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Ireland

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO IRELAND
 
SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS
June to August – Summer 
September to October – Autumn 
November to March – Winter
April to May – Spring
 
Ireland popular all year-round with long hot summers and cool winters which brings snow to higher ground.  Temperatures and climatic conditions vary from one side of Ireland to the other and travellers should be prepared for all weather conditions.
 
WHAT TO PACK
As you plan what to wear, keep in mind the season you are travelling in and pack and wear layers. We suggest layering like this: tank top or t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jersey and then jacket.  Always pack something to protect yourself against rain showers.  

RETAIL HOURS
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 09h00 to 18h00 with late opening on Thursday until 20h00 or 21h00.  Opening hours on a Sunday are limited. Shops in popular and busier shopping areas often stay open longer whereas you may find shorter opening hours outside of the cities.
 
MONEY MATTERS
Ireland is a member of the European Union with the Euro being the official currency.
 
Currency: Euro (EUR). EUR1 = 100 Cents. 
Credit Cards are widely available and ATM’s are very prevalent.
 
DRINKING WATER
In bigger towns like Dublin, Limerick and Cork you should feel safe to drink the tap water, but in rural areas you may want to stick to bottled water.
 
TIPPING / PORTERAGE  
Porters Euro 1 to Euro 2 per bag
Housekeepers Euro 1 to Euro 2 per night
Taxi Drivers round up to the nearest Euro.  
In restaurants you should tip 10% to 15% of the bill.  Some hotels add a service charge – check you bill.
Tour Guides are tipped 10% of the cost of the tour per person on a private tour or a euro or two from each member on a group tour.
 
TRAVEL RESPONSIBILITY 
Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
Appropriate behaviours by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospital and friendly.
Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. 
 
GENERAL INFORMATION 
English is the official language of Ireland.  
South African passport holders do not require a Visa to enter Ireland but your passport must have a validity of at least 6 month remaining from the intended date of departure from Ireland.
Ireland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).  During their winter months (November to March) they are 2 hours behind S.A and during their summer months (last Sunday in March to the Last Saturday in October) they are 1 hour behind South Africa.
The voltage in Ireland is 230AC, 50 Hz. Electrical plugs have three rectangular pins.  Most hotels will have two-pronged European-style sockets for shavers only. We recommend the purchase of a South African to Great Britain adaptor.
 
WHAT THINGS COST
Meal Inexpensive Restaurant : Euro 10 to Euro 20
Meal for 2 people, midrange Restaurant 3 Course: Euro 40 to Euro 70
McMeal at McDonalds (or equivalent): Euro 6.50 to Euro 8.60
Domestic Beer (0.5 Lt Draught) : Euro 4.25 to Euro 5.50
Imported Beer (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 4 to Euro 6
Cappuccino (Regular) : Euro 2.50 to Euro 3.50 
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1 to Euro 2.50
Water (0.33 Lt Bottle) : Euro 1 to Euro 2
 
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS 
A lot of public restrooms will charge you a small fee to use them, so just keep some change on hand to pay the fee.
Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
Always be aware of pick pockets irrespective of where you are in the world.


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