Ireland has a temperate climate, resulting in relatively cool summers. The mean daily temperature in June is 15 – 20°C. It is generally quite dry in June but it is possible to experience many climate changes in one day. Rain can occur at any time, so come prepared!
Ireland is generally informal about clothes. In the more expensive hotels and restaurants most people dress formally for dinner and a jacket and tie might be required. Warm sweaters, comfortable walking shoes and rainwear are advisable throughout the year.
Credit cards are widely used in Ireland and all leading credit cards are accepted.
Like other countries in the European Union, the Republic of Ireland’s currency is the euro (€). Bills (notes) come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 500 euros. You will also commonly see one and two euro coins, as well as 5-, 10-, 20-, and 50-cent coins (100 cents to the euro). Exchange rates vary daily. You can check the latest values at http://www. irishtimes.com/business/exchange-rates Frequent travellers find it most convenient to withdraw cash using ATMs, where the exchange rate is most favourable, rather than exchanging money at the airport. Confirm with your own bank that your ATM card will work. Inform them in advance of your travel plans, so that your access should be simple. Check with your bank for any cost associated with using the ATM network while in Ireland. There may be a foreign transaction fee in addition to the regular bank fee. If you want to exchange your currency in Ireland, a main bank is the best place to change currency. Bureau de change counters in banks usually offer better exchange rates — but be sure to check for local Bank Holidays when they will be closed.
Exchange rates vary daily. You can check the latest values at www.irishtimes.com/business/exchange-rates
A valid licence is required for driving in Ireland. Driving is on the left and seat belts must be worn at all times. In the Republic of Ireland the speed limits are 50km/h in built up urban areas, 80km/h on rural Regional roads (R) and Local Roads (L), 100km/h on the National Roads(N), including Dual carriageways and 120km/h on the motorways(M). The signposts denoting speed and distance are in kilometres per hour. All signposts and place names are displayed bilingually in both Irish and English.
Ireland works off a flat three-pin plug system. Electrical current is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC). You are advised to purchase the appropriate adapters in advance. These are available at most airports.
Republic of Ireland Emergency Police, Fire, Ambulance: Telephone: 112 or 999
The fire, ambulance and police services in Ireland are all contactable via the above numbers. When calling emergency services you will be asked to provide:
- The exact address of the incident or emergency and/or any noticeable landmarks nearby
- Directions to the scene of the emergency
- The telephone number you are calling from
- Details on the incident itself, the number of persons involved, the description of any visible injuries and knowledge of any pre-existing medical conditions
Try and stay calm and listen to the call taker’s instructions. It is also important to keep your own phone on as the emergency service may need to contact you for further information.
Shops are generally open Monday to Saturday from 9.00am to 6.00pm with late night shopping until 8.00 or 9.00pm at many of the larger stores. On Sunday, many supermarkets and some of the bigger shops will open from midday until 6.00pm.
Since 2004 smoking is prohibited in the general workplace, enclosed public places, restaurants, bars, cafes, education facilities, healthcare facilities and public transport. It is legal to smoke outdoors.
The customary tip in Ireland is 10 to 20 per cent. Many hotels and restaurants add it in the form of a service charge on the menu or bill. It’s not customary to tip in pubs unless you have table service. Tipping porters, taxi drivers, hairdressers etc. is a good idea.
Vaccinations are currently not required for travel to Ireland. However, we strongly advise that you consult your GP well in advance of your departure for medical advice.
Under the Retail Export Scheme, if you live outside of the EU, you can claim back a portion of the VAT on purchases made during your stay in the Republic of Ireland. Most retailers participate in this VAT refund scheme and you can ask for a VAT refund form in the store once you’ve made your purchases. There are three refund points in Dublin where you can reclaim your tax. You can also find refund points in and Shannon and Cork airports.
Travellers from some countries may need visas. A list of countries whose citizens need a visa to visit Ireland can be found at this link.