The basics
Ireland: Destination Guides - Must read

Getting around Ireland

A guide to the transport infrastructure in Ireland...


Travel within Ireland is relatively easy due to its size, while you’ll be treated to some glorious views while on-the-go. You can plan your journey from start to finish before you leave, using the Transport for Ireland journey planner. There are plenty of ways to get around:


By road and rail


Many cities, like Dublin, have bus systems in place along with the rail services. In Dublin, you can pay for the ‘Leap Card’ which will give you access to all the Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Bus Eireann, and Luas services. With the leap card you can mix and match what you want to have access to and pay from there. The card also gives students a discount. You can view additional information and details regarding the Leap Card here.

Dublin also has a commuter rail system, one of five suburban rail networks on the island. There are four main lines, designated Northern Commuter, Western Commuter, South Eastern Commuter, and South Western Commuter. The trains are operated by Iarnród Éireann. The Dublin suburban network also consists of an electrified line Dublin Area Rapid Transit that serves the Dublin bay commuter belt.

  • Northern Commuter – Dublin Pearse to Dundalk.
  • South Eastern Commuter – Dublin Connolly to Wicklow.
  • South Western Commuter – Dublin Heuston to Kildare.
  • Western Commuter – Dublin Pearse / Docklands to Longford.
  • Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) – Greystones to Howth/Malahide.

There is also a tram network called LUAS consisting of two lines;

  • Red Line: Tallaght to Connolly
  • Green Line: St. Stephen's Green to Sandyford



There are a total of 35 bus routes of which, 18 are Citybus routes serving areas like Cork City, Knocknaheeny, Ballinlough, Cork, Mahon, Mayfield, Frankfield, Ballintemple and Farranree. Also 17 suburban routes serving towns such as Glanmire, Ballincollig, Carrigaline, Douglas, Midleton, Mallow, Cobh, and Goleen. 

3 suburban train lines in the Cork Suburban Rail service.

Cork Kent- Blarney ED-Mallow

Cork Kent- Glanmire- Cobh

Cork Kent-Glanmire-Midleton

There is also a car ferry operating between Rushbrooke and Passage West.



There are a total of 9 Citybus routes, serving areas such as Raheen, Dooradoyle, Ballycummin, Univeristy of Limerick, O’Malley, Caherdavin, and Castletroy. Commuter rail services are also frequently used in this area and there are three train lines in the Limerick Suburban Rail network.

Limerick railway station-Ennis

Limerick railway station-Nenagh

Limerick railway station-Tipperary


There are 15 bus routes serving parts of the city. For the various surrounding towns and villages around the city, there are Ulsterbus services travelling into the city centre.

The city is serviced by Londonderry railway station on the Belfast-Derry line which serves Belfast Central and Belfast Great Victoria Street.


There are 16 bus routes serving the city and its suburbs altogether – Bus Éireann operates 11 routes, while Galway City Direct runs 5 routes.


By Air

Getting to the United Kingdom, wider Europe and the rest of the world is relatively easy from Ireland. The main airports in the country are in DublinShannonCork and Belfast, but there are also a number of regional airports. All of these offer regular services to and from London (one hour flying time) and many offer direct flights to other main European capitals and to the United States. Ferry services operate from several ports on the east and south coasts to England, Scotland, Wales and France.


Student travel discount

Full-time students can buy a Student Travelcard, which is valid on various transport services. All you need is your Student ID (secure), a completed Student Travelcard application form and €15 (€12 for the card and €3.00 photo fee). You can download and complete the online Student Travelcard Application Form from the Student Travelcard site.


Useful sites:

Trip Advisor for Irish public transport

Lonely Planet



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About Author

Alyson Blech recently graduated with degrees in Public Relations and Media Studies, along with minors in Journalism and Art History from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Alyson has lived in Iowa her entire life, but decided to cross the pond to gain internship experience in London, England. In her spare time she obsesses over dogs, pizza and zumba.