The Emerald Isle on the edge of Europe might be small, but it’s a big hitter when it comes to music, literature, sports, and its people’s ability to find the craic (fun) in every situation.
The Celtic Tiger roared through the Republic in the 1990s and brought unprecedented wealth and immigrants on cheap flights to Ireland seeking work. The Ireland of traditional small farms and industries went high-tech—at least in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway—but it has not forgotten its roots. Traditional music sessions are a weekly event in many country pubs and Irish dancing is a popular pastime.
Bound by the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast and the calmer Irish Sea on the east, there is nowhere in Ireland that is more than 30 miles from the sea. The rolling hills are made for walking, climbing, biking and horse-riding and the many golf courses are lush and, of course, green.
The seas around Ireland provide plentiful and delicious seafood, and its largely family-run farms produce the meat and vegetables for Ireland’s hearty cuisine.
Whether you book a cheap flight to Ireland for a family gathering in Dublin or a chance to gab at the Blarney stone, the trip to Ireland will produce memories that last a lifetime! The language is the same and the food is familiar, so Americans booking a trip to Ireland immediately feel at ease in the country. For Irish Americans, booking flights to Ireland is a special homecoming—you never know who you’ll meet or what ancestry you’ll dig up. But once the familiarity has settled in, it’s time to really explore Ireland.
Take a trip off the beaten path and test your knowledge of Gaelic language in some of Ireland’s remote villages. When your flight to Ireland lands, take time to explore the castles, pubs and ancient artifacts that bind centuries of Irish kin together. Music and literature have defined Ireland for years, so it’s no wonder many friendships are made over a song or a poem. Listen for a song you to which you can sing along, and join the locals in an Irish tune at the local pub. Belly up to the bar for a stout and fish and chips, and introduce yourself to the locals. The friendliness in Ireland is second to none, and everyone is welcome in this treasured country.
For anyone in search of greener pastures, book a flight to Ireland.
Summers in Ireland are usually dry with average temperatures of 60 degrees. Temperatures are a bit cooler in the spring and fall, while winters are rainy with temperatures around 40 degrees. It is coldest in January and February, and warmest in July and August, but it rarely gets hot. It rains a lot in Ireland, and the weather can change quickly, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers.
The peak season for flights to Ireland is summer with its warm weather and long, sunlit days (6am until after 10pm). All rates are at their highest, festivals are in full swing, and all attractions are open. Dublin is busy year-round and doesn’t have a low season.
Spring and fall are great times to visit Ireland. The weather is usually good and most of the crowds have left, so airline tickets to Ireland are often easy to find.
Early fall (September and October) and spring (March through May, excluding the peak St. Patrick’s Day on March 17) are good times to take cheap flights to Ireland.
Winter prices tend to be the lowest, except for Dublin. However, seasonal hotels, restaurants, accommodations, and attractions usually close from early or mid-November until mid-March or Easter.
You can find cheap flights to Ireland pretty much all year round, with the exception of festivals and events. The cheapest flights to Ireland are found during the quieter months, however, you can secure cheap flight tickets at the last minute, although it is worth booking them in advance. If you can be flexible with your dates and your destination in Ireland then you can secure some absolute bargains on flight tickets.
Ireland is served by five international airports, including Dublin and Shannon Airports. The average flight time from New York ranges from 6 hours 30 minutest to 7 hours 30 minutes, depending on which airport you choose to fly to for your trip. Flights from Los Angeles and Houston typically require at least one connecting flight, with the total travel time ranging from approximately 11 to 13 hours.
Visitors to Ireland can choose from many different airlines, including Delta, United and American Airlines. Aer Lingus operates flights from North America, the U.K. and mainland Europe. If you’ll be traveling from the United Kingdom as part of your travels, you can select short flights from carriers such as Ryanair, British Airways or Flybe. Tickets available to and from Ireland from each carrier may depend on the airport you choose as part of your travels.
Weather can change quickly in Ireland, it temperatures can remain mild even in the summer. Pack layers of clothing, including short-sleeved shirts and light sweaters so you can dress to your comfort level, and prepare for misty or rainy weather with a rain coat, galoshes and an umbrella. Hiking shoes or boots are ideal if you’ll be enjoying the outdoor scenery, and a medium-weight jacket will provide protection on chilly days. Be sure to pack warm pajamas, particularly if you plan to stay in a castle or bed and breakfast, as these locations can be drafty on cold nights.
The airport is located about 6 miles North of Dublin’s city center and has several transportation options to get you to and from the airport. The most common method is either a bus or coach, though taxis are also available. There are about 1000 buses and coaches doing their rounds through the airport each day, all of which go to different areas of Ireland. You can find relevant information at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, depending on your destination. You can also find taxis outside of the Arrivals Terminal. Taxis are more expensive than buses but if you have a lot of luggage or can split the fare with a friend then they can work out to be quite a good value— just make sure to agree on a fee before getting in to avoid an overcharge.
After your flight to Ireland has landed in Cork, the main option to get into the city is via bus. Buses are plentiful, cheap, and cover a great deal of Ireland. All of the buses leave from outside of the Arrivals Terminal and you can find more information on timetables either online or at the airport once you arrive. Taxis are also available but will cost significantly more than the bus. They are beneficial if you have a lot of baggage as some buses can be quite crowded.
Ryanair and Aer Arann offer intercity flights, Kerry to Dublin or Dublin to Mayo, for example.
In the cities (Dublin, Cork and Limerick) there are good public bus networks. There is a rail line that runs along the coast in Dublin called the DART and a light rail system called the LUAS that has two lines. One runs east-west through Dublin’s Northside, then crosses the River Liffey and travels south-west to Tallaght, the other is in the south side of Dublin.
Iarnród Éireann runs the railroads. Intercity routes cover major cities and towns around the country while Commuter Rail covers commuter routes to Dublin.
The national bus company is Bus Eireann, which connects the cities and towns. There are several private coach companies too.
Renting a car is a great option as the county towns and smaller villages will not have very frequent bus services. All the major car rental companies are represented at the airports.
There’s no shortage of things to see and do when visiting Ireland. If you’ll be in Dublin, plan a visit to the Guinness Storehouse or the Irish Whiskey Museum to taste some of the region’s most popular beverages. You can also spend the afternoon strolling through the National Botanic Gardens before stopping in at any of the city’s local pubs for some authentic Irish fare.
For time away from the big city, consider taking a trip to one of Ireland’s popular parks or outdoor attractions. Killarney National Park is known for its breathtaking waterfalls and mountain scenery, and a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry provides a view of the rocky Atlantic coastline from high above the water.
Of course, Ireland’s countryside is dotted with castles. Some castles feature rooms that can be rented for the night, while others are open during business hours only. Some castles to consider a visit to might include Dublin Castle, Ashford Castle or Bunratty Castle.
(prices quoted are from London)