The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland belong to the European Union. Citizens of the European Union (EU) who want to travel to the Emerald Isle only need to carry ID or a passport. Children must travel with their own documentation. Other nationalities, please consult the Irish embassies and relevant offices in your countries of origin about the current entry requirements.
There are no restrictions on importing currency, either local or foreign.
Goods purchased in the European Union for personal use and brought to Ireland do not incur taxes if taxes were paid in another country.
The official currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro. The historical development of the country makes the 6 of the 9 Ulster counties that make up Northern Ireland use the Pound Sterling. You can find ATMs in the main towns and cities in the country that usually accept the most commonly used credit cards. The logos at the cashier indicate the credit cards with which you can use. It may be that when you withdraw cash you will be charged a fee.
Most establishments and hotels usually allow payment with international credit and debit cards. In rural areas or especially small towns and remote areas, you should make sure you have cash. Remember that to rent a car you always need to present a valid credit card. In case of theft, these are the phone numbers you can call to block your card:
- Amex: +34 914 004 250
- Diners club: +34 912 114 300
- Master Card: +34 0800 90 1387
- Visa: +34 800 90 20 33 – 900 991 124
- American Express: +34 900 814 500
- 4B: +34 913 62 62 00 – 902 114 400
- Red 6000: +34 902 20 60 00
English and Gaelic (locally known as Gaelige or Irish) are the two official languages of the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland you can also hear the soft accent of the Ullans. Gaelic is spoken mostly in pockets of rural Ireland known as the Gaeltacht.
You do not have to worry, since it is a very safe country and you do not need any specific vaccinations. The country is perfectly equipped with pharmacies and health centres. As always, if you want to travel with piece of mind, you can purchase insurance. As citizens of the EU, with the European Health Card obtained in your country of origin, you will always be taken care of in case of need. If you have to pay for any medical treatment in advance, keep all original documentation and invoices for reimbursement. If you have to go to the hospital, always bring your passport, the European Health Insurance Card (TSE) and credit cards. For more information, contact Social Security or private health insurance in your country of origin.
In Ireland the electricity grid has the same voltage and frequency as in Spain and most of Europe: 230V and 50Hz. However, Ireland’s outlets use ‘G’ plugs, whereas those used in Spain are ‘C’ and ‘F’ plugs. Do not forget to bring an adapter for the current.
In winter, Ireland is in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), as is the UK. In summer, the clock is moved forward to GMT + 1. Ireland is in the same time zone as the Canary Islands and one hour less than the peninsular Spain and the Balearic Islands.
The best time to visit Ireland is summer, when the rains are more moderate and the temperature ranges between 15 and 20 degrees. The Irish climate is fairly uniform, with little change throughout the year, day and regions. Rains are common in all seasons, with the wettest month being January. The first months of the year, January and February, are the coldest with temperatures ranging between 4 and 7 ° C. July and August are the warmest with averages of 14 to 16 ° C. The temperatures are cool all year, and with a thermal oscillation of surroundings at 10 ºC. The cloud is very intense, resulting in frequent mists lasting for many days. An average of 200 cloudy days per year is recorded in Ireland. The months with more hours of sun are May and June, with between 5 and 7 hours of sun per day.
Souvenirs can be purchased in any corner of Ireland, from little figurines of the little Leprechaum, pots with clovers, T-shirts or stuffed sheep. For lovers of beer, you can purchase souveneirs of the famous local beer, Guiness.
The Irish cuisine consists mainly of dishes made from basic products like meat vegetables, among which the potato stands out. It has excellent meat, both lamb and beef, from its green pastures. Among the most common dishes are “Colcannon”, a well-known dish made with potato and garlic, “Irish Stew”, a stew made with lamb, potatoes, onions and parsley, “Boxty”, pancakes made from mashed potato base, or “Seafood Chowder” a cream of seafood, molluscs and crustaceans.
- 1 January (New Year)
- March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day)
- Easter Monday
- May Bank Holiday. First Monday in May
- June Bank Holiday First Monday in June
- August Bank Holiday First Monday in August
- 15 August (day of the Assumption)
- 31st October (Halloween)
- October Bank Holiday First Monday in October
- 25th December (Christmas)
- December 26 (Saint Stephen’s Day)
- Spring Bridge (Last Monday in May)
- Orangemens Day (July 12)
- Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne
- August Bank Holiday (Last Monday of August)
- Boxing Day
Record of the emergency numbers used in Ireland.
POLICE, FIRE AND AMBULANCE
- Republic of Ireland: Tel: 112 or 999
- Northern Ireland: Tel: 999
Republic of Ireland, if you want to use the services of the Automobile Association of Ireland (AA), you will have to become a member for a minimum of one year. The cost is approximately 220 €.
- Service in case of failure. Tel: 1800 66 77 88.
Northern Ireland To request road assistance in Northern Ireland, contact the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), which is the equivalent of AA. The RAC website shows rates for short-term coverage and roadside assistance.
- Assistance in case of breakdown. Tel: +44 (0) 844 891 3111
ASSISTANCE TO TOURIST VICTIMS
Republic of Ireland
Tourists who have been victims of crime during their stay in Ireland can contact the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS). The ITAS team speaks a multitude of foreign languages and will be able to offer assistance with any problems that could be suffered by a tourist after a crime.
- Hours: Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 12:00 to 18:00 hours
- Telephone: 1890 365 700 (local number; from outside Ireland: 00353 1 661 0562)
For anyone who is the victim of a crime in Northern Ireland, Victim Support Northern Ireland is the agency to contact. The staff and volunteers speak to and assist victims, their family members, and witnesses to the crime.
- Hours: Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Phone: 0044 (0) 28 90 244039