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Welcome to Ireland!

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COUNTRY QUICK FACTS

Capital City

Dublin

Official Languages

English

Irish

Bordering Nations

United Kingdom

(Northern Ireland)

Currency

Euro (€)

OUR favorite Suggestions

The rolling hills of the Irish countryside are beckoning (after you finish that pint, of course!)

  1. Pub Crawl through Dublin

  2. Conquer the Cliffs of Moher

  3. Pour the Perfect Pint (Guinness Storehouse)

  4. Roam the Streets of Galway

  5. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way

SITEs and Experiences

Dublin & the East Coast

Guinness Storehouse: It would not be a trip to Ireland without enjoying a pint of the stout beer that has become synonymous with the country. The Storehouse has seven floors in total, each with its own interactive exhibits and information about the iconic beer. The tour starts with an in-depth look at the beer's ingredients, and as you travel up the floors of the atrium, you learn everything there is to know about the history and development of the Guinness brand. The tour concludes on the seventh floor at the Gravity Bar, where you can enjoy your perfectly poured pint of Guinness with gorgeous views overlooking Dublin. For additional information, including booking and ticket options, head to the Storehouse's official website.

Jameson Distillery: The best-selling Irish whiskey in the entire world has a big reputation it has to live up to, and the experiences that visitors can enjoy at their distillery on Bow Street help do just that. Don't just take our word for it; the distillery was crowned the 'World's Leading Distillery Tour' in 2018. Visitors can embark on this flagship tour, known as The Bow St. Experience, but there are also plenty of other ways to enjoy the distillery, which include a Whiskey Cocktail Making Class, Whiskey Blending Class, Whiskey Tasting from the secret office of John Jameson himself, and a trip to the Whiskey Maturation Warehouse where you can sip whiskey straight from the cask. Information on all of the experiences above can be be found by heading over to their official website.

St. Patrick's Cathedral: Founded over 800 years ago in the year 1191, the national cathedral of Ireland is one of the most famous in Europe. Tickets to visit the inside of the cathedral cost €8, and can be bought online or at the church. The adjacent St. Patrick's Park sets the scene as a lovely place to enjoy the exterior of the building and its famed 141-foot-tall spire.  It is believed that St. Patrick baptized the first Irish Christians on these grounds. 

Grafton Street: The main pedestrian street in the Dublin city center, this walkway runs from St. Stephen's Green in the south to College Green and Trinity College in the north. Not only is the street lined with a multitude of shops and cafés, but it is also frequented by many talented buskers who are sure to allure visitors with their entertaining performances.

St. Stephen's Green: This 22-acre park is located right in the heart of the city center, adjacent to Grafton Street and its surrounding shopping district. The largest of the city center's three main garden squares, St. Stephen's Green features a large lake in the north, which includes a waterfall and an elegant display of Pulham rock work. Perhaps its most unique feature is its special garden dedicated to the visually impaired; this area near the center of the park holds a variety of scented plants, all of which can withstand handling and are labeled with braille. 

Trinity College & The Old Library: Widely considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in all of Europe, the campus of Trinity College is absolutely breathtaking thanks to its iconic Gothic architecture. Dating back to 1592, the college was modeled after the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, two of the most famous universities in all of England. Located on the campus is the legal deposit known as the Old Library; being a legal deposit, all Irish publishers are required to submit a copy of all of their publications to be housed within the library. The library also houses the famed Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript containing the four gospels of the New Testament. Two of the four volumes are regularly on display to the public.

Howth Cliff Path: Located just a short train ride away from Dublin, the small fishing village of Howth offers an escape to the busy city life. With its stunning seaside cliffs, Howth gives visitors a chance to experience scenes of the Irish countryside without having to venture far from the capital. The Howth Cliff Path (about 6km in distance) takes visitors around these cliffs, with panoramic views of Dublin Bay and the rugged coastline awaiting. To get to Howth from Dublin, hop on a northbound DART train from Connolly Station and disembark at Howth. From the train station, you can follow the green arrows and well-marked signs that will lead you along the cliff path.

