Things I learned in Ireland

by Female Abroad

After spending the last two weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland, these are my bits of advice:

  1. VAT is not worth claiming unless you really spend a lot of money. Some places won't charge you for it if they know that you are just going to claim it back.
    VAT needs to be stamped in Dublin if you are going to collect it
  2. Irish bacon is amazing
  3. Belfast is very uncomfortable feeling compared to Dublin
  4. Rolling green hills are only in the country
  5. Guinness is king
  6. Harp; although listed as an Irish beer back home is only in Northern Ireland, the Irish were unaware of it (it's also brewed and owned by the Guinness factory so good marketing on their part)
  7. O'Connell is not a street to visit after dark
  8. If you want an Irish experience, skip Temple Bar
  9. Even their bad curry is better than anything in Canada; just be careful with the spice
  10. Skip the pizza, donair, certainly fruit juices, and beer gravy on pork
  11. If you can't sleep on flights then nap, you'll need it
  12. Eat to keep your energy up as airports are idiot central
  13. It will rain; might only be a mist though
  14. Take tours. Research them to figure out where you want to go before hand to make sure you get the tour for you but it helps you cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time
  15. Dublin can be done in a week or less
  16. Frankfurt has extremely tough security, YYZ checks you with dogs before getting on international flights and check your passport when you get off
  17. I blend in until I open my mouth
  18. The snacks you bring with you on the flight are never the ones you want to eat....


Winter: November to February; usually cold but dry

Spring: March to May; usually wet

Summer: June to August; warm and sunny

Fall: September to October; warm and sunny

Weather can be unpredictable so you can get all kinds of weather in a matter of hours!

What to Pack

Closed toe walking shoes - it's a very walkable city with lots of cobble stone streets

Umbrella and / or rain coat - never know what the rain will show up!

Camera - a must no matter where you go

Clothes - Make sure you have pieces you can layer as Dublin is on the water so it can get cold. Avoid anything too revealing as you will probably be cold and look out of place.


If you do need a converter, make sure you buy the correct one as you can get two types: one for low-wattage and the other for high-wattage. If you are blow drying or straightening your hair, you will need the high-wattage one. **We charged an ipad, cameras, and cell phones without needing one of these