Ireland at the forefront of Europe. Well developed with close ties to Europe and the UK. Ireland is a great place to visit this year.
Ireland is now (2023) among the wealthiest countries in Europe. The average income is nowhere higher in Europe except in Luxembourg.
Ireland is a picturesque place as can be seen from the accompanied photos.
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Gone are the days when Ireland was super religious and lagging behind the United Kingdom. Ireland has benefited from being in the EU and for being an English speaking country. It is the natural choice for American companies to open a branch in Europe, especially now that the UK which was the previous number one choice has exited the EU. As time goes by UK may again become a good choice because like Switzerland a country that is not in the EU but has close ties with the EU there may be certain advantages for locating there. Another choice could be Iceland as it is even closer to America, and although English is not a first language most Icelanders speak English fluently.
The people of Ireland are also very smart. Although Iceland beat Ireland to establish a democratic parliamentary structure. Ireland parliament is the longest running in the world. Ireland was the only country that was sensible enough to see what worked against COVID-19. When every country in the world should have been looking at what made a difference to the death toll of COVID-19, only the Irish really did so. An Irish parliamentary commission saw that Finland which had similar policies had only one fifth of the death rate of Ireland from the early variants of COVID-19 and they were able to draw the conclusion that this was because by coincidence Finland adds a lot of Vitamin-D to their milk and the Helsinki hospital district recommended that people take Vitamin-D.
Ireland has a great pub culture and nice towns and cities but it is more the nature and varied scenery that count. Not least how buildings, manors and castles blend in with the nature.
Being on the Atlantic coast you should expect to get some rain sometime. The country is rather northerly so it is not the kind of place you go to for sunbathing, but you can expect mild weather the year round. Milder than in central Europe and certainly more mild than in eastern or northern Europe. This is because like Iceland, Norway and the UK their is a worm ocean current coming from the Gulf of Mexico. So there is hardly ever frost in Ireland which is very convenient for those that are growing vegetables as their is no hurry to harvest. As a traveler you could benefit from eating fresher vegetables.
Ireland is split into two countries. Ireland proper and Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland used to be plagued by terrorism, which is almost totally in the past now.
Although Ireland is part of the European Union it is not part of the Schengen Area. For entering any country in the Schengen Area you are autmatically allowed to travel to the other Schengen countries, including Norway, Iceland and Switzerland even though they are not in the EU, but not Ireland and not the UK. So especially if you are coming from afar make sure you have the right visa.
Ireland is known for its greenery and its poets. Ireland holds on to some of their traditions, including keeping signs in English and Gaelic.
Like the UK the traffic drives on the left hand side, which is not a big problem, just be careful when you are driving next to a cliff that is on the left hand side. So if you are driving around the island, you could go counter clock wise ;) The roads are often pretty narrow.
Although very modern, Ireland has managed to hold on to its charm. It often has a kind of antique charm. Even shopfronts take you back in time.
The Irish are proud of their traditions. They are a lively bunch. Celebrating every weekend. Doing fun Irish dances etc.
Its pure nature is very pretty but a lot has being used by agriculture and grazing. So expect a lot of grassland and fields. Furtunatelly they often have trees, bushes and hedgerows in between. Unfortunately they are misguided in that they are planting monotonous forests on wetlands which is not beneficial to the biodiversity nor does it contribute as much as one would thing to the CO2 balance.
Most people are quite friendly and tolerant of foreigners.