How to get around Dublin

DART, suburban rail network

By Yvonne Kerr , your Dublin expert

I write for Irish Country Magazine, .... Read more

Getting around Dublin - my advice

Getting around by foot

When in Dublin, walk! Avoid the hassle and expense of hiring a car, sitting in traffic at peak times, and extortionate car parking fees. Dublin is small and the majority of attractions, hotels and restaurants are within walking distance of each other. Plus it's the best way to allow time to admire the historical buildings. It's difficult to grasp Dublin's 'village' feel if you're used to super large cities, so check out the city distance scales on www.dublinmapped.com - you'll be surprised. 

Be your own Dublin guide and download a free audio podcast of Dublin's top attractions and historical sights here www.dlrtourism.com/multimedia/419-iwalks.

Getting around by Luas 

The Luas (light rail or tram) offers a cheap, quick and reliable service north to south, and east to west, on the main Dublin city axis (www.luas.ie). It's the most punctual form of public transport in Dublin by far. The name Luas (pronounced "Lou-As") is the Irish word for speed (though it's not actually that fast, but traffic hold ups aren't an issue!) and connects suburban parts of Dublin with the city centre on two separate tramlines. See here for routes www.luas.ie/routes-and-times. The tramlines are:

The Green Line: connecting Sandyford and Brides Glen to St Stephen's Green in the city centre. 
The Red Line: connecting Tallaght to the 02 venue. The Red and Green lines don't connect and there is a 15-minute walk between St Stephen's Green on the Green Line and Abbey Street on the Red Line. (The network will be vastly improved when the two lines are connected.)

Fares vary from 1.50-2.90 euros, and to avoid messing with coins or being left short at the station, purchase a Luas Smart Card for 10 euros. The card costs 3 euros and contains 7 euros credit and you can top up at each Luas station, or a seven day pass costs 30 euros. Kids under three travel free.

Getting around by bike 

Dublin's new bike scheme is the best amenity to hit the city of late. There are 40 bike stations and 500 blue bicycles dotted around for tourists and locals. It has eased traffic at peak times, generating a feelgood factor with locals. The scheme is similar to those operating in Paris and Copenhagen previously. It's efficient, free for the first 30 minutes and eco-friendly. Grab a bike and spin around! (Call1850 777 070 in Dublin for more info or www.dublinbikes.ie for stations and details).

Getting around by bus 

Dublin has a pretty reliable network of local bus services - buses are frequent and cheap but not always punctual! Outside peak times, it's a great way to get around but at peak times, progress can be slow. See www.dublinbus.ie for routes and timetables. Prices vary from 2-3 euros depending on distance. If you're on a budget and not stuck for time, this is the cheapest way to travel around (bar walking of course). 

There are regular services from Dublin Airport (see my Dublin flights page for more information), Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire, as well as a Nitelink service (+353 (1) 8734222, www.dublinbus.ie) and Sightseeing Tours (+353 (1) 873 4222, www.dublinsightseeing.ie) and they are more punctual than city centre services.

The Hop On Hop Off bus (Dublin Sightseeing, Dublin Bus, 59 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1, +353 (1) 703 3028, www.dublinsightseeing.ie) is a brilliant and easy way to see the city (especially if the weather isn't playing ball) and for 25.60euros a family (two adults and four kids) can jump on and off all over Dublin for two days with a 20% discount if you book online www.dublinsightseeing.ie/citytour.

Getting around by train 

DART (suburban rail) lines hug Dublin's scenic coastline as far as the beautiful beach towns and villages to the north and south. Pick up a one-day rail ticket for as little as 7 euros at any DART station and hop on and off as often as you like at Howth , at Dalkey, Killiney, Dun Laoghaire and Malahide. See www.dublin.ie/transport/dart.htm. I highly recommend taking the DART when the sun shines as views are fantastic and Dublin has some great beaches!

Getting around by taxi 

Dublin taxis vary in model and colour, but all have a yellow taxi bar on top, which is lit up if the taxi is free. There's no shortage of taxis so you won’t be stuck, but prices are steep as taxis work on a meter, and traffic at peak times can come to a halt. Traffic moves pretty well otherwise, unless it's a festival weekend or there's a major event on, see my When to go to Dublin section for more. Your hotel or restaurant will happily phone you a taxi if you ask.

For more expert advice on Dublin, follow these links: