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Travel Tips 1
When to Visit
Northern Ireland 

Travel Tips for Northern Ireland

Safety in the Cities
There are notorious spots in Belfast where sectarian tensions inevitably boil over, however if a tourist were to stick to the touristy places of Belfast, then if anything does happen it is just bad luck. 
 

Public Holidays
January 1 - New Year’s Day

March 17 - St. Patricks Day

Good Friday and Easter Monday - Easter

1st Monday in May - May bank holiday

last Monday in May - Spring bank holiday

July 12th - Battle of the Boyne

last Monday in August - Summer bank holiday

Dec 25 and 26 - Christmas and Boxing Day

These are the statutory holidays.  If any of these days fall on a weekend, a day in lieu should be given which is typically the next working day.  July 13th is normally also given as a holiday. 

 
Tipping
Tipping is not standard practise in Northern Ireland.  You may wish to add an extra 10% to the bill at a restaurant if you are impressed with the service but it is not mandatory. Some restaurant bills add an extra tax or service charge however sometimes this does not go to the server but to the restaurant.  If you want to leave the server a tip, it is probably best to leave cash in addition to this service charge. 
 
Taxi drivers appreciate a tip but will not be insulted if you fail to offer a tip.
 
What to Wear? 
In Northern Ireland you can have 4 seasons in one day so it is hard to make a general statement about what to wear.  You may find it helpful to wear layers and to always have an umbrella close by.  For the most part, people dress informally, although smart casual wear is often required after dark at theatres and the more sophisticated hotels and restaurants.
 
Trading Hours
Average trading hours are from 8:30 or 9:00 until 17:00 or 17:30, Monday to Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 6pm although there is some flexibility in the legislation.  Some shops close completely on a Sunday. 
 
Post Offices  
Open from 9:00 - 17:30 Monday to Friday with some opening Saturday mornings, too. 

Banking Hours
Generally 9.30am-5pm Monday to Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

Water 
Tap water is safe to drink throughout Northern Ireland but you should always check before you drink the water locally in case there has been an advisory issued.  Also, sometimes your body does not deal very well with a change in water, so it may be advisable to slowly acclimatise your body to local water by drinking bottled water for a few days. 
 
Electricity 
The electrical current in Northern Ireland is 240 volts AC.
 
The local plug-and-socket system uses three pins. Good quality hardware stores and electrical stores may carry adaptors, as well as at airports, for the electrical goods you brought with you.  A more practical solution is to purchase appropriate adaptors before you leave your country.
 
Weights and Measures: Imperial system. 
 
Dialling Code for UK:  44
Dialling Code for Northern Ireland:  28
 
Emergencies 
The telephone number for emergencies is 999.
 
This will connect you to police, ambulance or other emergency services.
 
Time Zone 
There is only one time zone in Northern Ireland which is GMT + 0. 

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