Ireland Traveler Information - Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Ireland Traveler Information guide.
At AARDY we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Ireland Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Ireland.
Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: Must be valid for the duration of your stay in Ireland.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: Must have at least one page.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: No.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: 10,000 Euros or equivalent.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: 10,000 Euros or equivalent.
Embassies and Consulates
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ireland for information on U.S.-Ireland relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
Visit the Embassy of Ireland’s website for the most current visa information.
- You must have a valid passport to enter Ireland. U.S. citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business stays of up to 90 days.
- There is no minimum passport validity requirement for U.S. citizens entering Ireland. We recommend you have a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay, evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland, and a return airline ticket.
- An increased number of U.S. citizens have been refused entry to Ireland or granted a limited stay because they failed to sufficiently demonstrate their travel intent to Irish immigration officials at the port of entry. You may be asked to provide evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland regardless of your purpose of travel. For any travel other than tourism, please ensure you obtain the appropriate documentation prior to travel. You can find more information at the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service website or by contacting your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate in the United States.
We cannot intervene on your behalf when applying for a visa or residency permit, nor can we assist if you are denied entry into Ireland.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to Ireland or for foreign residents of Ireland.
Safety and Security
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
- High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
- Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
- Places of worship
- Shopping malls and markets
- Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)
Crime: Although Ireland has a low rate of violent crime, you should always follow common sense personal security practices and maintain awareness of your surroundings when traveling.
- Rates of theft and petty crime have risen in recent years, and thieves often target tourists. In rare cases, these crimes involve physical assault or violence, more commonly in Dublin city center and in popular tourist areas.
- Rental cars are frequently targeted. They are easily identifiable by the rental company stickers on the rear window of the vehicle. If possible, remove these stickers and always lock your car when leaving it unattended. Do not leave valuables unattended in vehicles. When visiting city center areas, park your car in a secure car park and retain the parking ticket on your person.
- Keep car doors locked while driving. Don’t leave luggage or valuables visible inside a parked car and don’t leave luggage on a roof rack. When picking up and dropping off your rental car, do not leave the keys in the ignition while loading or unloading luggage.
- When using ATMs, protect your PIN at all times and look closely at ATMs for evidence of tampering before use. Criminals may use small electronic devices attached to the outside of ATMs called “skimmers” to steal the ATM or credit card data.
- In busy areas, thieves use distraction techniques at ATMs, such as waiting until the PIN has been entered and then pointing to money on the ground or asking for loose change. While the ATM user is distracted, another person will quickly withdraw cash and leave. If you are distracted in any way, cancel the transaction immediately.
- When using credit cards to pay at restaurants, a portable card reader should be brought to your table. Restaurant staff should not take your card elsewhere to process a charge.
Victims of Crime:
- Report crimes to the local police at 999 or 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(353) (1) 668-8777.
- U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.
- Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- Provide information on victims compensation programs in Ireland:
- The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) is a free nationwide service offering support and assistance to tourists who are victimized while visiting Ireland. If you are a tourist victim of crime, report the incident to the nearest Garda (Irish police) station, and they will help you contact ITAS.
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Special Circumstances: Most Irish banks will not accept U.S. $100 bills. Many Irish financial institutions no longer accept or cash traveler’s checks. ATMs are widely available, but some, particularly in rural areas, may not accept debit cards from U.S. banks.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Ireland.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what is offered in the United States.
- Government Buildings: Irish law requires access to government buildings for persons with disabilities, and this requirement is enforced. Under Irish law, public service providers should ensure the service is accessible to those with mobility, sensory, and/or cognitive impairments.
- Parking: On-street parking, public building parking lots, and internal parking lots always have a certain number of disabled spaces available. A permit is required to use these spaces, and information on applying for the permit can be found on the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland website. Local authorities and commercial premises, such as shopping outlets, have no legal obligation to provide external disabled parking facilities for their customers.
