On last month’s brief visit to Dublin, I travelled from Edinburgh with Aer Lingus. It cost a little more than Ryanair would have done, but the whole experience is more more relaxed and friendly. I paid about £65 one way, including £21 “extra” for a checked in bag.
One downside to Aer Lingus is their cabin bag allowance being very small – the smallest I have come across. It might just make Ryanair even better value for money.
Luggage reclaim was very slow at Dublin Airport – we waited 30 minutes even after taking a bus from the plane to the other side of the airport and then queuing for 10 minutes at passport control. Bear that in mind when planning your onward travel.
I took an airport Dublin Bus/Bus Átha Cliath into the city centre and then at Heuston Station changed to the Luas (tram) to take me to my hotel in Tallaght. That bus route (the 747) goes right through the city centre, so it was slow.
The service is very frequent however, so you will not wait long. It is also right at the exit from Terminal 2. You can buy single tickets on the bus or from a kiosk at the bus stop.
At the airport I bought a 24 hour TFI (Transport for Ireland) Leap card for €10. It is valid on all city buses, the Luas and some commuter trains. The ticket is available from the Spar shop just as you leave departures in Terminal 2. It saved me money even although I only used the airport bus once and the Luas twice.
My hotel was the Glashaus in Tallaght. It is at the terminus of the Luas red line, and so well out of the city centre in suburbia. It took about 40 minutes from Heuston Station. I wanted to be well away from the city centre, hoping it would be quiet at night.
It was quiet, but turned out to be further than I expected from the city centre. The cost was €102 including a big breakfast. The room was excellent and so was breakfast. I had dinner there and it was good enough without being very interesting.
I left the city by train for Belfast. The cross border Enterprise service is a joint venture between Iarnród Éireann and NI Railways. It leaves from Connolly Station in Dublin – which is also on the Luas red line. My 1st class ticket cost €39.99. The journey time is just over 2 hours, so it is not fast.
It is comfortable however, and the restaurant car serves food at your seat (at least in 1st class). I enjoyed my chicken salad with wine, but of course the bill wiped the smile off my face.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2019