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General Info about Dallas, USA


Visa Requirements

Under the Visa Waiver Programme a large number of countries are exempt from visa requirements for non-working stays of less than 90 days. All other stays in the country require different visas. To ensure you are aware of the full entry requirements contact your nearest American embassy before travelling.


Currency

The currency used in Dallas is the US Dollar (US$) which is divided in 100 cents (¢). Notes come in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. There are larger denominations but they are rarely used. Coins used are 1¢ (penny), 5¢ (nickel), 10¢ (dime), ¢25 (quarter), ¢50 and $1, although the last two aren't seen regularly.


Language

Texas doesn’t have an official language; however, in Dallas English and Spanish are the most widely spoken.


Climate

The city of Dallas has what is known as a humid subtropical climate. This means hot, humid summers and mild winters for the most part. Temperatures range from an average high of 29ºC in July to an average low of 7.5ºC in January. April and May are generally the wettest months.


Medical Care

Most visitors to Dallas aren’t covered medically so you will have to pay for any medical treatment received. Make sure to get travel insurance including health insurance before you go.


Time Zone

Dallas is in the Central Standard Time Zone, which is 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.


Opening Hours

Opening hours for shops in Dallas are generally from 9am/10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday and on Sundays from midday until 5.00pm. Banks are normally open from 9.00am to 3.00pm on weekdays and some open until lunch-time on Saturdays.


Tourist Offices

The main tourist information centre in Dallas is located in the Old Red Courthouse at 100 South Houston Street. It’s open on Mon-Fri from 8am-5pm and on weekends from 9am-5pm.


Tax

There is no VAT in the US but every state, county and city reserves the right to levy its own local tax on all purchases. Sales tax in Dallas is 8.25%. Restaurant tax is 7%, and the tax on hotels is 15%.


Currency Exchange

For the best rates, exchange your money for dollars at one of the various banks or use one of the numerous ATMs throughout the city. US Dollar travellers cheques are also widely accepted in hotels and hostels.


Electricity

The electricity used in Dallas is 110 to 120 volts AC, 60 cycles. European or Australian appliances will need a 110-volt transformer and a plug adapter with two flat parallel pins before they can be used here.


Telephones

The international code for the US is +1. The area code for Dallas is 214.

If you are calling overseas from within the US you dial 011 (America’s international access code), followed by the country’s code, area code (remembering to drop the 0) and local number.


Post Office

Dallas’s main post office can be found at 400 N. Ervay Street. It is open on Monday-Saturday from 8.30am-5pm.


Tipping

Tipping is customary all over the US, usually around 15-20% of the bill. Most people in the service industry expect to receive tips. These include taxi drivers, waiters and waitresses, barmen, chamber maids, hotel bellboys and airport luggage porters.


Public Holidays

It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel to a country as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In the US they take place on New Years Day (January 1st), Martin Luther King Day (Third Mon in January), President’s Day (third Monday in February), Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4th), Labour Day (first Monday in September), Columbus Day (second Monday in October), Veterans Day (11th November), Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), and Christmas Day (December 25th).

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