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Dart about on the DART.
If you are in Dublin without a car then using the DART is a good option to see the city and its surrounds.
DART stands for Dublin Area Rapid Transit and the line travels from Malahide and Howth in the North of Dublin through to Greystones in the south. Much of the 33 miles of line especially south of Dublin city runs along the coast and the scenic views make the trip a popular choice for tourists.
Fares vary depending on the length of your journey and the type of ticket you choose but as an example a one way fare from Howth (pictured) to Greystones would cost EUR$4.70.
The Short Hop Zone includes all stations in the Dublin area from Greystones to Balbriggan and Commuter Stations from Dublin City Centre to Maynooth and from Dublin Heuston to Hazelhatch including all DART services.
Irish national rail operator Iarnród Éireann runs the DART. I used the DART almost exclusively during my week in Dublin and from experience the trains were sometimes delayed by a few minutes (which is a little annoying when you are standing on an exposed cold windy platform.)
I would also suggest that unless you need to be somewhere at a particular time, peak commuter periods (morning and evening) are best avoided if possible.
Aside from this the trains were comfortable and proved to be a most satisfactory way of getting from point A to point B.
DART - Dublin Area Rapid Transit
When my son & I decided to visit Dun Laoghaire/Sandycove to see the Irish Sea, we opted to use the DART train as a simple, effective, inexpensive means of transportation. We reached Sandycove in about 20 minutes and the ride felt safe, sleek, fast. An adult day return from City Centre to Sandycove is 4.20euro/person.
Photos: April 2010
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We just love the DART the city train which takes you north of Dublin to Howth or Malahide and south to Bray and sometimes Greystones.
It is so convenient and quick. There are a number of stations in the centre of Dublin. Pearse station which is close to Trinity college and O'Connel station very near to the bus depot and not too far from Croke Park.
Do check out where you are staying in relation to the DART. We were close to Pearse one time and never knew and walked all the way to O'Connel.
There are a number of 'special' tickets available to suit your needs.
I used the DART trains to get to Howth, Malahide and Dun Laoghaire from Pearse Station in central Dublin. They are comfortable commuter trains and after the first ride, I found them quite easy to figure out as there are overhead boards on the track telling you the next destination.
Since I was doing a lot of traveling that day, I bought a day rambler pass for 8.30€ from the ticket desk, you can also buy from the machines. If you are just going to Howth and back from Dublin or even Dublin-Howth-Malahide-Dublin, it's cheaper to buy a return ticket or single tickets but as I took 6 separate journeys in one day, it was more cost effective to have the pass.
I also saw a family day rambler pass advertised, the DART website doesn't seem to have info on the day rambler passes but they do exist.
Plan your own daytrips!
There is no shortage of daytrip possibilities in the Dublin area. In the end, we decided to visit Malahide and Howth, but there are dozens of other locations we would have liked to see and they're all just a quick DART ride away! I found that the Dublin Area Rapid Transit system was a very efficient and inexpensive way to get around. From our hotel we walked over to Connolly Station (north of the Liffey), picked a destination and got information and tickets from the customer service booth. Trains run very regularly (every 15 min or so) so you don't have to plan anything ahead of time. It only cost 4.50 Euros for a roundtrip ticket to Howth and Malahide, and the trains are quite comfortable.
Getting Around The County by Train
Dublin City is emminently walkable, being both compact and flat, and indeed walking the city is the best way to explore it. For further afield forays there is an excellent public transport system of both buses and local trains.
The city and its suburbs mainly cluster around the bay and so the main suburban rail system, the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), follows a horseshoe route fom Malahide and Howth, in the north, to Greystones, in County Wicklow, to the south. The route has several stations in the city centre, connecting to inter-city and other mainline services at Connolly, and also has a station at the ferry port of Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dun Leary).
This is a nice simple way of getting around with trains running roughly every half hour and a total journey time (Malahide to Greystones) of about an hour and a quarter. Ticket prices depend on the distance travelled - as a sample fare (Mar 2009) a single between Dun Laoghaire and the city centre was 2.30 Euro (and I think there is a Day Ticket for those who want to make several stop offs). The trains are clean, safe and comfortable and reputedly pretty reliable. Tickets can be purchased from machines at the stations and there is usually a manned ticket office as well who are usually more than helpful with journey enquiries.
NB At the time of writing the www.dart.ie address isn't working and you will need to go into the Irish Rail sitemap to get the DART overview info.
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Go for a coast ride
The DART or Dublin Area Rapid Transport is a High-speed train that runs along the coast from Malahide, Howth throough city centre to Greystones in Wicklow, where it trasforms into commuters train.
Since these areas are one of the most desirable in Dublin (D4, Clontarf Blackrock), the Dart is a posh choice for the city's yuppies, wannabies and millionaires (oh, yes it is that fashionable!). It gave the rise to "Dort-speach" the accent of choice, if you don't speak it you will never make it here.
