Money and Costs
Budget: Less than €80
- Dorm bed: €14–25
- Cheap meal in cafe or pub: €10–18
- Intercity bus travel (200km trip): €14–25
- Pint of beer: €5–6.50 (more expensive in cities)
- Double room in hotel or B&B: €100–180 (more expensive in Dublin)
- Main course in midrange restaurant: €17–30
- Car rental (per day): from €32
- Three-hour train journey: €60
Top end: More than €180
- Four-star hotel stay: from €200
- Three-course meal in good restaurant: around €70
- Top round of golf (midweek): from €100
Republic of Ireland: euro (€)
Northern Ireland: pound sterling (£)
Ireland doesn't do bargaining – unless you're buying a horse.
The Republic of Ireland uses the euro (€). Northern Ireland uses the pound sterling (£), though the euro is also accepted in many places.
All banks have ATMs that are linked to international money systems such as Cirrus, Maestro or Plus. Each transaction incurs a currency-conversion fee, and credit cards can incur immediate and exorbitant cash-advance interest-rate charges. Watch out for ATMs that have been tampered with, as card-reader scams ('skimming') have become a real problem.
The best exchange rates are at banks, though bureaux de change and other exchange facilities usually open for more hours.
Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards are widely accepted. American Express is only accepted by the major chains, and virtually no one will accept Diners or JCB. Chip-and-PIN is the norm for card transactions – only a few places will accept a signature.
Smaller businesses, such as pubs and some B&Bs, prefer debit cards (and will charge a fee for credit cards), and a small number of rural B&Bs only take cash.
The Republic of Ireland uses the euro.
Northern Ireland uses the pound sterling.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.
- Hotels A tip of €1/£1 per bag is standard; tip cleaning staff at your discretion.
- Pubs Not expected unless table service is provided, then €1/£1 for a round of drinks.
- Restaurants For decent service 10%; up to 15% in more expensive places.
- Taxis Tip 10% or round up fare to nearest euro/pound.
- Toilet attendants Loose change; no more than 50c/50p.