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Flag of Ireland
Still current at: 09 December 2012
Updated: 15 October 2012
No restrictions in this travel advice Avoid all but essential travel to part(s) of country Avoid all but essential travel to whole country Avoid all travel to part(s) of country Avoid all travel to whole country

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Safety and Security Road Travel section (road death statistics). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in this travel advice for Ireland.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country

  • There is an underlying threat from terrorism.  Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • You should carry an acceptable form of photo-identification for travel between the UK and Ireland.

  • Around 3 million British tourists visit Ireland each year (Source: Irish Tourist Board). See General - Consular Assistance Statistics.

  • New drink driving limits were introduced in October 2011. See Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road Travel.

  • You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See General - Insurance.

Safety and Security - Terrorism
There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our Terrorism abroad page.

Safety and Security - Crime
Most visitors to Ireland  experience no difficulties during their stay. Take precautions to avoid personal attacks, bag snatching and pick pocketing. Try to avoid carrying valuables and large sums of money. You should make sure that vehicles are properly secured, and where possible park in secure parking lots. For more general information see our Victims of crime abroad page.

Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road Travel
In 2011 there were 186 road deaths in Ireland (source: DfT). This equates to 4.2 road deaths per 100,000 of population compared to the UK average of 3.0 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2011.

Do not drink and drive. You may be heavily penalised or even imprisoned if you are found driving over the limit. New legal limits were introduced on 28 October 2011. The new limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (0.05%) for fully licensed drivers, and 20ml of alcohol per 100ml of blood (0.02%) for professional, learner and novice drivers. The Garda Traffic Corps is empowered to conduct random breath-tests on drivers. Click here for further details. Holding and using a mobile phone whilst driving is also banned. If you relocate to Ireland you must re-register your UK registered vehicle within one week of arriving to reside in Ireland. Your car could possibly be impounded if you fail to comply. 

See our Driving abroad page.

Safety and Security - Local Travel - Air Travel
The revised EU-wide security measures that came into effect for all passengers departing from UK airports in November 2006 are also being implemented in Ireland. For more details about this see Airline security.

Safety and Security - Political Situation
Ireland Country Profile

It is illegal to smoke in places of employment in Ireland. This covers pubs and restaurants.  Do not become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even small quantities can lead to long terms of imprisonment. Do not offer to carry parcels or luggage for any other person when entering or leaving Ireland.

See our Your trip page.

Ireland, along with the UK, is a member of the Common Travel Area. This means that British Citizens do not require a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the IDs of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and most airlines will not carry passengers to and from Ireland unless they have seen satisfactory photographic ID before boarding. Travellers to Ireland are therefore advised to take their British passports with them.

Other than passports, some carriers may accept other types of photographic ID.  For their acceptability, please consult your carrier before travelling. Take care to read any advice they may give when booking tickets on the Internet.

Contact your GP around eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide, is available from NHS Choices.

If you are visiting Ireland you should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Irish nationals, so if an Irish national is required to pay a fee towards their treatment, you would also have to pay the same fee. The EHIC will not cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation. See our EHIC page and the NHS - About the EHIC page.

In the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 6,900 adults aged 15 or over in Ireland were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 0.2% of the adult population, which equals the prevalence percentage in the UK. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

Our Travel health pages offer further advice on how to stay healthy when overseas.

General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. Check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. Ensure that you have sufficient medical insurance to cover your stay in Ireland. If you need a doctor you may be asked to pay for the consultation there and then. See our Travel insurance page.

If things do go wrong when you are overseas see our When Things Go Wrong page.

The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) can also offer support and practical assistance to victims of crime. This includes liaison with travel companies and financial institutions and, in emergency situations, arranging accommodation, meals and transport. The service is free and Ireland-wide. The ITAS recommends you report any incident in person to the nearest Garda (Police) Station who will then contact the organisation.  

ITAS can be contacted at:
Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS)
Monday-Friday, 6 - 7 Hanover Street East, Dublin
Weekends and public holidays: Store Street Garda Station, Dublin 2   Tel: Mon-Fri: +353 (0)1-6610562; Weekend and public holidays: +353 (0)1 6668109
Open Mon-Sat: 10:00 - 18:00, Sun & Public Holidays: 12:00 - 18:00.

General - Registration

Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.

General - Money
The currency of [name of country] is the Euro. See our Travel Money page.

Check before you travel that your bank cash card can be used in ATM machines in Ireland. The currency in Ireland is the Euro. On 15 June 2007 new legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU apply in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 Euros or more; this includes cheques, travellers' cheques, money orders, etc. This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU nor to those travelling within the EU.

General - Consular Assistance Statistics
One hundred and twenty-three British nationals required consular assistance in Ireland in the period 1 April 2011 - 31 March 2012, including for 17 deaths, 9 hospitalisations and 28 arrests. Most incidents occur in the Dublin area. If you need to contact the emergency services in Ireland call 112.


British Embassy
29 Merrion Road
Dublin 4  

Telephone:  (353) (1) 205 3700  Main Switchboard
(353) (1) 205 3775  Trade & Investment
(353) (1) 205 3791  Press & Public Affairs enquiries only

1570 214 666 (in Ireland, charged at €1.75 per minute) or 0906 664 1717 (from the UK, charged at £1.50 per minute) Passports. All passport enquiries are handled on our behalf by Careline.

1570 214 314 (in Ireland, charged at €1.75 per minute) or 00 353 76 670 9865 (if calling outside of Ireland, call charged at $14) Visas. All UK visa enquiries are handled on our behalf by WorldBridge Service.

(353) (1) 205 3885 Management
(353) (1) 205 3880 Trade & Investment
(353) (1) 205 3731 Chancery
(353) (1) 205 3890 Visa
(353) (1) 205 3820 Passports
(353) (1) 205 3779 Consular
(353) (1) 205 3893 Press & Public Affairs  

Email:  Trade & Investment section
 Press & Public Affairs  Consular Management Chancery Passports Visas

Office Hours: GMT:  (Local Time = GMT)

Mon-Thurs: 09:00-12:45 / 14:00-17:15

Fri: 09:00-12:45 / 14:00-17:00



Ireland, Dublin, British Embassy


29 Merrion Road
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4


Main Switchboard:
    (353) (1) 205 3700
Passport enquiries:
    (353) (1) 570 999 331
Visa enquiries:
    (353) (1) 570 214 314




Office hours:

GMT: (Local Time = GMT)
Mon-Thurs: 0900-1245 / 1400-1715
Fri: 0900-1245 / 1400-1700

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