Transport in Ireland

So, you want to travel around Ireland and take in all this country has to offer but you don’t know where to start planning your trip. I’ve devised a small information guide to get you started.

I will highlight the multiple ways of moving around the country, the most direct routes, and what cost you might incur.

This is only a primary list and subsequent articles will deep dive into transport in Ireland.


Taxis are a great service for getting to your destination, especially if you don’t own any form of transportation. However, taxis can be expensive. That’s why they are most useful in urban centres such as Dublin, Galway and Cork, to name a few.

Taxis are great for short trips up to about 40 minutes but intercity trips are best avoided. Check out the rest of the list when making journeys over an hour long.

Things to consider when booking a taxi are:

  • Time of pick up

  • Distance to your destination

  • Pre-booking or hailing on the street

  • Number of passengers

Check out the Transport for Ireland link below to calculate the fare.


Planning a day trip out of the city? What to see some of the best views around Ireland with friends or even go camping for the weekend with equipment? Then renting a car might be the best option for you.

Depending on the duration of your trip, here are some of the possible car rental options that are available to you.

There are plenty of car rental companies in Ireland that are more than willing to get you on your journey.

Hertz, Budget, Avis, and Europcar are some of the biggest and busiest rental companies in Ireland. Prices vary greatly across all companies based on the number of days you want to rent for, number of drivers, and car size (plus other extras they might try to sell).

Be warned, the drivers' ages and insurance will be the biggest issues you will encounter when renting a car. Most companies won’t rent a car to someone under the age of 25. If you don’t take the company’s insurance, they may freeze a certain amount of credit on your credit card (called excess) incase of an accident. This is normal practice but be ready because excess charges differ between companies.

Make sure to do your research. Call around for the best price before reserving your vehicle. It’s a competitive market and a deal can be done on the day rate of the rental.

Companies such as GoCar offer check hourly rates for renting their vehicles but they mightn't be ideal for long day trips or overnight excursions.

If you do decide to rent a car then make sure you are familiar with road types, manual gearboxes, and are comfortable driving on the left side of the road.

Road types

The Irish road network is the most developed system in Irish transportation. There are 4 main road types in Ireland:

  • M = Motorway

  • N = National road

  • R = Regional road

  • L = Local road

Every road is lettered and number for convenience :

Eg. Dublin to Belfast = M1

Dublin to Waterford = M7 -> M9

Bundoran to Ballyshannon = N15


Buses are a relatively cheap way for navigating your way around the cities and countryside in Ireland.

Bus Eireann is a state-owned bus and coach operator providing services throughout the Republic of Ireland, with the exception of Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area, where bus services are provided by sister company Dublin Bus.

You can use your leap card to pay for most of these trips but they also accept cash and cards, so you shouldn’t ever be stuck for a form of payment.

The only thing about Bus Eireann is the fact it facilitates most small towns in Ireland and the journeys can take an extra hour or two to get to destinations further afield.

Private companies link provide a more direct service to the major cities of Galway and Cork for a fixed price.


There are three types of rail transport in Ireland: Irish Rail, DART and Luas.

Irish rail connects Dublin with the vast majority of Irish cities, stopping off in many of the towns between Dublin and their final destination. The train offers greater comfort than a bus or taxi with pre-bookings available and tabled seating areas which are great for group travel.

The cost of the train is rather expensive but pre-booking your ticket can greatly reduce the cost compared to getting them at the station. If you are a student, the price change isn’t much different and you can avail of open return tickets to use across 30 days.

The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transport) services Dublin and the Greater Dublin area. It is usually used as a commuter train, so it can get rather busy in the mornings and evenings at rush hour but is perfect for seeing the eastern coastline, especially if you are planning a trip to one of Dublin and Wicklow's many beaches.

The Luas is a commuter tram that runs through the heart of Dublin city centre and out to several areas in the commuter belt. It’s a great amenity if you are going out on the town or getting to work and you don’t want to drive or cycle.

All trains accept Leap cards. Find out more details on pricing and destinations at

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