Posted on Apr 19, 2018 |
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Getting around Ireland has become far more convenient in the last several years, thanks to the introduction of new highways that connect most major cities of the Emerald Isle.
Driving in Ireland
Driving in Ireland takes a certain amount of skill. For Americans and Canadians, there’s the whole other-side-of-the-car, other-side-of-the-road thing to contend with — just remember to stay left and you’ll be all right. On highways (known as freeways to Americans), there are typically two to three lanes; rarely will you find monster four- or five-lane thoroughfares in Ireland. As on most European highways, the fast lane — which is always on the right — is used solely for passing slower traffic.
Ireland Train Travel
Relying solely on trains to get around Ireland isn’t recommended, as it is not possible to travel to all parts of the country by rail. However the trains serve most major hubs and are a great way to see the country, particularly for longer-haul journeys, and buses can provide transport from major train stations to smaller areas if you’d rather not rent a car in between train rides.
Irish Rail offers service to all major cities in Ireland, and tickets can be purchased online or at stations. Booking online is recommended, as fares are cheaper when purchased in advance –sometimes you can save up to 40 percent by buying your ticket a month ahead of time. While it’s not always possible to reserve a specific seat, some routes offer this option. The trains are not luxurious but are generally comfortable, with most longer-haul route trains featuring onboard toilets, dining cars and/or snack carts. Wi-Fi is available on Irish Rail trains, though the service can be patchy at best.
Bus Travel in Ireland
Though by no means luxurious or glamorous, traveling by bus is probably the most convenient and budget-friendly method of transportation around Ireland. For long-haul travel, bus travel is very affordable and tickets can be purchased in advance through BusEireann.ie. Bus connections are available between all major cities. Buses are reliable and comfortable, and most offer free Wi-Fi.
Local bus service is a different story. The inter-city bus services are known for frequent delays and occasional bus breakdowns, but they are still a cheap way to get around a metro area if you’re on a budget and not tight on time. To catch a bus, you need to wave at the bus driver as the vehicle approaches; buses will not stop just because there are people waiting.