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Quick Facts
Government Parliamentary Democracy
Currency euro (€)
Area 84,421km²
Population 4,857,000 (2018 estimate)
Language Irish (national and official)
English (official)
Religion Catholic 78%,
Church of Ireland (incl. Protestant) 4.2%,
Muslim 1.3%,
Other Religion 6.4%,
None 9.8%
Electricity 230V, 50Hz - Type G plug (UK plug)
Country code +353, +44 (NI)
Internet TLD .ie
Time Zone UTC (end Oct-end Mar) & UTC+1 (end Mar-end Oct)
For other places with the same name, see Ireland (disambiguation).

Ulster directs to here. For other places with this name, see Ulster (disambiguation)

Ireland is an island in north-western Europe which has been divided politically since 1920. Most of the island is made up of Ireland (Irish: Éire, also known as Poblacht na hÉireann = the Republic of Ireland). The remainder is Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.


The island of Ireland historically consists of 32 counties, of which six, collectively known as Northern Ireland, have remained as part of the United Kingdom since the rest of Ireland gained self government in 1922. The name "Ireland" applies to the island as a whole, but in English is also the official name of the independent state (ie the 26 counties which are not part of the United Kingdom), since 1921.

Celtic tribes settled on the island in the 4th century BC. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian Boru defeated the Danes in 1014. Norman invasions began in the early 12th century and set in place Ireland's uneasy position within England's sphere of influence. The Act of Union of 1800 - in which Catholics, 90% of the Irish population, were excluded from Parliament - saw Ireland joining the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland struggled through a lack of food call the Potato Famines in the 1840s through the 1850s. This origined from difficulty in growing potatoes, leading to the death of millions from starvation and immune weakness related disease. In the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century the subject of Irish home rule was a major debate within the British parliament. After several failed attempts, a Home Rule bill finally passed through parliament in 1914 though the start of the first world war saw its indefinite postponement due to heavily armed unionist opposition. A failed rebellion on Easter Monday in 1916, (after which 15 of the surrendered leaders were shot by firing squad and 1 hanged) showed a hint of things to come with years of war to follow, beginning with the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) and continuing with the Irish Civil War (1922-1923).

Eventually a somewhat stable situation emerged with the self government of 26 of Ireland's southern counties known as the Irish Free State; the remaining six, located in the north-east of the country comprising two-thirds of the ancient province of Ulster, remained part of the United Kingdom — a status that has continued to the present day. In 1949 the Irish Free State became "Ireland" (a.k.a. the Republic of Ireland) and withdrew from the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Northern Ireland's history post-partition has been marked with violence, a period known as "The Troubles", generally regarded as beginning in the late 1960s, which saw large scale confrontation between opposing paramilitary groups seeking to either keep Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom or bring it into Ireland[1] as well as with the security forces. The Troubles saw many ups and downs in intensity of fighting and on many occasions they even spread to terrorist attacks in the Republic of Ireland, Britain and continental Europe. Both the government of the UK and the government of Ireland were opposed to all terrorist groups. A peace settlement known as the Good Friday Agreement was finally approved in 1998 and is currently being implemented, providing the option of either or dual citizenship to Northern Ireland residents, self-government, guarantees of civil rights and a democratic mechanism for re-unification if desired by the populace. All signs point to this agreement holding steady.

Though a relatively poor country for much of the 20th century, Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 (at the same time as the United Kingdom). Between the mid 1990s and late 2000s, Ireland saw massive economic boom (called 'The Celtic Tiger'), becoming one of the richest countries in Europe. The global banking crisis and subsequent recession hit Ireland hard, and high levels of unemployment proliferated for the period 2009 - 2013, before a gradual economic recovery returned Ireland to being one of the strongest performing economies in Europe.


Historically, Ireland was divided into four ancient provinces, namely Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster, however these have no administrative significance today. Internationally, the best known of these of course is Ulster, since it is used as an umbrella term to describe Northern Ireland, although three of its nine counties are within the Republic of Ireland. Today, you will often still see the other province names come up in sports teams for example, but for the most part the regions of Ireland are described as follows:

Regions of Ireland
East Coast and Midlands (Counties Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow)
The Irish heartland, home to the capital and vibrant metropolis of Dublin.
Northern Ireland
A home nation of the United Kingdom, covered in its own separate article. Separate from Ireland.
Shannon Region (Counties Clare, Limerick, Tipperary)
A region often visited for its castles and the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher.
Southwest Ireland (Counties Cork, Kerry)
A scenic and rainy section of Ireland with a beautiful coast and popular Ring of Kerry and Blarney Castle.
West Ireland (Counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon)
Ireland's least populous region, home to the Irish "Cultural Capital" of Galway and the beautiful Aran Islands.
Northwest Ireland and Lakelands (Counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo)
A region that is growing in tourism activity and has a lot to offer by way of natural beauty.
Southeast Ireland (Counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford)
A rather cosmopolitan section of Ireland, famous for its Waterford crystal


Leap Castle Birr
National Gallery of Ireland
Carrowmore, County Sligo
Ashford Castle is a medieval castle in County Mayo. It was built in 1228.

For cities in Northern Ireland, see the separate article.

  • Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath) — the capital and the country's largest city. With excellent pubs, fine architecture and good shopping, Dublin is a very popular tourist destination and is the fourth most visited European capital. Referenced by Ptolemy in c.140 as Eblana, the original Irish settlement and a later viking settlement c.900 formed the early city.
  • Cork (Corcaigh) — second largest city in the Republic of Ireland - located on the banks of the River Lee. Founded c.600 as a monastic settlement and c.900 by Viking Settlers and known for good food, pubs, shopping and festivals.
  • Galway (Gaillimh) — a city on the river Corrib on the west coast of Ireland. Famous for its festivals and its location on Galway Bay. Known as the City of Tribes, Galway's summer is filled with festivals of music, food, Irish language and culture. Galway hosts over fifty festivals a year, including the Galway Oyster Festival. The locals seem to give off a positive Bohemian vibe. Galway is split between two types of beautiful landscape: the gorgeous mountains to the west, and the east's farming valleys.
  • Killarney — Possibly (at least until recently) the most popular tourist destination in Ireland. A pleasant town in its own right, it is also the start of most Ring of Kerry trips.
  • Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh) — attractive medieval city, known as the Marble City - home to the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, held annually in early June.
  • Letterkenny — Main town in County Donegal, designated gateway status and reputed to be the fastest growing town in Europe. Good base for traveling in Donegal. Common entry point for those crossing the border at Derry.
  • Limerick (Luimneach) — a city on the river Shannon in the south-west of the country. Referenced by Ptolemy in c.140 as Regia and redesigned by both Vikings and Normans in the 9th and 12th centuries.
  • Sligo (Sligeach)- Home to W.B. Yeats, internationally renowned poet. Mountains and beaches, scenery in general are the best points of Sligo. The city is also a popular shopping destination.
  • Waterford (Port Láirge) — Often called Ireland's oldest city. Founded as a large Viking port. In the south-east and close to the ferry port at Rosslare. Waterford is good for those who want to learn more about the most ancient history of Ireland. Many festivals take place throughout the year including ((Spraoi)). Don't forget to try a blaa before you leave. (A floury bread bun peculiar to this area of Ireland).

Other destinations[edit]

Trim Castle in County Meath
  • Aran Islands (Na hOileáin Árann) — located in Galway Bay
  • Brú Na Bóinne — some of the finest neolithic monuments in the world, situated in Co. Meath
  • Burren and the Cliffs of Moher — both located in the County Clare
  • Connemara (Conamara) — in Western County Galway
  • County Donegal — the coastal regions of this county have spectacular scenery and excellent beaches
  • Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne) — a Gaeltacht region (Irish-speaking district) in the very SW corner of the country
  • Glendalough — fine ruins and hiking trails in Co Wicklow
  • Kinsale — gastronomic excellence in Ireland's oldest town
  • Ring of Kerry and Skellig Michael — in County Kerry
  • West Cork — mountains, coves, islands and beaches at the very south of the country
  • The Miners Way- mountain/woodland walks, views of lakes, historic monuments and traditional Irish villages.

