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The Dos and Don’ts When Coming to Ireland

Have you booked your flights to Ireland? Is it nearly time to pack your bags? We’re sure you’ve spent plenty of exciting hours researching all the things you should see and do when you’re in the Emerald Isle. But have you familiarized yourself with our culture and customs?

Knowing the dos and don’ts of Ireland can help to make your trip far more enjoyable and immersive. Getting these small details right can create far more authentic connections with locals!

We’ve welcomed plenty of folk on our small-group tours of Ireland — and seen our fair share of faux pas! Read our list of dos and don’ts when coming to Ireland below to truly embrace the Irish spirit.

And if you have any questions for the Overland Ireland team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

What to Do When Visiting Ireland

What you should do in Ireland

Do Buy a Round of Drinks in the Pub

Always buy your round in the pub! There is nothing worse in Ireland than skipping a round of drinks! You run the risk of being called a ‘scab’ – which is the worst thing you can ever be called… If you get the title of scab for skipping your round of drinks, it will never leave you!


Do Tip Your Servers and Guides in Ireland

Every country has its own tipping etiquette. Our advice is to always tip your waiter and guides when visiting Ireland. If you feel like you have had great service in a restaurant, it is customary to tip between 10-15%. It is less common to tip in a pub, but if you have had excellent service from the bartender you might buy them a pint to enjoy when they clock off.

Read our Guide to Tipping in Ireland to find out more about this topic.

Do Bring Lots of Layers on your Irish Vacation

Bring lots of layers with you on your Irish holiday. Ireland has been known to experience all four seasons in one day. Throw in a raincoat, sunglasses, a warm sweater and suncream for your ultimate Irish adventure.

Read our guide What to Pack on a Trip to Ireland for even more pre-trip packing advice.

Book an Overland Ireland tour!

Road with a sign displaying Gaeltacht, Ireland

If you’re planning to see beyond the usual attractions, then you really should consider one of our Small-Group Tours of Ireland. Whether it’s history and culture on our Jewel tours or outdoor adventures on our Zest tours, Overland Ireland has created a range of exciting small-group tours to suit different kinds of travellers.

We even have Ireland self-drive tours that are ideal for people who want to benefit from all of our expertise and connections but would rather travel around Ireland on their own.

Do Try to Speak the Local Language

Try your hand at a bit of Gaelic. You won’t be short of locals trying to teach you cupla focal (a few words)! The most important one is when you raise your glass to someone’s health: ‘Slainte’ – Slaw-in-chaa!

A car on a road bend in the Irish countryside

Do Drive on the Left-hand Side of the Road 

We drive on the left! This is normal here, but it scares lots of people who think about driving over here. Also, remember to pull in on the small windy roads. If you are worried about renting a car in Ireland, don’t bother and just let Overland whisk you around our awesome little country while you chill out and take lots of jealousy-inducing photos!

Read our Guide to Getting Around Ireland to take a deeper dive into the topic of holiday transportation.

Do Enjoy Pub Lock-ins 

Keep quiet if they lock the doors of the pub and let you stay! This is called a lock-in and it is usually the best ‘craic’ you will ever have. People break out the musical instruments and the bartenders hand out a few free drinks.

What NOT to Do When Visiting Ireland

What not to do in Ireland

Don’t Kiss Us on the Cheek

Although we are technically European, we still struggle with the whole air kissing or cheek kissing when introduced to people. We prefer a good solid handshake.

So, instead of throwing the lips, stick out your hand and give us a good hard shake.

Don’t Drink an Unsettled Guinness

Never, ever drink a pint of Guinness until it has settled. The black should be pitch black and the white of the pint should be perfectly still. It is almost against the law to start drinking until it is perfect!

Hungry for more local tips? Check out our choices for the things you should know about Ireland before you visit.

Guide on the cliff of moher

Don’t Book a Trip with Another Tour Company!

Do not book a trip with any other tour company. Otherwise, you risk bitter disappointment… ha ha!

When you’ve finished this blog, consider reading similar advice in the guide What Should American Tourists Not Do While Visiting Ireland?

Don’t Limit Yourself to Eating in Pubs

People do not book a trip to Ireland because of the food but we think they should. Restaurants have upped their game in recent years and we boast hundreds of amazing restaurants preparing locally sourced produce. 

But don’t just take our word for it! Read all about how Ireland is now a renowned destination for seafood lovers and pescatarians.

Don’t Avoid Talking About the Weather

Without talking about the weather, 9 out of 10 Irish people could not start a conversation. It’s our opening social gambit and you should give it a go. If you don’t know what to say about the weather, just say ‘The weather’s not looking up to much’. We can take care of the rest of the conversation!

Get in the habit of talking about the weather by reading our guide to visiting Ireland in the summer.

Active Tours Ireland Gadgets

Don’t Leave Without Learning How to Make an Irish Coffee 

Do not leave the Emerald Isle without learning to make the perfect Irish coffee. Any bartender will be happy to show you how to. 

Don’t Hesitate to Get in Touch with Overland Ireland

If you have any questions about our small-group tours of Ireland, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can ask us whatever you like! We’re happy to provide all the answers you need. Let our expert team help you plan your ultimate Irish vacation.

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