There are several kinds of public transportation in Ireland. Before you visit or consider moving to Ireland, make sure to inform yourself about all the options.
Bus services for the capital and adjoining areas are provided by Dublin Bus. There are more than 100 bus lines and they are in service all day long, from early in the morning until late in the evening (6:30 am to 11:30 pm).
If you are planning to buy a ticket on the bus, make sure you have the exact amount of money, in coins. Drivers do not make changes and do not accept credit cards or notes.
The fare may differ in Dublin, depending on how far you are going. For instance, if you have fewer than three “stages” you will pay the minimum (€1,70), but if you have a longer trip the price of the ticket can be €2,60. If you are less than 16 years old, the price is less expensive: from €0.90 to €1.30.
Xpresso is a special service provided by Dublin Bus to allow faster and more efficient bus travel for passengers during rush hour traffic. Xpresso routes are more direct than many other bus routes and reduce the journey time between destinations. These routes also have fewer stops and therefore, offer passengers a quicker service. Xpresso timetables can be found on the Dublin Bus website. The fare for kids under 16 years is €1.30 and for adults €3.00.
Dublin has night buses called Nitelink, which are in service from 0:00 to 4:00 am on Friday and Saturday. However, the price of the night ticket is higher than the day one (approximately €3).
Bus Éireann provides various bus services on a network of routes throughout Ireland (Except in Dublin you must use Dublin Bus). It operates intercity coach services and provides commuter services for major cities. City and town bus services are also provided, together with local bus services throughout the country. Bus Éireann operates a school bus service on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. Bus Éireann is obliged to provide services to people with disabilities. More information on Eirann Buses is here.
Luas is the tram network in Dublin and is composed of two lines: the red one and the green one. You can buy a tram ticket at every Luas Station, at the automatic machine. You have to select on the screen the destination you want to reach to know the ticket price. You can pay with coins or notes. Once you get the ticket, you have 90 minutes to reach your destination. The prices are depending on your status and the zone you want to go to. For a single ticket, you must pay €1,70 to €2.60 for adults, and €0.80 or €1 for children.
There are 8 different zones: Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3-4, and Zone 5-8. You can use your Leap Card to have a discount but you must validate your Travel Credit card on Touch-On (on the platform) when you get into the Luas, and validate your Card to Touch-Off (at Luas Validator) otherwise you will be deducted the whole journey (same as the bus).
DART joins the north to the south (from Howth to Greystones). There is only one line that you can take at the train station. Find the plan of the line here.
DART is also connected to the East-West Line (Short Hop Zone). Find more information about the lines and prices on the official website: Irish Rail.
If you are visiting and planning to use the bus or tram several times a day, it may be more interesting for you to get a Leap Card, it’s cheaper than buying tickets separately. Indeed, the Leap Card is a magnetic card which allows you to travel by public transport in Dublin (bus & tram), but also in other Irish cities (check the Map).
There are two types of Leap Cards, the one with unlimited trips called a Visitor Card, and a rechargeable one, you must choose one depending on how long you are planning to stay in Dublin. To get your Leap Card you must pay a fee depending on your status and the card you want (€5 Leap Card, €10 student Leap Card)
Visitor Leap Card
A Visitor Leap Card can be an interesting option if you are planning to stay a few days in Dublin. The price for one day is €8. You can use it as many times as you want. If you are planning to use public transport for more than a day, then it may be more advantageous for you to take one for three days which costs €16. If your holidays last a week then the 7-day should be more appropriate €32.
You can order your Visitor Leap Card online, or you can buy one directly from the Airport or even in the city centre at the Dublin Bus Centre, find all the places here. Once you have used all the money on your card, many places in the centre such as shops, bus centres, or supermarkets can recharge your card (check the map here with all the places you can recharge your card).
Rambler (Leap Card)
However, if you are planning to take more than two buses in a day and travel infrequently, e.g. two days one week and three the next week, the Rambler Ticket would be better for you. Indeed, Rambler tickets are valid for consecutive and non-consecutive days which means that you don’t have to use it every day.
There are several options depending on how many times you use it a week. For 5 days, the adult ticket is €26, and €23.30. For 30 days in a row, you must pay €132 if you are an adult t (find all the prices here).
On the other hand, if you are planning to stay for a longer period or to move to Ireland, it may be more interesting to get a rechargeable Leap Card which is 31% cheaper than buying single tickets.
If you are planning to take the bus every day of the week to go to work or to college, this Travel Credit Card is good for you.
Thus, you must choose the Leap Card which will be most suitable for you, depending on how many times you take the bus per day, for long, and if you need to take a different one. However, if you are planning to take a Travel Credit Card, you must advise the bus driver about your bus stop. Indeed, when you get on the bus, say to the driver where you are going and put your card on the magnetic “table” that is on your left. .
A Bike can be a really good and cheaper alternative to visit the city centre. Dublin Bikes offer public bikes to everyone, you just need to put your credit card on the machine and you can use the bike at any time, everywhere in the centre. You just have to go to the bike station, and once you registered, you can use the bike as long as you want and put the bike back in another station in the network.
The annual registration is €35, €5 for three days, and €3.50 for one day. The security deposit is 150€ and you must return the bike to a station (in the centre or Phoenix Park but be careful because there are no stations everywhere). The time will start counting once you get the bike from the station, until the moment you put the bike back to another, or the same station. The stations are open from 5 am until 0:30 am.
However, if you are not used to driving on the left side of the road you must be careful. There are no bike paths in Dublin so you will drive on the same road as buses and cars. If you have your own bike, you must always remember to lock your bike (there are many bike thefts in Dublin).
You are allowed to carry one item of hand luggage and one medium-sized bag or case on a Bus Éireann bus free of charge. The bag or case must be stored in the luggage compartment of the bus and your hand luggage should be placed under a seat or in an overhead rack. Any additional luggage, including bicycles, will be carried, subject to available space. There is a charge of €11 per single journey for carrying a bicycle, regardless of the length of the journey.
Dublin Bus requests that you place your luggage or child’s buggy in the luggage compartments. Buggies can also be placed in the wheelchair space on wheelchair-accessible buses. However, the space must be given up if it is required by a wheelchair user. Items should never be placed where they can obstruct other passengers or the doors of the bus.
All lost property found on Bus Éireann buses will be deposited at the nearest company depot. A handling fee per article will be charged when you reclaim your property. All property that goes unclaimed for more than two months will be sold. The proceeds of the sale will be used by Bus Éireann to cover the costs of holding the property.
Dublin Bus has a Lost Property office and all items of lost property will be sent here within 24 hours of their being found. It is open Monday to Friday, from 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, excluding bank holidays. There is a charge of €2 for each item that is reclaimed. If an item is not reclaimed within 30 days, Dublin Bus will dispose of it.
Complaints about Dublin Bus services should be directed to the Customer Comment Desk, Dublin Bus, 59 Upper O’Connell St., Dublin 1. Complaints about Bus Éireann services should be sent directly to the Area Manager, whose offices are located in Dublin, Dundalk, Waterford, Cork, Tralee, Limerick, Galway, Sligo, Ballina, and Athlone.
Both companies recommend that you write a letter of complaint, giving as many details of your complaint as possible and including a contact phone number. The
company will acknowledge your complaint within four or five working days. The complaint will be investigated and a written reply will be sent generally within 15 working days.