How to Get From the Dublin Airport to the City Center (2024)

Dublin Airport to the City Center
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When it comes to planning your Dublin trip, there’s one essential aspect you can’t overlook: how do you get from the Dublin Airport to the city center and relax in your hotel? Trust me, the options can feel as overwhelming as picking out your outfit for a first date. But fear not; we’re here to show you what all the potential transportation options are to make that part easy.

Let’s rewind a bit and talk about my first Dublin arrival experience. Back then, I thought renting a car at the airport would be the smoothest and quickest way to zip around the city. However, navigating through a new city, especially during rush hour, turned out to be a nerve-wracking adventure, and I didn’t even end up using the vehicle for half the trip. Since then, I’ve become a transit guru, uncovering all the ins and outs of Dublin’s transportation options, including if you don’t want to rent a vehicle.

From hopping on buses and coaches to flagging down taxis and even taking the wheel yourself, I’ve done it all. And now, armed with my experiences, I’m here to help you find the best way from the Dublin Airport to the city center. We’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of each choice, giving you the inside scoop on what to expect and how it fits your budget.

We’ll make sure you’ve got the knowledge and confidence to choose the perfect mode of transportation that’ll take you from the airport to the heart of the city. Let’s unveil Dublin’s transportation secrets and get you on your way to an unforgettable Dublin adventure.

Things to Know About Traveling From Dublin Airport

Whether you’re spending one week or one day exploring Dublin, finding the easiest way to travel from the Dublin Airport to the city center is essential for a  convenient and stress-free trip. Luckily for you, this Dublin transportation guide is full of useful suggestions. 

That said, you might need some tips about how to travel from Dublin Airport, so here’s some helpful info: 

  • Wi-Fi: Dublin Airport has free Wi-Fi in both terminals, so whether you’re booking a Free Now taxi or finding a bus schedule, you’ll be able to do it easily.
  • Forget ride-sharing apps: Apps like Uber and Lyft are not allowed to hire drivers in Ireland, so you’ll have to get a licensed taxi instead. 
  • Bus stops: At Dublin Airport, you’ll find bus stops at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. 
  • No transport between terminals: There is no public transport between terminals at Dublin Airport. However, it’s only 984 feet from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, so it’s not too far and only takes around 5 minutes to walk. 
  • No rail services from Dublin Airport: Dublin Airport has no train station. The closest stop, Connolly Station, is around 6 miles away from the airport.

Getting From Dublin Airport to the City Center

Dublin is a terrific city to visit, as it’s packed with things to do. You’ll have to get there first, so here are some top ways to get from the Dublin Airport to the Dublin city center.

Taxi

Taxi

Average cost: €25 – €40 ($27 – $43)

One of the most popular ways to get from Dublin Airport to the city center is by catching a taxi. This is especially convenient when you’ve spent hours on a packed flight and just want a restful ride home to where you are staying in Dublin.

That said, there are also a few negatives when using a taxi, so here’s a quick list of the pros and cons. 

Advantages of using a taxi: 

  • Accessible 24/7: A taxi’s always waiting outside the airport’s terminals, so you don’t have to worry about schedules.
  • No lugging around bags: After a long flight, the last thing you want to do is haul a heavy suitcase around. With taxis, your driver will help you carry them from the arrivals hall to your accommodation’s doorstep. 
  • Ideal for older travelers and those with mobility issues: Most taxis in Ireland are equipped for mobility issues, and you don’t have to worry about switching buses. 

Disadvantages of using a taxi: 

  • It’s more expensive: As the capital city, Dublin isn’t the cheapest place in Ireland, so you can expect your taxi fare to cost anything from €25 to €40 ($27 to $43). 
  • Risk of being overcharged: Some drivers might take advantage of unknowing passengers and overcharge you due to a lack of knowledge about the fare system.
  • Not suitable for big groups: Taxis can usually only fit up to four passengers, so it’s definitely not great for a bigger travel group.

If you’re looking to hail a taxi, you’ll need to head to the rank, where many taxis should await you. If there aren’t any drivers, simply raise your hand and wave. 

Also, you should know that they’re most likely occupied if a taxi’s light is off. If the yellow light is on, the taxi is ready for its next passenger. Another way to get a taxi is through the Free Now app, where you can book a car, similar to Uber. 

Lastly, it is strongly advised that you ask your driver to turn on their meter once you’ve gotten in. If they act strangely about this and refuse, simply hop out and wait for another one. This is a common worldwide method with taxis to scam confused tourists who want to travel from the Dublin Airport to the city center. 

Save up to 50% off attractions with the Go City Pass! It’s a great way to save money if you plan on visiting multiple sights in Dublin.