Get in[edit]

Visa requirements[edit]

Although Ireland is a member of the European Union, it is not part of the Schengen Area. Therefore, separate immigration controls are maintained. The following rules generally apply:

  • Citizens of the European Union, EEA states, Switzerland and the United Kingdom require only a valid national identity card or passport to enter Ireland. In most cases, they hold unlimited rights to residence and employment.
  • Citizens of Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Lesotho, Macao SAR, Malawi, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, the Seychelles, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, the Vatican City and Venezuela, plus British Nationals (Overseas), require valid passports for entry, but they do not need visas for stays not exceeding three months in length. The period of admission is determined by the immigration officer at the port of entry but can be later be extended up to the full 90 days. Third-country nationals who enter without a visa can also extend this stay after entry, but within the initial period of admission and with a valid purpose. Longer stays and employment or studies usually require visas issued in advance. *** NOTE that a work visa is also required to be an au pair, or to undertake unpaid work such as volunteering for bed and board. Electronic devices may be searched at the border for evidence (such as SMS, emails etc) that a third-country national intends to work in Ireland without permission, and if such evidence is found the passenger may be refused entry and deported. Persons wishing to work in Ireland for a short duration should (if from an eligible country) first obtain a Working Holiday Visa through their local Irish embassy or consulate.
  • Passengers from non-visa required countries do NOT automatically receive the 90-day tourist stamp on arrival. Entry permission will depend on evidence of return flights, accommodation and sufficient funds (e.g. through cash or online banking) for the duration of the stay. Passengers presenting as tourists may be questioned on the specific tourist attractions they intend to visit. Failure to credibly answer these questions may result in entry being refused.
  • Citizens of other countries should check the visa lists [2] at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs [3]. The visa application process for tourist visas is reasonably straightforward and is detailed on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website [4]. Stays based on tourist visas cannot be extended past 90 days under any circumstances.
  • Because of an informal arrangement between the United Kingdom and Ireland, known as The Common Travel Area, there are no passport controls in effect for Irish and British citizens entering Ireland from the United Kingdom. On arriving at an Irish airport from the United Kingdom, however, they must present valid official photo identification such as a passport or driving licence which shows their nationality, to prove that they are an person who is entitled to avail of the Common Travel Area arrangements (only a full driving license is acceptable, and then only when the holder was born in the UK or Ireland). Immigration controls are systematic on all inbound flights, selective on ferries, and occasional at the land border crossings.
  • Citizens of China and India who have a valid UK visit visa endorsed with "BIVS" and who have previously cleared immigration in the UK can visit Ireland visa-free for up to 90 days (or until the expiry of their current permission to remain in the UK, whichever is shorter).
  • Citizens of Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Montenegro, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan who have a valid UK 'C' visit visa for any purpose (except "Visitor in Transit" and "Visitor seeking to enter for the purpose of marriage or to enter a civil partnership") and who have cleared immigration in the United Kingdom can visit Ireland visa-free for up to 90 days (or until their current permission to enter/remain in the UK, whichever is shorter). This exemption also applies to nationals of Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar who have entered the United Kingdom on foot of a C-visit Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW).

The Common Travel Area and You

If a non-visa required national crosses into Ireland by land after being granted entry to the United Kingdom, they likely will not be required to clear Irish immigration controls, and their authorized stay will generally be under the conditions of their admission to the UK. If they transit to Ireland through the UK by air, they will be still be required to clear immigration in the UK, and their stay in Ireland will count against the time allowed in the UK.

However, if you require a visa for either Ireland or the UK, however, you must possess a visa from each country that requires you to have one, if you intend to visit both of them. Not passing through passport control does not exempt one from having a visa if needed, and you can be fined and deported for not having a visa if discovered.

If you intend to travel to the UK from Ireland, even in transit, you will clear passport control in Ireland, but you will not go through Immigration on arrival in the UK. However, your stay will be limited to a maximum of three months, not six. If you intend to stay in the UK for longer than three months, especially as a Student Visitor in the UK, you must apply to extend your stay in the UK (approximately GB£500), obtain a visa for the UK in advance, go to mainland Europe and re-enter the UK, or avoid a transit through Ireland.

By plane[edit]

The Republic of Ireland is served by 4 international airports, Dublin (IATA: DUB), Shannon (IATA: SNN) in County Clare, Cork (IATA: ORK) and Ireland West, Knock (IATA: NOC) in County Mayo. Dublin, the 8th largest airport in Europe, is by far the largest and most connected airport, with flights to many cities in the US, Canada, the UK, continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Shannon, close to the city of Limerick, also has flights to the US, Canada, Middle East, the UK and Europe. Cork has flights to most UK destinations, a wide variety of European cities as well as a limited number of US cities. It is easily accessed from any of the major European hubs, including all of the London airports. Knock Airport has daily scheduled flights to several UK cities, as well as various chartered flights to (mostly) holiday destinations in Europe.

Smaller regional airports that operate domestic and UK services include Donegal (IATA: CFN), Galway (IATA: GWY), Kerry (IATA: KIR), Sligo (IATA: SXL).

The City of Derry Airport, and both Belfast airports (both the City and International) are within a relatively short distance from the North/South border, especially the former. (These three airports being located within Northern Ireland).

Ireland's two major airlines Aer Lingus [5] and Ryanair [6] are low cost carriers. This means that passengers will be charged for every extra including airport check-in (Ryanair only), checking in baggage, food onboard, etc. Ryanair also charges for the privilege of being one of the first to board the plane. Comprehensive listings of airlines flying directly into Ireland, along with destinations and timetables, can be found on the Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock airport websites.

By train[edit]

The only cross-border train is the Enterprise service jointly run by Irish Rail and Northern Ireland Railways from Belfast Central to Dublin Connolly.

A Rail-Sail Scheme is also available, linking Stena Line [7] or Irish Ferries [8] Ferry companies with Train Companies in Great Britain and Ireland. They mainly operate from UK cities across the various Irish and British Rail Network via the Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare-Fishguard and Rosslare-Pembroke sailing routes.

By bus[edit]

Aer Lingus plane

Cross border services are operated by Ulsterbus [9] and Bus Éireann [10], and various privately-owned companies servicing County Donegal.

Eurolines [11] operate services to Great Britain and beyond in conjunction with Bus Eireann and National Express (Great Britain). Bus Éireann also operates frequent services to and from Eastern Europe, in particular Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Additional private travel options are available from Eirebus [12] Discovering Ireland, Kavanaghs and Tony Doyle Coaches Ltd who offer car and coach travel for individuals and group transfers.

By boat[edit]

Ireland is served by numerous services from Great Britain, France and Spain:

  • Norfolkline [13] - operate freight and passenger services from Liverpool to Dublin.
  • Irish Ferries [14] travel from Holyhead, North Wales, to Dublin, and from Pembroke, South Wales, to Rosslare.
  • Stena Line [15] connects Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire (Co. Dublin) (about 8 km south of Dublin city centre), and Fishguard, South Wales, to Rosslare.
  • Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries [16] provide services from France (e.g. Roscoff) to Rosslare and Cork. Irish Ferries is sometimes significantly cheaper than Brittany Ferries, so compare prices.
  • Brittany Ferries [17] run a service twice a week between Cork and Santander in northern Spain.
  • Irish Sea Express - Liverpool to Dublin
  • P&O Irish Sea - north-west England to Dublin
  • Steam Packet Company - Operate services between north-west England (mainly Liverpool) to Dublin, and Isle of Man to Dublin.
  • Fastnet Line [18] provide a daily service from Swansea in South Wales to Cork. Currently suspended, this service will resume in March 2010. The service ran previously as Swansea Cork Ferries [19] which no longer operates.
  • Celtic Link [20] Ferries operate the route from Rosslare to Cherbourg which was previously run by P&O Irish Sea.

Numerous companies now act as agents for the various ferry companies much like Expedia and Travelocity act as agents for airlines allowing the comparison of various companies and routes. Three well known brands are Ferryonline [21], AFerry [22] and FerrySavers [23].

From Great Britain and Northern Ireland[edit]

Book of Kells, Meath
Sculpture in the Parklands, County Offaly
Church in Mullingar
Greyhound Racing in Mullingar
Charleville Castle, Tullamore
Fort in Offaly

Due to ROI's long relationship with the UK, there are no permanent passport controls at land border crossing points, as of 2018. In fact, the border is rarely signposted and it is often difficult to tell when you have crossed from the Republic into the Northern Ireland and vice-versa. The most obvious signal is that the roadsigns on the Republic side are mostly bilingual, in Irish and English, and speed limits and distances are shown in kilometres. You may also notice changes in lines in the road; yellow thick lines in the south and white thin lines in Northern Ireland. When arriving at an Irish airport from Great Britain, you will be required to produce photo ID (driver's licence or passport) to prove that you are a British or Irish citizen. All other foreign nationals must carry a passport, or in the case of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals a national identity card.

However, despite the lack of border controls, be keenly aware that you must possess a valid Irish visa if required for your nationality, or you risk being deported for illegal presence in Ireland. It is not uncommon that the Irish police (An Garda Siochána) check passports at the border occasionally - especially when traveling by bus or train.

Nationals of some countries may be able to take advantage of mutual recognition of certain short-stay tourist visas through the British-Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS). This will be indicated by a BIVS mark on your visa. If in doubt, confirm with the Irish embassy serving your region that your visa type and nationality are covered by the BIVS scheme.

If you are flying with Ryanair [24] - into Ireland from the UK you must be in possession of passport or equivalent national identity card. Ryanair will not accept a driver's licence although Irish Immigration (GNIB) do.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

There are many car hire companies in Ireland - Europcar, Hertz, Irish Car Rentals [25], Dan Dooley and more. You can pick up in the cities or at the airports, though it may cost more to pick up at an airport. Note that most Irish car hire agencies will not accept third party collision damage insurance coverage (CDW) (for example with credit card) when you rent a car.

Conventional wisdom suggests renting (hiring) a car that is an automatic transmission model. This is because many roads in Ireland are narrow, requiring the driver's full attention, so an automatic transmission allows the driver to focus on the road instead of the machine. However, selecting a manual transmission (stickshift) model will allow the driver to select a smaller vehicle which better fits the small roads and saves gas (petrol) without a noticeable loss of power. In addition, roundabouts are more common in Ireland than in many other countries. Navigating roundabouts is easier with a stickshift because you downshift for extra power to speed up coming out of the turn. It should be noted that traffic already on the roundabout has right of way over traffic entering it, just as in the US. If you are coming to Ireland for a holiday, there is always the option of hiring a chauffeur driven vehicle for the duration with a number of companies offering chauffeur tours including Kennedy & Carr Custom Travel [26], TSI [27], CIE Tours [28] and Lynott Tours [29].