Country

Exclusive

A Pub Crawl through Dublin

PUBS

Location

It is no secret - the pubs of Ireland are an integral part of the culture of the country and an absolute staple to the Irish experience. The pubs of Ireland are always full of life in the form of cheerful locals and fantastic live music; and not to mention, the endless pints of beer will always ensure that the patrons never leave thirsty. While there are countless pubs in Dublin to visit and enjoy, we've narrowed down a list of our favorites to stop by and experience during your time visiting the Irish capital. Sit back, relax, and grab a pint!

Temple Bar

Temple Bar District

Widely considered to be crown jewel of pubs in Dublin, Temple Bar has garnered an unmatched reputation. It is no surprise that Temple Bar boasts the largest whiskey collection in Ireland, with over 400 different kinds to taste and enjoy.

Bad Bobs

Temple Bar District

Located in the heart of the Temple Bar District, this pub doubles as a nightclub, and also boasts a rooftop terrace. The kitchen at Bad Bobs serves some of the best in the area; the kitchen is open until 10:00pm daily. 

The  Stag's Head

Temple Bar District

This Victorian-style pub, completed with wrought-iron chandeliers and ceiling-high mirrors, is the epitome of the classic Irish pub experience. This pub is also one of our favorites for live music - head downstairs and enjoy!

The Brazen Head

Merchant's Quay

Officially dubbed as Ireland's oldest pub, this pub dates back to 1198, and even appears in written documents as far back as 1653. The interior of the building, which dates back to 1754, offers a true sense of history within.

The Hairy Lemon

Stephen's Street Lower

This rather unconventional pub was a filming site for the famous 1991 film The Commitments. The walls here are lined with years of memorabilia, and there is even a sitting room suspended in mid-air. 

Dublin S&E
Ireland Country Exclusive

Galway & the West Coast

 

Cliffs of Moher: One of the most spectacular natural sights on the planet, the Cliffs of Moher are an absolute wonder to behold, and are universally considered to be the most popular attraction in Ireland. Situated in County Clare along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs have majestically overlooked the Atlantic of millions of years, and continue to offer visitors a chance to soak in some of the most breathtaking views in the world. We could sit here all day and talk about how amazing these cliffs are, but no words can truly do them justice. Tickets are required for admission, and prices vary based on the time of day you will visiting, which range from €7 to €10 per person. With your ticket, you gain access to the visitor's center (which includes the gift shops and cafés), safe pathways with viewing areas, O'Brien's Tower and its panoramic views, water refill stations, wi-fi, and much more. Parking is also included in the price of the ticket. More information on tickets, including booking, can be found on the official Cliffs of Moher visitors website

We would strongly recommend allocating a minimum of two hours to enjoy the Cliffs and all of their beauty. With regards to the best time of day to visit, either in the morning or the evening would be our recommendation here. For starters, these times are when the ticket prices are the cheapest, and also when the least amount of people are there. Catching the sunrise or sunset over the Cliffs is also sure to be an unforgettable sight. 

Wild Atlantic Way: This exceptionally scenic route, which runs right past the Cliffs of Moher, is the gateway to the Irish countryside. The route runs along the entire west coast of the island, stretching 2,500 km and covering three provinces and nine counties from north to south. With an abundance of sights to see along the route, we couldn't possibly include everything in one paragraph. Luckily for us, the official tourism website of Ireland has a full page covering all there is to experience along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Galway Cathedral: Making our way into the city of Galway, this beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. Completed only in 1965, this cathedral is relatively new, but does not lack in grandeur and personality. There is no admission charge to visit, but small donations can be made at the door to help maintain the building's upkeep and ensure its longevity for future visitors to visit and enjoy.