Aircoach

Aircoach
Image via Flickr: D464-Darren Hall

Average cost: €6 ($7) 

Next on the list is Aircoach, a private shuttle bus when you’re looking to transfer from the Dublin Airport to the city center. This is certainly one of the most convenient ways to get into the city center, as their services run all year, except on Christmas Day. Catching an Aircoach is one of the best ways to get around Ireland without a car, as they have routes that head to Cork, Belfast, Galway, and more. 

Let’s get back on track. What’s so great about getting an Aircoach to the city center? Firstly, they offer buses every 15 minutes in the day and every 30 minutes at night. That’s not all, as you’ll see on this pros and cons list. 

Advantages of using Aircoach: 

  • Comfortability: You’ll have comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, and charging points – making it ideal for settling down.
  • Speed: Taking Route 700 from Dublin Airport to the city center will take around 30 minutes instead of the Dublin Bus, which could take over an hour. 
  • Affordability: On a one-way ticket, you can get to the city center for as little as €4 ($5).

Disadvantages of using Aircoach:

  • Flexibility: While they offer many buses, you’ll still have to wait around a bit. 
  • Not door-to-door: Since they only stop at official stops, you might have to walk to your hotel. 
  • More expensive than public services: Although Aircoach does offer reasonable rates, they aren’t as cheap as public buses. 

All in all, Aircoach offers great service, with the tiny caveat of being a bit more expensive than public options. That said, with the added benefit of comfort and free Wi-Fi, it’s well worth the extra euros. You’ll want to catch an Aircoach bus on routes 700, 702, and 703 to head to the city center, so keep that in mind when jumping on one.

Dublin Bus

Bus

Average cost: €3 ($4)

Easily the most affordable way to get to the city center is Dublin Bus — the city’s primary public transportation method. This makes it perfect for those on tight budgets and if you want to save for fun-filled experiences instead. 

To get to the city center on the Dublin Bus, you must take routes 16 and 41. Route 16 will take you to the Ballinteer stop, where you’ll hop onto a bus scheduled on route 41, and you can jump off at O’Connell Street, the city center’s main street. 

It’s also the most eco-friendly option (besides walking) as the bus can fit a lot of people in. If that’s something you consider important, it’s highly advisable to take Dublin Bus. 

Unfortunately, there are some caveats, so let’s get into the highs and lows of using the Dublin Bus.

Advantages of using the Dublin Bus: 

  • Cheap and easy: As mentioned, this is the cheapest way from the Dublin Airport to the city center. 
  • Partnered with DoDublin: Get the Dublin Freedom Card, which allows unlimited rides on Dublin Bus for 72 hours – perfect for spending three days around Dublin.

Disadvantages of using the Dublin Bus

  • Can be busy and full: Since more people tend to use Dublin Bus for its affordability, it can get stuffy, especially when leaving a popular destination like Dublin Airport.
  • Takes longer than other options: There are quite a few stops, so the route will take 40 – 60 minutes to get to the city center. 
  • Waiting around: Since services are less frequent than private options, you’ll have to wait significantly longer for a bus (around 40 minutes between services).

Top tip: A great way to get affordable transportation is by getting a Leap Card. What’s great about this is that it allows access to LUAS trams, DART trains, and Dublin Bus services. It’s also brilliant for all budgets, as you can load as much credit on the card online or at railway stations.

Dublin Express

airlink express bus

Average cost: €7 ($8)

Next up, we’ve got the Dublin Express, which offers the fastest bus into the city center. What’s more, they have a regular service that runs every 30 minutes from 3:05 a.m. until 12:35 a.m. 

That’s not the only benefit of using Dublin Express, as it will take around 15 minutes to get into the city. That’s right, 15 minutes. Think about all the time you’ll save with this. To add to the package, each bus also has free Wi-Fi and plenty of space for your suitcases.  

Let’s get into the pros and cons to help weigh up this option. 

Advantages of using Dublin Express

  • Speedy service: With routes running every 30 minutes and taking just 15 minutes, you can get to your hotel in no time.
  • Great amenities: There’s space for two 44-pound suitcases and hand luggage. There’s also free Wi-Fi.
  • Stops at popular attractions: Dublin Express stops at famous landmarks in Dublin, such as the Dublin Zoo, the Jameson Distillery, and the Guinness Storehouse. This is perfect if you want to start your trip with some sightseeing.

Disadvantages of using Dublin Express

  • More expensive option: At €7 ($8) for a one-way ticket per person, it is on the pricier side compared to public transportation.
  • You’ll have to walk more: Given the limited stops, you might have to walk more to get to your accommodation. 

With all that said and done, Dublin Express is a fantastic mid-range option for getting to Dublin’s city center. If you want to catch a Dublin Express bus from the airport, hop on a bus headed on line 782 or line 784 to get into the city. Just be aware that the route might take a bit longer in the evenings as there are fewer services.

