What Is the Best City in Ireland to Visit Without a Car?

The Liffey Quays View
Dave G Kelly/Getty Images

What is the best city in Ireland to visit without renting a car? Any of them, really. First and foremost Dublin, but any of the twenty largest cities and towns in Ireland do not really require you to bring your own wheels. These main towns are well connected by transportation and you can also navigate them easily with public transportation or on foot. Below is a breakdown of the top 10 cities in Ireland that don't require a car rental.

Dublin

  • Getting here: You can reach Dublin by plane (plus a bus ride), by ferry (plus a bus ride), by train, or by bus. Not all may be easy and convenient, depending on where you set off from, but you do not need to come by car.
  • Getting around: Dublin has a good public transport system with buses, trams, and trains. Add to that the small size of the actual city center, and the wide variety of tours on offer, and you need no car to get around.
  • Verdict: No car needed at all! In fact, it is easier to explore Dublin without a car than with one.

Belfast

  • Getting here: Again, you can travel to Belfast by plane, by ferry, by train, or by bus.
  • Getting around: Belfast has a very good public transport system, consisting mainly of buses and trains. And the city center is small enough to be explored on foot. Yes, it is safe enough too.
  • Verdict: No car needed!

Cork

  • Getting here: Cork can be reached by plane, train, or bus.
  • Getting around: Cork does have a public transport system comprising buses and trains, but you can explore the city easily on foot and there is lots to do, even without a car.
  • Verdict: No car needed!

Limerick

  • Getting here: Limerick is best traveled to by train or bus from other major destinations in Ireland.
  • Getting around: Limerick has a public transport system, mainly buses, but the city is small enough to be easily explored on foot.
  • Verdict: No car needed!

Derry

  • Getting here: Derry can be reached by plane, train, or bus.
  • Getting around: Unless you need a ride from the airport to the city, you can do everything on foot.
  • Verdict: No car needed!

Galway

  • Getting here: You can travel to Galway by train or bus.
  • Getting around: Galway is small, a walk from one end of the city center to the other will take you about ten minutes. Though you might want to take the bus if you head for Salthill.
  • Verdict: No car needed!

Waterford

  • Getting here: Waterford can be reached by train or bus.
    Getting around:
    Another small city, even the walk from the railway station to the city center will take less than five minutes, in another five you will have traversed the latter. This is easy enough to explore even as a day trip.
    Verdict:
    No car needed!

Drogheda

  • Getting here: Drogheda is on the main route between Dublin and Belfast, thus you can travel here by train or bus.
  • Getting around: Walking from the railway station to the center is a drag (and back, even more, going uphill), but the town itself is small enough to be explored on foot.
  • Verdict: No car needed!

Bray

  • Getting here: Bray can be easily reached by train or bus from Dublin.
  • Getting around: On foot is the only option - as the main attractions (like the promenade or the cliff walk to Greystones) are pedestrian-only anyway.
  • Verdict: No car needed!

Swords

  • Getting here: From Dublin, travel to Swords by train or bus.
  • Getting around: Again, this small area is best explored on foot, even the castle is reachable without wheels.
  • Verdict: No car needed!
Was this page helpful?