Travel to Ireland
Flying to Ireland
The national carrier is Aer Lingus (www.aerlingus.com) but many of the low-cost airlines including easyJet (www.easyjet.com) and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) fly to Ireland. Airlines flying to Ireland from the USA include Delta (www.delta.com) and United (www.united.com).
As with many European destinations, flights to Ireland are generally at their most expensive during the peak holiday months (particularly high summer) and at festive periods. Due to the number of low-cost flights into Ireland from the UK and elsewhere in Europe, it’s worth searching as far in advance as possible for a cheap fare. It can be common for the taxes added onto a flight to exceed the base fare.
Dublin Airport is located approximately 11km (6.8 miles) north of central Dublin.Telephone
+353 1 814 1111Address
Dublin Airport, Swords Road
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Shannon Airport is situated 24km (15 miles) northwest of Limerick and 90km (56 miles) south of Galway.Telephone
+353 61 712 000AddressIreland
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Cork Airport is located 8km (5 miles) to the south of central Cork.Telephone
+353 21 431 3131Address
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Knock International AirportCode
The airport is 11km (7 miles) north of Claremorris (County Mayo) and receives scheduled international flights from the UK only.TelephoneAddress
To Dublin: from London - 1 hour 20 minutes; New York - 6 hours 30 minutes.
There is an airport development fee of €10 at Ireland West Airport Knock, payable by everyone over 12 years.
Travelling to Ireland by Rail
Rail links serve Ireland from key ferry ports, as well as from Northern Ireland. It usually takes just over two hours to travel from Belfast to Dublin by rail.
If travelling from the UK to Ireland or vice versa, it is possible to buy a SailRail ticket which combines the price of the train and ferry journey from any station in Britain to any in Ireland. Prices are fixed and dependent on specific routes but can be good value for money. See www.seat61.com/ireland for details.
InterRail: offers unlimited first- or second-class travel in up to 29 European countries for European residents of over six months with two pass options. The Global Pass allows travel for 15 days, 22 days, one month, five days in 10 days or 10 days in 22 days across all countries. The One-Country Pass offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month in any of the countries except Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Reductions are available for travellers under 26. Children under 12 are free when travelling with an adult using an Adult Pass. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes. Available from Voyages-sncf.com (tel: +44 844 848 5848, in the UK; www.voyages-sncf.com).
Eurailpass: offers unlimited train travel in up to 28 European countries. Tickets are valid for 15 days, 21 days, one month, two months, three months, five days in 10 days, 10 days in two months or 15 days in two months. The Global Pass allows travel across all participating countries. The Select Pass is valid in four bordering countries. The Regional Pass lets you travel in two bordering countries. The One Country Pass offers travel in one of 27 countries.
Adult passes are valid for first-class travel, while youth passes (under 26) are valid for second-class travel. Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult using an Adult Pass. The passes cannot be sold to EU citizens or residents. Available from Eurail (www.eurail.com).
Driving to Ireland
There are various road crossings from Northern Ireland, the most commonly used being the road between Belfast and Dublin, which south of the border becomes the M1 Motorway.
Speed limit and distance signs are in kilometres in Ireland. The same signs are quoted in miles in Northern Ireland.
Getting to Ireland by boat
The main ports accessible by ferry are Dublin (www.dublinport.ie), Rosslare (rosslareeuroport.irishrail.ie), Galway (www.galwayharbour.com), Cork (www.portofcork.ie) and Dun Laoghaire (www.dlharbour.ie). In addition to conventional ferry crossings, many ferry companies offer high-speed services as well as upgraded, state-of-the-art craft on many Irish sea routes. Fares will vary by season and promotional offers are available.
The Swansea to Cork route was stopped in 2012.
Various cruise itineraries incorporate Ireland, usually stopping at Dublin or Cork.
If travelling overland by car from the UK or mainland Europe, there are several ferry crossings available.
Stena Line (tel: +44 844 770 7070, in the UK; www.stenaline.co.uk) operates routes from Holyhead to Dublin and Fishguard to Rosslare.
Irish Ferries (tel: +353 818 300 400; www.irishferries.com) operates swift as well as standard-speed ferries along the Holyhead to Dublin route and ferries between Pembroke and Rosslare.
P&O Ferries (tel: +44 800 130 0030, in the UK; www.poferries.com) operates a Liverpool to Dublin route.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company operates routes from the Isle of Man to Dublin (tel: 08722 992 992 in the UK; www.steam-packet.com).
For ferry crossings from mainland Europe, Irish Ferries runs direct services from Roscoff and Cherbourg in Northern France, to Roslare. Brittany Ferries (tel: +353 21 427 7801; www.brittanyferries.ie) operates the Roscoff to Cork route.