The Latin Quarter: The charm of Galway is no better encompassed than by the cobblestone streets of its famed Latin Quarter. Home to many of the shops, pubs, and restaurants that are popular in the city, there is always life to be found throughout. It also serves as the city's main historical center, with its many historical buildings maintaining a centuries-old ambiance. The official Galway tourism website has a neat page that explores the Latin Quarter in more detail.

Spanish Arch: A rather unassuming piece of architecture at first glance, the Spanish Arch is one of the historic gems of Galway that dates back to the 16th century. The arch used to house soldiers who manned cannons on the roof of the Norman wall that protected the city. Its namesake is said to be a reference to the city's frequent merchant trade with Spanish galleons. During medieval times, European traders often docked here to sell goods such as wine and spices. 

Limerick (City)Situated on the banks of the River Shannon, this ancient city is another one of Western Ireland's note-worthy spots to visit. Located just under 100 km south of Galway, this vibrant city dates back to the 9th century, and its beautiful Georgian-style architecture encompasses its rich history and quaint charm. The most recognizable building in Limerick is King John's Castle, the 13th century Norman castle that stands majestically overlooking the river; the castle can be visited (click here) by those looking to get lost in the history behind its storied walls. From a cultural perspective, there are few places within the city that top the iconic Milk Market. Open every single weekend under its iconic white canopy, the Milk Market is a microcosm of the city, and is always full of life and energy. Not only is the market always filled with food merchants of all kind, but there are also many events that take place under the canopy; from Friday lunch specials and live music to Sunday crafts and yoga, there is a little bit of something that everyone can enjoy. For more info on the Milk Market, head to their official website

Arriving in Dublin
Galway S&E

Practical Information

Arriving In Dublin

 

ARRIVING BY PLANE

Dublin Airport (DUB) is the main airport serving Dublin, and is located about 7 km north of the city. It is the both the largest and busiest airport in Ireland, and its 32.9 million passengers served in 2019 makes it the 12th busiest airport in Europe.

Terminal 1 - This terminal was the airport's original terminal, and is the smaller of the two terminals. It contains all gates numbered in the 100s, 200s, and 300s. The major airlines that serve this terminal include the following:

  • Star AllianceAegean Airlines, Air Canada, Croatia Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, SAS, LOT Polish, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines

  • OneworldBritish Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, S7 Airlines

  • SkyTeamAeroloft, Air France, KLM

  • Non-AllianceEtihad Airways, Eurowings, Icelandair, Luxair, Ryanair, Vueling

Terminal 2 - This terminal is the newer and the larger of the two terminals, and serves over 15 million passengers annually. Gates numbered in the 400s can be found here. The major airlines that serve this terminal include the following:

  • Star AllianceUnited Airlines

  • OneworldAmerican Airlines

  • SkyTeamDelta Airlines

  • Non-AllianceAer Lingus, Emirates, Norwegian

United States pre-clearance immigration facility is located in Terminal 2, making Dublin only one of two airports in Europe to house one of these facilities. Passengers that are flying non-stop to the United States complete immigration and customs checks in Ireland, and are treated as domestic passengers upon arrival. This is why we see the three main American airlines all operating out of Terminal 2 simultaneously.

Getting to the City from Dublin Airport

Bus - Dublin boasts a very intricate public bus network, which can oftentimes seem a tad bit overwhelming. The easiest way to get to the city center via public bus is through the operator Dublin Bus. There are a few different route options available:

Airlink Express - there are two lines that are considered the "express lines" as they take the shortest amount of time to get to the city. Fares for these tickets are a standard €7 one-way or €12 for a return ticket.

Standard Lines - there are two additional lines (Route 16 or Route 41) that run from the airport to the city, albeit with more stops in between. Fares on these tickets vary depending on where you get off, but they will generally range from €3-4.

Taxi - Taxis are hailed from the forecourts that are well marked and located outside of both terminals. Fares for the taxis can be calculated with the following formula: a €3.80 initial charge plus €0.40 per minute of the journey. For reference, a taxi ride to the Busáras Station will cost around €15-20, and a ride to the city center itself will generally range from €25-€30. 

