Find everything women travelers in Ireland need to know about healthsafetyromance, and women’s rights.

All the information below is provided by Pink Pangea community members based on their experiences abroad. Get involved and add your voice now!

Health

Feminine Hygienic Products

Kiera says: Feminine hygienic products are readily available. However, we were told before coming that tampons are different in Ireland than in the United States because most do not have applicators. So, all of us brought our own hygienic products before arriving. I have not seen a lot of pads in stores either. I would say that it is best to buy your own.

Birth Control

Kiera says: Birth control is legal in Ireland. It was legalized around 1980.


Romance

Dating Locals

Kiera says: In college, many of the men are not looking for any sort or relationship–especially with a college girl who is only there for one semester. In my case, many of the men were really looking for a hook up or what they called a shift and drift. That’s not to say there aren’t any Irish guys looking to go out on dates, but its really rare for people my age. There is mainly a hook-up culture.

My Irish female friends have told me it is commonplace for the guy to text first and that women should not be the first one to initiate contact if you get someone’s number. Also, men may not necessarily pay for your meal right away. It seems the more he likes you, and the longer you are together, the more likely he will pay for meals and such.

I’ve been told that during the college years, most students just mess around and do not do the whole dating thing until after they graduate.

Women need to be careful of guys looking for casual sex. Coming from a Midwestern Catholic college, this was kind of a shock for me. Men you meet at the pub will rarely be Prince Charming, looking for a nice girl to maybe take out to dinner. I know this may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Usually, they are looking for something along the lines of a one night stand. Not all, but many.

I’ve been told that during the college years, most students just mess around and do not do the whole dating thing until after they graduate.

On a positive note, grinding is not really common here. I was really relieved to find when a guy asked me to dance, he would actually twirl me around and have fun.

Tips for Women Travelers in IrelandMen

Kiera says: Irish men can be very friendly, polite and respectful. However, there are others who are not.

The first type of guy is your typical good guy. He’s nice, caring and is overall a good person. There are two different types of this guy: ones that are great guy friends but would never date because they’re only looking for casual hook ups, and ones who are not like that.

There are others though who are looking for a one night stand, especially from a visiting American they know they will never see again. Their eyes light up if you tell them you are from the States. These guys are the ones to be careful of. There is only one thing they’re looking for, and it’s not intellectual conversation or merely casual flirting.

Many will ask you within several minutes of conversation to go home with them and it can be a little startling. However, the good news is that you can tell who these guys are. You can see the thirst in their eyes.

Guys in Ireland tend to be much more forward than American men. However, this forwardness I have noticed really only occurs in settings where alcohol is consumed. While sober, they are nice and reserved. In fact, they are kind of shy. However, give them some alcohol and they will do a 180.

Many will ask you within several minutes of conversation to go home with them and it can be a little startling. However, the good news is that you can tell who these guys are. You can see the thirst in their eyes.


Women's Rights

Women’s Rights

Kiera says: As far as I can tell, women have the same position as men in society. I have not experienced or seen any misogynistic behavior. My classes are fairly even gender-wise, and I have not ever been discriminated against for being a woman.

Tips for Women Travelers in Ireland

Local Women

Kiera says: The Irish in general tend to be much more slower paced than Americans. Many Americans are quick, punctual and get  things done right away. However, in Ireland, there is much more of a “it’ll get done when it gets done” attitude. Many trains and buses will be a few minutes late, and this attitude is the same with people as well. It is a much more slow-paced lifestyle in that sense.

The Irish, both male and female, are very friendly and will talk to you while in line at the store and and in public places.

Perception of Foreign Women

Kiera says: If I am at a pub when people learn that I am American, men’s eyes usually light up and they say, “Ohhh America!” as if then expecting to get something. These guys are ones to be careful of.

For the most part though people say “Oh, okay cool,” and they continue the conversation. I have gotten rejected from a bar specifically for being American, however that was only once.

Tips for Women Travelers in Ireland

Safety

Transportation

Kiera says: Dublin Bus, the Irish Rail, and the Luas are great ways to get around and are fairly inexpensive. I have never had any issues with safety on any of these.

Shady Areas for Women

Kiera says: There are parts of Dublin women should definitely avoid. O’Connell Street, on the north side of Dublin, can be great during the day but I would not walk there by myself at night.

Temple Bar is always a safe area to be as it is very touristy and commercial. South Dublin by Trinity College is generally safe as it is right by Grafton Street (one of the main shopping areas).

Northside Dublin is considered sketchier. However, the Southside also has its dangerous areas. I personally prefer to hang out in the Southside, though.

