Currency in Ireland

When we arrive in Dublin, we plan to get euros at the airport. We will be spending just 2 days in Northern Ireland UK and since the currency there is in British Sterling Pounds, will we need to convert some of our cash to BSP or do they accept euros?

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
683 posts

Rather than convert your cash - do you mean your euro cash? - it would be easier and cheaper, I think, just to use a cash machine ("ATM") to withdraw some pounds once you are there. Otherwise you are paying fees twice - once to convert from dollars to euros, then again from euro to pounds (or perhaps I've misunderstood?). But to answer your actual question ... You can use euros in Northern Ireland - that is especially true around the border and the exchange rate should be fairly competitive (shops want to attract RoI customers too). As you go further north or east, e.g. to Belfast, it becomes less common and is more restricted to the bigger shops/chains - the exchange rate offfered is unlikely to be as good either (and not as good as you should be able to get from using a cash machine or paying with a debit card).

Posted by Rosemary
Dayton, OH, USA
17 posts

Thanks, Keith. We can do it either way, but sounds like it should be more economical to use a debit or credit card, although we still may have to pay a foreign transaction fee. We will probably find an ATM in Belfast and take enough to hold over for our visit to Guernsey the next week. We usually put travel expenses on one of our credit cards that gives us triple points, but I understand that debit cards may be the wiser choice. We will check with our bank on that one.

Posted by Ed
7976 posts

I'll defer to the experts, but NI notes, like Scottis notes, are hard to spend once you get very far away and Gurnsey is way the hell and gone. Banks will swap them out, but merchants toss them back. FTF's won't kill you. They run two percent, maybe. You'll loose about a percent on an ATM. That's a penny on a buck, a dime on ten, a buck on a hundred, ten bucks on a grand........

Posted by John
Pantego, NC, USA
704 posts

Northern Ireland notes are hard to spend in UK and cannot be spend in the rest of Ireland. Try to charge everything you can and get minimal cash from ATM.

Posted by Ceidleh
Boston, MA, United States
1176 posts

Ed is correct. When you wander away from the border, merchants are less likely to accept Euros. Swap the NI cash out at a bank before you leave if you withdraw too much, or spend what you have left on souvenirs or other stuff if it's not a lot at the end of your 2 days.