Ireland Travel Tips

Jump to . . .

General Information on Ireland

English is the primary language of Ireland with Irish spoken primarily

in the Gaeltacht areas (west); signs are in English & Irish.


VAT ("Value Added Tax") is applied to most goods and service.
Most items are subject to a rate of 21%.
Do you live outside the European Union? 
If yes, you can purchase goods to take home and benefit from tax relief.
Save those receipts and submit at airport or when you get home.


Driving and walking are on the left; passing is on the right.
'Look right' or 'look left' are marked on the pavements/streets to remind you which way to 

look when walking and crossing the road.



ALL traveling to and through the US on their return home will go through customs, immigration
and agricultural inspections in Dublin at Terminal 2, in a designated area of the terminal
prior to departure rather than when you land in the US.

You will need to complete a Customs Declaration Form.                       See:

Dublin Airport recently revised its departure US Border & Customs protocols. A brief summary of what you can expect:

  • You will remain in the main departure hall until your flight is announced on the departure board, and you will be asked to proceed to US Border & Customs, a short walk and a flight down. There are elevators available for those who wish to use them. Typically, you will be asked to proceed to US Customs an hour and a half to two hours before boarding.
  • Once you arrive at US Border & Customs, you will once again go through the security similar to what you do in US airports-remove jackets, belts, shoes, electronics, and liquids. 
  • Once you get through security, you will be directed to a kiosk where you will complete information: your flight info, the customs declaration form and 4 short questions. You will receive a receipt which you will hand into the Border & Customs official. S/he will show you images of your luggage, and you will be asked to confirm that they are yours. 
  • If you have declared anything, like food, s/he will ask you what it is. Items like cookies and crackers are ok; meats and agricultural products are not.
  • Once you go through Border & Customs, you will proceed to your gate. This waiting/gate area has greatly improved. Now there are a small number of travel and food kiosks/restaurants. Bathrooms and an electronics charging room are also available. Dublin has considerably expanded this area to make it more traveler friendly.   

A Global Entry lane is available for travelers who have this PRE-TSA clearance. 

Check out this video on the Dublin Airport webpage about US PRECLEARANCE:                 



Céad Míle Fáilte = a hundred thousand welcomes! Ireland truly welcomes you! 
Say thank you when you get off the bus. Yes, courtesy matters here!
It's St Patrick's Day, not St Patty or St Paddy---PLEASE!
Irish Taxi drivers love to chat with passengers --- enjoy the congeniality.
CRAIC (CRACK) is a term for fun, enjoyable conversation, how are you, etc. 
Use 'sorry' for excuse me; for example, when accidently bumping into someone. 
Cursing (the F word in particular) is used in Ireland for emphasis. A LOT! But not in business exchanges.

If it's prefaced with 'traditional Irish', it is most likely a tourist gimmick!



DO NOT refer to the Republic of Ireland as part of the United Kingdom,
or Northern Ireland as part of the Republic of Ireland. 
These two are completely different national/political entities and this is a sensitive subject.

If you discuss in a pub, you may be told that it isn't discussed there! 

While on the subject of being sensitive to Irish history, don't order a drink called a car bomb.

It's an American drink made of Irish liquors and insensitive to Ireland's past history. 

AS AN ASIDE: The Clintons, and especially Bill Clinton, are widely respected here due to his contributions to the Peace Process in Ireland when he was President.   


Hotel Information


To turn electricity on in the room, place the key card (used to gain entrance to the room) in the slot holder, which is typically found on the wall near the entrance door.

Voltage is 240 in Ireland/UK compared to the 120 in the US. Computers, phones, iPads, cameras etc. typically do not need a converter, only an adapter. For other countries who have 240 voltage, only an adapter is needed for the different style of plug.

Hotel has hairdryers and irons; however, if traveling with your own appliances, a converter may be necessary if they are not dual voltage. 


Currency, Credit Cards & ATM/Debit Cards

Republic of Ireland is on the Euro €

Northern Ireland is on the British sterling/pound £


US ATM CHIP Debit/Credit Cards are not fully integrated with European version.
US ATM CHIP Debit Cards for charges are ok. 
US ATM CHIP Debit Cards for cash frequently don't work. 
Bring Euros with you for cash, if possible, or exchange when you get to the airport.  
Major US credit cards (not debit) are typically no problem; steep fees for cash advances.

Other countries' debit/credit cards, please check with your bank for information on use in Ireland.


Large bills are usually typically harder to exchange and often get charged at a higher rate.
and sometimes only exchanged in select places like banks.

For the US, bills $50 or below are good; avoid $100 bills. 


Banks are closed on Saturday, Sunday and Bank holidays.

ATMs are readily available. 



Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted; American Express not so much; forget travelers' checks.


Bureau de Change (currency exchange) are located in both Dublin Airport Terminals.
You may pre-order your currency and pick it up when you arrive.

Check Bureau de Change open hours on Dublin Airport website.

Better yet, bring euros with you to avoid higher fees to exchange.

NOTE: Recently, a traveler was charged 30 EUROS in Dublin Airport for ATM cash withdrawal on 200. AVOID currency exchange at the airport if possible. 



Getting Around & To/From Dublin Airport


TAXIS RANKS                                                                             Outside Terminals 1 & 2


#703 Dublin Airport to Dun Laoghaire (Royal Marine Hotel)
#703 Dun Laoghaire (Royal Marine Hotel) to Dublin Airport
Timetables & Schedules:



Public transportation (buses, trains, and luas tram) and taxis  

are all excellent in Ireland.



