RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

A backpacker’s guide to Ireland

6th January 2020 Print

Ireland and backpacking feel like they should go together hand in hand - and they do. All it takes for a backpacker to be happy is plenty of green space to walk through and camp, a few hills to climb, some scenery to see, and a few pointers on where to look for entertainment. We can assure you that Ireland has the first three of those things covered, and we’re here to fill in the blanks when it comes to pointers. 

Whether you’re planning a solo trip or you’re going with a friend, Ireland is a gem of a country to visit - perhaps that’s why they call it the Emerald Isle! Most people think they know a thing or two about Irish culture, but most people’s knowledge only extends to St. Patrick’s Day, and the games that populate many online slots casinos. Stereotypical Irish imagery might have made millions for the company that came up with the successful ‘Rainbow Riches’ online slots game, but Ireland has so much more to offer than just the caricatures that you’ll see in it! You might get a cash prize from winning the online slots on website like Rose slots casino, but you’ll get a much richer cultural prize if you walk through Ireland with an open mind. Open yours up, and prepare to receive those pointers we promised you! 

Come In On The West

The most obvious way to get into Ireland is through Dublin. It's the most famous city in the country, but it's also the most expensive and the busiest. You'll get more out of your trip if you save Dublin until last, and pick another route. You might even want to give Dublin a miss completely and head across to the country's west coast to see some of the lesser-known places, away from the beaten track of tourism. If you're coming in by plane, Shannon might be the best place to start. You could also consider Knock. We would never call any part of Ireland inauthentic - it is, after all, all Ireland - but you get more of a taste of the 'old country' in the west and the north than you do in the east. Plus, if you're already in the west of the country, you can follow our next tip. 

Make Sure You Include Galway

We’re not saying that everyone who indulges in backpacking is creatively inclined, but we find that the majority of backpackers have at least some creative interests. If you don’t actively make music, draw, or write, you probably have a keen interest in people who do. That makes Galway a place you have to visit. The city is known for its art and culture scene and feels decidedly more Bohemian than many of the other towns or cities that you may come across during your stay. It's also a great place to eat, with locally-caught seafood featuring prominently on the menus of the majority of the restaurants. Just make sure you pack plenty of wet weather clothing. The rain can come down heavily just about everywhere in Ireland, but coastal Galway gets hit more strongly than most. 

Go And Find The Passage Tombs

Don't be afraid to walk deep into the countryside to find the country's passage tombs and cairns. Ireland has more Celtic and Neolithic burial grounds and chambers than almost any other country in Europe. They're also some of the best-preserved and most heavily decorated, with one recently discovered 5,500-year-old example being described as ‘the find of the century’ by the archaeologists who found it. You don’t even need to have a keen interest in history to understand and appreciate the historical importance of sites like this, which were created by the very first people ever to farm the land of the Emerald Isle. Some of the inscriptions they’ve left behind on the walls defy any attempt to translate them, so why not take a pen and paper and see if you can help to solve a mystery which is even older than our civilization? While we’re on the topic of history…

Buy A Heritage Pass

A heritage pass is like an all-in-one ticket that allows you to take in several of the most significant historical sites in Ireland without paying for them all individually. That has to be considered a good thing - especially when there are so many things for you to go and see! At the time of writing, the price of a pass is 25 Euros, and it will remain valid for the duration of your stay. It's accepted for entry at any Irish site currently owned and operated by the Office of Public Works on behalf of the Irish government. As well as all the passage tombs and dolmens, there are also more than one hundred castles in Ireland. Not all of them are worth your attention, but some of them definitely are! There isn't a single hiking or backpacking route through the country that doesn't take you close to at least a few of them, so why not give them a look? 

Remember The North

In 'Game of Thrones,' one of the most popular catchphrases was 'The north remembers.' In Ireland, it should be 'remember the north,' because too many people leave it off their itinerary completely. As we said earlier, we're not looking to disparage Dublin and the east at all, but there are hundreds of articles online which urge you to go there and tell you what you should do when you arrive. We don't want to add to that number; we want to offer you something different. If you make the effort to get up to Ireland's north, you'll be rewarded with the unforgettable sight of the Giant's Causeway. Spend a day there taking in the jaw-dropping scenery, and then make the most of Derry, which was the first city in the entire United Kingdom to win the 'City of Culture' award back in 2010. 

Drink Guinness if you want to, chat with the locals if you're feeling friendly, and consult the weather forecast when you wake up every morning. Ireland is a backpacker's dream, and it's almost impossible to do it wrong, but if you stay with our advice, you're more likely to get the most out of it!