IRELAND TRAVEL TIPS
Ireland is an island on the north western edge of Europe and is 300 miles long and 150 miles wide. The principal language is English, though Irish, or Gaelic, is also spoken in some rural regions. Ireland is a constitutional democracy and a member of the European Community. The population numbers 5 million with over 1 million living in Dublin.
For a Free Tourist Report click here and view this on-line report or print out directly.
Ireland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) which is one hour behind Central European Time and four hours ahead of Atlantic Time.
On 1 January 2002, euro notes and coins were introduced into circulation to replace the Irish currency. The denominations are as follows:
Seven types of euro notes: 5,10,20,50, 100, 200 and 500
Eight types of euro coins: 1 euro cent, 2 euro cents, 5 euro cents, 10 euro cents, 20 euro cents, 50 euro cents, 1 euro and 2 euro.
Click Here for the latest currency exchange rates.
Major Credit Cards are widely accepted and we recommend you use them where possible to avoid carrying excess cash.
Personal Checks are NOT accepted.
Valid passports are required by Canadian & U.S. citizens traveling to Ireland. Remember to bring your passport with you and keep it safely on your person - not in your suitcase. You will need it at the airports on departure and arrival and when changing travelers checks. We recommend that you keep a separate note of your passport details (number, expiration date, place and date of issue) in a separate place in case of loss or theft. A visa is not required for Canadian and U.S. citizens to enter Ireland, Britain or Scotland.
Electricity in Ireland is 220 volts, 50 cycles per second. An adaptor is needed and sockets take square 3-prong plugs. Most hotels will supply hair dryers and irons.
If a visitor to Ireland or Britain requires the police, ambulance or fire service, they should go to the nearest telephone and dial 999.
Canadian Embassy - Dublin, Ireland
7-8 Wilton Terrace
Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel: 353 (1) 234-4000
Fax: 353 (1) 234-4001
While it is convenient to make long distance calls from your hotel room, hotels add surcharges. We recommend you make a reverse charge call or use a telephone calling card.
The country code is +353 (dialing in) and the international access code is 00 (dialing out). Public phones are found in post offices, hotels, stores and on the street.
Weather is mild in Ireland. Summer temperatures generally range from 17-23 degrees Celsius. Average spring and fall temperatures are in the 10-15 degrees Celsius and winter averages -1 to 4 degrees Celsius. As these islands are influenced by weather patterns from the Atlantic Ocean, the weather is moderately changeable and showers can occur any time of the year.
What to Pack
Travel light, dress comfortably, and pack easy care items. It's best to dress in layers so you can shed items if you get warm during the day. An all-weather coat with a removable liner is excellent for traveling Make sure you have strong, comfortable shoes. Casual clothes are appropriate but some people enjoy dressing up a little for dinner in hotels but it's your choice. Bring a bathing suit as some hotels have indoor swimming pools. It may be advisable to bring a washcloth as not all hotels provide these.
Baggage and Porterage
The cost of porterage for one large suitcase per person is included on coach tours (size should not exceed 30x20x10 inches). Please ensure that all baggage is clearly labeled and that baggage tags are completed correctly and attached securely to each piece of luggage. We suggest that you also put identification inside each suitcase, in case the outside tag becomes detached. Hand baggage (including purses, coats, umbrellas etc.) is entirely in your own care. All baggage is carried at owner's risk. Luggage carts are available at most airports.
Tips to Driver and Guide
Tips to the Tour Director and Driver are not included in your tour cost and are left to your discretion. A gratuity to your coach crew is an individual expression of your appreciation and is usually presented in a sealed envelope at the end of your tour.
Suggested tip guidelines are as follows:
Driver/Guide(one man) $6.00 per day
Guide $5.00 per day
Driver $4.00 per day
There is, of course, no obligation whatsoever on you to tip-it is a matter left totally to your own discretion.
Shopping is a pleasure in Ireland. Woolen goods, tweeds, craft goods, jewelry and crystal are probably the most popular items and assistants in stores are always helpful and concerned.
Duty Free Shopping
Duty Free Shopping is available at all international Irish airports.
Customs in Ireland operate on the green (nothing to declare) and red (something to declare) system. You should inquire at the point of departure as to your Duty Free Allowances.
Tax Refunds on Value Added Tax (VAT) are available on purchases made by visitors to Ireland. This is a major attraction and amounts to savings ranging between 10-20% depending on the product purchased. In Ireland the tax is included in the selling price shown (it is not added at the cash desk as in Sales Tax in Canada).
In Ireland, "Cashback" is the simplest and most widely used refund service and issues cash refunds on departure for a small handling fee. In Ireland ask for a "Cashback" from the point of purchase.
The gender signs on the doors in the republic may be printed in Gaelic, not English. 'Mna' is Gaelic for Ladies and 'Fir' means gentlemen.
Manners and Customs
The Irish are a charming, hospitable people and the rural lifestyle has remained largely unchanged for years. The center of life is still the village community centered around the church and the pub. As of 2004, smoking is prohibited in public areas within the Republic of Ireland - this includes all bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Food and Drink
In the last decade, Ireland has made a giant gastronomic leap. Common foods include smoked salmon, soda bread, and a variety of seafood, and game when in season. Traditional dishes consist of Irish stew, boxty (potato pancake) and coddle (boiled pork sausages). The country is best known for its stout and beer, the most famous being Guinness. However, other popular brands include Murphy's Irish Stout, Beamish, and Kilkenny beer. Wiskey is also renowned with the famous distilleries being the Old Midleton Distillery in the Cork, the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin, and the Bushmills Distillery in Antrim. Water across the Republic of Ireland is safe to drink.
Tweed clothing, traditional Aran knitwear from the Aran Islands (once handmade by fishermen featuring family patterns), Irish music, linen, pottery, Waterford crystal, Irish whiskey and basketry.
Mondays to Saturdays, 9am to 5:30pm. Some towns have late night shopping until 8 or 9pm on Thursdays or Fridays. Many shops are open on Sunday.
Most post offices are open Mondays to Fridays 9am to 5 or 6pm (closed for an hour around 1pm for lunch in rural areas). Use Irish postage stamps when posting letters in the Republic or Ireland.
Links to useful information