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8 Reasons To Love Solo Travel in Ireland

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Wondering about solo travel in Ireland? When I was 19 years old (way back in 2009), I moved to Dublin on a year-long working holiday visa without knowing anyone there.

I have no idea where I got the courage to do this, but I’m forever grateful to my younger self for doing so.

That trip changed my life. It showed me the joys of solo travel, introduced me to the world of backpacking, and sparked my lifelong love of travel.

I visited Ireland again a decade later (where does the time go?!), and it reminded me how great Ireland is for solo travelers, especially if it’s your first time! Here are eight reasons why.

Why Solo Travel in Ireland?

1. Ease of Transportation

Scenery on the bus through Ireland

Getting around Ireland is easy, and this is from someone with no sense of Direction!

Ireland has an excellent network of trains and buses that connect the country. One of the most popular bus companies is Bus Eireann.

You can see the bus timetables and book a ticket online on their website or buy them at the station. I bought my tickets at the station and never had any trouble getting a seat.

They also offer a 6-day unlimited travel pass which is a great deal if you’re traveling quickly through Ireland. The buses are comfy, and they have free Wi-Fi on board! Plus, the scenery in Ireland is gorgeous so you won’t find yourself getting bored.

Ireland also has an extensive railway system, which is a lovely, relaxing way to get around the country and take in the scenery.

2. Availability of Day Tours

Even if you come to Ireland on your own, there are so many wonderful day tours you can take to explore the country.

Renting a car is my favorite way to get around a destination like Ireland as it gives you the ultimate flexibility, but if you aren’t comfortable getting one, you won’t have a problem finding a day tour to take you to the main attractions.

Check out my guides on the best day tours from Dublin and day tours from Cork for ideas on where to go.

Cliffs of Moher in Ireland is one of the most popular day trips solo travellers take in ireland
The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most popular day trips to take in Ireland

Day tours and group activities are a great way to meet new people when you’re traveling alone. This is often how I start building my digital nomad community in a new destination.

During a day tour, you will be participating in activities with like-minded people, and that’s naturally going to get the conversation flowing.

Likely by the end of the day, you’ll be making plans to go out to dinner that night.

I met my best friend in Dublin on a day tour to Trim Castle, one of the best castles in Ireland. We ended up living together after that and are still in touch 15 years later.

3. Safe Nightlife

Temple Bar in Dublin
Temple Bar in Dublin. One of the most popular nightlife spots, which has the purple flag for safety! Great for solo travel.

One thing I loved about Ireland was how much it was like my hometown of Newfoundland. Every night you could go out to a pub, and there would be live music playing! This is such a fun thing to do in Ireland and a great way to meet people.

Even if you don’t want to drink, the atmosphere at the pubs is welcoming, and the music is usually fantastic. Nightlife is an easy way to meet people, and hostels will usually have group outings so you don’t have to go out alone.

Nightlife is always a big safety concern for women traveling alone. But you’ll be happy to know that 14 towns in Ireland have been awarded the Purple Flag! This means that they are recognized for their vibrant but safe nightlife.

4. Network of Hostels

Hostels are another great place to meet other travelers when you’re traveling solo, and there’s a huge network of them in Ireland.

Whether you want a party hostel or a quiet place to rest your head after a day of exploring, there’s a range to choose from.

And if you don’t want to stay in a hostel, Ireland is the land of B&Bs and guesthouses. There are so many cute places you can stay that will feel like a home away from home with the charm of Irish hospitality.

Making friends is easy as a solo traveler in Ireland
Friends that I met at my hostel in Cork

5. It’s safe

Millions of tourists visit Ireland every year with few complaints of crime or issues. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, it’s one of the safer places to choose.

No country is completely free of crime. I got burgled in Iceland which is the safest country in the world! But as far as Ireland goes, the likelihood is low.  It was ranked 12th on the global peace index.

I took my normal precautions but never felt uncomfortable or unsafe in my surroundings. I wasn’t worried about being robbed, assaulted, or scammed.

Just remember to get travel insurance in case of an unlikely situation to protect yourself and your belongings.

6. Friendly Locals

Petting a goat in ireland as a solo traveler
Lots of friendly locals to chat with (and pet) in Ireland!

The locals in Ireland are always up for a chat, especially over a pint of Guinness. On many occasions, when I asked a simple question to a local, it would turn into a 20-minute chat or a night on the town!

