When visiting the Emerald Isle, as with any country, there are several things tourists should never do, here are our top picks for Ireland.
For the most part, Ireland is a very understanding country that is quite welcoming to tourists. We are used to receiving tourists from all different nationalities and cultures with very different ways of living and they all get along just fine. However, if you are planning on coming here, you should know that there are a few things that tourists should never do in Ireland.
10. Never say “top of the morning” – we never say this
If your only experience of Ireland is American movies and TV shows, I see how it could be easy to think that “top of the morning” is an expression regularly used in Ireland. In reality, this is something that Irish people never actually say and there is a good chance that you would be laughed at if you said it.
9. Never drink Guinness before it settles – it’s Guinness etiquette
If you are coming to Ireland for the first time, I am sure that you are excited to have your first Irish pint of Guinness. You might not know but Guinness is pulled in two pours to give it the thick head that it is famous for. When the barman finally places your creamy pint of Guinness in front of you, make sure you wait for it to settle and finish doing its thing before taking your first sip.
8. Never say that Ireland is in the UK – unless you’re looking an argument
Any Irish person that uses social media is very used to seeing people from other countries, especially Americans, mistake Ireland for being a part of the UK. The Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and the UK are all touchy subjects in Ireland with a lot of history. It is better off just to avoid talking about them entirely for fear of insulting someone.
7. Never drive on the wrong side of the road – for everyone’s safety
In Ireland, we drive on the left-hand side of the road. Many other countries drive on the right-hand side of the road so if you are going to be driving, make sure that you remember this. The passenger should always be beside the ditch. This is one of the main things tourists should never do in Ireland.
6. Never talk about religion or politics – again, a touchy topic
Religion and politics are two more things that are very touchy subjects in Ireland. Asking someone whether they are a Catholic or Protestant can seem like an innocent question, but without knowing the history of Ireland, it is safer not to ask. Any other questions about religion or politics are also probably better off left unsaid unless you know the person well.
5. Never talk about leprechauns – they’re not as common as you think
Leprechauns are one of the Irish stereotypes we hate the most. No one in Ireland ever talks about leprechauns and we generally hate it when tourists do as it isn’t a strong part of our culture. It is best to just not bring them up.
4. Never claim you are 100% Irish – unless you’re looking laughed at
Unless you were born in Ireland it is probably best not to claim that you are 100% Irish when visiting Ireland. No matter which of your family members are Irish and what percentage you are, if you weren’t born in the country, Irish people will only laugh at you when you say it. We’re not even sure that a lot of Irish people want to be 100% Irish.
3. Never say ‘St. Patty’ instead of ‘St. Patrick’ – there’s only one way to say it
In Ireland, we generally refer to ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ as ‘Paddy’s Day’. We do this as ‘Paddy’ is short for ‘Patrick’. It seems, however, that a lot of Americans have picked this up wrong and refer to it as ‘St. Patty’s Day’. I would highly recommend not saying this to an Irish person as I am sure the best reaction you will get is for them to laugh at you.
2. Never skip your round – it’s only respectful
When you are in a pub in Ireland, it is customary for people who are drinking together to share a round. This saves time as it means only one person has to go to the bar at a time for everyone to get a new drink. Drinking in a round is great when someone else is paying but make sure you don’t skip paying for your round when it comes to your turn as this is seen as a mortal sin in Ireland. Another of the top picks for things tourists should never do in Ireland.
1. Never drink and drive – safety is the top priority
In Ireland, the legal limit for drinking and driving is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. This is a lot lower than some other countries so if you are going to be driving in Ireland, make sure you are conscious of this so you don’t get in trouble with the Garda (Irish police).