Compare Ticket Costs: Map shows point-to-point, one-way, 2nd-class fares in $US by rail (solid line), bus (dashed line), and ferry (dotted line). Add up fares for your itinerary to see whether a pass will save you money. For 1st class rail fares, add 50%. Source: www.irishrail.ie.
Best Value: Ireland's trains fan out from Dublin but neglect much of the countryside. The bus system is more extensive and cheaper (e.g., $30 Dublin-Galway, $20 Dublin-Cork). Paying as you go works fine for both rail and bus tickets, or you can buy a rail/bus combo pass (below) at stations in Ireland. While our map shows full, peak-time fares for sale in stations, you can cut train ticket prices in half by booking online, with no particular advance deadline. Traveling mid-day also reduces your rail ticket price. Roundtrip rail fares can cost as little as 10% more than one-way.
Reservations: Irish trains do not require reservations.
Two-Country Pass: The BritRail + Ireland pass costs quite a bit more than regular BritRail passes and is rarely worth the expense.
International Connections: Flying to either Britain or the Continent is cheap on Ryan Air and other carriers. British Rail has teamed up with ferry companies to offer competitive rates on combined "Sail/Rail" tickets to Britain (separate from rail passes). See ferry and flight notes below.
|Ireland Eurail Pass Buy This Pass|
|Type of Pass||1st Class Adult||1st Class Saver||2nd Class Adult||2nd Class Saver||1st Class Youth||1st Class Senior||2nd Class Youth||2nd Class Senior|
|3 days in 1 month||$256||$218||$206||$176||$218||$193||$176||$155|
|5 days in 1 month||$392||$334||$314||$268||$334||$295||$268||$237|
|Covers trains (not buses) in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Stena Line ferries to Britain and Irish Ferries to France are discounted 30% during the validity of the pass. Saver prices are per person based on two or more traveling together. Senior passes are for travelers age 60 and up. Youth passes are for travelers under 26 only. This Eurail-brand pass qualifies youths for an additional discount on BritRail passes. Kids 5-15 pay half adult fare; under 5 free. Prices subject to change.|
|BritRail Pass + Ireland Buy This Pass|
|Type of Pass||1st Class||Standard Class|
|5 days out of 1 month||$765||$519|
|10 days out of 1 month||$1365||$919|
|Covers trains in the entire British Isles (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland). Does not cover ferries or buses. Kids 5-15 pay half fare; under 5 free. No Family Pass, Party Pass, Eurail Discount, nor Off-Peak Special. Prices subject to change. Before buying the 10-day rail pass, consider the cost of separate BritRail and Ireland rail passes.|
|Rail and Bus Passes to Buy in Ireland|
|These local specials are sold at major train stations in Ireland. €1 = about US $1.25.|
|Irish Explorer||Rail & Bus||Republic only||Any 8 days in 15||€245|
|Irish Explorer||Rail only||Republic only||Any 5 days in 15||€160|
|Irish Rover||Bus only||Republic & North||Any 3 days in 8
Any 8 days in 15
Any 15 days in 30
|Open Road Pass||Bus only||Republic only||Any 3 days in 6
Any 4 days in 8
Any 5 days in 10
Any 6 days in 12
Any 7 days in 14
Any 8 days in 16
Any 9 days in 18
Any 10 days in 20
Any 11 days in 22
Any 12 days in 24
Any 13 days in 26
Any 14 days in 28
Any 15 days in 30
|Bus schedules available at www.buseireann.ie.|
|Sealink ferries and catamarans connecting Britain and Ireland|
|British port to...||Irish port||Crossings daily||Ferry/Cat. hrs||Price|
|Holyhead||Dublin/Dun Laoghaire*||6||3.5 / 1.5||$80|
|Fishguard||Rosslare||4||3.5 / 1.5||$65|
|Cairnryan||Belfast||6||3.5 / 1.5||$60|
See also www.seaview.co.uk for ferries.
* Dun Laoghaire is a 30-minute bus or train ride from Dublin.
Travelers from London to Dublin may find it worthwhile to catch a quick $30-$90 shuttle flight (see www.cheapflights.com or www.ryanair.com). Flying is also the best way to reach the European Continent.
National Express (Britain's Greyhound) offers London-Dublin bus+ferry tickets for $50 - $70 (restrictions apply).