Ireland: Visitors' Info

Getting Around

A common issue in rural areas.

Whether or not you choose to follow our ByRoutes, the following information may be useful:

Private Car is undoubtedly the best way to travel around Ireland (outside Dublin, where the traffic is hellish). Remember that, as in Britain, driving is on the left, making it uncomfortable to drive most foreign cars on Irish roads.

Motor biking and cycling are other possibilities, but remember the unpredictable weather. Motorbike hire and insurance in Ireland tends to be difficult and expensive, while bicycle hire (including insurance) is widely available and cheap.

Public transport

  • Public transport in the Republic of Ireland is neither cheap nor efficient, and verges on Third World in comparison with France or Spain .
 
  • Ianród Eireann operates a reasonably priced but rather limited diesel train service between most major urban centres (Return tickets provide much better value than Singles).
 
  • Bus Eireann and a few other operators run inexpensive provincial coaches connecting cities and towns with smaller communities, but scheduled services look better on paper than they are in reality.
 
  • Local bus services are rare outside the cities.
 
  • Private Bus services at local level do exist in several parts of the country; make enquiries locally.
 
  • Bus Stations are virtually unheard of.
 
  • Public Transport in Northern Ireland is not much better.
 

  • Coach tours around Ireland are organised by Bus Eireann and several other operators. These tend to be rather regimented.

Hitchhiking used to be good when we were younger in terms of lots of lifts, but these were usually for short distances. We doubt if the situation has improved. The weather could be a problem.

Hiking and pony trekking facilities are often excellent in otherwise inaccessible parts of the country. Don’t forget the weather!

Cruise boats accommodating 2 – 12 passengers, with or without crew, are available for hire on inland lakes and waterways – the River Shannon, the Grand Canal, the River Erne and the River Barrow, good for fishing and bird watching. Experience in handling a boat is an advantage, but not a prerequisite. Agility is important, as locks can be an issue.