Americans living in or visiting Ireland are encouraged to register at the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland and obtain updated information on travel and security within Ireland. The Embassy is located at 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, telephone (353)-(1)-668-8777, after hours number: (353) (1) 668-9612, fax: (353) (1) 668-8056. Travelers to Northern Ireland should also consult the Consular Information Sheet for the United Kingdom. Further information and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Embassy Dublin's website.
May to mid September is by far the warmest and generally the driest time of year, relatively speaking (Ireland is usually cold and damp). The absolute best times to visit are probably from mid May to the end of June and during the month of October-the weather is good for touring and there usually aren't as many tourists. The rest of the summer is fine, though a bit crowded. In summer, temperatures generally fall in a range of 59 F/15 C to 68 F/20 C. Winter days can be drizzly, cold and short (the sun sets around 4 pm), but because of the Gulf Stream, the temperature seldom falls below freezing, averaging about 45 F/7 C. Winter is also an opportune time to meet the Irish-few tourists are about and you can easily find conversation at the local pub. No matter when you come, a light raincoat or windbreaker is essential, and you'll need a wool sweater and a jacket or coat, especially at night.
In the Republic, the telephone system is known as Eircom; in Northern Ireland, it's British Telecom. Phone numbers in Ireland are currently in flux, as digits are added to accommodate expanded service. Every effort has been made to ensure that the numbers and information in this guide are accurate at the time of writing. If you have difficulty reaching a party, the Irish toll-free number for directory assistance is tel. 11811. From the United States, the (toll) number to call is tel. 00353-91-770220.
The Irish electric system operates on 220 volts with a plug bearing three rectangular prongs. The Northern Irish system operates on 250 volts. To use standard American 110 volt appliances, you'll need both a transformer and a plug adapter. Most new laptops have built-in transformers, but some do not, so beware. Attempting to use only a plug adapter is a sure way to damage your appliance or, worse, cause a fire.
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