How To Get From Dublin Airport To Dublin City Centre (5 Of The Best Transport Options)
You’ve just landed at Dublin Airport and you need to get yourself into the city centre to your hotel. We’ve all been there before.
Dublin’s Airport is situated 30 minutes from the city centre. Sadly, there’s no chance of you being able to make it there on foot. But don’t worry; there are several transport options to get into the capital city, some of which are expensive and others which are not. There’s something for everybody.
For some people, landing in an airport where you have no idea how things work can be a daunting task. Finding bus stops or avoiding getting ripped off by taximen is the last thing you want to be doing when you’ve just had a long flight.
We’re here to take the stress out of your landing by giving you every way you can get from Dublin Airport to the city centre, whether you want to be dropped at O’Connell Street on the north side or Temple Bar on the south side. Let’s go.
Note: Keep scrolling to find out about a massive money saver for transport in Dublin.
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How Far Is It From Dublin Airport To The City Centre?
It takes 30 – 50 minutes in a car to get from the airport to the city centre (depending on the traffic), even though the distance is only 15 km away. If there was no traffic, you could say the airport is close to the city.
Dublin is known to be one of the worst cities in Europe for traffic. It’s small enough and has a lot of traffic congestion, so expect some delays heading in there.
Things You Should Know Before Choosing How You’ll Travel To The City Centre From Dublin Airport
- Two terminals: Dublin Airport has two terminals, terminal 1 and terminal 2. There’s no need to panic if your pick-up point is not at the terminal you fly into; you can walk from one to the other within five minutes.
- Taxi ranks: There are ranks outside of each terminal at Dublin Airport. As soon as you walk out of arrivals, you won’t be able to miss the rank sign.
- There is WiFi: You can access the WiFi for free in T1 and T2.
- Bus terminal: All buses leave from the bus station at Dublin Airport. Each bus company departs from a certain zone, e.g., zone 13/14. When you purchase a bus ticket online, you’ll be given the zone from which the bus will depart.
- You can buy a sim card at Dublin Airport: When you land, there are stores in both arrivals halls near the baggage reclaim areas that sell SIM cards. See our detailed post for more details.
- No transport between terminals: The only way you can get between T1 and T2 is to walk. It takes five minutes and is easy to do. There will be signs in arrivals to show you the way. Ask somebody who works there for directions if you’re unsure.
Getting From Dublin Airport Into The City Centre
Way 1: Taxi (The Convenient Option)
From Dublin International Airport, the fastest way to travel to the city is by taking a taxi. It’s an expensive way to get there, but you do have the luxury of not having to wait around to be picked up.
Visitors should be aware that ride-sharing apps aren’t a thing around Dublin. Taxis rule the roost.
Benefits Of Using Taxis
- Fast: You won’t have to make any stops along the way.
- No waiting around: There are always taxi drivers lingering around the airport. Finding a lift won’t be hard.
- Dropped exactly where you want to be: No walking an extra ten minutes to find your hotel.
- Can be used 24/7: Drivers don’t operate on timetables. When you want them, they’re there.
- You’ll be helped with your luggage: Holidays don’t come with just you; you’ve also got luggage to carry. Why lug that onto a bus when a taxi man can help you with it?
- Ideal for anybody with mobility issues: The vast majority of taxis are equipped to help anybody who suffers from mobility issues.
Drawbacks Of Using Taxis
• They’re expensive: Dublin isn’t a cheap city in general, and we all know taxis aren’t exactly the cheapest way to get around wherever you visit.
• Risk of being overcharged as a tourist: Some drivers (not all) tend to think tourists don’t know how much a fare will be, so they see it as an opportunity to make money.
Where Can You Get A Taxi?
You can get a taxi from one of the ranks that are outside each airport terminal. Each of them is signed, and the chances are you won’t be the only one who will be looking to get one, so keep an eye out for a huddle of people on the side of the road.
Usually, there are a decent number of taxi drivers at the ranks regardless of what time of day it is. If you can’t manage to get one, be sure to check out Free Now. It’s the most popular taxi app in Ireland at the moment.
How Much Does A Taxi Cost From Dublin Airport?
A taxi from Dublin Airport to the city centre usually costs between 30-35 euros. If the traffic is bad, that could go up to 50 euros. It all depends on what time of day you’re travelling and the traffic on the way into the city.
Always ask your driver to turn on the meter. Don’t get in unless they agree to put it on. If they’re adamant about not putting it on, just walk away and wait for the next one to come along.
Also, take note that tipping is not mandatory in Ireland. Don’t allow drivers to pressure you into giving them a tip. If you don’t want to give the driver anything, that’s your choice.
How To Hail A Taxi
Hailing a taxi is simple. Follow these instructions.
- Head to the rank
- If there are no drivers, wait for one to approach, raise your hand and wave.
