Getting Around Ireland

Getting Around Ireland

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Travelling Around Ireland

Ireland is known as a well-connected country, both in terms of its people and also when it comes to getting around. Whether your clients want to experience the popular cities or the secret rural spots, there are great transport options available nationwide.
 
Visitors in Dublin will never be too far from public transport, with the city being an ever developing metropolitan hotspot. Visitors can use the tram to get around the centre, take the bus to visit attractions in the city and beyond, or travel along the scenic coast via rail. In Belfast, they also have frequent bus services as well as the metro lines.
 
Those who wish to journey beyond the main cities can easily avail of the multiple coach and train services that operate across Ireland. Routes dedicated to places such as the Wild Atlantic Way and the Ancient East locations, make exploring the diversity of the island far easier for tourists.

Driving

Driving around Ireland offers people the best opportunity to discover Ireland at their own pace.  Here are our guidelines to making it stress free.

Laws

Whether your clients are travelling in their own car or renting a vehicle, it’s important they are aware of these laws. Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road. Seatbelts must be worn in the front and back of the vehicle. Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear helmets. Ireland’s laws on drink driving are strict and anyone contravening them will be heavily penalised. Use of mobile/cell phones while driving is strictly prohibited.

Licence and Insurance

Drivers must have a valid national driving licence, issued in their country of permanent residence or an international driving permit.  In the Republic of Ireland, it must be carried at all times.  Clients should contact their insurance company for details of their coverage while driving abroad.  If they are renting a vehicle, the Car Rental Council of Ireland (Republic of Ireland) and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (Northern Ireland) can advise on the various insurances, waivers and options available. 

Car Rental

Most major car rental companies have desks at airports and cities across Ireland.  To rent a vehicle in Ireland, a valid driving licence and credit card are required. Most rental companies will not rent to drivers under 25 but there is no upper age limit.  However, if the driver is over 75, they will be asked to meet additional requirements.  Booking in advance is generally cheaper and is strongly recommended for clients who want to rent an automatic vehicle or child seats.  For insurance reasons, drivers should advise the car rental company if they intend travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Roads

In the Republic of Ireland, motorways are prefixed with an ‘M’ and national roads are prefixed with an ‘N’. Secondary roads may be duel carriageways or have two-way traffic.  In Northern Ireland motorways are prefixed with an ‘M’, and an ‘A’ and ‘B’ for primary and non-primary roads.

Northern Ireland uses miles per hour, while the Republic of Ireland uses kilometres.  In Northern Ireland, the speed limit is 30mph in built-up areas, 60mph on the open road and 70mph on motorways unless shown otherwise.  In the Republic of Ireland, the speed limit is 120km/h on motorways, 100km/h on national roads and 80km/h on non-national roads.

There are no tolled roads in Northern Ireland but a number of tolled roads can be found in the Republic of Ireland (disabled drivers are not charged).  Generally tolls are paid at the barrier of the toll booth, however, there is one exception: the M50 eFlow Barrier System in Dublin.  Other tolled roads are:

  • M1 motorway
  • East Link (Dublin Port)

  • M4 motorway

  • M8 motorway

  • Dublin Port Tunnel

  • N25 Waterford City

For more information visit etoll.ie

Public Transport

Travel by coach

 

Bus Eireann in the Republic of Ireland and Translink in Northern Ireland run coaches all around the island.  There’s also a huge selection of private coach tour operators, with scheduled tours, airport transfers, city-to-city trips, extended tours, themed trips, corporate travel, social excursions, golf trips and private holidays.  The Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland has a list of approved members.

Travel by rail

Ireland’s rail network serves the island with Irish Rail in the Republic and NI Railways in Northern Ireland.  The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) serves Dublin’s coast and city area from Howth and Malahide in north County Dublin via Dun Laoghaire in south County Dublin to Greystones in County Wicklow.  Luas, the light rail service, travels across the south and west of Dublin city, including the city centre areas.

