If you want to go shopping in Ireland or visit an attraction you can do so at nearly any civilized time - but it helps to know the basic rules when to venture out. Here are some general hints:
- High Street Shops
Most High Street Shops (shops in the central urban areas) will usually open between 9 and 10 am and close between 5 and 6 pm, Monday to Saturday. Lunch breaks are rare but some county towns may have early closing days. Some large county towns and the cities have Sunday opening between noon and around 6 pm. The same rule applies for opening on public holidays.
- Malls and Shopping Centers
Most malls open around 9 am and close at different times - expect 6 pm from Monday to Wednesday and on Saturday, 8 pm on Thursday and Friday. Sunday and public holidays opening times would be between noon and 6 pm.
Generally open along the same lines as High Street Shops, but with some supermarkets staying open until midnight and a few even open 24 hours (excluding Sundays).
- Convenience Stores
These small shops usually cater for the commuter and working professionals - which means they open around 7 am and close around 9 to 10 pm from Monday to Saturday, noon to 6 pm on Sundays.
- Gas Stations
You will find some gas stations with 24/7 service in the larger urban areas, otherwise opening hours similar to convenience stores apply.
Banks are generally open from 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and will definitely be closed on public holidays.
- Post Offices
Most post offices are open 9 am to 5 or 6 pm from Monday to Friday, occasionally with a lunch hour around 1 pm in rural areas. Larger post offices are open on Saturday (mornings in most cases), but all will usually be closed on public holidays.
Expect most museums to be open between 10 am (noon on Sundays) and 5 or 6 pm. Some museums are closed on Mondays and some on public holidays (especially the National Museums in Dublin).
Expect most attractions to be open between 10 am (noon on Sundays) and 5 or 6 pm. Some attractions are closed outside the season (late March to October), especially those in rural areas.
Pubs should be open between noon and midnight as a rule of thumb - expect some pubs to be closed on Sundays, especially in Northern Ireland.
- Public Transport
Public Transport during the week generally kicks in at 6 am for commuters, at 7 am in the urban areas and then starts to wind down from 7 pm. Only few selected services are running after 11 pm. Saturday services start later and Sunday services are severely less frequent. On public holidays Sunday timetables apply.
As always it is advised to check opening times before travelling longer distances to avoid disappointment!