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Visiting Ireland will present the Emerald Isle in a whole new light. On arrival, you will be amazed at the two real gems of Ireland - the warmth of its people and the breath taking beauty of its landscape. With a strong identity and a hold on tradition, Ireland welcomes the backpacker with a song, a dance and a hearty pint of Guinness.

Ireland is a country seperated by both politics and religion. Northern Ireland is governed by Great Britain and is predominantly Protestant. Southern Ireland, known as Eire, has its own parliament and is mainly Catholic in faith. Although both Northern and Southern Ireland are part of the European Union (EU), Northern Ireland, like the rest of Great Britain, continues to use the Pound Sterling as its currency. Southern Ireland, on the other hand, has adopted the Euro as its currency. Click the currency converter to see current rates.

The first thing that any visitor to Ireland will notice is the unique accent. Soft flowing and known to make girls go weak at the knees, the traditional language of Gaelic continues to be spoken in several areas and is, like English, one of Ireland's two official languages.

The Irish countryside plays host to every shade of green imaginable. This is complimented by rolling hills, fresh streams, forts, castles and churches. One of the most well known attractions of Northern Ireland is The Giant's Causeway - an awe-inspiring series of 37,000 basalt columns. In the south, the large draw for backpackers is the lively capital of Eire, Dublin.

The tourist season begins for most on March 17th - St. Patrick's Day. This infamous holiday is now celebrated in Irish pubs around the world. Drink your fill of green beer, and you may find yourself chasing leprechauns to the end of the rainbow, looking for their pot of gold.

They say that Guinness tastes better in Ireland than anywhere else in the world. Logically, the best way to test this theory, is to visit the Guinness Brewery itself. This is definitely a treat not to be missed.

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