As a Dublin local, I'm often asked by visiting friends and family about the best ways to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre. With my insider knowledge of transportation options, routes, costs, and everything in between, I've put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate your journey into Dublin's vibrant heart.
Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller to Dublin, you'll find all the information you need to make your airport transfer smooth, affordable, and enjoyable. This guide covers it all – from buses and taxis to car rentals, cycling routes, and even luxury chauffeur services.
I'll provide tips to save money, avoid traffic, and maximize your time in Dublin. You'll get recommendations on convenient airport hotels, navigating the city centre like a pro, and embracing the rich culture of Dublin like a true local.
So sit back, relax, and let me impart my local expertise to ensure your trip from the plane to Dublin's pulsating streets is brilliantly stress-free. You'll be tapping your toes to trad music in Temple Bar before you know it!
Table of Contents Show
- An Overview of Transportation Options from Dublin Airport
- Using the Bus from Dublin Airport
- Bus or Taxi from the Airport – Which is Best?
- Take a Taxi from the Airport
- Driving Yourself – Car Rental at Dublin Airport
- Cycling or Walking from the Airport
- Luxury Chauffeur Transfers
- Dublin Airport Hotels: Where to Stay Near the Terminals
- Navigating Dublin's City Centre: Tips from a Local
- 1. Invest in a Leap Visitor Card
- 2. Use Luas Trams to Cover Ground Quickly
- 3. Download an Offline Map App
- 4. Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes
- 5. Visit Temple Bar (But Beware Overpricing)
- 6. Have Lunch at the Gourmet Food Market
- 7. Seek Out Traditional Music Sessions
- 8. Don't Just Visit Trinity College – Explore It!
- 9. Refuel with Proper Dublin Fare
- 10. Wander Off the Beaten Path
- Getting Back: Return Transport Options from City Centre
- Start Your Dublin Adventure with Insider Tips!
- Dublin Airport to City Centre: Essential Questions Answered
- How can I get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- What is the fastest way to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- Is there a bus service from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- How much does a taxi from Dublin Airport to the city centre cost?
- Can I use a Leap Card to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- How frequent are the bus services from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- Are there direct train services from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- What is the cheapest way to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- How do I get a taxi from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
- Can I rent a car to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
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An Overview of Transportation Options from Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport is located just 10km north of Dublin's city centre, making it easily accessible. As Ireland's main international airport, it's serviced by leading airlines from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Over 31 million passengers passed through its terminals in 2019.
But first, how do you get into the city itself? Let's explore the main transportation options available:
- Bus: Choose from the express Airlink or regular Dublin Bus services for an affordable and frequent connection.
- Taxi: Pre-book or directly hire a taxi at the airport for a fast, door-to-door service.
- Rental Car: Drive yourself and explore attractions beyond the city at your own pace.
- Walking/Cycling: Burn some calories and soak up the scenery along dedicated routes.
- Chauffeur Service: Travel in luxury with a private chauffeur to take you directly to your hotel.
I'll now break down each option in detail, providing tips to save money, avoid hassle, and start your Dublin adventure on the right foot fresh off the plane.
Using the Bus from Dublin Airport
For an affordable and convenient airport transfer, travelling by bus is one of the most popular options. Two main bus services operate between Dublin Airport and the city centre:
The Airlink Express
This direct bus route is operated by the state-owned transport company Dublin Bus, providing express connections to and from Dublin Airport. It's known as the 747 route, with buses departing every 10-15 minutes at peak times.
The Airlink is my preferred bus option as it offers:
- Fewer stops for a faster journey
- Direct access to the city centre and main transport hubs
- Adult tickets from €7 one-way
The Airlink stops right outside both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport, making it easily accessible. Some key destinations include:
- O'Connell Street (city centre)
- Busaras Central Bus Station
- Heuston Station (trains)
- Connolly Station (trains)
I'd recommend the Airlink Express for its speed and direct connections. The fewer stops mean less time spent on the bus and more time enjoying Dublin!
For a cheaper bus fare, you can take a regular Dublin Bus into the city centre. Route 16 is the most direct option, running every 10 minutes from the airport to O'Connell Street.
