About to adventure to ‘iontach’ Dublin? That’s ‘wonderful’ in Irish, FYI. Get ready to feel the lively atmosphere of Dublin as you travel the charming streets of this historic city! Dublin is home to enchanting architecture, cathedrals, landmarks steeped in history and bustling pubs. In order to see everything in Dublin (and avoid getting lost in any winding laneways after you’ve had a few pints of Guinness), we’ve assembled a Dublin transportation guide with everything you need to know to get around the city. We have the deets on public transportation, info on how to get from the airport to downtown and tips on how to maximize your itinerary.
How to get from Dublin International Airport to downtown city center
The Dublin International Airport (DUB) is located in Collinstown, Fingal, about 10km north of Dublin City Centre, near the M50 and M1 motorway. It’s around a 20-minute drive to the city center (of course, dependent on the traffic) but as the Dublin International Airport isn’t too far away from downtown, it isn’t a very difficult trek and can be easily done in a number of ways. Obviously, you can drive but as a Dublin tourist, you may not have access to or be able to drive a car. So, we’ve put together all your options for traveling from DUB to downtown Dublin.
By public bus (Dublin Bus):
Making the trip to downtown Dublin from Dublin airport by public transportation is your first option. It’s probably the slowest option, but also the cheapest. You will be able to recognize the double-decker Dublin Buses by the bright yellow color and blue stripes. There are a number of bus routes that go to and from Dublin International Airport, including the 16 and 102. Different routes may stop at either Terminal 1 or 2, or both. You can figure out the best bus route to take for your destination by using the official sites route planner.
One of the most popular routes is the Dublin Bus 41. The 41 goes from Lower Abbey Street to Swords Manor and stops at both airport Terminals. Check out a full list of the 41 route stops here. The bus runs about every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during off-peak hours. The bus operates from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekdays, from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 7:30 a.m. to 11:10 p.m. on Sundays. The full timetable can be found on the official site here. The bus fare is calculated by distance, so head over to the official site to find out how much your trip will run you. You can pay in cash on the bus or purchase a pass for a discounted rate (scroll down for more on that).
By express coach bus:
The express coach buses travel from the Dublin airport to Dublin city center without making as many stops as the public bus, which means it’s a speedier, although pricier (compared to the public bus), option. There are two express coaches that you can take from the airport to downtown Dublin.
The Airlink Express bus service is also run by the Dublin public transportation system. There are two routes- the 747 and the 757. Once you depart the Arrivals gate at the airport, you should see signage to catch the Airlink Express. They both operate seven days a week, from 4:45 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. They cover most of the downtown core; the 747 runs between Dublin Airport & Heuston Rail Station and the 757 between Dublin Airport & Camden Street (Charlotte Way and Harcourt Street). You can find the timetables for each route on the official site here. You can get tickets online or buy in-person from the driver or the vending machines at the airport terminals.
Single fare (online): €6
Return fare (online): €11
The Aircoach is a privately-operated, 24-hour coach bus service. It departs from Terminal 1, just outside the Arrivals, as well as from the Terminal 2 departures main level. Aircoach travels from the Dublin International Airport to the city center and South Dublin. Its city center service stops at most of the major hotels in Dublin City at key locations across Dublin. It can take anywhere from 25 – 45 minutes. From 3:15 a.m. to 11:55 p.m., it departs every 15 minutes, and every 30 minutes after that. You can find all the route stops here on the official site. You can pay in cash or book your tickets online.
Single fare (starting from): €6
Return fare (starting from): €10
Pro-Tip: If you’re hoping to make your way outside of the city center from the airport, you can find a number of other coach services. Check out the list on the Dublin International Airport site.
Lastly, grabbing a taxi from the airport is probably the simplest way to get yourself downtown, however, it will be the most expensive way as well. You can line up at the taxi rank outside Terminal 1 and 2 Arrivals. Be prepared for a cab ride to cost you anywhere from €25 to €30. You will also need to tip your driver. For more details on taxis to and from the airport, head to the airport official site here.
How to get around Dublin
Transportation Option 1: By Dublin Bus
Dublin is well connected by the city’s public transportation bus system. As mentioned above, to figure out which route you want to take, which stop to catch the bus at, or where to get off, it’s suggested to use the official sites trip planner.
