Post # 1
We’re traveling to Ireland Dec 29 – Jan 9 for our honeymoon. I want to be sensitive to cultural differences and customs and wondered if anyone has any tips? I hear that the Irish are among the friendliest folks in the world, so I’m not super worried, but always feel its good to be in the know with local etiquette when traveling.
In addition, is it commonplace to ask for any newlywed upgrades at hotels and on flights in Ireland? I know it is pretty typical here in the states, but don’t want to offend if its considered a faux pas on the emerald isle.
Post # 3
I went to Ireland a few years ago. The were very friendly and accommodating. The one thing I picked up was that Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland treat each other like separate countries and the people of Southern Ireland got offended if we referred to all of Ireland as one country.
Post # 4
Maybe someone who lives there now can give you more specifics but when I lived there it was pretty similar to the US or UK.
Just dont be obnoxious, dont talk about politics or controversial issues and dont refer to Ireland as part of the UK. That they are touchy about.
Tipping is different. You do tip at dinners and table service, but you dont generally tip bartenders. When you do tip its more about 10-13% and not the 15-20% you are used to in the states. when in doubt, ask. I have seen people willingly accept tips and other people who get insulted at being offered a tip while living there. Check your bills, its often added in as a service charge to many place that tipping would be expected.
No idea about asking for newlywed upgrades. I wouldnt consider it OK to ask for any upgrade in the states unless its an earned one (IE a status upgrade) or one you pay for. you could ask if there are special packages.
Post # 5
Hey girls… Im Irish 🙂
Congrats on your wedding and making the trip over to see us. Irish people are generally lovely and friendly (Im biased of course)
With regards to looking for upgrades there is no harm in asking for them… most places love the feedback that can be given on trip advisor etc especially from us guests as our tourist numbers are down a lot due to recession.
Ireland isnt in the UK so thats why people get touchy about it 🙂 Also there are 6 counties in the north that are part of the uk and use the pound sterling and are governed by the UK.
For tipping – on a normal night out nobody would really tip a bar man in ireland… certainly for a dinner etc give about 10% but from years of experience in the sector, most barmen would be delighted but make sure to give it to them directly.
Also the time of year you’re coming expect the hotels etc to be busy enough…. so maybe email ahead with regards to getting up grades… everything will generally be closed too. Shops will be open but restricted hours with most closing up round 6.., schools etc back after the hols on 7 jan so things will def be back to normal then.
What parts are you going to?? Bring warm clothes… and wet gear if you wanna go out exploring. It’s been raining here all day 🙁
Sorry such a long post… any questions ask away.
Post # 6
@nearlythere: Thanks! I’m aware of the UK/Ireland issue, we’ll keep it at the forefront of our minds the entire time.
Good tips about asking in advance– we booked through an online agency, so I’m not sure if we ask directly or through the agent. I’ll find out. We know the weather won’t be ideal, but we live in Chicago and are used to a cold, gray winter!
Here’s our itinerary:
Post # 7
@OldMrsMcDonald: Dont worry about the Ireland/UK issue.. its not a big deal anymore, well especially in any of the places ye are going to.
If I wa you i’d email the hotels, asking a random question like is there anything specific they’d recommend for you to bring to Ireland for your honeymoon?? In that way they’d be aware before ye arrive that its your hm and when ye get there remind them gently.:)
You’ll have a great time in those places… all will be lively with loads to do. I think theres a national firework festival thing in Dublin NYE so that’ll be romantic 🙂 Ireland is so small ive stayed in hotels in all places you are going to:)
Have a ball 🙂
Post # 8
@OldMrsMcDonald: New Years in Ireland?!? You are in for an AMAZING time!
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
You planned a great itinerary, you’ll love all of those places!! When you’re in Killarney, you MUST do a drive around the Dingle Peninsula, it’s stunning!! Also, even though you haven’t planned to spend the night in Doolin, I would highly recommend making a day trip there and doing the full hike to the Cliffs of Moher. It’s pretty unbelievable 🙂
Post # 10
where are you going in Galway?
Post # 11
I loooooove Ireland! Everyone we met was super nice and accommodating. We stayed in bed and breakfasts, which I highly recommend (they’re about half the price of hotels, which were all booked up during our stay).
You’re not going to the north, so you don’t have to worry about the Euro/Pounds issue (we ran into that, which was awful because pounds were worth ~2x as much and everything was more expensive).
Honestly, I didn’t really see much of a cultural difference, but maybe I’ve just traveled enough to know to observe first and then speak? I found everyone very laid back and happy to help, so if you need anything, don’t be afraid to ask. We didn’t book anything before our trip (basically just flew in), and we ended up back in Limerick with no place to stay. Our cab driver drove us around for over an hour, trying to find us a b&b that had a room, calling around for us, and even offered to let us stay in the caravan in his driveway if we couldn’t find somewhere.
Post # 12
Oh have fun! My grandma is from killarney.
Post # 13
Congratulations! I’m Irish as well. you’ll have a great time! You’ll be passing near where I live during your trip! In Cork, you could take a trip out to Midleton and see the Jameson distillary. (Dublin have a tour in the Guinness Stores too – never been to either but good fun from what I can gather). Kilkenny has a lovely castle..lively spot too. I would recommend you go to see Blarney Castle when you’re near Cork. Call to Blairs Inn near Blarney and you’ll get a fabulous meal as well as see a real traditional pub. On your way to Killarney from Cork you might consider going to Kenmare..more lovely restaurants there and a lovely bay. Killarney is great..mountains and lakes are gorgeous..Muckross House is beautiful and theres always a great buzz around the town. Kerry is nice spot as well..Cliffs of Moher are pretty cool. If you are into golf theres lots of courses around the country.
You’ll get to see a lot of the country. Dont worry about the culture. We love having visitors especially Americans as most have lots of links with Ireland from their ancestry. Moneygall is in Tipperary and its the ancesteral home of Obama. He visited last year I think and it caused great excitement. The queen also visited Dublin and Cork soon after and it was great.
Would love to hear how you get on… The best place to check is http://www.discoverireland.ie It will tell you about events in the places you’re visiting.
Hope you enjoy your trip!
Post # 14
By the way, contact the hotels before you leave if you want to upgrade for your honeymoon so you wont be disappointed! All the best
Post # 15
One minor cultural wrinkle, but it’s good to know: in Ireland, you don’t take or give a “ride” (i.e. in a car, taxi, whatever), you give or get a “lift” to where you’re going. “Ride” has sexual overtones. If you ask the taxi driver to give you one, he might be mildly shocked.