A pre-paid Leap Visitor Card allows travel on all Dublin Bus, Airlink 747 buses, the Luas and the DART for 72 hours (3 days) from its first use.

In Northern Ireland, the iLink card can give unlimited daily, weekly and monthly bus and rail travel.
If travelling with Irish Rail, try to book tickets online as there are significant savings available. NI Railways tickets must be bought at the station.  Check NI Railways and Irish Rail websites for information on family tickets and tourist tickets.

Dublin City Leap Visitor Card

The Leap Visitor Card is the most convenient public transport ticket available for tourists in Dublin.  Visitors can get unlimited travel over their selected time period, whether it be 1, 3 or 7 consecutive days. This pass allows travellers to go anywhere they want in the city and suburbs of Dublin, on most public transport services.
 
These services include Dublin Bus which has numerous routes and are all low-floor wheelchair accessible and fully Wi-Fi enabled. Also included is the Luas tram system and the DART line, which is Dublin’s rail system that brings users along the scenic coast to seaside towns directly from the city. Visitors can even travel to and from Dublin Airport at the start and the end of their trip, without any additional cost.

For more information visit www.dublinbus.ie

Belfast Visitor Pass

This Visitor Pass allows users to explore the thriving city of Belfast, via rail or bus. It is conveniently on offer for both adults and children, where users can choose between, 1, 2 or 3 consecutive days of travel within the specific Visitor Pass Zone. This area covers the Titanic Museum, Belfast Zoo, Crumlin Road Gaol, W5 Odyssey and many other top sites in the city.
 
In addition to having access to some of Belfast’s most loved attractions, users can also use the pass to avail of many offers and discounts in shops, restaurants, exhibitions and venues.
 
For more information visit www.translink.co.uk
 

Hop-on-Hop-off Coach Pass for Ireland’s Ancient East

Visitors can enjoy Bus Éireann’s ‘Open Road’ ticket to explore Ireland’s Ancient East on their own terms. This coach pass can be easily used for 3 days of travel, within 6 consecutive days. The special service has 8 different routes, many starting in Dublin for your client’s convenience. They can choose to visit sites such as Wicklow Gaol, the famous Newgrange monument in Meath or perhaps the Rock of Castle in Tipperary - to name but a few.
If you clients cannot get enough of their adventure through the Ancient East, they can simply purchase extra “stamps” for a small cost per day. The Open Road ticket is valid for travel on all Bus Éireann’s scheduled services in the Republic of Ireland including Expressway, commuter, local, city and town services
For more information visit www.buseireann.ie
 

Hop-on-Hop-off Coach Pass for the Wild Atlantic Way

Similar to the above, Bus Éireann also offer the easy to use ‘Open Road’ ticket on the other side of Ireland. That is the 3 day pass, with the option of extending the trip for an even better experience of the scenic west coast.
7 routes have been developed for Wild Atlantic Way enthusiasts, from the tip of the isle in rugged Donegal, all the way down to the shores of county Cork. Your clients can choose. The Wild Atlantic Way is Europe’s longest driving coastal route at 2,500km in length. The ‘Open Road’ ticket is perfect for those who don’t have time to drive the full stretch or for those who rather sit back and enjoy the adventure in comfort.

For more information visit www.buseireann.ie

Irish Rail’s Trekker and Explorer Passes

There are over 200 train stations which span across the island of Ireland. For those embarking on longer trips, they can enjoy the many services available on different train journeys including Wi-Fi, refreshments, bathroom facilities and also disability access. 
Visitors can avail of the ‘Trekker Four Day’ pass which allows travellers to explore Ireland via rail, within four consecutive days. Alternatively, they can purchase the ‘Explorer’ pass which offers five days of unlimited travel within 15 consecutive days within the Republic of Ireland. These can be purchased at Irish Rail ticket offices. Pricing, timetables and real time information can be found on their website.
For more information visit www.irishrail.ie