Citizens of EU States, the US and Canada do not need a visa to visit Ireland. For other countries however, its best to check with your nearest Irish embassy as to whether a visa or other documentation is required.
Ireland Auto Rental Documents
For auto rental, you will need your passport and driving licence. Each additional drivers of the car must also have a driving licence.
In Ireland, you may receive free treatment for emergencies only. Non-emergency treatment however, including overnight stays in hospital, may require payment. In an emergency, dial 112 (toll free from any phone) or go directly to the Accident and Emergency (also called "casualty") department of a hospital.
If you need special medicines, bring them with you. Prescriptions are required in Ireland for many non-standard medicines. Citizens of the EU/EEA region should apply to their local health authority for a European Health Insurance Card (previously known as the E111) before travelling to Ireland. This entitles them to free healthcare in the case of accidents or illness, and may also result in quicker access to healthcare provision.
Countries covered by the European Health Insurance Card include Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Most airports have green and red customs channels upon exiting the baggage collection area. Go through the green channel if you have nothing to declare (beyond the duty free allowances); go to the red channel if you have goods to declare, or to enquire whether certain goods you are carrying need to be declared.
Food Import Restrictions
It is generally best not to bring food with you, as import restrictions may apply, particularly on meat products.Animals and Pets
The importation of animals into Ireland, including domestic pets, is strictly controlled, and requires an import license, which usually involves a quarantine period of six months.Since the introduction of the "Passports for pets" scheme in the UK, there has been some easing of the rules in relation to pets from the UK and the Isle of Man into the country.
For full details, and an application form for an animal import license, see the Irish Government's information website.
Tax Free Allowances
Non-EU citizens are entitled to certain duty and tax-free allowances. Check at the airport's duty free shop before departure for details.
Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at 21 percent on most goods bought in Ireland. If you are taking gifts and souvenirs overseas, check whether the store operates the Retail Export Scheme before you buy. This allows you to reclaim VAT on goods for export. The shop assistant will need your passport to complete the Tax Free Shopping form.
Calling to/from Ireland
If someone wants to phone you while you are in Ireland, the country code is +353 (or +44 for Northern Ireland). Remember that the first 0 in the area code is dropped.
To call your home country from within Ireland, dial 00, then the international country code. For example, for the US or Canada, dial 001 followed by the area code. For France, dial 0033 followed by the area code.
Prepaid phone cards are available from many newsagents and post offices. Such cards tend to offer good value on international calls.
The voltage in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is 240V, 50AC. This is different to the voltage in many other countries, including other EU countries, and the US. For small devices such as hair dryers, you can usually buy an adaptor plug before you leave to convert voltage, and to fit different socket configurations.
Currency and Changing Money
The Republic of Ireland uses the Euro, while Northern Ireland's currency is the English pound (sterling). All Banks, Post offices and some tourist information centres will exchange money, as well as travellers' cheques.
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