Rental Car - The car rental companies that serve Dublin Airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt, & National. All of these companies have offices in both terminals, aside from Europcar, which only has an office in Terminal 1. 

ARRIVING BY TRAIN

Train Station - There are two main train stations in Dublin. Dublin Connolly station is the busier of the two stations, and is located north of the River Liffey, about a 1.1 km walk from Trinity College. Destinations from Connolly station include Belfast (in Northern Ireland), Wicklow, and Wexford, among others. Dublin Heuston station is located south of the River Liffey, about 2.4 km west of Trinity College. Destinations from Heuston station include Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Kilkenny, among others. 

From Belfast (Northern Ireland)

Translink - Jointly operated by both Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) and Irish Railways, daily trains known as Enterprise trains link Belfast to Dublin in just about 2 hours. There are multiple trains running each day, departing about every 2 hours. Fares begin at £10.99 with the Web Saver Single fare; these tickets are only available for purchase online up to 72 hours before departure, and are both non-refundable and non-transferable. Otherwise, standard adult ticket fares begin at £30.

From Cork

Irish Railways - Daily InterCity trains connect Cork with Dublin (Heuston) in about 2h 50m; there are multiple departures daily, leaving about once every hour. The non-refundable Low fares start from €21.50, and the standard Flexible fares begin from €42.

From Limerick

Irish Railways - Daily InterCity railcars connect Limerick with Dublin (Heuston) in about 2h 45m; there are multiple departures daily, leaving about once an hour. The non-refundable Low fares start from €17, and the standard Flexible fares begin from €29.

From Galway

Irish Railways - Daily InterCity railcars connect Galway with Dublin (Heuston) in about 2h 45m; there are three departures daily, leaving Galway at 9:30, 11:00, and 13:05. The non-refundable Low fares start from €18; standard Flexible fares begin from €20.

For a breakdown of the different ticket options for all Irish Railways trains, scroll down to the Transportation Within Ireland section, or click here

LONDON TO DUBLIN VIA SAILRAIL

One of the best kept secrets in the U.K.!

Transport for Wales offers one amazing opportunity to travel between these two major cities in a rather unconventional yet wildly scenic way. The SailRail ticket allows passengers to travel between any train station in the U.K. and any train station in Ireland, all on one ticket. The ticket itself covers both the ferry between Great Britain and Ireland, and any train journeys necessary to get to the respective ferry ports on each of the islands. See below for the breakdown of the SailRail journey between London and Dublin.

Step 1 - Travel from London Euston station to Holyhead (located on the western tip of Wales) via train. This train takes approximately 3h 40m, and has one change in Crewe. A lovely journey through England and Northern Wales with beautiful views of the countryside.

Step 2 - Travel from Holyhead Ferry Port to Dublin Ferryport via ferry. Operated by Irish Ferries, the ship Ulysses carries passengers across the Irish Sea in just over three hours. When booking your ticket, enter in Dublin Ferryport as your destination, as Dublin would be your final stop on this particular journey. 

Step 3 - Travel from Dublin Ferryport to the Dublin city center via bus. Although you have made it to Dublin, the port itself is slightly outside of the city center, about 4 km from Dublin Connolly. Upon disembarking the ferry, you will find a double decker Morton's bus waiting to take passengers to the city. This bus isn't actually included in your SailRail ticket, and it will cost €3.50 to travel to Connolly station. This fare is payable in both pounds (£) or euro (€).

You can purchase your tickets online at www.tfwrail.wales; the tickets covering the above London to Dublin journey are currently going for £50. As mentioned above, there are SailRail ticket options connecting any train station in the U.K with any train station in Ireland. If you would be traveling on to another destination in Ireland, the SailRail ticket would also include the subsequent train ticket from Dublin to your destination, although it would naturally be sightly more expensive than the London to Dublin route as it includes the cost of the extra train journey in the overall price of the ticket. 

