Ireland is perfect for solo travellers.; As someone who not only moved their alone at the age of 22, but has returned to travel solo several times since, I think it’s safe to say I know what I’m talking about. Not only is Ireland great for solo travel, but I think it’s one of the best destinations for first time solo travellers, and solo female travellers. From budgeting and getting around to meeting other travellers or locals, here is why I recommend solo travel in Ireland.
It’s pretty obvious, but that fact that Ireland is an English speaking country makes it ideal for solo travellers. Experienced solo travellers will know how frustrating a language barrier can be; the usual techniques of miming, pointing, and asking if anyone around you speaks English don’t always work out. But you don’t need to worry about that in Ireland; which is especially great for first time solo travellers.
While Irish Gaelic may be the first official language, English is the language that is spoken across the country. The only time you’ll end up having to speak or try to understand Gaelic is if you find some mischievous locals looking for a laugh.
While Europe is definitely not the cheapest place to travel, Ireland is actually quite affordable by European standards. Especially in comparison to other popular destinations such as England, Italy, France, and the nordic countries. Larger cities like Dublin and Belfast will be more expensive than the smaller towns, but even then it’s possible to get around on a budget.
Staying in hostels over hotels and using busses over trains are easy ways to save money while travelling through Ireland. Plus, there are plenty of student discounts for tours and even at some restaurants if you have student ID.
Easy to Travel
Transportation costs are one of the most expensive aspects of solo travel, but it’s easy in Ireland. While renting a car is a great option for a group, it’s not always the best idea for solo travel in Ireland. But, that’s no reason to be discouraged because Ireland has a great bus system. The most popular bus company is Bus Eirann which serves major cities and small towns alike, make it easy to travel across the country. Or, if you are limited for time, you can base yourself out of the major cities such as Dublin and Galway, and take advantage of the many day trips accessible from these cities. Not only is this an easy way to see some of the country, but it also provides an opportunity to meet other travellers as well.
Lots of Social Opportunities
Solo travel is empowering, adventurous, and exciting. But, let’s be honest, sometimes it can get lonely too. Thankfully, that’s not something you will really have to worry about when travelling solo in Ireland.
To start with, Ireland is an incredibly popular travel destination that attracts tourists from around the world. From Dublin’s Temple Bar to Galway’s Latin Quarter, the Cliffs of Moher to the Giant’s Causeway, you’re going to see plenty of other tourists. Staying in a hostel, joining a tour, or even taking part in an Irish pub crawl is an easy way to meet other travellers.
Safety is huge for any travel, but especially solo female travel. While it’s important to realize that no country is completely crime free, travellers can explore Ireland with ease and peace of mind that it is one of the safest places in the world. According to the Global Peace Index, Ireland tied with Japan as the 10th safest country in the world as of April 2017.
Nightlife is usually the biggest safety concern, especially among women, however travellers should know that 14 towns in Ireland have been awarded the Purple Flag. This means that they are recognized for their vibrant but safe nightlife. The accredited Irish cities include: Galway, Killarney, Cork, Westport, Waterford, and Dublin’s Creative Quarter. While precautions should always be taken, especially at night, solo travellers to Ireland can enjoy the nightlife without any additional added stress.
Ireland is an amazing country, so if it’s on your must-see list, don’t let the fact that you have nobody to travel with get in your way. Solo travel in Ireland is fun, safe, and easy.
Must Have Travel Accessories for Solo Travel
I love solo travel, but it does mean I need to take some extra precautions. For any other solo travellers out there, especially my ladies, I highly recommend you pack the following:
- A lockable backpack for when you are in crowded areas and have nobody to keep an eye on your back.
- A whistle in case of an emergency. It’s an easy and reliable way to get attention worldwide
- A lightweight power bank. There is nothing worse than your phone dying when you are using it as a map!
- Activated charcoal for tummy troubles– the best solution when there is nobody you can count on to go to the pharmacy for you.
- Door stopper. Most hostels/hotels are safe, but if you are worried this will help you sleep better.
Please, do NOT travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to rely on mine multiple times. While the cost may seem annoying and better spent elsewhere, trust me when I say you’ll be sorry if you don’t have it. For just a couple bucks a day, you can save yourself a whole lot of stress and money. I like to recommend SafetyWing for travel medical insurance as they are who I use.