Ireland has an extensive network of electric vehicle chargepoints and DC Rapid chargers, with some form of charging available in most town/villages, at most hotels and attractions and rapid chargers every ~25km on major routes. This network is a single unified system for Northern Ireland and the Republic and currently free of charge. An access card can be acquired for foreign registered vehicles by submitted proof of registration to ESB eCars. If a Toll tag or video account is registered for, discounts of 25-75% are also available on all tolls for EVs.


Holidaying using your own wheels is a popular and very enjoyable experience in Ireland. As the weather can change very rapidly, having the benefit of shelter whilst you drive caught on quickly in this corner of Europe. Unlike most of the rest of Europe, numerous free sites are available throughout the country for those on campervan style excursions across Ireland. However, finding these sites is not always easy- they are not documented on the web yet, although if you arrive in an area early, a simple query at the local council office will usually suffice. If you arrive into a town outside of office hours, normally the local person you ask will display typical Irish hospitality and point you in the right direction. Facilities vary, but fresh water and waste disposal are usually the required minimum. If facilities are poor, inform the local council, they will usually help.


It is highly recommended that you call ahead to book a taxi. The hotel, hostel, or bed and breakfast you are staying in will usually call the cab company they work closely with for your convenience. Taxis should be reasonably easy to pick up on the streets in Dublin, Belfast and Cork but may be harder to find cruising the streets in smaller cities and towns so it is often best to telephone for one. It is recommended to call the cab company in advance if possible and give them a time to be picked up, no matter if it's 4 hours in advance or 30 minutes in advance. Work with the same cab company your hotel does and let them know your final destination if there is more than one stop. You will also need to give them a contact phone number over the phone, so if calling from a pay phone, be prepared for them to deny your claim for a taxi cab. The average waiting time may be anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on demand and time of day. All Taxis in Republic of Ireland operate on a National Fare basis, so the price should be relatively easy to calculate. Taxi's are required to have clearly a visible photo ID for the driver in the cabin and a security sealed and calibrated meter clearly visible. For more information, see the Commission of Taxi Regulation website [30]. Always ensure that the taxi you use has a meter, and that it is used for the duration of your journey. Tolls and certain other regulated fees (such as a per passenger fee) are added by the driver to the metered fare using buttons on the meter.

App based hailing with Uber and MyTaxi is common in urban areas but less available in rural areas/smaller towns. Please note that after midnight the hailing apps may involve longer wait times as many drivers log off, preferring more financially lucrative street hails.

Rules of the Road/Road User Etiquette[edit]

Driving and road rules in Ireland are similar to those of the United Kingdom - e.g. drive on the left and yield to the right on roundabout. The most noticeable difference is the fact that distances and speed limits are in kilometres per hour (km/h) in the Republic of Ireland. This can be confusing to anyone travelling across the border from Northern Ireland, which, like Britain, uses miles and miles per hour. The legal blood-alcohol limit is low, so it may be best to abstain. It is perfectly legal to temporarily use the hard shoulder to allow a faster moving vehicle overtake you, but remember that this maneouver is not allowed on a motorway. Unlike the UK pulling into a yellow "keep clear" box at a junction is permitted providing you are joining from another road/exit and you can clear any other lanes.

Drivers often 'thank' each other, or give right of way by flashing their hazard or main beam lights or waving - this is purely a convention. Road signs in the Republic are nominally bilingual, with place names displayed in Irish in italic font, with the corresponding English name in capitals immediately below. In the "Gaeltacht" areas (Irish-Speaking districts in the south-west (Kerry), west (Galway, Mayo), and north-west (Donegal), as well as other smaller gaeltacht areas in Meath and Waterford), road signs are written in Irish only. In Northern Ireland road signs are in English only and all distances are given in miles. There are five types of road classification:

Speed limits are defaults for the road classification only - if a lower speed limit is signed, it must be obeyed. Urban areas generally have a 50km/h speed limit.

  • M-roads (Motorways, indicated by white on blue signs; Speed limit 120km per hour)
  • N-roads N1 - N50 (National Primary routes, main arterial routes indicated by white/yellow on green signs; Speed limit 100km per hour)
  • N-Roads N51+ (National Secondary routes - green signs; Speed Limit 100km per hour)
  • R-roads (Regional roads, indicated by black on white signs; Speed limit 80km per hour)
  • L-roads (Local roads, white signs - rarely marked, although signage is improving)

Ireland has an extensive motorway network which centers around Dublin. The main motorways are:

  • The M50 (ring road around Dublin)
  • The M1 (from Dublin to NI border) goes towards Belfast.
  • The M2 (from Dublin to Ashbourne) towards Derry.
  • The M3 (from Dublin to Cavan)
  • The M4 (from Dublin to Mullingar) heads towards Sligo.
  • The M6 (from Dublin to Galway) splits from M4 in the Midlands.
  • The M7 (from Dublin to Limerick)
  • The M8 (from junction with the M7 to Cork)
  • The M9 (from Junction with the M7 to Waterford)
  • The M11 (from Dublin to Wexford) along the east coast
  • The M17/M18 (from Limerick to Galway to Gort)

Note that most motorways in the Republic have some tolled sections. Tolls are low by French or Italian standards, and vary from €1.90 upwards, depending on which motorway you are traveling on. Tolls are displayed a few kilometers from the plaza. For the visitor, it's important to note that the only tolled road that accepts credit cards is the M4 between Kilcock and Kinnegad. All others (except the M50) are Euro cash only, so take care if you're arriving from the North via the M1. The M50 is barrier free and accepts no cash. Cameras are located on overhead gantries between J6 & J7 which read your number plate. If you have registered before online or by phone €2.60 will be taken from your credit card for each transit. If you have not registered, you must go with details of your vehicles registration number to a Payzone branded outlet or online to and pay the toll there. This option costs €3.10.

For 2010, the tolled sections and their charges (for private cars) are as follows:

  • M1, Drogheda bypass section, €1.90
  • M3, entire route, 2 tolls each of €1.40
  • M4, Kilcock to Kinnegad section, €2.90
  • M6, Galway - Ballinasloe, €1.90
  • M7, Portlaoise to Castletown section, €1.90
  • M8, Fermoy bypass section, €1.90
  • M50, Prices vary €2.10 with eToll tag, €2.60 with video account (number plate recognition) and €3.10 with no account. Tolls MUST be paid online before 20:00 the following day or a €70 fine will automatically be issued.
  • M50, Dublin Port Tunnel, €10 (0600-1000 Northbound, 1600-1900 Southbound); €3 (all other times and public holidays); Free for heavy goods vehicles (greater than 2.5t), buses with greater than 25 seats, and vehicles of disabled drivers (with proper permits)
  • Dublin East Link, €1.40
  • Limerick Tunnel (M7/M18), €1.90
  • N25 Waterford Bridge, €1.90

There are numerous routes of high quality dual carriageway, which are very near motorway standard; Dublin-Wicklow, Sligo-Collooney (Sligo), Mullingar-Athlone, and Cork-Middleton (Waterford).

Lesser roads, are, in many parts, poorly signposted, the only indication of what route to take often being a finger-sign at the junction itself. The road surfaces can be very poor on the lesser used R- & L- numbered routes.

Driving on regional and local roads in Ireland requires etiquette, courtesy and nerves of steel. Roads are generally narrow with little to no shoulder or room for error. Sight lines can be limited or non-existent until you are partway into the road. Caution should be taken when entering onto the roadway as well as when driving along it, with the understanding that around the next turn may be another motorist partway into the road. This is especially true in rural areas. Parking along the road, farm animals, as well as large lorries or machinery may also appear around the bend and be the cause for quick thinking or braking. It is not unusual for oncoming cars to navigate to a wide spot in the road to pass each other. On the other hand, when driving slower than following cars, it is common for drivers to allow others to pass or signal if the way is clear. Calculating driving time can be slower than expectations, due to the large increase in motorists and road conditions/hazards.

Speed Limits[edit]

As mentioned above, speed limits in the Republic of Ireland (but not in Northern Ireland) are in kilometres per hour. The general maximum speed limits are as follows:

  • Built-up area (e.g., in a residential or shopping district) - 50 km/h and sometimes 30 km/h
  • Regional or Local Road (e.g., R292, R134, L12345, etc.) - 80 km/h
  • National Road (e.g., N7, N17, N56, etc.) - 100 km/h
  • Motorway (e.g., M1, M4, etc.) - 120 km/h
  • Exceptions - M50 from the M1 to Junction 16 - 100km/h

Local Councils may apply other limits in specific areas as required. Also when roads are being maintained or worked upon in some way, the limit may be temporarily changed.

There is occasional use of average speed cameras. These record your journey time (through number plate recognition) between cameras placed at fixed distances from each other. If your travel time between the two cameras is quicker than the measured time for a vehicle travelling at the speed limit you are automatically issued a ticket. A set of average speed cameras are permanently installed in Dublin's Port Tunnel.

