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Traveling to Ireland? Here’s What Not to Do There!

Why we chose to travel to Ireland?

First, it’s full with famous attractions and things to do. From the magnificent Cliff Moher to the scenic Killarney National Park to its lively capital city, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Ireland.

Second, it’s an English speaking country. Also it’s an easy country to navigate, whether you’re doing a road trip or traveling by bus or train.

Third, it’s relatively easy to get to. There a lot of direct flights to Dublin airport – the Europe and North America gateway airport and makes Ireland even more attractive.

However, like every country, Ireland is a place of quirks and odd habits, but if you read our article, you’d be off to a good start on what not to do or say when you are there.

Don’t try to speak with an Irish accent

Unless you’ve been living in Ireland for some time or have a magical knack for imitation, your Irish accent will most likely be appalling. You should know that Irish people happily chat with strangers while waiting for a bus, queuing or travelling and one of the safest topic is certainly the weather, but don’t ever do it in Irish accent!

Don’t smoke indoors

Since May 2007, smoking has been banned from enclosed public places and workplaces all over Ireland. Do not break the law and risk a hefty fine. Please note that smoking in pubs is also forbidden despite those old pictures of romantically overflowing ashtrays next to the Guinness. Worst result? Again, a hefty penalty.


Don’t say it’s part of the British Isles

This is arguably the single biggest faux pas you can make when talking to an Irish person. Although 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties officially became a republic almost 70 years ago – and had been designated an independent state for nearly 30 years before that – the whole country is still sometimes mistakenly described as being part of the United Kingdom, an error that its citizens find highly offensive. Tourists should also refrain from using the term ‘the British Isles’ in the Republic of Ireland – the country’s government doesn’t recognize it as valid. Instead, you should say ‘Britain and Ireland’.

Don’t talk about leprechauns and little people

The leprechaun might seem like a whimsical and harmless figure, but the modern-day image of the bearded fairy has more negative connotations than positive, mostly drawn from offensive 19th-century stereotypes of the Irish people. The leprechaun also has nothing to do with pre-Christian Irish mythology and has become little more than a gimmick to sell souvenirs. Tourists travelling to the Emerald Isle often find it amusing to ask the locals about leprechauns, as if these legendary little folk were real and commonplace. However, Irish citizens find it more tiresome than funny.

Don’t misunderstand the use of the word ‘sorry’

The Irish are famous for being quick to apologize, and most will usually say sorry if they bump into you, get in your way or accidentally bother you in some other manner. But the word ‘sorry’ is also sometimes used in the place of ‘excuse me’ in order to get a person’s attention. In this case, their tone will make it sound like a question.

Don’t Forget to Get Your Round in

The system of drinking with friends (however recent or loosely defined) in Ireland’s pubs is simple. If you are four people, then A gets the first round, B the second, C the third, and D the fourth. As long as you observe this rule and “get your round in” nobody will call you a mean, stingy foreigner. Worst result? Nobody will drink with you anymore.

These are only some of the don’ts you should be aware of if visiting the lovely little island. Use this map of things to do in Ireland and start planning your long break now. Enjoy yourself and remember to bring an umbrella!

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