Benefits of regular Dublin Bus services:
- More budget-friendly fares from €3
- Frequent schedules with over 1,000 buses daily
- A wider range of routes across Dublin
The downside is journeys take longer with more stops, which can be an issue if you're eager to explore Dublin straightaway. But if saving money is your priority, Dublin Bus is the most affordable option.
Tip: Have exact change ready as Dublin Bus requires cash fares (no notes). Or use a Leap Card for contactless payment.
Bus or Taxi from the Airport – Which is Best?
When deciding between a Dublin Airport bus or taxi, here are some key comparisons to help you choose:
|Cost||Cheaper €3-€7||More expensive €20-€35|
|Convenience||Frequent but stops at multiple destinations||Door-to-door service|
|Speed||Slower with stops||Faster direct to your hotel|
|Luggage||You carry your own||Driver assists with luggage|
|Time savings||30-60 mins||15-30 mins|
For a relaxing door-to-door trip, taxis are ideal. But if you're budget-conscious and less pressed for time, the bus provides reliable city access for less.
Having covered the bus options from Dublin Airport, let's look next at…
Take a Taxi from the Airport
If speed and convenience are your priority, taking a taxi is a popular airport transfer option. While pricier than buses, taxis offer a direct route to your hotel or rental apartment in the city. No transfers or navigating public transport with luggage is required.
Here are some tips for smooth sailing with a Dublin Airport taxi:
- Join the taxi queue at designated areas outside Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 arrivals. About 20 taxis are on standby.
- Alternatively, pre-book a taxi in advance for fixed pricing and added peace of mind.
- Confirm the fare before departing. There is no standard price, so agree on the cost.
- Taxi journey times are 15-30 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Cash or card payments are accepted. Ensure you have Euro funds!
If travelling during peak rush hour, I'd advise pre-booking a taxi to avoid potential queues. For 1-4 passengers, a taxi provides convenience when you crave a direct route.
Fun fact: Over 15,000 taxis are licensed to operate in Dublin!
Driving Yourself – Car Rental at Dublin Airport
If you prefer the freedom of driving yourself, renting a car is another transportation option to consider from Dublin Airport.
Benefits of car rental include:
- Independence to drive wherever you wish
- Easy access to attractions beyond the city
- No concern over public transport timetables
There are car rental desks within both airport terminals, making pick-up and drop-off quick:
- Terminal 1 – Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Enterprise
- Terminal 2 – Sixt, Thrifty, Enterprise
I recommend comparing rental rates online and pre-booking for the best deals. Be sure to confirm the insurance policy and fuel options too.
Once you pick up your rental car, driving into Dublin centre takes just 15-20 minutes via the M1 motorway. For newbies driving on the left, take it slowly until you get accustomed!
Cycling or Walking from the Airport
If you want to combine your airport transfer with exercise, cycling or walking to the city is an appealing option. Both provide a scenic introduction to Dublin's waterways and parks.
Here are some guidelines if you choose pedal power or foot power:
- Give yourself 2-3 hours for the walking journey
- Follow designated cycle lanes – 12km along the River Liffey
- Use the Dublin Tunnel for direct walking/cycling access
- Watch for cars and buses – use caution when crossing roads
- Pack layers and rain gear – Irish weather is unpredictable!
I recommend downloading offline maps to your phone and using GPS to track your route. Stopping for snacks and water breaks will keep your energy levels up en route.
While self-propelling is not for everyone, cycling or walking can be a memorable way to kickstart your Dublin visit. Just be sure to account for all that delicious Irish food and Guinness you'll soon be consuming!
Luxury Chauffeur Transfers
For the ultimate arrival experience, you can indulge in a private chauffeur to whisk you from the airport terminal directly to your city hotel in princely style.
Benefits of booking a chauffeur include:
- Luxurious vehicles – think Mercedes, BMW, Audi
- Professional drivers in suits provide assistance
- Direct hotel drop-off with no stops
- Pay one fee for ease and relaxation
Chauffeur services are available for booking via websites like Careem and Eti Taxi. I'd recommend reserving at least 24 hours prior to your flight. Chauffeur transfers average €70-100 each way.
