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Ireland | The Ultimate Travel Guide

When to go, where to stay and what to do when you arrive in the Emerald Isle.

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Rolling verdant hillsides, ancient castles and crumbling cliff faces make Ireland an astounding destination to visit.The towns are charming, as are the people, whose spirits never seem to be dampened by the insistent rainfall and the best way to travel is by car to see the countryside in all its glory.If you’re lucky you may be blessed with days of sunshine. If not, you’ll be receiving the true Irish experience.

Whatever the day brings, polish it off with a Guinness and a bit of craic at your local pub and you’ll be doing all right, we reckon.

This guide focuses mainly on the Republic of Ireland, though includes a few things to see and do in Northern Ireland, too.

Looking to travel to Ireland soon?

We've done the research and have put together a guide on travelling to Ireland from Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest rules around vaccination, quarantine and testing requirements.

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Getting around in Ireland

Comparable in size to Tasmania, Ireland is a wonderful country for a scenic road trip, but it can also easily be travelled by public transport and coaches.

Dublin itself is a very walkable city with plenty of the top attractions close together in a small area.

However, many attractions throughout the country, particularly those not located in cities, aren't serviced frequently by public transport, so it can be helpful to hire a car.

It's important to know that Ireland itself is two separate countries. The Republic of Ireland uses euros while Northern Ireland uses pounds.

Look here first for handy tips and advice on how to get around Ireland for your upcoming trip.

Public transport in Ireland

  • Types of transport: The Republic of Ireland covers cities such as Dublin and Cork and uses a combination of trains, trams and buses with a number of different transportation providers such as Dublin Bus, Luas, Bus Eireann, DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), Commuter Rail and more. Northern Ireland, which is on the same island but part of the UK, is connected by Translink which operates Ulsterbus, Goldline and Belfast's Metro Bus.
  • Paying for transport: The Leap Visitor card provides visitors with unlimited travel on public transit for a select duration in Dublin. Cards can be purchased online and picked up in town or bought at Dublin airport or the city centre. One, three and seven day cards can be purchased and later topped up. iLink is the card used in Northern Ireland for both bus and rail and provides unlimited daily, weekly or monthly rides and can be topped up at designated sales outlets.
  • Getting to and from the airport: The Dublin Bus has frequent routes to and from the city centre from Dublin Airport on the 41 or 16. Buses pick up passengers outside the Terminal 1 exit and can be paid for by using a Leap card or exact cash (€3.30). From the Cork International Airport catch the 226 bus in front of the terminal building to Parnell Place Bus Station in Cork City which is where buses that travel throughout Ireland depart from. If you're flying into Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland, the Airport Express 300 departs opposite the exit of the terminal. Tickets can be purchased from the driver or at the tourist information desk in the airport for £10.50 return.
  • Best apps for getting around: The Journey Planner app works across the country for all public transportation and even taxis. It provides door-to-door routes that are created using scheduled departures near your current location. The Translink NI app is a trip planner for Northern Ireland.

Using Ireland inter-city trains

With journeys across the country taking just a few hours in any direction from Dublin, most train journeys are short and sweet in Ireland.

Eurail offers and Ireland rail pass, which also gives you a 30% discount on Irish Ferries and Stena Line (which can get you to Wales). Booking online in advance for two or more travellers also offers a discount of 15% compared to single person bookings.

Taxis and Rideshare

For getting around a city or town, taxis and ordering Ubers can be a fast way to get from site to site (or pub to pub).

Taxi: Taxis can be hailed from the street or found at taxi ranks. Taxis can be booked in advance online.

Rideshare: Uber is the only rideshare service available, and is only available in the east of Ireland near Dublin.

Ireland car hire

Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, Enterprise, Sixt and Dooley have cars available for hire at Dublin Airport.

All rental companies can be found at the Terminal 1 arrivals hall and Terminal 2 multi-storey car park except for Sixt.

Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Enterprise are available from the Belfast International Airport in the arrivals hall. Use DriveNow to compare and find the best price on a car rental.

Airport transfers in Ireland

Get into the city or to the airport with ease from Dublin or Belfast when you book an airport transfer in advance with Viator or Jayride.

Private transfer: Dublin Airport to Dublin hotels
Private transfer: Dublin Airport to Dublin hotels


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