Hitchhiking is the easiest and fastest way to travel in the countryside and in the less inhabited regions where public transportation such as train or bus is not available or it is not as frequent as a traveler might expect (one or two buses per day). You can easily get multiple lifts from one village to another for really short distances, and people are very welcoming. You can get a lift virtually anywhere, even on the smallest roads. Long distance traveling can be a little slow, but the country isn't big. It's possible to get from one coast to the other in one day. More information on Hitchwiki. Please note that atthe moment, it doesn't seem to be possible anymore to hitchhike ferries from the UK or France to Ireland as you usually don't pay per vehicle but per passenger.
There are also train and bus companies in Ireland. There is only one train company is Ireland called Irish Rail, who offer 10€ tickets if you book ahead. If you pay for tickets on the day of travel, train travel is very expensive.
Train is more expensive than bus. The national bus company is Ireland is called Bus Eireann and does offer discounts online. They may be the only alternative to hitchhiking if you are seeking to a town or area off the beaten track. They also offer cheap bus and ferry combinations to the United Kingdom. If you are traveling between Irish cities, or even abroad, there are cheaper options than bus Eireann. They include CityLink, GoBus and GoBe.
- Bus: Bus Eireann, Busbud, Ulster Bus
- Train: Irish Rail, Northern Ireland Railways
- Airline: Norwegian, Ryanair
All the usual hotels and hostels exist around the big touristy areas and towns, but are still quite expensive and would not be a long term solution. Camping is by far the most reliable for of long term sleeping arrangement as tucked away, empty fields can be found just minutes outside even the biggest towns. The farmers would probably appreciate your asking if you could stay but for the most part they probably wouldn't even care. Just try not to go into fields with crops or livestock and never light a fire that would be visible from a road or house. Forest fires aren't really an issue in Ireland either as it's usually so very wet. Be careful about Donegal, though, because some areas tend to be very boggy without a lot of fields. You could also try CouchSurfing for accommodation if you're interested in meeting local people. Most showers of rain in Ireland pass quickly but if you're unlucky enough to experience the weeks of drizzle and rain which can sometimes plague the country at any time of year you might need to cash out for a B&B to get a good nights sleep or to get a chance to dry out.
Coilte, the semi-state forestry body in Ireland is currently designating a number of wild camping sites across the estate which can be used by long distance hikers using their own equipment to camp overnight on their hike. These sites will be a grassy or flat area adjacent to a National Waymarked Way with enough space for one or two tents, usually beside or close to a stream or watercourse. They are intended for use for one night only and their use will be in line with principles of responsible use, in line with Leave No Trace, to assist with maintaining the camping site. See more atthe Coilte website.
Food is expensive in Ireland. The supermarkets are also quite expensive, even if every town has stores like LIDL and ALDI that are a bit cheaper. You can get a good meal in many pub's for 5€ plus, for example in the JD Wetherspoon group of pubs.
Dumpster diving is really doable in Ireland.
Some countries still need to apply for a visa to Ireland, except for citizens from European (EEA) Member Countries. Irish visa is issued by Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Iris ministry offers different visa policies for the citizens of different nations.
A valid passport is required by all except:
- (a) 1. persons born in the UK travelling direct from the UK;
- (b) 2. nationals of Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands holding a valid national ID card; (it is, however, recommended to bring a valid passport)
Nationals of the following countries can stay for up to three months without a visa:
Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Hungary, Iceland, Finland, France, Liechtenstein, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Monaco, Portugal, Poland, Vatican City, Spain, Latvia, Maldives, San Marino, United Kingdom, Italy.
Others: Antigua And Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Lithuania, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Macau (Sar), Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvala, U.S.A, Uruguay, Vanuata, Venezuela, Western Samoa and Zimbabwe.
To apply for an Irish visa please contact your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate or download application forms from http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/
Types of visa and cost
- Visitor/Tourist visa:
(a) 1 completed application form.
(c) Letters to substantiate purpose of visit.
(d) 3 passport-size photos.
(e) Letter from place of employment/study.
(f) Return ticket (advisable but not essential).
(f) Letter from applicant's company in duplicate, indicating the nature and status of the company as
well as the applicant's planned activities.
(g) Photocopy of passport, endorsed by the Home Office/Embassy or authorities as being a true representation of the original. (This is required in addition to the original passport.)
- Cost for visa:
Visitor/Tourist: £20 (single entry), £40 (multiple entry)
£8. Nationals of some countries receive visas free of charge. Enquire at Consulate/Consular section of Embassy for further details.
- EU nationals are only required to produce evidence of their EU nationality and ID in order to be admitted to any EU Member State.
Irish Embassies and/or Consulates
Embassy of Ireland in Canberra, Australia - 20 Arkana Street, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Canberra, Australia. Tel: (61) 06 273 3022. Fax: (61) 06 273 3741.
Embassy of Ireland in Prague, Czech Republic - Velvyslanectv Irska Trziste 13, 118 00 Praha 1. Tel: (420 2) 5753 0061. Fax: (420 2) 5753 1387.
Embassy of Ireland in Beijing, China - No. 3, Ri Tan Dong Lu, Beijing, China. Tel: (86 10) 6532 2691/2914. Fax: (86 10) 6532 68 57.
Ireland (Republic of Ireland) is a member state of the European Union but with only partial participation in the Schengen Agreement. The recent and inevitable economic downturn has made the people a bit more accommodating and brotherly again. However, Ireland remains an expensive country. Dublin is the capital city and main point of ferry and flight entry. The two main languages spoken in Ireland are Irish and English. Irish is a minority but official language, whilst everyone can speak English.
- Ireland’s 10 best parks for adventure and activity.