While splurging on a chauffeur is not for everyone's budget, it can transform your airport experience from stressful to sublime.
No matter which transportation mode you choose, Dublin Airport offers convenient connections to get you into the heart of the city without delay.
Next, let's explore some nearby airport hotels where you can stay before an early flight or overnight upon arrival in Dublin…
Dublin Airport Hotels: Where to Stay Near the Terminals
With an early morning flight or late-night arrival at Dublin Airport, staying at a nearby airport hotel can be a wise decision. It minimizes travel time and allows you to maximize rest.
Here are three excellent hotel options in close proximity:
1. Clayton Hotel (Connected to Terminal 1)
Distance: Directly adjacent.
For ultimate convenience, the Clayton Hotel connects directly to Terminal 1 via a covered walkway. The hotel boasts bright, modern rooms and provides an airport shuttle bus to Terminal 2. With 24-hour dining, a fitness centre and WiFi access, this 4-star option is my top pick for airport proximity and amenities.
2. Maldron Hotel (5 mins from Terminal 2)
Distance: A brief 5-minute walk via a covered pathway.
Attached to Terminal 2 by a handy covered walkway is the sleek Maldron Hotel. The 3-star property provides soundproofed rooms, 24-hour room service, and an onsite restaurant. The hotel's ‘Park Sleep Fly' rates are great value if you need a place to snooze before an early flight.
3. Radisson Blu Hotel (5 mins by shuttle bus)
Distance: A 5 minute complimentary shuttle bus ride.
For 4-star comfort, the Radisson Blu ranks highly. It's a quick free shuttle ride from both terminals. With modern decor, friendly Irish service and a fitness centre, this hotel ticks all the boxes. The lively Ferns Bar and Restaurant offer the perfect spot to grab dinner after you land in Dublin.
Tip: Check online deals in advance for the best rates at Dublin Airport hotels!
Whether it's a pre-flight stay or post-arrival slumber, choosing an airport hotel is a smart way to eliminate stress and make your transatlantic journey more enjoyable.
Right, you've arrived at Dublin Airport and travelled into the city centre – let's look next at how to explore…
Navigating Dublin's City Centre: Tips from a Local
As a long-time resident, I've explored the historic streets of Dublin more times that I can count. The city centre is reasonably compact, walkable and filled with cultural attractions and craic (good times!).
Here are my top 10 tips for navigating Dublin's vibrant heart:
1. Invest in a Leap Visitor Card
For easy access to buses, trams and trains, I strongly recommend getting a Leap Visitor Card. The prepaid card means you avoid queueing for tickets. You can purchase a 1, 3 or 7 day card for unlimited travel.
2. Use Luas Trams to Cover Ground Quickly
Dublin's swift tram system (‘Luas' in Irish) connects you speedily to key spots like St Stephen's Green, Temple Bar and Trinity College. The green and red lines converge at the St. Stephen’s Green stop – making it a handy interchange.
3. Download an Offline Map App
With so many small laneways and alleys in Dublin, having Google Maps or CityMapper on your phone helps avoid getting lost! Offline maps work without data or WiFi – ideal when roaming.
4. Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes
Exploring Dublin requires putting one foot in front of the other. Be sure to wear broken-in shoes to avoid blisters from cobblestones. Pack for any weather with layers and a rain jacket.
5. Visit Temple Bar (But Beware Overpricing)
No first-timer's trip to Dublin is complete without a visit to the lively Temple Bar district. That said, beware – establishments here jack up prices for tourists. Venture further afield and pay less.
6. Have Lunch at the Gourmet Food Market
7. Seek Out Traditional Music Sessions
Few experiences capture the Irish spirit better than enjoying live traditional music in a packed pub. I recommend dropping into venues like O’Donoghues on Merrion Row.
8. Don't Just Visit Trinity College – Explore It!
Home to the ancient Book of Kells, Trinity College is worth more than a quick peek. Take a stroll through campus and check out the Science Gallery for cool exhibits.
9. Refuel with Proper Dublin Fare
Treat your tastebuds to true Dublin delicacies like seafood chowder, Irish stew, soda bread, fish and chips, and of course, creamy Guinness!
