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.
The cheapest way to travel into Dublin city centre from the airport is by the stopping Dublin bus, route 16 (to Ballinteer via O’Connell Street, southside) or route 41 (to Lower Abbey Street, off O’Connell Street). If you buy a ticket on the bus from the driver it is €3.30 to the city centre and you must pay using coins (no notes) and there is no change given. If you go to the “Travel Information” on the ground floor of Terminal 1 (presume there is also one in T2), and ask to buy a “Travel 90” ticket, it is cheaper €3.10 and can be used on more than one bus, for example, if you are crossing the city. The idea is that you validate the Travel 90 ticket when you get on your first bus and can take a second or even third bus, as long as you board the final bus within 90 minutes of the time of your first bus validation. It is actually cheaper than paying on the bus for some longer single journeys.
To validate it, firstly find the yellow machine situated just inside the bus (on the right, opposite the driver who is on your left). Hold the ticket against the machine until you hear a tone, and it then registers the ticket and starts the 90 minutes. You can buy this ticket in advance, but do check the “use by” date printed on the ticket (typically up to the following month)
If you are travelling as a party of four people to the airport, then the taxis on O'Connell Street opposite the Aircoach stop offer a flat €20 fare. Taxis in Dublin can use bus lanes, so it is probablythe fastest way to get to the airport.
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