- Buses and Trains: The majority of buses and trains in the main city areas of Ireland are now equipped for those with limited mobility, sight, or hearing disabilities, although some train stations and pathways may not be as easily accessible.
- Mainline and Suburban Trains: Special portable ramps permit boarding from platforms to the carriages. These ramps are available at all terminal points and major junctions and stations that have staff on duty. They are also available on some trains. Travelers are advised to contact Irish Rail in advance to ensure such facilities are available. The website for Dublin Bus provides information on its travel assistance scheme. Regional and intercity bus services are provided by Bus Eireann.
- Private Businesses: Accessibility in private businesses – such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, shops, and restaurants – varies widely. Travelers should inquire about accessibility issues with businesses before making reservations.
- Disability Allowance: People who live in Ireland and meet the medical conditions for a disability allowance may apply for free travel passes; there is also a blind/invalidity pension from the Irish Department of Social Protection for those who qualify.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Patients who do not receive benefits from Ireland’s Department of Social Protection are expected to pay all costs up-front at the time of treatment and apply for reimbursement from their insurance provider later.
- Modern medical facilities and highly skilled medical practitioners are available in Ireland.
- Expect long waits for access to medical specialists and admissions to hospitals for non-life-threatening medical conditions. It is not unusual for emergency room services to be very busy or for post-treatment admissions to include a long wait (sometimes overnight) on a gurney in a hallway.
- We advise you carry your medical history, along with a detailed list of any medication you currently take (including dosage and brand name) in your wallet or purse and luggage.
- Most types of over-the-counter medications are available but many U.S. brands are not. Some medications available over the counter in the United States may require a prescription in Ireland.
- Irish pharmacists may not be able to dispense medication prescribed by U.S. physicians and may direct you to obtain a prescription from an Irish doctor.
- A list of Irish general practitioners in each area of Ireland may be obtained from the website of the Irish College of General Practitioners.
- Ambulance services are widely available.
For emergency services in Ireland, dial 112 or 999.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on the type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Government of Ireland to ensure the medication is legal in Ireland.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety:
- Cars drive on the left side of the road in Ireland. If you do not have experience driving on the left, you should be especially cautious as tourists driving on the incorrect side of the road are the cause of several serious accidents each year.
- Road conditions are generally good, but once you exit the main highways, roads are likely to be narrow, uneven, and winding. Roads are more dangerous during the summer and on holiday weekends. Drivers should be attentive to cyclists and pedestrians, particularly in urban areas.
- Most intersections in Ireland use circular “roundabouts” instead of traffic lights, and it is important that drivers pay close attention to signs and yield the right of way to those already in the roundabout.
- Most rental cars in Ireland have manual transmissions; it can be difficult to find automatic transmission rental cars.
Traffic Laws: Police periodically set up road blocks to check for drunk drivers. Penalties for driving under the influence can be severe.
- At stoplights, turning on a red light is illegal; you must wait for either a full green (any direction turn permitted) or directional green light (which could be straight, left, or right) before proceeding with caution.
- You may use your existing U.S. driver’s license in Ireland for a temporary stay; this can be for any period of time up to one year. Some insurance and car rental companies may request an International Driving Permit in addition to your existing driver’s license. To apply for an International Driving Permit, please contact the American Automobile Association. You are required to apply for an Irish driver’s license if you become a resident of Ireland.
- Travelers planning to drive to Northern Ireland are subject to UK traffic laws while in Northern Ireland. Traffic signs may be different than in the Republic of Ireland. Consult the United Kingdom Country Information page for more information on traffic laws in Northern Ireland.
Public Transportation: Taxi rates vary with time of day and location. Ask your hotel for the number of a call-dispatched taxi service if you plan to be out during less busy times.
- Intercity bus and train services are generally good.
- Local bus service in the cities is generally adequate, although many buses are crowded, frequently run late, and lines do not necessarily link easily. Pay close attention to bus stop locations in both directions, as the drop-off and pick-up locations could be several blocks away from each other.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Ireland’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ireland’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Ireland should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Ireland. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.