What’s the craic?

What does the typical Irish greeting “What’s the craic?” say about Irish culture and life on the emerald isle? A lot because the Irish do many things in a different way than you might know from Germany. This is something Jonas also noticed during his first few months in Dundalk: "In general, everything is calmer and more relaxed here than in Germany. I think that's because people don't take themselves so seriously here. This philosophy is contagious!"

Within Ireland, you also find differences: Compared to the east, the west of the island is more traditional. More people there still speak Irish Gaelic, there are fewer large cities and the region is more religious. "This diversity within the own country and culture makes Ireland particularly fascinating," Jonas recounts with fascination. "We're also planning a trip to Northern Ireland soon. We are curious to see what we will discover there."

Unique pub culture in Ireland
Guinness will never miss on any beverage list.

Where young and old get together…

Irish pub culture

Pubs are Ireland’s central venues. People make music, dance, party or arrange to meet there. The pubs are as diverse and unique as the audience itself. However, one thing will never miss on any beverage list: Probably the most drunken beer on the island, Guinness.

On a pub crawl with his fellow students, Jonas also discovered his two favorite pubs: “Brubakers” for parties and “The Bartender” for a quieter evening. A tip from Jonas: “If you just want a drink, you order and pay directly at the bar."

Jonas Rimbach from Grenzebach

Jonas Rimbach:

"The Irish are very nice, friendly and open-minded people. I imagine that, even if someone went to a pub alone, they wouldn't be by themselves for long. They make you feel welcome everywhere you go."

Gaelic football and hurling are very popular in Ireland.

Gaelic Football and hurling

Sports in Ireland

"The Irish are very passionate about sports and that really catches on. I can't wait to watch our university team play Gaelic football," says the 21-year-old.

Besides Gaelic Football, a mixture of rugby and soccer, hurling is also very popular in Ireland. Two teams compete against each other with a ball and a bat. The goal is to score more goals than the rival team.

By bike instead of bus

Local life

Since public transportation in smaller towns and rural areas is not very well developed, Jonas uses his bike to get around in all kinds of weather. "That makes you tougher," the 21-year-old jokes. Logistical skills are also required, as space for groceries on the bike is limited.

"What I miss the most?  German bread and quark products. The assortment of bread here is mostly just toast," Jonas admits. Dundalk offers plenty of shopping opportunities, though no bakeries selling sandwiches or the like. "The living costs are also higher than in Germany, for example for food or electricity," he adds.

Is it true that…

the Emerald Isle really lives up to its name?

"Yes, definitely! The landscape is dominated by nature – green as far as the eye can see."

it always rains in Ireland?

“It actually rains less than expected. Maybe this belief stems from the fact that it doesn't snow in winter, but only rains because of the mild temperatures."

Ireland is very catholic?

"Anyone traveling around Ireland may quickly come to this conclusion because everywhere you go you can spot churches and monasteries."

there are more sheep than people on the island?

“That’s a good question. I haven’t seen that many sheep yet, but whenever I do, the sheeps are usually roaming around freely and also like to stop in the middle of the street.”

the Irish are very friendly and talkative?

“It’s true. Everyone you meet greets you with an open, warm smile.”

the Irish people are not very keen on punctuality?

“Nobody is ever on time here. Being about half an hour late is actually normal."

Christimas lights at the Temple Bar

“Typical Irish, too: they love to celebrate their festivals and holidays. The buildings, windows and streets in Dundalk were decorated for Halloween up until the end of October. One day later, Christmas lights were up everywhere.”


Quote from Jonas Rimbach
Jonas Rimbach Student Mechanical Engineering