Ok guys I obviously live in Ireland, however I'm such a bum that I never really bothered travelling much around my own country. What I would love to know is what your experiences have been of Ireland? Did you find anywhere amazing/fascinating? Did you find the people friendly...because it seems to me that some Irish people have lost that hospitality that we were once famous for?
This is a topic I often discuss with my mates...what exactly is Ireland like as a holiday destination for tourists???
I thought people were fantastic--especially in Belfast, where I spent the most time. People coming at you on the sidewalk actually move a little out of the way! Wow--I was amazed every time. It always felt like the Irish acknowledged strangers on the street, which we don't get much here (maybe it's a big-city thing). Ireland is one of the friendliest places I've ever visited.
People can say what they want about Cork people but Im telling you now - you will never find a more fun city in Ireland to go out with than Cork!! If your into your music like me you will love it, Cork has a great music industry down there for up and coming bands and stuff... its just a great place!! People are so friendly!!
I guess second on my list would be Belfast - again great music scene and great people. Depends what your looking for really... If its a great session, drinking, craic all that jazz... Cork, Belfast, Galway, Kilkenny are all great. If its scenery, chill out time with a lady friend, Kerry, Mayo, Donegal are all great....
Belfast is just great with its immensely rich history. I had a city tour there coming by that "speaking" quarters where catholics and protestants fighted just a little ago. And besides, there is that beautiful Irish coast nearby.
I found Kinsale to be such a lovely village on the harbour with fine pubs and shops to walk to. It's one of our favorite places to visit.
I found nearly all of Ireland incredibly friendly and I can't think of one place where we felt otherwise.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this on TP before but one story I've related to people when they ask me why Ireland is my favorite place to holiday is this:
While running a museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico I struck up a conversation with a lovely lady who was well travelled. She claimed however, that her son had been to even more countries than she had. I asked her what country was their favorite and she immediately responded with Ireland. When I asked her why she looked at me for a moment and said, "I think I should explain to you, my son is blind, but between the friendliness, the music, the atmosphere... Ireland is his favorite place on Earth!"
I think that is one of the best compliments a country could ever receive.
LadyMacWilly ^..^ ~
To me Dublin is overpriced and over-rated. It is just as expensive a place to stay as Paris, Rome or Amsterdam, but not a patch on any of them. A day trip is enough. In general, I think that the Rip-off Republic offers poor value for money compared to almost any other country you can think of (inlcuding England).
Belfast I visited last year, again for a day trip, and was pleasantly surprised with. I'm going to North Antrim next month, to visit the Giants Causeway etc. Accomodation prices north of the border are far more reasonable. For English visitors there is also the benefit of being able to pay in pounds rather than euros.
Damn, you're lucky. You actually have the British Pound!
I still love Dublin, especially the Ballsbridge area. I would easily spend my hard, earned, tourirism dollars there because I still find the city one of the most amazing places in the world!
My heritage is Scots-Iriish, ( ...and yet...I so love the English....my mother's side...)
I was treated with the greatest respect in Ireland., (even with my Scottish heritage....) LOL Bourne, from the Isle of Harris and Lewis. )
the Irish, the Scottish, the English, the French, The Italians, the Hungarians, the Swiss...I could go on forever.....
Point is....you embrace life....and there you go...
Ive been living in Ireland just under a month and I gotto say I like it, yes it is expensive compared to UK(especially with the euro being so strong at mo) but there is so much you can do for free if your into the outdoors, the scenery in Co. Kerry/West Co. Cork is outstanding and littered with quaint little towns and villages.Dublin and Cork are both fun places(though Ive always had a soft spot for Dublin,maybe its to do with young lady I met there yrs ago? memories!!!). The pace of life is so mellow compared to what Im used to, you naturally start to unwind and relax. The people in general are friendly but I have had abit of hostility,but hey you get that everywhere. Generally I would recommend Ireland to anyone especially UK as you can take car over for £59 from pembrooke to rosslare and then really explore Ireland.
Spent 3 weeks in Ireland in February and I must admit was a little disappointed - not what I thought it would be like. We stayed at B&Bs most of the time and I think that we only came across 1 "Irish" family, loved Bunratty and down around Killarney, liked Galway although the traffic was horrendous! Also loved around Donegal area. Dublin was interesting and again not quite what we were expecting - did like the Guiness factory though and the book of Kells was just amazing! The majority of locals we came across were very nice although tis a shame about the EU invasion down south - very hard to find the genuine Irish.