Dublin Vacations & Travel Tips
Bus Éireann is the Republic's national bus line, based at Busáras, with services all over the Republic and to the north. These fares are substantially cheaper than regular train fares but journeys take a little longer. Buses can also be caught from London, but cramped conditions and delays are a problem.
The best value if you are using the Airlink express buses from the Airport is to purchase a Rambler ticket at the airport. This will allow you to travel on the express bus and any other bus on the Dublin Bus network (apart from Nitelink, Ferry Services and Tours). There are 1,3,5, 30-day tickets available from the CIE desk in the airport and at the ticket-vending machines outside Arrivals.
Train travel is expensive and the network, while improving, is slow and poorly maintained. At least distances are short; the longest trip you can make by train from Dublin is 4.5 hours, to Tralee. Iarnród Éreann operates routes from Connolly station going north of Dublin and from Heuston station for services to the west, south and southwest.
Ferry services from Britain operate to Dublin's city ferry terminal and Dun Laoghaire's Carlisle ferry terminal on the southern side of Dublin Bay. Both terminals have good public transport connections to the city.
Dublin has Ireland's major international airport and many international airlines - including Aer Lingus, the Irish national airline, and Ryanair - have connections to countries in Europe and to the USA. Indeed, London to Dublin has overtaken London-New York and London-Paris as the busiest international air route in the world. Departure tax is included in ticket prices. There are internal flights between Dublin and Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Shannon and Sligo. Most journeys within Ireland take between 30 and 40 minutes. Dublin Airport is 10km (6mi) north of the city center. The Airlink Express Coach runs two services, to/from Busáras and the Dublin Bus offices in O'Connell St, and to Heuston and Connolly stations, both taking about 30-40 minutes. There's also the Aircoach service that runs between the airport and 15 city locations. If you're on a really tight budget, take a bus. A number of buses serve the airport from various points in Dublin, including buses 16A (Rathfarnham), 746 (Dun Laoghaire) and 230 (Portmarnock); all cross the city center on their way to the airport. Taxis are subject to all sorts of additional charges for baggage, extra passengers and 'unsocial hours'.
Dublin's extensive bus system (usually yellow double-deckers) radiates from the city center to the vast suburbs surrounding it. While it's easy to travel from almost anywhere in outer Dublin into the city center, very few buses travel east-west across town, necessitating a trip into town and then out again. Dublin Bus also runs airport, Nitelink and sightseeing tours. Costs vary and tickets can be purchased at over 350 ticket agents throughout the city or in the Dublin Tourism Centre. If you do not have a ticket, you will need exact change to buy a ticket on the bus - the driver will let you know how much you owe, depending on how far you are going.
Taxis are expensive, and a perennial shortage means it can be hard to catch one, especially around the weekend after the pubs close.
With severe congestion, scarce parking, diligent traffic wardens and even more committed car thieves, it's hardly worth driving in central Dublin. But for excursions, a car can be a great way to get off the beaten track, particularly on Sundays when public transport is infrequent.
Traffic in Dublin is a nightmare and car parking is an expensive headache. Clamping of illegally parked cars is thoroughly enforced, with a charge for removal. Car theft and break-ins are a problem, with foreign number plates prime targets; never leave your valuables behind. Car rental in Dublin is expensive. In July and August it's wise to book well ahead. Motorbikes and mopeds are not available for rent.
Dublin Bus runs buses across Dublin. Fares are calculated according to stages. Nitelink late-night buses run from the College St, Westmoreland St and D'Olier St triangle from Monday to Saturday.
All taxi fares begin with a flagfall fare, followed by a charge per unit (one-sixth of a kilometer or 30 seconds) thereafter. Taxis can be hailed on the street and are found at taxi ranks around the city, including O'Connell St, College Green in front of Trinity College and St Stephen's Green at the end of Grafton St. There are numerous taxi companies that will dispatch taxis by radio. Weekends and late nights are notoriously hard times to find a cab.
The Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) provide bus and train services across Dublin. All rail information, including timetables and ticket and pass sales, is available from the Rail Travel Centre. The city has two main train stations: Heuston Station, on the western side of town near the Liffey, and Connolly Station, a short walk northeast of Busáras, behind Custom House. The brand-new Luas light-rail system has two lines: the green line, which connects St Stephen's Green with Sandyford in south Dublin via Ranelagh and Dundrum; and the red line, which runs from Lower Abbey St to Tallaght via the north quays and Heuston Station. There are ticket machines at every stop or you can buy a ticket from newsagents throughout the city center.
Rust-red cycle lanes throughout the city make cycling in Dublin easier than ever, although traffic congestion, motorised maniacs and roadworks can make the city something of an obstacle course. Bike theft is a problem. Never leave your bike on the street overnight. Bike rental is available through several outlets, though it has become increasingly difficult to find due to crippling insurance costs.
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Overlooking the River Liffey, The Morrison Dublin, Curio Collection by Hilton is ideally located near dining, shopping, and entertainment.