I was very pleasedwith how easy the DART was to use and navigate. We traveled from Greystones into Dublin a couple of times, and then into Howth for a hike about Howth Head.
The prices were reasonable, time was not an issue and the ability to look around and see the sights as we rode was a plus.
It's disconcerting to not find a paper schedule, but I never had to wait long for a train to arrive, and the routes are clearly posted above each door of the train to help keep track of the stops.
When you don't have a car Bus Eireann is a good substitute.The buses are very comfortable and you can get all sort of different passes that will make it cheap as well
The only problem is that to some destinations there are only 2 or sometimes just one connection a day but from what I understand they are rapidly improving this
Since I had only 16 days to see as much of Ireland as I could I even planed the bus times ahead through the internetsite of Bus Eireann and it all worked out perfectly.
Of course you will mostly have enough time to drive all the side-roads along the Westcoast, but sometimes you might be in a hurry and will be glad to save some petrol and time by taking the carferry from Killimer to Tarbert across the river Shannon. The mouth of the river Shannon is quite wide and long there and instead of driving 137 extra km ( 85 miles )you simply have to wait a few minutes for the ferry, pay around 13 Euros one way for cars and small motorhomes and take a ferry-ride of ca. 20 minutes. This makes sense, when you want to get from Co.Kerry to the Burren and places like Kilkee, Kilfenora,Milltown Malbay or Ennistimon and the Burren.
For updated prices and timetables of that ferry-connection - please check the webpage below !!
There are various ferries taking you to the Aran-islands but the best means of transportation to get to Inismore & the other Aran Islands might be to take an airplane in my personal opinion ! When you are lucky you may take great photographs of the island and Fort Aengus from above. The fare for such a flight of just 30 minutes is 45 Euros for the return-ticket.In 1995 I had been at the small airport of Spiddal, but I did not reserve in advance and a large tourbus had occupied all flights available and so I decided to take the ferry again. A reservation for the flight is highly recommended, also for the Aer Arann Islands shuttle-bus taking you from Galway city to Spiddal. That bus starts at Kinlay House Hostel, on Merchants Road which is just off Eyre Sqare.
Jaunting Cars are the traditional means of transportation for all tourists in order to explore Muckross Park. At the large car-parks outside of the Park you will see plenty of them, chasing for their customers.
Such a ride takes mostly about 45 minutes and these carriages may take between 4 and 8 persons. I do not remember the price, but it was not so very much and you better fix a price in advance.
Of course you may as well walk easily to Muckross Abbey and the other places of interest in Muckross Park, and you may finally still jump on one of the carriages passing by very frequently all over the park.
Muckross Park is quite a wide area, and when you want to save time and still see all of it, you better take one of these "tourist traps"
As soon as I arrived in Dublin I decided to get a bus up to Galway and then I started to move around...hitch-hiking!
It might be dangerous for a young girl to travel alone, but nothing ever happened to me while I was in Ireland and I really enjoyed meeting people. Every person I met has been extremely kind with me and this make my travel to Ireland a good experience indeed!
The train services in Ireland are not the most frequent in the world, and the service only really covers a few of the major cities. The bus servies are extensive and you can get to anywhere you want to go within reason.
But for me I have found the best option is to hire a small car at the airport and give yourself the freedom to go as you please.
You will always see something that takes your eye as you drive along, with your own car you simply stop and take a look for as long as you like. There is no real traffic problems, apart from the major cities during the rush hours. Irelands roads, while not being the best in the world are no way the worst and a pleisure to drive on at most times.
The last car I rented for 5 days cost approx £100. / $145.00 fully inclusive of insurance.
Dublin and a couple of other cities in Ireland have a hop on hop off tourist sight seeing bus service. A great way to see the city if you are physically challenged, or just downright lazy. Why not do the full circuit and then go back to the places that sound the most interesting to you.
After our short trip across the River Shannon, I thought river cruising might be another way of exploring Ireland. The River and Canal Cruising facilities are well developed in Ireland. The waterways are among the cleanest in Europe. The River Shannon is the longest river (350kms) and is the most popular river cruising route. The new Shannon Erne Waterway links the River Shannon with the Erne across the frontier in Northern Ireland. Other popular waterways include the Grand Canal and the River Barrow.
