Getting Around Ireland
Contrary to popular belief Ireland is well served by an excellent road and rail service. The Celtic Tiger may have died, however it has left behind a legacy of a much improved road and rail system.
Modernisation of the country's infrastructure went ahead full tilt while the country was basking in being one of the world's fastest growing economies. Projects such as Dublin's Light Railway (the Luas) were completed and now make it possible to travel around the city beating all the traffic in one of the most modern tram systems anywhere in the world.
Along with the light railway major investment was put into the roads and the rolling stock for the railroads. What was once a four hour trip by road, from Limerick to Dublin has now been shortened to just over two and likewise a trip from Dublin to Galway will take just two hours on the new M4.
You can travel by car, rail, or coach and you should be at your journey's end feeling refreshed within a few hours of any of the main airports.
Unlike a lot of countries and capital cities, taxis in Dublin and the rest of Ireland do not have a uniform colour such as the yellow cab in New York, except for Belfast where you will see the black 'London Cab'. Rather, they are mostly made up of private cars and the only distinguishing mark is the illuminated Taxi sign on the roof. The driver should have on display his 'card' showing a photo and his Taxi Licence number. Remember if you travel by taxi you are entitled to a receipt printed from the taxi meter. Your fare should be clearly visible on the meter and you are entitled to a clean vehicle and a pleasant journey.
It's always worth your while asking the driver for their card as it may be very useful for your stay. Sometimes you may find that the second or third journey is not on the meter and is often a few euros cheaper.
It is rumoured all over the world that taxis at airports are more expensive and will rip you off. In general this does not apply in Ireland. The taxi industry is well regulated and the competition so strong that taxi fares never vary too much from cab to cab. The price does vary in more rural locations but that is not unusual.
The golden rule is chat away but do most of the listening!
The State owned Iarnrod Eireann (CIE) and Bus Eireann cover nearly every corner of the country whilst in Northern Ireland you should check out NI Railways for journeys by rail across the province, Ulster Bus which provides all bus services except in Belfast where the service is provided by Metro.
Dublin Bus runs a local service across Dublin city and county as well as the Airlink service to Dublin Airport. Air Coach runs luxury private coaches to Dublin Airport and the rest of the country.
A Dublin Bus timetable service delivered via text message (SMS).
Send BUS followed by your route number e.g. 'BUS 77a' to 53503 for the times of the next 77a buses, you will also receive other bus numbers that serve similar areas.
CIE run trains to all parts of the country from the two main stations in Dublin, Connolly and Heuston. If travelling North you should go to Connolly station and if travelling to the south or west Heuston station is your port of call. The DART is a rail service for Dublin city and county. You can travel by DART from Malahide in the north of the county down as far as Greystones. When travelling around the city you might decide to use the LUAS which is a state of the art modern city tram service.
There are many car hire companies right across the country. Most of the main one's are situated in the arrivals hall of the main airports. Some of the best known companies are:
Avis: +353 1 605 7500
Europcar: +353 1 812 0410
Hertz: +353 1 844 5466
National: +353 1 844 4162
Budget: +353 1 844 5150
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Peaceful path in Wicklow
"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life" - Jack Kerouac