Once one of the poorest countries in Europe, today Ireland is thriving like never before. An investment in education, low tax rates and the hard work of its people has helped to create "The Celtic Tiger".
While the economy and standards of living have changed, one thing remains the same: Ireland is a great place for travel. With its lush, green countryside, charming villages, historic castles and action-packed cities, Ireland is a tiny island that offers a plethora of travel options.
What to do
Most people who visit Ireland make a point of visiting famous places like the Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher. While these are certainly worth a look and a visit, it is the time you spend interacting with the Irish people that you will remember the most once you are back home. A quick stop at a local pub could lead to hours of interesting conversation and the acquisition of a lifetime's worth of knowledge.
Ireland is no longer a super cheap travel option, especially if you spend the majority of your time in Dublin or Cork. If you break away from the tourist route and if you consider taking a trip during the less busy winter/spring months, you will save money, albeit probably not as much as you will find at the end of the rainbow.
Want to know what is happening in Ireland this very second? Pay a visit to BootsnAll's Ireland Logue. It is updated daily and it offers some excellent insight into what to do and see while in Ireland.
You can book a flight into Dublin Airport (code: DUB), which is Ireland's busiest, but if you aren't headed to the capital you might consider flying into Shannon Airport (code: SNN) which has loads of flights from Ryanair and other discount carriers, or Cork Airport (code: ORK) near that touristy city.
Where to stay
There are plenty of hotels in Ireland, although prices in Dublin in particular have become shockingly high over the last few years. It's helpful that there are also many hostels in Ireland as well, but they get very busy in summer so book well ahead.