New to Ireland? You’re in for a treat. The country has more pubs than people (only a slight exaggeration!), the countryside is absolutely stunning (there’s a reason why Hollywood often chooses the Emerald Isle), and its music scene is known worldwide.
When you’re brand new to the country, it can be a little overwhelming. Sensory overload aplenty. But don’t worry, there’s an app for that. Or a bunch of them, anyway. These are the best mobile apps to download if you’re planning a trip to the Land of Saints and Scholars.
Why Apps Rule in Ireland (Answer: Mobile Penetration)
You may be wondering why we’re going down the app route, why we’re so confident it’s the best way to get embedded in the Irish way of life. The answer is mobile penetration. According to Statista, almost 80% of people in the country use a smartphone.
This means the Irish use apps for everything, whether it’s playing Candy Crush on the commute, regulating the temperature of their homes when they’re not even there, or looking for online casinos that can be played on mobile to indulge in games that are available on mobile phones, like Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack or Baccarat (the luck of the Irish and everything!). With that said, here are our favourite’s.
How to Travel
Ireland has a fantastic public travel system. There are several apps that will help you navigate it:
Dublin Bus. The easiest way to travel through Dublin is by using public transportation, with the bus system being fantastic. This app will tell you where the nearest stop is, in addition to exact bus times tracked by GPS.
Free Now. This is a taxi app for Dublin, perfect for those late nights when you just want to get home ASAP. ‘Nuff said.
Dublin Bikes App. If you’re over 14 years of age, use this app to hire a bike whenever you want. It’s a perfect alternative for your daily commute or a tour around the city.
Lovin.Ie (Foodies Rejoice!)
Anyone who has a smartphone probably has a food app in there somewhere. For Ireland, the Lovin.ie app is the essential tool for foodies. It has so many fantastic restaurants for you to discover and pig out in! Whether you want traditional Irish grub or something that has a little bit of a modern twist, this app will help you find it.
Met Eireann (Irish Weather = Changeable)
You take a look outside in the morning, pure sun. Perfect. Just some jeans and a t-shirt, leave that umbrella at home. Or have you just made a huge mistake? As most Irish people will tell you, the weather can change in an instant. It can look like the perfect summer’s day one minute, and the next it’s like you’re in the middle of a Game of Thrones winter.
Discovering the Capital
Even though it’s a relatively small city, Dublin has a lot to offer. It’s easy to get lost. These apps will help you discover the city:
Dublin Event Guide. Whether it’s music festivals or sporting events, this app will give you a very good overview of what’s happening in Dublin.
Dublin Literary Walking Tour. Ireland has a multitude of literary powerhouses, like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. This app will guide you through their lives in Dublin, taking you right to the heart of their journeys.
Dublin Map and Walks. Only available on iOS, so those of you who are Apple fans, you’re in luck. This app will give you some excellent self-guided walking routes. The ‘Hidden Gems’ section is particularly useful, as it gives you tips for things even locals aren’t aware of!
Huggnote (Show Family You Care, the Irish Way!)
Okay, our last one won’t help you in Ireland necessarily, but it’s a staff favourite with a genuine Irish slant. The last year hasn’t been easy for a lot of us, especially if family members don’t live close by.
To help bring people closer together, Jacqui and Perry Meskell, two sisters from Limerick, invented Huggnote. It’s an app that allows you to send a virtual hug through music, giving a message of love and comfort. Whether it’s a ‘good luck’ before a job interview, or just to say you care, it’s an easy way to make someone’s day. The company also has some great St. Paddy’s Day music as well, ensuring the tracks available don’t lose their Irish origin!
If you are new in Ireland or thinking of heading that way any time soon, these apps really are a nice helping hand and can bright up your time there. Good luck.