Car rental companies[edit]

There is no shortage of car rental companies in Ireland with all of the major airports, cities, major towns and ports throughout Ireland being well catered for. Renting a car in Ireland is very similar to the processes elsewhere in that you need a credit card in your own name and a full driver's license for a minimum of two years without endorsement. Most car rental companies in Ireland apply a minimum age of 25 in order to rent a car, but in many cases you will need to be 28 in order to rent a full-size car. Car rentals in Ireland comes with the minimum insurance which will cover the car, but leave you with an excess deductible in the case of an accident. Additional insurance, known as Super Collision Damage Waiver, can be purchased to protect yourself against this excess when picking up the car.

Short term car sharing is available in many cities, with GoCar being the most popular option. Fees are per 30 minute time slot with a per km fee added (waived for electric vehicles). These Car Sharing services also have the advantage of free parking in Dublin City and designated bays throughout the city (painted Car Club Only).

It is also possible to rent a campervan, and there are quite a number of companies offering campervans for hire.

By plane[edit]

With improvements to the Motorway network, Domestic flights in Ireland have been reduced drastically, and are now only available between Dublin and Kerry and Donegal.

By train[edit]

See also Rail travel in Ireland

Intercity Train in Ireland

Most trains in Ireland (all operated by the state-run Irish Rail [31] also known by their Irish name, Iarnród Éireann) operate to and from Dublin. Enormous expenditure on modernising the state-owned Irish Rail system is ongoing, including the introduction of many new trains. The frequency and speed of services is being considerably increased, especially on the Dublin-Cork line. If you book on-line for Intercity travel, be aware that there may be a cheaper fare option available to you at the ticket office in the train station itself. Not all special rates, e.g., for families, are available on line.

Advance booking can result in big savings and booking can be made a month in advance, e.g. an adult return between Kerry and Dublin can cost €75 if booked for the next day but can cost as little as €20 - €30 if booked well in advance. Trains nearly always book out for major sporting events in Dublin such the GAA Semi-Finals and Finals and Major Rugby and Soccer Internationals. Pay notice to this if planning to travel on weekends during August and September. The 1st and 3rd Sunday of September see both All-Ireland finals held and buses and trains see a massive upsurge in Travel as well the main roads to the counties participating.

Free WiFi is available on all services.

Note that there are two main stations in Dublin - Connolly Station (for trains to Belfast, Dundalk, Sligo, Wexford and Rosslare) and Heuston Station (for trains to Cork, Limerick, Ennis, Tralee, Killarney, Galway, Westport, Kilkenny and Waterford.)

In the Northern Ireland , almost all services are operated by NIR [32] (Northern Ireland Railways).

In the Dublin city area the electrified DART [33] (acronym for Dublin Area Rapid transit) coastal railway travels from Malahide and the Howth peninsula in the North to Bray and Greystones in Co. Wicklow via Dún Laoghaire and Dublin city center. An interchange with main line services and the Luas Red line is available at Dublin Connolly.

By Tram/Metro[edit]

Dublin has a tram system, known as Luas [34] (the Irish word for 'speed'). There are two lines. One (the red-line) operates from Dublin's Docklands starting at The Point (beside the O2 Arena, note this is the closest station to Dublin port passenger terminal but is still a ~3km walk) and the city center (Connolly Station) to a large suburb south-west of the City (Tallaght) and the other (the green line) runs south (to Bride's Glen) through the city center from Broombridge in the north of the city. Connection between the Red and Green Luas line is in the city center at O'Connell St / Abbey. Tickets must be purchased from machines before boarding the tram. Tickets are checked in the Luas at random by guards but generally ticketing works on a trust system. Public transport smartcards (Leap Cards) must be tagged on and off at terminals on the platform. Fines for fare-dodging can be quite high, and forgetting to tag on is considered such. The Luas red line provides a very useful link between Dublin's Connolly and Heuston railway stations.

A Metro line from Dublin Airport to the city center is planned to begin construction in 2019.

By bus[edit]

  • Bus Éireann [35] (or Irish Bus) operates an extensive intercity network plus local services in major towns. Bus Eireann's website provides various options for buying online bus tickets which offer a substantial discount compared to buying them at the station or on the bus, which can be extremely expensive (example: €22 for 95km one-way journey Cork to Ballydehob in West Cork).
  • Ulsterbus [36] operates bus services throughout the North.

A number of privately-owned companies also provide intercity services. These include:

  • JJ Kavanagh & Sons [37] operate an extensive intercity network directly from Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport to Limerick , Carlow , Waterford , Clonmel ,Kilkenny and Dublin city Center plus local services in some towns and cities.
  • Citylink [38] provides frequent services from Galway to Dublin, Cork (via Limerick) and Clifden.
  • Dublin Coach [39] connects Dublin with Limerick and Portlaoise. Notably, the Portlaoise service operates every hour 24/7.
  • GoBus [40] runs a non-stop service between Galway and Dublin + Dublin Airport.
  • Aircoach [41] connects Dublin with Belfast, Cork and other small towns in the Dublin area. Aircoach also offers 24hr bus services to/from Dublin Airport.

Several bus companies accept the Leap public transport smartcard. Though it is advisable to check in advance that both the company and the particular route you will travel on accept the card. Some services may only accept stored credit from the card and not honor daily or weekly passes. Most intercity bus services have free WiFi on board and are served by large comfortable modern coaches.

By boat[edit]

  • Shannon cruises are a leisurely way of traveling from one town to another. Dromineer and Carrick on Shannon are good bases.
  • There are many canals in Ireland, and it is possible to travel by barge on some of them.

By bicycle[edit]

Ireland has beautiful scenery which makes cycling enjoyable. However, road and weather conditions vary a lot, so make sure to get a good touring bike with solid tires. Biking along the south and west coasts you can be prepared for variable terrain, lots of hills and often into the wind. There are plenty of campgrounds along the way for long distance cyclists.

Several long distance "greenways" provide long distance recreational and transport cycling and walking links usually on the former path of closed railway lines ( ). Take note of signs and lane markings along the greenways for cycling and walking traffic and keep to the rules and your lane on the path. Hotels, B&Bs and restaurants are easily accessible along the greenways and are often opened to serve greenway traffic in particular.

  • The Great Western Greenway in Mayo is 42km long and stretches from Westport to Achill Island.
  • The Waterford Greenway in Co. Waterford is 46km long and stretches from Waterford City to Dungarvan.
  • The Great Southern Trail in Co. Limerick is 40km long and stretches from Rathkeale to Abbeyfeale.
  • The Grand Canal Way extends along the tow path of the Grand Canal for 117km and links Dublin to Shannon Harbour in the West of the country.
  • The Royal Canal Way extends along the tow path of the Royal Canal for 144km and link Dublin to Longford in the North-West.
  • The Great Eastern Greenway in Co. Louth extends 7km from Carlingford Lough to Omeath.
  • The Boyne Greenway is currently under construction and will extend 45km from Drogheda to Enfield with interconnection there to a planned 276km Dublin-Galway cycleway (EuroVelo EM2). 6km of greenway is currently accessible between Pass, Co. Meath and the Newgrange interpretive center.

Dublin has some marked bicycle lanes and a few non-road cycle tracks. Traffic is fairly busy, but a cyclist confident with road cycling in other countries should have no special difficulties (except maybe for getting used to riding on the left). Note that, in Ireland, left turning cars have right of way over cyclists to their left. Cyclists have no special right of way over cars, particularly when using shared use paths by the side of a road, but share and get equal priority when in the traffic lane. Helmets are not legally required, but widely available for those who wish to use them.

There are bike sharing schemes in all major cities. Dublin Bikes being the oldest and largest, with 1600 bikes available to the public at 116 stations across the city center. The bikes are free to take for the first half hour with a modest fee thereafter, although a deposit of €150 is required in case of the bike being stolen or damaged. When finished riding simply bring the bike back to any station and get your deposit back. Ensure that the bike is properly docked with the station as you could be charged for the time if the station does not properly register the bike as returned. The bike sharing schemes in regional cities are operated as a separate network by Bikeshare ( )

By bus tour operator[edit]

There are many tour operators in Ireland, which can take you around the country stress-free and allow you to drink as much Guinness as you wish. There are options from budget larger groups in coaches to smaller group tours in luxury mini-coaches. The guides may provide an insight into Irish history and culture you may not be able to learn on your own. If you wish to book your own bus to travel around Ireland their are many reputable companies.


Overall, Ireland has a mild and cool changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. In Ireland you may indeed experience 'four seasons in one day', so pack accordingly and keep up-to-date with the lastest weather forecast. No matter the weather, expect it to be a topic of conversation amongst the locals.

You may notice slight differences in temperature between the north and south of the country, and significantly more rain in the west compared with the east. Strong winds and storms, especially in coastal Atlantic areas, are common.

Mean daily winter temperatures vary from 4°C to 7°C, and mean daily summer temperatures vary from 14.5°C to 16°C. Temperatures will rarely exceed 25°C and will rarely fall below -5°C.

Regardless of when you visit Ireland, even in middle of the summer, you will more than likely experience rain, so if you intend being outdoors, a waterproof coat is recommended.


Portal Dolmen

English is the native language of most Irish people and is spoken everywhere, but Irish (Gaeilge) is the first official, and national, language. It is part of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic family of languages, and is very similar to, but not mutually intelligible with, Scottish Gaelic.