10. Wander Off the Beaten Path
Hopefully, these tips give you the confidence to hit the streets like a local Dubliner! The real magic happens when you step away from the tourist hoard.
Getting Back: Return Transport Options from City Centre
You've discovered Dublin's finest sights, tasted perfect pints of Guinness and enjoyed live trad sessions. But all adventures must come to an end.
Let's explore ways to travel back to Dublin Airport once your city explorations conclude:
- Aircoach express coaches offer return trips between city stops and both airport terminals 24/7. Look for the purple branded buses.
- Bus options like the Airlink Express provide regular return connections on routes 747 and 748.
- Taxi queues are easy to find on city streets and provide door-to-door airport transport. Agree on a fare beforehand.
- For rental car returns, follow airport signs from the city centre or use GPS. Refuel before drop-off to avoid extra fuel charges.
- Both the Luas Red Line and Dublin Bus routes 16, 41 and 47 stop at Dublin Airport from the city centre.
- Not driving? The Dublin Tunnel walking and cycling route connects the city to both terminals off the M50 motorway.
Review your booking confirmations to ensure you know where to catch return transfers like Aircoach buses and airport shuttles if pre-arranged.
I recommend leaving ample time to check in at Dublin Airport and clear security ahead of transatlantic flights. Congested traffic can occasionally cause delays.
Start Your Dublin Adventure with Insider Tips!
I hope this Dublin Airport transportation guide provides you with all the knowledge needed to start your Dublin getaway smoothly. With extensive public transport options, taxis and private transfers available, travelling between the airport and the city is simple and straightforward.
My advice is to assess your budget, travel style and priorities and choose the option that best fits your trip. Advance planning takes the headache out of airport transfers.
Armed with these local insights and tips, you can sit back and anticipate an amazing time discovering Dublin's rollicking pubs, fascinating history and warm Irish welcome.
Public transport passes, sturdy walking shoes, rain jackets and Euros – you're all set for the adventure of a lifetime on the Emerald Isle. From pints at Ireland's oldest pubs to singing along at rowdy live music joints, Dublin enchants and exhilarates every visitor.
Safe travels, and I'll be raising a toast to you in advance in one of my favourite Dublin snugs!
Dublin Airport to City Centre: Essential Questions Answered
How can I get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
There are several options to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre. You can take a taxi, use the Aircoach bus service, or use public transportation such as buses or trains.
What is the fastest way to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
The fastest way to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre is by taxi. Taxis are readily available at the airport and can take you directly to your destination in the city centre.
Is there a bus service from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
Yes, there is a bus service called Aircoach that operates from Dublin Airport to various locations in the city centre. The Aircoach buses are comfortable and convenient, with frequent departures throughout the day.
How much does a taxi from Dublin Airport to the city centre cost?
The cost of a taxi from Dublin Airport to the city centre can vary depending on traffic conditions and the specific destination within the city centre. However, it typically ranges from around €25 to €35.
Can I use a Leap Card to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
No, currently you cannot use a Leap Card to travel from Dublin Airport to the city centre. Leap Cards are primarily used for public transportation within the city, but not for airport transfers.
How frequent are the bus services from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
The bus services from Dublin Airport to the city centre, such as the Aircoach and public buses, generally operate every 15 minutes during peak hours. However, it's always recommended to check the bus schedules for the most up-to-date information.
Are there direct train services from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
No, there are no direct train services from Dublin Airport to the city centre. To reach the city centre by train, you will need to take a bus or taxi to the nearest train station.
What is the cheapest way to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
The cheapest way to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre is by using public transportation. Buses and the Aircoach service offer affordable fares, especially if you purchase a return ticket.
How do I get a taxi from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
Taxis are readily available at the designated taxi stands outside Dublin Airport. Follow the signs for taxis and queue up at the designated area. You can also book a taxi in advance with local taxi companies.
Can I rent a car to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre?
Yes, you can rent a car at Dublin Airport and use it to get to the city centre. Several car rental companies are located at the airport, with a wide range of vehicles available for hire.
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