Luas, busses and the DART

Getting around in Dublin, Ireland with public transport can be a bit confusing in the beginning but is quite simple once you know how to do it. The city feels like a beehive of different busses, but there are also tramways, the DART and normal trains. The first contact with public transport system will for sure be at the airport – where you can catch the busses 747 and 757 that bring you within 30 minutes on different routes to the city center.

You can buy a ticket at the bus stop or within the bus – but there you need to have the right amount of money at hand as they don’t give change. Busses are always entered in the front. The 747 and the 757 have large racks for luggage on the lower floor and many seats on the upper level. Once you’re in the city you’ll recognize that there are always many bus stops in a row – you need to find the right one and the electronic displays help very much.

What types of local transport are available?

Busses have USB ports to charge your devices. They are entered in the front and even if you could leave in the rear most passengers exit in the front for being able to thank the driver while exiting. Very important to know: if you’re standing at a bus stop and your bus is arriving you need to give the driver some kind of signal – elsewise you will be standing there for very long time.

Tramways are named with the Irish word Luas. There are two lines – one going from north to south and one from east to west. The lines meet at O’Connell street close to the General Post Office (GPO). If you use a smartcard ticket make sure that you touch a reader (outside at the stop, not inside the vehicle) at the start and the end of your journey to make sure you pay the right amount of money.

Additionally, there are two important railway stations: from Heuston in the west you can go by train to Galway. The O’Connell station belongs to the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) network. With this system, you can reach many destinations outside the city and especially the coast at Howth / Binn Éadair. Trains often show the Irish names of the target destination – don’t let yourself be confused because of that.

How to pay for local transport?

You can buy tickets on busses (paying the exact amount of money) and there are ticket vending machines at Luas stops and railway stations. But the best way is to get a smartcard (Leap card) you can put money on and use in all transport systems. If you reach a daily limit the system automatically makes your ticket a flat rate ticket for the day. I love that. Locals take the normal Leap card and put an amount of money onto it. For tourists, there is the Leap Visitors Card you can get for 1, 2 or 3 days and a fixed amount of money.

Dublin / Baile Átha Cliath
Ireland / Éire

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