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Belfast to Malahide questions after my RS 14 day Ireland tour

I am taking the 14 day Ireland tour, April 21 – May 4.

My current plan is to stay on in Belfast plan one extra night after the tour ends . so Saturday, May 4. Then, at some point on Sunday, May 5th, take a bus to the Dublin airport, then the hotel shuttle to the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport (my current booking), stay the night, and fly out on Monday, May 6th.

Now, I am considering making my way from Belfast to either Malahide or Howth (leaning toward Malahide, and have made a cancellable reservation at the Grand Hotel), and staying Sunday and Monday nights, changing flight to leave on Tuesday, May 7th. (If I did this, I would skip this town on my pre-tour day trips).

?What would be the best way to get from Belfast to Malahide. Would I take the same bus from Belfast to the airport, and then taxi to the hotel in Malahide or Howth? ?other suggestions

?Any other suggestions for lodging? There doesn't seem to be many options, and I would want it to be cancellable. I would want to be walking distance to the water, walking paths, restaurants, etc.
Thanks for any insights!!

Posted by
6503 posts

For Malahide- take the Enterprise train headed for Dublin and change at Drogheda-
Belfast Lanyon Place depart 0900 Drogheda arrive 1040, depart 1055 Malahide arr 1131,
OR
1105 Drogheda 1239/1305 Malhide arr 1341
OR
1305 Drogheda 1439/1505 Malahide arr 1541
OR
1605 Drogheda 1740/1805 Malahide arr 1843
OR
1905 Drogheda 2040/2055 Malahide arr 2131

From Malahide to the Airport take frequent bus #102- https://bustimes.org/services/102-dublin-airport-sutton-dart

Drogheda to Malahide- [Dublin] timetable-https://www.irishrail.ie/Admin/IrishRail/media/Timetable-PDF-s/Connolly-DART-timetables/15-Dublin-Dundalk.pdf
Belfast- Drogheda- [Dublin] timetable- https://www.irishrail.ie/IrishRail/media/Timetable-PDF-s/Connolly-DART-timetables/09_dublin-belfast.pdf;

For Howth- take the Enterprise train all the way to Dublin Connolly, change platforms, then DART to the end of the line- https://www.irishrail.ie/Admin/IrishRail/media/Timetable-PDF-s/Connolly-DART-timetables/4-_18-_dart_commuter.pdf

or the bus to Dublin Busaras (which is round the corner from Connolly) then DART

There are also 2 City Bus Routes from the Busaras and Connolly to Howth- the H3-
https://bustimes.org/services/h3
and the 6-
https://bustimes.org/services/6-6?date=2023-08-03

To the airport from Howth you would have to come back into the City centre then any of several bus routes back out to the airport

Malahide also has good city bus service to Dublin City Centre

Posted by
28 posts

Thank you! And, if I end up sticking with my original plan of just staying one night at the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport-- which bus line would you take from Belfast? I think I read that Aircoach was the fastest? Thanks much.

Posted by
6503 posts

They are one of three companies, all of whom have the same travel time, similar coaches and similar fares-

The others are-
Translink (The National operator of Northern Ireland and the original operator of the route) #X1/X2-https://www.translink.co.uk/timetables?routeHashCode=7effdce9514f0f1efd6aade44fe81ff27ec27ab305eded63dcde4e9ab629fff4&transportMode=Bus&route=T0&direction=H

and
Dublin Express #785 (the newest entrant to the market and part of the National Express group in the UK)-https://www.dublinexpress.ie/media/11174/dublin_express_timetable-july-23.pdf

Posted by
28 posts

If they are all so similar, how do people choose? Is one known for better service? (do any have bathrooms on board).

Thanks .. I know my trip is a long way off .. just getting familiar with options.

Posted by
6503 posts

It seems to be personal preference.

On this forum people overwhelmingly favour aircoach, yet their Trip Advisor reviews are really not good. Previous threads suggest that this is due to mis-information about being able to book Translink journeys starting in the Republic.

I favour Translink because they are the incumbent operator and leave from inside Europa Bus Station in Belfast (where there are bathrooms).- the other operators leave from Glengall Street outside Europa.
Translink generally rarely have bathrooms on their coaches (on both domestic and international routes), and aircoach it appears to be random luck. Translink run some very long routes with non bathroom equipped vehicles.

Dublin Express have only been going to Belfast for less than 2 weeks, so no reviews. However they are known to have brand new vehicles, more spacious seating and both the Dublin Airport website and the DE facebook page state that they have on board bathrooms. The older reviews on TA for DE relate to their routes into Dublin City, so are not really relevant to the Belfast route.