FAQ

Climate and Weather

Ireland has a mild, temperate climate characterised by changing daily weather conditions. It is possible to have four seasons in one day so having waterproof clothing on hand and dressing in layers is recommended. That way you won't be 'caught out'. Winter snowfall is possible but rare. Rain showers can occur at any time of the year.

Temperatures generally range from:

  • Summer - 60ºF/15ºC to 70ºF/20ºC
  • Spring/autumn - 50ºF/10ºC
  • Winter - 40ºF/5ºC to 46ºF/8ºC.

Demographic Profile

The population of the Island of Ireland is 5.6 million approximately, with 3.9 million living in the Republic of Ireland and 1.7 million approximately living in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom (U.K.). The population profile is relatively young with over 50% of the population under the age of 30 years of age.

Geographical Profile

The Island is divided into four provinces – Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught, consisting of 32 counties in total. 26 counties are located in the Republic of Ireland and six counties are located in Northern Ireland. In total the Ireland is 300 miles/450 km long and 190 miles/300 km wide and covers approximately 27,136 sq miles/70,282 sq km.

Passports and Visas

  • UK citizens do not require a passport or visa to enter Ireland. However, photographic identification is required by most transportation carriers. It is advisable to confirm which form of identification is required with your airline, ferry company, tour operator or travel agent before traveling.
  • Non UK nationals must have a valid passport or national identity card as appropriate. Citizens living within the EU and most other Western countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa do not require visas.
  • All other countries should contact their local Irish Embassy/Consulate prior to traveling to the Republic of Ireland, and visitors to Northern Ireland should contact their local British Embassy/High Commission or Consular Office. A valid passport is required to enter any European country. Visas may not be required for everyone depending on the length and purpose of your visit.

Customs

  • Various allowances apply for EU and non-EU residents, and for duty free goods. These are outlined at entry and exit points. The importation of certain foodstuffs is also prohibited. Check at your departure point for further information.
  • VAT/Sales Tax Refunds
  • Visitors returning to non-EU countries can claim back VAT on purchases being brought home.
  • Refunds are claimed at the airport before departure.
  • A tax-free shopping form should be requested at the retail outlet where you made your purchases.

Currencies

There are two currencies in use on the island of Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland the national currency is the Euro (€) is used while in Northern Ireland it is the British Pound Sterling (£).

Tipping

  • This is not mandatory but is normal in most restaurants.
  • In some cases a service charge may be included on your bill.

Money

  • Any credit cards bearing the Visa, MasterCard or American Express symbol area widely accepted in Ireland. Check prior to departure regarding the acceptance of other cards while you are traveling in Ireland.
  • Traveler’s Cheques are no longer widely accepted currency on the island of Ireland.
  • Banks in Ireland are open from 10am to 4.30pm Monday through Friday; 5pm on Thursday approximately. ATM (cash) machines are located at most banks and accept most credit and debit cards.

Language

The two official languages of the Republic are English and Irish and most signposts in the Republic are bilingual. English is spoken by everyone while Irish is generally confined to pockets of the southwest, west and northwestern coastal areas, but it can sometimes be heard anywhere. In Northern Ireland the new Northern Ireland Assembly conducts business in English, Irish Gaelic and Ulster-Scots.

Telecommunications

  • Mobile Phones: Only digital phones with GSM subscriptions and a roaming agreement will work on the island of Ireland. Consult with your supplier prior to departure.
  • Public Pay Phones: Public Pre-paid phone cards are widely available. Coin operated public phones are also available.

Electricity

The Republic of Ireland operates at 220V at 50Hz and 230/240V 50Hz in Northern Ireland. The electricity supplied is AC and plugs generally conform to BS1363 for 3-pin plugs except for shaving sockets, which support most common international variants and are two-pin.

Time Zone

Ireland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and, in accordance with daylight saving, clocks are put forward one hour mid-March and back one hour at the end of October. During summer we enjoy long bright nights with light until around 11pm while in mid-December it can be dark by 4pm.

Health

  • EU citizens are entitled to free public hospital treatment but should obtain an E111 form prior to departure. British visitors to Northern Ireland require no documentation and will receive treatment as they would in Britain.
  • All visitors, particularly those traveling from outside the EU, are advised to take out personal travel insurance and to ensure that your health insurance adequate coverage for any activities you may be involved in while here.
  • Health certificates are typically only necessary if you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is present. Some countries will require you to announce yourself to officials on arrival if you have been in contact with farm animals prior to arrival.
  • Vaccines are only required if traveling from an infected country.

Smoking Ban

A complete ban on smoking in all work places and public areas has been introduced in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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