Ireland: What you need to know The island is about 486km long and 275 km wide, and covers approximately 84,500 square kilometers. Ireland has 32 counties. There are 26 in the Republic of Ireland and 6 in Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy with a president as head of state. Northern Ireland has its own regional government, but is part of the United Kingdom. There are about 6 million people living on the island – 4.3 million people live in the Republic of Ireland and 1.7 million in Northern Ireland. One third of the population is under the age of 29. Getting to Ireland By air You can reach Ireland from many European cities and regional airports, as well as direct flights from North America. New routes are opened regularly, so always check our flights page for up to date information on your nearest carrier. By ferry Check out your direct ferry or land bridge routes to the island of Ireland. Return to top Getting Around Ireland Travel by public transport Hop on a bus, coach, train or ferry and take the time to enjoy the sights and sounds of Ireland. Travel by coach or bus Sit back and enjoy the sights of Ireland while someone else looks after the transport. Travel by train Ireland's rail services are a comfortable and convenient way to travel around the island. Travel by road If you're planning on driving in Ireland, here's what you need to know about driving laws, tolls and parking. Vehicle rental in Ireland From cars to motorcycles to camper vans, vehicle rental is easy and wide-ranging. Travel by water Here’s what you need to know about passenger services, accessibility and boat rental. Internal flights in Ireland Ireland's compact size means air travel is not essential, but if you need to fly here's how you do it. Travel by bike There are few better ways to experience Ireland's countryside than by pedal power. Accessibility Ireland is delighted to welcome visitors with special needs and reduced mobility, and services and amenities are always improving. Return to top Discover Ireland Languages English and Irish (Gaeilge) are the two official languages in the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland, English and Ullans are spoken. Ireland's weather Not too hot and not too cold — you'll find Ireland's climate is just about right. Money in Ireland There are two currencies in use on the island of Ireland. Return to top Travel Information Your Ireland Checklist From clothing to currency, here's everything you need in your suitcase for a trip to Ireland. Visa, Passports and Embassies Ireland’s passport and visa requirements vary for different nationalities, so check with your local Irish embassy or consulate before you travel. Customs and Duties From customs and border regulations on the island of Ireland to duty-free allowances and how to claim VAT refunds – here’s what you need to know. Health Information for Travelers If you're planning on travelling in Ireland, here's what you need to know about medical insurance, hospitals and pharmacies. Public Holidays in Ireland Public holidays on the island of Ireland often mean big celebrations; some just offer a good excuse to chill out. Here's what you need to know. Pets in Ireland The importation of pets into Ireland is tightly controlled. Find out more about how to bring your pet with you on your visit. Return to top Once You Get to Ireland Emergency Numbers and Contacts in Ireland Make a note of the emergency numbers you can call when visiting the island of Ireland. Calls in Ireland If you want to use your mobile phone in Ireland, please note that only GSM-enabled digital wireless phones with roaming agreements here work. Useful Apps for your Ireland holiday There are lots of sophisticated apps for your stay in Ireland, ensuring that you don't miss out on anything, and most are free. Tourist offices So you want to source local information and advice about travelling in Ireland? Here’s a list of the main tourism offices around the island. Road trips around Ireland Take to the road with our great selection of self-drive itineraries. From Game of Thrones tours to the entire length of the Wild Atlantic Way, here's how to do it. Email Newsletter Sign up for our free newsletter to receive general information about Ireland, events and special offers! Return to top Accommodation in Ireland Classification of Accommodation in Ireland From cheap and cheerful to luxurious castle living, Ireland has accommodation to suit everyone Your Ireland B&B So you want to travel light? You’re planning to spend a night here or two there, and maybe move around the island as you please? You need a B&B. Ireland's Unique Accommodation From barges to Bubble Domes, these hideaways are gorgeous to look at, yes – but they also make excellent places to stay! Stay somewhere different Hulking castles, cliff-top lighthouses and country homes surrounded by forest – try a new kind of accommodation in Ireland. Say yes to eco-sleeps! It’s a big ask for any holiday to make lasting memories AND be kind to the environment. A big ask, yes, but it can be done in Ireland. Choosing eco-friendly accommodation is the first step on any green journey. Spa and wellness accommodation You’ll find some of the finest and most luxurious spas in the world tucked away in Ireland’s most tranquil spots. 9 historic places to stay in Ireland A trip (and some sleeps) back in time with some of Ireland’s oldest accommodation. Retreat mode While Ireland’s image is often a splash of festivals, pub sessions, and our trademarked ‘craic’ (good fun) – there is a softer side. Our island loves its downtime. Backpacking around Ireland Nothing spells adventure like strapping on your backpack and setting out to explore a new country Return to top Festivals and Going Out Festivals and Events in Ireland Music, food, dance, art: Festivals in Ireland come in various shapes and sizes and for every taste is catered for, regardless of how eccentric or unusual. Pubs in Ireland Interested in pubs in Ireland? We provide some of the oldest and most famous pubs in Ireland ... Food in Ireland The food in Ireland is fresh, tasty and is traditional with a modern touch. Experience it yourself at a festival, on a food trail or in of the many superb restaurants in Ireland. Return to top Sightseeing and Experiences Ireland's Islands With ancient ruins, traditional live music, hidden beaches and exciting circular walks, Ireland's islands offer everything you need for a holiday. The Wild Atlantic Way Experience the untamed west coast of Ireland, and start an adventure you’ll never want to end on the longest defined coastal route in the world. Ireland's Ancient East When you explore Ireland’s Ancient East, you wander through 5,000 years of history. The Causeway Coastal Route Take it to the edge at this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site along Northern Ireland's Causeway Coastal Route. Star Wars and the Skelligs Go behind the scenes on Skellig Michael, jewel of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. Game of Thrones® in Northern Ireland Explore the shorelines, landscapes and centuries-old castles that set the stage for many of Westeros’ dramatic and perilous events. Return to top Activities Hiking and walking Information about hiking and walking in Ireland. Cycling Information about cycling in Ireland. Ireland cruising Information about cruising holidays in Ireland. Sports in Ireland Information about sporting events in Ireland. Top 10 Irish Experiences Information about must-do experiences in Ireland. Joining sporting events in Ireland Information about joining sporting events on the island. Return to top Want to find out more about Ireland? Simply request or download our brochures here.