When a taxi’s light is off, that signals that they’re already occupied, and when it’s on, they’re usually free to take a passenger.
Way 2: Private Transfer (Our Recommended Option)
A private transfer can sometimes be a more convenient alternative to a taxi, and even cheaper if the traffic in the city is bad on a given day. I’d say it’s the best way to get from Dublin Airport to the city centre if you’ve got a couple of people in your group.
You can usually ask the place you’re staying if they offer private transfers. They’ll give you the price and usually tell you that you can book one up to 24 hours before.
One of the best things about private transfers is that you have the opportunity to negotiate a set price for the journey and that’s it. This benefits groups rather than individuals. Since groups have multiple people to split the price with, it can sometimes work out at a tenner a head, whereas an individual has to pay full whack on their own.
Benefits Of Using Private Transfers
- Convenient: Getting picked up right outside isn’t too shabby, is it?
- No metre: You and your driver negotiate a price, and it’s that simple. No overcharging.
Drawbacks Of Using Private Transfers
- Extra fees: If your group is small, there could be an added hire charge.
What Are The Best Private Transfer Companies In Dublin?
There are tons of transfer companies around that offer competitive rates from Dublin Airport to the central Dublin area.
I’d advise you first to ask your hotel before going about it privately because they can sometimes negotiate a better rate. If you’re not satisfied with the price you’ve been given, be sure to check out Corporate Transfers. They’re one of the most highly rated companies in Dublin that offer an outstanding service.
How Much Does A Private Transfer Cost?
Dublin Airport transfers to the city centre cost between 50 – 90 euros, depending on the company and service you require. For example, you’re going to pay a little bit more for a business transfer in a decked-out Mercedes than for a standard ride in a Toyota Corolla. It really all depends on your needs.
Way 3: Public Bus (The Cheapest Option)
The public bus is the cheapest way you can get to the city.
Tons of Dublin public transit buses and coaches depart from the airport every hour, heading to all corners of the county, from downtown to the coast.
Roughly, the journey will take 40 – 70 minutes depending on the traffic, how many stops are on the route, and where you’re going.
Benefits Of Using Local Buses
- Highly affordable: Buses cost a fraction of the price compared to any of the other options.
- Reduces air pollution: More people in fewer vehicles is great for our environment.
Drawbacks Of Using Local Buses
- Can take a while to get to your destination: With there being more than one step, it takes time to get where you want to be.
- Sometimes stuffy: A lot more people take buses because it’s cheaper, so it’s going to be busy, especially leaving from Dublin Airport.
- Waiting around: Since buses operate on timetables, you could be waiting a while for it to arrive.
Bus Services And Routes
There are 2 main bus companies that offer services from Dublin Airport to the city centre. They include Dublin Express and Dublin Bus. Each one of them has multiple routes that go in all sorts of directions, but they all stop downtown.
Dublin Express is a premium coach company that has one route numbered 782, which stops in the city centre. For as little as 6 euros, you can grab yourself a one-way fare ticket. You can see the timetable here.
After that, we have Dublin Bus, which is the most popular bus service to use in the region since it’s so cheap. From the airport, you can take routes 16 and 41 and you’ll end up in the city centre. A single fare costs €3.30, which is half the price of the other services. Make sure you check out the Dublin Freedom Card, which gives you unlimited rides with local Dublin Bus services for 72 hours. It’s well worth a look.
Please Note: There are more companies that offer routes that stop in the city centre which I haven’t mentioned. These are the three main companies.
Where Can You Get The Bus?
Dublin Airport has a terminal from which all buses depart. When you purchase a ticket online, you’ll be given a number zone. That’s where you’ll get your bus. If you type that zone into Google Maps, it will take you there.
For people who haven’t purchased their tickets before and want to buy one from the driver, visit the company’s website that you want to ride with and they’ll tell you which zone to go to.
Return tickets can be bought on the bus on your departure from Dublin Airport. Be sure to ask for an open return, which gives you a certain number of days to use on your second journey back.
Way 4: Shuttle Bus (An Affordable Upgrade)
The shuttle bus is one of the easiest ways you can get from Dublin Airport to the city centre.
Originally, visitors could take the 747 or the 757 airport Airlink bus, but it has been suspended until further notice. There is a solution, though. Aircoach, which is another company that operates shuttle busses from Dublin Airport, has a couple of routes that head right into the city. See below for more information.
Benefits Of Using Shuttle Buses
- Comfort: Compared to standard public buses, shuttle buses are generally more comfortable and have more amenities (better Wifi, soft seats, charging ports, etc.).
- Fast: Shuttle buses normally have fewer stops, so you’ll arrive at your hotel promptly.
Drawbacks Of Shuttle Buses
- Less frequent: It’s rare that you’ll find a shuttle bus operating every 15 minutes; they generally run on an hourly basis and are not as late as public buses.