Private Transfer

Private transfer

Average cost: €51 – €88 ($55 – $95)

If you’ve been looking at the previous options and been thinking, what about a more private option? Don’t stress, as private transfers are the ideal option for you. They are the most convenient option and can be quite affordable if the fare is split between groups. 

There are quite a few hotels that also offer private transfers, so consider this when you’re booking accommodations. This can be a simple way to ensure you get to the right location and in good time too. 

That’s not the only great thing about private transfers, as you’ll see in this pros and cons list. 

Advantages of using a private transfer: 

  • You can arrange a set price: You can find a rate that works for your budget or split up the cost by negotiating a set price.
  • Convenience: It’s definitely one of the most convenient options, as you can get to your hotel or B&B in Dublin in no time. Plus, it’s private, so you won’t have to share a ride with strangers.
  • Comfort: Your driver will meet you at arrivals, carry your luggage, and all you have to do is relax in comfy seating. 

Disadvantages of using a private transfer:

  • Very pricey: This is certainly the most expensive method for getting to the city center, even if you split the cost. Total prices can go to over €92 ($100). 
  • Extra cost: You could get an added hire charge if you have a big group. 

Hiring a private transfer is well worth the extra dollars if you’re looking for a stylish way to get to Dublin’s city center from the airport. Additionally, it can be arranged a few months in advance when you organize your hotel and flight bookings – so you don’t have to worry about any last-minute trips. 

There are quite a few private transfer companies that offer routes to and from Dublin Airport, like this private Dublin Airport transfer. This private transfer will take you to your chosen accommodation and covers groups of up to eight passengers. This means you can sit back in a luxury vehicle while your experienced driver takes you to your destination. 

Car Rental

Car Rental

Average cost: €23 – €37 ($25 – $40) per day

Last but certainly not least, we have a car rental. This is one of the best options if you’re looking for an easy way to your hotel plus are keen on exploring the rest of Ireland. Driving around Ireland is one of the top ways to see its incredible natural beauty, and you have the ability to choose when you want to leave and where you want to stop.

However, driving in Dublin does not come without complications, so let’s consider the positives and negatives. 

Make sure to book your car rental in advance! I love using Discover Cars when I travel.

Advantages of using a car rental:

  • No timetables to follow: With a car rental, you can go anywhere you like and make your own schedule. There are no complications about waiting for a bus or running to catch a tram. 
  • Great for exploring Ireland: Want to take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher? You can with your own car, and at your own pace. 

Disadvantages of using a car rental: 

  • Finding parking is challenging: Dublin is not known for great parking spots, so it may be hard to find a spot, and might not even be close to where you want to go. 
  • It’s not cheap: The costs of fuel, insurance, and rental costs will quickly add up, so it’s not easy on your purse strings. 
  • Not great for young drivers: If you’re under 21 years old, you won’t be able to hire a car. This is despite the minimum driving age of 18 in Ireland. Furthermore, you may be charged an additional fee if you’re under 24 years old.

Driving in Dublin is definitely a bit of a challenge. You may also not want to drive during the rainy season during wintertime in Dublin. However, it can be a great way to get around if you want to explore other parts of Ireland. 

There are many car rental companies in Ireland, such as the commonly known ones: Europcar, Enterprise, Sixt, and Hertz, as well as a few local companies, like Dooley and Irish Car Rental.

It’s important to do your research before booking a car rental, so check customer reviews of the car rental companies and look into local car rental taxes. It’s also imperative to consider how far your hotel is from the city center and whether or not it has parking. 

The Best Way to Get from the Dublin Airport to City Center

There are so many ways to get from the Dublin Airport to the bustling city center, whether you catch a taxi or take a bus. These varying transportation methods accommodate all kinds of budgets and preferences, so it’s up to you to choose efficiency, affordability, or comfortability.  

If you want a comfortable and efficient option, a private transfer is the best way to get from the Dublin Airport to the city center. Sure, it’s on the more high-end side of the options, but driving in comfort and style, plus being delivered to your hotel (maybe a beautiful Dublin hotel with a balcony?), is one of the simplest methods.

If you’d prefer not to spend as much but still want a private option, catch a taxi. This way, you still have the convenience of getting exactly where you want to go while still being able to save a bit of money.  

Lastly, go with the Dublin Bus if you’re looking for the cheapest transportation option. Sure, you’ll have the tradeoff of having to walk a bit more, but you’ll save the most. If you want a bit more comfort, you can upgrade and use Aircoach or Dublin Express. 

All these options are fantastic because of their own unique advantages. That said, whatever you go with, Dublin is one of the best cities to visit in Ireland, so you’re sure to have a terrific time. All you’ve got to do now is book a plane ticket to the fun-filled city of Dublin since you now know how to get from the Dublin Airport to the city center.

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