Passports and Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for Ireland. All other passport holders must check with the Irish Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
The Republic uses the euro; Northern Ireland uses the British pound. You can change US dollars at banks and currency exchange agencies for the best rates, hotels and some shops can also change them for you, but the rate will likely be much higher. ATMs are also an efficient way to get money in the local currency.
Ireland has 220 V at 50 Hz, with a type G socket. America's electrical currents are 120 V at 60 Hz, with a type A or B socket, so you'll need a converter and an adapter.
Wireless and wired Internet access is widely available throughout Ireland. Many of the hotels we use offer this service free or at a small charge. There are also Internet cafés that allow you access, usually for a small charge.
Phoning home from another country can be expensive. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room. This charge can be very high. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones (payphones) if your cell phone is not set for international calls. Your Travel Director can explain how to dial internationally if you are unsure.
Thousands of years ago, all of Europe was Celtic. Ireland still retains the strong Celtic traditions today through its jewelry, crosses, paintings and sculpted artwork. You'll find many other Irish specialties during your journey to help you treasure your memorable trip forever. Look for beautiful Irish and Celtic glassware, cashmere, and other traditional Irish treasures such as fresh or smoked Irish salmon, linen from the Irish Linen Centre, Jameson and Bushmills whiskey, fine Waterford crystal and Parian china from Belleek - ask your Travel Director, Local Travel Expert, or local host for advice.
We suggest the following tipping rates: Taxis 10-15% of the fare on the meter, Restaurants and bars 10-15% of the total bill. If a service charge has already been added there is no need to tip as much or at all.
It's easy and convenient to get around Dublin on the DART and LUAS, the area's rapid transit systems, as well as taxis for short trips. Between cities in Ireland, Irish Rail will whisk you across the island to a variety of destinations.
Generally, casual jeans or slacks, shirts, sweaters, a jacket and comfortable walking shoes are all you'll need. If you plan on an evening at a nicer venue, dressier clothes may be called for (especially for meals in castles, which often require jackets, dress shirts and/or ties for men). Don't forget to pack good outdoor shoes, a raincoat and an umbrella.