Getting from Dublin Airport into the city center is quite easy and although the choices are limited, first-time visitors don't have to fret over an overwhelming number of transit options upon arrival. Dublin Airport is only six miles (10 kilometers) outside of the city center, much closer than other international airports in major cities. Travelers can choose between the fast option—taking a car—or the cheap option—taking a bus. Buses don't take much more time than a taxi nor are taxis unreasonably priced, so the best option really depends on you.
|Bus||30 minutes||from $4||Travelers on a budget|
|Car||20 minutes||from $27||Door-to-door convenience|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Dublin Airport to Dublin?
Arriving travelers can use Dublin public transit buses and private coach companies to reach the city center at all hours of the day for just a few dollars. The local city buses are the cheapest option and lines 16 and 41 both stop at the airport before heading downtown, completing the journey in roughly 45 minutes. Tickets can be purchased directly on the bus using local coins and with the exact fare, which is 3.30 euros—roughly $4.
For a quicker ride and to not worry about having exact change for the fare, you can pre-purchase tickets for either one of the two express buses that are also available. Airlink is a city bus that goes directly from the airport to Dublin city center and Aircoach is a private company that does the same. Using either express bus you'll get to downtown Dublin in about 30 minutes and both of them cost 7 euros or about $8 for a one-way journey. However, if you buy tickets online in advance and choose a roundtrip journey, the price comes out to the same as the local bus.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Dublin Airport to Dublin?
The only other option for getting from Dublin Airport into the city center is to take a car, whether you hail a cab or rent your own. The airport is only six miles away from the center of Dublin, so the journey by car takes about 20 minutes if you don't hit traffic. Regulated taxis are the only option for hiring a vehicle since no ride-sharing apps—such as Uber or Lyft—are available in Ireland. All taxis are metered and trips start at about 24 euros or $27 to most downtown locations, although rush hour can drive the price up if you're sitting in traffic.
Ireland is a country made for road trips, and many travelers rent cars upon arrival to freely explore the country without depending on buses or other transit. However, if you're spending even one night in Dublin, you should wait until you're ready to embark on to the next city before picking up a vehicle. Parking in the city center is difficult, expensive, and more of a hassle than anything else. You can easily traverse Dublin on foot, so you'll just be paying for a car that you're not even using.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Dublin?
Traveling from the airport into Dublin is usually a quick and painless journey, but if you arrive during rush hour it can more than double the amount of time it would normally take. The morning weekday commute is the busiest time as residents from all of the nearby suburbs pour into the city. The bus will be slower during this time, but at least you don't need to worry about a soaring taxi meter.
In Ireland, you can find rain and fog at any time of the year, but the summer months are when you're most likely to enjoy warm, sunny days. It's also when Dublin is most crowded as backpackers and students flock into the city. If you go in spring, the cold of winter has dissipated and the summer hoards have yet to arrive. Plus, the country is at its most lush and green in April and May.
What Is There to Do in Dublin?
First-time visitors to Dublin are often blown away by its beautiful quays, lively ambiance, and the natural friendliness of the locals. Dublin Castle isn't the biggest or most impressive castle in Europe, but it dates back to Viking times and is one of the most important buildings in Ireland. Trinity College was founded by the original Queen Elizabeth and you shouldn't miss it, not just for its impressive architecture but also its monumental library, home to the nearly 2,000-year-old Book of Kells. Even though you can visit Irish pubs all over the world, it isn't the same as downing a pint in an Irish pub in Ireland. Temple Bar is the most famous, but you'll get a more local experience at one of the other downtown locales. And for the true fans of Irish beverages, the Guinness and Jameson factories are obligatory stops. Not only will you learn about the process of how these iconic drinks are made, but you're likely to leave a bit tipsy.