Ireland is known for many things: from breathtaking landscapes and beautiful Irish culture to medieval castles and Guinness beer. Today, Ireland is increasingly popular for its healthcare as well. The country is a newcomer in the medical tourism sector, but its popularity is growing fast. An ever-increasing number of international medical tourists flock to the country to receive affordable, first-class medical treatments in one of its outstanding medical centers. The most sought after procedures include dental treatments and cosmetic surgery, but other treatments, such as cardiology and gynecology, are becoming more popular as well.
Popular Cities and Regions in Ireland
The most popular travel destination among international visitors in Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. This modern-day city boasts rich cultural traditions, with beautiful medieval monuments and amazing museums. It is also popular for its remarkable pubs, lively nightlife, and vibrant food scene. Here, tourists are welcome to tour the Guinness Storehouse, explore the National Museum, admire the fine collection of Western European art in the National Gallery, visit Merrion Square, or simply relax in St. Stephen’s Green. The second-largest city in Ireland, Cork, is also famous among tourists. It is home to the oldest covered markets in Europe, the English Market. Popular attractions in this city include the Blarney Stone, Bantry House, and Mizen Head.
Transport in Ireland
The main international airport in Ireland is Dublin International Airport, although Shannon Airport is popular with transatlantic flights as well. Ireland has an extensive network of public transportation, making it easy to get around the country. However, traveling to rural areas can be challenging since bus services to places off the beaten track are infrequent and trains have limited lines to these areas. To travel between major cities, buses are great options. Trains are available as well, but they tend to be expensive. In major cities, such as Dublin, a vast range of transportation options is available. In Dublin, for example, you can opt for buses, LUAS (tram/light rail system), DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), and the Suburban Rail Network. Taxis are widely available as well, but they can be expensive.
Visas in Ireland
Although Ireland is not a part of the Schengen Area and the Schengen visa is not valid in the country, the visa policy is very similar to the visa policy of the Schengen Area. Citizens of the EU, EEA, Swiss, the US, Hong Kong, Australia, and other visa-exemption countries do not need a visa to visit Ireland. Citizens of other countries not listed in the visa-exemption agreement need to apply for a visa beforehand. Ireland has a short stay medical treatment visa for those who wish to undergo medical treatment in the country. The visa is valid for up to 90 days.
Weather in Ireland
There are four seasons in Ireland: spring (March-May), summer (June – August), autumn (September – November), and winter (December – February). Each season brings a good measure of rain, but summer has plenty of sunny days and lower levels of rainfall. The average temperature during this season is around 16 - 20°C. The winter is cold, with an average temperature of approx. 4 to 6°C, but rarely drops below freezing in the country, and snow is rare. Autumn and spring generally have pleasant weather.
Local Currency: The official currency of Ireland is the euro (€). €1 converts to around US$1.17.
Money & Payments: ATMs are widely available around the country, and credit and debit cards are accepted in many places. Tipping is expected and it is normal to leave around 10% to 15% of your bill as a tip.
Local Language: English has been the most commonly spoken language in Ireland since the eighteenth century, while Irish is spoken as the first language for a small percentage of the population.
Local Culture and Religion: Christianity is the largest religion in Ireland. However, there are also small numbers of other religious groups, including Muslims, Jews, Presbyterians, and Methodists.
Public holidays: St. Patrick’s Day, Good Friday, Bealtaine (May Day), St. Stephen’s Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day are some of the most celebrated public holidays in Ireland.