Ireland, evocative of Guinness, wildly tapping feet, U2, and the lush, green pastures that earned it the moniker ‘The Emerald Isle,' is Europe’s third-largest island country.

For a small country, comprising the Republic of Ireland and the much-disputed Northern Ireland (which forms part of the United Kingdom) Ireland has had a vast cultural influence on the English-speaking world; its abundance of celebrated writers and musicians and its traditional dance are globally revered. Highly sociable, poetically eloquent and downright funny, the Irish are also famed for their passion—be it for politics, the arts, or for Guinness.