Arriving In Galway

 

ARRIVING BY PLANE

There is no airport located in Galway; the closet airport to the city is Shannon Airport (SNN) located about 1 hour south of Galway.

ARRIVING BY TRAIN

Train Station - The main train station that serves the city of Galway is Galway Ceannt Station, located in Eyre Square approximately 10 minutes (by foot) east of Latin Quarter. The train station is relatively small and only has two platforms: Platform 1 is used for trains that are traveling to and from Dublin Heuston station, while Platform 2 is used for trains departing for Limerick.

From Dublin (Heuston)

Irish Railways - Daily InterCity railcars connect Dublin Heuston station with Galway in about 2h 30m; there are multiple daily departures, leaving every 1-2 hours. The non-refundable Low fares start from €18,; standard Flexible fares begin from €20.

From Limerick

Irish Railways - Daily InterCity railcars connect Limerick with Galway in just under 2h; there are five direct departures daily (5:55, 9:20, 14:20, 18:05, 19:50) and three departures with three intermediate changes (9:50, 11:50, 15:50). The latter departures with changes take about 4 hours, which isn't overly logistically sensible considering the five other departures that arrive in Galway in half the time. Both Low and standard Flexible fares begin from €7.50.

For a breakdown of the different ticket options for all Irish Railways trains, scroll down to the Transportation Within Ireland section, or click here

Arriving in Galway

Train Transportation Within Ireland

 

Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) - Irish Rail is the national railway operator of Ireland. It operates all domestic IinterCity, Commuter, DART, and freight services within the Republic of Ireland, and jointly operates the services between Dublin and Belfast with Northern Ireland Railways. You can check timetables and book tickets directly through their website at www.irishrail.ie.​

  • When booking online, there are three primary types of fares: Low, Semi-Flexible, and Flexible.​​

    • Low​ - these tickets offer the lowest price,  but have the most restrictions out of all of the available fares.

      • Tickets are available in a limited quantity; in other words, they can sell out

      • Tickets are valid on the selected service only​

      • Changes and cancellations are allowed online up to 48 hours prior to departure; subject to 50% fee plus fare difference

      • Changes cannot be made to tickets that have already been printed

    • Semi-Flexible - these tickets offer the mid-priced fares. They have less restrictions than the Low fare​.

      • Tickets are available in a limited quantity; in other words, they can sell out​

      • Tickets are valid on the selected service only

      • Changes and cancellations are allowed online up to 24 hours prior to departure; subject to 20% fee plus fare difference

      • Changes cannot be made to tickets that have already been printed

    • Flexible - these fares are the standard price of the tickets, and offer the most flexibility out of the three options.

      • These tickets are available in an unlimited quantity and can never sell out​

      • Changes and cancellations can be made for free up to 60 minutes prior to departure

      • Changes cannot be made on tickets that have already been printed

  • Aside from the fare options outlined above, there are also First Class fares available for purchase. These fares have the same restrictions as the Flexible tickets, albeit they come with additional perks. There are a handful of different First Class packages available for purchase, and you can find additional details on those here

  • Aside from being able to book your tickets ahead of time online, you can also purchase your tickets at any Irish Rial ticket office or ticketing machines. However, the Low and Semi-Flex fares (outlined above) are only available for purchase online. 

  • The age ranges for purchasing  tickets are as follows:

    • Adult​  - ages 16+. Adult travelers are subject to the full fares shown when purchasing the tickets.

    • Child - ages 5-15. Child travelers are subject to discounted ticket fares (children under the age of 5 travel free).

    • Student - students with a valid college ID are subject to discounted ticket fares. More information can be found here.

  • There a few ticket options that are only available via purchase at the Irish Rail ticket offices or ticketing machines:

    • Day Return - these are valid for one return journey on the date shown on the ticket. Available for Adult, Child, and Student​.

