Ireland Basics

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The Basics

Time: GMT (GMT +1, Apr - Oct)

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. UK-style three-pin and round three-pin plugs are in use.

Money: The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR). Currency can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change, and ATMs are widely available. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.

Currency Exchange Rates

EUR1.00 = USD 1.10GBP 0.90CAD 1.46AUD 1.63ZAR 16.65EUR 1.00NZD 1.74
Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: English is the principal language, although a minority of people speak Irish (Gaelic).

Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Ireland. No visa required.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Ireland. Passport exemptions apply to holders of proof of nationality issued to nationals of Ireland and British subjects, for travel between Ireland and Great Britain and Northern Ireland only. No visa is required for holders of British passports endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas), or British Overseas Territories Citizen.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Ireland. No visa is required.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Ireland. No visa is required.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Ireland. No visa is required.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Ireland. No visa is required.

Passport/Visa Note: All foreign passengers to Ireland must be able to show proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay in the country. Additionally, passengers should hold return/onward tickets, and the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, as immigration officers might demand that they demonstrate proof of their intention to leave Ireland. If the traveller's passport bears a British inadmissable stamp, unless the immigration officer is convinced that they will not travel on to the United Kingdom, entry may be refused to Ireland. Note that all visitors need to contact the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), if their stay in Ireland exceeds their visa-free period, or their stay is longer than the period for which their visa is valid. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: There are no special health requirements for visitors to Ireland. Health insurance is advisable unless travellers are visiting from the UK or other EU countries, most of which have reciprocal agreements with Ireland. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should be obtained before departing for Ireland. Medical facilities are good and medicines are widely available; payment for treatment is usually required in cash. If travellers require specific medication, it is always advised that they bring it with them. Travellers should make sure to carry all medications in their original containers, clearly labeled. They should also have a signed, dated letter from their doctor describing all medical conditions and listing all prescribed medications, including generic names.

Tipping: A 10 percent tip will be welcomed in restaurants and cafes, and occasionally a service charge will be added to the bill. Tipping is not usual in bars and pubs, or for other services.

Safety Information: Most visitors to Ireland enjoy a fairly high level of personal safety. Ireland has a very low level of violent crime, but there is a high incidence of petty theft in tourist areas and foreigners are targeted by pick-pockets. Travellers should take sensible precautions against petty theft, including duplicating important documents, carrying valuables in separate bags or pockets, and leaving valuables in hotel safes whenever possible. Terrorism is no more a threat in Ireland than in other Western countries and safety in the country has improved significantly with peace in Northern Ireland. Those travelling into Northern Ireland should note that the safety alerts for that country are completely seperate and can be found in the United Kingdom travel guide.

Local Customs: Smoking in pubs, cafes and restaurants is illegal. Visitors should refrain from forcing discussions of political and religious differences, and show respect if the topics are brought up.

Business: The Irish are very sociable and although the usual elements of business etiquette apply (punctuality, formal wear, a courteous manner), expect good conversation and a rather relaxed air. Handshakes are customary on introduction, and take the lead from the host with regards to using first names or surnames. Business hours are usually from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, with a lunch break from 1pm to 2pm.

Communications: The international access code for Ireland is +353. City/area codes are in use, e.g. 1 for Dublin. When making outgoing calls, dial 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Hotels, cafes and restaurants offering free wifi are widely available. As international roaming costs can be high, purchasing a local prepaid SIM card can be a cheaper option.

Duty Free: Travellers over 17 years old arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on most products. Regulations allow 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, 250g tobacco; one litre of spirits with more than 22% alcohol volume, two litres of dessert wine, port of sherry with a maximum 22% alcohol content; and four litres of wine or 16 litres of beer. Other duty free products include perfume up to 50g or 250ml eau de toilette; and other goods for personal consumption to the value of €175 per adult or €90 for children under 15 years. All of these products are allowed on a fractional basis, so a proportional mix of each category is permitted. Prohibited items include meat and dairy products or raw vegetables.