Image: By Peter Neill (Flickr: u2-1 CC BY License) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Your visit to Ireland should be uniquely yours but if you happen to need a little help in terms of planning your upcoming trip, the following suggestions might help you to carve out a culturally rich and enjoyable trip you will never forget.

If you’re travelling around the country solo or have decided to take a private tour of Ireland, then be sure to take the time out to experience the following cultures that make the Irish so unique:

1. Sporting Culture

Ireland is a sports mad country and Gaelic games dominate big screens across the country during the championship season. Croke Park is the home of Gaelic Games and attending a hurling or football game within its hallowed walls will be an experience that you’ll never forget.

With a capacity of over 82,000, this world-class stadium has been the centre of Irish sport for over 100 years. If you don’t happen to get the opportunity to take in a game, it is worth checking out The Croke Park Experience, a fun and informative tour which will educate you on the history of the stadium and why it means so much to Irish people.

2. Musical Culture

Ireland has a very rich and vibrant musical culture and there’s no escaping the passion for music that’s deep rooted in each community in the country. Both contemporary and traditional music are popular here with gigs and ‘sessions’ being played in pubs and venues across the country throughout the week.

Many world class acts, such as U2, hail from Ireland with a strong love and appreciation of music instilled in schoolchildren from an early age. Irish traditional music dates back to over 2,000 years ago when the Celts brought it to our shores…and we are very grateful to them indeed!

3. Literary Culture

Ireland has a world-recognised love affair with the written word. Joyce, Yates, Wilde and a whole host of other famous writers once called Ireland home and they’ve certainly gone down in history for their talents.

Many visitors to our shores will agree that the many different accents, quirks and eccentricities of the Irish, which vary so much from village to village, are evidence of this rich literary tradition in every day life.

4. Art

Evidence of the beginnings of art in Ireland can be found at Newgrange where Neolithic stone carvings date back to 3200 BC. These beautiful and intricate carvings later progressed onto High Crosses, many of which still stand proudly across the country.

From that time, a rich tapestry of traditional and contemporary Irish art and artists have emerged with many showcasings of their work to be found in the National Gallery in Dublin, as well as many different smaller venues across the country.

5. Cuisine

Ireland might not be a country that you initially think of when it comes to fine dining. However, thanks to a new wave of talented Irish chefs and a newly adventurous, food obsessed population, this is a stigma that is changing quickly .

Dublin, in particular, has a whole host of amazing restaurants for you to try but these days you are guaranteed a good meal in every town in Ireland…and no, it won’t just be potatoes!

So there you have it – five of the best Irish cultures that you’ve got to experience during your trip to the Emerald Isle!