You’ve planned for your trip to Ireland. You’ve booked your flights and accommodation and now you’re getting into the the finer details of your Ireland adventure. What currency and what cash to bring with you?
There’s a very simple answer to the question “Can you use US dollars in Ireland?” The answer is 100% No. Ireland is part of the Eurozone and so they only use Euro (€), while over the border in Northern Ireland they use British Pounds (£).
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How Much Cash Should I Have Going to Ireland?
You should carry a max of €200-€300 in cash while you’re in Ireland. It’s plenty to cover you for 1 to 2 days if anything goes wrong with your bank cards. As a rule of thumb, never carry too much cash with you while you’re traveling, yet, have a contingency fund to cover your expenses for a night’s accommodation and food.
Where To Exchange US Dollars for Euro While In Ireland?
There are various options for exchanging currency whilst in Ireland. We have outlined some key methods below.
Bureau de Change
As an American tourist you will arrive into Ireland via Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport or Cork Airport. Each of these airports has a Bureau de Change, generally located in the arrivals concourse. They do charge fees so just ask the teller for the calculated fees in advance of completing your transaction.
You may also find occasional Western Union branches in the main city centers.
The National Postal Service (AN POST) branches throughout the country, offer the commission free exchange and you get to chat with the An Post locals who have their fingers on the pulse of local life. This is my preferred option and they’re super friendly.
Banks will exchange your US Dollars for Euro. As the world has become more technically advanced and people prefer online banking, Irish banks such as Bank of Ireland and AIB (Allied Irish Bank) have reduced the amount of tellers in branch. This is turned it into a very slow process and you’ll generally be queuing. With other options available to you, I’d be inclined NOT to exchange your dollars in a bank. Save you time and headaches on your vacation.
Bank Cards & ATMs
Firstly, be aware that in Ireland they generally DO NOT accept such bank cards as Discovery, Diner’s, JCB and American Express. Be prepared and check with your bank before traveling. It’s good practice to tell your bank that you will be traveling so they don’t block your credit or debit card while you’re away. This has happened me, so make it a priority.
ATMs are like green fields in Ireland; every town and city has them in abundance. Generally you’ll find them on the main streets in towns and cities. In recent years, banks have added them to convenience stores and gas stations too. Just watch out for the ATM signs around the place.
Using US debits cards, prepare to pay a a fee with your own bank back home. When you do need to use your bank card withdraw up to the max of €300 or more if you feel safe. Planning your ATM withdrawals will reduce your bank fees.
Not everywhere can accept Apple Pay but do ask in various stores and restaurants and they will be able to tell you.
As you know by now, you can’t use US Dollars USD here in Ireland. It’s Euro only and bank cards all the way as the currency.
- Small villages do not have ATMs so be prepared
- Don’t carry too much cash with you – max €300
- When heading out from your accommodation for the day, use the safe and leave a backup bank card in the safe should you lose or have your wallet/purse stolen while out touring
Enjoy your trip to the Emerald Isle.