Cruiser Rental Companies:
Tara Cruisers Limited, IRL-Carrick-on-Shannon
Tel +353 78 20736
Fax +353 78 21369
Emerald Star Line, 47 Dawson Street, IRL-Dublin
2 Tel 0353 1 679 8166
Fax +353 1 679 8165
Athlone Cruisers, Jolly Mariner, IRL-Athlone, (Co Westmeath)
Tel +353 902 72892
Fax +353 902 74386
Derg Line, IRL-Killaloe, (Co Clare)
Tel +353 61 376 364
Fax +353 61 376 205
Celtic Canal Cruisers, IRL-Tullamore, (Co Offally)
Tel +353 506 21861
Fax +353 506 51266
If you arrived at Dublin airport the connection to the aircoach is simply achieved by exiting the arrivals hall outside.The coach terminal is across the road on the left from the arrivals door. You should make your way across the pedestrian crossing and present yourself to the driver or ground staff. 6 Euros one way, return 10 Euros.
Aircoach provides a 24-hour luxury coach service between Dublin Airport and Dublin city. They operate two routes, Ballsbridge and Leopardstown, which serve Dublin’s top hotels and places of business.
You can buy a ticket directly from a company rep at the stop just outside the arrivals building at DAP or from the driver at any of the stops on the route.
The main tourist routes of the West of Ireland's Shannon Region are linked via the Killimer-Tarbert car ferry. This 20 minute journey across the Shannon Estuary will save 85 miles (137 km) from ferry terminal to ferry terminal.
Times may vary, check schedules.
1st April - 30th September Departure, Monday - Saturday, Sunday
every hour on the hour
07.00 - 21.00
09.00 - 21.00
every hour on the half hour
07.30 - 21.30
09.30 - 21.30
1st June - 30th September
(peak holiday season)
Two ferries operate, to give an additional half-hourly service between 10:30 and 18:00 from each side.
1st October - 31st March Departure- all week
every hour on the hour
07.00 - 19.00
10.00 - 19.00
every hour on the half hour
07.30 - 19.30
10.30 - 19.30
The ferry across the Irish Sea to Ireland from Fishguard, Wales to Rosslare is operated by Stena Lines. At the Rosslare Ferryport there is a rail and a bus station. You can rent cars and book bed and breakfast places there also.
We bought a ticket in London for the train to Fishguard and then Stena Lines across the Irish sea to Rosslare Harbor.
3 Hours 30 Minutes
CHECK IN TIME:
Individuals: 30 Minutes
Groups: 60 Minutes
For more info go to the Stena Lines website listed below.
We stayed 11 miles south of Dublin in Dun Laoghaire. Instead of driving in Dublin, we left the car in Dun Laoghaire and took the Dart. The station was across the street from our B&B so we hopped on the train and made a quick trip into Dublin's Tara Station that is just a 5 minute walk to O'Connell St. and a 15 minutes from Temple Bar.
Visitors to Dublin should experience the scenic DART suburban rail service. The train runs along the coastline providing maritime and mountain views. Journey time approx 40 minutes each way. But try to avoid using this service for sightseeing on weekdays during peak periods - ie 07h00 to 09h30 and 16h30 to 19h00.
We rented a car through Hertz from the US. It was the best price we could find for an automatic. There is so much to remember when you're driving on the wrong side of the road and on the wrong side of the car , that an automatic will give you less to think about as you're navigating the roundabouts and the narrow roads. Automatics are normally more expensive than a stick shift and there aren't as many available for rent - but, still worth the extra $$$. Do make note of any dents or scratches on the rental agreement - the one we rented had them everywhere!!!
Ryanair is a low budget air carrier that operates from several airports in Europe. They started in 1985 and transporting over 15 million passengers in 2002.
You can easily book your ticket online via their website. The website is self-explaining.
We flew from Charleroi towards Shannon and back from Dublin to Charleroi and paid about 85 euros return flights including airport taxes.
You can take maximum 15 kilo of luggage and 7 kilo of hand baggage with you. If you carry more it can cost you a lot of money.
The first 64 passengers at the check-in gates, get an priority boarding card. This gives you priority in boarding the airplane and it gives you a much better chance in sitting together. Ryanair doesn’t have seat allocations.
More Regions in Ireland