Many people have some limited understanding of Irish and it is only regularly used by approximately 73,000 people, most of whom live in rural areas known as the Gaeltachts. About 39% of people in the Republic claim to understand and speak the language at some level, but a general lack of interest and practice outside schools tends to weaken proficiency. Given this, those who wish to try their hand at Gaeilge should consider visiting a Gaeltacht.

As the Gaeltachts are generally scenic areas it is likely that visitors will go there. Tourists are not expected to speak Irish, but attempts at speaking Irish with the locals are greatly appreciated. The language will also be noticeable on road signs, etc. For instance, a law was recently passed that changes the name of Dingle, County Kerry to An Daingean, the Irish version. This should not confuse visitors, as almost all recent maps carry placenames in both languages in Gaeltacht districts.

In order to enter most Irish Universities, it is necessary for Irish citizens to have taken Irish to Leaving Certificate (examinations taken on leaving secondary or high school) level, and passed. Indeed it is a compulsory language at school in the Republic, although its method of teaching has come under criticism. Nevertheless, although it has come under threat, and some resent being forced to learn the language, others see use of the language as an expression of national pride.

There is some Irish language broadcasting on TV and radio. Irish is related (but certainly not identical) to Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig). The Ulster dialect of Irish has most in common with Scottish Gaelic. However, some Irish people may take offence if you call Irish "Gaelic," as this is seen as being an incorrect term, and refers to the entire family of languages that includes Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic. Referring to it simply as "Irish" is a fine alternative. It is not necessary to know any Irish in order to get around in Ireland, though it will be appreciated if you refer to public bodies, institutions and figures by their Irish titles.

See[edit][add listing]

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  • Blarney Castle - Located in County Cork This historic castle is known for its "Blarney Stone." Tradition is that if the Blarney Stone is kissed, one will be blessed with great eloquence, better known as "the gift of the gab." One kisses the stone by lying back and being held by an employee of the castle. Photographers are there to capture the moment!
  • Cliffs of Moher - Located in County Clare One of Ireland's biggest and most visited tourist attractions. The Cliffs are 230 meters in height and tower over the Atlantic Ocean. This attraction, whilst beautiful in the Summer, can be a bit of a tourist trap. If you intend to take your own transport, the over-priced car park is your only option (since the road is too narrow to park on) and to purchase your 'pay-and-display' parking ticket, you will need to go all the way through the gift shop (on the opposite side of the road), before returning to place it in your car.
  • Kilkenny - One of Ireland's favourite tourist spots, this Medieval Capital just 1 hour 40 minutes train out of Dublin City is a must see. Its beautiful buildings and of course imposing Norman Castle - not to mention the numerous festivals including the Arts Festival and Rhythm and Roots Festival - make Kilkenny a most desirable location.
  • Killarney - Killarney is situated on the on the shores of Lough Leane in the beautiful County of Kerry. It’s a stop off on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive and is a must see while visiting Ireland.
  • Dingle - Situated in County Kerry, Dingle is a small scenic and popular town on the Ireland's Southwest Dingle Peninsula, known for its rugged scenery, trails and sandy beaches.
  • County Donegal - An amazing area to see if you have your own transport, as bus services can be fairly limited. This part of the country is very traditional and you can expect to see plenty of low stone walls, thatched roof houses, rugged hills, cliffs and golden sand beaches. Best visited during Spring or Summer, there are plenty of hills walks and photo opportunities waiting to be discovered.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Bus Tours - For travellers wishing to experience Ireland on a budget, there are a variety of inexpensive bus tours in almost every part of the country. These tours can range from hop-on hop-off busses in major cities such as Dublin and Cork to 5-day trips through some of the most scenic parts of the country. The bus drivers/guides are generally well informed about Irish history and enjoy sharing local legends and songs with anyone happy to 'lend an ear'.


Bunratty Castle County Clare

The Irish love sport. The largest sporting organisation in Ireland, and the largest amateur sporting organisation in the world, is the Gaelic Athletic Association, more commonly referred to as the GAA. The GAA governs Ireland's two national sports which are Gaelic Football and Hurling.

Gaelic Football could at its simplest be described as a cross between soccer and rugby, though older than both. Australian football is a descendant of this sport and regular "international rules" matches take place based on a blending of the two sports rules.

Hurling is the fastest field game in the world. Hurling's history can be traced back more than 3000 years and the sport is referenced in ancient legends such as the "Ulster Cycle". Hurling is thought to be one of the progenitor of Hockey and similar sports in Scotland (Shinty), the Isle of Man (Cammag) and Wales (Bando).

Both sports are strictly played on an amateur basis, payment to players and trading of players beyond the area of their birth/schooling is not permitted. No visit to Ireland, especially during the summer months, would be complete without seeing a Gaelic Football or Hurling match, ideally live, but at least on TV. The biggest matches of the year take place during summer culminating in the two finals which are both in September, on two separate Sundays. The All-Ireland Hurling Final is normally on the first Sunday of September and the All-Ireland Football final is on the third Sunday of September. These are the two largest individual sporting events in Ireland, so tickets are difficult to acquire. Croke Park, the venue for the two finals, has a capacity of 82,300 people, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe. Those that can't get tickets will crowd around televisions and radios, and around the world Irish people will be watching or listening to the finals broadcast via satellite and the internet.

While Gaelic Football and Hurling are the two biggest sports, Ireland has much else to offer. Ireland is a world leader in breeding and training race horses. There are many race tracks around the country and many big racing festivals throughout the year. Greyhound racing is also a feature and tracks are located in major cities.

Golf is another huge sport in Ireland. Ireland has many great professionals, but for the visitor there are many golf courses around the country. Golfing holidays are popular.

Soccer and Rugby are also popular in Ireland. Ireland's rugby team in particular is amongst the best in the world (and is a unified team for both Northern Ireland and the Republic). There are also many soccer clubs around Ireland and both sports have many competitions.

Being an island, Ireland has many water sports. Sailing is popular. On the west coast in particular, Ireland has very high seas, ideal for surfing, even if the weather isn't always great. Kitesurfing and land-sailing is often practiced on major beaches. Diving is also popular both in freshwater and on the coasts.

Extreme sports such as Parajumping/wingsuit flying, rafting, mountain biking and climbing are also options.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Ireland has the euro (€) as its sole currency along with 24 other countries that use this common European money. These 24 countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain (official euro members which are all European Union member states) as well as Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and the Vatican which use it without having a say in eurozone affairs and without being European Union members. Together, these countries have a population of more than 330 million.

One euro is divided into 100 cents. While each official euro member (as well as Monaco, San Marino and Vatican) issues its own coins with a unique obverse, the reverse, as well as all bank notes, look the same throughout the eurozone. Every coin is legal tender in any of the eurozone countries.

In Ireland, the currency is pronounced as Euro, i.e. without the s, even for amounts worth €2 or higher.

Ireland introduced rounding for cash payments in 2015 which has resulted in the the almost complete abolition of the 1 and 2 cent coins (although these coins still remain legal tender for payment). Cash amounts ending in 1, 2, 6, and 7 cent will be rounded down to the nearest 5 cent and cash amounts ending in 4, 5, 8, and 9 cent will be rounded up to the next 5 cent. This rounding only applies to the total amount and not to each individual item. Rounding does not apply to credit and debit card transactions.

Stand Alone Cash machines (ATMs) are widely available in every city and town in the country and credit cards are accepted in 90% of outlets. Fees are not generally charged by Irish ATMs (but be aware that your bank may charge a fee).

Along border areas, as the UK pound sterling is currency in Northern Ireland, it is common for UK pounds to be accepted as payment, with change given in Euro. Some outlets, notably border petrol stations will give change in sterling if requested. (Fuel is now generally cheaper in the South, resulting in many Northern motorists purchasing their fuel South of the border.) A handful of high-street shops in Dublin, including some hotels, will take payment in British Pounds. Differences in prices of goods between the Irish Euro and the British Pound have resulted in increasing numbers of Irish shoppers crossing the border to purchase goods which are a lot cheaper in Northern Ireland than in the Republic.


ATMs are widely available throughout Ireland. Even in small towns it is unlikely that you will be unable to find an ATM. Many shops and pubs will have an ATM in store, and unlike the UK, they cost the same to use as 'regular' ATMs on the street. Though in-shop ATMs are slightly more likely to run out of cash and be 'Out of Service'.

Credit Cards[edit]

Mastercard, Maestro and Visa are accepted virtually everywhere. American Express and Diners Club are now also fairly widely accepted. Discover card is very rarely accepted and it would not be wise to rely on this alone. Most ATM's allow cash withdrawals on major credit cards and internationally branded debit cards.

Most payment terminals require chip and PIN credit & debit cards. Where non-chip and pin cards are supported, staff may still be unfamiliar with the use of such cards in the terminal.

Contactless payments, including Apple Pay and Google Pay are supported by most vendors that accept cards with a usual transaction limit of 30 euro.

Tax Free Shopping[edit]

If you are a tourist from a non-EU country, you may be able to receive a partial refund of VAT tax (which currently stands at 23%.) However, unlike some other countries, there is no unified scheme under which a tourist can claim this refund back. The method of refund depends solely on the particular retailer and so tourists should ask the retailer before they make a purchase if they wish to receive a VAT refund.

