When we go to some place new, it is best to know all the best spots to check out ahead of time before getting there. It is also important to know the best and easiest ways to get to the destination you desire to see.
With that being said, this article is for all the Canadians out there who have the travel bug. We are here to provide you with a guide to traveling to Ireland from Canada. We will discuss different ways to go to Ireland from Canada and also what to do once you reach the Emerald Isle. So, without taking much more time, let’s get into it.
Ways to get from Canada to Ireland
The only realistic means of traveling from Canada to Ireland is with air travel. In saying that, there are many different flight routes which you can take, depending on where you are located in Canada, the budget you are on and where about in Ireland you would like to land.
Here are the methods of flying…
Such flights are less common than say indirect flights to Ireland. However, direct flights between the land of green and the land of maple leafs has grown in previous years. Within the last few years Air Canada Rouge has launched direct flights between Vancouver and Dublin.
It is important to note that some airlines only offer seasonal direct flights between Ireland and Canada. These flights are only available for a particular time of the year. These flights operate mostly between April and October.
The next option for traveling from Canada to Ireland is by choosing an indirect flight. Such flights take off from places such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver. They usually then travel to London, and then a connecting flight will take you to Ireland. Choosing an indirect flight is a good option as you may be able to check out a stop-over city like London. The downside however, is that if you don’t want to check out a new city, you may be stuck for a few hours in say Heathrow until the next flight to Ireland is ready. Of course, it is recommended to fly direct if you can, but if your budget only stretches to an in-direct flight that you spotted on say Skyscanner, than you still shouldn’t feel too bleak. I’ve taken an indirect flight from Dublin to Vancouver with a stop-over in Heathrow and it really isn’t that bad.
An Alternative to an Indirect Flight (kind of)
If you want to mix up the indirect flight type of thing and maybe enjoy some other places as well on your journey to Ireland then there is something you could consider. You can catch a ferry from Great Britain to Ireland. In fact, there are several ferry companies (such as Irish Ferries) that work with British rail companies, where you can buy both ferry and rail tickets on their site. This means you could fly into London, enjoy the sites of the UK capital including the Big Ben. Then you could hop on a train and take in the breathtaking views of the English and Welsh countryside as you reach Holyhead where many ferries to Ireland are located.
From here, you can make the boat ride across the Irish sea where you will land in Dublin. If you head down to Pembroke in Wales instead of Holyhead, you can grab a ferry instead to Rosslare, which is south of Dublin. This is recommended if you would prefer to check out the sunny south-east of Ireland, since Rosslare is in Wexford. It is a beautiful part of the country and needless to say, a lot less built-up than Dublin.
It’s important to note that Canadian passport holders can travel to Ireland for up to 90 days without a visa. If you are American and are based in say Seattle and wish to fly out of Vancouver to Dublin then you can also travel to Ireland for three months.
Things to do in Ireland
As this article is all about traveling to Ireland from Canada, it can’t be complete without specifying what you should do once you reach this island. If you are visiting Ireland and don’t mind being behind the wheel of a car then a road trip is highly recommended. If it is your second or third time in Ireland, this is definitely recommended. Most people who come to Ireland stay in Dublin or simple do bus tours from Dublin to the west of Ireland. This is great, especially the latter, however you can really appreciate this little country to a great extent if you were to drive around the hundreds of roads that crisscross the nation.
There are countless little villages with a load of history in Ireland. There are also beautiful natural sites that you mightn’t get to see if you are stuck on a bus. Some sites include the beautiful lakes of County Westmeath. It is important to remember that in Ireland we drive on the left side. If you are not a confident driver or simply just don’t want to deal with getting use to driving on the opposite side, then, maybe sticking to bus tours is a good idea (you won’t have to worry about getting lost as well).
Some places not to miss:
The Cliffs of Moher – fall in love with the beauty of this place. Once you visited these cliffs, you mightn’t wish to head back home. These are huge rugged cliffs that stand high above the violent waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Located in County Clare in the west of Ireland they really are a must. It is easy to get to, with many bus tours from Galway and Dublin going there.
Grafton Street, Dublin – This is the best place for shopping lovers. If you want to pick up some souvenirs or you simply want to splash some cash while on vacation, then this is a good bet. It is a pedestrianized commercial street in Dublin that is usually always busy.
At the end of the street is also St. Stephen’s Green shopping centre. This is a gorgeously designed building that is filled with both interesting little independent stores and larger chain stores and a supermarket. The building exterior is made up mostly of glass panes and there is a beautiful glass roof on the top of the building.
Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens – All nature lovers who want to spend some peace and quiet in in Ireland should come here. The beautifully scenic views you see here will blow you away.
The Book of Kells and Trinity College – Trinity College in Dublin was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1. It is a gorgeous place. While there you might even feel you are in a period drama set in the world of British aristocrats. It’s the oldest university in Ireland. It is also home to the Book of Kells. This book is one of the most famous books in Ireland and dates back to the 9th century. It is a copy of the bible with Latin text. The book is filled with beautiful designs and drawings. When you are looking at it you will feel that you are truly looking at something special.
Tips for when you get here
The unpredictable weather could be a challenge even for snow familiar Canadians. Ireland can be raining one part of the day and then sun could be shining thirty minutes later. Rain can also happen a bit in summer, particularly in the scenic west coast next to the Atlantic Ocean. Pack your luggage with these facts in mind.
Sundays use to mean that most shops and a lot of businesses close, however that is no longer the case.
Also, most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself. You might only be here once!