How to get from the Dublin Airport to the city center?
I came across this question during my vacation trip to New Orleans. The chosen flights were cheap, but on the other side, I had a few stopovers. One of them, I had in Dublin. I landed around 10 p.m., and the next flight should depart at 2 p.m. the next day. In my opinion, this was not enough night to spend a dime on a hotel room and not enough day to have long tours to somewhere and explore more of Ireland. As it was my own choice to save money on the flights instead of spending a fortune flying directly to New Orleans, I had no issues with staying at the Dublin Airport overnight.
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What to do when you have a several hours stopover in Dublin?
That was the question I wanted to answer. 15 hours in total but only six at daytime to explore the city. The night which I spend at the airport in Dublin, I used to find out what and especially how I could use the time best. Two thoughts came into my mind. First, how can I go to the city center? I looked for an inexpensive and easy way. Second, what should I do with my luggage? I traveled with a carry-on only. Nevertheless, I did not want to carry it around half of the city and back. The few hours I had I wanted to spend in an as relaxed way as possible. It was my vacation already…
What to do with your luggage?
Of course, if your flights are real connection flights and your bags are checked through already that is an easy question. You might have a rucksack or a purse, and that is it. You can easily carry it the whole time.
But what to do if you travel with carry-on luggage? The answer is luggage storage. Yes, there is one at the Dublin Airport. Leave your luggage there, so that you do not need to carry it around through the whole city. It is located at Terminal 1 in the entrance hall and starts its service at 5 a.m.
SHORT FACTS: WHERE: TERMINAL,1, ENTRANCE HALL, LEFT-HAND-SIDE, NEXT TO THE INFORMATION POINT, OPERATING: 5 A.M.-11 P.M., COSTS: 7€ FOR 0-4 HOURS, 12.5€ FOR 0-24 HOURS
How to get into the city and back to Dublin Airport?
There are several possibilities. Numerous bus lines, from public buses to the Airlink. A connection by train is still under discussion. Unfortunately, there is still no decision made on starting construction works for a railway to the Dublin Airport.
Depending on your preferences choose one option. You can hop off at several stops in the city.
SHORT FACTS: DEPART: TERMINAL 1 AND 2, DEPARTING WHEN: ALMOST 24/7, COSTS: 7€* SINGLE, 12€* ROUNDTRIP FOR THE AIRLINK EXPRESS, *BOOK ONLINE ON DODUBLIN.IE/AIRLINK AND SAVE 1€
What to do?
Now we already clarified how to go to the city center and back to the airport and where we could leave our luggage meanwhile. I am still in love with the left luggage option. It was the first time that I had such a long stopover and needed a storage opportunity. The whole process was so easy and comfortable.
Anyway, now it is time to consider what to do. Depending on the length of your stay you have different options. Below you will find a few suggestions on how to spend your time in Dublin instead of waiting for your flight at the Dublin airport.
If you have only a few hours like me. I mean, I had to be back at the airport around noon to get my luggage back, go to my Terminal, pass security and find my gate. Therefore from leaving the airport and being back, I had only six hours. Not that much time, but enough to have breakfast and visit one or two places.
I hopped off the bus at St. Stephens Green. I had a coffee at the Starbucks, which was already open. Then I went to St. Stephens Green shopping mall (the most shops open at 9.30 a.m., so it was more window shopping), I got myself some donuts, and then I went to the Little Museum of Dublin, which also opened at 9.30 a.m. A cute little pearl with a lot of history about Dublin. I got the tour at 10 a.m. and then wandered around the two floors by myself. Just enough time before I had to get back to the airport.
If you have a bit more time, you might have a chance to visit the Kilmainham Gaol. It is a bit more outside the city, and it takes longer to get there. There are several ways to go to the Kilmainham but keep in mind that it takes at least an hour each way. The Airlink 747 is going to Heuston Station from where you could walk to Kilmainham Gaol within 10 minutes.
That was my first thought. Unfortunately, the time was a bit tight to go there, doing a tour, and being back at the airport on time. However, I put it on my bucket list for the next visit.
If you arrive in the early morning and your next flight is at some point in the afternoon or evening, you might be the luckiest one (except the fact, that you had a layover). In this case, you have a lot of time to spent the whole day in Dublin. Get rid of your luggage, take one of the buses, Airlink or airport shuttles, and explore the city. Take a walking tour, explore the Trinity college, the library and have a look at the book of kells, have a full Irish breakfast (or anything else which you like), stroll through the Temple bar district, cross the Ha´Penny bridge, visit the Dublin castle, or whatever else you always wanted to do, when you have the chance to visit Dublin. Another possibility is to take a sightseeing tour with the hop on hop off bus. The duration of the excursion is not longer than 2.5 hours, so you will have time to hop off at one or two stops.
You see, there are a few options to spend your time in a better way than sitting at the airport. If you have such a long stopover anyway, take your chance and discover a new city or when you have been there, do something which you have never done before, or follow some “traditions” or routines you have when you are in a familiar city.
Did you have a stopover and used it for sightseeing? Tell me where you were and how you spent your time?