Dublin Airport is often the gateway to Ireland for many of the 9.9 million tourists that visit each year. With many, ourselves included heading to the city center of Dublin before on to some of the more remote towns and villages that Ireland has to offer.
Based on our multiple trips to Dublin, we know that travelling the 15km from the airport to the city can take anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours, and cost anything from €5 per person to €30 depending on how you choose to travel.
To get from Dublin Airport to Dublin city centre, you can rent a car, take the bus, or get a taxi. If there is less than two people a bus will be cheapest. If there are more than two people, hiring a taxi is going to work out cheaper. Rent a car if you intend to cover a lot of miles on your trip.
Usually, a fine line between both getting to your accommodation quickly and not spending a fortune is the preferred method for most – after all, the last thing you want to do when jetlagged is try and negotiate your way around a new city.
|Hire A Car||15 min||€16||Hire A Car|
|Bus||30 min||€7||Book Online|
|Taxi||1 hour 20 min||€40||Reserve In Advance|
Hire A Car
Dublin Airport is located just 10km north of Dublin City Centre and while parking and driving around the largest city in Ireland can be stressful, this option is ideal if it’s a pit-stop before going on to explore more of the country.
If you’re traveling as a small party (3+ people) the cost of hiring and running a car during your trip can be split and often works out a similar price to taking public transport yet provides you with a lot of flexibility when it comes to where you go and when you go.
Being a major airport, there are a number of rental companies located inside Dublin Airport for you to choose from;
- New Way
I’d recommend using a comparison website (we use EconomyBookings) to find the best price for a hire car during your visit as prices can vary dramatically between companies.
While you can turn up to one of the hire desks at Terminal 2 and pick up a hire car direct, this is often the most expensive way of doing so and you’ll likely be charged three times as much when compared to pre-booking online.
Generally, hiring a small four-seater car will cost around £14 per day (€16/$20). Although this can increase dramatically if you’re under the age of 25 or plan to drop the car off at an alternative location to the collection point.
If you’re only planning on staying in Dublin City Center during your visit then I’d advise against hiring a car as traveling internally within the city is difficult. There’s often a lot of traffic, especially at peak times and the cost of parking can be around €10 for just a couple of hours.
You will find the Bus and Coach Park behind the Terminal 1 multi-story car parks. To access the station from the airport, walk through the multi-story car park atrium at Terminal 1.
Taking a bus from Dublin Airport to Dublin City is by far the cheapest method of transport, and the preferred way of travelling for backpackers, solo travelers, and tourists on a budget. There’s a number of different companies that offer the service, the most popular being;
Aircoach is the most well-rated and most appealing service having been voted Airport Coach Operator of the Year 2020.
The Aircoach 700 is the primary service connecting Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center 24 hours a day with new buses arriving every 15 minutes between the hours of 3.25am and 11.55pm and every 30 minutes outside of those times.
When booked online using the Aircoach website a single journey is €7.00 per person, meanwhile, a return is just an additional €1.00 at €8.00 per person. You can purchase tickets from the driver upon arrival however, they are slightly more and are based on availability (online ticket customers get priority).
The average Aircoach journey from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center takes around 30 minutes, however, this can vary by up to an hour during peak times and depending on where you’re being dropped off within the city.
Aircoach also offers services to other major cities within Ireland including Cork and Belfast. All of these services run from Zone 11 which is located within the Dublin Airport Bus Park.
Airlink is another reputable bus company which runs services from Dublin Airport to Dublin City Center. The company runs two services, the 747 and the 757 each have a slightly different timetable and different stops within the city;
747: Point Village & 3Arena, North Wall Quay (Central Bank),The Convention Centre Dublin, Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC), Commons Street, Talbot Street; The Central Bus Station (Busáras), Connolly Rail Station, Gardiner Street, Cathal Brugha Street, O’Connell Street, Aston Quay & Temple Bar, Essex Quay & Christ Church, Ushers Quay and Heuston Rail Station.
757: North Wall Quay (Central Bank) The Convention Centre Dublin, Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC), Custom House Quay, Eden Quay & O’Connell Bridge, Hawkins Street & Temple Bar, Westland Row, Merrion Square, St. Stephen’s Green, Earlsfort Terrace, Adelaide Road, Camden (Charlotte Way) and Harcourt Street.
Both of these services leave from Zone 20 within the Dublin Airport Bus Park. With the 747 running 7 days a week every 10 minutes during peak times and the 757 running 7 days a week every 40 minutes.
While you can book tickets online in advance for both of these routes I advise against doing so as you have to physically print the tickets and can’t show them on your smartphone.
Instead, I recommend purchasing tickets from the driver as you board the bus or from the company’s desk which is located inside the arrivals hall at Terminal 1.
Tickets are priced at €7.00 for adults one way and €12.00 for adults return. However, there are discounts for children and family tickets available.
If neither of those companies sound right for your journey then consider looking into some of the alternative companies that also run services between Dublin Airport and Dublin City Center;
- Bus Éireann
- City Link
A taxi is a direct and private way of travelling from Dublin Airport to Dublin City, while there’s a variety of different ways you can book a taxi to and from the airport, each of them come at a price which is significantly more than travelling by bus.
Taxis are located outside of the Terminal 1 arrivals hall and are clearly signposted both inside and outside of the airport terminal.
Upon arriving at the taxi rank you’ll be required to join the queue we’ve found that waiting in the queue for a taxi can take anything from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the time of your arrival, city traffic and the number of other flights that arrived at the same/similar time as your flight did.
A taxi dispatcher is located at the front of the queue and will point you to the driver that will be taking you, this ensures the whole process is as quick and smooth as it possibly can be.
Taking a taxi in this format will cost between €25 and €30 and can be paid in cash or via debit/credit card (the majority of taxis operating in Dublin have card machines inside).
Alternatively, you could look to take an Uber directly from the airport to your hotel within Dublin City Center. Only Uber Black and taxi operates to and from Dublin Airport, as a result, Uber is slightly more expensive than taking a traditional taxi at between €35 – €45 one-way.
Be sure to not request an Uber until you’ve passed immigration and customs and collected your luggage as the ride may be cancelled and you’ll be charged if you don’t arrive at the meeting point on time.
The exact meeting point for Uber pick-up is slightly different to the traditional taxi rank as detailed above, you’ll be provided with all the details upon your Uber request.
While a taxi is more than a bus journey when split between three or four people the price per person works out much the same if not cheaper and provides you with the convenience of being dropped off directly outside your hotel.
If you want to cut your travel time between the airport and the city down even further consider asking the driver to take the Dublin port tunnel. This should shave around 10 minutes off the total travel time (more during peak times).
You will, however, be required to pay the additional €10.00 between 6.00am to 10.00am, Monday to Friday €3.00 at all other times and on public holidays to the toll operator – this isn’t included in your fare.