Money And Currency

In Ireland, the currency is the Euro which uses the following symbol (€). Each Euro consists of 100 cents. Notes are issued in €5, €10,€20 €50,€100,€200 & €500 amounts although you will rarely find anything above €100 notes in local shops or restaurants. 

Both Scotland & Northern Ireland share the same currency as both countries are apart of the UK. This currency is the British Pound Sterling, divided into 100 pence to every pound and the symbol for sterling is as follows (£). Notes are issued in £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 (allow £100 notes are very uncommon). 

The two currencies are separate and not interchangeable. You cannot use US dollars or other foreign currencies in Ireland. Sometimes near the border of Northern Ireland & the Republic of Ireland shops, restaurants and pubs will accept both Euro & British Pound Sterling. 

No! Do not bring $100 bills, please instead bring lesser denominations of your currency.

Irish banks will not cash or exchange them due to a high influx of counterfeit bills. 

The most widely accepted credit cards are Visa and MasterCard followed by American Express.

Very few places in Ireland and the United Kingdom will accept Diners Club and nowhere will accept Discover Cards. 

We recommend that you use credit cards & debit cards when available in the local shops, restaurants and pubs. ATMs will sometimes offer the best available exchange rates in Ireland and the United Kingdom and these are widely available to use. 

However, we recommend that you exchange some dollars into Euro or Sterling whichever currency is applicable to your first couple days in the event that you are unable to reach an ATM on route to your first destination on your package. 

It is highly recommended that you notify your credit card company and bank in advance that you will be travelling. 

When you decided which cards you are taking on your trip, call the company to inform them of your travel dates and where you will be travelling i.e Ireland or Northern Ireland (UK). Otherwise, they may flag your account for suspicious activity and freeze your account. 

While at an ATM many of the machines will ask if you want to be charged in your home currency OR the local currency (€ 0r £).

We suggest choosing the local currency (if available) with this option your bank/credit card company will pre-determine the exchange rate (which may be more favourable for you, especially if they have no International Transaction Fees associated with your account).

If you choose your home currency then the establishment you are in will determine your exchange rate (note: you may also still be charged an International Transaction Fee even if it is your home currency, this will be dependent on the type of ATM and the provider e.g Bank of Ireland).

In Ireland and the UK (Northern Ireland, Scotland, England & Wales), almost all products purchased are subject to Value Added Tax — VAT, for short.

This VAT is a “hidden tax” — already added into the purchase price of any products such as gifts or souvenirs bought on a visit (there are two notable exceptions in Ireland and the UK: no VAT on books and no VAT on children’s clothing and footwear).

All US Citizens are entitled to get a refund of VAT paid. In order to get this refund, you have to get a VAT-refund receipt at the time of purchase from each store in which you shop.

This is very important! Unlike business travellers, tourists (all package types) aren’t entitled to refunds on the VAT they spend on hotels, meals, transportation and visitor attractions.