TRAIN-Irish Rail = DART, Intercity, and Commuter Trains
See website for schedules and timetables.

Main DL stop is at the rail station about 1 block from the hotel.


Taxis are prevalent everywhere in Dun Laoaghaire
and Dublin, easy to hail or find taxi ranks, and the 
the more expensive way to navigate around the 

city and Ireland.


LUAS (light rail/tram in Dublin City Center)


45A from Dun Laoghaire to Dublin and beyond
46A to Dun Laoghaire from Dublin
See website for schedules and stops. 
Main DL stop usually by the DART rail station, 1 block from the hotel.


Ireland Electric Plugs & Adapters


Ireland plugs are three-pronged and the electricity supply is 230v/50hz.
Image of Ireland Plug:


Plug adapter does not change the electricity supplied to the appliance,
only allows it to be plugged into a different type of wall socket.
Computers, batteries, phones, tablets etc. are dual voltage so only plug 

ADAPTER is needed.



Only equipment not dual voltage needs a CONVERTER.

Getting Acclimated to Ireland

Ireland has a mild climate with an average yearly temperature of 50F/10C  
with rainy showers and occasional sunshine.
Due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and especially on the east coast,
temperatures don't vary much between high and low.
September & October are excellent months to visit with temperatures of 
between 10 -17 C, 50-57 F.
Skies clear quickly in Ireland with a shower one minute and sunshine the next

and often lots of wind so layers of clothing work well when traveling in Ireland.


Waterproof/warm jacket (preferably with a hood)
Layers of clothing
Fleece or sweater
Gloves & hat for rainy or cooler weather
Waterproof/walking shoes or boots for walking on those cobblestones 

For the US, no one wears baseball caps or sweats in public in Ireland


Standard with other countries. People tend to dress up more in Dublin & environs.
Smart casual, business casual, suits, dressy shoes & boots are common and tend to be conservative.


Yes, bring an umbrella for Ireland's rainy weather.

No one but clueless tourists wear the poncho style rain gear.

If in doubt, try a universal packing list website:

Food & Drink

PUBS are the center of the social universe in Ireland! Whether you're a teetotaler, beer or whiskey drinker, or mixed drink kind of woman/gent, pubs are at the heart of socializing in Ireland and extend a welcome to all! 

Food in Ireland is outstanding whether in a pub or restaurant with plenty of both in Dun
Laoghaire and Dublin for any food palate. 
PUB grub consists (usually but not always) of traditional 

dishes such as Irish stew, fish & chips, soups with brown bread, etc.

FYI: NO SMOKING in Pubs and Restaurants  

The drinking age is 18 in Ireland, and the drink of choice is beer, mostly Guinness! 

Slainte' (SLAWN-chuh) is the Irish equivalent of 'cheers'.

Most hotels and BBs serve a traditional IRISH BREAKFASTeggs, baked beans, tomato slices, mushrooms, rashers (Irish bacon) or Irish pork sausages, and sometimes black/white pudding, served with brown bread and Irish butter (yummy!)

More than enough to energize you for the day!



Car Rental/Hire in Ireland 

DRIVING                                                                                                                                                       Ireland drives on the left similar to the UK and passes on the right.                                                             Opposite of the US and most other countries; steering wheel etc.on right.


AGE CONSIDERATIONS                                                                                     Under 18 (sometimes 21) and over 75 - No car rental available.

Age 70 - 75 often requires DOCTOR NOTE for car hire.

Check with car hire/rental before booking.

Better to have doctor's note than get to the airport and not be able to pick up/hire. I've seen it happen! 



Most cars are manual in Ireland.
If you're not familiar with driving a manual car or if you are 

not comfortable driving on the left, consider an automatic car.

Automatic car hire is more expensive than manual but offers piece of mind when faced with unaccustomed driving styles and rules. 


Helpful Dublin & Ireland Tourist Websites


Tourism Office 
37 College Green, Dublin (across from Trinity College)                                     You can store your luggage here short-term for a small fee (5 EU) in a safe, locked room below the office.



Visit Dublin Website and Tourist Information Center

25 Suffolk Street (off lower end of Grafton St)


Dublin Bus Tours

59 O'Connell Street Upper


Dublin Visitors Center

17 O'Connell Street Lower


Red Bus Hop On Hop Off Dublin


Dublin Bus Hop On Hop Off|-6.260892|16


Dublin Bay Cruises


Literary Dublin & ONE CITY ONE BOOK Initiative

UNESCO CITY OF LITERATURE                                                                 Dublin is the 4th UNESCO City of Literature and part of a network of 116 cities in 53 countries with such a designation. For info on events, things to do, news, and projects, visits its website:                                 


DUBLIN: ONE CITY ONE BOOK INITIATIVE                                               The Dublin City Council’s Public Library Services has announced that its initiative DUBLIN: ONE CITY ONE BOOK 2017 choice is Echoland by Joe Joyce. Read more on how Dublin encourages the reading of one book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year.                                   

Or, just enjoy reading this novel about Dublin by one of Ireland's many outstanding comtemporary writers!                   


LITERARY FACT                                                                                            Ireland is home to 4 recipients of the Nobel Prize for Literature: William Butler Yeats, Seamus Heaney, George Bernard Shaw, and Samuel Beckett.


















1 Like
Recent Stories
Ireland Travel Tips