Catching public transport to Dublin's airport is, to be honest, quite easy. But the choices are, compared to many other airports in the world, quite limited. Unless you walk (and it will be a long walk), Dublin Airport is accessible by car or bus only. There is no rail route here, even though rumors persist that a rail terminal has been mothballed underground and some high-flying rail plans are also warmed up now and then. Having said that, bus services are frequent and will, generally speaking, take you in any direction you need.
The bus terminals are conveniently located opposite Terminal 1, which means that long-haul and Aer Lingus passengers (landing at the newer Terminal 2) might face a long haul to the bus.
There are services both for Dublin and for the rest of the country, so here is an overview.
Getting From Dublin Airport Into Dublin (And Back) by Bus
Is the bus better than a taxi? It all depends, but with modern, frequent services, you'll not be in commuting hell. And, especially if you are traveling alone or as a couple, the bus might turn out considerably cheaper, though without door-to-door service. Here are the main choices you have:
- Dublin Bus offers some routes into Dublin from the airport. They are slow but cheap. If you are traveling on a budget, only walking or hitchhiking will be less expensive.
- Dublin Bus' dedicated and direct Airlink service will whisk you to Dublin City Centre and the major stations (Connolly and Heuston for rail services, Busaras for bus services). The price is substantially higher than the slower service.
- Aircoach runs fast and comfortable services from Dublin Airport to the City Centre, South Dublin, and Greystones, go 24 hours a day. The City Centre service stops at major hotels. It's pricey, but convenient for hotel guests.
- Airport Hopper runs a bus service from Dublin Airport to South Dublin and Kildare.
Getting From Dublin Airport Into Dublin (And Back) by Taxi
Dublin Airport operates a very efficient taxi queue, and a ride into the city (O'Connell Street) will set you back around € 15.20 to € 23.20 for a single passenger during a weekday, € 24.00 to € 32.80 for six passengers at a premium rate (night and/or weekends). Basically, the more people that are sharing, the more sense it makes to take a taxi (which will also bring you right to your hotel's front door). Price estimates for any route with Ireland can be calculated by using the Taxi Fare Estimator on the website of Transport for Ireland.
Getting From Dublin Airport to Other Major Cities
Today, there are many direct services from (or passing) Dublin Airport to almost any part of the country without major hassle. If you're going to the major towns, cities, and regions, you may also opt for going into Dublin and catching a train, but the convenience of starting your journey right at the airport (and the time saved) might be priceless.
- Aircoach also runs services from Dublin Airport to Cork.
- Ardcavan runs a weekday service (Monday to Saturday) from Dublin Airport to the sunny South-East, stopping at Gorey, Enniscorthy, Wexford, and ending at Wellington Bridge. Service departs from the Coach Park in the short-term car park.
- Ireland's national bus service Bus Eireann operates direct daily coach services nationwide. Routes not stopping directly at the Airport can be joined at Busaras, served by Dublin Bus Airlink routes 747 or 748.
- Citylink offers more than a dozen fast and direct daily services between Dublin Airport and Galway. It also offers 15 slightly slower return services between Dublin Airport and Galway that will stop at Enfield, Kinnegad, Miltownpass, Rochfortbridge, Tyrellspass, Kilbeggan, Moate, Athlone, Ballinasloe, Aughrim, Loughrea, Craughwell, and Oranmore.
- Dublin Coach runs coaches from Dublin Airport to Portlaoise every hour, stopping at the Red Cow (LUAS), Naas, Newbridge, Kildare, and Monasterevin.
- EirEagle operates express non-stop coach services, taking you directly to either Galway or Limerick in only 150 minutes.
- GoBé runs a non-stop motorway service between Dublin Airport and Cork City via the M8 motorway from 8 AM.
- GoBus runs daily non-stop services between Galway, Dublin City, and Dublin Airport, fourteen times per day. Coaches offer free Wi-Fi!
- JJ Kavanagh offers daily coach services to Kilkenny, Clonmel, Limerick, Waterford, and Tramore.
- John McGinley Coaches connects Dublin Airport with the North on two routes: Route A services Dublin - Ardee - Monaghan - Omagh - Lifford - Letterkenny - Creeslough - Dunfanaghy - Falcarragh - Bunbeg - Crolly - Annagry (Near Donegal Airport); Route B runs through Dublin - Ardee - Monaghan - Omagh - Derry - Bridgend - Buncrana - Carndonagh - Moville.
Where to Buy Tickets for Dublin Airport Services
Generally, you buy your tickets when you board the bus. Or at a ticket machine in the vicinity of the bus stop.
Some companies offer pre-booking online, which might come with a good reduction of the fare, so it is worth checking out. Just make sure that you get an "open ticket" that will not force you to take a specific bus... at a time that might turn out ten minutes before actually landing!