Ireland Travel Information
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GMT (GMT +1, Apr - Oct)
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. UK-style three-pin and round three-pin plugs are in use.
English is the principal language, although a minority of people speak Irish (Gaelic).
There are no special health requirements for visitors to Ireland. Health insurance is advisable unless you are from the UK or other EU countries, most of which have reciprocal agreements with Ireland. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should be obtained before departing for travel to Ireland. Medical facilities are good and medicines are widely available; payment for treatment is usually required in cash. If you require specific medication, it is always advised that you bring it with you on your travels: make sure you transport all medications in their original containers, clearly labeled; and that you carry a signed, dated letter from your doctor describing all medical conditions and listing all prescribed medications, including generic names.
A 10 percent tip will be welcomed in restaurants and cafes, and occasionally a service charge will be added to the bill. Tipping is not usual in bars and pubs, or for other services.
Most visitors to Ireland enjoy a fairly high level of personal safety. Ireland has a very low level of violent crime, but there is a high incidence of petty theft in tourist areas and foreigners are targeted by pick-pockets. Travellers should take sensible precautions against petty theft, including duplicating important documents, carrying valuables in separate bags/pockets, and leaving valuables in hotel safes whenever possible. Terrorism is no more a threat in Ireland than in other Western countries and safety in the country has improved significantly with peace in Northern Ireland. Those travelling into Northern Ireland should note that the safety alerts for that country are completely seperate and can be found in the United Kingdom travel guide.
Smoking in pubs, cafes and restaurants is illegal. Visitors should refrain from forcing discussions of political and religious differences, and show respect if the topics are brought up.
The Irish are very sociable and although the usual elements of business etiquette apply (punctuality, formal wear, a courteous manner), expect good conversation and a rather relaxed air. Handshakes are customary on introduction, and take the lead from the host with regards to using first names or surnames. Business hours are usually from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, with a lunch break from 1pm to 2pm.
The international access code for Ireland is +353 (remember to omit the first zero of the local area code when dialing). City/area codes are in use, e.g. 1 for Dublin. When making outgoing calls, dial 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international operators. Internet cafes are available in the main tourist areas.
Travellers over 17 years old arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on most products. Regulations allow 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, 250g tobacco; one litre of spirits with more than 22% alcohol volume, two litres of dessert wine, port of sherry with a maximum 22% alcohol content; and four litres of wine or 16 litres of beer. Other duty free products include perfume up to 50g or 250ml eau de toilette; and other goods for personal consumption to the value of €175 per adult or €90 for children under 15 years.
All of these products are allowed on a fractional basis, so a proportional mix of each category is permitted. Prohibited items include meat and dairy products or raw vegetables.
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