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Buying train (or bus) tickets in Northern Ireland - a bit confused

I am looking at buying tickets ahead of time for a trip from Derry to Belfast in the morning of Sept 20, and then travel unto Dublin in late afternoon that same day. Tickets are not yet available for that day, so I was playing around with the week earlier. I can buy Web Saver for the Belfast/Dublin portion easy enough, but the Derry to Belfast only gives me an ilink travel card option. Am I to assume I can't pre-buy this portion and will have to get a ticket at the station.

Also, on a related topic. If I search on Irish Rail for my Belfast to Dublin connection, I'm given numerous options for tickets, from fixed to flexible for very little difference in price. They are attractive, but I'm not allowed to purchase and have to use the Northern Ireland train site, but here I don't see the options. Web saver (fixed), Standard Fare or Plus Fare, but these come at premiums. Am I missing something?

Posted by
396 posts

Thanks for the reply

Wish somewhere on the site there was something that says advance tickets are not available. I'm trained to "always" buy advance to get the best price in Europe, but I guess that doesn't apply here.

Warren

Posted by
11230 posts

"I'm trained to "always" buy advance to get the best price in Europe, but I guess that doesn't apply here."

Whether or not advance transit tickets save money and hassle depends on the country or countries involved, as well as the specific start and end points. There is no single "rule," except that far more routes have discounts for advance booking than in the past.

Posted by
5 posts

Warren - I am also researching train tickets from Belfast to Dublin (October 10). I understand that those dates haven't opened up yet but unsure of what kind of ticket to purchase. There are two of us traveling with luggage - one is over 65 yrs. I would like to purchase ahead of time since I'd like an afternoon train. Any help on what kind of ticket to buy and if I should worry about trying to buy as soon as date opens up would be helpful.

Posted by
396 posts

The only option I had was websaver, and I decided on the bus because the time was better for us (4:45 pm). If you can get to the bus page, I was able to find dates earlier than what shows on the Translink page.