Are you planning a trip to Ireland?  These etiquette tips, manners, and customs will assist you as you navigate the Irish culture.

General Etiquette

  • People will often say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ For example, when getting off a bus, most people will thank the driver.  How polite!
  • Irish will usually queue in a line and wait their turn to be served.
  • In a social setting, it is polite to shake hands with people when you first see them and again when you are leaving.
  • When ending a conversation on the phone, the Irish will usually say ‘bye’ multiple times before they hang up. It is considered impolite to end the call abruptly by saying ‘bye’ once and hanging up immediately.
  • It is rude not to take off your hat when entering a home, church or pub.
  • The Irish are relatively flexible with their time, so it is generally acceptable to arrive 15 minutes after the designated time. However, avoid being late if it inconveniences your Irish counterpart.

Pub Etiquette

  • Visiting pubs is a popular social activity for people of all ages. It’s a common meeting place for friends and family.
  • Many people go to the pub to gather for social exchange which usually means finding friends and acquaintances with which to converse.
  • People are allowed to go to pubs before they reach the legal drinking age (18 years old). Thus, it is common to find children in pubs, especially in rural areas where there are music sessions.
  • If going to the pub in the evening, people will dress a bit more formally. For example, men will wear dress shoes instead of sneakers.
  • When in the company of friends at a pub, a system known as ‘rounds’ is used. Each person is expected to offer to buy a round of drinks for everyone in their group and take turns.
  • Often, people will remember if you miss your round. It can result in an unfavorable judgment of your character. Those who fail in offering to buy a round might be seen as rude or stingy.


  • The main meal is dinner, which is in the evening.
  • Table manners are quite informal and relaxed.
  • Avoid putting your elbows on the dinner table.
  • Loud noises while eating, such as slurping, are generally not acceptable at the dining table.
  • It is considered polite to finish all the food on your plate.
  • To say cheers, most Irish will say ‘sláinte’ (pronounced ‘slan-cha’)

Gift Giving

  • When invited to a friend’s or relative’s home, it is common to bring a small gift (e.g. flowers, wine or chocolates) as a token of your appreciation.
  • Gifts are typically exchanged on birthdays and Christmas.
  • The thought of a gift is considered more important than its material worth.
  • Gifts are usually opened when received.