When visiting Ireland, it's good to know some necessary information that will make your stay in this European country a lot easier.
Ireland follows UK time, which is one hour behind the Central European Time (CET).
220 volts 50 hz is the standard in Ireland, which is different from the American standard. Tourists from the United States will have to take a transformer and a plug adaptor with them. Tourists from Australia and New Zealand will only need an adaptor.
The currency in Ireland is the euro, which is used in a lot of countries in the European Union.
It is customary to tip when paying for eating or drinking in a bar or restaurant and will be warmly welcomed by the staff. The general rule in Ireland is that tipping between 10% and 15% is acceptable.
The international access code to call abroad from Ireland is 00.
Local calls cost at least 20 cents and you will see that most telephones in Ireland are card-operated. You can buy these prepaid cards at newsagents, post offices and Telecom Eireann Telecentres.
The emergency numbers are 112 or 999. Dial these numbers when every second counts and ask the operator to put you through to the police, ambulance service or fire service.
Most shops in Ireland are open from 9 AM to 6 PM Mondays to Saturdays. On Sunday, the shops in Dublin, Ireland's capital, open at noon and close at 6 PM. On Thursday evenings late shopping is possible until 8 PM.
Cash and credit cards are generally accepted by the shops as payment options.
Visitors from countries outside the European Union can claim tax back on most items purchased.
Ireland has a temperate maritime climate, because of the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the presence of the Gulf Stream. Summers in Ireland have warm, sunny weather, while the winters are mild.
Food from Ireland is known for the freshness of the ingredients and the high quality. The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century influenced the Irish cuisine heavily. A lot of the Irish cooking is done without herbs, spices or sauce.
There are a number of languages used in Ireland. The main and official languages are Irish and English.
The main religion in Ireland is Christianity. The largest church is the Roman Catholic Church. According to a research by the Georgetown University, Ireland has one of the highest rates of regular mass attendance in the western world.