Transport on 3+ wk Ireland trip

We will have a little over 3 wks in Ireland starting end of July. Trying to keep to our budget we don't want to rent a car for that length of time minus the few days in Dublin. Can we use buses,train, bikes and manage? We are 2 adults & one 11 yr old boy. If we have to rent can we only get rentals in Dublin or at Shannon? Thanks for the help.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1353 posts

hi, ive only been to Dublin and the INS in Kildare. In Dublin, i didnt need a car for any of the touristy things since they were either walkable or the hop on/off bus went to them. The hop on/off bus tickets can be bought for 1 or 2 days. i dont remember if they allow 3 or more, but for my time, a 2 day was good enough. the trip to Kildare was using one of their commuter trains. no problem either. i just love the train system over in Europe since its so easy to use. afa outside of dublin, that will depend on WHERE you want to go. I would strongly suggest that if you want ANY input from the people here, you list out WHERE you want to go. just an fyi, having a plan for what you want to do will help in where you want to go. using any of the guide books helps determine whats there and travel connections. you can also use google to find transportation solutions too, but first you have to know where you want to go. happy trails.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

As Ray said, we could give you better answers if we knew what areas or cities you want to see. You can take the train to Galway or Belfast or Cork or a number of other cities, but train service is very limited in the west. You can rent cars in lots of places other than Dublin or Shannon. Bus service is more extensive. Of course, their schedules might not be your schedule, so you might have some time lost in waiting, changing buses, etc. Give us an idea of what you would like to see and we can make some suggestions.

Posted by Sherrie
Penang, Pinang, Malaysia
10 posts

Sorry, since we will be there over 3 wks. We will travel all over including Aran island. I can see that the train does not go to the finger peninsulas in the SW and the West. I'm wondering how easy it will be to take a bus from say Limerick to Dingle for instance or travel by bus along the areas I've mentioned? Thanks.

Posted by tom
Ithaca, NY, USA
30 posts

Hi, I would recommend renting a car as this is the only way you are going to see what you want and have maximum flexibility- which you seem to want. We traveled in Ireland for two weeks last June and although expensive, a car was essential. It got to us to small towns and places-especially the Dingl Peninsula. We took a bus from Rosslare Harbor to Dublin and it was long with frequent stops.
Driving in Ireland can be nervewracking but if you drive slowly(40 miles an hour where it says 60) and get a good Ordanance Map and stop to ask folks for directions you should have no problems. Allow for extra time wherever you go so as to not add undue pressure. We rented out of Shannon and dropped the car off at the Waterford airport. There are numerous places outside Dublin or Shannon to rent a car. Get a smaller one with automatic shift and you will be fine.