    • Open Return - these are valid for one outbound journey on the date shown on the ticket, and one return journey back to the original departure city within 30 days. Available for Adult, Child, and Student.

    • Family - these are valid for one or two adults and up to four children under the age of 16. Both Day Return and Open Return tickets are available. A minimum of one Adult and one Child traveler is required to purchase the Family ticket. You can find additional information, including prices, by heading to this link.

  • There are also tickets available for purchase that are valid for multiple days at a time, known as Tourist Tickets. There are a couple of different options to choose from, each with their own specific rules and use requirements:

    • Explorer - this ticket gives travelers five days of unlimited travel out of 15 consecutive days on all ​Irish Rail services within the Republic of Ireland. This ticket is available for Adult (€160) and Child (€80) travelers. This ticket can only be purchased at the Irish Rail ticket offices (unavailable online or at ticketing machines).

    • Trekker Four Day - this ticket gives travelers four consecutive days of unlimited travel on all Irish Rail services within the Republic of Ireland from the date issued on the ticket. This ticket is only available for Adult travelers (€110) and can only be purchased at the Irish Rail ticket offices (unavailable online or at ticketing machines).

Train Transport in Ireland

Public Transportation in Dublin

 

Public Bus  - Dublin Bus is the main provider of public bus transportation within Dublin. Dublin Bus has an expansive route network of over 200 routes that serve over 5,000 stops. You can find a detailed route map of their entire network by heading to this link, and you can find timetables by heading to this link.

  • Tickets can be bought on the bus directly from the bus driver; tickets must be paid in exact change (€) and must be paid in coins. Bills and cards are not accepted, and change is not given. Ticket fares are based on the amount of "stages" (which are distance-based), and are broken out into several tiers. You can find a breakdown of the ticket prices hereThe Dublin Bus website has an online fare calculator that you can use to ensure that you know the correct price you are paying for your bus journey. You can also ask the bus driver and they will be able to confirm how much you should be paying.

Public Train - Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) trains are a very popular mode of public transportation throughout Dublin. These trains are operated by Irish Rail (see previous section) but the ticketing process and pricing is a little different than the InterCity trains that are outlined above. The Irish Rail website has a special section on DART trains hereThe DART lines run along the city's eastern coastline from Malahide or Howth in the north down to Greystones in the south. Irish Rail has a super convenient live map of their DART trains that can be found here.

Public Tram - Luas is the light-rail tram service that connects Dublin's suburbs to the city center. There are only two lines in the Luas system, the Red line (which runs west to east) and the Green line (which runs north to south). Click here for a full route map. There are a handful of different ticket options, the details of which can be found by clicking here. Single journey tickets can be purchased at any of the ticket vending machines that are located at every stop; tickets cannot be bought onboard the trains. 

Leap Card - for those who look to be frequenting Dublin public transportation during your stay in the Irish capital, the Leap Card is the most convenient way to use all of the aforementioned methods outlined above. The Leap Card is an all-in-one transportation card that travelers can use to travel on all modes of public transportation within Dublin. The Leap Visitors Card is a version of the Leap Card that is specifically made for visitors. This card gives visitors unlimited travel on all AirLink, Dublin Bus, DART, Luas, and Commuter rail services for a specified period of days. There are three options to choose from 1 day (€10), 3 days (€19.50), and 7 days (€40).

  • You can purchase your Leap Visitors Card online by following this link. It is important to note that when purchasing online you are not purchasing an e-ticket; a physical card will be mailed to your postal address upon its purchase. Be sure to keep this in mind and to allow ample time for the card to be delivered to your address before your departure.You can also purchase your Leap Card on the ground in Dublin; a few of the major places where you can purchase include at the Dublin Airport, Dublin Bus HQ (59 Upper O'Connell Street), Busaras Station, and Dublin Heuston Station.

This page was last updated on January 17, 2021.

Public Transport in Dublin
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