Hours of Operation
Museums and sights are generally open Tuesday–Saturday 10–5 and Sunday 2–5. Business hours are 9–5, sometimes later in the larger towns. In smaller towns, many establishments close from 1 to 2 for lunch. If a holiday falls on a weekend, most businesses are closed on Monday. There are some 24-hour gas stations along the highways; otherwise, hours vary from morning rush hour to late evenings.
In the Republic of Ireland, banks are open 10–4 weekdays. They remain open until 5 one afternoon per week, usually Thursday. Post offices are open weekdays 9–5 and Saturday 9–1. In Northern Ireland, bank hours are weekdays 9:30–4:30. Post offices are open weekdays 9–5:30, Saturday 9–1.
Pharmacies are usually open Monday–Saturday 9–5:30 or 6. Larger towns and cities often have 24-hour establishments. Most shops are open Monday–Saturday 9–5:30 or 6. Once a week—normally Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday—shops close at 1 pm. These times do not apply to Dublin, where stores generally stay open later. Larger malls usually stay open late once a week—generally until 9 on Thursday or Friday. Convenience stores, supermarkets, and gas stations in both Dublin and rural Ireland are generally open until 8 or 9 pm.
Shops in Belfast are open weekdays 9–5:30, with a late closing on Thursday, usually at 9. Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, shops close for the afternoon once a week, usually Wednesday or Thursday.
Irish national holidays are as follows: January 1 (New Year's Day); March 17 (St. Patrick's Day); Good Friday; Easter Monday; May 2 (May Day); June 6 and August 1 (summer bank holidays); October 31 (autumn bank holiday); and December 25 and 26 (Christmas and St. Stephen's Day). If you plan to visit at Easter, remember that theaters and movie theaters are closed for the last three days of the preceding week.
In Northern Ireland, the following are holidays: January 1 (New Year's Day); March 17 (St. Patrick's Day); Good Friday; Easter Monday; May 2 (early May bank holiday); May 30 (late spring bank holiday); July 12 (Battle of the Boyne); August 29 (summer bank holiday); and December 25 and 26 (Christmas and Boxing Day).