The Republic of Ireland uses the single European currency known as the euro (€). Euro notes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500. The euro is divided into 100 cents; coins come in denominations of €2, €1, 50¢, 20¢, 10¢, 5¢, 2¢, and 1¢.
Frommer's lists exact prices in the local currency. However, rates fluctuate, so before departing consult a currency exchange website such as www.oanda.com/currency/converter to check up-to-the-minute rates.
As part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland uses the British pound sterling (£). The British pound is not accepted in the Republic, and the euro is not accepted in the North -- if you're traveling in both parts of Ireland, you'll need some of both currencies, although shops right on the border tend to accept both. For those traveling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, although the pounds issued in Northern Ireland are legal tender in Great Britain and vice versa, the paper money actually looks different, and you may find that cabdrivers and small business owners in the North won't accept bills issued in Great Britain and vice versa. In that case, you can change the money into locally issued versions at any large central bank, free of charge.
The British currency used in Northern Ireland has notes in denominations of £5, £10, £20, £50, and £100. Coins are issued in £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p, and 1p denominations.
Note for all international travelers: the values of most currencies have been fluctuating a great deal lately, so it is best to begin checking exchange rates well in advance of your visit to get a feel for where they will stand for your trip.
The easiest and best way to get cash away from home is from an ATM (automated teller machine), sometimes referred to as a "cash machine" or a "cashpoint." The Cirrus and PLUS ATM networks span the globe; look at the back of your bank card to see which network you're on. Be sure you know your personal identification number (PIN) and daily withdrawal limit before you depart. Note: Remember that many banks impose a fee every time you use a card at another bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions (up to $5 or more). In addition, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge its own fee. For international withdrawal fees, ask your bank.
Large towns usually have an ATM, but in rural counties -- especially Galway, Clare, and Limerick -- ATMs can be few and far between. We once drove 50 miles looking for an ATM in Clare before finally finding one, so stock up on cash if you're headed out to the countryside. If you're having difficulty locating an ATM, some convenience stores have their own (usually indicated by a sign outside), although these usually incur an extra charge of a couple of euro.
Most Republic and Northern Ireland ATMs accept PINs of four to six digits, but they often do not have alphanumeric keypads. If your PIN features letters (for example: STAN37), use a telephone dial to figure out the numeric equivalents (or better yet, memorize it before you leave home).
Credit cards are another safe way to carry money. They also provide a convenient record of all your expenses, and they generally offer relatively good exchange rates. You can withdraw cash advances from your credit cards at banks or ATMs, provided you know your PIN. Keep in mind that you'll pay interest from the moment of your withdrawal, even if you pay your monthly bills on time. Also, note that many banks now assess a 1% to 3% "transaction fee" on all charges you incur abroad (whether you're using the local currency or your native currency). Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards in Ireland. American Express and Diners Club are accepted by most major hotels, but are less commonly accepted elsewhere. Cards are widely accepted at shops and restaurants, although small rural businesses and some B&Bs do not accept them.
Traveler's checks are not widely accepted in Ireland. You'll probably have to change the checks at a bank and pay a fee for the privilege. That said, the most popular traveler's checks are offered by American Express (tel. 800/807-6233 or 800/221-7282 for cardholders -- this number accepts collect calls, offers service in several languages, and exempts Amex gold and platinum cardholders from the 1% fee), Visa (tel. 1800-411-055 toll-free in Ireland), and MasterCard (tel. 800/622-7747).
For help with currency conversions, tip calculations, and more, download Frommer's convenient Travel Tools app for your mobile device. Go to www.frommers.com/go/mobile and click on the "Travel Tools" icon.
What Things Cost in Ireland (Euro €)
Taxi from the airport to Dublin 20-30
Double room, moderate 100-200
Double room, inexpensive 50-100
Cup of coffee 2.25
Pint of beer 3.50
Movie ticket 8.50
Bus fare 1.20
Moderate three-course meal for one 30.00
Gallon of gas 5.60
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.