Maynooth is perfectly safe to walk around. I don’t like to walk alone at night but I would not imagine a woman having any problems.

Clothing

Kiera says: Women generally wear tights with their skirts and shorts. They also really do not wear tall boots. While some do wear dresses, skirts and shorts with their legs showing, it is more common to see Irish women wearing them with tights.

It rains all year round so it is good to have a rain jacket. Scarves and sweaters (called jumpers in Ireland) are also a necessity. However, in the spring and summer it can get warm and sunny so make sure to bring a couple of warmer weather clothing items as well.

Irish women (at least the college girls) get very dressed up to go out, and they wear a lot of makeup. At the pubs in Maynooth, many girls look like they were going to prom regardless of how nice a place the pub was. However, it is not mandatory to dress this way and is perfectly acceptable to dress down if applicable.

 

Tips for Women Travelers in Ireland: 6 Amazing Places to Visit by Kiera Johnsen

1. Giants Causeway

While not within the Republic of Ireland, the Giants Causeway is a gorgeous rock formation located outside of Belfast. A ticket costs around 8 pounds (or 7 if you have a student ID). It can be reached by taxi, car or bus. It is incredibly windy and the ocean breeze can spray you quite a lot so I recommend bringing a good jacket.

2. The Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara is one of the best places to go in order to see the Irish countryside. It is located in County Meath about 30-40 minutes outside of Dublin. Additionally, it is a very important site in terms of Irish history and heritage. It is supposedly the seat of the high kings of Ireland and has been in use since Neolithic times. Here, you can see the stone of destiny or Lia Fáil. According to legend, the stone will roar with joy when the rightful king of Ireland touches it.

However, it is also a stone that people use to make wishes. If you walk around it with your eyes closed three times, it is said that your wish will be granted. Warning: the legend also says that if you go to the Lia Fáil with a man, you will become pregnant, so be careful about who you choose to travel to the stone of destiny with! My teacher told us that her friend who made a wish at the stone of destiny with her husband had her first child nine months later.

3. Titanic Museum

If it’s raining and you’re looking for an indoor place to visit, this is a great pick. This museum is located in Belfast. It is at the shipyard where the Titanic was built and launched—also known as the Titanic Quarter. It is an incredibly moving museum with nine different galleries featuring everything one would possibly want to know about the Titanic—from the history of the White Star Line up until its rediscovery in 1985. If you make it up to Belfast, this place is a must-see.

4. Trinity College: The Library and Book of Kells 

Trinity College is located within the heart of Dublin, and its grounds are open to the general public. Inside the school walls lies the old library, which contains a museum for the Book of Kells. The book of Kells is a manuscript written in the ninth century that is filled with beautiful calligraphy and illustrations.

The ticket to see the Book of Kells also lets you look at Trinity College’s Old Library, which honestly makes you feel like you are in Harry Potter. So if the Book of Kells does not persuade you, I hope the latter does.

Tips for Women Travelers in Ireland

5. Blarney Castle

Yes, I had to put this on the list. This castle is just outside Cork City and is one of the most famous places in Ireland to visit. Legend says that those who kiss the famous stone will receive the gift of eloquence. There are more to the grounds than the castle itself including stunning gardens and a poison garden with plants such as henbane, wolf’s bane, hemlock, nightshade, opium and other deadly fauna.

Right outside Blarney Castle the country’s largest wool apparel store with sweaters, gloves, hats and any sort of wool clothes Ireland is famous for! Keep in mind that many 100% wool sweaters do come at a large price tag.

6. Kilkenny Castle

This castle, located in Kilkenny, was first built in the 1100s and over the course of the next several hundred years, was renovated and added to. It has a stunning interior, which reminds one of Downton Abbey. One guide told us the creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellows, has ancestors who were members of the family that lived in the castle.

Ireland is such a stunning country with so many amazing places to go to. When I stood at the top of the Hill of Tara, I realized I would never be the same person again, for I had never seen anything quite so beautiful in my life.

Tips for Women Travelers in Ireland

Related Reading

10 Things To Bring On Your Trip To Ireland
Discovering the Magic of Dingle, Ireland
Living in Local Homes in Ireland
Galway, Ireland Travel Tips: Monique’s Take on Health, Safety and Romance
Dealing with My Health in Ireland
Travel Ireland: Experiencing Ireland Through Local Eyes
48 Hours in Dublin, Ireland

Have you traveled to Ireland? What were your impressions? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

One thought on “Tips for Women Travelers in Ireland

  1. August 30, 2018
    Reply

    This is really helpful – thank you! My husband and I are planning to move to Ireland from the US at some point. As New England natives this kind of stuff is our culture anyway.

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