One scheme retailers who are popular with tourists operate is private (ie. non-governmental) VAT refund agents. Using this scheme, the shopper receives a magnetic stripe card which records the amount of purchases and VAT paid every time a purchase is made and then claims the VAT back at the airport, minus commission to the VAT refund agent, which is often quite substantial. There are multiple such VAT refund agents and so you may need to carry multiple cards and make multiple claims at the airport. However, note that there may NOT be a VAT refund agent representative at the airport or specific terminal where you will be departing from, or it may not be open at the time you depart. In which case, getting a refund back could become more cumbersome as you may need to communicate with the VAT refund agent from your home country.

If the retailer does not operate the VAT refund agent scheme, they may tell you that you all you have to do is take the receipt they produce to the airport and claim the refund at the VAT refund office at the airport. However, this is incorrect. Irish Revenue does not make any VAT refunds directly to tourists. Tourists are responsible for having receipts stamped by customs, either in Ireland upon departure or at their home country upon arrival and then send these receipts as proof of export directly to the Irish retailer which is obligated to make a VAT refund directly to the tourist. Therefore, for example, if you have made 10 different purchases at 10 different retailers, you will need to make 10 separate claims for refunds with every single retailer. Note, however, that some retailers do not participate in the scheme all together and so you may not be able to get any VAT refund from some retailers. Therefore, if you plan on receiving VAT tourist refund on your purchases in Ireland, you should be careful where you shop and which refund scheme they operate, if any.

Further details on VAT tourist refunds can be found in the document Retail Export Scheme (Tax-Free Shopping for Tourists) .

Eat[edit][add listing]

Food is expensive in Ireland, although quality has improved enormously in the last ten years. Most small towns will have a supermarket and many have a weekly farmers' market. The cheapest option for eating out is either fast food or pubs. Many pubs offer a carvery lunch consisting of roasted meat, vegetables and the ubiquitous potatoes, which is usually good value. Selection for vegetarians is limited outside the main cities. The small town of Kinsale near Cork has become internationally famous for its many excellent restaurants, especially fish restaurants. In the northwest of the country Donegal Town is fast becoming the seafood capital of Ireland.


Irish stew and a pint of Guinness

Irish cuisine can charitably be described as hearty: virtually all traditional meals involve meat (especially lamb and pork), potatoes, and cabbage. Long cooking times are the norm and spices are limited to salt and pepper. Classic Irish dishes include:

  • Boxty, potato pancakes
  • Champ, mashed potatoes with spring onions
  • Coddle, a stew of potatoes, pork sausages and bacon; a speciality of Dublin
  • Colcannon, mashed potatoes and cabbage
  • Irish breakfast, a famously filling spread of bacon, eggs, sausages and white and/or black pudding, a type of pork sausage made with blood (black) or without (white). Irish Breakfast is often just refered to as a "fry", and is usually available well past normal breakfast times in restaurants.
  • Mixed Grill. Similar to the Irish Breakfast, but with added lamb chop, chips, and peas.
  • Irish stew, a stew of potatoes and lamb (not beef!), with carrots, celery and onions in a watery broth full of flavour
  • Bacon and Cabbage, popular and traditional meal in rural Ireland, found on many menus
  • Seafood Pie, a traditional dish of chunky fish pieces topped with mashed potato and melted cheese

Note that the first four listed dishes (and their names) vary regionally, and are not common throughout the entire country.

Several Irish-American dishes/products such as "Corned beef", "Potato Candy", "rarebit" and "Lucky Charms" are American in origin and not commonly found/known in Ireland. "Bread and butter pudding", "Shepard's Pie" and "Bangers and Mash" are typical english dishes, the former is occasionally found on Irish menus (as an english dish), the latter is not.

Try some gorgeous soda bread, made with buttermilk and leavened with bicarbonate of soda rather than yeast. It is heavy, tasty and with butter almost a meal in itself!

Fast food (McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut) is also available which some combos being offered in Dublin suburbs for as low as 3.40 EUR although it can be up to 12 EUR.

The days when potatoes were the only thing on the menu are long past, and modern Irish cuisine emphasizes fresh local ingredients, simply prepared and presented, and utilizes influences from many countries across the world. Ireland has also since embraced a cosmopolitan restaurant and food industry that has incorporated many novel varieties of cuisine. Common ingredients still include meat (especially lamb), seafood, and dairy, and Western meat staples found elsewhere, such as chicken and pork, are also regularly served in Ireland. Today, these elements have been blended with other ethnic techniques and flavor profiles found outside of strictly traditional Irish cuisine. In many instances, restaurants that serve ethnic food are more plentiful (and some would argue more appealing to locals) than classical Irish fare. Thai, Indian, Italian, American, and Mediterranean influenced food is plentiful in Ireland's larger cities and is very good.


Only basic table manners are considered necessary when eating out, unless you're with company that has a more specific definition of what is appropriate. As a general rule, so long as you don't make a show of yourself by disturbing other diners there's little else to worry about. It's common to see other customers using their mobile phones - this sometimes attracts the odd frown or two but goes largely ignored. If you do need to take a call, keep it short and try not to raise your voice. The only other issue to be concerned about is noise - a baby crying might be forgivable if it's resolved fairly quickly, a contingent of adults laughing very loudly every couple of minutes or continuously talking out loud may attract negative attention. However, these rules are largely ignored in fast-food restaurants, pubs and some more informal restaurants.


Traditionally, tipping was never considered to be a necessity and was entirely optional. However, recently it has become common to tip up to 10% of the bill total in restaurants with table service. This can depend on where you are in Ireland, with tipping more common place in the larger cities such as Dublin. Some establishments will add a 10-15% service charge on top of the obligatory 13.5% Government VAT charge, especially for larger groups. If a service charge is levied, a tip would not normally be left, unless to reward exceptional service.

It is customary to round Taxi fares up to the nearest euro, or to the nearest 5 for exceptional service.

If you were unhappy with the service, then you would normally leave no tip.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Matt Molloy's pub in Westport Co. Mayo

The drinking age in Ireland is 18.

Alcohol is very expensive in most areas of the Republic. Pints of Guinness start at €1.75 per pint in Galway, can get as high as €9 in Dublin, and does not become less expensive until you reach Northern Ireland. While in the North, pints of Guinness instantly become cheaper by €1 on average. Despite this, public houses (more commonly known as pubs) are plentiful and frequented often by locals in most cities in Ireland, though the environment in each can be substantially different depending on the time of day one attends. Nightclubs that serve alcohol can also be regularly found in Ireland, however they may charge a cover fee and higher prices for beverages than pubs.

Ireland is the home of some of the world's greatest whiskey, having a rich tradition going back hundreds if not thousands of years. With around fifty popular brands today these are exported around the world and symbolise everything that is pure about Ireland and where a visit to an Irish distillery is considered very worthwhile. The Jameson distillery is a common tourist destination found near the center of Dublin.

Another one of Ireland's most famous exports is stout, a dark, dry beer. The strong taste can be initially off-putting but perseverance is well-rewarded! The most famous variety is Guinness, brewed in Dublin and available throughout the country. Murphy's and Beamish stout are brewed in Cork and available mainly in the south of the country. Murphy's is slightly sweeter and creamier-tasting than Guinness, while Beamish has a strong, almost burnt taste. Several micro-breweries are now producing their own interesting varieties of stout, including O'Hara's in Carlow, the Porter House in Dublin and the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork. Ales such as Smithwick's are also popular, particularly in rural areas. Bulmers Cider (known outside the Republic as 'Magners Cider') is also a popular and widely available Irish drink. It is brewed in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

Nearly all the pubs in Ireland are 'free houses', i.e. they can sell drink from any brewery and are not tied to one brewery (unlike the UK). You can get the same brands of drink in all pubs in Ireland across the country.

There are a number of 'microbreweries' in Ireland, and brew-pubs which brew their own specialty drinks. Availability varies depending on region and typical clientele of the establishment. Recent years has also seen the development of small-batch whiskey and gin distillers. Small amounts of mead (a lightly alcoholic beverage of fermented honey) are also produced by artisan brewers.

All pubs (and nightclubs) in Ireland by law have to close by a certain time, depending on venue and the day. This varies from 11:30pm to 1:30am, to 3:30am. The owners will flash the lights (or less commonly sometimes ring a bell) to signal that it is almost 'closing time', this is 'last orders' and is your last chance to get a drink. When the pub (or club) wants to close, they will frequently turn on all the lights as a signal for people to finish up and leave.

It is important to note that it is illegal to smoke in all pubs and indeed places of work in Ireland. Many pubs and restaurants have provided 'smoking areas' outside their premises where space has allowed them to.

The other competitor for national drink of Ireland is tea. The Irish drink more tea per capita than any other people in the world. Cork, Dublin and Galway abound with slick, stylish coffee bars, but if you visit any Irish home you will probably be offered a cup of tea (usually served with milk, unless you explicitly state otherwise!). Coffee is also widely drunk in Ireland. (If you don't drink tea, you drink coffee!)

Energy drinks, soda, juice, water, milk are all also available.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are hotels of all standards including some very luxurious. These are useful resources for booking hotels [42] or [43]Bed and Breakfast is widely available and a wide selection of Tourist Board Approved bed and breakfasts can be found on the B&B Ireland website [44]. These are usually very friendly, quite often family-run and good value. There are independent hostels which are marketed as Independent Holiday Hostels of Ireland [45], which are all tourist board approved. There is also an official youth hostel association - An Óige [46] (Irish for The Youth). These hostels are often in remote and beautiful places, designed mainly for the outdoors.

