Useful Information When Traveling To Kerry

Who Do I Call In An Emergency?

It is the one thing we all dread whilst we are on holiday, especially when visiting a foreign country. Who should you call?

In the Republic of Ireland, there are two emergency numbers that you can call, either 999 or 112.

Both of these numbers can be used in the exact same way and will connect you with the same emergency services. These phone numbers are free of charge to ring from any fixed landline or mobile phone.

Once you dial the number, you will have the option of either connecting to the ambulance service, An Garda Siochana (Irish police force), the fire brigade, or the Irish coast guard. If your emergency is non-life threatening

  • Make your own way to the local A&E department (The main one is University Hospital Kerry).
  • Visit a local pharmacy.

What Is The Language Spoken By Locals?

The official language of Ireland is Irish, although you will find whilst traveling around Ireland that the most commonly spoken language is English.

But, keep in mind, if you are visiting the areas west of Dingle and Cahersiveen, some local residents will use Irish as their primary language.

I advise, similar to if you are visiting any country, it is always helpful to learn the basics. Here are a few examples:

  • Hello = Dia duit.
  • Goodbye = Slán.
  • Thank you = Go raibh maith agat.

What Climate To Expect In Kerry

Due to the geographical location of Ireland, and the neighbouring Atlantic Ocean, Ireland has an Oceanic climate.

The whole of Ireland has rather mild temperatures throughout the majority of the year, with rain expected to accompany those temperatures.

While this limits Ireland’s ability to have scorching summers, the country also does not experience frosty winters either.

Although, because of the south-westerly positioning of County Kerry, it gets the mildest winter seen in all of Ireland.

If you are choosing to travel to Ireland for your holiday, then keep in mind that strong winds and frequent rainfall are two eventualities that you must prepare for.

In Ireland, summer ranges from June to August, with temperatures reaching an average high of 19/20 degrees C (66/68 degrees F).

Popular Festivals And Activities In Kerry

Rose Of Tralee International Festival

If you wish to get a true taste of the history of Tralee, then you must go to the Rose of Tralee International Festival.

The band Hothouse Flowers at the Rose of Tralee
Hothouse Flowers at the Rose of Tralee

Every year, women of Irish descent travel from all over the world to compete to be the Rose of Tralee. The festival this year is hosted across three nights, including the fabulous Rose Ball.

Puck Fair

Considered to be Ireland’s oldest fair, Puck Fair revolves around the capture of a wild mountain goat who is brought down to the town to be crowned King Puck by the Queen of Puck (typically a schoolgirl from the local area).

Statue of the King Puck in Killorglin Kerry
King Puck in Killorglin

On the third and final day of festivities, the goat is then released back into the mountain where it was brought down from.

The festival programme includes a large variety of musical acts, children’s shows including a puppet show, as well as circus displays.

Cahersiveen Festival Of Music And The Arts

2023 marks the 26th anniversary of the Cahersiveen Festival Of Music And The Arts, which takes place during the August bank holiday week to celebrate the arts.

Busking at the Cahersiveen Music Festival
Busking at the Cahersiveen Music Festival

With a festival run, fishing, football tournaments, children’s storytelling events and music busking competitions, there is so much to get involved in.

If you would rather sit back and relax, there are plenty of musical acts performing in different venues for you to enjoy.

Listowel Writers’ Week

If you love to read or write, then perhaps Listowel Writers’ Week will pique your interest.

Every year, in partnership with An Post Irish Book Awards, The Listowel Writers’ Week crown The Irish Poem Of The Year, and has been doing so every year since 2016.

So, if you are a lover of poetry, or perhaps write it yourself, then maybe you would love to attend this gathering and meet some lovely, like-minded individuals.

Revival Music Festival

Another incredibly popular event in Listowel is the Revival Music Festival.

This two-day festival takes place in early August every year and brings together some of the most incredible up-and-coming rock bands for your enjoyment.

