Shopping in Ireland
As many happy travelers will tell you, the shopping in Ireland is phenomenal. From local woolen goods to linens to breathtaking crystal, Ireland shopping opportunities are endless. One favorite Ireland shopping destination is Grafton Street in Dublin. Grafton Street is full of street vendors, small boutiques, upscale department stores, and lively little shops of all kinds. While some shoppers still prefer to barter for their goods, bartering is generally not practiced in Ireland.
Ireland shoppers should also head to other major cities like Cork, Belfast, and Galway. Most major cities have a similar shopping area as Dublin, full of small shops and fun little souvenirs. For Northern Ireland shopping specialties include some of the finest Irish linen in the country. There is great crystal shopping in Ireland, especially in County Waterford. You can choose between the world-famous Waterford crystal and the slightly less expensive Cavan crystal. For clothes shopping Ireland travelers can head to Donegal for exquisite tweed or to western Ireland for warm Aran sweaters and hand-knitted clothing of all kinds. The Aran sweaters are made of plain, undyed wool, and they are incredibly warm.
For antique lovers, Dublin’s Francis Street is a great destination. Cork City, Castlecomer, Kilkenny, Galway City, and Limerick also boast great antique boutiques and stores. If you’re in Ireland in April, definitely head to the Dublin Antiques and Collectables Fair for a great variety of Irish-made objects.
There’s also great jewelry shopping in Ireland. Both Dublin and Cork City have exquisite jewelry stores. Many of the boutique stores can be pricy, but wise travelers can often find fabulous reproductions of Irish jewelry for a fraction of the cost. Galway City is famous for its Claddagh friendship rings, as well as beautiful jewelry pieces by modern silversmiths.
Spirited tourists can also bring home bottles of Irish whiskey, Irish Mist, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Smoked salmon is also a popular purchase, as well as farmhouse cheeses and smoked trout.
As a monetary remainder, Ireland currency is the Euro. In Ireland currency can be exchanged at most bus and train stations, and many cities have well-marked, accessible money change stations. The Euro currency in Ireland is worth roughly two times more than the U.S. dollar. Some businesses will accept your non-Ireland currency, but they will charge you a small transaction fee. If you want to avoid the headache of using a different currency in Ireland, you can use a debit card at local Automated Teller Machines. Be forewarned: international rates are often expensive, so take out money in large amounts to cut down on your withdrawal fees. Many tourists like to use the official currency in Ireland because it really feels like you’re exploring a new part of the world.
If you’re in the mood for a little bit (or a lot!) of shopping Ireland provides everything from jewelry to clothing to furniture, all with the unmistakable Irish quality and beauty.
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