Do I Need a Passport to Go to Ireland From the UK?
No, if you are a citizen of the UK, you do not need a passport to travel to Ireland. That’s because Ireland and the UK along with the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are part of the Common Travel Area.
According to the laws of the agreement, there is minimal control on the internal borders of these countries. As such, you technically do not need a passport to fly to Ireland from the UK -you can pass through with your ID card or another valid form of identification which shows your picture.
However some air or sea lines may not allow you to board without a passport, or you may need to show proof of your nationality. Therefore, if you do have a passport, you are advised to have it with you.
Otherwise, check beforehand to see whether you’ll be allowed through without a passport.
Can I Travel to Ireland from the UK Without a Visa?
Yes, if you are a British citizen, you can freely travel to Ireland without a visa.
However, if you are in the UK with a visa, and you want to travel from there to Ireland and if you are normally subject to Irish visas, you need to obtain a separate Irish visa – except in certain cases.
The Irish Visa Waiver Programme allows nationals of the following countries to travel to Ireland from the UK without an Irish visa provided that they already hold a valid UK short-stay visa:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Russian Federation
- Saudi Arabia
- The People’s Republic of China
- United Arab Emirates
Additionally, there’s also the British-Irish Visa Scheme, which allows Indian and Chinese nationals to travel between both countries, as long as they have a valid short stay visa for either Ireland or the UK.
If you are from one of the countries mentioned above, you can learn more about the British-Irish Visa Scheme and the Ireland Visa Waiver Programme here.
Traveling Between Ireland and Northern Ireland
The island of Ireland consists of two countries: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Even though they are both parts of the same island, they are two different countries. Additionally, Northern Ireland is part of the UK.
If you are a UK or Irish citizen, you can travel between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland freely, due to the Common Travel Area agreement.
If, on the other hand, you are a foreign national who is not in the EU/EEA, then you will be subject to visa requirements as usual if you want to travel from one country to the other.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Traveling to Ireland
Before you travel to Ireland, keep these things in mind:
- You may need a visa if you’re from a visa-required country.
- Ireland uses the Euro currency, Northern Ireland (and the rest of the UK) uses Pound Sterling.
- If you’re going to rent a car, make sure to book an automatic beforehand since most cars in Ireland are manual transmission.
- Oh, and, you will be driving on the left-hand side of the road!
- If you want a bus to stop for you, you’ll have to flag it down, even if you are waiting at a bus stop.
- Take out travel health insurance.
- Pack an umbrella and warm clothes!
- But also pack some light clothes – the weather is unpredictable.
- Don’t plan too many things for Sundays – most places are shut down or only open for a few hours.
- Ireland has about 30,000 castles – drop by a few.
- Pack an adapter.
- Have a pint of Guinness!