How to Get from the Dublin Airport to City Center

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Wondering how to get from the Dublin Airport to city center? This was one of my own biggest questions when I studied abroad in Dublin and flew from the East Coast of the USA!

The Fair City that is Dublin is served by one of the bigger and busier airports in Europe. Surprisingly, it’s located not even a thirty-minute drive outside of the city center, making it one of the better airports in terms of arriving and getting right to your lodgings! 

There are, of course, a number of ways that you could get from Dublin airport to the city, and we’ll lay them all out for you so that you can choose the transit method that works best for you and your trip plans.

A view from the window seat of an airplane showing the wing of the aircraft with the Aer Lingus shamrock logo, flying high above the clouds.
This was the view out our window on Aer Lingus as we flew into DIA!

Best Options to Get From the Dublin Airport to City Center

Two girls pointing at signs in Bradley International Airport.
We didn’t even know how much fun we’d have studying abroad in Dublin when we left from the Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT.

Woohoo, you’re on a trip to Dublin! Let me just say that you have such a fun adventure ahead of you, and luckily, it’s fairly easy to get from the DIA to downtown.

Currently, there are no rail services from Dublin airport to the city center, but that doesn’t mean you’re without options.

Airport shuttle coaches, taxis, public transit buses, and rental cars are all choices at your disposal. Let’s dive into the details of each one!

Aircoach from Dublin Airport to City Center

The iconic blue Aircoach bus parked, providing transport services from Dublin city center to the airport, with pedestrians walking by.
Editorial credit: Robson90 / Shutterstock.com

Aircoach is a vendor that operates in several Irish cities, providing comfortable, convenient transport from the airport to city and back. They’re a very popular option due to their 24/7 operating hours, frequent departures, and abundance of convenient stopping points.

Round-trip tickets can start anywhere from €10 to €20 Euros, depending on where exactly you want to be dropped off. This is the very bus that we always took

But you also have the option of adding booking flexibility for a Euro or two more, and you can even purchase Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tours from DoDublin with your Aircoach ticket as well.

The Brazen Head, proclaimed as Ireland's oldest pub, with its name adorned with vibrant flower baskets, offering live music and food.

Your ticket includes two free pieces of luggage, plus baby strollers, and you can add on a bicycle if space permits. The buses themselves are comfortable, with contactless payment options, reclining chairs, free wi-fi, and charging points, so your journey will be convenient as well as enjoyable.

And, like many airlines, Aircoach offers a loyalty program and lounge access, so if you’re a frequent Dublin visitor, you can earn points to use on future trips!

Transit time for Aircoach is between a half-hour to about an hour, depending on what drop-off point you select. It is available from either Terminal at the airport, and their Dublin city coverage stretches as far south as Killiney.

Dublin Express from Dublin Airport to City Center

A Dublin Express coach, colored in bright blue, parked on a city street, offering direct airport transport services.
Editorial credit: 4kclips / Shutterstock.com

Dublin Express Coach is a very popular and cost-effective way to get from the Dublin Airport to the city center–like Aircoach, your ticket will start at €10 and includes two pieces of large luggage and a piece of hand luggage.

Their coaches are comfortably appointed and include free wi-fi and charging points. Dublin Express is also operating with a focus on sustainability, using clean energy coaches, and having set a goal of being zero-emission by 2035. 

Dublin Express Coach also runs a 24/7 timetable, and their transit time to the city center (using Temple Bar as a drop-off point) is about 25 minutes–they claim to offer the fastest coach service for the journey.

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    Dublin Bus from Dublin Airport to City Center

    A double-decker Dublin Bus in service, with the route number 38 displayed, sharing the road with cars and a cyclist.
    Editorial credit: Chris Jenner / Shutterstock.com

    Using the Transport For Ireland Dublin Bus is the most cost-effective method of getting from the Dublin airport into the city center.

    The best way to do it is to pick up a Leap Card at the airport–it is available at several shops, including the WH Smith in Terminal 1 and the Spar in Terminal 2–and use the card at the touchpoint when you get on the bus.

    As long as you complete your journey in 90 minutes within the TFI 90-Minute Zone, your complete fare will be €2 for an adult using the Leap Card.

    The airport and the general area of the city center are included in the very generous radius of the Zone, so barring catastrophe, your trip should easily fall within the 90-minute window.

    A bustling Dublin street scene featuring a mix of modern and traditional buildings, with pedestrians and cyclists navigating around a roadwork sign.

    Overall, Dublin Bus is not only a very affordable way to get from the airport to the city center, it’s a fantastic transport option for the Dublin metro area in general. While the seats may not be quite as plush as the coach options, you still get free wi-fi and USB ports for charging.

    The drawbacks here are that the buses may not run quite as frequently, and the space for luggage is incredibly limited. This might be the best option for budget-conscious travelers who operate on a carry-on-only basis.

    The Dublin airport to city bus takes about a half-hour, maybe a bit longer depending on traffic and which bus you pick. The airport bus lines are typically available around the clock. You can plan journeys with ease in the Transport for Ireland app and add funds to your Leap Card in the Leap Top-Up App.

    Taxi from Dublin Airport to City Center

    A white taxi cab in Dublin, parked by the curb in front of a tram, ready to take passengers to their destination.
    Editorial credit: meunierd / Shutterstock.com

    For door-to-door service, a taxi is the way to go. Taxi ranks are easily found at the Dublin Airport–just follow the signs–and depending on traffic, a journey can be as quick as 30 minutes. Luggage capacity is better than that of the city bus, and the available hours for taxis are comparable. 

    A taxi from the Dublin airport to the city center can be a bit on the pricey side; however, it is between €20 and €35 for a single adult fare.

    This is only an estimate, as pricing depends on a number of factors, such as distance, the number of adults, and the time of your pick-up. Still, it’s sometimes hard to beat the convenience of slipping into a car at the airport and having it drop you off on your Dublin doorstep!

    Driving a Rental Car from Dublin Airport to City Center

    The famous Temple Bar in Dublin, its red exterior festooned with lush flower arrangements, renowned for its traditional Irish music and pub atmosphere.

    If you like to have your independence on a trip and you’re comfortable with driving in a new place, a car rental from the airport is certainly an option!

    It offers you the ultimate flexibility in getting around and driving from the Dublin airport to the city center can be as short as a half-hour (although, thinking realistically, it can often take nearer to an hour, depending on traffic and your comfort levels).

    And your luggage capacity will be fairly comfortable if you get a larger compact car.

    But as with taxis, a rental car can be costly. You’d be looking at a likely minimum of €22 per day, depending on car size, to say nothing about fuel costs, tolls, and parking in the city.

    The historic red-brick architecture of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, connected by high walkways, with a sign pointing towards the entrance, under an overcast sky.

    Then, most car rental companies will require you to be at least 25 years of age and to hold an international driving permit if you’re from the USA. You will likely have to have a valid credit card, not a debit card, to pay for your rental.

    All that being said, you may find complete independence worth all of the costs, so renting a car is certainly worth considering. There are several rental agencies operating out of the Dublin airport, so do shop around and book ahead for the best cost.

    Final Thoughts: Dublin airport to city center

    The great thing about transit from Dublin airport to the city center is that you have multiple options. Take the time to sit down and plan your trip, and it will be a snap for you to decide which one is the best for you. Happy traveling!

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