IRELAND

 
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ireland is a natural wonder with vibrant cities, laid-back people & a drink scene that is the best in the world
 

fast facts

Capital city: Dublin
International airport: Dublin Airport (DUB)
Language: Irish and English
Time zone: Greenwich Mean Time (EST + 5)
Emergency services: Dial 112 or 999
Currency: Euro/EUR/€
 

passport & visa

A valid passport is required for entry to Ireland. A visa is not required for tourism visits of less than 3 months
 

currency

1 EUR: 1.51 CAD

ATMs are readily available in Ireland, even in smaller towns. ATMs usually offer the best exchange rate when compared to commercial exchange bureaus and hotels, however your bank may add a surcharge for every withdrawal you make. Banks in Ireland are typically open from 9am to 5pm and closed on statutory holidays. 

Major credit cards - Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted throughout the country. Prior to departure check with your credit or debit card provider regarding foreign exchange transaction fees associated with using your cards in Ireland. 
 

CLIMATE

Daytime average 20ºc, Overnight average 12ºc
SUNRISE: 05:30         SUNSET: 21:30

Ireland's high season is June to September with temperatures reaching 20ºc during the day. Temperatures can be an average of 5 - 10ºc cooler on the coast. During summer Ireland sees around 16 hours of daylight per day.  That said, Ireland can experience all four seasons in a day. There can be damp, chilly stretches even in July and August, the warmest months of the year.
 

what to pack

  • Important docs: passport, drivers license, travel insurance details, emergency contacts, credit cards and local currency (Euros)
  • City: comfortable light tops, shorts, long pants, sweaters and cardigans
  • Evenings: skirts, dresses, shirts, long pants, sandals and shoes
  • Practical: day pack, reusable water bottle, comfortable walking shoes, swimwear, raincoat and umbrella
  • Toiletries & medicines: sunscreen, after-sun, insect repellant, aspirin and band-aids
  • Electronics: travel adapters and chargers
  • For fun: books, magazines, deck of cards

The Irish are generally informal about clothes. In the more expensive hotels and restaurants, people dress smarter for dinner, and occasionally in jacket and tie. Very few places operate a strict dress code.
 

electricity

The voltage in Ireland is 220 volts. Wall outlets take plugs with three prongs
 

health

  • There are no compulsory inoculations for entry to Ireland
  • Pack prescription medications in their original containers with pharmacy labels in your carry-on luggage. Also bring along copies of your prescriptions in case you lose your medications or run out
  • It is recommended to drink only filtered or bottled water in Ireland
  • Use sunscreen and stay hydrated throughout your trip
  • Smoking is banned in all pubs and restaurants in Ireland

safety

  • Ireland has a relatively low crime rate but petty crime is always a risk. Travellers should stay alert for pickpockets and purse-snatchers, particularly around tourist sites, in restaurants and on public transport
  • Never leave luggage or valuables unattended in your rental car and always ensure the car is locked when parked
  • Leave cash and credit cards when not needed in the hotel safe and only carry limited cash with you when you venture out for the day
  • Avoid ATMs in isolated or poorly lit areas
     

DRIVING

  • Driving in Ireland is on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right and your gear stick on the left
  • Passing is on the right side
  • The speed limit in Ireland is in km/h. The standard speed limit is 80-100km/h and 120km/h on highways
  • Seat belts are compulsory when driving and as a passenger in Ireland
  • Traffic at roundabouts continuously flows in a circle. Enter the roundabout heading left while yielding to cars coming from your right. Once you reach your exit (usually first, second or third, but can be up to sixth exit on larger roundabouts), indicate left to signal you are moving over. Check your left blind spot for cars on the inside lane and move across the roundabout to your exit. Traffic in the roundabout always has right of way to traffic entering so never assume you can enter without checking you are first clear on the right
  • Roads outside cities can be narrow and winding. Sometimes two cars can pass each other simultaneously without causing any damage. Other times one of you may have to yield to the other or pull over to the side of the road
  • Toll roads in Ireland charge anywhere between €1.50 to €10
     

food & drink

Ireland has always been known for its stews and potatoes, but in recent times the country's best chefs have been rediscovering Ireland's culinary heritage with artisanal products and local cuisine.  Some must-try's include a fry-up for breakfast, seafood chowder, salty seaweed, soda bread and crab claws. 

There are two distinct drinks synonymous with Ireland - Guinness and Irish whiskey. Guinness is a thick dark stout, best poured in two rounds to create the perfect frothy head. The most common whiskeys distilled in Ireland include single malt, single grain and blended whiskey. The most famous distillers include Jameson, Bushmills, Black Bush and Tullamore Dew. 

A few other drinks worthy of a mention include Baileys Irish Cream; Irish coffee, a popular post-dinner drink of coffee, whiskey, sugar and whipped cream; and Bulmers Cider which is perfect on a hot summer's day. 

Beer and wine can be purchased in shops and supermarkets in Ireland.

Tipping is not expected in Ireland unless you have experienced exceptional service. Some fancier hotels and restaurants may add a 10-15% service charge to your bill.  
 

BUSINESS HOURS

Shops are typically open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm, and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Most restaurants serve lunch from 12pm to 2pm and dinner from 7pm to 10pm. Most museums open at 10am, close at 5pm. Pubs generally close around 11/11:30pm unless they have a late license.