The people of Northern Ireland are welcoming and friendly people with a good sense of humor. They are often curious as to where you’re visiting from and why and will like to get to know you. However that doesn’t mean that there are certain etiquettes you shouldn’t follow. Due to the troubled past of Northern Ireland, visitors should avoid bringing up issues regarding the integration of the two main religious groups, the IRA, UDA, UVF, INLA or political parties, as it is likely to annoy or even offend. Your best bet is to keep any opinions on these matters to yourself and avoid these types of conversations in public to avoid being overheard.
As part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland’s currency is the same as the British Pound Sterling (£) which is divided into 100 pence (p). The four national banks of Northern Ireland are Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Northern/Danske Bank and First Trust Bank which issue their own banknotes however these Northern Irish banknotes are quite difficult to exchange once you are outside the UK as foreign banks aren’t generally familiar with these notes so it is recommended that you either spend these or exchange them for Bank of England notes before you leave the UK.
Most hotels offer internet access however there are also internet cafés located throughout the main tourist areas. When it comes to plugging in your devices, Northern Ireland uses the British BS1363 three-pin rectangular socket (230V/50Hz).
For international dialing use 0011 + country code + area code + local number. As Northern Ireland is part of the UK, it uses the same international telephone country code which is 44. Check the area code where you are staying. When trying to contact home, particularly by phone remember the time difference. The Irish time zone is the same as the rest of the UK, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Hiring a car is a lovely way to explore Northern Ireland with many of its winding roads offering stunning scenery and plenty of places of interest to stop. Roads link Northern Ireland with the remainder of the country however it is important that visitors pay attention to road signs when nearing border areas as speed limits in Northern Ireland are expressed in miles per hour while speed limits in the rest of the country are expressed in kilometers per hour. Northern Ireland Railways also offers a small yet reliable rail network around the region with four domestic lines that depart from Belfast and travel to Bangor, Portadown, Larne and Londonderry/Derry or Portrush.
As part of the United Kingdom, there are no border controls when entering Northern Ireland from within the UK and you will not require a passport to travel between parts of the UK, Ireland and Scotland. Although the same visa and immigration requirements as in the UK are enforced in Northern Ireland, visitors from many countries including Australia only need a passport for entry into the country and don’t require a visa for any visit less than 6 months.