We recommend downloading the Dublin Bus app which boasts a fare calculator and bus timetable as well. Of course, handy Google Maps is always a necessity when traveling, as well. Using apps is the best way to know when your next bus will come and exactly how to make any transfers.
Fare is calculated by distance, so you will need to have cash on-hand to pay for your ticket, or you can choose to purchase a pass that allows for a discounted rate. The Leap Card is a convenient way to pay for travel in Dublin and the surrounding counties. It can be used on buses, trams, and trains.
There’s a few different types of Leap Cards, so we’ll quickly breakdown the common ones that most visitors will use:
Leap Card (adult):
This is the card that locals will purchase. It requires a €5 deposit and a minimum €5 travel credit. After purchasing your card, you will just need to top it up to pay for all travel. Check out the Dublin transportation fare details for Leap Cards here. You can buy a Leap Card online or at an authorized outlet, find a list of all outlets here. When you’re out of money on your card, you will simply need to top it up using the app, online, at tram and train machines, or at one of the Leap Card payzone outlets- more info on that here.
For those visiting Dublin, a short-term Leap Card might be a better option. Your Leap Card grants you unlimited travel over your selected time period on Airlink, Dublin Bus, Go-Ahead Ireland, Luas, DART and Commuter Rail- which means it can be used to travel to and from the airport.
Leap Card Prices:
1-Day Leap Card (24 hours): €10
3-Day Leap Card (72 hours) €19.50
7-Day Leap Card (168 hours): €40
Transportation Option 2: By DART Rail Line
DART stands for Dublin Area Rapid Transit, it’s an electric railway system that runs along the coastline, offering up a stunning view of the Irish landscape. The railway goes from the southern to the northern suburbs of Dublin. It runs along the coast of the Irish Sea from Malahide or Howth in north County Dublin soutwards as far as Greystones, Co Wicklow. The DART runs every 10 minutes.
We recommend downloading the DART app which will help you plan your journey and understand which station to leave from and where to arrive. Of course, Google Maps will also be helpful! You can download a timetable for the routes on their official site here. A list of all the stations can be found here.
Transportation Option 3: By LUAS tram
The LUAS consists of two tram lines that run across Dublin and stop at a number of popular tourist attractions like the National History Museum, Guinness Store House, Irish Museum of Modern Art, and The Old Jameson Distillery.
The Luas Red Line travels from the Point Village to the southwest suburbs. The Luas Green Line travels from Stephens Green, on the South Side of the City Centre. It travels to the outer South-East suburbs. You can find an interactive map of the routes here. The LUAS official site has a useful trip planner and timetables for routes which will be very handy for figuring out how to get around and sightsee. You can pay for the LUAS by Leap Card, purchase single and return tickets, or buy an unlimited ride pass. You can find all the details on fare prices here.
Transportation Option 4: By bike
Biking is a great way to get around Dublin. Dublinbikes are a city bike service with stations across the city. Each station has a terminal with instructions on how to rent a bike. You can rent a bike by using your Leap Card and stations are open from 5:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and you can return a bike at any time. Travelers can also choose a 3-Day Dublinebike ticket for €5. For more info on the Dublinbike system, head over to the official site.
Transportation Option 5: By foot
Walking is always an excellent way to see the city sights. Getting around Dublin on foot lets you experience the culture and city atmosphere for yourself, first-hand. Be sure to have Google Maps or any other maps app downloaded on your phone, and venture out to explore Dublin!
Transportation Option 6: Dublin Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Want to hit up all the major Dublin landmarks and attractions in a day? Try a hop-on hop-off day tour. The tour brings you to a number of popular sites such as: Trinity College, Nassau Street, Leinster Street, and National Art Gallery, but lets you go at your own pace. Travelers can stop, disembark the bus and visit the attraction before catching the next bus and journeying over to the next point.
Whether you travel via tram, railway, bus, bike, or foot, getting around Dublin doesn’t have to be a chore. The city is well connected by public transportation, making it easy to discover the well-known attractions or just embrace the Irish atmosphere as you walk around the streets. Use our transportation guide to get around Dublin easily and conveniently