There are official campsites although fewer than many countries (given the climate). Wild camping is generally tolerated, although you should seek permission if it is directly within eye shot of the landowners house. Never camp in a field in which livestock are present and be aware that there is no right to roam, private land can be excluded from public access at the owners will, even without signage. There are also specialist places to stay such as lighthouses, castles and ringforts.


No stay in Ireland is complete without sampling its magnificent language, first language to thousands across the island. A few common phrases are easy to pick up. It is however important to note that the vast majority of Irish people do not speak, or in many cases understand, the Irish language with any degree of fluency. A tourist using the Irish language will very often be greeted with indifference.

Some Useful Irish Phrases:

  • Please: Le do thoil
    (Leh duh hull)
  • Goodbye: Slán
  • How are you? Conas atá tú?/Cén chaoi ina bhfuil tú?
    (cunas a taw two) (cane cwe in a vuill two)
  • Hello: Dia dhuit
    (dee a gwit)
  • Thank you: Go raibh maith agat
    (guh rev mah agat)
  • Tomorrow: Amárach
    (a maw rock)
  • Excuse me: Gabh mo leithscéal
    (Go muh leh scayl)
  • What's your name? Cad is ainm duit?
    (cod is an im dit(ch))
  • Cheers!: Sláinte (slawn cha)

You can learn many interesting facts about Ireland's history and culture. One of the things Ireland is most famous for is Irish dancing. (Riverdance, a popular show centered on Irish step dancing, started in Ireland.) Irish traditional music is also popular throughout.

Ireland has internationally-respected universities, including the venerable Trinity College Dublin (the only college of the University of Dublin). The National University of Ireland has constituent colleges in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Maynooth. Other colleges/universities include Dublin City University (DCU), University of Limerick (UL), Institues of Technology in the larger towns/cities around the country and other higher education colleges.

Literature has many great Irish authors (writing in both Irish and in English), including James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan and Oliver Goldsmith. The writer of Gulliver's Travels, Dean Jonathan Swift, was from Dublin, and poets W. B. Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh also hailed from Ireland. There are many literary tourist attractions and tours in Dublin, especially. Many of these literally works have annual festivals or events associated with them, such as Bloomsday (16th June, celebrating James Joyce's Ulysses).


Ireland is part of the European Union/European Economic Area, and as such any EU/EEA or Swiss national has an automatic right to take up employment in Ireland. Non EU/EEA citizens will generally require a work permit and visa. Further information can be found on Citizens Information [47], the Irish government's public services information website.

1 Year Working Holiday Authorisations are available for citizens of the following countries/territories:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong (PRC)
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan (ROC)
  • United States of America

Note that with a Working Holiday Authorisation, you must register with the Garda Nation Immigration Bureau and apply for a registration card after initial entry but before taking up employment. While it is possible to apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation while you are already present in Ireland on a tourist visa, long wait times for visa processing will rule that out in practice. If you intend working during any part of your stay you should apply for the appropriate visa well in advance of you planned trip.

Stay safe[edit]

Crime is low by European standards and mainly fuelled by alcohol. That being said, it wouldn't hurt to know the following:

  • Make transport arrangements for getting home if going out or returning after dark. Almost all hotels, pubs, and restaurants will have phone numbers of local taxi services. Most violent crime happens at night, so if you're waiting for a taxi, stay where there is visible activity. Villages and small rural towns, however, are generally exempt from this as they tend to be much safer to walk around.
  • Ignore strangers who approach out of the blue to ask for something. They could try to pull a scam or distract you while an unseen accomplice helps themselves to the contents of your pockets.
  • Keep your hands close to your pockets and bags when in busy areas; especially in the likes of Dublin city centre. Pickpocketing happens all the time to unsuspecting tourists, so it's important to be on alert.
  • If you ask for directions and the volunteer offers to lead you there, never follow them unless you know for a fact that your destination is nearby. There have been rare occasions when tourists have been led to isolated locations by overly courteous volunteers only to be mugged. A general precaution to take is that if someone seems a little too happy to help, say "It's all right, I've just remembered" then walk away.
  • City buses are best avoided after midnight, as they can be hotbeds for theft and violence. If you must take one, sit alone and keep to yourself. On double-decker buses, always sit downstairs where the driver can intervene quickly if necessary.
  • In the very unlikely event you are mugged, co-operate. Thieves operate in groups and sometimes carry knives, making any attempt at retaliation a dangerous one. Once the assailants have left, go to the nearest Garda station and report the incident.
  • Binge drinking is common all over the country, and occurs mostly on weekends and public holidays. Irish people are quite sociable so do expect to be spoken to by strangers when in pubs, especially if you're American. However, a consequence of this is drunken behaviour increasing as the night progresses. If someone seems like they've had too much, don't interact with them. Even the friendliest of drunk people can turn confrontational given the slightest provocation. A simple "Enjoy yourself" and stroll in the other direction will end most unwanted conversations.
  • If driving on rural roads, exercise utmost caution. Irish countrysides are often carpeted by narrow, winding pothole-filled roads that only receive occasional maintenance. Plunging into a pothole at high speed can ruin tyres and sometimes overturn cars entirely.
  • Adherence to traffic regulations is somewhat lower in rural Ireland, with speeding and drink driving being more common than in the bigger cities. If you see another car coming at an unreasonable speed, slow down. Don't assume they will.

LGBT visitors will find the some of Irish are tolerant of same-sex couples. Ireland has recently passed a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage in May 2015, but it wasn't without its fair share of controversy and opposition so talking about it and LGBT rights in general probably should be avoided. Care should be taken outside Dublin and Cork. Conservative values still hold dear in rural and suburb areas of Ireland, as well as in many larger main cities. The risk of discrimination is fairly high. Ireland has anti-discrimination laws which are not well enforced but any incidents of a breach of the laws should be sent to the Equality Authority. There also is a heightened risk of physical attacks. Common sense should prevail in all areas but particular care should be taken in poorer areas. Some gay visitors may find themselves the butt of mild jokes in more working class areas. However this is normally the Irish sense of humor. If one feels this is not the case then common sense should prevail and if they feel in danger the Gardaí should be called.

If the official name of an institution is in Irish (such as the Oireachtas or Gardaí), try to use the Irish name, even if you are unsure as to the correct pronunciation. Irish people will generally be understanding and appreciate the effort even if you get it wrong, whereas they will often consider it culturally ignorant and rude if you simply use the English term instead.

The police force is known as An Garda Síochána (or just "Garda"), and police officers as Garda (singular) and Gardaí (plural, pronounced Gar-dee), though informally the English term Guard(s) is usual. The term Police is rarely used, but is of course understood. Regardless of what you call them, they are courteous and approachable. Uniformed members of the Garda Síochána do not, unlike the Police force in Northern Ireland, carry firearms. Firearms are, however, carried by detectives and officers assigned to Regional Support Units and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), a tactical unit similar to SWAT. Police security checks at Shannon Airport can be tough if you're a solo traveller.

If you need Gardaí, ambulance, fire service, coast guard or mountain rescue dial 112 or 999 as the emergency number; both work from landlines and mobile phones. Some Garda stations in rural areas may only be manned during specific hours, with 24hr cover provided by a nearby town or provincial station. Contact numbers are usually posted at these stations for the on-duty officers and emergency service operators will always route your call appropriately.

Again, Ireland is one of the safest countries in Europe. The vast majority of tourists encounter no problems during their stay. Get taxis at night, avoid drunk people, give no-one a reason to dislike you, and you'll be absolutely fine.

Stay healthy[edit]

Irish public healthcare is provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE), which is comparable in quality to most neighbouring healthcare systems. Visiting EU citizens are entitled to cost-free medical assistance in the event of an accident or illness if they apply for a European Health Insurance Card. Visitors outside out of the EU will need to purchase travel insurance or bear the full cost of medical care should they require it (with the exception of Australian citizens, due to a reciprocal treaty with Ireland covering healthcare access for visitors). Exceptions may apply for emergencies or in the case of hardship.


Since March 2004, almost all enclosed places of work, including bars, restaurants, cafés etc, in Ireland have been designated as smoke-free. Rooms in Hotels and Bed & Breakfast establishments are not required by law to be smoke-free. Even though they are not obliged to enforce the ban, owners of these establishments are, however; free to do so if they wish. Most hotels have designated some bedrooms or floors as smoking and some as non-smoking, so you should specify at the time of booking if you have a preference either way. The smoking ban also applies to common areas within buildings. This means for example that corridors, lobby areas and reception areas of buildings such as apartment blocks and hotels are also covered under the law.

Most larger bars and cafés will have a (covered) outdoor smoking area, often with heating. If one does not exist be aware that it is illegal to consume alcohol on the street so you may have to leave your drink at the bar.

Any person found guilty of breaching the ban on smoking in the workplace may be subject to a fine of up to €3,000.


Visitors to Ireland are likely to find the Irish to be among the most courteous nationalities in the world. It is not uncommon for locals to approach confused looking visitors and offer to help.

