A small country with a big reputation, helped along by a fascinating landscape and friendly people, whose lyrical nature is expressed in the warmth of their welcome.
It is highly recommended that visitors take out travel insurance. A policy that covers you for theft, loss, accidents and medical problems is the norm and the policy should be purchased prior to travelling. Travel insurance can be purchased with your flights, via your credit card company or from your local insurance company.
The emergency number for Garda, ambulance and or fire brigade is 999.
Weather and Climate
In Ireland we are lucky in that we don’t usually experience extremes of any weather type but you may experience the four seasons in one day with a mild version of each, it’s all part of the charm and the Irish weather is very manageable. Irish seasons are viewed as three-month durations broken down as follows:
Spring – March to May
Summer – June to August
Autumn – September to November
Winter – December to February
Typically in Ireland we experience the least amount of rainfall between February and June (April is generally the driest month) with the most rain generally seen in most areas in December and January. As Irish comic Pat Short has said “sure it would be a great little country if you could only put a roof on her”. Although we have sent home some disappointed golfers who did not experience any rain during their trips!
Ireland usually experiences the most sunshine in May and June with July and August being the warmest months
Currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro and in Northern Ireland it is the same as the UK so the Pound is used. It is not advisable to travel with large amounts of cash but it is recommended that visitors have some ready relevant currency on arrival if only to pay for refreshments or taxis.
Both Euro and Pound currencies may be accepted occasionally in some border areas but other foreign currencies will not be accepted. Currency exchange is available at International Airports, Banks and Post Offices. Please note exchange rates are generally higher at airports
If you would like to use Credit Cards, Debit Cards and ATM Cards in Ireland it is advisable before you travel to check with your bank what their foreign transaction fees are, and to also confirm with the issuer of the card that it will work in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted with Amex accepted by many but not all merchants
It is customary in Ireland to tip waiters, caddies and drivers for good service and also commonplace to tip personal service providers such as hairdressers.
Generally restaurants and hotels in Ireland do not add a service charge to your bill but there will be some exceptions so please review the bill before tipping.
The exact tip amount is at the discretion of the client, who may tip more for excellent service, or less for substandard service. We are happy to provide a guideline on tipping percentages for different services should you require it.
The 5 International airports in Ireland are as follows;
- Belfast International Airport
- Cork Airport
- Dublin Airport
- Knock Airport
- Shannon Airport
Other regional airports offer some flights to UK and European Airports if these locations are your starting point or indeed if you wish to use connecting flights the following airports may also be an option for your trip:
- Derry Airport
- Donegal Airport
- Galway Airport
- George Best Belfast City Airport
- Kerry Airport
- Sligo Airport
- Waterford Airport
We can assist you in judging which airport is the best option for you based on the itinerary you are planning etc. If you require assistance with this please let us know.
Driving in Ireland
In Ireland we drive on the left side. If you are not used to this and have not driven in Ireland before it will likely take a couple of hours to a day to get used to the new driving conditions. Take your time when starting out and pay close attention to the road signs, if possible try and keep first day driving to main roads. Be especially vigilant after taking a rest, on quiet roads and first thing in the morning as this is when visitors are most likely to make an error and drive on the wrong side. It may help to stick a visible note on the dashboard saying “stay left”.
Before setting off on your first car journey take some time to get used to the controls and if possible drive a few minutes in the car rental area/airport area. If you are not used to driving a manual transmission it is advisable to request an automatic vehicle when you book. Remember it is law in Ireland to carry your driving license with you at all times when driving.
We highly recommend GPS units be used by all self-drive visitors. Clients can bring a GPS unit with the relevant up-to-date information for Ireland or alternatively GPS units are available to hire with the car rental and can be reserved in advance. It is also advisable to purchase a good map and have someone other than the driver do the navigating. It is a good idea to refuel when the tank is half empty as filling stations may be limited on some more rural journeys. Take care which pump you use as your car rental may be petrol or diesel.
A good rule of thumb for journey time estimation is that on average you will cover approximately 40 mph or 64 kph
Not every roundabout is the same, roundabouts may have different road layouts such as the number of exits but the general rules for approaching and using the roundabout and the basic guide lines given below remain the same. Exercise caution at all times. In particular, be aware of traffic signs, traffic lights, road markings and traffic coming from your right when approaching roundabouts.
Basic Guide Lines for using Roundabouts in Ireland
By law, a driver must enter a roundabout by turning to the left. Failure to do so is an offence.
Treat the roundabout as a junction. You must yield to traffic coming from the right, but keep moving if the way is clear. If a roundabout is controlled by traffic lights, the traffic lights must be obeyed.
On approach to the Roundabout look for directional arrows, road markings or signs which indicate which lane you should use for the direction you are taking and move into the correct lane in good time.
If there are no road markings indicating the correct lane think of a roundabout as a clock and use the clock analogy as follows:
If taking any exit from the 6 o’clock to the 12 o’clock position, motorists should generally approach in the left-hand lane.
If taking any exit between the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock positions, motorists should generally approach in the right-hand lane.
Motorists should be aware of other road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders, large or long vehicles and so on, who may have to change their position on the road to get around the roundabout safely. It is also important to watch out for pedestrians who may be attempting to cross the roundabout as some roundabouts may have pedestrian crossing areas close by
Using indicators at roundabouts:
Making a left turn
Approach in the left-hand lane, indicate ‘left’ as you approach and continue until you have taken the left exit.
Going straight ahead (or any exit to the left of 12 o’clock)
Approach in the left-hand lane (unless road markings say otherwise) but do not indicate ‘left’ until you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take.
Taking any later exits (those past 12 o’clock – right)
Approach in the right-hand lane (unless road markings say otherwise), indicate ‘right’ on your approach and leave your indicator on until you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take. Then change to the ‘left’ turn indicator. Move over towards the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave.
When leaving the roundabout take extra care at all exits, checking for other road users – for example, cyclists and motorcyclists who may be continuing on the roundabout.
In Ireland we use 3 pin plugs, therefore, unless you are travelling from the UK, you will need an adaptor that has the 3 square pins.
Voltage is 230, if you are travelling from the US where the voltage is 120 some electrical equipment that is not dual voltage and dual frequency will need a power converter/transformer along with an adaptor in order to be used in Ireland.
Most laptops and phone chargers are dual voltage so all they will need is the adaptor but please ensure your laptop /charger is dual voltage before using it without a converter/transformer.
In Ireland smoking is prohibited in enclosed public places and enclosed work places such as restaurants, bars etc and most hotel rooms are now also non smoking. Adequate designated smoking areas are generally provided at bars and restaurants.