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Travel in Ireland - A guide for international students

Rail services

Iarnród Éireann / Irish Rail - www.irishrail.ie - is the only company providing rail services in the Republic of Ireland. There are two main stations in Dublin providing train services to the rest of the country. Connolly Station serves Belfast, Rosslare (for ferry services) and Sligo. Heuston Station serves all other cities including Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. Train services are usually quicker than bus services, especially on longer journeys. There are also Commuter Rail Services operating from Connolly Station to Drogheda, Arklow, and Maynooth and from Heuston Station to Kildare. While these services are not electrified and can be rather slow, they serve most stations en route and provide a good alternative to buses.

Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) - This electrically-operated train system serves 27 stations along the coast of Dublin, running from Howth in the north to Bray and Greystones in the south, it is an efficient way to travel on Dublin's east side.

The LUAS - www.luas.ie is a tram service which operates two lines. The Green Line connects Sandyford to St. Stephen's Green and the Red Line connects Tallaght to Connolly Station. The Red Line and Green Line do not currently connect - there is a 15-minute walk between Abbey St. on the Red line and St. Stephen's Green on the Green Line - but further development work on the service is putting this link in place. Tickets bought for a journey starting on one line and finishing on the other are valid for the whole journey. Trains run from 5.30am to 12.30am every 7-10 minutes at peak times on the Red Line and every 5 minutes at peak times on the Green Line.


Bus and coach services

Bus Átha Cliath / Dublin Bus - www.dublinbus.ie - operates an extensive network of bus routes from the city centre to most destinations in the city. Buses in the Dublin area run from 6.30am to 11.30pm approximately, with a reduced service on Sunday. Dublin Bus also runs a service from the Dublin airport to the city centre.

Nitelink - Dublin Bus also operates an express night bus service from Dublin city centre to a large number of suburban destinations. From Thursday to Saturday buses begin at 12.30am then every 20 minutes until the last bus at 4.30am. From Monday to Wednesday buses operate at 12.30am and at 2am. [Fewer nitelink services are available Monday to Wednesday]. There is no Sunday Service available. You should access the Dublin Bus website for full information or contact the telephone information service on + 353 1 873 4222.

Dublin Bus / Nitelink routes are exact fare only which means that the drivers cannot give change and will only accept money in coins, not in note form. Cashless payment is available through use of a Leap Card (see below).

Aircoach - www.aircoach.ie - is a company operating services linking Dublin airport with a number of locations in the Greater Dublin area and also with Cork and Belfast. Coaches departing the arrivals terminal for the city centre serve Dublin's main hotels and business districts.

Bus Éireann - www.buseireann.ie - operates operate urban bus services in the Republic of Ireland's other main cities, radiating principally from the centres of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. It also provides coach services to all parts of the country from the Central Busáras Station, Store Street, Dublin 1. Information on departure times, routes, cost, etc., is available online.

Other coach providers include - Wexford Bus, City Direct, Swords Express, Matthews' Coaches, Dublin Coach, GoBus and CityLink.



Taxis are available throughout Ireland. However, they are expensive and you should ask what the price is likely to be before travelling in the taxi. Before your journey begins, there is a basic charge of EUR 4.10 between the hours of 8am - 8pm and EUR 4.45 between the hours of 8pm - 8am. The rest of the journey is metered based on the distance travelled or, in slow moving traffic, the time taken. There is an add-on fee of 50c extra for each additional passenger or piece of baggage. Taxi prices are not negotiable.


Student Travel Discounts - The 'Leap Card'

Full-time students can purchase a Student Leap Card which gives access to discounted ticketing valid on DART and Commuter Rail, LUAS, Dublin Bus, Wexford Bus, City Direct, Swords Express, Matthews' Coaches and Bus Eireann services.

A Student Leap Card is one of several forms of identification which are accepted to avail of discounted student fares from Irish Rail.


Last updated: January 2015