Often, in smaller towns and villages (especially on rural roads), if you pass somebody unknown to you, it is customary to say hello. They may instead simply greet you by asking "how are you?", or another similar variation. It is polite to respond to this greeting, but it is not expected that you would give any significant detail on how you really are! If the person is a stranger - a simple hello and/or "how are you?" or a simple comment on the weather will suffice! In this regard, try something like "Grand day!" (if it isn't raining, of course). The response will often be "It is indeed, thank God".

When driving on rural roads (particularly where a driver has to pull in to allow you to pass), it is customary to wave "thanks" to the other driver, by raising your hand from the steering wheel. This is particularly prevalent in rural areas of the West of Ireland where many drivers will automatically wave at everyone who drives past them. A polite hand wave (or even with just the index finger raised from the steering wheel) is customary and will be appreciated.

When accepting gifts, a polite refusal (such as, "No, really you shouldn't") is common after the initial offer of the item. Usually, this is followed with an insistence that the gift or offer is accepted, at which point your answer is likely to become more recognised. However, some people can be very persuasive and persistent. This usually isn't intended to be over-bearing, just courteous.

One thing which some visitors may find disconcerting is the response an Irish person may give to a "thank you". Most Irish people will respond with something along the lines of "It was nothing" or "not at all". This does not mean that they didn't try hard to please, but rather it is meant to suggest "I was happy to do it for you, so it was not any great difficulty" (even though it may have been!). This is simply the same as saying "de nada" in Spanish to mean "you're welcome."

The Republic of Ireland and Britain undoubtedly have notable similarities. However, Irish people generally take great pride in the cultural differences that also exist between Ireland and Britain. Locals can be quite offended by tourists who do not acknowledge or show respect to these differences. Indeed, it is not uncommon for visitors (both before and after arrival into the country) to incorrectly assume that all of Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom (similar to Scotland and Wales). This incorrect assumption will generally cause offense and/or bemusement to locals, who take pride in the Republic of Ireland's status as a state independent of the United Kingdom. This may lead to genuine curiosity about the differences between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Use of term "British" to incorrectly describe Irish people is considered to be deeply offensive, particularly in the Republic and among the nationalist community in Northern Ireland. Likewise the geographical descriptor of "British Isles" is considered offensive by many and is not referred to by any official Irish government published materials, agreements, laws or treaties. The islands are generally referred to as "the islands", "these isles" or the "islands of the north atlantic" in such documents. Britain should not be referred to as "the mainland" in relation to Ireland as many Irish people find this annoying, since it implies that Ireland is a mere offshore island of Britain rather than a country in its own right.

Although he is a hero to many in the UK praising or speak positively of Oliver Cromwell will likely lead to an angry response from locals particularly the older generation who are usually more knowledgable about Irish history than the younger generation. Regardless positive mention will likely lead to an outburst no matter what age group you're with so it's best to avoid praise of Cromwell at all costs.

Public or semi-public discussions about religious differences, political views and 20th/21st century troubles are generally avoided by locals on both sides of the border. This is because opinions between individuals are so vastly divided and unyielding, that most Irish people (of moderate views) have grown accustomed to simply avoiding the topics in polite conversation. Most Irish people are moderate in their views. However, it is wise to avoid any political or religious discussion unless you are invited to discuss these topics. Tourists (who are often fascinated by the history of the division) would be advised to show respect and caution if they choose to discuss the differences of identity/opinion that still exist on historical matters.

The Irish are renowned for their upbeat sense of humour. However, their humour can sometimes be difficult to understand for more unfamiliar tourists. Joking on almost any topic will be welcomed, and although mild facetious racism will fetch a chuckle from some, anything needlessly disparaging will not be tolerated by most. Most Irish people will tolerate friendly jibes regarding the Irish love of potatoes and drinking alcohol, however this will not endear you to them, and it is seen as an extremely annoying stereotype. However, jokes regarding recent Irish crises, be it the potato famine of the 19th Century (in which approximately two million people died or fled) or the Troubles (whose aftereffects still bother the country from time to time), should be avoided in any conversation. Joking about these topics could in many instances cause a similar amount of offense (for example) as joking about the Holocaust would among Jewish people.

Unless you are well educated in the matter, debating whether or not Northern Ireland should stay part of the UK instead of becoming Irish land should be avoided. This decision also associated with the Troubles and will become hostile.

LGBT visitors will find the Irish are tolerant of same-sex couples. Ireland has recently passed a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage in May 2015.

If the official name of an institution is in Irish (such as the Oireachtas or Gardaí), try to use the Irish name, even if you are unsure as to the correct pronunciation. Irish people will generally be understanding and appreciate the effort even if you get it wrong, whereas they will often consider it culturally ignorant and rude if you simply use the English term instead.


Phone numbers in this guide are given in the form that you would dial them from within Ireland. This form in general is a two- or three-digit area code (always begins with a 0), and the local number, which may be from five to seven digits long. When dialling a land line number from another land line within the same area (i.e., the same area code) the area code can be ignored, and the local number only is required.

By mobile[edit]

There are more mobile phones than people in the Republic of Ireland, and the majority of these are prepaid. Phone credit is available in very many retailers, online and at most ATMs (for domestic/some EU cards), usually in denominations from €5 to €50. Be aware, that some retailers charge a small commission on this credit (usually between 50 cents and 1 euro), while many others don't, so it does pay to shop around.

All mobile numbers begin with 083, 085, 086 ,087 or 089 (this code must be dialled regardless of location or operator of dialler). Mobiles are cheap by European standards to buy, and if staying for more than 2 months, it could be cheaper to buy a phone than phone cards.

A tri- or quad-band GSM phone will work, but you should check that your operator has a roaming agreement. It can be expensive to receive and make phone calls while roaming. Customers roaming from EU countries are subject to much cheaper EU regulated roaming rates and depending on their plan or operator can usually use data, text and voice as they would at home.

You can also buy a cheap prepay SIM card if you have an unlocked handset. This can be considerably cheaper as it means that you will be assigned an Irish number which you can be called at during your trip and your outgoing calls/data are charged at normal Irish mobile rates. Typically, opt-in prepaid price plans are available that provide unlimited Irish calls, several GB of LTE data and possibly some international minutes for 20-30 euro per month. Some specialist carriers like Lebara offer prepaid SIMs with preferential international call rates/minute bundles but these usually come at the cost of limited domestic data or minutes.

If you do not have an unlocked tri -or quad-band GSM phone then is possible to buy a mobile phone in Ireland from any of the cell phone companies.

Phones that have the 1800MHz band but not 900MHz will work but coverage is extremely poor outside urban areas.

Ireland has 3 primary mobile networks. Additional virtual networks such as Tesco Mobile, Lebara and others exist which piggy-back on the infrastructure of another network.

Operator GSM Band 3G Band LTE Band Dialling Prefix
Vodafone GSM 900/1800 UMTS 2100 LTE Band 3 / Band 20 (1800Mhz / 800Mhz) 087
3 (Three) GSM 900/2100 UMTS 900/1800/2100 LTE Band 3 / Band 20 (1800Mhz / 800Mhz) 083/086
Eir GSM 900/1800 UMTS 2100 LTE Band 3 / Band 20 (1800Mhz / 800Mhz) 085

If you are signing up for the first time with a carrier you will receive a number within their designated dialing code. However, customers who change between networks have the option to retain their full existing number, so it is possible for a Vodafone customer to have an 085 prefixed number, for instance.

Non-geographic numbers[edit]

Non-geographic numbers are those which are not specific to a geographical region and are technically charged at the same rate regardless of where the caller is located.

Call type Description Dialling Prefix
Freephone Free from all phonelines 1800
Shared Cost (Fixed) Cost one call unit (generally 6.5 cent) 1850
Shared Cost (Timed)
(also known as Lo-call)
Cost the price of a local call 1890
Universal Access Cost the same as a non-local/trunk dialling call 0818
Premium Rate Generally more expensive than other calls 1520 to 1580

Calling Home[edit]

Pay phones are not widely available (and are becoming less so) and most take euro coins, prepaid calling cards and major credit cards. You can also reverse charges/call collect or use your calling card by following the instructions on the display.

for dial internationally: 00 + country code + area code + local number

To dial Northern Ireland from Ireland a special code exists; drop the 028 area code from the local Northern Ireland and replace it with 048. This is then charged at the cheaper National Irish rate, instead of an international rate.

To dial an Irish number from within Ireland: Simply dial all of the digits including the area code. You can, optionally, drop the area code if you're calling from within that area, but it makes no difference to the cost or routing.

Fixed line numbers have the following area codes:

  • 01 (Dublin and parts of surrounding counties)
  • 02x (Cork area)
  • 04xx (parts of Wicklow and North-East midlands and Northern Ireland (048))
  • 05x (Midlands and South-East)
  • 06x South-West and Mid-West)
  • 07x (North-West)
  • 08x (Mobile phones)
  • 09xx (Midlands and West)

Operator service is unavailable from pay phones or mobile phones.

Emergency Service dial 999 or 112 (Pan European code that runs in parallel). This is the equivilant of 911 in the US/Canada and is free from any phone.

Directory information is provided by competing operators through the following codes (call charges vary depending on what they're offering and you'll see 118 codes advertised heavily):

  • 118 11 (eircom)
  • 118 50 (conduit)
  • 118 90

These companies will usually offer call completion, but at a very high price, and all of them will send the number by SMS to your mobile if you're calling from it.Create category

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