We’ve received over a dozen requests for Ireland over the last few weeks, along with a number of general questions. Here are the answers to the top 13 commonly asked questions we’ve received.
How is the weather?
Get the rundown on Ireland’s climate and seasons here.
How populated is Ireland?
Ireland’s population as of 2016 is estimated to be about 4.7 million – about the same number of people who live in the state of Louisiana.
When should I travel?
Whenever you can! The busy season is June-August, when Ireland is crowded with tourists. Those who can travel in the “shoulder months” of April/May and September/October will be rewarded with less hustle and bustle and pleasent weather. But anytime of yeat there are wonderful places to visit and things to do and see in the Emerald Isle.
Is Northern Ireland a part of Ireland?
No. In 1922, after violent uprisings, the Irish Free State was created within the British Empire. In 1948, most of Ireland became an independent country, while six mainly Protestant counties in the northeast remained a British territory.
Should I drive?
You’ll certainly have the most freedom with your own car. However, keep in mind the driver’s seat is on the opposite side. If you plan on staying in Dublin, we do not recommend driving as the city is quite small and very walkable. If you’re not keen on driving, traveling by rail will allow you to take in the lush green landscapes from the train window as you speed between chaarming cities and unmissable natural attractions. Operated by Irish Rail, most trains operate to and from Dublin with frequent rail service to most parts of Ireland.
What is the tipping policy?
Tipping is generally 10-15% in restaurants and some hotels, but check your bill as the gratuity (service charge) may already be added. People generally do not tip in pubs, but for higher end bars with waiter service, leave about €1. Taxi drivers or hackney cab drivers, who make the trip for a prearranged sum, don’t expect tips.
What kind of money is used there?
The euro (EUR) is the currency of Ireland, like much of Europe. However, if you’re traveling to Northern Ireland, the currency is the pound sterling (£).
Do I need an adapter?
Yes. Irish electricity is roughly twice the voltage in North America, so you will need to bring suitable transformers and/or adapters.
Is there Internet access?
More and more hotels, cafes, and retailers in Ireland are signing on as Wi-Fi hot spots, meaning you won’t have to stay in your hotel room just to get free Wi-Fi. When in doubt, just ask!
Will my cell phone work?
The short answer is “probably.” Ireland uses the world-standard GSM network, which is used by both AT&T and T-Mobile. When using a cell phone abroad, it’s advisable to turn off your data services function to avoid exorbitant, unexpected fees. If you plan on making calls, consider purchasing an International Plan or using a SIM card to avoid racking up roaming charges once you’ve arrived. You can also use for apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Google Hangout to make calls online (You will need WiFi).
Do I need my passport?
What if I need medical help?
If you become ill while visiting Ireland, you can visit any one of the walk-in clinics in most major cities. For emergencies, dial 999 or 112, the European standard. And we highly recommend a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage.
Is Ireland safe?
Rest in comfort while staying in Ireland. Anytime you’re abroad, you should be a little weary of those who may wish you ill, but Ireland has a very low crime rate and has been ranked safer than many of the states. Of course, with any city comes the risk of theft, but keeping your wits about you will keep your wallet on you!