The festival is strictly for over 18s only as it has a fully licenced bar, and the event also carries gourmet BBQ food for you to enjoy. Sounds like the perfect weekend to me.

Dingle Food Festival

If live music is not for you, then why not head west to Dingle for its annual food festival?

This three-day festival brings together live cooking demonstrations, over 50 market stalls, street entertainment, children’s activities, wine tasting, and an epic food trail. There is so much for you to enjoy.

The food trail, which brings together over 70 venues where you can go and taste delicious foods, is the most popular part of the event. You will not want to miss out.

Ring Of Kerry Charity Cycle

A slightly unique event is the Ring Of Kerry Charity Cycle.

Ladies View Killarney on a bright summer's day
Ladies View Killarney

Whether you are a keen cyclist and wish to get involved, or simply want to appear on the trail to cheer everyone on, the charity cycle is an incredibly important and successful event in County Kerry.

The goal this year (2022) is for the organisers wish to raise a million euros, between 8,000 cyclists, who will cycle 1,360,000km.

The Rules Surrounding Smoking In Ireland

Depending on where you are travelling from in the world, you may be used to very different laws and social protocols.

In 2004, it was made illegal to smoke in any workplace throughout the whole of the country.

This includes pubs, bars, restaurants, and hotels. Most restaurants, bars, and pubs have designated smoking areas outside.

The Rules Surrounding Drinking In Ireland

Considering the stereotype that the Irish are known for their drinking, you may be surprised to hear that there are actually a large amount of rules when it comes to buying and consuming alcohol.

Legal Requirements

The most important rule is that it is illegal to consume, purchase, or purchase alcohol for individuals that are under the age of 18 throughout Ireland.

And you should never drink and drive.

There is also a nationwide ruling on the minimum price of alcohol, you will not be able to find a single drink cheaper than a euro, and it is also illegal to reduce the price of alcohol during specific times of the day, so no ‘happy hours’.

Children In Pubs And Bars In Ireland

You are allowed to bring children, or people under the age of 18, into a pub or bar with you. But there are some rules that you must follow. These include:

  1. Anyone under the age of 15 has to be supervised by an adult at all times
  2. Anyone under the age of 15 is only allowed in a pub or bar between the hours of 10:30 am to 9:00 pm, which is extended to 10:00 pm during the months of May through to September
  3. The above rule can be broken if the person(s) under 15 are in the pub or bar for a private function where a substantial meal is being served

What You Need To Know About Driving In Ireland

Ireland is one of the few countries in the world where people drive on the left-hand side of the road.

This is very important to remember if you are travelling from a country where it’s the norm to drive on the right side of the road. Also, the legal driving age in Ireland is 17.

If you wish to hire a car during your stay in Ireland, there are car hire services at airports where you will be able to hire a car then and there with the option to drop it off elsewhere if you require.

A special note for any American visitors: Irish roads can be quite narrow and windy. You may need to adjust your driving style accordingly.

What Electrical Plugs Are Used In Ireland?

Ireland electrical plug
Ireland electrical plug (Image by InspiredImages)

Ireland uses Type G electrical plugs. If your home country does not use this type of plug, then you will need a 230v 3-pronged adapter, if you wish to charge your phone or use electrical appliances in Ireland.

Information On Banks And Post Office’s In Ireland

Two of the most important services that you may require whilst you are on holiday are banks and post office’s. Another important thing to note is that American Express cards are not commonly accepted in Ireland.

Irish Banks

If you require the services of a bank, then please note that banks in Ireland are typically open between the hours of 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Of course, there are numerous bank holidays and public holidays throughout the year when banks are closed.

Post Office’s

If you need to send a letter or package whilst you are in Ireland, then you will need to head towards your local post office.

Typically, post offices are open between the hours of 9:00 am to either 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Although some post offices close for around an hour during lunch which is typically from 1 to 2.

