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Leaving for Ireland

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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z

Eating out

Opening hours

Restaurants are open from 12noon-2.15pm and from 6.30-10pm. Many are closed one day a week. In Northern Ireland, they may close earlier (between 7 and 8pm) on Sundays and Mondays. Bookings are advisable, particularly at weekends.


Service is included in the bill. It is customary to leave a 10% tip if you are particularly satisfied by the service.


If you enjoy Irish breakfasts, adopt the Irish lifestyle: full breakfast, light lunch and more filling dinner. Evening meals are traditionally early so that people can pop down to the pub afterwards.


The voltage in the Republic of Ireland is 220V and 240V in Northern Ireland. Adaptors will be required for continental European appliances, which can be bought from airports, on ferries, hardware shops and drugstores.

Embassies and consulates

British Embassy – 29 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 – t 01 205 3700 – http://britishembassyinireland.fco.gov.uk/en/


Also see Know before you go.


Single emergency number for the whole island: t 999.


Over-the-counter medication (pain relievers, cough medicine and laxatives) can be bought from many supermarkets and grocery shops.


Clouds of midges invade humid areas between June and August. It is advisable to take anti-mosquito products.



The currency of the Republic of Ireland is the Euro. Northern Ireland uses pound sterling (£) but euros are accepted.

Banks / exchange

Banks are open Monday-Friday from 10am-4.30pm in the Republic of Ireland and from 9.30am-3.30pm in Northern Ireland.

Credit card and traveller’s cheques

Nearly all shops, hotels and restaurants accept credit cards. ATMs are commonplace in towns, but scarcer in the countryside, particularly in western Ireland. Euro zone residents should note that bank charges for withdrawals and payments are identical to those in their country of origin.

Proof of identity is required to change traveller’s cheques or Eurocheques in banks. Commissions vary but are generally higher in hotels and shops.

Budget / cost of living

If on a small budget, plan on spending €90/day (£65 in Northern Ireland) for a night in a basic B&B, pub lunches, evening meals in a restaurant and public transport.

On a medium budget, you can expect to spend €115/day (£85 in Northern Ireland) for a night in a comfortable hotel, lunch in a pizzeria or wine bar and dinner in a decent restaurant.

If you have more to spend, a €170/day (£130 in Northern Ireland) budget will treat you to a night in a first-class hotel and two meals in gourmet restaurants.

In addition, budget around €10/day for visits and transport.


Many sites and castles are closed from November to March. Ticket offices generally close 30min before the site. In the Republic of Ireland, national museums are closed on Monday.

Entrance fees are often quite high, from €5 to 10. In natural sites, you may have to pay to park your car.


In the Republic of Ireland , post offices are open Monday-Saturday from 8am-5pm or 5.30pm, with a break at lunchtime. The Republic of Ireland has its own postage stamps. Postage rates for Europe: standard letter or postcard (up to 20gr): €0.75.

In Northern Ireland, post offices are open Monday-Friday from 9am-5.30pm and on Saturday from 9am-12.30pm. British stamps are used in Northern Ireland. Postage rates for Europe: standard letter or postcard (up to 20gr): £0.44.

Public holidays

1 January

17 March – Saint Patrick’s Day – only in Republic of Ireland

Monday closest to 17 March – Equivalent of Saint-Patrick’s Day - only in Northern Ireland.

Good Friday – only in Republic of Ireland

Easter Monday

Monday closest to 1 May – May Day Bank Holiday – only in Northern Ireland

1st Monday of June – June Bank Holiday – only in Republic of Ireland

12 July – Orange Day, only in Northern Ireland

1st Monday of August – August Bank Holiday, only in Republic of Ireland

Last Monday of August – August Bank Holiday, only in Northern Ireland

Last Monday of October – October Bank Holiday, only in Republic of Ireland

25 and 26 December


As the situation has calmed down considerably, tourists run no risk whatsoever in Northern Ireland.


Opening hours

Shops are open Monday-Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm (8-9pm on Thursdays). In large towns, some shops are open on Sunday afternoon.

Shoe sizes

Women: 36 = 3 Men: 40 = 6

37 = 4 41 = 7

38 = 5 42 = 8

39 = 6 43 = 9

40 = 7 44 = 10


Calling Ireland from aboard

Republic of Ireland – 00 + 353 (country code) + area code without the 0 + number of the person.

Northern Ireland – 00 + 44 (country code) + area code without the 0 + number of the person.

Calling home from Ireland

00 + country code. For the United Kingdom: 44.

Weights and measures

1kg = 2.2 pounds 1 pound = 0.45kg

1km = 0.62 mile 1 mile = 1.61km

1l = 1.76 pints 1 pint = 0.57l

1m = 1.09 yard 1 yard = 0.92m

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