Dublin in detail

Flights & getting there

Ireland's capital and biggest city is the most important point of entry and departure for the country – almost all airlines fly in and out of Dublin Airport. Ferries from the UK arrive at the Dublin Port terminal, while ferries from France arrive in the southern port of Rosslare. Dublin is also the nation's primary rail hub. Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Air

Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport is 13km north of the city centre and has two terminals: most international flights (including most US flights) use Terminal 2; Ryanair and select others use Terminal 1. Both terminals have the usual selection of pubs, restaurants, shops, ATMs and car-hire desks.

There are direct flights to Dublin from all major European centres (including many options from the UK) and from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC in the USA. Flights from further afield (Australasia and Africa) are usually routed through another European hub such as London; one recently introduced exception is a direct service from Addis Ababa.

Most airlines have walk-up counters at Dublin Airport; those that don't have counters have their ticketing handled by other airlines.

There is no train service from the airport to the city centre.

Bus

It takes about 45 minutes to get into the city by bus.

Aircoach Private coach service with three routes from the airport to more than 20 destinations throughout the city, including the main streets of the city centre. Coaches run every 10 to 15 minutes between 6am and midnight, then hourly from midnight until 6am.

Airlink Express Coach Bus 747 runs every 10 to 20 minutes from 5.45am to 12.30am between the airport, the central bus station (Busáras) and the Dublin Bus office on Upper O'Connell St. Bus 757 runs every 15 to 30 minutes from 5am to 12.25am between the airport and various stops in the city, including Grand Canal Dock, Merrion Sq and Camden St.

Dublin Bus A number of buses serve the airport from various points in Dublin, including buses 16 (Rathfarnham), 41 (Lower Abbey St) and 102 (Sutton/Howth); all cross the city centre on their way to the airport.

Taxi

There is a taxi rank directly outside the arrivals concourse of both terminals. It should take about 45 minutes to get into the city centre by taxi, and cost around €25, including an initial charge of €3.80 (€4.20 between 10pm and 8am and on Sundays and bank holidays). Make sure the meter is switched on.

Boat

Dublin Port Terminal

The Dublin Port Terminal is 3km northeast of the city centre.

Operators serve the following routes:

Irish Ferries Holyhead, Wales (€200 return, three hours)

P&O Irish Sea Liverpool, England (€180 return, 8½ hours, or four hours by fast boat)

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company/Sea Cat Isle of Man (€110 return, 1½ hours)

Bus

An express bus transfer to and from Dublin Port is operated by Morton's Bus, leaving from Westmoreland St and timed to coincide with ferry departures. Otherwise, regular bus 53 serves the port from Talbot St. Inbound ferries are met by timed bus services that run to the city centre.

Feature: Greener Arrivals

Although the vast majority of visitors will enter and exit Dublin via the airport, you can do your bit for the environment and arrive by boat – and have a bit of an adventure along the way. From Britain it's a cinch: you can buy a combined train-and-ferry ticket (known as SailRail) for under €50 (see www.irishrail.ie for travel from Ireland or www.thetrainline.com for travel from the UK). Or if you're really on a budget, get a bus-and-ferry ticket – from London it won't cost you more than the price of a meal.

You can also arrive at another Irish port. Rosslare in County Wexford has ferry services from France and southwestern Britain, while Larne, a short hop outside Belfast, is served from Stranraer in Scotland. Not only will you get to Dublin easily enough, but you can do some exploring on the way.

Bus

Dublin's central bus station, Busáras is just north of the River Liffey, behind the Custom House. It has different-sized luggage lockers costing from €6 to €10 per day.

It's possible to combine bus and ferry tickets from major UK centres to Dublin on the bus network. The journey between London and Dublin takes about 12 hours and costs from €32 return (but note it's €47 one way). For more London details, contact Eurolines.

From here, Bus Éireann serves the whole national network, including buses to towns and cities in Northern Ireland.

Car & Motorcycle

Road access to and from Dublin is pretty straightforward. A network of motorways radiates outward from the M50 ring road that surrounds Dublin, serving the following towns and cities:

M1 North to Drogheda, Dundalk and Belfast

M3 Northwest to Navan, Cavan and Donegal

M4 West to Galway and Sligo

M7 Southwest to Limerick; also (via M8) to Cork

M9 Southeast to Kilkenny and Waterford

M11 Southeast to Wexford

More Information

There are tolls on limited sections of most motorways, costing between €1.40 and €2.90 for a car and between €0.70 and €1.50 for a motorcycle. The M50 ring road has a barrier-free toll between junctions 6 and 7 (crossing the Liffey): vehicles not registered with with e-tags are charged €3.10; motorcycles are free.

Many rental cars come equipped with tags that automatically take account of M50 charges and add them to your final bill (a sticker on the rental car will indicate it); otherwise, go to www.eflow.ie and pay the toll before 8pm the following day to avoid penalties.

Train

All trains in the Republic are run by Irish Rail. Dublin 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 the Custom House.

Connolly Station is a stop on the DART line into town; the Luas Red Line serves both Connolly and Heuston stations.