Travel guide and Country Facts and Tips for travelling in Ireland

Quick Facts on Ireland:

Population: 4,909,006 (2019 est.)
Capital City: Dublin
Biggest City: Dublin
Terrain: mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
Climate: Temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
Location: Western Europe, off the West coast of Britain.
Geographic
Co-Ordinates: 53 00 N, 8 00 W
Tips for travelling in Ireland

Tips for Travelling in Ireland

Visas

Tourists staying for less than 90 days may not require a visa, though may be asked to show onward/return ticket. Travellers from The United States of America, Canada, Mexico or the European Union may not need a visa to visit Ireland however if you are in doubt, please contact your nearest Irish Embassy.

Visas generally cost €25 for a one time entry, €50 for multiple entry and €10 for a transit visa.

The documents you will require are:

  • Possession of a valid passport
  • Possession of a round trip ticket
  • Evidence of sufficient funds of support for the duration of stay (e.g. statement of earnings, bank statement, traveller’s checks etc.)

It can take 10 days to 12 weeks to process and the validity can vary from country to country, so contact your nearest consulate.

Read This : Things to do and Activities in Ireland

Health Care

The standard of the health care in Ireland is in accordance with the European standard. When you are searching for a doctor or a hospital you can get information in every tourist office. If you want to know where the next doctor or hospital is you can visit the website www.oasis.gov.ie

Currency Converter

In service since 2002, the euro is now used in 12 of the 15 countries in the EU – Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.

The € is inspired by the Greek epsilon pointing back to the cradle of European civilisation and the first letter of Europe, crossed by two parallel lines to indicate the stability of the euro.

Electricity

Travel Guide Ireland

In Ireland, electricity is 220V and flat three-pin plugs are used.

Two-pin 110V to 120V plugs for shavers are found in some bathrooms and if adapters are needed, they can be purchased in electrical shops or pharmacies. The Electricity Supply Board is the Republic of Irelands supplier. The Northern Ireland supplier is Northern Ireland Electricity.

Law Enforcement

In the Republic of Ireland the law enforcement agency is called An Garda Síochána (Gardaí). In the North the police force is known as the Police Force of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The Guards as they are called are very helpful if you are in need of any help or just lost and looking for directions.

Like any other country, when traveling keep your money in a safe place and take the usual precautions when walking alone on streets by night. Dublin is like all big cities and so take all the usual precautions.

If you have any emergency while in Ireland dial 999 or 112 toll free from any phone and ask for the service you require.

In the North of Ireland during “The Troubles” there was never any significant risks to tourists and with the present ceasefire almost continually in operation since August 31st 1994 there never has been a better time to visit this beautiful part of the country.

In the North of Ireland all emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance and Coastguard Services) can be reached by dialing 999 toll free from any telephone.

Buses

The state-controlled bus company in the Republic of Ireland is called Bus Éireann (Irish Bus). Ulsterbus are the main bus company in Northern Ireland. The services are extensive and link most of the towns in Ireland.

Students who have a Travelsave stamp on their ISIC cards can avail of discounts and Under 16’s pay half. There is also a range of Travel Passes allowing you to use Bus Éireann services for various periods of time. With prices generally half the price of an equivalent train journey, Bus Éireann have an extensive timetable serving the vast majority of towns in Ireland.

Read This : Places To See and Tourist Attractions of Ireland

Trains

Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) is the state-controlled rail company in the Republic of Ireland, while in the

north, Northern Ireland Railways(NIR) is the rail company.

The rail network in Ireland is not very extensive, serving only the larger cities and most major towns so if you are thinking of traveling to the more remote scenic areas, you may have to use the local bus services to reach your destination.

Trains are usually comfortable and punctual by Irish standards. Friday evening trains from Dublin to all parts of the country are usually full to capacity even a half hour before departure as many people working or studying in Dublin travel home to the country at weekends. Sunday evening trains to Dublin carrying these returning passengers are also very busy. We would advise traveling early on both days if possible.

If you intend to use the rail service as your mode of transport while in Ireland you may want to consider one of Iarnród Éireann’s Explorer Tickets which allow you various travel options during your stay here. Students can buy a Travelsave stamp to affix to their ISIC cards for discount fares, usually ~50% off. For under 26’s Faircards give 50% discount. Travelsave stamps and Faircards can be purchased in USIT offices. InterRail passes are accepted in the Republic but only offer a 33% discount on fares in Northern Ireland.

In Dublin, the electric rail system called the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a quick and easy way to get around Dublin. It runs along the coast of the Irish Sea from Howth in north County Dublin to Bray south of Dublin in County Wicklow. However, the west side of the city is not served by the DART.

A light rail system called LUAS is available in Dublin making it much easier to get around the city. You can purchase a Dublin Explorer ticket at any DART station which allows you travel around Dublin on DART and Dublin Bus services for four days.

Driving in Ireland

In Ireland we drive on the left hand side of the road and all vehicles are right hand drive. The quality of the highway network has improved in recent years but roads in Ireland still tend to be narrow, bupmy and winding!! While the major highways are of good quality, the ‘real’ Ireland is one of twisting country lanes. Driving on these lanes can be a pleasure with scenic treasures around every corner, but do not expect to get to you destination in record time!!

