Language: English and Irish Gaelic
Currency: Pound Sterling in Northern Ireland and Euro in Republic of Ireland
Time Zone: Western European Standard Time = GMT, Western European Summer Time = GMT+1
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
Ireland's friendly natives and Irish craic are known the world over, but another surface of the Emerald Isle's shimmering stone is that it's the perfect destination for those wanting to get away from it all for a few days. This is definitely one place in the world where spending time getting lost can be a worthwhile experience in itself – and what's more, you don't need a passport.
Exploring Ireland by coach offers the chance to uncover all manner of secrets, from the country's ancient myths and legends to its rugged landscape and friendly locals that are itching to share their tales over a pint of that infamous Guinness. Coach holidays to Ireland are a relaxing way to experience the natural side of the Emerald Isle and discover its many shades of 'green', from labyrinthine caves and coastal harbours to the astounding beauty of the Giant's Causeway.
Dublin is a popular choice on holidays to Ireland with its wash of low key bars and endearing supply of restaurants, art galleries, chic boutiques, beautiful architecture and traditional Irish pubs where laughter, dancing and music ring from Temple Bar.
Belfast, Cork (for kissing the Blarney Stone), Galway and Limerick are also deserved destinations on the tourist trail, but it's the Ring of Kerry that steals the limelight outside of Dublin; a 179km route through unrivalled scenery with popular landmarks (like Kerry Bog Village, Moll's Gap and Ladies View Torc) along the way. Unless you're taking a car, going by coach offers the best (and most cost-effective) way of travelling along the Ring of Kerry in all its glory, savouring 100 miles of beautiful golden beaches and stunning vistas as you go.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Ireland take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Health and Travel Insurance
Should you fall ill or be involved in an accident and you are from any country in the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you are able to obtain free or reduced cost medical treatment by possessing a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Comprehensive travel insurance is recommended for all other nationals planning to visit Ireland.
When visiting Ireland most people experience no problems during their stay. Make sure you take practical precautions to protect yourself from pick pocketing and bag snatching and always try to avoid carrying large sums of money and valuables.
Should you take your vehicle or hire one whilst staying in Ireland, make sure you lock it properly and where possible leave your car in a secure car park. Should you need to call the emergency services dial 112.
When travelling from Australia, Canada or the USA, your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the dates of travel. EU nationals must have either a valid passport or identity card with them. Ireland is a member of the Common Travel Area, which therefore allows British Citizens to visit Ireland without needing a passport. However, Irish immigration officers will check all passenger's ID upon arrival when travelling by air from the UK. In addition to this most airlines won't carry passengers to and from Ireland without having seen any satisfactory photographic ID. It is therefore recommended that you take your British passport with you. Some carriers might accept other types of photographic ID - please check with your tour operator prior to travelling.
UK Visas are not required by those travelling from Canada, Australia or the USA for stays of up to 90 days.
Any other nationality looking to visit Ireland must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
To find out more about visiting Ireland, check out the official tourism website at discoverireland.ie
The Emerald Isle really is a gem of a place to visit, with a wealth of places and attractions. Here are just a few must-sees when in Ireland:
This cosmopolitan and vibrant city is an eclectic mix of historic sights and modern architecture and buildings. With traditional pubs and a lively nightlife Dublin offers a true taste of the Emerald Isle. Dublin's fascinating history can be discovered at various attractions National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery and Kilmainham Gaol.
This buzzing and compact city has so much to offer with its skyline dominated by Samson and Goliath, two large cranes from the Harland and Wolff Shipyards. Belfast has strong ties to the Titanic which was built in the city, and more recently the Titanic Belfast Experience has opened allowing visitors an insight into her construction, launch and tragic end.
Home to some of the most friendly people, Killarney is a great town to visit in Southern Ireland. With Killarney National Park on its doorstep, why not explore some highlights whilst travelling in a jaunting car – a traditional horse-drawn carriage. It's in the park that you can tour the Ring of Kerry, which arguably offers Ireland's most stunning scenery. Don't miss the chance to take in its glorious 100 mile stretch featuring beaches and waterfalls. There is also a great range of shops to browse or you could even sit back, relax and take a cruise on the lake.
One of Ireland's largest and busiest cities, Galway offers plenty of things to see and do. Why not explore Eyre Square or the city's historic Cathedral, take a look Lynch's Castle (a 14th Century townhouse) or take a stroll around the medieval walls of the city. Galway has a reputation for outstanding seafood, so be sure to try some!