How do I get around Dublin?

Sheila Mahon
Sheila Mahon
  • Updated

This is an introduction to public transportation services in Dublin. ​They are all overseen by Transport for Ireland (TFI) ​

Recommend App to download,

Leap Card

A leap card is a prepaid card which can be used on various means of transport in Dublin: Dublin Bus, Dart, Commuter, Luas and Bus Eireann.

Using a leap card to travel around Dublin is cheaper than paying single/return fares. 

There is a Student Leap Card which is even better value as it will also grant students discounts in several shops across the city/country. 

You can apply and pay for a leap card online and then make your way to an express agent, i.e. Dublin Bus head office on O’Connell Street

You need to :

  1. Apply online
  2. Pay €10
  3. Upload photo 
  4. Provide your student card or your registration letter from NCI

Before you can use the travel card you have to add travel credit. You can add travel credit by the following ways,

  • Online
  • At a Leap Card agent (e.g. newsagent) 
  • Irish Rail & Luas ticket machines 
  • Leap Card top up app


Dublin Bus

Dublin bus is the biggest transport provider in Greater Dublin area with approx. 136 bus routes. The majority of weekday services run from approx. 6am – 11.30pm. The weekend/bank holiday schedules differ and some routes even run 24 hours​

Most bus routes operate in a linear way from suburbs into city centre. ​Not all buses cross the city from suburb to suburb north/south and east/west, some terminate in the city.​

To stop a bus you need to hold your hand out to signal the driver you want to get on. ​

You can pay by using a Leap Card or by paying in cash (coins only)

Please note that if you pay in coins your ticket is only available for 1 single journey (no return trips) and there is no change given on bus. The cash fare is also more expensive than the Leap Card fare so we highly recommend that you use your Leap Card instead of coins.

More info is available on their website: 


Rail Dart

The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) ​is a train service along the coast of Dublin from Malahide (north) to Greystones (south). Normal weekday services run from approx. 6am – 11.30pm however the weekend/bank holiday schedules differ. 

The DART has 4 lines and runs frequently - approx. every 15mins.

  • Northern (Dublin – Dundalk) 
  • South Eastern (Dublin – Gorey) 
  • Western (Dublin – Longford) 
  • South Western (Dublin – Portlaoise) 

You can pay for the DART with your Leap Card or by Cash.

Cash Fare: single and return tickets can be bought from ticket machines in stations / more expensive than Leap Card Fare 

More info: 



The Luas is a very frequent service and comes up to every 5 minutes during peak times and up to every 15 minutes at night. The normal weekday services are from approx. 5.30am – 00.30am however the weekend/bank holiday schedules differ. ​The Luas Tram service has 2 lines the Red and Green line.

  • Red Luas Line runes east to west - connection from Connolly/The Point to Tallaght/Saggart​Note: The NCI/Mayor Square stop is on the Red Line.
  • Green Luas Line runes north to south - connection from Broombridge to Brides Glen/Sandyford.

You can pay for the Luas with your Leap Card or by Cash.

Cash Fare: single and return tickets can be bought from ticket machines at stops / more expensive than Leap Card Fare 

More info: 


Bus Eireann

Bus Éireann offers a wide range of transportation services for people across Ireland.

  • Local bus services throughout Ireland
  • City bus services in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford
  • Town bus services in Athlone, Balbriggan, Drogheda, Dundalk, Navan, and Sligo
  • Commuter bus services radiating from Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford

Tickets for student/young adult fare rates will only be available of holders of a Student and Young Adult (19-23) Leap Cards only. The NCI student card and any other forms of student identification will not be accepted as a valid form of student ID.





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