and will be sure to visit again.
Be sure to check out my Instagram for more photos of our adventure and other adventures around the world! Feel free to message me with more questions. 🙂