Tips and tricks

Tips and tricks

Ireland is relatively uncomplicated to travel around. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, after all, the clocks tick a little differently here, and you can even take that literally.

Ireland is in a different time zone than Germany, we are on Greenwich Mean Time here. Practically speaking, this means that compared to German time we are one hour behind. Since, for example, local times are always given for flights, you should also keep that in mind.

Driving with the maniacs

In Ireland you don't necessarily need a driving license to drive a vehicle. Not only does it sound dangerous, it actually is. The regulation seems to be from the days when there were not so many cars here, but that has changed. You can recognize these maniacs (Lunatics) by the L, that by law they have to stick to the car. Theoretically I think there has to be someone with a driver's license in such a vehicle, but you can forget about that.

Even Irishmen with driving license are apparently only conditionally up to the road traffic. Sometimes one wonders anxiously if there is such a thing as the B grade here. Otherwise some of the actions can not be explained.

A very good overview of hotels in Ireland with prices

Occasionally one feels like in "Need for Speed Underground. The computer game seems to be very popular here, you can find a lot of pimped racing cars, which are designed like the ones in the game. That wouldn't be so bad in itself, but some of the mostly young drivers don't seem to be aware that – unlike in the game – there is a damage model in real life. With L-drivers is anyway extreme caution appropriate. You have to assume that they really don't know any better.

Outside of built-up areas, driving with foresight is particularly important. It can happen that someone is speeding at thirty on the highway or at 150 on a country road. Especially tractors appreciate the developed National Roads, much to the delight of the rest of the traffic. Since the patience of drivers in Ireland is finite, this often ends in spectacular overtaking maneuvers. You should never rely too much on having the right of way.

Insurance is also compulsory in Ireland, but this does not mean that everyone has one. Drinking and driving is prohibited, but especially in rural areas this doesn't seem to bother anyone.

Away from the metropolises, the traffic is still quite sparse, so it's usually fun to drive. The fact that in storm and rain special caution is appropriate, needs to be mentioned I think not extra.

Note: There are now some attempts to create a kind of carpooling agency, but the word does not seem to have got around yet. But maybe they are also afraid to ride with someone who is possibly even worse.


Depending on where you are, the roads are more or less good. Roughly speaking, a distinction is made between M-roads (freeways), N-roads (equivalent to our national roads), R-roads (most likely country roads) and the unmarked remainder.

On freeways the speed limit is 120, outside built-up areas the speed limit is 100. In closed localities as usual 50, with appropriate signage also 60.

Speed limits in Ireland are a little bit different than in Germany and here you have to be very careful. On the National Roads it always says. Basically speed 100. It means you can drive that fast, but it doesn't mean it's appropriate to do so. The signs are placed regardless of the traffic situation. Even directly before a serpentine, which would be signposted with speed 30 with us, here a speed 100 sign stands. Especially in poor visibility, this kind of thing can end badly.

Tight and dangerous curves are marked with warnings only in exceptional cases. In hilly and mountainous areas you should in principle take it a little slower.

Important particularities in road traffic

In Ireland you drive on the left side of the road. With a left-hand drive it is a bit strange at the beginning, but you get used to it quickly. Of course, you have to be careful when overtaking, after all you see correspondingly less.

Traffic circles are very widespread. So which are not provided with traffic lights applies in principle: Who is on the traffic circle has right of way!

Very often you can find wide hard shoulders on N roads. They are marked with a yellow line. If this is not continuous, these hard shoulders are often used as overtaking lanes. Now (almost) no one will overtake you on the left, but vehicles that are faster than you expect you to move to the hard shoulder. You quickly learn to appreciate this method, as overtaking is often difficult otherwise.

Irish people do not follow speed limits! Some drive extremely slowly, others speed as you are used to in Germany. The fact that there is a fast car in front of you does not automatically mean that it is also driving fast. You can also find BMW drivers chugging along the highway at a leisurely 50 km/h.

In rural areas there is a lot of cattle on the roads. Sheep are not very intelligent. They do not clear the road just because there is a car coming. Just keep driving very slowly, if you get too close they'll go away.

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