Once you get to know your way around, you’ll find that Dublin is a compact city and most people choose to walk – the most convenient, healthy and cheap form of transport! Dublin does, however, offer a wide range of public transport options, ideal for those longer journeys or during the wintry weather. Outlined below is a brief guide to help you get to know Dublin’s public transport system.
STUDENT LEAP CARDS
The Student Leap Card is an integrated public transport ticket which allows students use any form of public transport in Dublin at a discounted rate of around 25%. Once you have registered as a student here in Dublin, bring your new student ID to your on-campus Student Union, where you can immediately purchase a Student Leap Card by completing a form and paying €15.
We recommend that you register your Student Leap Card at www.leapcard.ie so that you can redeem your travel credit should your card be lost or stolen.
You can top up your Student Leap Card at any Irishrail or Luas ticket machine located at any train station or tram stop respectively, or at any shop or newsagent which displays the following logo:
To use your Student Leap Card on the train or tram, you must ‘touch on’ and ‘touch off’ at the station or stop where you get on and, again, when you get off. To use the Student Leap Card on the bus, you simply touch the card off the machine to the right as you board the bus if you are staying on until the last stop. If you are getting off before the last stop, you should tell the bus driver which stop you are travelling to, and they will deduct the correct amount from your leap card.
The Luas (Irish for speed) operates two tram lines in the city: the Red Line on the north side of the River Liffey, and the Green Line on the south side. A third line which will connect the two existing lines is currently under construction and due for completion in 2017. Check https://www.luas.ie/ for information on routes, fares and times. You can travel by Luas using a Student Leap Card, as mentioned above, or by purchasing a single or return ticket from the ticket machine at each stop. Although it may seem easy to hop on the Luas without paying for a ticket, ticket inspectors regularly check tickets and issue fines to passengers without valid tickets, so we strongly urge that you always purchase a ticket.
Student Leap Cards are also valid on Dublin buses. Travelling by bus offers you the most extensive transport network across the city. Check https://www.dublinbus.ie/ or download the Dublin Bus app to search bus routes, fares, times and real-time passenger information regarding buses. There are bus lanes in many parts of the city to enable buses to avoid traffic. However, you should factor in extra time to allow for traffic, especially if you are travelling at rush hour. UCD students and some interns take the bus, though an RLS will accompany you during your Orientation to ensure you know how to get to UCD or your internship site.
Transport Apps can be really helpful in getting you around the city – try downloading Transport for Ireland Journey Planner. It looks up where you are, you tell it where you want to go, and it tells you when to leave, how to get there and how much it costs! Lifesaver!
Hailo is one of the most popular taxi services in Dublin. You can download the Hailo app and order taxis directly to your current location. It also enables you to pay by card if you input your card details into the app. Hailo is also convenient as it means you have a record of your journey and driver on your phone, should you leave anything behind in the taxi. You also can call 01 8202020, should you wish to pre-order a taxi in advance. It is also possible to hail a cab on the street which usually has the light of its taxi plate turned on to indicate that it is free, or from one of the taxi ranks dotted around the city.
The DART is a green train which travels along the coast of Dublin. Although many people use it daily, it is also a great way to see the coastline and visit some of Dublin’s seaside villages. There are also commuter trains which travel within Dublin, and national trains which service many parts of the country. The three main stations within the city centre are Connolly, Tara Street and Pearse. Most trains travelling outside of Dublin start from and terminate in Connolly or Heuston stations. The train is a comfortable way to travel around Ireland and offers great value to students who can travel at a significant discount. Check http://www.irishrail.ie/ for up-to-date information on routes, fares and times.
Bus Éireann operates coaches which travel all around the country. They generally leave from Busáras, located close to Connolly train station. Check http://www.buseireann.ie/ for further information on routes, fares and times. There are also private coach companies, such as gobus and Citylink, which service different parts of the country, which may offer a more competitive rate or convenient route, so we recommend searching the internet for alternative bus companies and comparing the prices.
Another way to get around the city is with Dublin Bikes. There are plenty of bike stations dotted around the city, where you simply pick up your bicycle and drop it off at the station nearest your destination. An annual subscription of €20 is necessary to register, but then the first 30 minutes of each journey is free, ample time to get to where you need to go. Check www.dublinbikes.ie or download the AllBikesNow App to register or to find your nearest bike station.
If you are travelling outside of Ireland, the Aircoach travels to and from the airport. Return fares are generally in the region of €12. Check http://www.aircoach.ie/ for the location of stops, fares and times.
TRAVELLING OUTSIDE OF IRELAND
The Aircoach provides cheap transport to the airport, but, if your flight is very early in the morning, you may have to book a taxi. Ireland’s national airline is Aer Lingus. Check www.aerlingus.ie for their latest deals. Ryanair, a no-frills airline, offers cheap flights around Europe. Check www.ryanair.ie for further information. www.skyscanner.ie compares the prices of flights, so you can ensure getting the best deal when you travel.
*Please note this guide was created in June 2016 and some prices may have changed in the interim