Larger post offices, usually in more built-up areas also open on Saturdays. However, all post offices are closed during public and bank holidays.

Transportation Links In County Kerry

If you choose to fly, then Kerry Airport is just 1 km from Farranfore Village. Although, it is small and can be hard to get to, especially internationally. When you get there the nearest train station is Farranfore.

Of course, the largest and most popular airport in Ireland is Dublin Airport, and there is also nearby Cork Airport and Shannon Airport.

If you opt for Dublin Airport, you can get a connecting cheap flight to Kerry Airport for your perfect vacation.

Whereas both Shannon Airport and Cork Airport are under 2 hours away from County Kerry by car.

Once you have arrived in County Kerry, both the Irish rail network and bus services are well known for being punctual and reliable.

In fact, County Kerry has recently launched a brand new bus service that was created in partnership between the National Transport Authority and Bus Eireann.

The services now work to connect the towns and villages of Ballybunion, Lixnaw, Castleisland, and Abbeydorney, and linking them back to Tralee.

There is a car ferry service linking Tarbert to Killimer(County Clare)

Is There Public Wi-Fi in Ireland?

Generally, you may be able to find free public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, restaurants, and bars in Ireland, especially in built-up areas.

A computer in a coffee shop
Image by Firmbee

It is also common practice for Hotels, B&Bs, or any other accommodation to provide free Wi-Fi usage.

Unfortunately in the countryside internet connection can sometimes be quite poor.

Tipping Procedure In Ireland

It is not common practice in Ireland to tip.

You will mostly see people tipping in restaurants, taxis, or other personal services when people feel like they have received an excellent service.

If you wish to tip in this instance, a 10% tip is standard.

Tipping Procedure In Ireland
Image by Peter Stanic

For those that are opting to book a guided tour during their stay in Ireland, if you enjoyed the tour, then a 10 to 15 euro tip per person would be considered an outstanding tip.

What Time Zone Is Ireland In?

Time exchange
Image by Mohamed Hassan

Similar to the United Kingdom, during the winter months, Ireland is on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). For the summer, from the last Sunday of March to the last Sunday of October, the clocks will go forward an hour.

What Clothes Should I Pack For My Kerry Trip?

The art of packing for a trip to County Kerry is to include items for all eventualities.

If you decide to go for a walk around Killarney National Park, do not forget to have packed clothes that will protect you from ticks and midges.

Our key piece of advice is to pack multiple light layers that you can build up and remove easily throughout the day if you break a sweat during your exploring.

A woman wearing a scarf, hat and a T-Shirt
(Image by Sabine Mohr)

You absolutely must not forget to pack a waterproof coat and trousers, since you may see your fair share of rain during your trip.

Good quality hiking boots and hiking socks are essential if you plan to do a lot of walking.

And don’t forget those warm layers like fleeces and jumpers, as they will help protect you from those strong winds.

It may seem a little dramatic to include both of these in one sentence, but a hat, scarf, and gloves combination may be needed just days after some summer clothes.

Why Not Buy A Heritage Card In Ireland?

If you are planning to visit many heritage sites and attractions during your stay in County Kerry, then why not buy a Heritage Card?

This is a brilliant money-saving option, especially for those traveling with a family, as the price of attraction tickets can be expensive.

Ross Castle at sunset
Ross Castle

The Heritage Card provides unlimited free admission to a large variety of sites and attractions that are managed by The Department of Environment, Heritage, and Local Government as well as The Office of Public Works(OPW).

The Heritage Card can be used all over Ireland to gain entry to most OPW attractions. People with special needs can visit most OPW attractions free of charge with a companion.

What Currency Is Used In Ireland?

The Republic of Ireland’s currency is the euro. This is not to be confused with Northern Ireland where it is the pound sterling.

That concludes my guide to the useful information when traveling to Kerry

Check out my web pages on the Ring of Kerry Drive, The Skellig Ring and Slea Head Drive.