Dublin Transport: Getting Around Dublin
The Best Ways to Get Around in Dublin.
To experience the full splendor of weather-worn cobblestones or the architectural heights of the Samuel Beckett Bridge, you have to know how to get around in Dublin. Luckily, whether you enjoy early morning tours or late night crawls, mid-afternoon cruises or a simple day’s drive, there are plenty of ways to see the city. Trams, buses, trains, cycling, and walking tours are some of the most popular methods of getting you where you want to go.
Tram service in Dublin is known as Luas, and is essentially a light rail service that provides convenient access from a variety of points in the city, including the city centre and the docks. Popular among suburban commuters and those who wish to see the full expanse of Dublin for an affordable rate, grabbing a seat on is a great way to get a sense of the scale and overall feel of the city. Because it is above ground, riders are whisked along tree-lined boulevards and over city bridges amongst pedestrian and motor traffic. A pleasant recorded voice announces upcoming stops while music plays faintly overhead. For those who have never been to Dublin before, a quick ride on Luas will allow them to get their bearings, and give them a better idea of how they wish to spend their time in the city.
For those who prefer traveling by bus, there are two options: the Dublin Bus, and the nationwide Bus Eireann. While Bus Eireann is the best choice for those travelers who wish to see the rest of the country, the Dublin Bus is convenient and incredibly affordable for those who know where they’re going within the city. With clearly labeled destinations and several routes that terminate in the center of the city, the Dublin Bus is easy to find and easier to ride. Service begins around 7am and stops at about 11:30, depending on the season, day, and any recent adjustments to the schedule.
For the more adventurous souls, there are literally dozens of sightseeing buses, each with its particular specialty. The Viking Splash tours and The infamous Dublin Ghost Bus Tour both provide plenty of amusement and an otherworldly night time portrait of the city. The Backpacker Pub Crawl tour’s extensive familiarity with local watering holes and drinking spots will ease your worries (and make you glad you’re not the designated driver). For those who want the complete urban survey in 24 hours, The Dublin City Tour takes you by the 25 top attractions all within a day’s time. And for the castle enthusiasts who have a soft spot for gorgeous scenery, the Dublin Bay and Castle Tour will not only take you to Malahide castle for a multi-hour tour, but to Howth summit for a spectacular 10 minute glimpse of the Dublin Bay.
While motor powered vehicles have their advantages, there is nothing quite as invigorating as being able to bicycle through the city. Dublin’s recent additions to its bike paths — including an 8 kilometer lighted extension of the Grand Canal route — provides riders with personal, uninterrupted access to the city and its waterways.
Cyclists are also frequently spotted in the busier sections of town, although those who have little experience with riding next to city buses and in the midst of massive urban congestion are advised to stay within the relatively safe boundaries of the designated cycling paths.
Those who are visiting but wish to ‘hire’ their own private bicycle can easily do so at the Phoenix Park Bike Hire. Tour-minded bicyclists can rent a bike and enjoy an evening tour with a knowledgeable guide from Neills Wheels. Dublin also has a ‘Bike Week,’ which is attended by cycling celebrities and the local cycling community. Bike Week features a variety of contests, awards, and general bicycling camaraderie.
Walking (Walking Tours)
Simple, elegant, and requiring the rental of absolutely no equipment (unless of course you want to buy special footwear), walking around Dublin is one of the most pleasurable and intimate transportation methods available. Pub crawls, poetic ruminations, and leisurely strolls by the Canal are perhaps best enjoyed by foot. Of course, Dublin has a slew of walking tours for those individuals who prefer a focused experience to the unexpected discoveries of casual wandering.
You can see the noteworthy points of interest of the city and also help employ history graduates of Trinity College by taking the Historical Walking Tours of Dublin. These informed and highly educated guides will take you through the places where it all happened — from Dublin’s initial formation to the potato famine to the War of Independence.
Available year round, the Historical Walking Tours meets at the front gate of Trinity College. Those interested in Dublin’s rich literary history will be delighted by the two hour Dublin Literary Walking Tour. With scheduled stops at the Dublin Writer’s Museum and the James Joyce Cultural Center, every attendee will be exposed to the city’s roster of world renowned writers. Literary geniuses Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift are both alumni of Trinity College, which is the end point of the tour. For walkers who want to see the urban highlights, Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin offers everything from shopping tours to great eateries to the general survey of the city’s most popular cultural attractions.
Trains are not the best option for those visitors who are in no particular hurry or wish to sightsee. However, for those Dublin visitors who want to get out and explore the local countryside and cities beyond, trains provide the most efficient method of travel. The best local train service in Dublin is the DART train. With a standard route that encompasses the northern scenic point of Howth all the way to the southern suburbs of Bray, DART is the ideal choice for rapid journeys across both the city and Dublin county at large. Irish Rail, also known as Iarnrod Eireann, is best used for traveling across the country, or to other prominent Irish cities such as Cork or Limerick. Once boarded at either Dublin’s Heuston or Connolly stations, the non-smoking train offers riders the choice of 87 different station destinations in the comfort of either standard or super standard class.
A number of boats and cruise vessels avail themselves of Dublin’s picturesque locations on the Liffey river. Although technically not a way to get around ‘in’ the city, the Dublin Liffey River Cruise www.liffeyrivercruises.com is a great way to get around the city, and enjoy beautiful, engaging views. The forty-five minute cruise includes lectures on the history of the city and the river. Private boats from Dublin can also be chartered or hired, although rates (and availability) do vary.
Sea Safari, Dublin, A boat ride with a difference. One of Dublin's primary water leisure attractions.http://www.seasafari.ie
There are dozens of taxi cab companies currently operating in Dublin and currently Dublin has more taxi cabs then New York. Line after line of taxis are all over the city and earning a decent living is now impossible. A few years a go being a taxi driver was a license to print money and the taxi license was a very valuable document and sold for a huge amount of money.
A crazy situation has arisen since the deregulation of the industry. Now anyone can be a taxi driver within a few hours of buying your license. Many drivers do not know the city and haven't a clue how to get you to your destination.
Competition between drivers has now led to a nasty situation, Dublin born Taxi drivers and their fellow immigrant taxi drivers do not get along and a sort of south African style apartheid system is in operation, where non Dublin drivers are not allowed or not welcome to operate from the main taxi ranks and instead are forced to park and operate from the less busy areas and ranks.
It is not nice to see this happening specially as it was the Irish who were one of the main critics and helped to bring world attention to the terrible system with several songs written by our artists, strikes by our workers over the sale of south African goods, our sports teams boycotting events and publicity in our magazines, main TV channels and papers all in support of the ANC, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko even our outlawed IRA (Irish Republican Army) helped carry out attacks against the South African apartheid government. As a Dubliner it makes me sad and sick to see this happening in my city.
So getting a taxi is not difficult and rates are now falling with deals on offer. You can ask any driver for a discount or special fixed rate to anywhere. Cheaper now for 4 people to go to the airport in a taxi and to take the bus.
If you don’t like walking, taking trains, sitting on buses, cruising on boats or riding bicycles, you can always rent a limousine and driver to drive around Dublin. For those who don’t mind spending an some money, Dublin by limousine is quite a memorable experience. Limousine service should always be booked in advance. Several companies operate different size cars for different size groups.
All the major international players operate in Dublin like Avis, Thrifty and Budget car rental so hiring a car is a piece of cake. Rates are not cheap as insurance costs are crazy so again shopping around is advised for the best deal. These rental services have offices based either at Dublin airport, or in the city center or both.