The biggest differences between Germany and Ireland

Even though Ireland and Germany are both wonderful European countries they have less in common than you might think. If you planning to do an internship abroad, a language course or just a short trip to one of those two countries, it is best to be informed about the differences between Germany and Ireland.

Keep on reading this article to find out more about the differences between Germany and Ireland.



1. Left-hand and right-hand traffic

One of the biggest and most dangerous differences between Germany and Ireland is the left-hand and right-hand traffic. In most European countries like German cars drive on the right side of the street. While in Ireland and the UK cars drive on the left side. You need to keep that in mind, not only when you about to rent and drive a car but also when you cross the street. The best is to check both sides, right and left, before crossing the street. You never know!

differences between germany and ireland driving left right


2. Shops are open on Sundays!

Almost unbelievable, but true! On Sundays, the shops are open in Ireland. You can go and buy your groceries on a Sunday if you didn’t make it on Saturday. You can even go shopping and get a new dress or a pair of shoes. Only small shops are usually closed on Sundays or they have shorter opening hours. Unfortunately in Germany, shops are closed on Sundays and only some bars and restaurants are open. So better don’t forget to go to the supermarket beforehand. differences between germany and ireland opening hours


3. Germany is less expensive.

You will recognise soon that the costs of living in Ireland are more expensive than in Germany. Going out for dinner, buying food in the supermarket and also having hobbies can be pretty expensive. One explanation might be that Ireland is an island and a lot of stuff needs to be imported. In total, the costs of living in Germany are on average 18,5% cheaper than in Ireland.

Reference: Laenderdaten


4. Opening hours of the pubs and clubs

In Germany, you can stay in clubs and pubs until the next morning without having any problems. Most clubs are open from 11 pm up to 7 am. In Ireland, you can’t. At 2 o’clock at night, every pub and most clubs have to close their business. Officially, you can go out to a pub or club, if you are 18 years old. But many pubs and clubs have their own door policies, so they won’t let you in if you’re under 21.

In Irish supermarkets, there are even special policies regarding the purchase of alcohol. Some shops don’t accept your European ID card and insist on seeing your passport. 

differences between germany and ireland pubs bars clubs


5. Friendliness and Helpfulness

A poll from the US Travel magazine “Travel and Leisure” showed that Frankfurt is the 14th unfriendliest city in the world. I cannot totally agree with that. Most of the respondents named the reason for giving Frankfurt a bad evaluation is because of the bad service at Frankfurt airport. The service at the airport doesn’t reflect the friendliness of the people living in the city centre. BUT I also think that Irish people are friendlier than Germans. 



6. How to pay

Paying in Ireland is in a more technical way. Most of the time people pay with credit cards. Some credit cards work without entering a PIN or signature. You only must press/tap the Credit Card on the display of the credit card reader to pay. The privacy-aware average German might be a little bit surprised about it.

If you go shopping in a supermarket you will notice that you can pay at electronic cash registers without any employers. In Germany, this kind of system doesn’t exist. 

differences between germany and ireland payment


After reading this article about the differences between Germany and Ireland you should be prepared perfectly to attend your travel abroad. 


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