Planning to travel to Ireland? Here you will find practical information on access, money matters, airports, bank opening times, voltage, and basic country facts.
In the republic of Ireland, you have 9 airports (Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Knock, Galway, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford) and in Northern Ireland you have airports in Belfast and Derry. The main international airports are Dublin, Shannon and Belfast.
We highly suggest you purchase full travel insurance and cancellation insurance to protect you from unexpected situations such as flight cancellations, medical complications, lost luggage, and any other possible eventuality.
We partner with Travel Guard Insurance who provide various insurance plans to cover travelers worldwide.
The currency in Ireland (Republic) is the Euro while in Northern Ireland it is the British pound (sterling). Check with your bank for currency exchange information as rates fluctuate. A helpful web tool for to check the exchange is www.x-rates.com/calculator.html.
Irish Banks are generally open from Monday to Friday 10AM to 4PM with a later closing time on Thursdays. Traveler’s cheques are only very rarely accepted and not recommended. American Express is accepted in most high-end hotels and restaurants, but virtually never in pubs, informal restaurants or B&Bs. The easiest way to withdraw money while you are in Ireland is simply at the ATM machines.
Cell Phones- A Prepaid SIM card is also known as a GSM card or smart card, which is bought and used like a standard telephone card in Europe. Phone Cards- at most magazine stands/ convenience shops in Ireland you can purchase international phone cards (for example, to be used from your hotel rooms). This is much less expensive than making calls on the cell.
As with any travel, when you come to Ireland you must ensure your passports are in good condition and current. We suggest you bring a second form of photo identification such as driver’s license or general ID in case you lose your passport. It is highly recommended to make copies of your passport, ID and all tickets and store in a separate place than the original in case of theft or damage.
Bring a copy of all your credit card (Visa, Amex, etc) contact details (Tel/ Fax/ Email) in case of credit card theft, blockage, etc. Notify your credit card companies that you will be travelling to Ireland, so they do not block your card once you start making charges.
The voltage in Ireland is 220V AC, at 50Hz. If brining over electrical items from outside of Europe, you will not only need a plug adaptor but also a voltage adaptor (important as you can fry your shaver otherwise!). If coming over from the UK, no conversion is necessary.
IRISH MEAL TIMES
Breakfast is usually served until 11AM in most cafes, lunch is from noon until 2PM in most restaurants and dinner (at restaurants) is generally from 7 to 10PM. Pubs open at 10:30AM on weekdays (later on weekends) and close at 11:30PM (many pubs also serve food). Pubs are closed on Good Friday and Christmas day. Many restaurants close on Sundays and Mondays. Smoking is banned in all bars, and restaurants in Ireland. Smokers are often accommodated with beer gardens (heated) and terraces.
Facts and figures
- Full country name Republic of Ireland
- Population 4.742 million (2017)
- Capital City Dublin
- Major Cities Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford
- Major Rivers Shannon, Blackwater, Boyne, Suir, Lee, Liffey, Nore
- Main mountains Ballyhoura Mountains, Caha Mountains, Slieve Miskish Mountains, Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Carrauntoohil, Mangerton Mountain, Mount Brandon, Stradbally Mountain, Ballyhoura Mountains, Galtymore, Mullaghareirk Mountains, Slieve Bernagh, Galtee Mountains, Slievenamon, Comeragh Mountains, Knockmealdown Mountains, Black Rock mountain, Maumturk Mountains, Twelve Bens, Mweelrea, Nephin Beg Mountains, Croagh Patrick, Devilsmother, Slievemore and Bricklieve Mountains to name but a few.
- Main industries Agriculture, Tourism, IT and Pharmaceuticals
- Climate Temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
- Coastline 1,448 km
- Official Languages English and Irish (Gaelic)
- Time Zone GMT/UTC plus 1 hour in winter, or two hours in summer
- Government Republic, parliamentary democracy
- Head of state Michael D Higgins: Cabinet appointed by the president with previous nomination by the prime minister and approval of the House of Representatives
- Head of government Taoiseach Enda Kenny (since 9 March 2011)
- Member of EU 1972