Of course the Dart can also be used as means of trasportation (who would have thought!), it will take you to the city's finest locations and is much quicker that the Bus and since it runs along the coastline it is an interesting ride! If it's a sunny day, buy a one-day ticket and spend it enjoyin the superb views of the bay. if you want you can hop on and off at various locations, if not just enjoy the beautifull Irish sea view.
DART around Dublin
Dublin is a small enough city to move around by foot. You will almost always find yourself near Trinity college and Grafton street, Temple Bar, the Bank of Ireland and other main sites. That being said, purchase a foot card that will allow you stroll around the beautiful city at will.
For amazing scenic views of the eastern Irish coast, take the DART train (green and beautiful), either south to the port and industrial towns, or the beaches and other towns to the North. Fantastic.
Alternatively, if you really want to get nowhere fast, take the LUAS tram. Very clean and new.
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Save on DART Tickets
If you are not concentrated only on the Dublin centre, you might need to use the DART.
It is a city and suborbs train driving along the coast (Bray - Howth/Malahide)
It is very reliable transportation.
You can substantialy save by buying daily, family or some prepaid ticket.
Check on http://www.iarnrodeireann.ie/dart/your_ticket/prepaid_fares.asp.
Be careful, you cannot buy every type of the ticket on machines in the Dart stations. Therefore, out of working hours of the office, you will not be able to get all the fares.
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Went on eight journeys by DART --- six were either very late, broke down or simply did not run. Possibly the slowest and most unreliable "rapid" transit system in Western Europe. Ireland has been getting billions from Europe -- what on earth has it been spending the money on? Oh yes, and Dublin Airport in a disgrace --- again the worst in Western Europe.
Apart from that, we had a great time.
Dart out of town
For those coming to Dublin for a few days, the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) line which runs along the coast from Malahide in the north to Greystones in the south can be handy. There are 3 stations in the city centre (Tara St, Pearse St and Connolly station) and in about half an hour you can go north to Howth or south to Dun Laoghaire. This is of course a commuter line so will be busy during rush hour in morning and evening.
DARTing to the countryside
DART or the Dublin Area Rapid Transit system is pretty good. I used it to go to Howth, Malahide, and Dalkey. Some of the trains are rather old but that you find with any city transportation system.
Basically how it works, go up to the ticket office tell them where you want to go and whether you want a single or return ticket. They tell you how much and what track the next will be leaving from and you pay.
The only thing that might through the weary, or not so weary traveler off is that when you are on the platform the sign only tells you what the DART train's end station is. So for example if you are going to Dalkey the train will say it is going to Bray or Greystokes but not show any stops in between. I didnt find any route plans at smaller stops like Tara St. Station but in bigger locations one can find them at the information windows. The one I picked up had only a timetable but no map. I just presume they must have ones with maps as well.
There are also no large area maps on the platforms and many travelers I encountered were complaining about this. I guess the solutions until DART and the transport authority put some up is to print out the map from the DART website a head of time or just take a chance, hop off a stop that sounds interesting and see what there is to see.
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With DART we were able to buy a one-day ticket where we could hop on/off the train in the villages on the route of the train, so that we could go both south and north of Dublin and see something else than just the cityscene.
I believe that it was posible to buy this kind of ticket also for several days - maybe an options for people wanting to stay at different villages and not just in one place.
Going to the coast
DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) is the train going through Dublin to the villages and towns (suburbs) north and south of Dublin. It is very convenient to use if you're doing a daytrip to visit the places along the coast.
Tickets can be bought from machines or the booking-office . At Connolly Station the line for buying the ticket was very long early in the morning, but it was also very quick.
I took the DART to Killiney and back from Dalkey. A return ticket to Killiney/Dalkey is 4.10 Euro (February 2007). The trains are quite frequent and run every 10 - 20 minutes and it takes about 25 minutes.
Another day I went to Malahide and Howth. I was told to get a day ticket for 7.20 Euro. I wanted to ask if it wasn’t cheaper to buy single tickets, but the clerk interrupted and said it was better for me to have a day ticket as I was going to hop on and off trains during the day. Well, looking at the website I can see it would have been cheaper to buy single tickets: Dublin - Malahide 2 Euro, Malahide - Howth 2 Euro and Howth - Dublin 2 Euro.
The trains to Malahide or Howth takes about 30 minutes and are running every 20 - 30 minutes.
Going from Malahide to Howth you take the DART back to Howth Junction and change there.
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Dart to Brey
If you get the train to see the southside of Dublin, don't forget to buy "one day ticket". A ticket for just one stop it costs almost as much as a ticket for the entire trip. I made the mistake to buy a ticket to Kilnney (about 12 stops- €3,80) and then a nother to Brey (2 stops - €3,20) I payd almost as much. One day ticket, was €7,00. Don´t forget to stop in Dulkney.
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