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Northern Ireland > Details

Country Name
Northern Ireland
Geographical Area
13,843 square kilometers (5,345 square miles)
1,841,245 (Oct 2014 est.)
Capital City
People   98.28% White, 1.06% Asian, 0.20% Black, 0.46% Unspecified
Language   English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge), Ulster Scots
Religion   Roman Catholic 40%, Presbyterian 19.1%, Anglican 13.7%, other Christian 8.8%, other 0.8%, unspecified 6.8%, none 10.1%
Government   Constitutional Monarchy, the chief of the state is the Queen, the head of the government is the prime minister
Head of Government   Monarch: Elizabeth II; Prime Minister: David Cameron; First Minister: Peter Robi
Embassy   U.S. Consulate General Belfast, Northern Ireland Danesfort House 223 Stranmillis Road Belfast BT9 5GR
Visas   Citizens of the US and Canada do not need a visa for stays in the UK up to 6 months, but they are prohibited from working. Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds for your stay
Health Risks   None
Clothing Suggestions   Summer temperatures average between 60F to 70F. Anything above that would be considered a hot day, and rarely does the temperature get as high as 85F. The winter is moderate even in January and February. The average temperature is between 43F and 45F degrees. Always be sure to carry an umbrella.
Time Zone:   0 GMT/UTC; five hours ahead of U.S. EST.
Banking / Exchange   Most bank branches have modern cash dispensers that enable visitors from other countries to withdraw cash from their bank and credit card accounts. This is convenient because travelers can withdraw only the amount of money they need immediately. Direct use of credit cards is becoming the most common means of payment.
Currency   Pound Sterling (GBP)
Electric Current   Weight: Pounds and stones - Measure: Feet and inches
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks  
Shopping   Shopping hours vary by the season. In winter, stores are generally open 9 AM–6 PM. In summer, store hours are 9 AM–12:30 PM and 5 PM–8 PM Monday to Saturday. Most stores are closed on Sunday, some are also closed on Friday.
Weights & measures  
How to shop Tax Fee   1. Shop in any of the stores that display a TAX-FREE FOR TOURISTS window sticker and ask for a Tax-Free Shopping Form. With this form you can later claim your VAT (Value Added Tax) Refund. The VAT is included in the selling price. Non-European Union residents may reclaim VAT. 2. When you leave the UK, make sure your purchases and receipts are readily available for inspection. Allow plenty of time for this process when you arrive at the airport. A Customs official will stamp your form as long as the purchase was made within the previous six months. Without this stamp, a form is not valid and VAT refund cannot be made. 3. A VAT refund will be mailed to you or placed in a credit card account.
National Airport   Belfast International (BFS)
Major Tourist Attractions   Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, Walled City of Derry, Bushmills Distillery
Tipping Suggestion   Tipping is customary, but at a lower rate than in many other countries. Most high-end restaurants clearly include a service charge of between 10 to 15%, and in this case there is no need to tip. Otherwise tip up to 10% if the service is acceptable. Taxi drivers are commonly tipped 10%. Hotel porters that assist guests with bags also expect to receive a gratuity of, at most, 1 Pound per bag. It is customary to tip tour guides 5 to 7 GBP per person per day on multiday tours and drivers 3 to 5 GBP per person per day. The suggested tip for day tours is 10 to 15 GBP for the guide and 5 GBP for the driver.
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