Ballynahinch Castle, where you can stay on our castle tours of Ireland Ballynahinch Castle, where you can stay on our castle tours of Ireland
Ballynahinch Castle, where you can stay on our castle tours of Ireland The sun setting over the Irish coast Irish locals fishing on the lake at Kylemore Abbey Glendalough, monastic site visited on some of our Ireland tours Traditional Irish music performed for visitors on a Tour of Ireland Sheep grazing on the Irish coastal clifftops

Frequently Asked Questions Information about touring Ireland

Travelling in Ireland for the first time?

We're here to help! We hope you find the below information useful, though please don't hesitate just to get in touch instead to find the answers to your questions, we'll always be glad to help.

What is the currency?

The currency in Ireland is the Euro (€). The currency in Northern Ireland is the pound sterling (£). The cheapest, easiest and safest way of getting Euro or Pound Sterling is to use your debit card in any of the thousands of ATM's across Ireland & Northern Ireland. You get the best exchange rates and you can take out money as you need it.

What should I bring?

You will need to bring a 220V 3 pronged adaptor to recharge your cell phones, cameras, laptops. Most of the hotels have hairdryers. Most 4 star hotels offer complimentary wifi services.

Prices and budgeting

To give you some idea of costs a lunch of soup and sandwich with tea/coffee would be about €8-10 per person.

A pint of Guinness will range from about €5.50 in Dublin to about €4.50 in Cork/Kerry. A Gin & Tonic in a bar/pub would be about €7.00.

Souvenirs range from as little as €2.00 for a postcard to €20.00 for a Plate with Irish Blessing.

What should I wear?

Bring a good rain jacket. There can be rain showers on the Atlantic coast. The average temperature is 50 F. Not too hot and not too cold. Weather can be changeable but it's rarely extreme. For up to date weather forecasts please see met.ie

During the day as you tour around casual clothing is the order of the day. In the evenings in the hotel dining rooms and bars smart casual would be the norm. (If you wish to step it up a bit further for example in 5 Star Lough Eske Castle and 4 Star Ballynahich Castle you would not look out of place)

What is the time zone?

Ireland is part of the same time zone as London. During the winter, the time is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). From last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October, Ireland moves its clocks forward from GMT by one hour (GMT+1). Smart phones and similar devices will usually detect the correct time zone when they connect to WiFi. Your airline will also tell you the local time when you land.

Telephones / calling home

The Irish country code is 00353. To call an Irish phone number from North America, the number should begin 00353. To call a US phone number from Ireland, the phone number should begin 001.

Gratuities and Tipping

Ireland does not have a strong tipping culture. We only tip in restaurants, taxis and for personal services. All tips are at your discretion and are around 10%

Our escorted tours: At the end of the tour if you are extremely happy with the Driver-Guide (one person) which we know you will be then a gratuity of 80.00 Euro to 120.00 Euro per person would be considered an excellent tip.

Driving in Ireland

Both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland drive on the left. The legal age to drive in Ireland is 17 yrs old.

There are plenty of locations to hire cars in Ireland, including at all the airports. It is also often possible to hire the car from one location and return it to a different one.

From Dublin all the other major cities (Cork, Galway, Limerick & Belfast) are within a few hours' drive, so Ireland is an easy country to self-drive.

Please note: if you are used to North American roads, you may find our Irish roads rather narrow and windy!

Language

English is the main language spoken, but you will see some road signs and place names written in Irish Gaelic. There are many Irish speaking areas in the west of Ireland, but everyone who has Irish as a first language also speaks English.

Drinking age in Ireland

The legal drinking age both in the Republic of Ireland and Nothern Ireland is 18 years. Most places will accept either a passport or driving licence as acceptable forms of ID if you are lucky enough to look close to the legal age limit.

Airports and flights

The Main Transatlantic airports are Dublin and Shannon. There are also Airports in Belfast, Cork, Kerry and Knock (Ireland West Airport). The Irish National Carrier is Aer Lingus, though many international airlines do transatlantic flights into Ireland. For European flights then Ryanair and Aer Lingus are the main two, though again there are countless other airlines doing flights from Ireland to the rest of Europe.

Travelling alone

Ireland is a great destination for solo travellers. North and south, it is a very safe place to visit and you will find most people to be friendly and welcoming. Statistically, it is among Europe's safest travel destinations. Find our more about travelling solo in Ireland, or book yourself onto one of our singles tours of Ireland.

Ports & Ferries

Irish Ferry Ports:

Where you can sail to:

Larne

Troon, Scotland - P&O Ferries
Cairnryan, Scotland - P&O Ferries

Belfast

Cairnryan, Scotland - Stenaline
Liverpool, England - Stenaline
Douglas, Isle of Man (seasonal) - Steam Packet

Dublin

Liverpool, England - P&O Ferries
Holyhead, Wales - Irish Ferries & Stenaline
Cherbourg, France (seasonal) - Irish Ferries
Douglas, Isle of Man (seasonal) - Steam Packet

Rosslare

Fishguard, Wales - Stenaline
Pembroke, Wales - Irish Ferries
Cherbourg, France - Irish Ferriesand Stena Line Ferries
Roscoff, France (seasonal) - Irish Ferries

Cork

Roscoff, France (seasonal) - Brittany Ferries

Ferry Comparison

Ferrysavers