Traffic congestion is only a significant problem in Dublin. In recent times there has been a concerted effort to control parking in the city. Vehicles which are illegally parked stand a good chance of being clamped or impounded so be careful where you decide to park your car. A single yellow line by the sidewalk signifies parking at certain times only. Nearby signs should inform you of the restrictions. A double yellow line by the sidewalk signifies no parking at any time.

Roundabouts are a standard feature of the Irish road network. The rules for using roundabours are simple: Yield to all vehicles coming from your right and always turn left on entering the roundabout.

The wearing of safety belts, both front and rear, is compulsory both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

In the Republic, the speed limit is 100 km/hr (~62.5 miles/hr) on highways, while it is 110 km/hr (~70 miles/hr) on Northern Ireland’s highrways. The speed limit in built up areas both North and South is 50 km/hr (~30 miles/hr).

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol is taken very seriously in Ireland and heavy penalties will be imposed on those found to be above the legal blood/alcohol limit.

In the case of an accident you will need to call the Police and if anyone is injured an Ambulance, tel. 999 for both. If there is any damage to the car or to a passenger then calling the police is essential. You will need to take contact details of all witnesses to the accident. If you have a camera make sure you take photographs from all angles before any vehicle is moved.

Taxis

Taxis can be found in all but the smallest of towns. The best source of information about taxis is at your hotel or B&B. The best place to get a taxi is at the airport, train and bus stations or at taxi ranks. Hackney cars are a different type of cab. They usually do not have a sign on top and are not licensed to work from ranks or airports, train and bus stations. You have to call their offices to order a hackney. Hackney cars are usually less expensive than taxis. Taxis are metered, and the fare is calculated from this. Hackney cars are not metered so it is advisable to ask how much the fare is before you use one. Again, your hotel or B&B will have all the information you need.

Tipping

Many restaurants add a service charge of around 15% to guests’ final invoice. However, this is not universal. When service is not included in your bill, a tip of 15% is appropriate. Taxi drivers should be tipped 10% of the fare and porters about 75 Cents per bag. In Pubs tipping lounge staff is at the customer’s discretion.

Food

Traditional Irish food tends to comprise of bacon and cabbage, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew and of course the traditional Irish breakfast. Surprisingly though, apart from the traditional Irish breakfast, many of the restaurants do not serve traditional Irish food as part of their menus.

This is because many Irish people when eating out wish to try something different from the food which they are used to eating at home.

Therefore, to sample some traditional Irish food, you must go to the places in which lunches are served. Pubs are becoming more and more popular and have become famous for tasty, good value, traditional food. Although not all pubs serve ‘pub-grub’, you will recognize them, as the busiest pubs at lunch time. Good lunches are available from around 15 Euro.

Most towns will provide a relatively large selection of different restaurants with Dublin’s restaurants ranging from Italien to Israelli.

Pets and Animals

Pets entering Ireland are quarantined for a peroid of six months. More information on the website Pet Travel Scheme .

Time

Ireland opperates in the Greenwich Mean Time

Telephones

  • To call any other country dial 00, the country code, in all cases if there are leading zero’s drop them.
  • To call directory enquiries dial 11811, for assistance in making an international call dial 114.
  • To send a telemessage dial 196 and for Emergencies dial 999 or 112.
  • To call internationally dial 00, the country code and drop the leading zeros.
  • To call the Republic of Ireland from the US or Canada, use this code 011 353
  • The phone system in Ireland is a very modern service. In the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland the public phones that can be used are Card Phones and Coin Phones.
  • Cards for the card phones can be purchased in supermarkets, gas stations, post offices and newsagents. From the Republic of Ireland the cheapest time to call is from 6pm to 8am and all day at weekends.

Weather

Ireland has a maritime climate which is influenced by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the path of the prevailing southwesterly winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean. This makes for equitable conditions over the whole country and means Ireland is never exposed to extremes of weather.

The coldest months are January and February, while July and August are the warmest. Over the year it generally gets no colder than 1 degree Celsius(33.8F) or warmer than about 20 degrees Celsius (68 F).

Ireland is renowned for its rain. It can rain at any time of the year, but does so most often in the winter and in the western half of the country. About eighty percent of the country has annual rainfall of between 30 (75 centimeters) and 50 inches (125 centimeters). The highest peaks in the western mountains receive about 100 inches (250 centimeters) of rain annually. The driest areas, around Dublin in the east, have about 30 inches (75 centimeters). The southern and western parts of Ireland have the longest growing season each year because of the plentiful rain and mild climate. Because of this, the pasture lands can be used all year round.

May and June are the sunniest months, averaging five to seven hours of sunshine per day. The highest amount of consistent sunshine can be found in the southeast of the country. Air temperatures in July and August can reach the mid-seventies F (23 Celsius), with water temperatures in the mid-sixties (16 Celsius). During the winter, however the water temperature can drop below forty degrees (4 Celsius), with air temperatures in January and February between thirty and forty degrees (4 to -1 Celsius).

The figures below are for average rainfall, temperature and sunshine for each weather station in Ireland. The figures are supplied courtesy of Ireland’s meteorological service, Met Éireann.

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