The Euro (€) is the currency of 19 of the 28 EU countries including Ireland. Notes and coins came into circulation on 1 January 2002. Northern Ireland uses the Pound Sterling (£) but many places will accept the Euro. The Euro is issued in denominations of:
Coins: 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, €1, €2.
Notes: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
The coins have a map of Europe on one side and the national symbol on the other, Ireland’s is the harp, but it can be used throughout the 19 participating EU states. The notes have a map of Europe, illustrated with a theme of bridges and windows. Foreign exchange and traveller’s cheques can be converted in banks throughout the country.
ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines or Bank Machines) will accept cards from many countries. Check with your bank before going.
Major Credit Cards – particularly Visa, MasterCard and American Express – are widely accepted; though some smaller B&Bs may only accept cash. You can also use them to withdraw cash from Ireland’s many ATMs.
Security should not be too much of a problem in Ireland, but it is always sensible to take precautions against robberies; for example, by not carrying large sums of cash or leaving valuables unattended or on display.
Tipping is commonplace in restaurants or for table service in pubs/bars in Ireland, up to 10-15% is usual if service warrants. Note that for large groups in particular, you may find the service charge already included in the bill.