Another good thing about solo travel in Ireland is that the pubs serve delicious food, so if you don’t like eating alone, you can always go sit at the bar, where you’ll find plenty of people to talk with while you chow down on delicious fish and chips.

7. English speaking

One of the most daunting things about traveling or living abroad in another country is how frustrating the language barrier can be. While I’ve gotten myself around most of the world through miming and pointing, it’s much easier if the people around you speak English.

Although Irish Gaelic is the official language in Ireland, it’s only spoken regularly in pockets of the Gaeltacht regions.

Even then, it’s extremely rare for someone to not also be fluent in English. You won’t have any issues getting around speaking English, which makes traveling Ireland solo much easier!

8. Lots to see and do

Ireland is not a place you’re likely to get bored, even if you’re on your own.

Whether you’re learning about the history at one of the museums, hiking along the gorgeous coastlines, or simply enjoying a pint at a traditional pub, there’s something for everyone in Ireland.

What I love most about traveling solo in Ireland is all the nature!

There’s so much great hiking in the country that I could spend days getting lost in the trails. But the weather can be unpredictable, so make sure to get ready for your trip using this Ireland packing list.

Hiking in the Wicklow Mountains
Hiking in the Wicklow Mountains

FAQ: Solo Travel in Ireland

Is Ireland a good destination for solo travelers?

Absolutely! Ireland is renowned for its friendly locals, safe environment, and efficient transportation, making it an excellent choice for solo travelers.

Is Dublin good for solo travel?

Yes, Dublin is fantastic for solo travelers, offering a vibrant mix of history, culture, and a lively nightlife scene, all within a safe and welcoming environment.

Why traveling alone is a great idea?

Traveling alone empowers you with freedom and flexibility, offers unique opportunities for self-discovery, and allows you to connect more deeply with different cultures and people.

Is Ireland cheap or expensive?

Ireland can be moderately expensive, especially in tourist-heavy areas and cities like Dublin, but there are budget-friendly options available for savvy travelers.

How many days in Ireland is enough?

A minimum of 7 to 10 days is recommended to explore Ireland’s diverse landscapes and cultural highlights without feeling rushed.

How do I plan a self guided tour of Ireland?

Start by identifying key destinations and attractions, arrange your transportation (rental car or public transport), and book accommodations in advance, keeping in mind the distances and travel times between locations.

What is the best month to tour Ireland?

The best months to tour Ireland are May, June, and September when you can enjoy pleasant weather and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months.

How much money do I need to visit Ireland for a week?

For a comfortable one-week trip to Ireland, budget around $1,500 to $2,000, considering accommodations, meals, transportation, and activities.

Can I use US dollars in Ireland?

No, the currency in Ireland is the Euro (€). US dollars are not commonly accepted, so it’s best to have local currency or use credit/debit cards.

What is the best airline to fly to Ireland?

Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national airline, is often recommended for its direct routes and quality service to various destinations in Ireland.

Final thoughts: Solo travel Ireland

The usual things that can make solo travel stressful – not speaking the language, safety concerns, and difficulty meeting others – are not a factor in Ireland.

It’s an incredible travel destination that attracts tourists from around the world. Ireland will always have a place in my heart for being my first solo trip!

So what are you waiting for? Take a solo trip to Ireland now! Don’t forget to check out my travel resources page to make sure you get the best price on flights, accommodations, and tours when planning your trip.

Traveling to Ireland? Check out these posts!

Love solo travel? Check out some of these guides!

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Author

  • Lora Pope

    Lora is a full-time digital nomad on a quest to visit every country in the world and pet as many dogs as she can along the way. Over the last 15 years, she has traveled to 70+ countries and six continents solo. She currently calls Puerto Vallarta, Mexico home and enjoys ending each day with sunset and tacos on the beach.

    https://explorewithlora.com/about [email protected] Pope Lora

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  1. Tara says:

    I’m turning 50 next April and if I can afford it, am considering traveling to Ireland solo. It’s definitely out of my comfort zone.

  2. sarah says:

    I’m so glad you visited Ireland solo and enjoyed it. I wish I could push myself to travel solo but I love company too much!

  3. norra says:

    I also spent a really good time there during my last winter holidays and we came back with a lot of pleasant memories.

  4. Tyler says:

    Great post. I’m sold. Did you hike the Cliffs of Moher?

    • lora says:

      Happy to hear that! Unfortunately I only had time to hike for a little nearby the main area, but it’s crazy how fast the crowds disappear the further you go. Definitely recommend!