- Waiting around: Timetables are timetables.
- More expensive than public buses: Comfort and convenience mean you have to pay more.
Shuttle Bus Services And Routes
A single fare for shuttles from Dublin Airport will set you back 7 euros. It’s a little more expensive, but that bit faster, along with some comfort that you wouldn’t get on the Dublin Bus.
Way 5: Car Rental (The Most Expensive Option)
Dublin airport has tons of car rental booths for you to take advantage of. As soon as you walk out of the baggage hall, they’ll be directly in front of you. But be warned, this is without a doubt, the most expensive way of getting to the city.
Renting a car is a great idea if you have a place to park it. The only downside to it is that car parking in the city centre is expensive if your accommodation doesn’t offer free parking. Always ask the place you’re staying at if parking is available.
Benefits Of Renting A Car
- You can go anywhere you like: With a car, you have no restrictions. Need to stop at the shop? No problem. Want a McDonald’s? You can have it. Whereas when you ride on a bus, you have to follow the route.
Drawbacks Of Renting A Car
- It’s expensive: Between fuel, rental costs, and insurance, hiring a car isn’t cheap. You’ll pay a substantial amount to do so.
- Hard to find parking: Public parking in Dublin isn’t exactly easy to find. You could spend hours racing around the city trying to find a spot and may not even be close to where you want to go.
How Much Is It To Rent A Car?
Car rental prices at Dublin Airport range will start at around 70 euros and can up to mental prices depending on what type of car you’re looking for. Normally you’ll be given a cheaper price if you decide to pay in advance online.
Remember that the final price will depend on your age. Due to insurance reasons, the younger you are, expect to pay a lot more. Once you’re over 25, you should be fine.
What Are The Best Rental Companies In Dublin Airport?
How Much Will Car Parking Be In The City Centre
You can expect to pay at least 20 euros for 24 hours of parking in Dublin City Centre. If the place you’re staying at doesn’t have a car park, ask them where the cheapest place to park is. They’ll put you in the right direction.
Have You Heard Of The Leap Visitor Card? (Massive Money Saver)
The Leap Card is the ultimate money saver for anybody who wants to use transport in Dublin. It’s a pass that gives you unlimited access to the city’s public transport system for a set number of days. It can be used on public buses, trains, the Luas (trams), and commuter routes.
You can purchase your very own Leap Visitor Card in T1 and T2.
For more information about the Leap Visitor Card, see our post about it where we break everything down from prices and how you can get one.
Where To Stay In Dublin
- Smithfield: Situated on the north side of Dublin, Smithfield is the perfect location to base yourself if you don’t want to be in the bang centre of the city, but still want to be close by to all of the best experiences. There are some nice hotels in the area, like the Maldron. Generator Hostel is a good option for budget travellers.
- Portobello: Another cute neighbourhood is Portobello. It’s close enough to the city’s canal and is a popular meeting place for locals who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the busier areas of Dublin. For a place to stay, take a look at the 4-star Camden Court Hotel.
- Phibsborough: Phibsborough is a relaxed Dublin neighbourhood with quirky coffee shops, tasty bistros, and lively nightlife. It’s close to the Luas green line, which will have you in the city centre in less than 5 minutes. For a unique stay, book yourself into the Charleville Lodge Hotel. On the outside, it looks like an old Georgian home, but on the inside, it’s a beautiful little well-run hotel for an affordable price.
Hotels Near Dublin Airport That Offer Shuttle Services
Some hotels near Dublin Airport offer their guests shuttle services to and from the airport. Here’s a list of them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There Not A Train Station At Dublin Airport?
Dublin Airport has no train / metro/ Luas system. The closest train station to the airport is Connolly Station, which is 10 km away. Dubliners can never get their heads around this.
What To Factor In Before You Make Your Decision
- Budget: Transport from any airport is expensive. If you’re on a budget, don’t blow your money on a private transfer when you can get a public bus for a fraction of the price.
- Location: Where you’re staying is going to have an effect on what method of transport you choose. If you’re staying a couple of miles outside of the main centre of Dublin, you’re probably going to have to take two buses. Be sure to do your research.
- Time: We all know that time is everything. Visitors who are on a tight schedule are going to be more inclined to get a transfer or a taxi. Don’t sacrifice an hour or two for the sake of an extra couple of euros.
- Convenience: We all want to get from A to B the easiest way possible. Convenience is important, especially when you’re making your way back to the airport for a flight you cannot miss. Public transport is always the cheapest option, but taxis and private transfers are generally faster. These are the things you have to take into account.
Learn More About Transport In Dublin
Written By Adam
Where In Dublin is owned, controlled and run by Adam Ryan. He’s a one-man army who knows Dublin like the back of his hand and strives to help anybody planning on visiting Dublin enjoy themselves.