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Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It boasts of gorgeous nature, charming countryside, quaint villages, and lots of historic sites. Given that there are 32 counties on the map of Ireland, the best way to cover more ground and see these remarkable attractions is to hire a vehicle. Its road network is well-developed, you’ll find it effortless to move around when you rent a car in Ireland during your holiday.

It's your choice: Where to go in Ireland

Spend several days at the capital, Dublin, and absorb its history and culture. On display at the Trinity College’s Old Library is The Book of Kells, a Gospel book manuscript. Visit Dublin Castle, originally built in the 13th-century and today, a government complex. Head to Galway for its lively Eyre Square and Cork for Blarney Castle’s famous stone. Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital city is also an intriguing city. Check out the Titanic Belfast, a museum dedicated to a sunken ocean liner. Other iconic buildings include the Belfast City Hall and Belfast Castle. If you love castles and ruins, go to Antrim and for golf, Portrush and Ballycastle fit the bill whilst Londonderry’s pride is the Derry’s Walls, a historical song honouring the Siege of Derry in 1689.

Things to do in Ireland

Swing by at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, hang out in Phoenix Park or explore the National Museum of Ireland. Stop at the Dublin Writers Museum and read about the lives of renowned authors Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and James Joyce. Don’t forget to taste a pint of Guinness in one of the pubs. Outdoor lovers will love night kayaking at Lough Hyne in Cork for gorgeous views of clear skies. The winter solstice in Newgrange, County Meath is worth doing if you’re lucky enough to be chosen for this experience. Visitors are limited to 50 and drawn by lottery. Ireland also has plenty of beaches where you go for long walks or just enjoy the crashing waves. However, horseriding on the coast is an exhilarating adventure as you gallop on the edge of the water. Before you leave the island, arrange for a Black Taxi tour in Belfast where you’ll visit historic sites, walls, and buildings accompanied by cabbie drivers who may have experienced the Troubles era, the time of the religious divide.

Important info about Ireland

The city has vast green areas with huge parks and forests. The river Leine goes through the city, however, the landscape comprises mostly of flat land. Taking a stroll along the banks of the river is an enjoyable activity. Some of the most notable landmarks of the city, such as the Leine Castle, are also located on the banks. The Lake Maschsee, an artificial water reservoir right in the centre of the city, makes for a gorgeous attraction. It is popular with swimmers, boaters and those who want to go sailing. Many pathways circle the lake and the area around is also perfect for cosy picnics and creating memorable moments. During winters, the frozen lakes make for the ideal place to indulge in ice hockey and skating. Renting a car in Hanover to access the beautiful spots is a practical option.

Weather in Ireland
Country Republic of Ireland
Language English and Irish
Currency Euro
Time-Zones GMT
Country Code +353

Good to know

Access by air is easy as there are several airports in Ireland. Many airlines offer direct flights to Ireland. Both capitals have airports as do the cities of Cork, Derry, Donegal, Limerick, Down, Londonderry, and Kerry. Amenities include car rental agencies where you can hire a vehicle on the spot. Ferry crossings take place regularly between Scotland and Northern Ireland and from mainland Europe to Dublin. People on the island drive on the left and overtake from the right lane. The speed limits in Ireland are 120km/h on motorways, 100km/h on national roads, and 50km/h in urban areas. For Northern Ireland, the maximum speed limit is 110km/h on motorways and 45km/h in town and the city. You must be at least 21 years old to rent a car in both sides. Drivers under the age of 25 years are subject to an insurance surcharge. Seatbelts are mandatory and it is forbidden to drive whilst talking on a mobile phone. The legal alcohol limit for drivers in Northern Ireland is .08 whilst in the Republic it is .05.

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Our tour suggestion for Ireland

One of the most scenic drives that you can do in Ireland is the Causeway Coastal Route. See heart-stopping cliffs on one side and a verdant vegetation on the other. Drive through the postcard worthy villages of Cushendall and Cushendun, admire the ruins of a mysterious castle, and gape at the bizarre rock formation of The Giant’s Causeway. Rent a car in Northern Ireland and go to the Carrickfergus Castle built in 1177 by John de Courcy. It used to be the headquarters of the British Army and today, private banquets and weddings can be arranged at the castle if you’re planning a special event in the future.

What to taste in Ireland

Try Irish stew which is a casserole of beef, pork, or lamb or mixed with potatoes, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Fish and seafood are abundant in Ireland with salmon a mainstay in Irish cuisine. It is served poached, fried, or smoked. Fresh oysters with a pint of Guinness is delightful along with baked ham and the Dublin coddle, a dish of sausages, bacon, potatoes, and onions. Northern Ireland also has its own lovely dishes including the Ulster fry which is perhaps the best-known plate from the area. It is a cooked breakfast served with fried or scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, potato farls, tomatoes, and fried bread. Toast, jam, tea or coffee are also part of this heavy but enjoyable meal. Another unique speciality is the vegetable roll, peppered minced beef with leeks, carrots, and onions. Before leaving the island, sample Bushmills’ range of blended whiskeys and single malts.