The bus, tram and train system is an excellent way to see Dublin and her people. It's not too expensive, and tourist passes are available. However, there are daily commuter passes for bus and train which are sometimes much cheaper than the tourist packets - the AIRPORT has a shop which sells all tickets. You can also check with a newsagent or with a train station. You might like to read my tips on using the Luas.
Getting to and from Dublin airport: The best option are the express coach services run by Dublin Bus, Dublin Bus AirLink and AirCoach. For a complete list of services from the airport, see these helpful webpages. For city centre car hire, Europcar has just opened a location just off Pearse Street on Mark Street (close to Pearse DART station - see this map).
All public transport in the Dublin area is non-smoking; only mainline trains have limited smoking carriages.
Current ticket types and prices: inner zone [all price in Euro - try XE.com currency converter] - many thanks to Huib Zegers for the airport tip.
One of the best and cheapest ways to see Dublin and environs is the DART. Not only is it one of the best ways to enjoy Dublin Bay but it is also a deep cultural experience; have a close encounter on a morning commuter DART, jostle with prams and shoppers up to 3pm and update all the latest swear and slang words after schools close at about 3.30-4pm before the evening rush (now the Commitments begins to make sense). It runs between Howth on the northside and Greystones in Co. Wicklow and has now been extended to Malahide. Travel through Kilbarrick [Roddy Doyle land and inspiration for The Snapper, The Commitments etc], Howth [Dodgy seafood but excellent pubs] and under Landsdowne Road stadium. See the martello towers along the south bay and setting for some of James Joyce's Ulysses. If you are a U2 fan leave the train at Killiney and head north [towards the city] along the Station road until you meet the other groupies outside Bono's house on Vico Road. You might also bump into racing drivers Eddie Irvine and Damon Hill who also live in the vicinity. If you pockets haven't been picked by the time you get to Bray, then go and lose it legally at the seafront amusement arcades.
A must-see is Kilmainham Jail (Gaol), a short bus or Luas ride [stop - Suir Road, Red line] from the city centre. Not only will you see a superbly preserved example of a Victorian jail, but this place was a defining moment in modern Irish history since it is the place where the leaders of the 1916 Rising against British occupation were executed.There is a small charge (Equiv. ST £2.80) and the Jail is open daily from April - Sept, daily except Saturday from Oct - March. Buses 51, 51B, 78 and 79. The nearby Royal Hospital Kilmainham is also worth a visit and few visitors make the effort to see the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge (about 10 - 15 mintutes walk from the Jail). The gardens are open during daylight and entrance is free - the design of Lutyens is well worth the effort in getting there.
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Train, bus and tram in Dublin 1