Ireland Travel Tips

Ireland Travel Tips

Business Hours:
Banks hours: Monday-Friday 09:30-16:30
In Dublin, banks stay open Thursday until 17:00. There are also late opening nights in other parts of the country, but the day varies.

Currency:
The Euro (€) is the official currency Ireland. One Euro= 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of€500, €200, €100, €50, €20, €10 and€5. Coins are in denominations of€2 and€1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

There are no restrictions on the import or export of either local or foreign currency.

Currency Exchange:
Available in banks, airports and in exchange bureaus. ATMs are widely available, catering to Cirrus and Maestro symbols.

Credit& Debit Cards:
American Express, MasterCard and Visa are all widely accepted. Check with your credit and debit Card Company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Traveller's Checks:
Accepted throughout Ireland. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, traveller's Checks should be issued in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars.

Customs:
Goods purchased in the EU for personal use and brought into Ireland incur no additional duty tax if the tax was paid elsewhere. Official amounts for personal use are: 800 cigarettes (or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco), and either 10 litres of spirits, 20 litres of fortified wine, 60 litres of sparkling wine, 90 litres of still wine, or 110 litres of beer.

Travellers coming from outside the EU are allowed to bring duty free amounts of: 200 cigarettes, 1 litre of spirits or 2 litres of wine, 60ml of perfume and 250ml of toilet water (au de toilet).

Health:
The health service in Ireland is very good with modern equipment and highly skilled staff. Provided you have travel insurance you will be sure to get a very high standard of care. All food and drinking water should be considered safe and there are no special health precautions that you should take beyond that which you do at home.

Language:
English is the official language. Gaelic is also spoken.

Social Conventions:
The Irish are gregarious people, and everywhere animated craic (talk) can be heard. Oscar Wilde once claimed:‘We are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.' Close community contact is very much part of the Irish way of life and almost everywhere there is an intimate small-town atmosphere. Pubs are often the heart of a community's social life. Visitors will find the people very friendly and welcoming no matter you go in the country. A meal in an Irish home is usually a substantial affair and guests will eat well.

Even in cities there is less formal wear than in most European countries and casual dress is widely acceptable. Women, however, often dress up for smart restaurants and social functions. Handshaking is usual, and modes of address will often be informal. Smoking is banned in all public enclosed/working spaces, including pubs, bars and restaurants.

Telephone:
Country Code: 353
International Access Code: 16
Emergency: 112 for all services

Tax and Tipping:
It is customary to tip 10-12%. Many hotels and restaurants include this in the form of a service charge indicated on the menu or bill. It is not customary to tip in bars unless you have table service then a small tip is advised. Tipping porters, taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc is customary but not obligatory.

On most goods a 21% value added tax (VAT) is charged. In Ireland there is no VAT on children's shoes, clothing or books.

Note:
Under the Retail Export Scheme, it is possible to reclaim VAT back on goods bought in Ireland on leaving the EU. For further information, contact the VAT Administration Branch, Stamping Building, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2 ( www.revenue.ie).

Travel Documents: Passports& Visas:
Passports must be valid for a minimum of three months beyond your length of stay except for British passport holders who are travelling directly from the UK and EU/EEA nationals holding a valid national ID card.

Note:
Whilst UK citizens do not require a passport or visa to enter Ireland, most carriers by air or sea now require some form of identification with photograph, usually a passport or driving license with photo. Visitors should check what form of ID is required with the individual airline, Ferry Company or travel agent before travelling.

Visas are required by all except for UK and EU nationals when staying no more than 90 days in Ireland.

Visa regulations can always change. Please contact the nearest Irish Embassy for current visa regulations or visit the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland: www.irelandemb.org

Working days required for visa processing: Six to eight weeks.