Know Before You Go Ireland
Welcome To Ireland
Ireeland has it all… from poets and painters to fine food and culture. Enjoy spectacular landscapes, historical sights, charming villages and bustling cities, then have a pint in a corner pub or kiss the magical Blarney Stone. We cannot wait to say fáilte (welcome!) on the trip of a lifetime.
Brendan recommends that you consult your physician prior to departure to discuss your personal health requirements. If you are on a regular course of medication or if there are medicines that particularly suit you, we recommend that you bring an adequate supply for your entire trip. For easy access when traveling, please keep all your medication in your hand luggage, not in your suitcases.
English is spoken throughout Ireland, with Gaelic still in use in some small towns.
In the Republic of Ireland the euro is used. Northern Ireland uses the British pound sterling.
ATM outlets are very common throughout Ireland. It is possible at ATMs to draw cash on presentation of your credit card, though this may incur fees/interest payments—check with your bank before departure. It is a good idea to deposit sufficient funds into your accounts prior to departure and then use your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access them. Check with your bank card company regarding possible ATM availability.
Credit cards, mainly Visa, MasterCard and American Express, are also widely accepted throughout Ireland. We recommend calling or visiting your bank and credit card companies online to advise them you will be traveling, as some will block card use when they notice unusual international activity.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING
Ireland’s climate is temperate year round with cool summers and mild winters. The temperature ranges from about 40°F in the winter to 70°F in the summer. As it can be rainy anytime during the year, a folding umbrella and lightweight raincoat are recommended.
The standard voltage throughout Ireland is 230v AC and 50hz with a type G outlet. You will need a converter and adaptor for any electrical appliances you bring.
GETTING AROUND Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Belfast are larger cities, and attractions are often not within walking distance of one another, therefore use of their extensive public transportation systems can be helpful.
Buses: There is an excellent countrywide bus service offering travel all over Ireland. For places that are inaccessible by rail, the bus can be your best option.
Trains: Rail travel is very popular in Ireland and is a scenic, convenient and comfortable way to get to your destination on time.
Dart and Luas: In Dublin, the Dart suburban rail has service between Malahide, north of Dublin and on the scenic east coast, and Greystones, south of the city with 25 stations along the route. The Dublin Luas tram system is a Light Rail Transit (LRT), connecting the outskirts of Dublin city into the downtown area. There are 67 stations on 2 lines across the city.
Taxis and Hackneys: There are taxis operating in Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Belfast; in other areas you may have to call a hackney (privately hired taxi).
Car Rentals: Rentals are available and, once you are accustomed to driving on the opposite side of the road, are a great way to get around. It is best to reserve your car before you leave. Talk to your travel agent or Brendan Representative for details.
SHOPPING & TIPPING
FEXCO Tax Free Shopping: VAT is Value Added Tax and is included in the sale price of goods in Ireland. When a registered FEXCO HORIZON card is swiped at the point of sale, the card stores details of each purchase and upon your departure, receive your VAT refund at the FEXCO desk or kiosk in the departure areas of the Dublin, Shannon or Cork airport or claim your VAT refund from home. Note that only participating outlets which display the FEXCO Tax Free shopping sticker will qualify, please visit www.shoptaxfree.com for details.
Tipping is expected everywhere in Ireland. For restaurants, 10 – 15 percent is customary and taxi drivers will expect a 10 percent tip.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Visitors to Ireland must hold a passport with at least six months validity beyond your return date. A visa is not required for U.S. passport holders.This information is a guide only; it is essential that you check with your travel agent or consulate before departure.
If you require assistance or encounter any difficulties during your stay in Ireland, or if you wish to book further tours during your stay, please contact your Brendan Representative. The Embassy can also help in some specific instances.
BEST BUYS & CUSTOMS ALLOWANCES
Tweed clothing, traditional Aran knitwear from the Aran Islands, Irish music, linen, pottery, Waterford crystal, Irish whiskey and basketry.
Any purchases made abroad will be subject to U.S. Customs regulations when you return, so be sure that you keep all receipts. Customs allowances are subject to change. Please check with your travel agent or visit www.cbp.gov/travel for details.
IMPORTANT: This information sheet is for guidance only and although accurate at time of printing, cannot be guaranteed at the time of travel.